Two men have been arrested and charged in connection to the killing of out lesbian journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot to death while covering a riot in Northern Ireland two years ago.
“These arrests are the culmination of a detailed two-year investigation into Lyra’s murder and the events which preceded it,” Police Service of Northern Ireland Detective Superintendant Jason Murphy said in a written statement. “The local community have supported the Police Service of Northern Ireland throughout the course of this protracted investigation, and I wish to thank them for their continued support.”
I am a butch lesbian. I live with gender dysphoria. This is the condition which, according to mental health professionals, means I am transgender. However, I do not define as transgender. I do not want to take hormones or have surgeries. I do not accept that it is possible to live “as a man”, without believing in old fashioned gender stereotypes. I do not believe my deep discomfort with my female body means that I should take steps to change it. This is my story. …
I still have difficulties with my sexed body. Periods are particularly difficult for me. But instead of seeking a hysterectomy, I tell myself, “Lauren, you’re a butch lesbian, are you really so afraid of a little blood?”, and then I get on with my day. My wife loves me, just how I am, with all my oddities. I’m very glad that I’m in a lesbian relationship. I would not want to be in a heterosexual relationship with a woman. That would wreck something important for me about who I am, and what I stand for and I could never have discovered that on my own if I had been transitioned young.
I stand for trashing the old fashioned, regressive stereotypes that say “if you can drive a forklift and operate a lathe, you must be a man.” No. I stand for a celebration of the amazing diversity that women are.
Once again, lesbians at Kakuma camp in Kenya at Block 13, along with the other refugees, are in danger, as they have suffered a fourth arson attack this year.
On August 16, the block was awakened by what sounded like gunshots. When they arose, they were met with the smell of petrol fumes all over their compound and they noticed huge amounts of it all around the shelter where the children sleep.
Police were called. They refused to come out to investigate before daylight. Thankfully the children were moved.
The police told them to leave the petrol containers as they were evidence. It turns out the petrol wasn’t just around the children’s shelter.
An hour later, the entire block was alight. From the time this was all reported, it took two-and-a-half hours for the police to show up. The station is five minutes away.
Every single bit of shelter they had left there burned to the ground, as did everything inside them and near to them.
They, quite literally, have nothing left. Twenty-five children and their mothers are now without any shelter.
There is absolutely nothing to protect them from the burning African sun, or the torrential downpours when they come.
They have no food, clothing, shelter, toiletries, or any other essentials to survive even at night.
All of their documentation and IDs as well as any personal belongings are gone. They have been left with only the clothing on their backs.
The intent of these violent crimes is clearly to kill and injure the LGB&T community in Kakuma.
A young female gay [sic] couple was brutally attacked and beaten by two men in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, in the morning of 8 August.
The horrific attack took place in the borough of Mustamäe, at a food shack near the Szolnok bus stop.
According to Postimees, the women – 20 and 18 years old – had gone to buy French fries at the food shack in the morning of Sunday, 8 August, when they encountered three men, of whom one felt the necessity to call them “lesbians” and laughed at them.
One of the victims, whom Postimees calls Emma, but admits it’s not her real name, told the newspaper that she got angry at the men and told them to pipe down. According to the newspaper, one of the attackers started to strangle Emma after that.
“He held my neck firmly, my girlfriend tried to push the guy away. /…/ The men started to beat us with their hands and feet. Two of them were beating us and the third one was just looking,” Emma told Postimees. According to the victim, it later emerged that one of the men who attacked her had previously been involved in martial arts, and was over seven feet tall – “like a bear”.
Police in Utah have launched a homicide investigation in the deaths of a married female couple shot to death Wednesday at a campsite in Grand County.
The victims were Crystal Michelle Turner, 38, and Kylen Carrol Schulte, 24, who had lived in Moab, Utah, Salt Lake City TV station KSL reports.
The women were last seen at a tavern in Moab Saturday night, and they had called friends that night saying they were worried about “a weirdo camping near them that was freaking them out,” according to social media posts. They were planning to move to a different campsite.
Anueta Madison-Vanderbuilt’s partner joined her with coffees while shopping in Cragieburn Coles on Thursday. The pair then exchanged a quick kiss. Immediately afterwards, Anueta heard a man complaining in a loud voice, “Calm down, calm down.”
She initially thought he was talking to his kids but then realised he meant the comments for her and her partner. When she asked the man about his response, he complained about his children seeing the kiss.
“I choose what I want my kids to see, when they grow up they can choose what they want.
“When I come to a shopping centre, I would like to see a nice calm environment.”
As the conversation continued, the man threatened the women and lunged at their phone.
“If you record it, I’ll actually wipe your phone out of your face, because I’m not in the mood today.
