George Michael died of natural causes


George Michael in 2012 | Getty | 17054

The singer George Michael died from natural causes, the coroner reports. “As there is a confirmed natural cause of death, being dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further inquiries. No further updates will be provided and the family requests the media and public respect their privacy.”

Michael’s former partner, Kenny Goss, had previously said he believed the pop star’s body “just gave up”. His manager, Michael Lippman, said at the time that the singer had died from heart failure in bed. His publicist said at the time, he had “passed away peacefully” at home.

George Michael had one of the definitive voices of the 1980s and will be sadly missed.

Gay marriage in Texas Supreme Court

Seeking to stop government-paid benefits to same-sex spouses, opponents of gay marriage told the Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday that there is no fundamental right to insurance coverage.

While the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hughes didn’t create a right to benefits, it recognized a far more important and sweeping standard — the right for same-sex marriages to be treated equally, lawyer Douglas Alexander told the state court.

A ruling is expected by the end of June.

Sailors stand ready…

An outdated law that allows shipping firms to sack staff for engaging in ‘homosexual activity’ looks set to be scrapped. Introduced in 1994, equality laws that have come in place over the last 20 years have made it defunct.

A group of MPs have put foward a bill to formally scrap it so that it is erased from the statute book. He told MPs: “When it comes to employment, in the merchant navy or anywhere else, what matters is a person’s ability to do the job—not their gender, age, ethnicity, religion or sexuality. Many will be surprised—astonished, even—to learn that this anomaly still remains on the statute book. There is no place in our society today for employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. These provisions are the last remaining historic legislation on our statute books which discriminate on grounds of homosexual orientation.”

Thankyou. But can we please stop talking about “sexual orientation” and talk about “sexuality”.

UK’s ‘last anti-gay law’ to be scrapped

Stockholm celebrates its gay appeal


Erik Nylander/TT | 16301ga

Stockholm is one of the world’s best cities for gay people. GayCities collected more than 23,000 votes from its members and named Stockholm as the winner in the Up-And-Coming category.

“Sweden has always been a the forefront of the LGBTQ rights movement, so we are proud to provide Stockholm with the Up-And-Coming award in the Best of GayCities2016,” said Tim Winfred of GayCities.

The Swedish city was picked ahead of US hubs Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Richmond and Buffalo. The only non-American location in the category, Stockholm received one-third of all fan votes and beat several other great cities.

San Francisco was Best City of 2016, with Orlando City of the Year. The only other European cities featured were London, Berlin and Madrid.

Broadly, bona

Broadly have been looking at what they think is the dead language of Polari. Well, comatose, anyway.

Although largely died out, some Polari is still spoken in the UK to this day. “Blowjob” is a case in point: Some speculate that the Polari word was derived from American slang introduced in Britain following the Second World War. Other terms such as “naff” (bad), “bevvy” (drink), and “camp” (effeminate) continue to be used colloquially. Polari is the language you didn’t even know you were using.

The history of Polari is murky, as Jo Stanley and Paul Baker explain in their book Hello Sailor!: The Hidden History of Gay Life At Sea. They trace Polari’s origins back to Thieves’ Cant, a secret language used by thieves. Gay men in London pubs and taverns would use Cant to socialize and make sexual contacts. In fact, “trade” (meaning “sexual partner” in both Cant and Polari) is still used by many gay men today to mean the same thing. As the years went on, Polari picked up words—usually Italian in origin—from circus and travelling communities, prostitution rings, sailors, beggars, and the theatre world, where the language was predominantly used for most of the early 20th century. Polari proved popular amongst choir boys, dancers, and actors, many of whom were gay.

More of a “cryptolect” (a form of slang or argot used exclusively avoid certain detection or judgement from others) than a fully formed language, gay men would drop Polari terms into conversation: If the listener responded with Polari in turn, you could identify each other’s sexual orientation surreptitiously.

Oooh, Bold.

Australian gay radio station threatened

A bomb threat was emailed to Australia’s only gay and lesbian radio station, a sign of just how divisive the debate over gay marriage has become, says the station’s president. Jed Gilbert took to the air this evening to reassure JOY listeners after a threatening email was sent to the station on Tuesday night.

The station managed to remain on air while the building in Melbourne was cleared by Victoria Police about 7pm. About 30 staff and volunteers were on site. The station also has more than 300 volunteers.