Dutch Tourists Jailed Under Russia’s ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law

Lately I’ve really come to miss the old Soviet Union.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/22/dutch-tourists-jailed-russia-gay_n_3635803.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


Four Dutch tourists have been jailed under Russia’s “gay propaganda” law after they were suspected of promoting homosexuality to children.

Russian LGBT Network was the first to report the tourists had been jailed Sunday. Russia’s Gazeta later reported the four suspects were with the LGBT-Groningen organization.

According to a Huffington Post translation of the report, the tourists arrived in Murmansk in mid-July to make a film about the city and the life of gay community there. While conducting a seminar with local LGBT group Center Maximum on Sunday, the police came in and arrested group chairman Kris van der Veen, as well as a camerawoman, a sound technician and a female student. Members of Center Maximum were also arrested.

The police were reportedly looking for minors at the meeting, according to Gazeta, but found none. They did, however, discover a 17-year-old in the film footage. The teen had told the crew he was 18 years old at the time of his interview, according to the report. Police were able to keep the Dutch tourists under the “homosexual propaganda” law.

The anti-gay legislation, which was signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 30, stigmatizes gay people and bans anyone from giving children information on homosexuality. Earlier this month, it was announced tourists would be subjected to the same fines and sentences as residents if found in violation of the “gay propaganda” law. Foreigners can be jailed up to 14 days.

The is the first time tourists are known to have been arrested under the anti-gay law, Gay Star News notes.

A hearing scheduled for Monday was later postponed, Russian LGBT Network reports.

Brodway star Harvey Fierstein recently penned an op-ed in the New York Times over Russia’s anti-gay legislation, comparing such laws to those present in Nazi Germany.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/22/dutch-tourists-jailed-russia-gay_n_3635803.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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Transgender Love Story: Life After Surgery

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Transgender Group Leaves OutServe-SLDN, Joins Startup Group SPART*A

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/military/2013/07/22/transgender-group-leaves-outserve-sldn-joins-startup-group-sparta

The transgender group of OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network announced Monday that it is cutting ties with the embattled organization, partnering with a new splinter group formed in the wake of a public controversy.

BY Sunnivie Brydum
July 22 2013

A group of transgender veterans and members currently serving in the armed forces announced today that they are leaving the embattled LGBT military advocacy group OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network to join a new startup group focused more explicitly on securing open military service for transgender individuals.

A press release today announced the formation of Service Members, Partners, Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All, or SPΛRT*A, a “group of LGBT people and allies who are currently serving or have served in the military, and our families,” that is “especially committed to our Trans members… and to gaining full equality for them in the U.S. Armed Forces. SPART*A’s Facebook page is currently active, while a website for the fledgling group is still under construction.

SPΛRT*A lists among its strategic priorities supporting LGBT service members with opportunities for professional development and networking, ensuring equal opportunity protections for all LGBT service members, creating a fully inclusive culture within the Department of Defense that is respectful of all military members regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and providing connections to legal support for any service member who feels they’ve been a victim of anti-LGBT bias. SPΛRT*A’s press release boasts members from military bases throughout the U.S., Afghanistan, Korea, Cuba, Guam, and Europe, with more expected to join soon. Members currently represent the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines, according to the release.

A separate statement also issued Monday announced that OutServe-SLDN’s Military Transgender Group is formally cutting ties with the organization in the wake of widely-reported upheaval that saw OutServe-SLDN’s newly appointed executive director, transgender Army veteran Allyson Robinson, asked to resign, followed by a slew of high-profile resignations in protest of Robinson’s treatment and communication breakdowns within the organization.

“Since the upheaval at OutServe-SLDN began on June 22, the transgender chapter of the organization has been working to determine where and how we can best fit within the movement,” wrote Brynn Tannehill, the chapter spokeswoman for OutServe-SLDN’s Military Transgender Group in a statement issued Monday. “This process has been painful, and strained personal and professional relationships that had previously been strong… The ultimate question we had to answer was where we need to be in order to most effectively move the issue of open service for transgender people forward. Unfortunately, it was the considered opinion of our members that OutServe-SLDN will not be able to represent our interests effectively for the foreseeable future.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/military/2013/07/22/transgender-group-leaves-outserve-sldn-joins-startup-group-sparta

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Fired for Being Trans: The Rest of the Story

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-juro/fired-for-being-trans-the-rest-of-the-story_b_3599933.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


Recently, I was a panelist on HuffPost Live to talk about my experience with workplace discrimination due to being trans. My story was turned into a feature on the Gay Voices vertical, and while it’s completely accurate, some of what I said may have left an inaccurate impression of certain relevant facts. When you’ve only got a minute or two to tell your story, sometimes you have to skip important facts to save time. Any inaccurate perceptions are based on the way I told the story, and so I own them. In the interest of accuracy, I want to clarify the record and tell the rest of the story.

