In Iran, being gay can carry a death sentence for men. Though lesbians are discussed less frequently, they too face severe government-sanctioned punishment, including lashes and flogging.
The three days Azadeh* spent in interrogation felt to her like months.
In a remote villa on the outskirts of Iran, she sat listening to clergymen preaching quotes from the Quran as the burns on her arms stung with infection.
Growing up, the 25-year-old says she was often bullied for her “boyish” looks. But several years ago, the harassment took on a more sinister form when she was arrested and tortured by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The guards had found a short story by Azadeh about two male soldiers who were lovers during the war, after a tip-off from a girl Azadeh says held a personal grudge against her.
“I never directly used the word ‘homosexuality’ in my writings,” Azadeh says, “but they wanted to use those writings to get a confession from me that I’m a lesbian. I denied everything.”
Regardless, she was forced to undergo a three-day long “reorientation course”, which she quickly learnt was a euphemism for interrogation. It consisted, she says, of religious instruction and repeated attempts to force her to admit she was gay.
“They tortured me by pouring boiling water on my skin and beating me, especially on the head. [But] more than physical torture, I was subjected to verbal abuse,” she says. “They kept telling me that I was a ‘pussy licker’.”
Azadeh doesn’t see any contradiction between her religious beliefs and her sexual orientation. Her own (legally unofficial) marriage to a woman followed Muslim marriage rituals, and she considers her partner to be her wife in accordance with religious rules. “I used to struggle a lot to interpret the Quran in a way that was more compatible with my situation as a lesbian,” she says. “I think we need new fatwa for this issue.”
Continue reading: https://broadly.vice.com/
E.W. Jackson, who was the Republican Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2013, hit out at Lightfoot after her victory in the April 2 runoff election.
Speaking on radio show The Awakening on April 3, Jackson said the mayor-elect’s comments are “a satanic, demonic twisting of language.”
The Conservative pastor commentator said: “Chicago just elected a lesbian woman, and she got up and said, ‘We’re showing the world it doesn’t matter who you love.’
“I almost get nauseous every time I hear that because we know that’s a euphemism for, ‘It doesn’t matter who you have sex with.’”
He added: “They’re not talking about love, they’re talking about who you have sex with. And specifically, they’re saying it doesn’t matter if you have sex with someone of the same gender.
“The euphemism is just disgusting. It really is, because this is a satanic, demonic twisting of language.”
Continue reading: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019
A lesbian couple filed a fair housing complaint with the city of Newark against St. Vincent de Paul Housing Facilities, alleging discrimination at The Gardens on Sixth, a transitional housing facility.
Melanie Dingess and Leslie Conners stated in their complaint, filed Monday with the city’s Department of Development, that they were forced to leave because the management did not want gay couples living together in one of the apartments.
Continue reading at: https://www.newarkadvocate.com/story/
For four years, Bailey Brazzel says, she had employed the same tax preparer, Nancy Fivecoate of Carter Tax Service in Russiaville, Ind. Fivecoate prepared the taxes without issue each time — until this year, when Brazzel brought her new wife, Samantha.
Fivecoate declined to serve the couple, citing her religious beliefs.
This was the first year the Brazzels, who wed in July, were filing jointly as a married couple. According to Samantha, Fivecoate explained that she believed marriage was between a man and a woman and that she would therefore not be able to prepare their taxes.
Continue reading at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation
A Catholic school in Durham, N.C., canceled classes and a Black History Month event Friday because various groups planned to protest the appearance of a lesbian speaker at the program.
The speaker in question, Vernetta Alston, is a Durham City Council member, an attorney, and an alumna of the school, Immaculata Catholic.
