Tag Archives: homophobia

U.S: Lesbian baker who received homophobic cake order, made the cake anyway

bake

[April] Anderson, a pastry chef with a national reputation, was taken aback by a recent cake order that came into her Good Cakes and Bakes bakery on Livernois in Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion commercial corridor.

And, at least at first, she was unsure  how to handle it, worried she could wind up facing a lawsuit.

“We are so used to being Black lesbian women,” Anderson said. “You are used to people discriminating against you and saying mean things to you.”

On July 19, an online order came in for one of the bakery’s red velvet dessert cakes — an Anderson specialty.

The $40 order was paid for by credit card and  included a $10 tip — which is common.

Then Anderson read the message the customer wanted written on the cake and was stunned.

“I am ordering this cake to celebrate and have PRIDE in true Christian marriage,” the customer said in the order.  “I’d like you to write on the cake, in icing, ‘Homosexual acts are gravely evil. (Catholic Catechism 2357)'”

Anderson baked the cake, but without the requested message. In doing so, she was  following the bakery’s long-standing policy.  Written messages are not permitted on specialty dessert cakes ordered online, as stated on the bakery’s website.

Anderson and her wife also wrote a letter to Gordon and attached it to the cake, saying they stand against hate.

“We feel the only ‘grave evil’ is the judgement that good christians, like yourself, impose on folks that don’t meet their vision of what God wants them to be,” the letter said.

Continue reading: https://www.freep.com/story
/news/local/michigan/detroit/2020/08/13/detroit-baker-april-anderson-homophobic-cake-david-gordon/3343464001/
(source)

The Netherlands: Lesbian couple attacked with boiling water at asylum centre

L2L The Netherlands

A lesbian couple was attacked at the asylum center in Gilze last week, the police said on Monday. One woman was assaulted, the other had boiling water poured on her. Two suspects from Nigeria were arrested.

The attack happened in the Prinsenbosch asylum center early on Monday, August 3. The victims, aged 20 and 22 and also from Nigeria, got into an argument with the suspects. The 20-year-old woman was assaulted. The 22-year-old woman had boiling water poured over her. She was taken to a hospital in Tilburg with second degree burns, the police said. Both victims pressed charges.

Continue reading: https://nltimes.nl/2020/08/11/lesbian-couple-attacked-boiling-water-asylum-center (source)

As a lesbian woman, Ellen DeGeneres is being held to higher standards than if she were a man

Ellen DeGeneres

By Eleanor Margolis

iNews

Ellen was The Main Lesbian. She wore pant suits, dated other high-profile women, and – in general – was a Sapphic oasis in a parched hetero celebrity desert. She was the one gay woman your mum had probably heard of. After 20 years of being the friendly, relatable face of lesbian respectability, a number of claims from staffers on her talk show have lifted the mask to reveal someone unrecognisably different.

The woman whose entire shtick is being likeable stands accused of – behind the scenes – behaving more like Miranda Priestly than Barney the Dinosaur

And it should probably be noted that, as a woman demoted to obscurity for being gay, you don’t climb back to the top by being nice. Which presents a conundrum when a kind and nurturing nature is something deeply rooted in society’s expectations of women. As hardnosed and driven as DeGeneres clearly is, it’s hardly surprising that she had to cultivate a public façade of delightfulness to reclaim airtime.

Although allegations of off-air behaviour would be inexcusable, it’s hard to believe a man in her position would face the same backlash, purely for being unkind.

I have no doubt that bigots will make a link between Ellen’s callousness and her sexuality and nod knowingly. Because they can’t name a single other lesbian.

Continue reading: https://inews.co.uk/opinion/as-a-lesbian-woman-ellen-degeneres-is-being-held-to-higher-standards-than-if-she-were-a-man-575083 (source)

U.S: Conservative pundit says lesbian mayor proves that liberals aren’t “sane”

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

A rightwing pundit said that it’s not “sane” that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) was elected since she’s a lesbian and that there’s “something seriously wrong with her judgment” because she married another woman.

Dave Daubenmire – who was the keynote speaker at a Harrison County, Ohio Republican Party fundraiser last year – attacked Lightfoot on his Pass The Salt Live webcast on Monday.

“I want somebody to tell me how that woman gets elected any place, anywhere,” Daubenmire said, showing a picture of Lightfoot and her wife.

“How could any sane person elect that woman to be head of the city?”

“This is the picture that the city of Chicago wants to send out to the world as the leader, as the top political leader in their city?” he asked. “You tell me that we’re dealing with sane people.”

He then made sure that everyone knew he was talking about the fact that she’s married to a woman.

“We’ve gotten in this mess because we haven’t pointed out the obvious. Listen, folks, there’s something seriously wrong with this woman if she would marry that other woman. There is something seriously wrong with her judgment.”

Continue reading: https://www.lgbtqnation.com
/2020/07/conservative-pundit-says-lesbian-mayor-proves-liberals-arent-sane/
(source)

Canada: Lesbian couple denied service from videographer who doesn’t film ‘homosexual weddings’

kelly-roberts-and-mallory-arthur

As soon as Mallory Arthur and Kelly Roberts got engaged in January, they started planning their October 2021 wedding.

But this week’s excitement wasn’t what the Woodstock, Ont., couple, both 26 years old, were bargaining for. When they tried to book videographer Caramount Pictures, based in Brantford, Ont., for their wedding, the owner told them the business will not work with a same-sex couple.

