Brazil’s supreme court rules homophobia is a crime

Sao Paulo – Reuters reports that the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that homophobia should be criminalized under existing legislation until Congress creates a specific law for the subject, weighing in on a topic that has drawn the ire of President Jair Bolsonaro. Eight of 11 justices voted to treat homophobia in the same way as racism under Brazilian law, making it a criminal act. “Sexual orientation and gender identity are essential to human beings, to the self-determination to decide their own life and seek happiness,” Justice Gilmar Mendes said, according to the court’s Twitter account. During the court’s […]

Canadian writer losses lawsuit; remains banned by Twitter

San Francisco – Joe Morgan writes in Gold Star News that Canadian writer Meghan Murphy has lost a lawsuit against Twitter and will remain banned. The blogger was permanently banned over transphobic tweets. Murphy’s writing focuses on gender and politics. Her feminist opinions are rooted in the ideals that some describe as “TERF,” or trans-exclusionary radical feminists. In her lawsuit, Murphy alleged Twitter breached their contract. She also claims Twitter violated her free speech, thereby unjustly banning her. A San Francisco court ruled Twitter is protected by the Communications Decency Act. Murphy’s Twitter account was locked on last November 15th. […]

Possible serial killer charged in murder of transwoman

Dallas – On June 12th, Dallas police announced the arrest of Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 34, in connection with the May 18th murder of transwoman Muhlaysia Booker and two other people who are not members of the LGBTQ community. Investigators said Lyles is also a “person of interest” in the murder of two other transwomen, Chynal Lindsey and Armani Dante Morgan. Lindsey was killed on June 1th and Morgan’s 2017 death was ruled “unexplained.” Investigations continue to look into those deaths and the deaths of at least two other black transgender women in Dallas – Shade Schuler, whose body was found […]

Presbyterian minister spoke out for gay people in the 1900s

Philadelphia – Historian Jonathan Katz’s participation in a gay liberation organization during the 1970s spurred his passion for researching LGBTQ history. A native of New York City’s Greenwich Village, Katz joined the Gay Activists Alliance in 1971. His interest fueled his recent discovery at Philadelphia’s Presbyterian Historical Society. There, he found new evidence supporting the theory that Rev. Carl Schlegel, a German immigrant to the US, publicly defended gay rights in New Orleans in 1906-07 – making him the earliest-known gay rights activist in the country, Katz said. Schlegel, a Presbyterian minister, was known for advocating for homosexuals in the […]

Girl charged with ‘child porn’ over selfie of her oral sex act

Annapolis, Maryland – Robby Soave reports on Reason.com that a 16-year-old girl is facing child-pornography charges for making a sex video of herself. A finding of guilt would be an attack on the autonomy and self-ownership of all young people. The Court of Appeals, Maryland’s highest court will soon decide whether the girl, “SK,” can face child-pornography charges for taking a video of herself performing a sex act and sending it to a few of her close friends. SK shared the video, in which she performs consensual oral sex on an unidentified male, with two close friends and fellow students, […]

High Court won’t hear challenge to trans students’ rights

Washington, DC – The US Supreme Court announced on May 28th that it will not hear a challenge to school policies that allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. The court’s decision leaves such policies in place, at least for now, and represents a victory for trans rights. The high court will only take up cases that at least four justices vote to hear. The case, Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, originated with a group of four students at a Pennsylvania high school, who claimed that their privacy rights were violated by […]

Philippines prez says he cured himself from being gay

Tokyo – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte accused a rival politician of being homosexual on Thursday, May 30th and then claimed he also used to be gay until he “cured” himself. During a speech in Tokyo to members of Japan’s Filipino community, Duterte claimed a gay person had told him that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a frequent critic of Duterte, must be gay based on the way he moves. The Philippine news website Rappler said Duterte claimed to have once been gay himself. “Trillanes and I are similar, but I cured myself,” Duterte told the crowd. “When I began a relationship […]

Trump repeals Obamacare protections for LGBT people

New York City – On May 24th, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled its proposed regulation to roll back regulations issued during the Obama administration that clarified that, pursuant to federal law, the sex discrimination protections of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) forbid discrimination against LGBT people. The proposed regulations would carve out LGBT people from the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination protections, and purport to permit health care workers, doctors, hospitals, and health insurance companies that receive federal funding to refuse to provide or cover health care services critical to the health and well-being of LGBT […]

… and Trump to allow anti-trans bias in homeless shelters

Washington, DC – The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus today denounced a new rule from the Trump administration that would allow anti-transgender discrimination in homeless shelters. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the proposed rule last May 22nd, which would roll back protections for transgender people experiencing homelessness by allowing taxpayer-funded shelters to turn away transgender people based on a number of factors, including the shelter provider’s religious views. The proposed rule comes one day after Secretary of HUD Ben Carson assured members of Congress the agency had no plans to eliminate or revise the 2012 Equal Access […]

What happens when an HIV-positive man expects to die & doesn’t?

Hollywood, California – In a fascinating article in Gentleman’s Quarterly at GQ.com, Nathaniel Penn tells the story of Mark Olmsted, who contracted HIV in the early 1980s, and figured the disease was a death sentence. And so he hatched a scheme to live out his last years in style – swiping credit cards, bilking insurance companies, even faking his own death. What’s the problem with some forgery, fraud, and crystal meth if you’ll soon be gone? A better question might have been: What the hell happens if you survive? The article is titled “The Curious Cons of the Man Who […]