Fighting LGBT Laws that Punish People

We may still struggle here in the US, but elsewhere the situation is still far more dire.

NAIROBI, Kenya — Gatura Gatura was watching Black-ish late one night when her neighbor came over to her apartment and asked to borrow a lighter. As she turned to find one, he asked if her girlfriend was home. Gatura, who was getting ready to begin her second year of law school, told him no; though they lived together, her girlfriend was a DJ and had a gig that night.

The next thing she knew, he had pinned her to the ground and started beating her. Her back was hurt from where she’d been thrown against the floor, her face was swollen from the blows, she had scratch marks on her chest, and she was left with a permanent scar on her lip from where he forcefully tried to kiss her. If Gatura hadn’t screamed, she doesn’t know what would have happened next.

But almost three years after the events of that night, her neighbor has never been prosecuted for what he did.

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Transgender Woman in India Attacked

I do not claim to understand anything about what transgender people feel inside that puts them on a path to change, but I accept that something is there. I would never in a million years think that violence against them just because I do not understand is okay on any level. I would say that this has got to stop, but realistically I know it never will. Not when people here in my own country still have issues with race and that was supposedly solved several decades ago.

Rudrani Chettri Chauhan is a transgender model and activist, currently residing in Delhi.

On October 22, Chauhan and her boyfriend were attacked by a group of men while they were out enjoying the festival of Dussehra.

“We were on a motorbike, when three other motorbikes started riding adjacent to us. One of the people tried to touch my neck, which was very scary as I was wearing jewelry. They were also passing lewd comments. My boyfriend and I stopped the bike because we feared there might be a road accident,” Chauchan told BuzzFeed India.
Chauhan said that as soon as she and her boyfriend got off their motorbike, the men started to beat them without a word.

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There Are Only Eight More Votes Needed To Win Marriage Equality In Parliament

Come on Australia!!!

Although the government plans to hold a plebiscite on marriage after the next election, [Australian Marriage Equality] will still focus on achieving a parliamentary majority in the lead up to the ballot.

“Our pre-election goal is to achieve a clear-cut majority in parliament, so regardless of whichever party wins government we will have the numbers to pass reform,” said national director Rodney Croome.

“We are now just eight votes away in the lower house, and have a slim majority in the senate.”

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Major U.S. Marriage Equality Players Are Now Looking Down Under

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalising nationwide marriage equality, representatives from the LGBTI lobby group visited Australia to give advice on efforts Down Under.

After meetings with several advocates, director of HRC Global Ty Cobb said Australia is well-poised to be the next country to adopt the reform.

“If you look out around the world, and where the next opportunity for the world to really move forward on marriage equality is, Australia is that place,” he said.

“I think the entire international community is really focused on Australia, and the ability of the current government to listen to where Australians are on this issue.”

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Russian LGBT Activist Flees After Accusations Of Collaborating With U.S. Intelligence

Wow.

Russian LGBT rights activist Alexander Ermoshkin has left the country after a nationally televised story on the state-owned Russia-1 channel accused him of collaborating with U.S. intelligence services. He confirmed in a Facebook post Sunday evening that he had arrived in New York and was staying with friends.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Ermoshkin refuted the allegations, saying the show’s producers had set him up. “Without the help, so to speak, of the authorities, it would have been impossible to do this,” he said.

The “Special Correspondent: Poisonous Export” program, which aired July 1, purported to show American intelligence agents recruiting Ermoshkin, a 40-year-old LGBT activist from Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East, to organize LGBT demonstrations in Russia.

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Nine LGBT Activists Arrested In China

Our Chinese brothers and sisters should be applauded. Despite the arrests, their Pride March will continue.

Nine LGBT rights activists were arrested in China this week in a rare group arrest — but that isn’t stopping 20-year-old Xiang Xiaohan from going ahead with organizing the country’s second ever LGBT rights march later this month.

Xiang was one of nine people arrested in Beijing in the early morning of May 7 in an unusual group arrest of LGBT activists. They were all released within the day, but the police instructed them to cancel a seminar planned for later that day on registering organizations with the authorities, which would give them formal permission to operate. Such meetings had been allowed to happen before, but security officials were on edge because the 25th anniversary of the 1989 massacre of democracy activists in Tiananmen Square was less than a month away. Several other human rights activists have also been arrested this month, including lawyer Pu Zhiqiang and journalist Gao Yu.

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Vladimir Putin’s LGBT Refuseniks

We are still in our own struggle for LGBT rights, but I guess we are farther along than Russia.

On June 16, 1961, the Soviet ballet star Rudolf Nureyev slipped away from his KGB minders while on tour in Paris, and within a week, he was doing his jetés and echappés in The Sleeping Beauty with a French company. Ten years later, 13,000 Jewish refugees left the Soviet Union; over the next three decades, the U.S. accepted hundreds of thousands. In 1979, when Bolshoi dancers Valentina Kozlova and Leonid Kozlov ducked out the garage door of the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, the U.S. granted them asylum the next day.

Today it’s not ballerinas and Jews fleeing Russia in droves, but a new group of Putin-era refuseniks: LGBT people. Facing a discriminatory new law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” and a spike in homophobic violence, many see getting out of Russia as a matter of life and death.

Slava Revin, a 31-year-old activist who arrived in the U.S. in July, is part of a fast-growing community of young LGBT Russians who’ve flocked to New York, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities. Like the Soviet Jews and dissidents who fled decades before them, Revin and his peers have formed a tight network, helping one another adjust to life in America and advocating for the rights of those left behind.

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Who’s Afraid Of The Gay Mafia?

Yes! We are terrorists!!!

“I think there is a gay mafia,” said Bill Maher on Friday during an online segment of his HBO show Real Time. The topic at hand was the resignation of Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, in response to the renewed controversy over a $1,000 donation he made in support of California’s Prop 8 in 2008. “I think if you cross them, you do get whacked. You really do,” Maher added during a segment with five presumably straight guests, each of them laughing and nodding in agreement.

I’d laugh, or at least chuckle along, if I wasn’t too busy cataloguing the frequency with which the notion of a powerful, shadowy gay conspiracy has come up lately in public conversations. The same day Glenn Beck ranted during his radio broadcast that LGBT activists are “becoming a terrorist organization” that just wants to “keep everyone in fear.”

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“Straight Is Great”

The arguments are so fucking childish. ‘You done me wrong, so I’m gonna do you wrong.’ Give me a break! Can’t we act like the adults we claim to be, or is that not possible?

The president of the Catholic League is challenging the organizers of the parade to include him after LGBT activists protested the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade for barring LGBT participants with pride flags and banners.

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Michele Bachmann Claims Gay People Have ‘Bullied The American People’

Okay if standing up for my rights as laid out in the US Constitution is bullying, then yes I am a bully. The Constitution applies to all of us or none of us.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is still not pleased with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s (R) decision to veto SB 1062 late last month.

In an interview with conservative radio host Lars Larson during last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Bachmann said the downfall of the bill, which would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gay individuals on religious grounds, illustrated how LGBT activists have “bullied” voters and politicians.

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