The refusal came on Monday, 15 years to the day after Canada legalized same-sex marriage, on July 20, 2005.

“I say this with much care, because I know your union is incredibly important to you, but we do not film homosexual weddings,” Cara Hamstra, the business owner, wrote in an email.

Russia: Julia Tsvetkova, lesbian feminist activist on the state campaign against her

My Body is not pornography Julia Tsvetkova

“I feel that today there are so many invisible female political prisoners: mothers, wives – women who bear an incredible burden thanks to political trials,” says Russian artist Yulia Tsvetkova, who’s been designated a political prisoner by the Memorial human rights association. “Political prisoners are heroes, but women are the invisible service staff.”

Tsvetkova, a theatre director, feminist and LGBT activist, has had time to reflect. In October 2019, she was interrogated in her hometown of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and in November her social media posts led to her flat and theatre studio being searched for evidence of pornography. Tsvetkova was charged with spreading pornography and has been under house arrest since 23 November last year.

As part of the investigation, Tsvetkova has been accused of spreading “homosexual propaganda” among underage people and fined 50,000 roubles (£500). Tsvetkova has run several educational projects in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, as well as a youth theatre, online groups on feminism and sex education for young people and a Vagina Monologues group which celebrated the power and uniqueness of the female body.

In March this year, a district council reduced the charge against Tsvetkova and released her from house arrest on the basis that she would not leave the country. But Tsvetkova is still charged with spreading pornography for publishing illustrated educational material, for which she can be given a two-to-six-year prison sentence.

What’s happening with the persecution of activists and people who openly talk about sexual minorities, feminism, human rights and sexuality? To what extent do you feel that these issues are taboo in Russia and how this situation can change in the future?

I am the person who they started persecuting when I created The Pink and the Blue, a show about gender stereotypes which I put on at the Merak theatre. And I feel that this already says a lot.

I believe that a lot depends on culture, or rather, lack of it. For example, I needed an ambulance after my arrest and the medics that examined me asked about my case and also, whether I was a paedophile. These aren’t bad people; they just lack culture. People are curious – I can understand that: my case is unprecedented in our city. Because I have short hair, I’ve been asked four times on the street whether I’m male or female. When that happens, I feel shock and embarrassment. And people just don’t see that I’m embarrassed and that haircuts don’t define gender.

The question of my sexual orientation comes up at nearly every police interrogation. The need to physically examine me, for example, is all to do with the fact that I’m a lesbian. And as for my case, there seems to be an idea that the female body is public property. I’ve heard cops going on about how we should be having kids, not displaying our vaginas. But even if I wanted to display my vagina, it’s my right and my vagina.

Continue reading at: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/yulia-tsvetkova-interview/

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Italy: brawl after ongoing anti lesbian harassment

L2L Italy

Another episode of homophobia, this time in Caltagirone, Sicily, where a lesbian was involved in a fight caused by a series of insults about her sexuality. Police and carabinieri intervened at the scene and spoke with the victim. At the point of reporting she had not  formally filed a complaint. According to witnesses, it seems that the brawl – without injuries – occurred between two groups of young people who were on the street in the new area of ​​the city two nights ago. The victim was shouted at that she was male, which she has previously experienced in public and which triggered her reaction.

Arcigay: “Proud of the woman’s reaction”
Armando Caravini, president of the Catania branch of Arcigay, immediately intervened in support of the young woman. In a statement he said “I am proud of the young woman because she not only decided to put her face to this, publicly denouncing the incident and becoming an example for many who are afraid today, but for having addressed a difficult situation.”
(Translated)

Ancora un episodio di omofobia: stavolta sarebbe avvenuto a Caltagirone, in Sicilia, dove una ragazza lesbica è rimasta coinvolta in una rissa originata da una serie di insulti sulle sue scelte sessuali. Sul posto sono intervenuti polizia e carabinieri. La giovane è stata sentita dai militari dell’Arma, ma al momento non avrebbe ancora presentato nessuna denuncia. Secondo quanto hanno dichiarato alcuni presenti, sembra che la rissa – senza feriti – sia nata fra due gruppi di ragazzi che due sere fa si trovavano per strada nella zona nuova della città. La ragazza sarebbe stata chiamata a voce alta “al maschile”, un atteggiamento che più volte era stata costretta a subire per strada e che avrebbe innescato la sua reazione”

Arcigay: “Fieri della reazione della donna”
A supporto della giovane donna è subito intervenuta l’Arcigay catanese con il suo presidente Armando Caravini. “Sono fiero della ragazza – ha dichiarato in una nota – perché non solo ha deciso di metterci la faccia, denunciando pubblicamente l’accaduto e diventando esempio per tanti/e che oggi hanno paura, ma per aver affrontato una situazione difficile.”
(Original)

Continue reading at:  https://www.fanpage.it/attualita/omofobia-la-insultano-lei-si-ribella-rissa-in-strada-a-caltagirone/ (Source)

Further information also available at: https://livesicilia.it/2020/07/08/sono-lesbica-e-orgogliosa-e-scoppia-una-violenta-rissa/

Mexico: Harassment and attacks on lesbian feminist politician Lucia Rojas

L2L Mexico

Independent federal Politician Lucia Rojas has faced harassment and attacks since deciding to run for office in 2018.

She received the typical lesbophobic questions, threats and an attempt was made to break into her house, with items stolen from her car.  Her accounts have also been hacked.