A same-sex couple is trying to use the Paycheck Protection Program to sue a Christian school that kicked out their daughter.
The school says the five-year-old girl can’t start kindergarten there because she has two mothers.
Normally, a private religious institution doesn’t have to comply with anti-discrimination laws.
However, attorneys for Sara Evans and Brittney Hudson argue that the school has to accept those laws because it accepted federal funding.
“These are emergency federal dollars that have come through to private entities that are used to getting away with discrimination like this,” said their attorney, Leslie Briggs. “They only do so because they are private entities that aren’t beholden to federal rules. If you take that federal money, that all changes.”
Family, friends and members of the LGBTIQ+ community in Limpopo have been left reeling by the brutal rape and murder of a young lesbian community health worker, in what is suspected to be a hate crime.
A young lesbian community health worker was raped, stabbed multiple times and dumped alongside the road next to Helen Franz Hospital in the rural Senwabarwana area of Limpopo last week.
Thapelo Constance Sehata (23), of Desmond Park in Senwabarwana, was found on Wednesday (28 July 2021) unconscious and bleeding from severe stab wounds, just a short distance from the hospital.
She later succumbed to her injuries, following what her family and fellow members of the LGBTIQ+ community described as a hate crime motivated by her sexual identity. Police have confirmed the incident.
Sehata was a mother of a nine-year-old girl and worked as peer educator at the non-governmental organisation (NPO) Centre for Positive Care (CPC).
Her distraught older sister, Pretty Sehata (31), told Health-e News this week that the whole family, including their 63-year-old mother, was hurt beyond words.
“Thapelo was open about being lesbian and we accepted and loved her as our own in the family. Of course, there were some residents who would mock, insult and ridicule her for what she was. And here we are in pain today, mourning her brutal killing. She was raped, killed and dumped along the road as if she was not human,” said Pretty.
A teacher at a Christian school who came out as gay [sic] and was sacked has spoken out as the government prepares a new draft of the controversial Religious Discrimination Bill.
Steph Lentz said she began teaching at Covenant Christian School in the Sydney suburb of Belrose in 2017. She said it was her first job out of university.Advertisements
“I was employed there until January this year when I was sacked after I came out to the school,” Lentz told ABC Radio National.
“I was in a heterosexual marriage [when I started there]. Growing up in a very conservative Protestant environment, I believed for a long time heterosexual marriage was the only option for lifelong companionship.
“It was after the breakdown of my marriage and some real reflection and soul searching that I first came out to myself. I also shared this with my family.”
Lentz said she wanted to be honest with the school about her “affirming view of homosexual people and relationships.”
“I felt that in the spirit of integrity and to honour the agreement I was under, I informed the school,” she said.
“[My view] that it’s okay to be gay, God doesn’t have a problem with it [and] Christian schools need queer people of faith to be models for students and families.
“But that didn’t gel with the school I was teaching at.”
In a letter, the school told Steph Lentz she’d failed to affirm the school’s Statement of Belief. That statement includes the “immorality” of “homosexual practices”.
A Kansas public school district has agreed to reforms, including publicizing of its anti-discrimination policies and training for its staff, after a student was disciplined and told she couldn’t ride a school bus for several days after she said she was a lesbian during a bus ride home.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansassent a letter to the superintendent of the North Lyon County Unified School District 251 on July 6 telling the district that the actions of school staff violated Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving federal funds.
The civil rights organization also said that the school violated 14-year-old Izzy Dieker’s rights under the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Based on an independent investigation conducted by the Kansas Association of School Boards, the ACLU letter said that several students riding a school bus were leaning in and out of the aisle and using profanities on Jan. 27.
Dieker, who was riding the bus, did none of those things, the letter notes. When she said, “I’m a lesbian,” the bus driver, Kristi Gadino, pulled the bus over and reprimanded Dieker, telling her, “Watch your language.” She added, “Do you think that these little kindergarteners need to know what that word means?”
After the bus ride, Gadino wrote up Dieker for disobeying the driver, using “unacceptable language,” and being rude or discourteous, and Izzy’s parents were told she would be temporarily suspended from riding the bus. The school principal told her and a teacher who advocated for her that despite the fact that video footage showed that Izzy had not been rude or disobedient, calling herself a lesbian was “inappropriate” and the suspension would stand.
A lesbian couple and their family, who were featured in an advert for a Russian supermarket chain that led to a national scandal have fled the country after facing online abuse and death threats.
Mother Yuma, daughters Mila and Alina, and Alina’s girlfriend Ksyusha have said they were forced to leave Russia for Spain after they featured in an ad in which they said they enjoyed VkusVill’s onigiri rice balls and hummus.
“Unfortunately, due to the complicated situation with VkusVill, we have been left without work and without a home,” wrote daughter Mila on Instagram, posting a picture from a balcony in Spain.