Continue reading at: https://www.advocate.com/religion/
The freedoms of individuals and expression won a clear victory yesterday, with the decision of the judge of summary of Beirut, Marie-Christine Eid, to reject the appeal presented the day before, Tuesday, January 29, 2019, by a handful of lawyers to ban the broadcast of the program Ana Heyk (“I am like”) which gives the floor to lesbians. A show by star presenter Neshan Der Haroutiounian on the Al-Jadeed TV channel, which lawyers Mohammad Ziad Jaafil, Michel Fallah, Lina Sahmarani, Mohammad Assad Safsouf and trainee lawyer Omar Chbaro said, “promotes deviant social cases and highlights them as if they were examples to follow for the younger generation. This goes against the laws in force and more particularly the penal code, and undermines the moral values of the Lebanese society “.
Les libertés individuelles et d’expression ont remporté une franche victoire hier, avec la décision de la juge des référés de Beyrouth, Marie-Christine Eid, de rejeter le recours présenté la veille, mardi 29 janvier 2019, par une poignée d’avocats visant à interdire la diffusion de l’émission Ana Heyk (« je suis ainsi ») qui donne la parole à des lesbiennes. Une émission du présentateur vedette, Neshan Der Haroutiounian, sur la chaîne télévisée al-Jadeed, et qui, selon les avocats Mohammad Ziad Jaafil, Michel Fallah, Lina Sahmarani, Mohammad Assad Safsouf et l’avocat stagiaire Omar Chbaro, « fait la promotion des cas sociaux déviants et les met en lumière comme s’il s’agissait d’exemples à suivre pour la jeune génération. Ce qui va à l’encontre des lois en vigueur et plus particulièrement du code pénal, et sape les valeurs morales de la société libanaise ».
Continue reading at: https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1155215/malgre-les-pressions-islamistes-lemission-televisee-ana-heyk-donne-la-parole-a-des-lesbiennes.html (Source)
Translation tool: http://itools.com/tool/google-translate-web-page-translator
A federal lawsuit filed by a married lesbian couple alleging they were discriminated against by a Sunset Hills retirement community that declined to let them move in together has been dismissed, according to a decision filed on Wednesday.
The Fair Housing Act does not protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the decision by U.S. District Judge Jean C. Hamilton concludes.
Continue reading at: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/judge-dismisses-lesbian-couple-s-lawsuit-alleging-discrimination-by-sunset/article_e3afa21a-b3a9-5f71-a4b4-2b504598a15d.html (Source)
Original Article: U.S: Lesbian couple denied housing in Sunset Hills senior living community, lawsuit claims
Miriam hid her sexuality from her strict Muslim parents for years. When she eventually did come out to them, she found it impossible to translate “lesbian” into Punjabi or Urdu. She explains how the conversation put an end to her double life “playing the straight woman” but caused a rift so deep that her father disowned her.
Continue reading at: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-46567505 (Source)
A couple have spoken of their shock at receiving a homophobic card which was delivered to their family home on Christmas Eve.
Claire and her fiancé Sarah – not their real names – were horrified when they read the ‘creepy’ card which states: ‘Lesbian is disgusting and filth unnatural abnormal”
The card has been signed ‘Methodist Church’ and also includes the pre-printed message: “Blessings of the Season”.
The couple say they are completely bewildered at being targeted by the bizarre and ‘cowardly’ homophobic abuse.
Continue reading at: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.
Local Methodists have condemned the incident and say their desire is for a church which is fully inclusive.
Continue reading at: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.
A Catholic shrine in Portland, Oregon will feature a lesbian choir at a caroling event and it’s upset some homophobes.
‘It is surprising then that the Servites would allow a lesbian choir to sing on the very spot where the altar is normally located, where the body and blood of Christ is consecrated.
‘How can we expect visitors, who may never set foot into a Catholic Church again, to understand what Jesus taught about sin and our need to seek forgiveness?
‘The presence of this choir is a scandal and will certainly lead to even more confusion in a time of moral ambiguity.’
Continue reading at: https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/
Comedian Leah Forster claims that kosher-certification rabbis bullied Brooklyn restaurants into canceling her comedy shows due to her sexual orientation.
Continue reading at: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/lesbian-comic-says-kosher-mafia-forced-cancellation-her-nyc-shows-n946256 (source)
“I didn’t see girls like everyone else – I thought it was a bad spirit that had invaded me,” [Viviane] told the Thomson Reuters Foundation with a rueful laugh by phone from France, where she sought asylum last year with her girlfriend’s help.