Attacks increased when she was elected an independent deputy, with cyberattacks ramping up in earnest when she was part of a feminist march in August 2019. She has received death threats and reported them, with the case closed without investigation.

Continue reading at: https://lasillarota.com/metropoli/lucia-riojas-diputada-lesbiana-feminista-y-victima-de-violencia-violencia-feminista-mujer-diputada/403648 (Source)

Australia: Lesbian couple told to leave cafe and ‘never come back’

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

Last Sunday, at the end of Pride month, during the worst health crisis in a century and as the world grapples with racial discrimination through the Black Lives Matter movement, the owner of Poets Cafe in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, chose the moment to demand an inter-racial pair of lesbian health workers leave his cafe and “never come back.”

C is a doctor who currently works in an Emergency Department. J is a student midwife on call to deliver babies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. QNews chooses not to divulge the names of the couple because they remain working in the health system at a time of global crisis.

Like most health workers, the two women work long shifts during the pandemic.

Last Sunday, enjoying rare time off together, they took a drive through the Sunshine Coast hinterland. They made the most of a rare opportunity to enjoy some downtime together and reconnoitre potential wedding venues for their planned nuptials. They arrived at scenic Montville — as the name suggests — a mountain village, just 20 minutes drive from Australia Zoo. With sweeping views across the Sunshine Coast from high atop the green hills of the Blackall Range, Montville enjoys a thriving tourist trade.

Swept away by the beauty of the small township and reassured of a friendly welcome by the rainbow flags dotted about the town, the couple looked around for a wedding venue.

C and J found the Poets Cafe. The cafe’s website boasts of “uninterrupted views of the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

While waiting for someone to take their order, the couple held hands as loving couples commonly do. They noticed that an older man they assumed owned the venue became visibly angry as he watched them.

C said, “We ordered coffee, took a menu, sat at a table and caught up on paperwork.” (With their work hours monopolised by caring for patients, they take paperwork home to do in their own time.)

J told QNews, ” We told four different waitstaff we wished to order food after our coffee.”

However, the moment the women took the first sip from their coffees, the older man instructed a staff member to present them with a bill.

C asked the man if he needed the table back. Although the cafe was not following COVID-19 restrictions, there were plenty of empty tables.

“Finish up and leave!”
The man responded angrily.

“I want you to just finish up and leave!”

Not comprehending what inspired the anger and adverse to causing a scene, the pair went outside. They thought the owner might follow and explain. Instead, one of the waitstaff came out and asked for payment for the coffees. The couple stated they would not pay after such poor treatment. They asked to speak to the owner but the staff member said he would not come out and somewhat defensively stated: “That’s just what he’s like.”

Seeing him standing at the counter unoccupied, C returned and asked for a word with him. He answered curtly.

“I want you to never come back here.”

Continue reading at: https://qnews.com.au/lesbian-couple-told-to-leave-cafe-and-never-come-back/ (Source)

Germany: lesbian protesting lesbian visibility harassed and threatened

L2L Germany

The lesbian Berlin group Rad und Tat e.V. (RuT) and the group The Left: Queer report of an anti-lesbian attack on Saturday in the federal capital. According to RuT boss Ina Rosenthal, three young men threatened violence while shooting in Neukölln.

“Actually, yesterday I was looking forward to making a statement in front of the camera in the Schillerkiez about queer spaces during the Corona period and about lesbian visibility. But everything turned out  quite differently,” said Rosenthal in a video published on Facebook on Sunday evening. “All of a sudden I found myself at the centre of anti lesbian and anti woman harassment. I was threatened with violence and experienced what it was like to be harassed in broad daylight.”

The men shouted “shit lesbian” and “I’ll flatten you” and blocked the shoot for an hour. The activists had called the police three times “until they finally came”. The incident was a “deliberately provoked attack” with the aim of restricting lesbian visibility. Rosenthal was particularly horrified that many passersby simply looked away – she says “Intervene if you see injustice.”

Daniel Bache, also one of three The Left: Queer spokespersons, also criticised the “hesitant” police reaction on Monday. In addition, it was clear from the behaviour of the perpetrators “that it was not a simple stupid childish prank”. He complained that there had been increased attacks on RuT’s rooms recently. “Openly visible, lesbian life obviously poses a particular threat to right-wing extremists and extremely conservative groups of different cultural and religious backgrounds,” said Bache. “Lesbian structures, which are already struggling with structural disadvantages, deserve our solidarity and above all political support, even beyond such incidents.”
(Translate)

Die lesbische Berliner Initiative Rad und Tat e.V. (RuT) und die Parteiorganisation Die Linke.queer berichten von einem lesbenfeindlichen Übergriff am Samstag in der Bundeshauptstadt. Laut RuT-Chefin Ina Rosenthal sollen ihr drei junge Männer bei einem Dreh in Neukölln Gewalt angedroht haben.

“Eigentlich hatte ich mich gestern darauf gefreut, vor laufender Kamera im Schillerkiez ein Statement abzugeben zu queeren Räumen in der Corona-Zeit und über lesbische Sichtbarkeit. Es sollte alles aber ganz anders kommen”, so Rosenthal in einem am Sonntagabend auf Facebook veröffentlichten Video. “Urplötzlich befand ich mich im Mittelpunkt von lesben- und frauenfeindlichen Beschimpfungen. Mir wurde Gewalt angedroht und ich musste erleben, wie es ist, am helllichen Tage angefeindet zu werden.”

