Daniel Browne | Uncredited Photographer/Coventry Telegraph | 15383
Daniel Browne was starting to set up Push Projects in 2011 when a local councillor told him not to bother because “there are no gay people in Warwickshire” and there was no need for such a group in the county and he should “reconsider” starting the organisation.
Daniel, 31, ignored the advice and has since seen Push Projects go from strength to strength. It has now celebrated its fourth birthday. The scheme offers support and advice to the gay community. As you can see, Daniel has just won an award for his efforts.
A landmark vote means same sex relationships will now be recognised by the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. The Church also voted in favour of ordaining gay ministers and scrapping a so-called celibacy clause. By a 64 percent majority, the church voted in favour of acknowledging same sex unions and allowing gay ministers to be ordained without the need for them to be celibate.
That last bit should be of interest to Gay Christians everywhere.
On Thursday, UCLA molecular biologist Tuck C. Ngun reported that in studying the genetic material of 47 pairs of identical male twins, he has identified “epigenetic marks” in nine areas of the human genome that are strongly linked to male homosexuality.
In individuals, said Ngun, the presence of these distinct molecular marks can predict homosexuality with an accuracy of close to 70%,
reports the Los Angeles Times.
… experts said the results — as yet unpublished in a peer-reviewed journal — offer preliminary new evidence that a man’s genetic inheritance is only one influence on his sexual orientation. Through the epigenome, the results suggest, some facet of life experience likely also primes a man for same-sex attraction. Over a person’s lifetime, myriad environmental factors – nutrition, poverty, a mother’s love, education, exposure to toxic chemicals – all help shape the person he will become.
… Geneticists suggest that together, the human genome and its epigenome reflect the interaction of nature and nurture – both our fixed inheritance and our bodies’ flexible responses to the world – in making us who we are…. Many researchers believe that a person’s eventual sexual preferences are shaped in the uterus, by hormonal shifts during key stages of fetal brain development.
In other words we were born this way. Now stop worrying about it!
Getty | 15382
Gay men have higher skin cancer rates than heterosexual men, because they use tanning machines more, says new research.
“Overall, the rate of indoor tanning among these men is between three to six times greater than it is among heterosexual men,” said study co-author Dr. Matthew Mansh, an intern in the department of internal medicine at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
“Gay and bisexual men also have about twice the rate of skin cancer compared with heterosexual men,” he added, “both in terms of melanoma and non-melanoma.”
Indoor tanning risk among self-identified gay and bisexual men aged 18 and above shot up sixfold compared to straight men. Gay and bisexual men had almost a 7 percent risk of skin cancer, while straight men only faced a 3 percent risk.
Brad Hammer | 15381
I feel warmer already.
Brad Hammer lists ten good reasons why young gay men should drop everything and head off to Key West. Your Activist can offer ten good reasons why Your Activist should be given the chance to join them with a free holiday. And all my readers, subscribers and followers should be invited along, too!
Jonathan Merritt writes in The Atlantic about the demise of the ex-gay Movement.
In 2001, Alan Chambers was hired as the president of the world’s largest ex-gay ministry, Exodus International. That same year, U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher issued a report that stated, “there is no valid evidence showing that sexual orientation can be changed.” … As a former Exodus participant who once lived a “gay lifestyle” but was able to achieve a successful straight marriage, Chambers was the perfect candidate to lead the organization. And by 2001, Exodus needed all the help it could get. … At its peak, Exodus International had an annual operating budget of more than $1 million, had 25 employees, and served as an umbrella organization for more than 400 local ministries across 17 countries.
It all fell apart when case after case held up as someone who had changed their sexuality was caught dating, in gay bars, and so on.
The writer now thinks the ex-gay movement is well and truly defeated. Your Activist can assure him it is alive and well, and still peddling its lies. A Private Members Bill last year to have ex-gay therapies completely outlawed in the UK got nowhere. These religious fruitcakes are still very much around.
A man has lost his appeal court bid to win his husband the same pension rights a wife would enjoy if he was in a heterosexual relationship. Lord Dyson, master of the rolls, Lord Justice Lewison and Lord Justice Underhill unanimously ruled that the claim brought by John Walker, 62, failed because it applied to a period before gay civil partnerships were recognised by the law, and rejected Walker’s complaint that he and his partner were victims of discrimination and human rights breaches.
His lawyers said in written submissions to the appeal court that, if he were to dissolve his same-sex partnership and marry a woman, she would be entitled in the event of his death to approximately £41,000 a year. But the trustees of the Innospec pension scheme would only pay his husband about 1% of that amount.
Allan Bell | Christopher Thomond/Guardian | 15379
The Isle of Man is to consult over the introduction of gay marriage to the Island.
Chief Minister Allan Bell said:
“The message the Isle of Man has to send out in 2015 is that we are a tolerant, inclusive, open society. We abhor discrimination of any description and are outward looking and engaged with the outside world.”
The Guardian noted yesterday:
It is an open secret on the island that Bell has been in a relationship with another man for 21 years. “People know that I’m gay. I’ve never made a secret of it, but no one has ever asked me,” he said in his office in the Tynwald, the Manx parliament.
Gay marriage is legal in England, Wales and Scotland; Northern Ireland and parts of the Channel Islands have not yet enacted gay marriage.
Tunisia’s first LGBT organisation gathered together on Saturday to protest against the arrest and unlawful anal examination of a 22-year-old gay man in the resort town of Sousse.
At a cultural centre in La Marsa, Tunis, approximately 100 members of the Shams group hosted a conference in which civil society activists, lawyers, human rights experts, and other noteworthy individuals shared their ideas for how to best assist the imprisoned man.
More details have emerged over the rough treatment the young man received from the Police. At the meeting…
…They referred to the arrested man by his pseudonym Marwen. On 6 September, authorities called Marwen in for questioning about the murder of a 53-year old man in Sousse, since they had found Marwen’s number in the man’s cell phone history.
Before heading to the police station, Marwen made sure to call one of his friends, who insisted that he accompany him to the station. The friend, who remains anonymous for his safety, sat outside the interrogation room while police questioned Marwen. According to Marwen’s friend, after quickly realising Marwen was not involved in the murder, “the police began asking him if he had homosexual relations with the older deceased man.”
Marwen refused to admit to these allegations, which only frustrated the police. Marwen’s friend then heard a loud slap of a hand on a wooden table, and then one of the officers could be heard saying, “Okay you want to do it that way? Take off your pants.”
No wonder they are beginning to get organised.
Human Rights Watch reports that a 22-year-old Tunisian man accused of engaging in homosexual acts was sentenced to a year in prison on September 22, 2015, in violation of Tunisia’s constitution and international law. Tunisian authorities forced him to undergo an anal examination, ostensibly to use as evidence in the case. The man has not been named.