Category Archives: News

News stories on lesbian rights, violence and discrimination against the lesbian community, and our unwavering response.

Ukraine: Lesbian couple keeping low profile, but open with family

Despite being open about their family with relatives and friends, Moskovchenko was the only one from her family who attended this year’s Kyiv Pride on June 18, a march of around 4,000 people in Kyiv in support of the rights of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people (LGBT).

They said they were worried about their children’s safety. Although nobody was hurt during the march, there were reports later that day that several participants were followed and attacked after the march.

“Staying safe and sound is our duty to our children,” Svidnitska said.Ukrainian law prevents gay couples from adopting children, so the couple don’t have legal rights to each other’s kids — if something happens to Moskovchenko, Svidnitska won’t get custody of her daughter, and vice versa.

Continue reading at: Lesbian couple keeping low profile, but open with family | KyivPost (Source)

Lesbian Rapper Shot And Killed In New Orleans, Second Female Victim in Hospital

The family of Brittney Johnson hopes her message of solidarity with the LGBT community continues after the 29-year-old-lesbian rapper was gunned down in New Orleans on Saturday.

Johnson, who performed under the monikers Bunny and Big Bei, was found dead in the home she shared with another unnamed woman, who was also shot but survived. The two lived in Algiers, one of New Orleans oldest neighborhoods.

The New Orleans Advocate reports, “anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call NOPD Homicide Detective Bruce Brueggeman at 504-658-5300, or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.”

Continue reading at: Lesbian Rapper Shot And Killed In New Orleans | NewNowNext (Source)

Chechnya: Reports of high domestic violence, “honor killings” of lesbians

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‘Gay men who are taken to prisons, it was a kind of massive attack against those homosexual people. Homosexual women are treated differently.

‘So it’s considered that families should take responsibility for them, so there is a lot of domestic violence and we’ve heard there are a lot of honor killings of those lesbian women.’

Continue reading at: Chechnya: Lesbians, bi and trans people now in firing line (Source)

For Teammates in Love, an Island Oasis

While gay athletes have felt increasingly comfortable coming out in American sports leagues over the past decade, and hardly raise an eyebrow on the women’s national teams of many countries, lesbians are often less visible in Mexican society because of the country’s macho culture. Consequently, when they go public with their sexuality, they can face more opposition, said Claudia Pedraza, who specializes in studying gender and sports at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Continue reading at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/06/sports/soccer/iceland-soccer-stars-in-love-find-acceptance.html (Source)

India: Bangalore Mirror ‘outs’ women, one woman fired from job

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A day after Bangalore Mirror reported the shocking police complaint filed against two women for informally marrying each other, it has emerged that one of the women has been fired from her company.

“The company (gozefo.com) people called me in the morning and asked me if I want to continue in the job or not. They asked me to talk to my parents and get back. I told them I’ll talk to my lawyers and get back. When I called them back at 5.30 pm, they said HR had decided that you leave the company since they know that it’s me who is making rounds in the media from morning. This is totally unfair,” said the younger woman.

“No one can just claim that it’s her and throw her out of the company. They told her it’s very evident from what the TV channels have showed in the visuals, and did this. We did not get married at all. In fact, I’m related to her and we live in the same house. This is really not acceptable,” the other woman said.

Continue reading at: ‘They called at 11 am and asked if I wanted to continue in my job. By 5.30 pm, they had asked me to leave’ – Bangalore Mirror (Source)

Lesbian’s Employment Discrimination Case Appealed to Supreme Court

Lambda Legal announced today that it will ask the high court to hear the case of Jameka Evans, whose lawsuit says she suffered harassment and discrimination at her job as a security guard at Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah and was eventually forced out because she’s a lesbian and gender-nonconforming.

In March a three-judge panel of the U.S, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling, upheld a lower court’s dismissal of Evans’s suit. The judges did not dispute the facts of the case, but the majority said they were bound by precedent that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation. Lambda Legal, representing Evans, asked the full court to rehear the case, but today it declined to do so, leaving Lambda no option but to go to the Supreme Court.

Continue reading at: Lesbian’s Employment Discrimination Case Appealed to Supreme Court | Advocate.com (Source)

Facebook community standards under scrutiny as out and proud ‘dykes’ banned

Secret guidelines used by social media giant Facebook to censor hate speech are resulting in lesbians being blocked and banned for referring to themselves as “dykes”, with one expert suggesting early adoption of artificial intelligence software may be to blame.

Liz Waterhouse, who runs the blog listening2lesbians with her partner Lisa Mallett, said they noticed women started being banned this year, with a sharp escalation in June.

Continue reading at: Facebook community standards under scrutiny as out and proud ‘dykes’ banned – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (Source)

As Taiwan legalized gay marriage, China shut down its most iconic lesbian social media platform

Homosexuality has been legal in China since 1997, and the first proposal to legalize same-sex marriage in the country was submitted to the National People’s Congress meeting in 2003. Even though the proposal failed to pass on three occasions, the fight for marriage equality continues to be carried out by other activists.