Die Männer hätten “Scheißlesbe” oder “Ich mach dich platt” gerufen und eine Stunde lang den Dreh blockiert. Die Aktivist*innen hätten drei Mal die Polizei gerufen, “bis diese endlich kam”. Bei dem Vorfall habe es sich um einen “bewusst provozierten Angriff” gehandelt, der zum Ziel gehabt habe, lesbische Sichtbarkeit einzuschränken. Rosenthal zeigte sich besonders entsetzt darüber, dass viele Passanten einfach weggeschaut hätten. Daher forderte sie: “Mischt euch ein, wenn ihr Unrecht sieht.”

Der ebenfalls anwesende Daniel Bache, einer von drei Sprecher*innen von Die Linke.queer, kritisierte am Montag insbesondere die “zögerliche” Reaktion der Polizei. Außerdem sei aus dem Verhalten der Täter hervorgegangen, “dass es sich nicht um einen einfachen Dummejungenstreich handelte”. Er beklagte, dass es in letzter Zeit vermehrt zu Angriffen auf die Räume von RuT gekommen sei. “Offen sichtbares, lesbisches Leben stellt für rechtsextreme und extrem konservative Kreise verschiedener kultureller und religiöser Prägung offensichtlich eine besondere Bedrohung dar”, so Bache. “Lesbische Strukturen, die ohnehin mit strukturellen Benachteiligungen zu kämpfen haben, verdienen unsere Solidarität und vor allem politische Unterstützung, auch über solche Vorfälle hinaus.”
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.queer.de/detail.php?article_id=36458 (Source)

Conversion therapy continues for lesbians in India

L2L India

On June 12, a 22-year-old lesbian student from Kochi sat in a doctor’s office as her life choices were being dissected. She was taken to a hospital by her parents without her consent. A doctor from the reputed hospital offered to ‘change’ her sexual orientation by admitting her, offering medication and counselling. In other words, we are speaking about another instance of conversion therapy. The practice caught our attention again in March when Anjana Harish, a 21-year-old student committed suicide in Goa after being mentally and physically tortured at a ‘de-addiction centre’ in Palakkad where she was taken against her will by her family.

Dhanya Ravindran, a board member of Queerala, an LGBTQIA+ community in Kerala, who is acquainted with the woman says, “My friend was taken by her family to get ‘treatment’. Even after Anjana’s case, where a child’s life was lost due to something like this, the doctor asked to admit her there. They promised to help the parents by offering counselling and asked her to get admitted there. They also wanted to check if she had any physical issues. She did not agree. When we inquired further, we also found that the doctor who claimed to be a psychiatrist was actually a psychologist.”

In 2018, when the Supreme Court decriminalised Section 377, the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) disavowed conversion therapy and released a statement completely discrediting the practice. According to Om Prakash Singh, Editor of the Indian Journal of Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry at the West Bengal Medical Education Service, “We have given a statement strictly criticising this. And since homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder, there is no question of conversion or any kind of treatment for that. Secondly, even if an organisation is offering such a thing, it is not going to work. They are basically deceiving people. Medication could not possibly alter your sexual orientation.”

After Anjana’s suicide became public and the video was available online, Queerala sent it to the Indian Psychiatric Society’s Kerala Chapter and organised a consultation with them in February. After being informed, they released a statement about their position against conversion therapy. At the same time, they also sent a complaint to the Kerala State Mental Health Authority from whom they are yet to receive a response. As the next step, the organisation plans to submit a writ petition to the Kerala High Court. During the incident that occured on June 12, the girl was able to record the 30-minute long conversation that she had with her parents and the doctor. Here are excerpts from the conversation that Queerala has shared with us:

Continue reading at: https://www.edexlive.com/happening/2020/jun/26/the-horrors-of-conversion-therapy-for-queer-folk-kerala-doctor-assures-family-of-changing-girls-12912.html (Source)

Update: Nicole Saavedra’s family still fighting for justice four years after the young lesbian’s death

Nicole Saavedra 2

In 2016 Nicole Saavedra Bahamondes went missing for a week. She appeared on June 25, but not as her family expected. She was found dead, with her hands tied and showing signs of torture, in a rough part of the Limache commune in the Valparaíso Region. Since then, her family has relentlessly fought for justice in a case that exposed not only the lesbophobia that exists in our country, but also the negligence of the judicial system in cases of sex based violence.

Three years and three months after the murder, and after having four prosecutors investigate, a suspect was finally identified and remanded in custody, something that would not have been achieved without pressure from the family and lesbian-feminist organizations who never stopped demanding justice. María Bahamondes and other women even stormed the Quillota Prosecutor’s Office in 2019, for which they are under investigation to this day.

The family’s lawyer, Silvana del Valle , described as “very hard” everything that has happened in this case, especially in matters of justice, because in confronting Nicole’s alleged femicide, it was evident that the judicial system was able to prevent this crime , since the man had already been reported for other sexual crimes.

The lawyer commented that this situation reveals that if crimes against women and girls were really considered important by the the system, the crime against Nicole Saavedra and the kidnapping with rape that Pulgar committed in December 2016 would not have occurred. Unfortunately, injustice not only affects the families of the victims when there is no timely action, it also enables more crimes against women and girls to be committed. In this sense, unfortunately, the justice system that does not believe us (the first victim of Víctor Pulgar was not believed) is also complicit in the additional crimes that are committed against us.”

