The Latest Gay News and World Events

I knew we Tucsonans are pretty proud of our fun little city, but there is a whole gay world out there full of amazing people and we should know a little about their lives.  With that in mind, I present to you the Gay News section; a few of my favorite news sources talking about Gay News and Events around the world.  Check back regularly for constantly updated news and information that truly matters.

LGBTQ Nation Gay News

LGBTQ Nation

The Most Followed LGBTQ News Source

Transgender people were more likely to be smokers, more likely to be sedentary, and more likely to experience a diminished quality of life.
A copy of the bill Oliver Jordan received after attempting to take his own lifeHe wasn't successful, but a $93,000 bill for medical care has left him feeling hopeless.
The T-shirt in question"If this has offended anyone that wasn't our intention, it was just a good play on words."
The movie was originally released the year after "Don't Ask Don't Tell" became law and a year before the "Defense of Marriage Act" was signed.
“Just to be clear, in Montana, beef is king,” Fox added. “But we sure know good food when we taste it.”
Senator Kamala Harris takes a question on LGBTQ rights from a student."How would you cooperate with countries that view homosexuality as a sin and a crime that is punishable by death?"
Former Republican Congressman Aaron Schock posed with gay men at Coachella and now the other men are apologizing.They say he inserted himself into their picture with a friend.
Nigel Shelby"Nigel took his life because he was bullied for being gay. There are no words that can be said to make sense of this devastating news."
The Guardian LGBT News Feed
The Guardian LGBT News Feed

LGBT rights | The Guardian

Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice

Move comes a day after Scott Morrison dismissed the ‘discredited’ practice as a state issue

The Coalition has suggested it will work to discourage gay conversion therapy just a day after Scott Morrison poured cold-water on Labor’s push to stamp the practice out.

In a response to peak LGBTIQ group Equality Australia, the Morrison government has committed to work with the states “to ensure such practices are not supported or occurring”.

Related: Brunei defends death by stoning for gay sex in letter to EU

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Hotel is subject to boycott over sultan’s policy of punishing gay sex with death by stoning

The London Evening Standard is facing calls to move an awards ceremony to be held at the Brunei-owned Dorchester after the country imposed new laws punishing gay sex and adultery with death by stoning.

The newspaper, whose celebrity columnist Rob Rinder urged readers to join a boycott of the luxury hotel, is due to hold its annual New Homes awards at the five-star Mayfair establishment next month.

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After reports of transgender people being refused treatment, a new centre offers specialised services – and respite from discrimination

Vivek Sharma has travelled 20km from his home to the congested eastern suburb of Mumbai for his HIV treatment. But the journey is no hardship for the 23-year-old student.

“My file was shifted to this clinic. I am so happy that this has finally happened.”

Related: 'It's a godsend': the healthcare scheme bringing hope to India's sick

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  • Justices to decide if civil rights law applies to LGBT people
  • Ruling of conservative-leaning court expected by June 2020

The supreme court will decide whether the main federal civil rights law that prohibits employment discrimination applies to LGBT people.

The justices said on Monday they will hear cases involving people who claim they were fired because of their sexual orientation. Another case involves a funeral home employee who was fired after disclosing that she was transitioning from male to female and dressed as a woman.

Related: 'There is change happening': historically black colleges tackle LGBTQ rights

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Kingdom’s mission to bloc calls for tolerance and understanding over penal code

Brunei has written to the European parliament defending its decision to start imposing death by stoning as a punishment for gay sex, claiming convictions will be rare as it requires two men of “high moral standing and piety” to be witnesses.

In a four-page letter to MEPs, the kingdom’s mission to the EU called for “tolerance, respect and understanding” with regard to the country’s desire to preserve its traditional values and “family lineage”.

Related: The Guardian view on Brunei and stoning: don’t leave it to celebrities to act | Editorial

Related: ‘It’s dangerous to go out now’: young, gay and scared in Brunei

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Although Morehouse College decided to admit transgender men, progress is slow because of the colleges’ roots in black churches

In Atlanta,the South’s self-described “gay black mecca”, Morehouse College, an historically all-male black college, said last week it would, for the first time, allow transgender men and “individuals who self-identify as men, regardless of the sex assigned to them at birth” to be considered for admission from 2020 onwards, according to a statement.

