Author Archives: ListeningAri

Bolivia: Lesbian Couple Denied Registration of Union

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

8 July 2021: Bolivia’s national civil registry (Registro de Servicio Cívico, SERECÍ) has discriminated against a lesbian couple by rejecting their application to register their relationship as a union, Human Rights Watch said today. All civil registries in the country should start legally recognizing same-sex relationships.

The lesbian couple, foreign citizens who legally reside in Bolivia, applied to La Paz civil registry in May 2021 to register a civil union, their lawyers told Human Rights Watch. In a June letter to those lawyers, the civil registry asserted that there is no current procedure to register same-sex unions in the country. The couple has begun administrative proceedings to appeal the decision. The letter ignores that the civil registry recognized the union of David Aruquipa and Guido Montaño, a gay couple, in December 2020, based on a court order. The civil registry claimed it needs to wait until Bolivia’s Plurinational Constitutional Court reviews the lower court ruling ordering Aruquipa and Montano’s registration.

“The national civil registry seems intent on doubling down on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “That only one same-sex couple in Bolivia has been able to register their union so far is unjust, and the civil registry should immediately give everyone the same opportunity to have their relationships legally recognized.”

Continue Reading: https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/07/08/bolivia-lesbian-couple-denied-registration-union (source)

U.S: ‘Why Are a You Lesbian?’ Soccer Coach Charged With Harassing Colleague

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

2 July 2021: Joseph Truhon, 45, of Highland Falls, New York was arrested in connection to an attempted assault at Spring Hill Suites Marriott in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on June 19, according to Pennsylvania State police.

Truhon is accused of harassing and attempting to assault a fellow traveling youth soccer coach and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Wagner University, Nicole Gaudenzi, 27, of Little Falls, New Jersey, say police.

Gaudenzi told state police that Truhon asked her “Why are you a lesbian?” and began to touch her arms and legs while at a parent and soccer coach gathering where alcohol was being served in a hotel conference room.

Continue Reading: https://dailyvoice.com/new-jersey/wyckoff/news/why-are-you-lesbian-soccer-coach-charged-with-harassing-nj-professor-at-pa-hotel-police-say/811962/ (source)

China: Lesbian Soccer Star’s Coming Out Weibo Post Met With Abuse

9 July 2021: During this year’s Pride Month, soccer star Li Ying made history as China’s first female athlete to come out publicly as gay, in a candid series of celebratory photos posted on social media, showing her posing happily alongside her partner.It’s increasingly common worldwide for celebrities and high-profile sports stars to come out, often to widespread public support. But in China, Li’s announcement received a very different reaction.

Her post, uploaded on June 22 onto Weibo, China’s heavily censored version of Twitter, immediately went viral, becoming one of the top trending topics on the platform. And while much of the reaction was positive, with people sending their congratulations, Li’s account was also inundated with a wave of homophobic abuse. The post was later deleted without explanation.

Li has not posted on Weibo since. Chinese state-run media, meanwhile, did not report on Li’s announcement, nor the subsequent reaction it generated.

Continue Reading: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/09/china/china-pride-month-lgbt-weibo-intl-mic-hnk/index.html (source)

U.S: Discipline Sought for Judge who Denied Lesbian Adoption

Ernie Chambers has filed a complaint with Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican urging that Dixon County Judge Douglas Luebe be disciplined for “discriminatory dismissal of the adoption petition of a married same-sex couple qualified by law to adopt a minor child.”

“Angry-outrage is an accurate two-word summation of my reaction to discriminatory mistreatment of vulnerable human beings by those wielding power on behalf of the state and ‘the people’ in the role of a judge,” the former Omaha state senator wrote Heavican.

Luebe ruled against allowing the couple to adopt a child, arguing that the “plain ordinary language” of relevant statutes does not allow “a wife and a wife” to adopt.

The Supreme Court subsequently rejected that reasoning, ruling that state adoption laws clearly allow a same-sex married couple to adopt a child.

Kelly Hoagland and Maria Salas Valdez, the married couple, ultimately received approval from Dixon County Judge Edward Matney for the petition allowing them to adopt Yasmin, a 3-year-old.

Continue Reading: https://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/crime-and-courts/chambers-seeks-discipline-of-judge-who-denied-same-sex-adoption/article_be49d1cd-040e-55d2-8c71-f6c55201377f.html (source)

In Memoriam: Lesbian Activist and Author Sally Miller Gearhart (1931 – 2021)

Sally Miller Gearhart, the first out lesbian to receive a tenure-track position at San Francisco State University and a beloved LGBTQ rights advocate, died July 14, according to Jean Crosby, who sent out an email to friends. She was 90.

