The Latest Gay News and World Events

I knew we Tucsonans are pretty proud of our fun little city, but there is a whole gay world out there full of amazing people and we should know a little about their lives.  With that in mind, I present to you the Gay News section; a few of my favorite news sources talking about Gay News and Events around the world.  Check back regularly for constantly updated news and information that truly matters.

LGBTQ Nation Gay News

LGBTQ Nation

The Most Followed LGBTQ News Source

Miss Major in a colorful dress"I’m nothing special, I’m just one of the girls."
Image from the Marlon Bundo bookStraight people have been erasing us since the Middle Ages.
Doctor wearing glovesWhen it comes to health care, doctors who have worked with trans patients before aren't necessarily better.
The man in the video"Oh, then you're gay?" the man in the video said before punching.
Bailey and Samantha"You hear about it all the time, but nothing like this has happened to us before."
A Vote Dem pinTen and counting: the list of Democratic presidential candidates just keeps on growing.
Mehdi Shokr Khoda, Sweden, gay, Iranian, asylum, political refugeeThree years ago, Iran hung a teenager to death for being gay. This young man could face a similar fate.
Don Cheadle SNLDon Cheadle proved he's more than just an Avenger, but a superhero in the real world too.
Donald Trump dictatorHe has praised China for its laws executing drug dealers. And that's not all...
The Guardian LGBT News Feed
The Guardian LGBT News Feed

LGBT rights | The Guardian

Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice

As we mark LGBT history month, the novelist selects some classic, personal novels and true accounts of the battle for civil rights

It’s a rite of passage for every young gay man to read Edmund White’s A Boy’s Own Story, the classic tale of a teenager coming to terms with his homosexuality. I first read it when I was 15 years old, hiding the book at the back of my wardrobe, terrified that anyone might find it and discover my terrible secret! It was dangerous, it was seductive, but it spoke to me in such a way that I felt sure it had been written for me alone, a conviction shared by many of its readers. White remains a hero, a stalwart, a champion for the ages.

Young female readers experienced similar self-recognition in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson’s witty and personal 1985 novel about a girl navigating the road towards self-acceptance in 1960s England. As with White, Winterson shares so many of her own experiences in the book that the reader feels a deep connection with the author.

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Former tennis player says trans athletes competing in women’s tournaments is ‘insane’

The former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has been criticised for “disturbing, upsetting, and deeply transphobic” comments after she argued that allowing transgender women to compete in women’s sporting tournaments was “insane and cheating”.

The tennis player and gay rights campaigner first drew criticism from equalities activists and trans athletes when she tweeted in December: “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”

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‘Homosexuality is not an illness,’ says health minister Jens Spahn

The German health minister, Jens Spahn, has said that he will seek to ban “conversion therapies” that claim to change sexual orientation. “Homosexuality is not an illness, which is why it does not need to be treated,” Spahn, who is gay himself, told the left-leaning Berlin daily Die Tageszeitung.

Related: ‘I still have flashbacks’: the ‘global epidemic’ of LGBT conversion therapy

Related: Man who worked as top 'conversion therapist' comes out as gay

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As new diagnoses decrease in the country as a whole, the story is different for individual communities

Hector was working hard in class to please his immigrant parents when the 17-year-old was struck down with a fever.

Unable to keep food or liquids down, he spent two weeks on the couch of his family home in the Bronx. It took several doctors and numerous tests before blood work indicated he had HIV. His viral load had soared to near-fatal levels.

Related: Bono: western world turning its back on HIV fight

Support for youth is essential because if you don’t have support your life is over – that’s how it felt for me

Related: A cure for HIV is in sight as science chases the holy grail

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This week in the Upside, students helping each other, and trying to change the world

It’s a very singular irony that in a world populated like never before, loneliness has become the disease du jour.

But you are not alone, if you don’t want to be. No matter who you are and where you are, there is a like-minded soul out there, a sympathetic voice, a support group, a project, a fellowship.

"Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay."

Joe Root responds to sledging from Windies bowler Shannon Gabriel.

Full story: https://t.co/nRfSmWU5q6 pic.twitter.com/ghoDyGxUOi

Digital technology could be a good reminder for the political class that they are at the service of the people and not the other way round. In a week, one would get a very good idea of whether the country wants to go to war with Iraq for example, and more questions would be asked before taking decisions that have heavy consequences.