The changed policy is a relatively new concept among the United States’ historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Most HBCUs have roots in religious establishments, due to the efforts of black churches to create universities for formerly enslaved African Americans at the end of the civil war. That religious background means many campuses remain steadfastly socially conservative.

Related: All-male historically black Morehouse College will admit transgender men

Related: Trans troops return to era of 'don't ask, don't tell' as Trump policy takes effect

Related: Texas 'religious freedom' bill opens door to LGBT discrimination, opponents say

Related: Taylor Swift donates $113,000 to fight anti-LGBT bills in Tennessee

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The death of a young journalist at the hands of dissident republicans is a tragedy linked to the province’s ongoing political crisis

The murder of the 29-year-old Northern Irish journalist and author Lyra McKee late last night is a tragedy for those who knew her. But her shooting, during rioting in Derry, is of political as well as terrible personal significance. There could hardly be a starker warning that while the Troubles may have officially ended with the Good Friday agreement 21 years ago, the risk of further violence remains.

Ms McKee should have been part of the future. A self-described “ceasefire baby”, too young to have her own memories of the 1970s and 1980s, she brought curiosity and courage to her explorations of Northern Ireland’s history. Having grown up off a stretch of the Antrim Road in north Belfast known as the Murder Mile, she wrote about the sharp rise in suicides that came with peace and argued that trauma was part of her generation’s inheritance. But she was determined to rise above the sectarianism and narrow-mindedness of the past. Her investigation of children who vanished during the Troubles, The Lost Boys, is due to be published next year.

Related: Hope amid tragedy: reaction to Lyra McKee's death is glimpse of another Northern Ireland

Related: Northern Irish police call for peace in name of killed journalist

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How dare dissident republicans claim to ‘respect’ the writer. They have silenced a woman who told the stories of their forgotten victims

“Derry tonight. Absolute madness.” That was Lyra McKee’s last tweet as she stood beside a police Land Rover watching young boys in masks hurling petrol bombs that smashed and flared on to the streets of the city she loved. Then, out of the shadows, a gunman emerged, knelt down and started shooting. Lyra, who had stayed to witness events rather than go home and write about them, was hit. Police got her into a Land Rover and the driver bravely plunged it through a burning barricade to get her to Altnagelvin hospital. But it was too late. She died soon after arriving.

Related: Lyra McKee: a proud and critical Northern Irish journalist

Related: Hope amid tragedy: reaction to Lyra McKee's death is glimpse of another Northern Ireland

Related: The Guardian view on Lyra McKee’s murder: she should have been the future | Editorial

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Each week of the 2019 Australian federal election campaign, Guardian Australia will take a quick look back at  the hot topic of the week. Week two began with Scott Morrison giving the Chinese greeting 'ni hao' to a Korean Australian woman, before eating dumplings in the Sydney suburb of Strathfield. The Chinese-Australian vote then came into sharper focus in the Victorian seat of Chisholm, where two Chinese-born candidates are running against each other. The Liberal candidate, Gladys Liu, made headlines after highlighting a 2016 Guardian interview in which she said the Chinese community thought LGBT issues were 'ridiculous rubbish'

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Human Rights Watch Gay News

Human Rights Watch - Defending Human Rights Worldwide

Dennis Christensen (behind the windows) talks with his interpreter at the Zheleznodorzhy District Court in Oryol, January 28, 2019

© 2019 Human Rights Watch

(Moscow) – A Russian court on February 6, 2019 convicted Dennis Christensen, a Jehovah’s Witness adherent and Danish citizen, on extremism charges for practicing his faith, Human Rights Watch said today. The court sentenced Christensen to six years in prison. The conviction is a blatant violation of the rights to religious freedom and expression. Russian authorities should immediately move to set aside the conviction and free Christensen.

The verdict comes amid Russian law enforcement’s nationwide campaign against Jehovah’s Witnesses. Authorities throughout Russia have filed criminal extremism charges against more than 100 Jehovah’s Witnesses since Russia’s Supreme Court banned the Jehovah’s Witness organization in 2017.

“The verdict against Denis Christensen is a disgrace,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s shocking that in post-Soviet Russia authorities are putting people through the ordeal of a criminal investigation and prison for nothing more than peacefully practicing their faith.”

Christensen, 47, had been in pretrial custody for 20 months, since his arrest in May 2017. His lawyer told Human Rights Watch that he will appeal.

