Call to ban anti-gay preacher

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Franklin Graham | Alamy | 17169

Opposition is growing to a visit to the UK by Franklin Graham, the son of famous preacher Billy Graham. Franklin Graham is accused of hate speech for his past remarks about gay people.

Several MPs and a government minister have urged the home secretary to consider refusing UK entry to Mr Graham. Some suggest his comments contravene British laws on hate speech. A petition against his visit has more than 4,600 signatures.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/07/us-evangelical-preacher-franklin-graham-uk-critics

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Gadzooks! It must be Christmas.

Austria’s Constitutional Court has decided that same-sex couples will be allowed to marry by the beginning of 2019, ruling that the existing laws, which have allowed civil partnerships since 2010, are discriminatory.

The move brings Austria into line with many other European nations including Germany, France, Britain and Spain.

The Constitutional Court said that civil partnerships will remain an option after the law is changed, and will then be open to straight couples.

In its ruling, the Court said “the distinction between marriage and civil partnership can no longer be maintained today without discriminating against same-sex couples,” adding that keeping the two institutions separate suggests that “people with same-sex sexual orientation are not equal to people with heterosexual orientation”.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/austria-same-sex-gay-marriage-legal-constitutional-court-lgbt-rights-start-date-couples-a8092516.html

The things that really matter, indeed

Tim Wilson proposing | Sky News/House of Representatives | 17168

Tim Wilson, a gay Australian MP, fought back tears as he popped the question to Ryan Bolger just moments after a bill paving the way for same-sex marriage was introduced in Australia’s House of Representatives. It was the first time an MP had proposed on the floor of the House.

He said: “In my first speech I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands – that they are the answer to the questions we cannot ask. So there is only one thing left to do: Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”

Mr Bolger, who was sitting in the public gallery, quickly responded “yes” as the floor erupted in applause, and house speaker Rob Mitchell added: “That was a ‘yes’, a resounding ‘yes’. Congratulations, well done mate.”

https://news.sky.com/story/mp-proposes-to-gay-partner-in-australian-parliament-during-same-sex-marriage-debate-11156108

Australian senators would like some wedding cake

Two weeks after Australians overwhelmingly endorsed same-sex marriage, the Australian Senate approved a bill to allow gay marriage by 43 votes to 12.

They also rejected amendments to legally protect people who refuse to provide professional services to same-sex couples on religious grounds, including lay ministers and civil celebrants, as well as vendors like caterers and florists.

The bill will go to the lower House of Representatives next week, where it is also expected to be approved.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull aims to have the bill approved before Christmas.

https://www.voanews.com/a/australia-senate-approves-gay-marriage-bill/4141437.html

Escapees tell their story

For a number of years Your Activist has received word from gay people in Uganda about the persecution they faced. Your Activist’s advice was always to get to a place of safety.

Apollo Kimuli and Barnabas Wobiliya have done just that and have spoken to the Salt Lake Tribune about their lives.

The slurs came at the young boy like barbs.
Sometimes the word hurled his way from other kids was “guera,” meaning “girl” in the dialect of his native Ugandan village. At other times, it was “mudiga,” a word used for gay people, he said.
“I used to talk like a girl … walk like a girl. I used to be in the company of girls, so they called me all sorts of names, because I was expressing like a girl,” said Barnabas, … who remembers being about 10 when the teasing began.

A 2016 report by the U.S. State Department criticized Uganda for its human- and civil-rights failures, including violence and discrimination against women, children and other marginalized groups, including the LGBTQ community.

Your Activist is glad so many people have escaped persecution in Uganda, and hopes that conditions in Uganda will improve soon.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/2017/11/26/gay-ugandan-activists-rebuilding-lives-in-utah-after-fleeing-anti-lgbtq-repression-in-africa/