The first thing I said that may have been perceived inaccurately was that I was fired immediately after I told my boss that I’d be transitioning from male to female. This is true, and my dismissal was clearly due to my being trans, but it didn’t happen quite as immediately as my on-air comments might make it seem.

It was actually a few days after I told my boss I’d be transitioning that I was officially fired, though I did know immediately after telling my boss that it was only a matter of time, based on his reaction. I’d been a good and well-liked employee up to that point, but once my impending transition was known, my boss’ demeanor toward me changed drastically. He became openly hostile and said almost exactly what I said on-air, but it was actually a few days after I’d told him. However, there was no doubt whatsoever as to why I was being summarily fired after several months on the job with no disciplinary issues or problems with the quality of my work.

The other issue I want to clear up is the timing of my interaction with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. I contacted them immediately after being fired, and a hearing was scheduled for a couple of months thereafter.

By the time of the hearing, I’d fully begun my transition and was in an “in-between” mode, presenting in an androgynous manner, my hair somewhat femininely styled, and my body was already beginning to develop womanly curves from the estrogen I’d been taking for a while by then. The company sent the manager I’d worked for and a company lawyer to the meeting, and both they and I told our sides of the story. My former manager claimed that he had no idea what transition was and that he’d fired me for misbehavior. Of course, I knew this was a lie and asked for them to produce the disciplinary notices. They had none to show, because they didn’t exist.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-juro/fired-for-being-trans-the-rest-of-the-story_b_3599933.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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Republican National Committee Chairman: Priebus: GOP Not Embracing ‘Tolerance’

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Republicans Love Lucy

From In These Times:  http://inthesetimes.com/article/15300/republicans_love_lucy/

BY Leo Gerard, United Steelworkers President
July 16, 2013

The GOP must really love Ricky Ricardo, the husband of Lucille Ball’s title character in the 1950’s show “I Love Lucy.” Just like the famously chauvinist Ricky, the party apparently thinks women are empty-headed twits.

Women are so vacuous, right-wingers figure, that they don’t understand how Obamacare benefits them and their families, so they’ll be easily swayed by an Obamacare smear ad that features a lovely young actress named “Julie.”

The ads, $1 million worth of them, are running during television shows popular with women. In the spots, “Julie” says she began paying more attention to healthcare after her son suffered seizures. But, “Julie” says, she has a lot of questions about how Obamacare will work. In the ad, the young mother sits wondering—paralyzed by confusion—because the GOP believes women are incapable of finding that information themselves. “How will Obamacare impact your family?” the ad ends by asking. The GOP is banking on women being too daft to know the answer.

The Republican Party is sure young women don’t know that Obamacare is the reason that they’re covered by health insurance—and will continue to be—on their parents’ plans—until age 26. The party is sure the mothers of America’s young adults are just clueless that Obamacare is the reason their daughters and sons managed to be insured past age 18.

The GOP is certain women are just so silly that they’re unaware that Obamacare means they get birth control and preventative care like annual ob-gyn check-ups without co-pays.

The Republican Party just knows women couldn’t possibly have absorbed the fact that Obamacare is the reason insurers can no longer charge them more than men.

The GOP is positive that women never learned that Obamacare prevents insurance companies from dropping policy holders when they get sick, like “Julie’s” seizure-stricken son in the Americans for the Prosperous commercial.

The Republican Party is darn tootin’ sure that women never found out that Obamacare ended the lifetime limits that insurance companies had devised to enable them to squirm out of providing care for people with high-cost chronic illnesses, conditions like the seizure disorder suffered by “Julie’s” son in the Americans for the Prosperous commercial.

Continue reading at:  http://inthesetimes.com/article/15300/republicans_love_lucy/

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Michigan Governor Denies That Same-Sex Families Are Deprived Of Any Rights

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/07/23/2341031/michigan-governor-denies-that-same-sex-families-are-deprived-of-any-rights/

By Zack Ford
on Jul 23, 2013

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) have filed their formal response to a suit by a lesbian couple challenging the state’s amendment banning same-sex marriage. The couple are raising three special-needs children together but are prohibited from adopting each other’s children and becoming a unified family. The state had originally requested the case be dismissed out right, but a federal judge rejected that request, suggesting in the days after the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned that the couple had a viable case.

Snyder and Schuette’s filing responds line-by-line to the couple’s brief, repeatedly denying that April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are a family since each of their children can only call one of them a legal guardian. For every example of a right and protection the couple argues they are excluded from, such as protections related to the death of a spouse, public and private safety nets for families, and health care decisions, the state argues that these claims are simply “untrue” and that the family has “not been adversely treated.”

Only briefly does the state explain how it intends to defend the ban on same-sex marriage::

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/07/23/2341031/michigan-governor-denies-that-same-sex-families-are-deprived-of-any-rights/

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