New report exposes global reach of ‘conversion therapy’

New York City – A groundbreaking report released by OutRight Action International today exposes the global reach of so-called conversion therapy. Drawing on data from survey results with almost 500 respondents from 80 countries, and in-depth interviews with experts and those subjected from more than a dozen countries, the report overwhelmingly shows that so-called conversion therapy efforts occur across the world and are predominantly promoted and perpetrated by people acting in the name of religion or pseudo-health care, often instigated by family pressure. “Conversion therapy” is the most widely used term to describe practices [of] attempting to change, suppress, or […]

Two trans women tortured and killed in Pakistan in July

Sahiwal District, Pakistan – Police in Pakistan on July 27th found the bodies of two transgender women who were tortured and beaten to death. Officials found the two women in a locked house in the Sahiwal district of the eastern Punjab province. Senior officer Mohammad Ali Zia told the Associated Press. He said it was unclear what motivated the killer. But he told AP, they died on July 24th. One of the women was aged between 25 and 30 and the other about 31, according to Trans Action Pakistan. In a Facebook post, the local trans group also reports the […]

Mother of murdered trans woman starts foundation

Dallas – On the same day that Judge Hector Garza rejected a defense attorney’s effort to dead-name her murdered daughter, Stephanie Houston announced August 29th, that she is launching the Muhlaysia Booker Foundation, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing housing, advocacy, emotional support, counseling, employment resources, and training to transgender women. “We strive to inspire, nurture, and provide a safe haven to this community by addressing acts of violence, homelessness, sex work and suicide,” Houston said in the press release announcing the new organization and her role as its executive director. Ahmad Goree, elected as board president of the group, […]

Washington State House Speaker is first woman and lesbian

Seattle – State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, Democrat of Tacoma, is the new speaker of the state House of Representatives; she is the first female and first LGBTQ person to hold the office. She replaces Rep. Frank Chopp of Seattle who stepped down as speaker after a quarter century; he remains an active member of the House. Jinkins represents the 27th Legislative District in Pierce County. When she’s not serving in the legislature, she is also deputy director of Tacoma-Pierce County Public Health. Before winning election in 2010, she served in the state Department of Health as assistant secretary. Additionally, she […]

Online LGBTQ news group Gay Star News closes

London, England – In an open letter posted on its website on July 30th, the founders of Gay Star News announced it is closing effective immediately. In a heartfelt thank you to shareholders, advertisers, and readers Tris Reid-Smith and Scott Nunn expressed their deep disappointment. “We are devastated to have to confirm the reports that Gay Star News has to close, effective immediately. The site is no longer being updated. We don’t know how long it will remain online for but we will try to preserve it for as long as possible. … Why is GSN closing? Firstly, we feel […]

Norman first Oklahoma city to bar LGBTQ discrimination

Norman, Oklahoma – Allie Shinn, head of Freedom Oklahoma, notes that the Norman, Oklahoma, city council voted on August 27th to approve nondiscrimination protections for LGBT residents of the city in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The vote makes Norman the first city in Oklahoma to offer such protections. “Congratulations are in order for this giant leap forward for our movement,” Shinn said in an email announcing the vote. “This is a momentous occasion for Norman’s LGBTQ population and an incredible model for what is possible in a conservative state like Oklahoma.” Shinn also extended “huge thanks” to Norman Mayor […]

HRC denounces Trump court nominee’s anti-LGBT remarks

Washington, DC – On August 23rd, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) responded to news that Steven Menashi, Trump’s nominee for the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, has a history of hateful, disturbing writings that render him unfit to be an impartial federal judge tasked with protecting the rights and civil liberties of all. In one piece, Menashi explicitly diminishes the hate that led to the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard. “Nominating a person who has exploited and downplayed the murder of Matthew Shepard to a lifetime seat as a federal judge is offensive and appalling and yet […]

Writer says be strategic about Mayor Pete for president

Charlotte, North Carolina – We need to talk about the mayor. No, I don’t mean Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City. Or the obscurely known Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida. I’m referring to openly gay Mayor Pete Buttegieg of South Bend, India.an Despite his recent slip in the polls, he has still managed to firmly ensconce himself in the top-tier of 2020 Democratic candidates. Because of his status in the race, it’s time that we, the LGBTQ community, start seriously considering whether or not we want to throw our weight behind the first openly LGBTQ candidate that […]

Philadelphia LGBT Center gets $1 million state grant

Philadelphia – The William Way LGBT Community Center will undergo $1 million worth of renovations thanks to a grant from Governor Tom Wolf. The funds, from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program subsidized by the state’s Office of the Budget, will go toward updating the organization’s public spaces, namely the lobby, ballroom, art gallery and historical archives, as well as offices. Updated technology, such as modernized lighting and hanging systems, will be added to enhance the presentation of the organization’s artistic and cultural items. The grant will fund the first part of William Way’s two-phase redevelopment plan, with a focus on […]

Russian authorities remove gay dads’ adopted children

Moscow – Gay Star News reports that a trip to the emergency room soon turned into a nightmare for two dads, who have been separated from their adopted children after authorities ordered them to be taken away from them. Lawyers for the men have described their situation as “terrifying” as Russian authorities try to separate them from their children. On June 19th, two men brought one of their sons to a Moscow hospital to treat a suspected case of appendicitis. The men remain unnamed for their own safety. But the doctor found out the boy had two dads and immediately […]