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Romania’s capital has a buzzing nightlife with plenty of options for a romantic night out – unless you’re LGBT

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The star of 2018’s 120 BPM is outstanding as a hustler in his latest film Sauvage. He explains why making it was like an acid trip – and why he shouldn’t be described as gay

The Rue Saint-Denis has moved on. Twenty years ago, the central Paris thoroughfare was a notorious red-light district, with sex workers of every stripe giving it their all. Now, business has largely moved online, and only a sad-looking sex shop or two marks it out from the multicultural bustle that could be any up-and-coming quarter of London, Berlin or Lisbon.

“It definitely still exists out on the streets,” says Félix Maritaud. “Imagine someone living in precarious circumstances in which they don’t have internet access – there you go. It exists, and it makes the street workers even more precarious.”

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Isabel Coixet transforms the real-life story of two Spanish women who married in 1901 into a bafflingly joyless affair

Writer-director Isabel Coixet has taken a real-life love story from 20th-century LGBT Spanish history and turned it into something bafflingly passionless, joyless and excessively tasteful, an anti-alchemy assisted by stately monochrome photography that makes every frame look like a postcard from an art shop.

Coixet also has a supercilious habit of concluding scenes on an “iris out” transition, a dwindling circular window on one character, as in a silent movie – an apparently playful touch out of sorts with the heavy-footed seriousness of what has gone before. And the film is lumbered with two very torpid and undynamic performances.

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Rigid definitions of sexuality are on the way out, as a younger generation embraces a ‘never say never’ approach to sex and gender

Nick Meadowcroft-Lunn has a girlfriend, whom he has been seeing for three years. Jezz Palmer has a girlfriend, too, and they have been together for five. You might assume therefore that Nick is straight and Jezz is gay; or, if not, that both must be bisexual. But you would be wrong.

“I always describe my sexuality as: ‘If you’ve got nice hair and pretty eyes, I’m down for it,’” explains Jezz, a 26-year-old editor working in historical publishing. “It’s not that gender doesn’t matter, because it can be important, but it’s a bit of an afterthought. It’s just like: ‘Oh, hello.’” For a while, she wasn’t sure what to call this, but eight years ago she settled on “pansexual” as the closest word. “It took me a while to figure it out. [The TV series] Torchwood was about the only thing I’d heard of. I was talking about maybe being pansexual and someone said: ‘Oh, like Captain Jack in Torchwood.’”

Being attracted to more than one gender is becoming a majority position. But it's taking a long time to catch up to that

Part of the reason bisexuality and sexual fluidity are so erased is because they’re seen as muddying the water

Related: Do lesbians have better sex than straight women?

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Thirteen couples seek damages from government for denying them same rights as heterosexual spouses

Chizuka Oe and Yoko Ogawa have been together for 25 years, but when they submitted their marriage registration at a Tokyo town hall they knew it would be rejected.

“We were told that they cannot accept our registration because we are both women,” said Ogawa, standing in the winter sun outside the building in Nakano in western Tokyo. “There were several heterosexual couples next to us who submitted marriage registrations without any problem.”

Related: Japanese women push back against Valentine's tradition of 'obligation chocolate'

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Human Rights Watch Gay News

Human Rights Watch - Defending Human Rights Worldwide

Dennis Christensen (behind the windows) talks with his interpreter at the Zheleznodorzhy District Court in Oryol, January 28, 2019

© 2019 Human Rights Watch

(Moscow) – A Russian court on February 6, 2019 convicted Dennis Christensen, a Jehovah’s Witness adherent and Danish citizen, on extremism charges for practicing his faith, Human Rights Watch said today. The court sentenced Christensen to six years in prison. The conviction is a blatant violation of the rights to religious freedom and expression. Russian authorities should immediately move to set aside the conviction and free Christensen.

The verdict comes amid Russian law enforcement’s nationwide campaign against Jehovah’s Witnesses. Authorities throughout Russia have filed criminal extremism charges against more than 100 Jehovah’s Witnesses since Russia’s Supreme Court banned the Jehovah’s Witness organization in 2017.

“The verdict against Denis Christensen is a disgrace,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s shocking that in post-Soviet Russia authorities are putting people through the ordeal of a criminal investigation and prison for nothing more than peacefully practicing their faith.”

Christensen, 47, had been in pretrial custody for 20 months, since his arrest in May 2017. His lawyer told Human Rights Watch that he will appeal.