“So I started praying to make it go away.”
But her prayers failed. Four years later, Viviane was chained to the wall and violently raped by a man who her family forced her to marry after discovering that she was a lesbian.
Continue reading at: https://af.reuters.com/article/cameroon
An Orthodox Deacon in Moldova who threw holy water on a lesbian during a live television broadcast will have to pay her compensation and publicly apologize to her.
A court found Deacon Ghenadie Valuta guilty of ‘incitement to discrimination based on beliefs and signs of sexual orientation’ for splashing LGBTI activist, Angelica Frolov. The court ordered him to pay Frolov $715 in damages and to cover her legal fees.
Continue reading at: https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/deacon-found-guilty-of-throwing-holy-water-on-lesbian-has-to-pay-her-compensation/#gs.K3g73Bc (source)
Earlier today, 3 September, 100 people witnessed the public caning of two Terengganu women who were convicted of attempting to have lesbian sex last month.
Berita Harian reported that the women were caned six times each by a caning officer from the Kajang Women’s Prison in front of a panel of judges at about 10.10am today.
Although the punishment was carried out behind closed doors, Malay Mail reported Syariah lawyer Marlina Amir Hamzah as saying that the women were caned in full view of nearly 100 people including members of the public, government agency representatives, and members of non-governmental organisations.
Continue reading at: https://says.com/my/news/100-people-attended-public-caning-of-2-terengganu-women-for-lesbian-sex-attempt (source)
Original article: Malaysian women to be caned for ‘attempting lesbian sex’
A guidance counsellor at an Indianapolis Catholic school has been placed on administrative leave after school officials discovered she was married to a woman.
Shelley Fitzgerald has worked at Roncalli High School, which is run by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, for 15 years and has been with her now-wife for 22 years.
Fitzgerald said school administrators gave her an ultimatum: resign or “dissolve” her marriage.
Continue reading at: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/guidance-counselor-may-lose-job-after-catholic-school-learns-she-n900401 (source)
A St. Louis County senior community has denied housing to a married lesbian couple who have been together for nearly four decades because of the couple’s sexual orientation, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.
Mary Walsh, 72, and Bev Nance, 68, both of Shrewsbury, say the Friendship Village senior living community, which has locations in Sunset Hills and Chesterfield, denied occupancy to them to live at the Sunset Hills community in 2016 because their relationship violated its cohabitation policy that defines marriage as “the union of one man and one woman, as marriage is understood in the Bible,” according to the lawsuit.
Continue reading at: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/
Update: Update: Lesbian retirement community discrimination lawsuit dismissed
Image source: https://www.languagesoftheworld.info/
A young Chechen lesbian was subjected to an Islamic “exorcism” recently at the insistence of her family, who believed that her sexual orientation was a sign of demonic possession.
She said that her family threatened to kill her or imprison her in a mental hospital if she did not agree to the exorcism.
Continue reading at: https://76crimes.com/2018/05/09/lesbian-endures-islamic-exorcism-flees-from-chechnya/ (source)
At a time when women around the world are speaking up against abuse and demanding greater gender equality, the Vatican’s actions to silence these women speakers have prompted some Catholics to reflect on whether the church really values women’s voices.
Ssenfuka Joanita Warry, a lesbian Catholic activist from Uganda, was reportedly one of the women whose presence at the conference did not meet the approval of the Vatican.
During the conference, Warry spoke about what life was like for her as a lesbian activist in a country where homosexuality is illegal. She condemned the silence of religious leaders in the face of this discrimination against queer Ugandans.
Continue Reading at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/
Kristen Nelson was a softball coach for five years at West Catholic High School in Michigan — until she wanted to get married.
When it became known Nelson wanted to marry her partner, a ‘parent concern’ materialized. It resulted in conversations with both the school and Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. Consequently, Catholic leaders gave Nelson an ultimatum: if she got married to a woman, she wouldn’t have her job anymore.
Continue reading at: https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/