Ms. Gearhart had been in poor health for several years. She had lived for many years in Willits, California but had moved recently to a care home in Ukiah.

The GLBT Historical Society posted on Facebook about Ms. Gearhart’s passing, of which they were informed by her good friend, Ruth Mahaney.

“Losing Sally is like a huge tree falling. She was very tall, and she was so important in the world,” stated Mahaney. “She had been saying she wanted out of here, to be ‘up in the sky.’ She was ready to go.”

In 1973, Ms. Gearhart received the tenure-track position at SF State. She established one of the first women’s and gender studies programs in the country while at the university, and was a leading LGBTQ activist throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Continue reading: https://www.ebar.com/news/latest_news//306938 (source)

Sally Miller Gearhart’s website can be found here: https://sallymillergearhart.net

U.S: Lesbian diagnosed with out-dated, homophobic “disorder”

A woman in Michigan found out that her doctor diagnosed her with “ego-dystonic lesbianism” at a recent appointment. Ego-dystonic homosexuality is an outdated diagnosis that reflects “a desire to change one’s orientation” that medical organizations like the American Psychological Association have opposed for decades.

“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else,” Tatiana Arena-Villareal told Fox 2 News after she saw the diagnosis on her chart. “I don’t want anybody to have a diagnosis in their chart that suggests they have a mental illness because of who they love.”

The diagnosis was added to the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) in 1980. It doesn’t say that being gay or bi itself is a disorder, but that “having a sexual orientation or an attraction that is at odds with one’s idealized self-image” is. It’s characterized by anxiety and “a desire to change one’s orientation or become more comfortable with one’s sexual orientation.” It was removed in 1987.

Continue reading: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/04/doctor-diagnosed-michigan-mom-ego-dystonic-lesbianism/ (source)

U.K: Lesbian Victims of Homophobic Supermarket Assault, Forced to Hide

tesco

UK police are seeking the public’s help in identifying three women who allegedly chased a lesbian couple into a security office to escape their homophobic verbal assault.

A lesbian couple shopping at a Tesco market in the United Kingdom were the victims of a homophobic verbal assault so aggressive they were forced to hide from their attackers in a security office. Police in Kent released CCTV images showing the three woman they say are responsible for the homophobic assault at the Tesco market in Gillingham, Kent, and are asking for the public’s help in bringing the suspected bigots to justice. Police are investigating the assault as a hate crime incident.

Continue reading: https://www.out.com/crime/2021/3/18/lesbian-victims-homophobic-supermarket-assault-forced-hide (source)

U.S: Lesbian spouse fights government denial of death benefits

benefits

For more than a decade, Patricia Rolfingsmeyer and Tina Sammons lived as a committed couple even when the states where they resided did not recognize their same-sex union. They wore matching diamond wedding bands, bought a house together and declared at a private ceremony, “It may not be legal out there, but it is in here.”

When the laws began to change around the country, the pair drove from their home in Pennsylvania to Maryland, where they were officially married in 2013. Less than three months later, Sammons, a U.S. Air Force veteran and longtime U.S. Postal Service employee, died of metastatic breast cancer.

The couple’s union, according to the federal government, did not last long enough for Rolfingsmeyer to meet the nine-month marriage requirement to claim an estimated six-figure dollar amount in survivor benefits.

Rolfingsmeyer, now 71, is challenging the federal government’s denial of employee death benefits because it was not legally or practically possible for her to obtain a marriage certificate in her home state in the nine months before the death of her partner of 16 years.

Continue reading: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/same-sex-government-death-benefits-/2021/03/18/ac8da2b0-873f-11eb-8a8b-5cf82c3dffe4_story.html (source)

U.K: Lesbian couple’s baby nearly hit by rock in hate crime

A young lesbian couple claim their baby is lucky to be alive after a rock was thrown through their window in the latest in a string of “targeted hate attacks”.

Eight-week-old Hope Devine escaped injury by centimetres after the missile bounced off the top of the swing chair she was sleeping in on Monday evening.

Parents Lucy, 21, and Leanne, 22, have been left “distraught” by the incident, which they say is the latest in a string of attacks directed at the couple in the last 18 months.

The couple say they have had homophobic notes shoved through their letterbox and have been attacked as they walked to the shop.

Police have mounted nightly patrols at the couple’s home since the rock attack, which is being treated as a hate crime.