Russian authorities should immediately drop the extremism charges against all Jehovah’s Witnesses, free those who have been detained, and halt the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Human Rights Watch said.

In 2016, a local court banned the Orel Jehovah’s Witness organization as an “extremist religious organization.”

Police in Orel arrested Christensen, who has had a Russian residence permit since 2000, on May 25, 2017, during a raid by riot police on a Jehovah’s Witness worship service, during which Christensen had given a sermon. He was not on the staff of the Jehovah’s Witness organization but had unlocked the building where the members had gathered.

Video

Video: Danish Jehovah's Witness Dennis Christensen Sentenced to 6 Years in Russia

A Russian court on February 6, 2019 convicted Dennis Christensen, a Jehovah’s Witness worshipper and Danish citizen, on extremism charges for practicing his faith. 

Authorities charged Christensen with “organizing activities of a religious organization that has been declared extremist” under article 282.2(1) of the Russian Criminal Code. The charge sheet, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, states that he was “actively involved in organizational work aimed at continuing the unlawful activities of the [banned Orel Jehovah’s Witness organization].”

Christensen’s lawyer told Human Rights Watch that the charges stem from Christensen’s actions on May 25 and from two previous incidents, in February 2017, when Christensen participated in discussions about a religious publication. They are also linked to Christensen’s role in organizing worshipers to help with the upkeep of their place of worship before the court ruling banning the organization entered into force in July 2017, and to persuading several other people to worship with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Evidence at trial included testimony by a secret witness who, the Jehovah’s Witness organization said, claimed that Christensen was a key Jehovah’s Witness leader in Orel. During the trial, Christensen said he knew the “secret witness” and identified him as religious studies graduate and specialist in non-Orthodox “heresies.” However, the court barred the defense from including questions about his identity, even though they might have been material to challenging his testimony. Other evidence included, during a closed court hearing, transcripts from tapped phone calls between Christensen and other worshipers, and also witnesses who described the process of upkeep of the courtyard, such as shoveling snow, at the place of worship.

An April 2017 Russian Supreme Court ruling banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout Russia. The ruling declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center an extremist organization, closed the organization on those grounds, and banned the group’s activities throughout the country. The Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center was the head office for 395 Jehovah’s Witnesses branches in Russia.

Twenty-two Jehovah’s Witnesses remain in custody in Russia, awaiting trial on extremism charges, and 25 are under house arrest. Law enforcement officers have carried out hundreds of searches, raids, interrogations, and other acts of harassment and persecution. The most recent wave took place on January 20, in Sakhalin, in Russia’s Far East, where police searched several homes and interrogated Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The trial of Sergey Skrynnikov, another Jehovah’s Witness worshipper in Orel, is also currently under way. On December 27, 2018, a court in Kabardino-Balkaria convicted Arkady Akopyan, 70, on extremism charges for allegedly getting people to distribute “extremist” Jehovah’s Witness literature. The court sentenced Akopyan to 120 hours of community service.

In a December meeting of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council, in response to a question about the prosecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, President Vladimir Putin said that people of different faiths should be treated equally. He also said, “We need to consider the society and country we live in. But in no way does this mean that we should treat people from other religious persuasions as [from] destructive or terrorist organizations. This is utter nonsense and we need to get to the bottom of it.”

Putin should explicitly call for prosecutors to withdraw extremism charges against Jehovah’s Witnesses, Human Rights Watch said.

In June, Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council said that the crackdown echoed Soviet-era religious repression and asked the prosecutor general’s office to verify the legality of criminal prosecutions against Jehovah’s Witnesses practicing their faith.

Russia, as a member of the Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association. The government has previously been found to be in violation of the European Convention for actions taken through the courts to dissolve communities of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Jehovah’s Witnesses of Moscow v. Russia, application no. 302/02).

The case against Christensen and the raids against Jehovah’s Witness adherents violate the right to freedom of religion, denying them the right to worship, and cannot be justified as either a necessary or proportionate measure to protect public safety or public order, Human Rights Watch said. Christensen has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights alleging, among other things, that his arrest constitutes unlawful interference with his right to freedom of religion.

“Prosecuting Jehovah’s Witnesses on extremism charges is a serious human rights violation,” Denber said. “It’s absurd that Russian authorities are wasting taxpayer money on things like figuring out who shoveled snow in the congregation’s courtyard.”

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