A crime in a red zone
The Nicole Saavedra case not only revealed the unjust and, often, wrong of the judicial and police system when it comes to clearing up femicides, but also along with other cases it shows the danger of the Valparaíso region for lesbian women.

In June 2019, the British media BBC published a report in which they described this place as a red zone, in which it alluded to the so-called “trucks” and exposed the cases of Nicole Saavedra, María Pía Castro and Susana Sanhueza, all lesbians found dead in the region.(Translated)

En 2016, Nicole Saavedra Bahamondes desapareció por una semana. Apareció el 25 de junio, pero no como su familia la esperaba. Estaba muerta, con las manos atadas y con signos de tortura en un sitio eriazo de la comuna de Limache en la Región de Valparaíso. De ahí en adelante, sin descanso, su familia ha luchado por justicia en un caso que dejó en evidencia no solo la lesbofobia que existe en nuestro país, sino también la negligencia del sistema judicial en los casos de violencia de género.

Tres años y tres meses después del homicidio, y después de haber tenido cuatro fiscales investigando, se llegó a un sospechoso, después vino la prisión preventiva, algo que no se hubiera logrado sin la presión de la familia y las organizaciones lesbofeministas, quienes nunca dejaron de exigir la justicia. Incluso, María Bahamondes y otras mujeres se tomaron la Fiscalía de Quillota en 2019, hecho por el que hoy están siendo investigadas.

La abogada de la familia, Silvana del Valle, calificó como “muy fuerte” todo lo que ha sucedido en este caso, especialmente en materia de justicia, pues al encontrarse al presunto femicida de Nicole quedó en evidencia que el sistema judicial pudo evitar este crimen, dado que el hombre ya había sido denunciado por otro abuso sexual.

La abogada comentó que esta situación revela que si para el sistema este y en otros crímenes contra mujeres y niñas fuesen realmente considerados importantes, el crimen de Nicole Saavedra y el secuestro con violación que cometió Pulgar en diciembre de 2016 no habrían ocurrido. “Lamentablemente la justicia no solo incide en dañar a las familias de las víctimas cuando no encuentran una oportuna acción, también incide en la comisión de crímenes contra mujeres y niñas. En ese sentido, para nosotras, lamentablemente, el sistema de justicia que no nos cree, como no se le creyó a la primera víctima de Víctor Pulgar, es cómplice también de los crímenes que se cometen en contra nuestra”.

Un crimen en una zona roja
El caso de Nicole Saavedra no solo reveló lo injusto y, muchas veces, errado del sistema judicial y policial a la hora aclarar femicidios, sino también junto a otros casos evidencia la peligrosidad de la región de Valparaíso para mujeres lesbianas.

En junio de 2019, el medio británico BBC publicó un reportaje en el que calificó de zona roja este lugar, en el que hizo alusión a las denominadas “camionas” y expuso los casos de Nicole Saavedra, María Pía Castro y Susana Sanhueza, todas lesbianas encontradas muertas en la región.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://radio.uchile.cl/2020/06/24/la-lucha-no-termina-familia-de-nicole-saavedra-continua-exigiendo-justicia-a-cuatro-anos-de-su-muerte/ (Source)

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UK: crowdfunding removed for lesbian lawyer suing Stonewall and law firm

Allison Bailey

My name is Allison Bailey. I am a criminal defence barrister, a feminist, a lesbian, a lifelong campaigner for racial equality, lesbian, gay, and bisexual rights, and a survivor of child sexual abuse.  …

In 2019, I helped to set up the LGB Alliance with other campaigners and activists who felt, like me, that organisations such as Stonewall had seriously lost their way in recent years: they had conflated sex with gender, meaning that same sex attraction – the fundamental basis of lesbian and gay attraction, and therefore the fundamental basis of lesbian and gay rights – was no longer recognised.  The impacts of this have been several and severe, and in order to campaign properly for gay and lesbian rights, we felt that a new organisation was required. …

A person may identify as they identify, and they should be protected and respected for their identity. However, a person’s identity is not a license to cause distress or intimidation to others, and can never legitimately be used to put others to harm. There are necessary exceptions to the acceptance of males in female spaces, and those exceptions are necessary to protect women.

These injustices arise as a result of the misguided insistence that gender has somehow replaced sex as a fundamental aspect of human identity.  It is for that reason that I am gender critical.  This is not to say that gender is not a genuine aspect of identity for some people.  But it is separate and does not (and cannot) replace sex.

The result of Stonewall’s “acceptance without exception” mantra is to put women at risk of harm. …

Perhaps most specifically from my point of view, that Stonewall unilaterally and without any mandate whatsoever, and to further its lobbying ambitions, redefined homosexuality as same-gender and not same-sex attraction was an especially egregious betrayal of LGB people, especially lesbians. The inclusion of male-bodied people into the class of lesbian women means that lesbians are excoriated for bigotry and transphobia simply for being same-sex attracted.  This is base homophobia.

It was because of these injustices – and the role as I and others saw of it of Stonewall in promoting these injustices – that the LGB Alliance was set up, in order to fill the void in LGB campaigning that Stonewall had left when they decided to campaign for “acceptance without exception”.