Continue reading: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/young-couples-baby-lucky-alive-23759661 (source)

South Africa: The footballer raped and murdered for being a lesbian

An international footballer, coach and aspiring referee, Eudy Simelane dedicated her life to the sport.

She was one of the first openly gay [sic] women to live in her township of Kwa-Thema in South Africa and was a well-known LGBT+ activist.

But because of her sexuality, Simelane was brutally raped and murdered in 2008, aged just 31.

This is the story of her life and how the legacy of her death is still impacting South African society.

A campaigner for equality rights and social change, she was one of the first women to come out as a lesbian in South Africa.

On 27 April 2008, Simelane’s body was found in a stream just a few hundred metres from her home in Kwa-Thema.

Reports stated she was approached after leaving a pub, raped and then stabbed repeatedly.

Despite her death shocking many, activists claimed many lesbians in South Africa were targeted for ‘corrective rape’, a crime where the perpetrator aims to ‘cure’ the victim of their sexuality, converting them to heterosexuality.

Thato Mphuthi pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of Simelane in February 2009 and was sentenced to 32 years in prison. The following September, Themba Mvubu was also found guilty of the crimes and was sentenced to life in prison. When questioned by reporters in court, he responded: “I’m not sorry.”

Simelane’s sexuality put her in a vulnerable position, something her mother recognised, telling the BBC, “the whole of South Africa knew Eudy was a lesbian”.

The unfortunate reality is Simelane’s story isn’t unique – she is one of many victims of similar, horrific crimes in South Africa.

A year prior to her death, Sizakele Sigasa, a women’s and gay rights activist, and her friend Salone Massooa were heckled outside a bar and called ‘tomboys’. The women were then gang-raped, tortured, and shot dead.

Just a few years after Simelane’s murder, Noxolo Nogwaza, a 24-year-old lesbian, was found beaten and stoned to death in the same township Simelane lived.

Continue reading: https://www.modernghana.com/sports/1061337/the-footballer-raped-and-murdered-for-being-a-lesb.html (source)

Ireland: Zimbabwean Lesbian denied refugee status despite death threats

In April 2019, an International Protection Officer (IPO) recommended that the woman – who has not been named – be denied asylum, arguing that her claim lacked credibility.

The woman said she forced into two separate marriages as a child in Zimbabwe at the ages of nine and 13. She claimed she was forced to flee her home country after her family found out that she was a lesbian, leading to threats of violence.

The woman subsequently brought judicial review proceedings in an effort to have the 2019 IPO recommendation overturned – however, Justice Tara Burns denied her request on Friday (22 January), The Irish Times reports.

In her appeal, the woman argued that her sexuality was a “core element” of her asylum claim and that the IPO had failed to determine her sexuality when it recommended that she be denied asylum.

Before making a recommendation on her asylum claim, the IPO asked her questions about her sexuality and found that she was not aware of any LGBT+ support groups in either Ireland or Zimbabwe.

Continue reading at: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/lesbian-forced-flee-zimbabwe-facing-154441078.html (Source)

Cameroon: “When I came out someone threatened to rape the spirit of lesbianism out of me”

By Bandy Kiki

It took moving to the UK for me to realise that homosexuality isn’t and shouldn’t ever be a crime.

Still, because of Cameroon’s attitudes to LGBTQ+ people, I’m not able to go back to my home country – even when I lost my mother to cervical cancer in 2017. We were very close so it felt heart-wrenching not to be able to attend her funeral.

When I publicly came out as a lesbian via social media in 2017, a high profile Cameroonian producer threatened to rape the spirit of lesbianism out of me if I ever set foot in my home country again.

The whole ordeal was traumatic but he wasn’t the only one to send abuse or death threats. Comment after comment seemingly shared the same sentiment – that it’s un-African to be gay – but I couldn’t disagree more.

Continue reading Bandy’s story: https://metro.co.uk/2021/01/19/i-couldnt-come-out-as-a-lesbian-until-i-moved-to-the-uk-13901545/ (source)

South Korea: AI chatbot pulled after it started ‘hating’ lesbians

Lee Luda, a South Korean AI chatbot, has been pulled from Facebook after started saying it “really hated” lesbians because they’re “creepy”.

The chatbot was incredibly popular, according to The Guardian, attracting 750,000 users in its first 20 days since its launch on 23 December, 2020. But it has now been suspended after it started attacking minorities.