While many were still rejoicing about the news from across the Taiwan Strait, the country’s most iconic lesbian social media platform Rela (热拉) was shut down on May 26. No official explanation for the shutdown has been given by Chinese authorities.

Continue reading at: China has shut down one of its most iconic LGBTQ social media platforms — Quartz (Source)

Lesbians and the Sexual Politics of Wimbledon

Mauresmo is a two-time Grand Slam champion and Olympic silver medalist who is also known for coaching Andy Murray. After she beat top seed Lindsey Davenport in 1999, she came out as a lesbian—and her body became a rhetorical battleground. She was repeatedly described as bulging, muscular, and intimidating—and Davenport’s bitter mention that playing her was like “playing a guy” was repeated in coverage of her game.

Continue reading at: The Sexual Politics of Wimbledon | JSTOR Daily (Source)

New York: Man Indicted in Anti-Lesbian Subway Attack That Left Woman With 8 Stitches

A 27-year-old Brooklyn man has been indicted on charges of assault as a hate crime for allegedly punching a woman in the face and knocking her unconscious while shouting anti-gay slurs on a subway in May.  Antoine Thomas, of Flatbush, was arraigned on those and other charges in Brooklyn Supreme Court Monday. It wasn’t clear if he entered a plea.

Continue reading at: Man Indicted in Anti-LGBT Subway Attack That Left Woman With 8 Stitches | NBC New York (Source)

This lesbian couple fell in love during basic training and couldn’t kiss until their last day

Though ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ had been repealed since, they still experienced difficulties being openly together.

‘We came into the Army quite aware that we were gay way before joining. It definitely still had a stigma when we were in. Really the treatment varied. One sergeant that we had was on a lesbian witch hunt, while another protected us. Overall though, it wasn’t a major issue,’ said Turner

Continue reading at: This lesbian couple fell in love during basic training and couldn’t kiss until their last day (Source)

Facebook: Stop Discriminating Against Lesbians-Petition Change.org

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Discrimination and violence against lesbians, because of our sexual orientation and because of our female bodies, is rampant in today’s world.  From no-platforming to corrective rape, to job discrimination, to murder, we are constantly aware of the silencing of our community and the attempts to control and harm our bodies, because we are lesbians.  Because of this, we have been deeply disturbed to learn that there has been a rash of post deletions and bans by Facebook for women that post status updates with the word “dyke” in their posts.   Many of us are on our second or third ban. Some of us got banned again and again, within mere minutes of logging back on for the first time after a recent ban had been lifted. We have had reports that these consecutive bans included posts that lesbians had posted on their own walls days to weeks in the past.

On June 27, 2017, Richard Allan, VP EMEA Public Policy at Facebook wrote:

“On other occasions, people may reclaim offensive terms that were used to attack them. When someone uses an offensive term in a self-referential way, it can feel very different from when the same term is used to attack them. For example, the use of the word “dyke” may be considered hate speech when directed as an attack on someone on the basis of the fact that they are gay. However, if someone posted a photo of themselves with #dyke, it would be allowed. Another example is the word “faggot.” This word could be considered hate speech when directed at a person, but, in Italy, among other places, “frocio” (“faggot”) is used by LGBT activists to denounce homophobia and reclaim the word. In these cases, removing the content would mean restricting someone’s ability to express themselves on Facebook.”

We are deeply concerned that lesbians and women showing support for our community, are being banned for expressing their love and respect for our culture.  We are also deeply concerned that women are being silenced when they express their views on what it means to be a dyke.  This is a conversation for lesbians only and should not be controlled or manipulated by anyone outside of our community.

We are asking for everyone’s support in calling on Facebook to end their discriminatory practice of banning women for using the word “dyke” in a self-referential manner and/or as a positive expression of our culture.  We also reject the idea that we must use a hashtag in front of our identity in order to not get banned.  We demand they follow their own stated policy, and allow us to use our own word in order to avoid restricting our ability to express ourselves on Facebook.

We are also calling on Facebook to do an investigation into the practices of their Community Operations Team, the content reviewers responsible for answering reports, scanning user posts, and carrying out bans and deletions.  We demand that Facebook determine if any of their employees responsible for judging user content are showing a bias against women and lesbians.  We call on Facebook to terminate the employment of any individual that has intentionally targeted women and lesbians for their beliefs and/or because they hate women and lesbians.  We believe this investigation should also be conducted with regards to other minority groups as well.

Finally, we are calling on Facebook to fix their hate speech algorithms to recognize the importance of the word “dyke” in the lesbian culture and to strengthen their approach to recognizing and addressing actual hate speech against lesbians.  While we are just one minority group affected by these policies, we feel other minority groups are similarly affected.  We ask for your support in settling this dispute with Facebook.