Continue reading at: https://filia.org.uk/news/2020/6/27/allison-bailey-i-am-suing-stonewall-to-stop-them-policing-free-speech (Source)

US: Catholic Church fires lesbian music director after 3 decades

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

Terry Gonda loves the Catholic church, though it hasn’t always loved her back — at least unconditionally.

After three decades helping run the musical life of her parish, Gonda was fired from her job as music director Wednesday for being married to a woman — a relationship that she says was never a secret. Not with her family, friends, church or pastor.

But in recent weeks, Gonda said, someone within the Detroit Archdiocese caught wind of her marital status and decided that something needed to be done, that her same-sex marriage made her morally unfit to keep her job.

As was explained to her in a June 12 email: “The Archdiocese is choosing to activate its morality clause to terminate your employment.”

The words stung Gonda, who has long stood by the embattled Catholic church despite its strained relationship with the LGBTQ community and its past: The sex abuse scandal involving pedophile priests. The coverups. Homosexuals denied Communion. Lesbians fired from teaching jobs.

Continue reading at: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2020/06/24/detroit-archdiocese-terry-gonda-catholic-church-same-sex-marriage/3247103001/ (Source)

Germany: anti lesbian discrimination dispute with city of Soest ends in contract termination

L2L GermanyOn Monday, Prof. Monika Dobberstein put up a request for an answer on the non-extension of her contract beyond September 2021, but in the evening put a long interview on the Facebook page of the business development agency, in which she made serious allegations against  both the city’s politics and individual staff.

Although she had delivered “outstanding results,” Dobberstein said, she was forced out of her job because, as a woman and self-confessed homosexual, she was apparently not compatible with their political interests and that this “played an important role”. As proof of this, she cites, among other things, that contracts with male managing directors have been extended several times in the past, “although there were good reasons to let them go”. She doesn’t name names.

Update 26 June 2020:

Monika Dobberstein will be released from her duties as Managing Director of Development and Marketing Soest with immediate effect, the city of Soest announced.

Soest – In a letter from the town hall it says: “At its meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2020, the City Council of Soest decided not to extend the contract of Prof. Dr. Monika Dobberstein, which expires in 2021, as Managing Director of Development and Marketing Soest GmbH (WMS). Furthermore, the council decided to release Prof. Dobberstein from her duties with immediate effect.”
(Translated)

Prof. Monika Dobberstein ließ am Montag zwar eine Anzeiger-Anfrage mit der Bitte um eine Stellungnahme zur Nichtverlängerung ihres Vertrages über September 2021 hinaus unbeantwortet, stellte am Abend aber ein langes Interview auf die Facebook-Seite der Wirtschaftsförderung, in dem sie schwere Vorwürfe sowohl gegen die Politik, als auch gegen einzelne ihrer Mitarbeiter erhebt.

Obwohl sie „herausragende Ergebnisse“ abgeliefert habe, so Dobberstein, solle sie den Posten räumen, weil sie als Frau und bekennende Homosexuelle offenbar für die politische Mehrheit nicht tragbar sei. Das habe „eine wichtige Rolle gespielt“. Als Beleg dafür führt sie unter anderem an, dass in der Vergangenheit Verträge mit männlichen Geschäftsführern mehrfach verlängert worden seien, „obwohl es gute Gründe gegeben hätte, sich von ihnen zu trennen“. Namen nennt sie nicht.

Aktualisieren 26 Juni 2020:

Monika Dobberstein wird mit sofortiger Wirkung von ihren Aufgaben als Geschäftsführerin der Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest freigestellt. Das teilt die Stadt Soest jetzt mit.

Soest – In einem Schreiben aus dem Rathaus heißt es: “Der Rat der Stadt Soest hat in seiner Sitzung am Donnerstag, 25. Juni 2020, beschlossen, den im Jahr 2021 auslaufenden Dienstvertrag von Prof. Dr. Monika Dobberstein als Geschäftsführerin der Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest GmbH (WMS) nicht zu verlängern. Darüber hinaus entschied der Rat, Prof. Dobberstein mit sofortiger Wirkung von ihrer Aufgabe freizustellen.”
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.soester-anzeiger.de/lokales/soest/homophobie-vorwuerfe-streit-zwischen-stadt-soest-monika-dobberstein-eskaliert-13807977.html (Original Source 23 June 2020)

Continue reading at: https://www.soester-anzeiger.de/lokales/soest/monika-dobberstein-nach-homophobie-vorwuerfen-soest-sofortiger-wirkung-freigestellt-13812362.html ( Updated Source 26 June 2020)

Cuban lesbians fight for a life together in the US

Yanelkys_Moreno_Agramonte_and_Dayana_Rodriguez_Gonzalez

Yanelkys Moreno Agramonte, 36, and Dayana Rodríguez González, 31, had never been apart in the nearly five years since they began dating. Their lives were one until Nov. 3, 2019, when they both applied for asylum in the U.S. at a port of entry in El Paso, Texas, and they were separated a short time later.

Moreno and Rodríguez were placed into different cells as their entry into the country was processed.

“They locked me up in a small, lonely place,” Moreno told the Washington Blade on June 9 during a telephone call from the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center in Basile, La., where she remains in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. “I was there for two days and my partner was transferred the day after we arrived.”