Lee Luda was developed by the Seoul-based Scatter Lab, and takes the form of a 20-year-old female university student who is able to chat with users through Facebook messenger.

The startup developed her natural-sounding responses by analysing 10 billion real conversations between couples on the messaging app KakaoTalk.

But because it “learned” from humans, Lee Luda began spewing homophobic, ableist and racist hate.

Scatter Lab said in a statement that the chatbot would be taken down until its “weaknesses” had been fixed, and added: “We deeply apologise for the discriminatory remarks against minorities.

“That does not reflect the thoughts of our company and we are continuing the upgrades so that such words of discrimination or hate speech do not recur.

It continued: “Lee Luda is a childlike AI that has just started talking with people. There is still a lot to learn.”

However, some have said that the hate speech is not simply an AI problem, and that it points to larger issues in South Korean society.

Continue reading: https://10ztalk.com/2021/01/14/ai-chatbot-pulled-after-it-started-hating-lesbians-and-black-people/ (source)

U.S: Teacher condemns former student’s same-sex relationship

A Tennessee teacher has sparked outrage for sending a message to a former student ripping the young woman’s same-sex relationship as a “sin” and “not what God” had planned for her.

Hannah Kelley, of Chattanooga, shared a screenshot Saturday on Facebook of the “random message” from her former teacher at Red Bank High School whom she identified as Erika Perry.

“I was not close with Mrs. Perry in high school,” Kelley, who graduated four years ago, recalled in the post. “So this came out of nowhere. This is absolutely mind blowing and I’m absolutely baffled.”

The message from Kelley’s former teacher noted her recent one-year anniversary with her fiancé, Casey Stewart. The pair got engaged last month — years after Kelley attended the school – but Perry seemingly felt it was her place to chime in on the forthcoming same-sex marriage, Kelley said.

“I know that you want love, but woman to woman should only be a friendly love and not a sexual one,” Perry’s message read, a screenshot shows. “I realize that you may be upset with me, but true love will not sit idly by or not call out a grave sin that has taken over a loved one.”

Continue reading: https://nypost.com/2021/01/12/teacher-slammed-for-condemning-ex-students-same-sex-relationship/ (Source)

Italy: Lesbian shares video calling for hate crime legislation following continued lesbophobic harassment

While talks of necessary Italian hate crime legislation continues, the long-awaited bill is not coming fast enough for many. Another homophobic attack occurred, this time in Genoa where Italian lesbian nurse, Camilla, shared a video of a hate crime: her car ruined by her homophobic neighbours.

Camilla, a 23 year-old nurse, recorded the video on TikTok while in tears after her neighbours vandalised her car. She asked the LGBTQ+ community for help in having her rights recognised since the government is still not forthcoming with hate crime legislation. She also shared how the police told her they can’t do much to help and she is now forced to park her car far from her house fearing of more vandalism.

In the first video posted to her TikTok, Camilla says:

“When you are a lesbian in Italy, this is how your homophobic neighbours behave: they break your car side mirror and they pierce and slash all four tires. Of course I reported this, but of course nothing will happen. To members of the LGBT community: can we do something to get some f***ing rights? Every day, I am called ‘whore’ and ‘pervert’. Now they went as far as vandalising the car I use every day to go to work.

“You tell me now, what can I do? I get up every morning, like everyone else, I go to work, I’m paying my f***ing mortgage. I’m 23 years-old, I’ve been paying it [the mortgage] for the past three years. I am not sure how many people my age do this. Can I get some help, please, since our Government is not helping me?”

In a second video, Camilla also said she received death threats. She continued, “What I want is only to live in peace, serene, and that all people can live hand in hand.”

Continue reading: https://gcn.ie/italian-lesbian-hate-crime-legislation/ (source)

Ghana: Military lesbian couple got married, have been detained and face court martial

A Ghanaian military lesbian couple who got married over the weekend, have reportedly been detained and facing court-martial. 

In the videos shared online before their arrest, the ladies looked happy as they danced together while their guests cheered them on. 

The event led to divided opinions on social media as many asked why such “ungodly and abominable” event will be allowed in the West African country.

Continue reading: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Ghanaian-military-lesbian-couple-who-got-married-detained-facing-court-martial-1070242 (source)

Lesbian couple slam Facebook after snap of them touching foreheads was banned for being ‘sexually explicit adult content’

A lesbian couple have condemned Facebook after a promotional advert showing their foreheads gently touching was rejected for being ‘sexually explicit adult content’ – while an image showing a heterosexual couple in the same pose was allowed.

