Man challenged at Pulse, one year on

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Yesterday | Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP/Associated Press | 17106

An anti-gay protester was pushed to the ground by a police officer and handcuffed next door to the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando as hundreds of people gathered to remember the one-year mark of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The man was handcuffed as the crowd chanted “love conquers hate.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-latest-church-bells-mark-1-year-since-pulse-massacre/2017/06/12/85e88a98-4f72-11e7-b74e-0d2785d3083d_story.html?utm_term=.3d54158becb4

Face to face

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AFP | 17101

France welcomed its first gay refugee from Chechnya on Monday on the same day French President Emmanuel Macron pushed Russian leader Vladimir Putin to investigate the treatment and imprisonment of transgender and gay people in Chechnya, which is led by pro-Kremlin leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin visited Paris to hold talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and to open a French and Russian exhibition. Mr Macron said that Putin had promised “the whole truth”.

“I had the chance to bring up how important it is for France to respect all people, all minorities and all sensibilities in a civil society,” he said, as Mr Putin stood beside him listening to the translation.

“President Putin told me… he had undertaken several initiatives on the subject of LGBT people in Chechnya with measures aimed at establishing the whole truth about the activities of local authorities,” Macron said at a press conference with Putin after talks in Versailles. “I spelled out France’s expectations very precisely.”

Mr Macron warned Mr Putin that he would monitor further civil rights violations of gay people in Chechnya. The pair of leaders shook hands for the cameras in front of the Palace of Versailles, but their body language appeared tense.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/emmanuel-macron-vladimir-putin-gay-rights-chechnya-russia-france-syria-conflict-civil-war-assad-a7762591.html

https://www.thelocal.fr/20170530/france-takes-in-refugee-from-chechnya-as-macron-presses-putin-on-gay-rights

Captain Convicted

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South Korea’s Rainbow Flag | Yay Images | 17096

A military court in South Korea sentenced an army captain to six months in prison on Wednesday for having sex with other servicemen, igniting an outcry against what rights groups called a homophobic “witch hunt” in the country’s military.

The prison term for the captain was suspended for one year, so if he did not break the law again in the next year, he would not go to prison but he will be dishonorably discharged (unless his conviction is overturned by an appeals court).

The captain, whose name was not disclosed, collapsed when the verdict was announced in military court, and was taken to a hospital after hurting his head, said Lim Tae-hoon, the director of the Military Human Rights Centre.

The South Korean military criminal code outlaws sodomy and other unspecified “disgraceful conduct” between servicemen, whether or not there is mutual consent and whether or not that conduct takes place in or outside military compounds. Those found to have violated the act face up to two years in prison.

In South Korea powerful right-wing Christian groups have intensified a campaign against homosexuality, scuttling a bill that would have given sexual minorities the same protections as other minority groups.

The captain was arrested days before he was scheduled to leave the army. All of his sexual activities were consensual and took place in private spaces, like his home. None of the servicemen the captain had sex with served in his unit.

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

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

Hate crimes aren’t hate crimes in West Virginia!

Under West Virginia law it is unlawful to threaten, injure, intimidate or oppress any individual because of their race, colour, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation or sex.

West Virginia’s Supreme Court agreed that the word “sex” has ambiguous meaning and it is unclear if the law protects individuals based on sexual orientation.

“A review of similar laws from other states demonstrated that ‘there are two distinct categories of potential discrimination: discrimination based on sex and discrimination based on sexual orientation,'” the court decision states. “West Virginia legislature could have included sexual orientation as an area of protection … [as] [n]umerous other states have done.”

But it didn’t. So there.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/west-virginia-supreme-court-rules-anti-gay-assaults/story?id=47352792

The rescue begins

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Dave Frenkel | 17086

Russian LGBT campaigners have rescued at least 40 people from Chechnya where a teenage boy was recently killed after being pushed off a 9th floor balcony by his uncle who believed he was gay. The Russian LGBT Network has organised an emergency evacuation of gay people eager to escape.

A hotline has been set up. A spokesman said:

‘Well, the first thing for us to do is, of course, to evacuate them from Chechnya, like, to other parts of Russia.

But we are also working to evacuate them, to relocate them to – out of Russia because for most of them it’s just deadly dangerous to stay in Russia because some of them are already hunted by their relatives outside of Chechnya.

They’re telling us that they are beaten. Sometimes some people are beaten to death. And also people are saying that they’re tortured with electric current, they are not fed properly and they don’t have any water.’

Over 40 gay men saved from Chechnya’s homophobic ‘purge’

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/09/527540962/russian-lgbt-network-steps-up-efforts-to-get-gay-men-out-of-chechnya

Stay clear of Indonesia

Prosecutors in Indonesia’s Aceh province want two young gay men named as MT and MH to be punished with 80 strokes of the cane for being gay.

They are due to be sentenced next week and will become the first people in Indonesia to be punished for homosexuality.

The pair are aged 20 and 23 and pleaded guilty before a sharia court in Banda Aceh on Wednesday. The two men face a maximum punishment of 100 strokes of the cane, but prosecutors suggested they may only receive 80 strokes because they were young and had admitted their guilt.

Aceh province introduced sharia law under a peace deal with the Indonesian Government to end a civil war in Aceh.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-10/indonesia-prosecutors-demand-gay-couple-be-caned/8515498

Five a day the Belfast way

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Julian Simmons | UTV | 17085

The Belfast Telegraph has been speaking to long time Northern Ireland television personality Julian Simmons about being gay.

He remembers one occasion when he was the victim of a homophobic attack in Belfast.

“On one particular day I went down Bedford Street to cross at the back of City Hall into Donegall Place and I was standing at the traffic lights and a red courier van comes along and as it came along a window went down and this fella shouted out ‘Ye big fruit ye’ and spat. As he spat me the wind caught it and the spit landed on a woman six feet down the road, and of course everyone was looking, and I said ‘I’m so sorry about that’.”

Nobody, anywhere, should ever be subjected to homophobia. Not even people who work on television.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/utvs-julian-on-antigay-abuse-being-spat-at-in-street-and-why-his-search-for-mr-right-is-on-hold-35694230.html