“Right now me and my family very much need to get settled in Barcelona. It’s a difficult time for us and we need friends,” she continued. “Maybe the friends of your friends or their friends can help us start our new life in Barcelona.”
The ad met with a conservative backlash in Russia, which passed a law in 2013 banning “gay propaganda”. VkusVill quickly pulled the advertisement and replaced it with one that featured heterosexual families. It issued a public apology and said the original ad “hurt the feelings of a large number of our customers and employees”.
After the ad’s removal, the family said they were targeted by a hate campaign, culminating in the four women fleeing to Spain in order to ensure their safety.
The American soccer team lost to Canada and [Candace] Owens decided to mock the loss, calling [Megan] Rapinoe “an anti-American piece of trash.” Rapinoe has kneeled before games as the national anthem is played in solidarity with players throughout sports demanding racial justice.
The national anthem is not played before an Olympic sporting event, but that didn’t stop Owens from spouting off. Responding to a tweet from U.S. Soccer’s Women’s National Team that called the loss “heartbreaking but hard-fought,” Owens replied that it was “not heartbreaking at all.”
She added that Rapinoe “does not represent our country, anywhere, ever. Any person who disrespects the the [sic] flag that sons and daughters are sent home beneath while fighting for our freedoms overseas, deserves to lose.”
This past Wednesday at 1 a.m. in Piedmont Park the bodies of Katherine Janness, 40, and her dog Bowie were found. Janness had been stabbed multiple times, her face disfigured in the attack.
“She was the most intelligent, kind, humble, and beautiful person I have ever known. I wanted to spend every second with her,” her fiancee Emma Clark wrote on Facebook.
“Today I lost the love of my life and my baby boy. It was tragic.”
Janness – a bartender at the Campagnolo Restaurant and Bar in Atlanta – and Clark had dinner together on Tuesday evening and then Janness took Bowie for a walk. When she didn’t come home, Clark found her body by using an app to track her phone’s location in the park about a mile from their home.
Police searched the park for evidence and went door-to-door in the neighborhood to find witnesses. They returned to the park with diving gear to search a lake.
The last known picture of Janness shows her crossing a nearby rainbow crosswalk. Atlanta police released the image and are offering a $10,000 reward for information on the killing.
Nino, a 25-year-old lesbian from Georgia, no longer feels at ease when she leaves the house. Since violence forced a Pride march to be cancelled earlier this month, she is afraid of being verbally abused or chased in the street.
Reports of hate crimes have risen in the wake of the violence of July 5, when anti-Pride protesters assaulted journalists and stormed activists’ offices, and some LGBT+ Georgians say they are now living in fear.
“Things have changed. Life is no longer as simple as it once was,” Nino, 25, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, said from the home she shares with her partner in the capital, Tbilisi.
“You’re more afraid that someone on the street will chase you and hurl abuse at you. You can no longer be so cheerful. You have an inner fear. It’s as if some tragedy is coming to you,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The homophobic violence that halted a planned “March for Dignity” has also raised political tensions in the former Soviet country as it prepares for an October local election – sparking protest rallies and scuffles in parliament.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has rejected calls to resign from rights activists and opposition parties, who have accused his government of emboldening hate groups and failing to protect journalists and LGBT+ supporters.
In the run-up to the Pride events, Garibashvili said holding the LGBT+ march was “not reasonable” because most Georgians opposed it, and has since described the cancelled event as a “provocation” organised by the opposition.
Over the weekend, posters depicting opposition figures and the head of Tbilisi Pride under a rainbow splattered with blood sprang up across the capital.
The owner of the popular nightclub Nordic Bar said he is investigating claims that its bouncers kicked out and beat two women for sharing a kiss.
“We are carrying out our own investigations on the matter as well as collaborating with the police. This is a very serious matter,” the owner told Times of Malta adding that he would not be saying more until investigations are concluded.
The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) first flagged the issue after a woman recounted her “horrendous experience” at the bar on a Facebook group on Monday evening.
The woman said that once she and her partner were at the bar, they were asked to sit by the table due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We shared a kiss and soon enough one of the bouncers came to our table to kick us out,” the woman said. She said that as she and her partner were not sure why they were being thrown out, they both resisted and asked for a reason.
But the bouncer threw both of them to the ground and kicked them as he held them down, she said.
She added that she was “disgusted” by the way they were treated and that she had never experienced such homophobic abuse before.
In a survey, MGRM had found that half of the LGBTQ+ community find Paceville unsafe, and that many have experienced aggression from bouncers.
“At this point we advice the community not to go to this venue unless action is taken that guarantees our safety,” MGRM said in a Facebook post. The NGO said it will accompany anyone to a police station if they have been victims of abuse and will also offer free legal service and follow-ups.