Musical duo Sera Golding-Young, 36, and her wife Frankie, 32, had posted a video to announce the release of a new album – and made a sponsored advertisement in a bid to reach fans.

But the post was said to have violated Facebook’s Community Standards rules under its ‘Objectionable Content’ clause, which targets illicit images of nudity or sexual activity.

Continue reading: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8780465/Lesbian-couple-slam-Facebook-video-touching-foreheads-BANNED.html (source)

U.K: Sue Perkins Reveals She Was Victim Of A Homophobic Attack

Former Great British Bake Off host Sue Perkins has revealed that she was victim to a homophobic attack that left her in tears.

The presenter and comedian says she “burst into tears” after a man verbally assaulted her on Hampstead Heath in North London. Speaking on an episode of the Homo Sapiens podcast, Perkins revealed: “I did have my first homophobic insult in 20 years recently … I was on the heath and this guy, I think he said, ‘You f***ing dyke.'”

The 51-year-old TV personality told podcast hosts Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney that she feared the altercation might turn physical. “At the time, I sort of went right up to him and went: ‘What did you say?'” she recalled, “and he sort of postured a bit almost as if he was going to hit me, almost like an intimation of something physical.”

Fearful of the situation, Perkins kept her space: “I thought ‘I’m going to just stand here.’ I remember my hand was out because I wanted to keep that distance. Like if you come within the length of my arm I know that something really bad is going to happen.”

Perkins told Cumming and Sweeney that she maintained her composure before asking him again what he had said. “He just sort of buckled a bit and he went, ‘I just mean you’ve got a nice face, why would you…’ I just thought, ‘What’s my face got to do with you?'”

Not wanting to escalate the situation, Perkins said she “didn’t want to replace knee jerk unkindness with knee jerk unkindness,” and she told the man :I’m just walking my dog and I’m quiet and I’m in a good mood and I’ve got love for everyone here and you’ve destroyed that and you can’t take that back today” before leaving and bursting into tears.

Continue reading: https://www.bustle.com/entertainment/sue-perkins-victim-of-homophobic-attack (source)

U.K: Lesbian quits after finding homophobic note in work locker

A shop worker said she was “mortified” when she opened her locker and discovered a homophobic note.

The offensive message was found by Pammie Clinton during her shift at Wilko in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, on 9 September.

It directed a homophobic slur at her and implored her to quit. She handed in her notice a few days later.

Wilko said discrimination of any kind was not accepted and it was looking into the situation “very seriously”.

Ms Clinton, who is a lesbian, said the message had been pushed into her locker through a small hole.”I was absolutely disgusted with what I was reading – I felt like my heart had sunk to the pit of my stomach,” she said.

“I went straight to the bathroom and sat and cried.

“The incident was reported to management but the culprit was never found – and Ms Clinton said she felt compelled to resign.

She said: “I was filled with anxiety and found myself looking at everyone at work thinking ‘was it you?’, which was mentally and emotionally unhealthy.”

Continue reading: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-54183746 (source)

Nigeria: The filmmakers risking jail with lesbian movie Ife

Two Nigerian filmmakers face the prospect of imprisonment if they ignore the stern warning of the authorities and proceed with the release of a movie about a lesbian relationship. 

The dramatic face-off with the regulators – the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) – is worthy of a film itself. 

Producer Pamela Adie and director Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim are determined that Ife (meaning “love” in the Yoruba language) reaches a Nigerian audience, but the NFVCB says it will not be approved as it violates the country’s strict laws on homosexuality.

To get around this, the filmmakers are planning a surprise online release to catch the regulators off-guard. The NFVCB, however, is diligently monitoring all digital platforms to prevent the movie from getting out.According to NFVCB boss Adebayo Thomas, Adie and Ikpe-Etim could be jailed for promoting homosexuality in a country where same-sex relationships are forbidden and can carry a 14-year sentence.

They are organising a private screening in the commercial capital, Lagos, at the end of the month, for which they believe they do not need to get permission. 

Ife will also get an international premiere in Canada in October.

Adie said the aim of the film was to show an accurate picture of lesbian and bisexual women in Nigerian movies.

If a lesbian woman does appear in a standard Nollywood movie they are often portrayed as being possessed, influenced by bad friends or forced into homosexuality and always needing “saving”, she told the BBC.

“You rarely see stories about LGBT people, especially about queer [sic] women that speak to the realities of our lives. 

“Ife was made to bridge the gap and to get the conversation going in Nigeria.”

Continue reading: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54070446 (source)