“We lost all ties,” Rodríguez told the Blade during a telephone interview from Phoenix on June 10 where she now lives. “I didn’t know where she was and she didn’t know where I was. On the fourth day, they moved me at night to the detention center and there I was, still unsure whether they would send her there.” …

Perhaps this story would not have been so bitter if the two women had been married because ICE, in theory, allows a married asylum seeker to sponsor their spouse once it grants them “derivative” status. This process allows them to stay together as long as they present a marriage or civil union certificate.

But Moreno and Rodríguez are citizens of Cuba, an island where same-sex marriage is not yet legal. The government’s policies and social attitudes also emphasize discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

“Same-sex couples who are not married, but who are qualified to access U.S. refugee admissions under one of the three designated global processing priorities … can cross-reference their cases so they can be interviewed at the same time and, if approved by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), be resettled in the same geographic area in the United States,” says ICE.

This is how Moreno and Rodríguez did it.

Their immigration cases are the same, but Moreno in December was once again separated from Rodríguez. She was sent more than 900 miles east of El Paso to the South Louisiana ICE Correctional Center, where she currently remains in ICE custody. Rodríguez was detained in El Paso until Feb. 4 when she was released on parole and a $7,500 bond.

The two women saw each other for the last time through a door’s glass window, sending their love to each other with signs after a conversation that would define both of their lives forever. Moreno was gone the next morning and the frustration of not being able to say goodbye to her partner is painful to this day.
Couple suffered homophobia, police harassment in Cuba
Moreno and Rodríguez’s families never accepted that two women could fall in love and live together. The prejudices that still persist in Cuba and especially in Zulueta, a small town in the center of the country where they lived, were constant hurdles to their social lives and their life together as a couple.

“My parents divorced because of my sexual orientation,” said Moreno. “My father is the typical Cuban man, who said that his children could not be homosexual. My sister was the only one who always supported me.”

Rodríguez was kicked out of her home when her family found out she was in a romantic relationship with another girl.

Continue reading at: https://www.washingtonblade.com/2020/06/17/lesbian-couple-from-cuba-fights-for-life-together-in-us/ (Source)

Italy: lesbophobic grafitti in the Molfetta station

Molfetta Lesbophobia

Someone does not like to meet lesbians at the Molfetta station, in the province of Bari. This is shown by what is written on the wall of the building at track 1, next to the ticket stamping machine: “No lesbo” repeated twice.

This was reported by the Mixed LGBTI association which, documenting the lesbophobic vandalism, yesterday wrote in a post on Facebook: “This is Molfetta station, and we are tired of being told where we are accepted and where we are not”.
(Translated)

Qualcuno non gradisce incrociare delle donne lesbiche alla stazione di Molfetta, in provincia di Bari. È quello che si evince dalle scritte impresse sul muro dell’edificio in corrispondenza del binario 1, accanto all’obliteratrice: «No lesbo», ripetuto due volte.

A denunciare il fatto è stata l’associazione Mixed LGBTI che, documentando l’atto vandalico lesbofobico, ieri ha scritto in un post su Facebook: «Questa è la stazione di Molfetta, e noi siamo stanch* di sentirci dire dove siamo ben accett* e dove no».
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.neg.zone/2020/06/19/lesbofobia-scritte-sui-muri-della-stazione-di-molfetta-la-denuncia-di-mixed-lgbti/ (Source)

Italy: lesbians harassed in public park

L2L Italy

“My girlfriend and I sat down at a table to eat a pizza. Suddenly she seemed very tired, so I hugged her. It was a spontaneous, thoughtful gesture. At some point a man approached and started screaming in our direction,” says Mirella.

“You two have to go away! A man and a woman together are fine. A woman with another woman is not. ”

Mirella, incredulous, asked him: “Can’t we hug each other?” and the man replied: “No, this is a public park! There are also children! You suck! ” After that, the park keeper moved away, but continued to control them by remaining seated on a bench nearby.

Before leaving , she approached him to ask for an explanation: “Other people are embracing, why haven’t they been told off?” Raising his voice, the man replied: “Because what they do is normal, what you do is not. And you’ve done it before ”

“I asked him to stay calm because he was screaming. It is not the first time it has happened. Last year, always in that park, my ex gave me a kiss and he told us to leave. But then there are kids aged 15-16, one on top of the other, and he never says anything to them. It is just an injustice. I didn’t want to be silent. I don’t accept it. I was afraid. I don’t want to experience something like this again.”
(Translated)

“Io e la mia ragazza ci siamo sedute ad un tavolino per mangiare una pizza. Ad un tratto mi è sembrata molto stanca, così l’ho abbracciata. E’ stato un gesto spontaneo, premuroso. Ad un certo punto un uomo si è avvicinato e ha iniziato a urlare in nostra direzione”, ci racconta Mirella.

“Voi due dovete andare via! Un uomo ed una donna insieme vanno bene. Una donna con un’altra donna no”.

Così Mirella, incredula, gli ha chiesto: “Non ci possiamo abbracciare?” e questa persona ha risposto: “No, questo è un Parco pubblico! Ci sono anche bambini! Fate schifo!” Dopodiché il Guardiano si è allontanato, ma ha continuato a controllarle rimanendo seduto su una panchina poco distante.

