Goodbye Gay Bars. Hello Gay Bars!

Gay bars may be closing elsewhere, but today Your Activist notes two which are opening.

The Derby Telegraph preview the refurbished Derby city centre pub Duke of York GAY, which will offer themed nights, a specialist gin bar and a function room for 70 people. The Burton Road bar has been shut for six months but is open after being taken over by new management.

Meanwhile the Coventry Telegraph (related) report that the Kiki lounge is due to open shortly.

Your Activist is pleased that more safe spaces for gay people are becoming available again, but remains concerned over the effects of excessive alcohol consumption on the gay community.


New York gets tough on insurers

State financial regulators in New York said today they would investigate reports in American newspapers that gay men have been denied life, disability or long-term care insurance policies because they were taking medication to protect themselves against HIV. Note that the applicants did not have HIV.

If proved these denials of cover would amount to illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation and the companies doing so could be penalized, according to Maria T. Vullo, New York state’s superintendent of financial services.

Insurers around the US had denied policies to gay men after learning they took Prep to avoid catching H.I.V. through sex. To get insurance, some men even stopped taking the protective drugs.

Another gay bar closes for redevelopment. Cincinatti, this time. reports that The Dock, a long-running Cincinnati gay bar, closed yesterday. Open since 1984, it had been at the forefront in its role as an LBGT community-building asset by hosting drag shows and dance nights, as well as serving as a hub of social activism.

The Dock has been targeted for demolition, as the Ohio Department of Transportation is purchasing a portion of the land on which the building sits, in order to make improvements to nearby roads and a bridge.

Magistrate sues over his views

Richard Page | SWNS | r

Richard Page, a 71-year-old Christian magistrate who was sacked after saying that straight couples make better parents than gay ones, is claiming he was discriminated against.

He was sacked in March 2016 by Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Lord Thomas, who said his public comments suggested he was ‘biased and prejudiced against single-sex adopters’, then the NHS Trust Development Authority suspended him from his role as a non-executive director at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.

Mr Page is suing the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice for religious discrimination, claiming that his views on gay adoption are rooted in his Christian beliefs.

Magistrate who said gay couples aren’t as good parents sues over sacking

Pride House

CNN reveals that once again Canada has provided a safe space for gay participants at an Olympics.

It’s called the Pride House, a building in the village that’s a safe space for gay and lesbian athletes, their friends, family and supporters.
The first Pride House popped up during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and since then they have appeared at a number of international sporting events, including the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in London and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, Brazil.

There was not a Pride House during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. A couple of years before those Games started, government officials turned down LGBT activists’ attempts to organize one. The matter ended up in court, where a Russian judge in 2011 rejected the registration for the house, saying that such a house would “contradict the foundations of public morality and government policy in the area of protection of the family, motherhood and childhood.”

Gold to Canada!

Polyamory is nothing new!

Guardian/Benjie Bateman/Fall Films/BBC Scotland | r

Claire Armitstead writes in the Guardian about “the paradigm shift millennials are spearheading” in sexual relationships. Her son was in a TV documentary about polyamory.

The Oxford English Dictionary traces the word polyamory back to 1992 and says it is not to be confused with casual recreational sex, serial monogamy or swinging. My 24-year-old son was one of a dozen or so young people – gay, straight, bisexual, trans and cis – interviewed about love lives that to them seem entirely normal, but which all involve the possibility of committed partnerships with multiple lovers.

It is a delight to see The Guardian get up to date with something which has actually been happening in the gay community for decades. Your Activist began this blog in 1998 and in the first year heard from a senior gay citizen living in East Anglia who had been living in a polyamorous relationship with his two male lovers for more than forty years. Unfortunately both his partners had died
at the time I heard from him.

In the 1950s there was not much money and one way gay men could afford a home of their own was if they formed a polyamorous relationship and pooled their resources – so they did.

Ireland lags behind on gay blood ban

Researcher James Larkin writes in The Journal about the discriminatory treatment of gay people in Ireland who wish to donate blood.

Twenty four years after homosexuality was decriminalised [in the Irish Republic], the lifetime ban on men who have had sex with men donating blood was lifted.

It was replaced by a one year ’deferral’ so that if a man has had protected or unprotected anal or oral sex with another man in the last year then they cannot give blood.

One discriminatory rule is replaced by another discriminatory rule under the pretext of safety and practicality…..

It is not men having sex with men that should be of concern to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, but risky sexual behaviour.

It is a very good article, but I am not sure that monitoring sexual behaviour and educating society is within the remit of a blood transfusion service. Surely the onus is on all of us to help all the people we know or serve understand the risks and behave sensibly so that they can enjoy their sexuality and the rest of their life without putting themselves in danger.