Thank you for your support!

This petition will be delivered to:

  • Hard Questions @ Facebook
  • Director of Global Policy Management, Facebook
    Monika Bickert
  • VP EMEA Public Policy, Facebook
    Richard Allan

ADD YOUR NAME TO THE PETITION Facebook: Stop Discriminating Against Lesbians-Petition Change.org

Israel: Lesbian spouses to be recognized as parents from birth

The Central District Court decided on Tuesday to give more rights to lesbian couples who want to expand their families, ruling that the wife of the biological mother will also be considered the child’s parent from the moment of birth.  This followed a legal struggle by eight lesbian couples who had to endure difficulties stemming from lack of their recognition as their children’s parents.

Continue reading at: Ynetnews News – Lesbian spouses to be recognized as parents from birth (Source)

Serbia elects first female and first lesbian prime minister

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BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbian lawmakers elected Ana Brnabic as prime minister on Thursday, making history by choosing both the conservative Balkan nation’s first female prime minister and its first openly gay leader.  Parliament voted 157-55 to approve the government of the 41-year-old Brnabic, and she and her ministers were sworn in.Serbia’s powerful President Aleksandar Vucic nominated the Western-educated Brnabic for the post two weeks ago amid opposition from hard-line nationalists. Gays have regularly faced harassment and attacks in Serbia.

Continue reading at: Serbia elects 1st female and 1st openly gay premier – SFGate (Source)

France to allow assisted reproduction for lesbian couples

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The French government says it will follow the advice of an ethics panel in favor of allowing single women and lesbian couples to have children through assisted reproduction.

Continue reading at: France to allow assisted reproduction for lesbian couples – ABC News (Source)

How One Lesbian Couple Changed Angela Merkel’s Mind About Marriage Equality

So, what changed? Well, it turns out that Merkel’s views were changed the same way that so many people’s are — by meeting a same-sex couple and spending time with them and their family. At a recent event with women’s magazine Brigitte, Merkel said she had “a life-changing experience in my home constituency,” after being invited to have dinner with a lesbian couple and their eight foster children.

Continue reading at: Angela Merkel Same-Sex Marriage Equality Germany (Source)

The Gay Men Who Fled Chechnya’s Purge, the Lesbians Who Saved Them and the Lesbians Who Haven’t Made it Out

Some of the safety measures are hard won. In May, Baranova was helping a lesbian who came to Moscow with her husband, a gay man. Marrying another gay person has long been a way for queers in Chechnya to create a life. But the relationship was strained, and once they left Chechnya they planned to separate. The woman was terrified that her family would pursue her, so Baranova arranged for her to leave Russia. A few hours before Baranova was scheduled to pick the woman up to go to the airport, she got a voice message from her. She still has it stored on her phone, and I got the impression that she had listened to it repeatedly. It began with ambient noise. “See, it sounds like she is on her way somewhere,” Baranova said.

“I’m going to try to get rid of this number,” the woman said. “But, if you get any calls from it, please don’t take them. Goodbye.”

Baranova went to the meeting place that she and the woman had arranged, and waited for several hours. The woman never showed up. In mid-June, news came that the woman had died in Chechnya, apparently from kidney failure. Her friends assume that she was poisoned by her family.

Continue reading at: The Gay Men Who Fled Chechnya’s Purge | The New Yorker (Source)

Supreme Court Tells Arkansas It Must List Same-Sex Couples on Birth Certificates

On the two-year anniversary of the Obergefell ruling that sent marriage equality nationwide, the Supreme Court ruled today that Arkansas can’t stop same-sex couples from being listed on birth certificates.

Continue reading at: Supreme Court Tells Arkansas It Must List Same-Sex Couples on Birth Certificates | Advocate.com (Source)

Lesbian Mother’s Appeal to Mississippi Sup. Court could have effects on custody battles across U.S.

Chris is appealing the Rankin County court decision that she cannot be placed on the child’s birth certificate, due to the fact that – under Mississippi law – the child already has two biological parents. The case could change the face of legal custody battles, depending on the outcome.

Continue reading at: Appeal to Mississippi Sup. Court could have effects on custody battles across U.S. – News Mississippi (Source)

Lesbian and gay black leaders speak about finding their place

“Each time, I thought ‘I can’t really be out because I’ve got enough trouble. I’m black and a female, do I really want to add another one so I can actually really get the door slammed in my face?,’ ” the business consultant and affiliate faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies told a crowd at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum. She was part of a panel discussion titled “Not A Trend: The Truth.”

“Gay was not a term that fit me because of the other stereotype, gay people are white they are not black. That is a prevailing understanding,” Dunlap, 70, said. “The other struggle for me was, of course, my community and my church. It is difficult, very, very difficult to sit in church and hear these sermons that were so condemning.”

Continue reading at: Gay, black leaders speak about finding their place | Tampa Bay Times (Source)