Così lei, prima di andarsene, gli è andata incontro chiedendo spiegazioni: “Si stanno abbracciando altre persone, perché a loro non è stato detto niente?”
L’uomo alzando la voce le ha risposto: “Perché ciò che fanno loro è normale, quello che fate voi no. E tu l’hai già fatto altre volte”

“L’ho invitato a stare calmo perché stava urlando. Non è la prima volta in cui accade. L’anno scorso, sempre in quel parco, la mia ex mi diede un bacio e lui ci invitò ad andar via. Poi però ci sono ragazzini sui 15-16 anni, uno sopra all’altro, e a loro non ha mai detto nulla. È proprio un’ingiustizia. Non ho voluto stare in silenzio. Non lo accetto. Ho avuto paura. Non voglio vivere ancora una cosa del genere”.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.arcigay.it/articoli/comunicato-stampa-nuovo-atto-omofobo-a-pescara/#.XvMoqWgzbIU (Source)

Germany: lack of protection for black lesbian refugees

L2L Germany

NGO figures indicate that in Bavaria around 95% of asylum applications made by black lesbian women are initially rejected by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

This contrasts with the general rejection rate of gay men of 50% and that of heterosexual women of around 30%. Although the numbers on LGBTI asylum applications are only an estimate because the BAMF does not separately register asylum cases from LGBTI people, these seem to show that lesbian asylum seekers in Germany are facing special challenges in their search for refugee protection.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable

This is especially true for black lesbian women of African descent who often experience forms of LGBTIQ-hostility such as social ostracism, racism and (sexual) violence.

In line with a recent EU directive, Germany recognises violations of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for asylum. In addition, with the ratification of the 2011 Istanbul Convention, Germany recognises that gender-based violence can be a persecution and that refugee protection should therefore be guaranteed. Indeed, women and children, along with victims of sex trafficking, are considered the most vulnerable and vulnerable in the European asylum system.

As the 2019 statistics from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees show, over 50% of heterosexual women in Germany have successfully achieved refugee status as victims of gender-specific persecution (forced marriage, FGM, honour killings, rape, domestic violence or forced prostitution). However, lesbian refugees are struggling to show the violence and human rights violations they have experienced to receive protection of asylum.
(Translated)

NGO-Zahlen deuten darauf hin, dass in Bayern etwa 95 Prozent der Asylanträge, die von Schwarzen lesbischen Frauen gestellt werden, beim Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) erst einmal eine Ablehnung erfahren.

Dies steht im Gegensatz zu der allgemeinen Ablehnungsrate von schwulen Männern von 50 Prozent und der von heterosexuellen Frauen von etwa 30 Prozent. Obwohl die Zahlen zu LSBTI-Asylanträgen nur eine Schätzung sind, weil das BAMF Asylfälle von LSBTI nicht gesondert erfasst, scheinen diese jedoch zu zeigen, dass lesbische Asylsuchende auf der Suche nach Flüchtlingsschutz in Deutschland besonderen Herausforderungen gegenüberstehen.

Frauen und Kinder gelten als besonders schutzbedürftig
Dies gilt insbesondere für Schwarze lesbische Frauen afrikanischer Herkunft, welche oft Formen von LSBTIQ-Feindlichkeit wie soziale Ächtung, Rassismus und (sexuelle) Gewalt erfahren.

In Übereinstimmung mit einer kürzlich erlassenen EU-Richtlinie erkennt Deutschland Menschenrechtsverletzungen aufgrund der sexuellen Ausrichtung und der Geschlechtsidentität als Asylgrund an. Darüber hinaus erkennt Deutschland mit der Ratifizierung der Istanbuler Konvention von 2011, dass geschlechtsspezifische Gewalt eine Verfolgung darstellen kann und daher Flüchtlingsschutz gewährleistet werden soll. Tatsächlich werden Frauen und Kinder zusammen mit den Opfern von Sexhandel als die schutzbedürftigsten und am stärksten gefährdeten Personen im europäischen Asylsystem betrachtet.

Wie die 2019 Statistik des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge zeigt, haben in Deutschland über 50 Prozent der heterosexuellen Frauen erfolgreich den Flüchtlingsstatus als Opfer geschlechtsspezifischer Verfolgung (Zwangsheirat, FGM, Ehrenmord, Vergewaltigung, häusliche Gewalt oder Zwangsprostitution) erlangt. Lesbische Geflüchtete kämpfen jedoch darum, erlebte Gewalt und Menschenrechtsverletzungen für den Flüchtlingsschutz geltend zu machen.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/gesellschaft/queerspiegel/asylgrund-homosexualitaet-fehlender-schutz-fuer-schwarze-lesbische-gefluechtete/25938886.html (Source)

U.S.: electrician demoted for not ending lesbian affair

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

Stacy Freyre, 49, was a supervisor earning $127,000 a year when her friendship with a married female cashier at a Universal City Studios restaurant in California became a romance in 2017, Freyre said in court papers.

The cashier, a mom of two, had already separated from her spouse, whom she had accused of domestic violence, according to Freyre’s legal filing.

But when the estranged husband, who also worked at the site, discovered the relationship, he flew into a rage, complained to the company, accosted his ex at work and allegedly threatened to harm Freyre, implying someone could shoot her kids, she charges. Freyre reported the threats to police.

Rather than deal with the threats, Universal City Studios, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, asked Freyre to apologize and make peace with the husband. Freyre was demoted from her supervisor post after she refused to end the relationship, according to an employment discrimination claim she recently filed NBCUniversal in California Federal Court seeking unspecified damages.

Continue reading at: https://nypost.com/2020/06/13/universal-city-studios-worker-allegedly-demoted-for-not-ending-affair/ (Source)