Many homophobic people in Cameroon believe that LGBTI community centers aren’t merely meeting places for LGBTI people, but are used to promote homosexuality. Same-sex sexual relations are against the law in Cameroon.
The latest victim of this mistaken belief is the Association for the Advancement of Women (AVAF), an organization in Yaoundé, Cameroon, that defends lesbians’ rights.
AVAF reported that “on the night of July 11 to 12, 2021 (Sunday to Monday), unidentified individuals broke into the premises by smashing [into] the office of the Administrative and Financial Director.”
The vandals set a fire in that office and burned financial and activity reports. Various documents were stolen along with financial securities of as-yet unknown value.
AVAF staff and community members are worried because private contact information and perhaps compromising documents have been taken. They fear that their identity will be published.
On a morning about 10 years ago, the Rev. Amy DeLong woke up in disbelief that she was still a reverend.
The day before — June 23, 2011 — she had stood trial at Peace United Methodist Church in Kaukauna on two charges. She had officiated a wedding between two women and she herself was in a lesbian relationship — or in the church’s language, was a “self-avowed, practicing homosexual.”
LGBTQ clergy and same-sex weddings were, and continue to be, forbidden by the United Methodist Church, a body of over 12 million members globally that has in recent years threatened to split over its refusal to fully include LGBTQ people into the faith.
Since DeLong’s church trial sat squarely on that debate, her case drew national scrutiny, including a story in Time Magazine. But she could barely pay attention to the uproar she had triggered, because she was certain she’d lose her pastoral rights and responsibilities as punishment.
Instead, the jury of ministers gave her just a 20-day suspension and tasked her with writing a document about how clergy could resolve issues that harm the church or could lead to future trials. An event that could have been devastating ended up leaving her hopeful that the United Methodist Church was changing.
Today, though, she’s lost that hope.
After a decade of fighting for the inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the denomination she had chosen for herself and loved, DeLong said she watched things get only worse.
Although she said it breaks her heart that her work came to an end without producing meaningful change, DeLong said she never questioned whether she was right to do it.
“There’s nothing … that tells me that the love that I share — the adult, consensual, loving relationship I share with my partner — is anything but holy,” DeLong said. “I have always been hurt by the accusations, and I’ve certainly been hurt by the hatred that has been directed at me. But I never once thought I was wrong.”
Even if the United Methodist Church had a rapid change of heart and opened its arms to the LGBTQ community, DeLong said, the institution is flawed. The way church leaders have conducted themselves is no longer resonating with people, she said.
The decision to depart was an immensely tough one, she said, but necessary. She could no longer be an ambassador for the church, after all, if she no longer believed in the product.
A new ruling in Tasmania decrees that lesbians will be breaking the law if they host single-sex spaces. Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt banned LGB Alliance Australia from hosting lesbian events that exclude transwomen, on the grounds that such gatherings carry a “significant risk” of breaching existing equalities legislation.
This ruling has far-reaching implications that extend beyond Tasmania, as it sets a legal precedent with the power to shape the outcomes of future cases. As Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Bolt advises the Minister of Justice on matters relating to discrimination and prohibited conduct. She also promotes the recognition and approval of acceptable attitudes, acts and practices. As her ruling indicates, Bolt does not believe that lesbians creating spaces by and for ourselves is an acceptable act or practice.
What Bolt fails to recognize is that lesbians are oppressed at least twice over, on the basis of our sex and sexuality. We are females who love desire and build our lives around other females – which has been treated as suspicious for the duration of patriarchy. Around the world, lesbians continue to be at risk of discrimination and violence – from losing custody of our children to suffering ‘corrective’ rape.
5 July 2021: A Connecticut double murder-suicide may have been pushed by the killer’s homophobia, the household of one of the victims mentioned.
David Knowledge, 65, killed himself Friday in his Windsor Locks house after he shot his spouse, her daughter and an 18-year-old girl mentioned to be the daughter’s lover, The Journal Inquirer reported.
His spouse, Delores Tracey Knowledge, 44, and pal Lauren “Lela” Leslie died – however the unnamed daughter survived and was handled for a number of gunshot wounds at an area hospital, The Hartford Courant mentioned.
Leslie’s brother Jhavier Leslie informed the Courant the household needed an investigation to see if the crime was “rooted in hate.”
“It’s arduous to undergo this new actuality of not having her right here, however I feel it is a half of an even bigger situation in society that should be addressed of simply homophobia and the risks round that,” Leslie mentioned, based on the Courant.
“She spent her entire life barely speaking as a result of she was afraid of who she was and she or he lastly gained the power to understand who she is, so it’s very troublesome for me to know that now, her being her true self and dwelling in her actuality, that is the outcome of that in my eyes,” he added.