Calum took us in

The gay YouTube personality Calum McSwiggan who said he was assaulted outside a West Hollywood club has been charged with filing a false police report and faking his injuries. He was seen hitting himself with a jail payphone after his arrest early on Monday, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department says.

Mr McSwiggan had claimed he was assaulted by three men outside a gay club, but deputies said they could not substantiate his claims and took him into custody after seeing him vandalise a car.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/30/youtube-personality-in-gay-hate-crime-attack-charged-with-making/

No go yet

India’s supreme court refused to hear the petition challenging a law criminalising gay sex.

“The supreme court refused to hear the matter and asked the petitioners to approach the chief justice of India,” said Arvind Dattar, a lawyer for one of the petitioners.

India’s chief justice is already hearing a separate case to strike down the ban, and India’s top court has previously argued that only parliament has the power to change section 377.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/29/india-supreme-court-refuses-challenge-law-against-gay-sex

Legal challenge to Section 377 in India

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2011 File photo | Shanker Chakravarty/The Hindu | 16250ga

High-profile celebrities from the Indian LGBT community have approached the Indian Supreme Court seeking to quash section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises homosexuality in India.

The celebrities include Ritu Dalmia, Aman Nath and N S Johar. They seek protection of their sexual rights on the ground that it is an integral part of the fundamental right to life. The plea is expected to be heard on June 29.

The appellants said their lives have been “inexorably constricted and their rights infringed” by the penal provision. “Despite their achievements and contributions to India in various fields, they are being denied the right to sexuality, the most basic and inherent of fundamental rights. Section 377 renders them criminals in their own country.”

Earlier, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur had agreed to hear in an open court the curative plea of NGO ‘Naz Foundation’ and some gay rights activists.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/entertainment/hindi/Celebs-move-SC-for-decriminalising-consensual-homosexuality/2016/06/28/article3504250.ece

Let’s do the Turkey Trot Again

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Istanbul, yesterday | Ozan Kose, AFP | 16249

Turkish security forces briefly detained two German politicians who joined demonstrators on Sunday. The demonstrators were defying the ban on Istanbul’s Gay Pride parade. Police used rubber bullets, tear gas and detained 12 gay activists in a bid to disperse the gathering.

Istanbul Pride descended into chaos with Turkish riot and plain clothes police clamping down on the few hundred protesters who gathered in small groups.

Two German politicians detained were Volker Beck and Green MEP Terry Reintke. By Sunday night, a dozen other detained activists had been released.

http://www.france24.com/en/20160627-turkey-gay-rights-lgbt-istanbul-parade-police-detain-german-politicians

SF Pride hits controversy

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Undated file picture of San Francisco Pride | Uncredited | 16248

Several of the organisations involved in San Francisco Pride withdrew on Friday from the “racial and economic justice” themed parade and festival taking place this weekend in response to the increased policing measures put in place after the Orlando attack.

“For us, celebrating Pride this year meant choosing between the threat of homophobic vigilante violence and the threat of police violence,” said a statement from Black Lives Matter, an organizational grand marshal; Janetta Johnson, a community grand marshal; and sex worker advocacy group St James Infirmary, a “Heritage of Pride” award recipient.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/24/black-lives-matter-pulls-out-san-francisco-pride-police

Australia mobilises for marriage

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Brisbane yesterday | Bradley Kanaris | 16247ga

Thousands of Australians marched at same-sex marriage rallies across the country on Saturday calling on whichever party wins a July 2 national election to quickly introduce same-sex marriage laws. Protesters in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth marched carrying rainbow flags and signs which read “Equality now”.

Conservative Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull supports same-sex marriage and has pledged a public vote on the issue before the end of 2016. The Labor opposition will skip a public vote and introduce a bill to parliament within 100 days if it wins the election.

Opinion polls say they are neck-and-neck ahead of the election.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-australia-election-gaymarriage-idUKKCN0ZB08E

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/photogallery/queensland/thousands-march-for-marriage-equality-in-brisbane-20160625-gprvf7.html

Another Busy Pride Day… and for a change it was dry!

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London | Global Citizen | 16244ga

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London: One of a number of marching Policemen who proposed to their boyfriends during the March. This one said Yes. We think they will be the first serving policemen to get married in the UK | Metropolitan Police LGBT Network | 16245ga

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Merrion Square, Dublin | RTÉ | 16246

Gay Activist sends congratulations to the newly engaged couples – and everyone else who marched and showed solidarity and support for the community.

