Thursday, November 30, 2017
U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore on Wednesday blamed the LGBT community for the sexual misconduct allegations against him.
Speaking at the Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore, Alabama, the Republican candidate delivered a speech which sounded more like a sermon.
Moore, a vocal opponent of LGBT rights, told supporters that he's the victim of a “conspiracy” to derail his political career, which he blamed on “liberals, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and socialist.”
“They're the Washington establishment... who don't want to lose their power,” Moore said.
Moore reiterated his innocence, describing claims from several women that he pursued them sexually when they were underage as “false” and “malicious” attacks.
During his campaign, Moore has called on Congress to impeach the federal judge who blocked President Donald Trump's ban on transgender troops and to boot from the bench the Supreme Court justices who found in Obergefell that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry. He also recently said that “transgenders don't have rights.”
Moore was twice removed as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for defying federal court orders that conflicted with his religious beliefs, including defying the Supreme Court on marriage equality after it struck down state marriage bans nationwide.
Despite the accusations, most polls show Moore leading in the race.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Grindr is to introduce new security measures to protect users in countries with anti-LGBT laws.
In a sweeping reform of the platform, users will be able to add a password security lock to the app.
There are also plans to allow users to change the app’s icon from the Grindr logo, though this is currently only possible on Android devices.
The changes, drawn up alongside free speech campaign group Article 19, are designed for users in the Middle East and Africa.
Jack Harrison-Quintana, Director of Grindr for Equality, said: “Ensuring the safety of our users worldwide is a top priority for Grindr.
“In addition to changes to our architecture we have been working with regional activists to put out weekly, and at times of heightened scrutiny, daily notifications providing safety tips to avoid police entrapment as well as information about how to contact local LGBTQ resources.”
Research by Grindr for Equality showed that having a dating app on your device can be enough to get arrested.
In Egypt, one of the country’s affected by the changes, police have targeted LGBT people on Grindr, with 70 arrests made between September and November 2017.
Dalia Abdel-Hameed, a gender rights researcher with the Egyptian Initative for Personal Rights, unearthed dozens of corroborating police reports.
In the reports, a “cultivation” technique is set out which sees targets lured to hotel rooms and arrested by authorities using Grindr.
Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of Article 19 said: “This partnership is helping to keep LGBTQ people safe in countries where their sexuality puts them at risk of arrest, prison and even torture.
“Ultimately we want governments in these countries to stop their persecution of people based on their sexual identity, but these practical changes can help to reduce the impact of these repressive crackdowns.
“This is also a partnership that demonstrates how human rights groups and for profit businesses can work together to help mitigate human rights abuses.”
The latest changes come after Grindr added options to cater for women and transgender people as well as gay men.
The hook-up app, which has traditionally been for gay men, rolled out the changes last week to become trans-inclusive.
The changes allow users to add their gender identity to their profiles, with a number of options available – including ‘woman’, ‘trans woman’,’ ‘non-binary’, ‘non-conforming’ and ‘queer’.
Users can also specify the pronouns they use on their profile, including ‘he/him’, ‘she/her’ and ‘they/them’.
A release explained that the app has introduced “system-wide gender-neutral language”, despite its traditional audience of ” gay, bi, curious and queer men”.
The app has long included a “transgender” category frequented by trans women, but the official change in policy to include women marks the official end of the app’s men-only stance.
The guide, written in consultation with the National Center for Transgender Equality, warns users “to avoid making assumptions” about the genitals of the person they are chatting to.
The app implemented the update to users worldwide at the end of Transgender Awareness Week.
Trans activist, writer, actress, and producer Jen Richards is to feature in a new video promoting the changes.
Peter Sloterdyk, VP of Marketing at Grindr: “As the largest global queer social network, Grindr has always had trans men, trans women, and non-binary users on the app. We are proud to release these updates to our core functionality to firmly establish that we are committed to making Grindr a welcome and safe space for all trans people.
“To ensure we heard from a range of trans people, we polled trans users and consulted transgender community leaders to guide our thinking.”
Jack Harrison-Quintana, Director of Grindr for Equality said: “One thing we heard over and over again from trans people using Grindr was that they felt unwelcome as other users would often only want to ask them about what it means to be trans or approached without knowing how to speak respectfully about trans issues.
