National and International News: September 2016
Texas LGBT Students Feeling Unsafe Now That People Can Carry Guns On Campus
Buzzfeed — Many LGBT students at the University of Houston say they feel like they can no longer express themselves safely now that a law allowing people to carry concealed weapons on campus is in effect and classes have begun.
“I feel like I can’t speak up for myself anymore,” Robyn Foley, 22, a transgender and intersex student who majors in anthropology, told BuzzFeed News. “I can’t correct someone on my pronouns” — Robyn’s pronoun is “they” — “I can’t stand up for my transgender friends, because if I do and someone gets pissed off all they have to do is pull out a gun.”
Florida Hospitals Forgive Bill for Pulse Shooting Victims
Orlando Sentinel – Orlando Health and Florida Hospital will not bill survivors of the Pulse nightclub massacre for out-of-pocket medical expenses, officials announced Wednesday.
Instead, the hospitals will write off an estimated $5.5 million or more in care.
“The pulse shooting was a horrendous tragedy for the victims, their families and our entire community,” Orlando Health President and CEO David Strong said. “During this very trying time, many organizations, individuals and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support. This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward.”
City Steps Up Support for LGBT Newspaper After Bomb Explosion
LGBTQ Nation — Rainbow flags are being flown in one New England city to support an LGBT publication after one of its newspaper boxes was destroyed in a possible hate crime.
City and community leaders plan to unveil a new box for The Rainbow Times on Sunday after the explosion in Salem, Massachusetts.
The Rainbow Times calls itself New England’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender newspaper. Police are investigating it as a hate crime.
Heartless Pastor who said Pulse nightclub victims ‘got what they deserved’ arrested for molesting children
DAILY KOS- Pastor Ken Adkins runs three congregations in Georgia. He’s a well-known figure in the area, in no small part because of his outspoken dislike and outright phobia of the LGBT community. Here is the Lord’s chosen one talking about the massacre of 49 people at the Pulse club in Orlando.
“Been through so much with these Jacksonville Homosexuals that I don’t see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve!”
Mr. Adkins is facing two charges of child molestation now. One of the two charges against the 56-year-old is aggravated child molestation, said Stacy Carson, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Kingsland office.
Huge Victory for Same-Sex Parents in New York
Huffington Post – New York state’s highest court ruled in late August that nonbiological, nonadoptive parents can seek custody or visitation rights, expanding the definition of what it means to be a parent.
The New York State Court of Appeals overturned a 1991 decision that defined a parent as a biological or adoptive relative, noting that relationship and family structures have changed dramatically in the 25 years since that ruling was handed down. Nonbiological, nonadoptive parents, the ruling reads, can seek custody if “a partner shows by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together.”
The case marks a major victory for people, including many in same-sex relationships, who have elected to raise children they are not biologically related to.
South Florida LGBTQ bars on high alert after threat of Pulse-style massacre
LGBTQ Nation- Police in a Fort Lauderdale, Fla. suburb are looking for a man with an extensive criminal record who posted a frightening threat on Facebook: “It’s time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS-infested losers,” and “None of you deserve to live. If you losers thought the Pulse Nightclub shooting was bad, wait ’til you see what I’m planning for Labor Day.”
WTVJ-TV identified the man as Craig Jungwirth, and reported his profile on social media is that of a different man. Jungwirth is accused by blogger Tim Peacock of being a scam artist, and the TV station revealed Jungiwirth has a number of restraining orders against him and had previously faced charges of stalking.
Two Gay Bashing Men Sentenced to 150 Hours Community Service
OUT- Two Brooklyn men who plead guilty to assaulting a gay student are dodging some of the requirements of their light sentencing.
Pinchas Braver and Abrahama Winkler took a plea deal of 150 hours of community service and $1,400 in restitution for the 2013 beating of Taj Patterson, an openly gay fashion student in New York. Braver and Winkler are required to volunteer at a “culturally diverse” organization for their 150 hours of service.
Atlanta Man Who Poured Boiling Water on Same-Sex Couple Found Guilty
New Civil Rights Movement – Martin Blackwell in February went into his girlfriend’s home, boiled water, then poured it on her son and her son’s boyfriend as they slept, in a horrific crime. The 48-year old Atlanta area man was found guilty on all 10 counts, including aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
First-ever Triplets Born with Both Their Dads’ DNA
South Africa – History has just been made with the birth of one set of triplets in South Africa. A surrogate was used for the gay couple. Sperm from each of the dads was used to fertilize two eggs from the same woman. Then one of the eggs split. This was made possible as both dads gave sperm to fertilize two eggs from the surrogate, who gave birth to three babies–one set of identical twins, and a third triplet.
Australia Same-Sex Marriage Vote Hits Stumbling Block
Australia – The government’s plan to hold a popular vote on whether Australia should allow same-sex marriage suffered a setback Monday when a political party announced it would not support the proposed plebiscite.
Some background: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will not allow lawmakers to vote on marriage equality until a national referendum – sending voters to the polls to register their opinions – is held. But this month a small but influential centrist party joined the country’s third-biggest political force, the Australian Greens, in opposing a popular vote despite supporting legalization of marriage equality.
A national referendum would not only be expensive, it would be divisive. And studies show when civil rights are put up to a public vote, they are much less-likely to pass. So clearly, the majority of Australians want equality, but one person in particular, Australia’s conservative Prime Minister, refuses to allow it, writes ThinkProgress.
Vatican Investigation Uncovers Hundreds of Priests on Grindr Looking to Hookup
Ireland – The archbishop of Dublin will no longer be sending his student priests to Ireland’s largest seminary over allegations of widespread use of the gay sex app Grindr and the failure of the authorities to properly investigate it, according to Reuters.
The move is the latest scandal to hit the Catholic Church in Ireland, once the defining influence on public life, but now humbled by reports of child sex abuse stretching back decades and of church leaders’ complicity in covering them up.
Swedish Vandals Record Themselves Stealing Rainbow Flags and Lighting Them on Fire
Sweden vandals have posted a video of stealing rainbow Pride flags and setting them on fire. Officials in Sodertalje first raised the rainbow flags outside Sodertalje city hall in support of the Pride festival in neighboring Stockholm on Monday 25 July.
The morning after, the flagpole ropes had been cut and the flags were gone.
But now a video has emerged online of the vandals stealing the flags, dousing them in gasoline, and lighting them on fire. Their faces blurred, it shows a group of men cutting down the rainbow flags and gathering them in a nearby valley. Police are investigating. New flags were immediately installed but later removed to prevent another incident, according to authorities.
Man charged for filling lube dispenser with acid in gay club
Australia – A 62-year-old man has been charged with filling a lube dispenser with hydrochloric acid at a gay and bisexual sex club in Sydney, Australia. The suspect allegedly tampered with the dispenser fitted to the wall in a room at the Aarows club in Bridge Street, Rydalmere. Alarms were installed to alert management of any forms of tampering. Security detained the man. Hydrochloric acid is a clear, pungent chemical that is corrosive to the eyes, skin, and mucous membrane.. No injuries have been reported.