The London Gay Men’s Chorus has released a cover version of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water in aid of those recently attacked at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. You may remember two weeks ago they sang it at the London Vigil for the Orlando Victims. The track is available as a digital­-only release. It can be purchased or streamed on all major platforms including iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, Spotify, Deezer and Tidal.

Proceeds from the sale of the charity single will be split equally between the Orlando Victims Fund, organised by Equality Florida, and Galop, UK LGBT anti­-violence and abuse charity. Please help these excellent charities care for members of our community.

Justine’s out for Pride. Or is it Nicola? The Telegraph thinks it knows!

Government minister Justine Greening has revealed she is in a same-sex relationship.

She tweeted the announcement as thousands of people marched through London for the annual Pride parade.

The Telegraph is well known for its misprints, and continues:

Ms Greening joins a long line-up of openly gay MPs including Scottish Conservative leader Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.

Gay Activist readers will know that Nicola Sturgeon is the name of the SNP Leader, and she is an MSP not an MP, while the Scottish Conservatives have Ruth Davidson as their leader. It’s good to know the Telegraph still has its fingers on the pulse.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/25/minister-justine-greening-reveals-she-is-gay-at-london-pride/

He wasn’t a sister, say the Feds

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Pulse nightclub fundraising event, Thursday, June 23, 2016 in Thornton Park, Orlando | Paul Brinkmann | 16234ga

US Federal investigators have scoured Omar Mateen’s laptop computer, cell phone and the trail of communications he left behind and so far have found no evidence that he led a secret gay life.

They’ve also reviewed the electronic devices of men who said they’d communicated with him on gay dating apps and so far have found no link. They have not stopped following leads about Mateen’s reported interest in gay clubs and gay men, but federal officials reported Thursday that they’ve found no photographs, text messages, smart phone apps or gay pornography that suggest Mateen was gay or was trying to find a gay lover.

Federal investigators believe men who thought they knew Mateen may be confusing him with someone else.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/pulse-orlando-nightclub-shooting/os-orlando-nightclub-shooting-gay-evidence-lacking-20160623-story.html

Toronto cop apologises for old raids

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Police officers stand on the steps of the Ontario Legislature in Toronto in the early hours of Feb. 7, 1981 after gay rights demonstrators marched there in protest of the arrests on Feb. 5, 1981 of 253 men in four city steam baths | The Canadian Press/UPC/Gary Hershorn | 16242ga

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders made a historic apology today for raids on four gay bathhouses in the Canadian city that took place 35 years ago. The events caused activists to mobilise for gay rights in Canada. He called the raids “one of the largest mass arrests in Canadian history.” The February 1981 event was notable for its “destructiveness” and that the raids did not occur on only one night.

“The 35th anniversary of the 1981 raids is a time when the Toronto Police Service expresses its regrets for those very actions. It is also an occasion to acknowledge the lessons learned about the risks of treating any part of Toronto’s many communities as not fully a part of society.”

“Recognizing diversity requires consistently renewed practice strategies and reaching out to communities and vigilance in challenging stereotypes. Policing requires building mutual trust and that means forging links with the full range of communities that make up this extraordinary city. The Toronto Police Service recognizes the lessons from that period have continuing relevance for the creation of a more inclusive city.”

Lorrie Goldstein of the Toronto Sun and a colleague paid a visit to one of the bath houses at the time, in search of a story.

…Subsequent to the raids on the four bathhouses in which 300 men were arrested for being found-ins or operators of a bawdy house, I was assigned by the Sun to spend the night in one with fellow reporter John Paton. …On the night of our own Operation Soap, I was nervous lining up to get into the Romans II bathhouse on Bay St., mainly because I didn’t know what to expect.

The fact you had to check-in and be admitted through a secured door after paying your entry fee and receiving a towel didn’t help.

What would I say if I was propositioned? Would there be orgies? If I saw someone underage being compelled into sexual acts, wouldn’t I have a moral obligation to intervene?

Nothing like that happened.

Aaaah.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/police-apology-raids-1.3647668

http://www.torontosun.com/2016/06/22/my-night-in-a-gay-bathhouse