UN official condemns US detention of Manning as torture

New York City – The World Socialist Website reports that in an official letter to the US government, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer stated that its ongoing imprisonment of Chelsea Manning is a violation of international law “fulfilling all the constitutive elements of torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.” Manning has been jailed since May 16th “in contempt of court” for refusing to give testimony to a grand jury against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and potentially other representatives of the media organization. In his letter on Manning, sent in October and publicly released […]

Maryland Congressman Anthony Brown endorses Buttigieg

Washington, DC – Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Maryand), who has made LGBTQ rights a cornerstone of his congressional career, on January 9th endorsed Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg, becoming the first black member of Congress to endorse the gay presidential hopeful. “Our country needs a president who can heal our divides and restore decency to our nation’s highest office,” Brown said in a statement. “Pete’s message is not defined by exclusion but welcomes everyone into the fight to tackle our nation’s greatest challenges. As we fight for the future of the soul of our country here at home, we also remain entangled […]

GLAAD announces nominees for 2020 awards

New York City – Several Texans and projects with Texas ties are among the nominees for the 31st annual GLAAD Awards, according to an announcement this morning from GLAAD. They include: Gay Chorus, Deep South, the documentary about the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus tour through the American South; Borderlands 3, the latest installment in the LGBTQ-inclusive Borderlands video game series; Black and Trans in Texas, by Vice News Tonight on HBO; and TransGriot, Houston trans activist Monica Robert’s blog. The GLAAD Media Awards, presented each year by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, recognize and honor media for […]

Anti-gay monk kicked out of church for calling pope heretic

The Vatican – A notoriously anti-gay monk has been excommunicated from the Catholic Church after accusing Pope Francis of being a “great heretic.” Damon Jonah Kelly was booted from the church by his superior, the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, after he wrote a scathing blog post attacking the pope for “behaving in an ambiguous fashion towards homosexuals.” According to the Scottish Sun, Kelly was asked to take down the post. When he refused, he was excommunicated. That means he may no longer participate in the sacraments of the church or act in any official capacity. Kelly called the […]

Boy George: changing your pronouns is attention-seeking

London – Boy George, the androgynous 58-year-old lead singer of the band Culture Club, has been accused of transphobia after tweets that seemed to disparage people’s pronouns. After the singer published an incorrectly punctuated tweet reading, “Leave your pronoun’s at the door!” a fellow Twitter user asked George, “Do you not know what the fuck pronouns are?” The singer responded, “A modern form of attention-seeking?” When someone wrote, “Disappointing” to the singer’s reply, the singer retorted, “Most things are! But being disappointed is the most disappointing.” When another Twitter user pointed out to Boy George that it costs nothing to […]

Texas school district threatens to sue parents using gay flag

Wimberley, Texas – The Wimberley Independent School District is threatening legal action against a group of parents who “expressed their support for LGBTQ students” by creating a graphic that combined the Wimberley High School Texans logo with a rainbow flag, posting the graphic on Facebook and then making t-shirts with that logo during the city of Wimberley’s first LGBT Pride March last fall, according to an article by Brian Klosterboer on the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas website. Bryan Burke, parent of a WISD student, said that creating and posting the graphic “symbolize[d] a hug to those kids that […]

California woman held in threat to bomb DC girls prep school

Washington, DC – A California woman has been charged with threatening to bomb, burn, and kill people at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, a Catholic all-girls high school in Washington, DC. Sonia Tabizada pleaded not guilty on January 3rd to federal charges of obstructing religious exercise by threat, and transmitting bomb threats in interstate commerce, according to court records. Tabizada has been in custody since her arrest and faces a January 21st detention review hearing before US District Judge Carl J. Nichols in DC. A judge ordered her held in jail until court proceedings begin. According to court documents, a nun […]

Despite reforms two wear blackface at Mummers parade

Philadelphia – Two men wore blackface in the 2020 Mummers Parade, plaguing the nearly 120-year-old tradition with racism and bigotry, again. In 2016, a member of the Finnegan New Year’s Brigade was caught on video yelling “Fuck the gays! Fuck the gays!” In the same parade, other members of the Finnegan NYB portrayed Caitlyn Jenner’s transition from male to female to the song “Dude Looks like a Lady,” while other members held offensive signs making fun of Jenner. After the homophobic outburst in 2016, as well as an instance of one Mummers group dressing as tacos and in brownface, Ian […]

In office for three years, Trump keeps undermining LGBTQ rights

Washington, DC – Unlike 2018, LGBTQ issues did not figure as prominently in the news last year. But don’t be fooled. Donald Trump and his administration have been hard at work, gutting nearly every protection put in place by former President Barack Obama. While some in the media have claimed Trump has been relatively pro-LGBTQ based on statements he has made, that simply isn’t true. When he said, “[a]s your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” he wasn’t referring to violence, oppression and […]

Toronto trans woman and activist murdered

Toronto – CBC News reports that Julie Berman, 51, died on December 22nd after an alleged assault at a residence in the city’s downtown. Friends are remembering her as an outspoken advocate for transgender rights. “She was vocal about transphobia and was always working on education so that there would be better acceptance of the LGBT community,” Berman’s friend, Davina Hader, said in a phone interview. The two met through events in Toronto’s LGBTQ community. “She was, honestly, a beautiful person. She had a very strong aura about her, it’s just very sad,” Hader said. “There’s no reason this should […]