Serbia strides ahead

Congratulations to Ana Brnabić, a graduate of the University of Hull, who is Serbia’s first gay Prime Minister and first female Prime Minister.

Brnabić will take up her role as Serbia navigates a crucial few years: the country is preparing for EU membership while retaining its traditionally close relationship with Russia, and nurturing a growing friendship with Beijing.

That’s quite a job description.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/15/serbia-gains-its-first-female-and-gay-prime-minister-ana-brnabic

Just awful

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Getty | 17108

The fire in London yesterday is the most horrible thing Your Activist has ever seen.

Gay Activist sends condolences and love to everyone affected by this dreadful tragedy, and commends the actions of neighbours and emergency workers who managed to rescue so many from the dreadful inferno.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/familiesofgrenfelltower?utm_source=jgtwitter&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=familiesofgrenfelltower

Lib Dems fall apart over homosexuality

Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesman, has resigned from his post, citing concerns about party leader Tim Farron’s views on various issues that were highlighted during the recent general election campaign.

Throughout the election campaign, Tim Farron, who is deeply religious, was dogged by questions over his attitude to homosexuality, though he has insisted he does not believe gay sex is a sin.

Mr Farron yesterday announced he is stepping down as party leader because of difficulties reconciling his Christianity with the demands of a political life.

Yesterday the party announced they would hold a deputy leadership election amid reports that MPs were mulling a leadership challenge.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/14/lib-dem-peer-brian-paddick-resigns-over-farrons-views-on-gay-sex

Stay, or go? The new Tory split emerges

James Wharton tells the indy why he has torn up his Conservative Party membership card.

Theresa May has manoeuvred to form an alliance with the DUP in order to cling on to power in the wake of the disastrous general election result last week. This has forced me to resign my party membership in protest, and call upon other gay Tories to do the same.

It’s unthinkable to me that the party would, having moved so far forward from the days of section 28 – ugly blots on the pages of its history – now so hastily rush into a marriage with a group whose founding principles are based on faith, a party that denies women the right of choice surrounding pregnancy and that still to this day holds influence that prevents LGBT people in Northern Ireland enjoying the comfort of equality in marriage.

Gay Tories, time to take stock.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/opinion/comment/gay-tory-i-leave-party-deal-dup/

A dirty little corner of the world

Two men from Chechnya have told Reuters they were detained by police and subjected to torture and beatings because they were gay.

Seeing his rings and bracelets, the policemen asked if he was “a faggot” and beat him severely, the man said in an interview.

“Then they … forced me to tie a cable to my little toe and to my little finger. I was forced to do it myself, to attach the wires. And then they started using electric shocks,” he said.

The accounts that the two men gave could not be independently verified by Reuters. They fit in, however, with a pattern of persecution described by other sources.

Nikita Safronov, a Moscow-based LGBT activist, said almost 100 people from Chechnya had already got in touch via an LGBT-network hotline, and that more than 40 of them had been “evacuated”. Some had already left Russia, he added.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-chechnya-lgbt-idUSKBN1951YJ?il=0

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

Remembering and marching for freedom and rights

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Associated Press | 17105

Hundreds of thousands of gay citizens marched in cities across the United States in pride and protest this weekend, celebrating and demanding full rights for our community. The Equality March in Washington and the Resist March in Los Angeles were just two major events this weekend.

Many of the marchers noted what they believe is the setback in the progress made under the Obama administration, in the new Trump White House.

Several members of the new President’s Cabinet have been openly critical of the gay community, including Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Unlike Obama, Trump did not declare June Gay Pride Month.

Sunday’s marches came on an especially poignant day as many remembered the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, one year ago, when a pro-Islamic State gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 people.

https://www.voanews.com/a/lgbt-pride-marches/3896483.html

Och aye to gay marriage!

The Scottish Episcopal Church will hold a historic vote this year on whether to allow gay couples to marry in church.

If the vote is passed, it will become the first Anglican Church in the UK to allow same-sex marriage.

Supporters hope that if their arguments hold, gay couples will be walking down the aisles of some Scottish churches within the year.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-40190204

Manchester’s gay village disappears!

Seven town houses will be built in Manchester’s Canal Street after six months of property sales which have seen office, licensed and leisure sites in the “gay village” sold for housing.

A derelict site will be redeveloped to create seven three-bed townhouses with integral garages and one two-bed maisonette apartment.

The last six months has seen intensive developer interest in the Canal Street area and the loss of several licensed/leisure sites to residential conversion. The former Villaggio restaurant site at 44 Canal Street was sold for £1.4m, less than two weeks after going on the market, and 12 Minshull Street was sold for £3m – higher than the £1.25m expected.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/family-homes-gay-village-application-13150427

Gay cure Minister on trial

Matthew Fenner of North Carolina thought he was “going to die” when members of his evangelical church beat and choked him for two hours to expel his “homosexual demons,” he told a court on Thursday.

Mr Fenner was the first person to take the stand in the assault and kidnapping trial of Brooke Covington, a 58-year-old minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina.

Covington is alleged to be the leader of a 2013 beating involving numerous congregants who pointed out his sexual orientation, saying, “God said there is something wrong in your life.”

Fenner said he had cancer as a child and had a biopsy one week before he was assaulted. “I’m frail and in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘is my neck going to break, am I going to die?'” Fenner said.

If convicted, Covington faces up to two years in prison. She is the first of five church members to face trial in the case. Each defendant will be tried separately.

The trials continue.

http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/386c25518f464186bf7a2ac026580ce7/Article_2017-06-01-US–Broken%20Faith-Fenner/id-52102805c18e46e6886153411aea816a