More raids as Indonesia goes mad

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Polda Metro | 17094

Indonesian police have arrested dozens of men accused of holding a ‘gay sex party’ at a gym and sauna in Jakarta.

Officers raided a venue called Atlantis in the late hours of Sunday and arrested 141 men including one Briton and one Singaporean.

Police said up to 10 men could be charged under the country’s harsh pornography laws.

Pictures circulating online showed topless men sitting crammed in a room next to gym equipment after the police raid.

Those found guilty of breaking the laws face up to 10 years in jail.

People arrested in earlier raids were forced to have HIV tests.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4529014/Indonesian-police-make-mass-arrests-gay-party.html

Yet another curist surfaces

Metro alleges that a Conservative Party candidate, Kristy Adams, who is hoping to take the parliamentary seat of Hove and Portslade from Labour on June 8, has been accused of being a prominent member of a church linked to so-called ‘gay cures’, the evangelical King’s Arms Church in Bedfordshire for a number of years. The church is alleged to be linked to homophobic exorcisms claimed to ‘heal’ gay people.

A gay former member of the congregation is quoted as saying it was ‘categorically the case that homosexuality in the church was regarded as a sin, the inclination to which could be cured through prayer and counselling’.

Tory candidate linked to notorious ‘gay cures’ church

George daubed

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Conan G Shore | Twitter | 17093

Ireland’s best known gay club’s exterior was vandalised with homophobic messages overnight. Discriminatory messages were chalked on the The George on Dublin’s George street in the early hours of this morning.

The vile messages were promptly washed away by staff.

The vandalism comes during a weekend of celebrations as Ireland marks two years since the Marriage Equality Refendum passed.

Looks like GLEN’s work is far from finished.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/irelands-bestknown-gay-club-vandalised-with-homophobic-messages-and-swastikas-35736306.html

Glen Gone

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Gay Activist is sad to note the end of yet another organisation which has provided excellent service to the gay community, this time in the Irish Republic.

RTÉ notes that the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, better known as GLEN, is to close following a review of its operations. There have been problems with its financial controls, and funding has been withdrawn.

Three employees are being made redundant.

Executive director Áine Duggan, resigned saying she raised financial issues and made the voluntary disclosure to the regulator, and co-founders Kieran Rose also resigned saying he regretted that he had not declared supports given by Glen to him during his Senate election campaign, and he said he had paid back over 11,000 euros.

Glen was set up in 1988 to promote gay rights and was a prominent backer of the 2015 Marriage Equality campaign. The Health Service Executive had withheld funding from Glen this year.

https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2017/0518/876090-glen/

Bangladesh arrests

27 men have been arrested in Bangladesh by the Rapid Action Battalion on suspicion of being gay, which is a criminal offence in Bangladesh. Police plan to charge them with drug possession.

Mostly students aged 20-30 years, the men were arrested in a raid on a community centre at Keraniganj early today.

Zahangir Hossain Matobbar said they recovered illegal drugs and condoms and plan to charge them with drug offences, not homosexuality, because they were detained before they had engaged in sex.

The owner of the community centre, where the suspects used to gather every two months and stay overnight for partying, was arrested.

Bangladesh is a dangerous place for gays and lesbians. 35-year-old Xulhaz Mannan, a USAID official, was hacked to death in April last year at his home after founding Bangladesh’s only LGBT magazine.

Since then, many gays and lesbians have left Bangladesh after they received death threats.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/bangladesh-authorities-arrest-27-men-gay-homosexuality-muslim-country-islam-police-charge-a7744366.html

Hague Court asked to look at Chechnya’s “genocide”

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Recent protest in Berlin | AFP | 17091

Three French gay rights groups have filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court accusing Chechnya of the genocide of gay people.

They blamed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and state officials for a “wave of persecution”, and cited the case of a teenage male thrown out of a ninth-storey window, allegedly because of his sexuality.

The three French groups want the International Criminal Court in The Hague to start work before Russia withdraws from its jurisdiction in November.

There’s the problem.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39937107

Where we are on gay rights

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ILGA | 17090

Sweden has failed to make any progress in the newest edition of a review of European LGBTI human rights, continuing in 12th place as the worst performer in Scandinavia as other countries introduce more comprehensive policies, reports The Local.

Sweden was once considered to be the top country in Scandinavia and the fourth best in Europe for gay rights, but it fell to 12th position in 2016 and has failed to improve this year according to ILGA-Europe.

“Sweden has remained in the upper ‘green’ section of our Rainbow Europe Map for several years. Of course that’s a positive thing, but other countries have bypassed them on the ranking by introducing more comprehensive, inclusive laws and policies,” said ILGA’s Emma Cassidy.

The ILGA Rainbow Index gives a % for each country to indicate how equal gay citizens are with other citizens in those countries. Malta is ahead at 88% while the UK has reached 76%. For Russia, the figure is merely 6% and Turkey is little better at 9%.

https://www.thelocal.se/20170517/sweden-stagnates-in-european-gay-rights-rankings

Down goes the number (at last)

Today’s i newspaper quotes the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Intersex Association’s press release which states that the number of countries in which same sex relationships are illegal has dropped, from 92 countries in 2006, to just 72 countries today.

Your Activist hopes that is an accurate figure; but 72 is still far too many and a shame on the world.

America wants gay marriage. So there

Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults say same-sex marriages should be recognized by the law as valid. Although not meaningfully different from the 61% last year, this is the highest percentage to date and continues the generally steady rise since Gallup’s trend began in 1996, says Gallup Polls.

The new poll findings come nearly two years after the Supreme Court ruled that states could not prohibit same-sex marriage.

Americans’ support for same-sex marriage has more than doubled since Gallup first polled on the issue in 1996, when 27% said it should be recognized as valid by the law. In 2004 — weeks before gay weddings took place in Massachusetts after it became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage — less than half of Americans (42%) felt such unions should be legally valid. Majority support for gay marriage would not come until May 2011, about a month before New York became the sixth state to legalize it. Since then, support for legal same-sex marriage has steadily climbed, with consistent majorities in favor of it since late 2012.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/210566/support-gay-marriage-edges-new-high.aspx?

Port’s victims’ families sue the Metropolitan Police over alleged homophobia

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Stephen Port | 16284

The families of four men murdered by “Grindr killer” Stephen Port, who met his victims on a gay dating app before spiking them with lethal doses of GHB and dumping their bodies close to his east London flat between June 2014 and September 2015, are suing the Metropolitan Police for more than £200,000 over claims that police failed to link the deaths due to homophobia inside the police force.

The men, Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25, all died of GHB poisoning. Three of them were found in a churchyard next to Mr Port’s home in Barking.

Port left a fake suicide note with Mr Whitworth that read: “Please do not blame the guy I was with last night.” Police initially thought the youngsters had overdosed and dismissed concerns raised by their friends and family members. Officers only realised they had been murdered after a fresh investigation was launched following the death of Mr Taylor, who was Mr Port’s final victim.

Seventeen family members of the victims are suing Scotland Yard in the High Court, claiming that officers discriminated against their relatives because they were gay. They allege there were “breaches of duty and inaction” and accuse the force of breaching the Equality Act 2010, of negligence, and misusing or abusing their power by failing to properly investigate; and are seeking “aggravated and exemplary damages” in excess of £200,000.

Officers admitted they “missed opportunities” after failing to spot similarities between the killings.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/grindr-stephen-port-scotland-yard-met-police-homophobia-serial-killer-a7734031.html