“That’s why we created written resources linked from the gender identity fields in the profile to answer users’ questions and decrease that burden on trans people.”
Monday, November 27, 2017
Egyptian Muslims Still Rounding Up Gay Men And Imprisoning Them, Where Is The Gay Communities Outrage?
Egypt has jailed 14 more men for homosexuality in the continued hunt to eliminate the LGBT community.
They were all sentenced to jail for three years for ‘abnormal’ sexual relations.
The men were released on bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($283, €230) each until an appeals trial.
Following a rainbow flag being held at a concert in Cairo, police announced a crackdown on the LGBT community.
More than 70 people have been arrested, with more than 20 receiving jail sentences ranging from six months to six years.
The charges of varied, including ‘debauchery’, ‘inciting sexual deviancy’ and ‘joining an outlawed group’.
MP Riyad Abdel Sattar authored a measure that would sentence LGBT people, and allies, to jail.
‘Any person engaging in homosexuality in a public or private place should be subjected to punitive action that should be no less than one year and not exceeding three years in jail,’ it reads.
‘Individuals that incite same sex relations, either by inciting, facilitating, hosting, or calling for, even if they don’t perform the act itself, will be punished to prison…as well as shutting down the venue.’
Both publicity and advertising for LGBT parties, bars and clubs will be banned.
‘It is strictly prohibited to carry any symbol or sign of the homosexual community, as well as it’s prohibited to produce, sell, market, or promote such products. Violators will be sentenced to prison for a period no less than one year and no more than three years.’
This means activists, journalists covering gay events, or anyone even carrying a rainbow flag could be imprisoned.
Human Rights Campaign’s Global Director Ty Cobb has called the bill ‘one of the most dangerous anti-LGBTQ proposals we have seen in recent memory.’
As long as the LGBT community buries it's collective head in the sand and keeps pretending that it's Islamophobic to call out the fact that every single Muslim controlled country has made it illegal to be gay, the sooner we can focus how it can best be dealt with.
Recognizing that there is EVEN a problem, is the first and biggest step.
Top gay porn actor Hugh Hunter has declined his nominations for the GayVN Awards, citing industry racism.
The model and cabaret performer took the awards ceremony to task for confining POC actors and scenes into the ‘ethnic’ category.
The GayVN Awards, launched in 1998 and returning for the first time since 2011, honor achievements in the gay porn industry.
Writing in a letter posted on Twitter, Hunter said: ‘The gay porn industry has always been a place of veiled racism and bigotry.
‘It now appears as if the GayVN Awards have chosen to make this racism and bigotry more blatant in their return to the awards arena.’
With an average of around 20 nominees per category in Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, the exclusion of black, Latin and Asian performers looks even worse. Only three actors of the 15 nominees in the Best Performer category are non-white.
‘Why? Why were these scenes not just included in the best scene category?’ Hunter asked.
Why would a gay porn company chose to separate minority groups into their own race at an event that is supposed to celebrate the gay industry in its entirety?
He added: ‘Why would this category be created in 2017 when the political climate is so thick with racial divide in this country?
‘Why would they call it ethnic? Who uses the term ethnic? I have many, many questions that are valid and should be answered.’
Hunter has called on all members of the gay adult entertainment world to ‘to stand up against the systematic racism and bigotry in this industry’.
‘We are members of the LGBTQ family,’ he said.
‘This family includes all colors of the rainbow and all people from every corner of the world.
‘Let’s force this industry, one built by and dependent of the passions and fantasies of the LGBTQ community, to be all-inclusive and shed racism and bigoted bias.
‘For so many we are the educators of sexuality. Let’s be the best educators we can be. ‘
Since his call for action on 25 November, Hunter has said he has received ‘admonition and pushback’. He said this is even more reason to try and inspire change in the gay porn industry.
Hugh Hunter @theHughHunter
—further validates my call for a conversation about race inequalities in this industry.
I've heard the asinine argument of skin color being a sexual preference for years.
If one of your criteria for a sexual liaison happens to be the color of their skin, then yes, your a racist.
It isn't open for debate it's just a simple truth.
What you do about it, defines what kind of person you really are.