Russian authorities should immediately drop the extremism charges against all Jehovah’s Witnesses, free those who have been detained, and halt the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Human Rights Watch said.

In 2016, a local court banned the Orel Jehovah’s Witness organization as an “extremist religious organization.”

Police in Orel arrested Christensen, who has had a Russian residence permit since 2000, on May 25, 2017, during a raid by riot police on a Jehovah’s Witness worship service, during which Christensen had given a sermon. He was not on the staff of the Jehovah’s Witness organization but had unlocked the building where the members had gathered.

Video

Video: Danish Jehovah's Witness Dennis Christensen Sentenced to 6 Years in Russia

A Russian court on February 6, 2019 convicted Dennis Christensen, a Jehovah’s Witness worshipper and Danish citizen, on extremism charges for practicing his faith. 

Authorities charged Christensen with “organizing activities of a religious organization that has been declared extremist” under article 282.2(1) of the Russian Criminal Code. The charge sheet, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, states that he was “actively involved in organizational work aimed at continuing the unlawful activities of the [banned Orel Jehovah’s Witness organization].”

Christensen’s lawyer told Human Rights Watch that the charges stem from Christensen’s actions on May 25 and from two previous incidents, in February 2017, when Christensen participated in discussions about a religious publication. They are also linked to Christensen’s role in organizing worshipers to help with the upkeep of their place of worship before the court ruling banning the organization entered into force in July 2017, and to persuading several other people to worship with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Evidence at trial included testimony by a secret witness who, the Jehovah’s Witness organization said, claimed that Christensen was a key Jehovah’s Witness leader in Orel. During the trial, Christensen said he knew the “secret witness” and identified him as religious studies graduate and specialist in non-Orthodox “heresies.” However, the court barred the defense from including questions about his identity, even though they might have been material to challenging his testimony. Other evidence included, during a closed court hearing, transcripts from tapped phone calls between Christensen and other worshipers, and also witnesses who described the process of upkeep of the courtyard, such as shoveling snow, at the place of worship.

An April 2017 Russian Supreme Court ruling banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout Russia. The ruling declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center an extremist organization, closed the organization on those grounds, and banned the group’s activities throughout the country. The Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center was the head office for 395 Jehovah’s Witnesses branches in Russia.

Twenty-two Jehovah’s Witnesses remain in custody in Russia, awaiting trial on extremism charges, and 25 are under house arrest. Law enforcement officers have carried out hundreds of searches, raids, interrogations, and other acts of harassment and persecution. The most recent wave took place on January 20, in Sakhalin, in Russia’s Far East, where police searched several homes and interrogated Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The trial of Sergey Skrynnikov, another Jehovah’s Witness worshipper in Orel, is also currently under way. On December 27, 2018, a court in Kabardino-Balkaria convicted Arkady Akopyan, 70, on extremism charges for allegedly getting people to distribute “extremist” Jehovah’s Witness literature. The court sentenced Akopyan to 120 hours of community service.

In a December meeting of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council, in response to a question about the prosecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, President Vladimir Putin said that people of different faiths should be treated equally. He also said, “We need to consider the society and country we live in. But in no way does this mean that we should treat people from other religious persuasions as [from] destructive or terrorist organizations. This is utter nonsense and we need to get to the bottom of it.”

Putin should explicitly call for prosecutors to withdraw extremism charges against Jehovah’s Witnesses, Human Rights Watch said.

In June, Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council said that the crackdown echoed Soviet-era religious repression and asked the prosecutor general’s office to verify the legality of criminal prosecutions against Jehovah’s Witnesses practicing their faith.

Russia, as a member of the Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association. The government has previously been found to be in violation of the European Convention for actions taken through the courts to dissolve communities of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Jehovah’s Witnesses of Moscow v. Russia, application no. 302/02).

The case against Christensen and the raids against Jehovah’s Witness adherents violate the right to freedom of religion, denying them the right to worship, and cannot be justified as either a necessary or proportionate measure to protect public safety or public order, Human Rights Watch said. Christensen has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights alleging, among other things, that his arrest constitutes unlawful interference with his right to freedom of religion.

“Prosecuting Jehovah’s Witnesses on extremism charges is a serious human rights violation,” Denber said. “It’s absurd that Russian authorities are wasting taxpayer money on things like figuring out who shoveled snow in the congregation’s courtyard.”

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