QBits
UK: Gay teacher resigns after parents complain children ‘might learn it’s OK to be gay’

Andrew Moffat was assistant head at Chilwell Croft Academy

Andrew Moffat was assistant head at Chilwell Croft Academy

A gay primary school teacher in Birmingham has resigned, after parents complained they did not want him teaching their children.

According to the Sunday Times, Andrew Moffat was assistant head at Birmingham’s Chilwell Croft Academy, where he designed several pro-LGBT resources, including a pamphlet called ‘Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools’.

However, after coming out in an assembly, and teaching a literacy lesson using a book in which a gay family attends a picnic, he was besieged by protests from parents.

He told the newspaper: “I did come out at school in an assembly after a group of 11-year-olds held up a poster they made, with the heading ‘Gay is good’. It seemed like the right time to let the children know that they knew a gay person.

“Following my coming out, some parents from different communities complained to the school, but I maintain that my decision was the right one at that time.

“Some Christian and some Muslim parents have told me they don’t want their children learning that it’s OK to be gay.”

After the protests, Moffat resigned from his post at the school, and has since found a teaching post elsewhere.

A statement from the school said: “A minority group of parents objected to some of the resource books being used in literacy lessons with some of the oldest children in the school, which explored relationships in different families.

“The objections were primarily voiced by those whose own religion took an opposing stance to homosexuality.”

I’m sure they will be helpful. : /
Q.


KUWAIT: Members of a parliamentary committee are willing to welcome crossdressers and homosexuals in order to help them find a “solution to their problem,” a lawmaker was quoted as saying yesterday. “If there are homosexuals seeking to discuss what they are suffering from, our doors are open for them,” said MP Hamdan Al-Azmi, who is the president of the so-called ‘negative phenomena committee’ in Kuwait’s National Assembly. He added that ‘specialized doctors’ would be invited in order to discuss each file individually.

“Some cross-dressers are going through physiological suffering, and maybe they can be cured if they are seen by specialists,” he said in statements to Al-Rai daily.

Men appearing publically in female clothing and vice versa are arrested and charged with ‘imitating the opposite sex’ under Kuwait’s Penal Code, which also criminalizes all sorts of homosexual activity. Al-Azmi invited gays “who are looking for a solution to their suffering” starting from next week”

Matt Dooley - The Team Bond (by WatchND)

"Trust in teammates runs deeper than just on the court. Dooley found acceptance and support after telling his team the struggles of his life."

Gay rights victory in Russia as a Pride ban is declared illegal
Six judges in Kostroma, in western Russia, have ruled the city was wrong to ban a gay rights protest over ‘propaganda’ fears
Gay rights protests could happen in Kostroma as a court has ruled a ban on Pride is illegal.
Photo by Gay Russia.

In what is being described as the biggest gay rights victory in Russia yet, a ban on Pride was declared illegal today (4 April).

The Presidium of Kostroma Regional Court - the highest court in the region - has ruled two rallies held last year in June protesting against the nationwide ‘gay propaganda’ ban should have been allowed to go ahead.

The six judges heard from gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev as well as the western Russian’s city local government that banned the event.

Lawyers fighting for the ban on gay rights protests claimed the organizers would ‘promote non-traditional sexual relations’.

They also claimed the police would not be able to ensure the safety of all participants in the protests.

But the judges said LGBTI people deserve a right to freedom of expression and protection from discrimination.

Following the announcement, Alekseev announced he would be serving Kostroma with notice of a new Pride and other gay rights events held in public.

Alekseev said: ‘It is our single biggest victory in the framework of the Russian judicial system.

‘And it gives extra weight that the verdict by the Bureau of the regional court - the highest court of the Russian Federation .’

He added: ‘Now I intend to seek compensation from the state of moral and material damages in connection with the violation of human rights caused by prohibitions stated public events.’

The gay rights activist is convinced the entire federal ‘gay propaganda’ ban will one day fall as Russia is incapable of defending the law in the courtroom.

Alekseev added to Gay Star News: ‘There’s a lot of talk and discussion, boycotts and stuff like that, with all this discussion you don’t see all the real legal work that has been done in the last year.

‘This is what really has an effect.’

April 04, 2014 12:28 GMT

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A Ugandan government spokesman says police have raided the offices of a United States-funded project known to offer AIDS services to homosexuals.

Ofwono Opondo said on Twitter Friday the Makerere University Walter Reed Project building in Kampala was targeted for “training youths in homosexuality.”

Frank Mugisha, a gay leader in Uganda, said one person was arrested in Thursday’s raid. He said the project —a nonprofit partnership between a Ugandan university and the U.S. Military HIV Research Program — was known to offer services to gays who felt comfortable going there for anti-retroviral treatment.

Police spokesman Patrick Onyango denied the raid, saying a man pretending to represent the police threatened workers at the project, which has since been closed by administrators.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

SSA updates policy on survivor benefits for transgender spouses
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Social Security Administration (SSA) on Tuesday updated its policies regarding the ability of transgender individuals to receive benefits through their spouses.

Robina Asti

Robina Asti

In its announcement, the SSA clarified that although its “past policy was to refer all marriage-based claims involving transgender individuals for a legal opinion from the Regional Chief Counsel,” the new policy “allows us to process most claims…without the need for a legal opinion.”

The action comes after months of advocacy by Lambda Legal on behalf of Robina Asti, a 92-year-old transgender woman who was denied survivor benefits by the SSA after her husband’s death.

“This is a critical development for all married transgender people, but is especially important for transgender older adults, who rely on the safety net of Social Security benefits,” said Karen Loewy, Lambda Legal Senior Attorney and Seniors Program Strategist.

“The extension of Social Security spousal retirement and survivor benefits to older transgender adults can be lifesaving. This new policy allows for transgender seniors to receive their benefits as quickly as possible, and to age with greater certainty and security, rather than with fear,” added Loewy.

Asti, a a World War II veteran and pilot, married Norwood Patton in 2004. Following Patton’s death in 2012, Asti was denied survivor benefits that would have increased her monthly Social Security by about $500.

The SSA had determined that Asti’s marriage was not valid because she was “legally male” at the time of her wedding.

In February, after months of advocacy, Lambda Legal announced the Social Security Administration (SSA) paid Asti, a 92-year-old transgender woman, the survivor benefits she was denied after her husband’s death.

More on Robina Asti is here.

(via Discovering the Muxe: Mexico’s Third Gender | Out Magazine)

"Like their Two-Spirit sisters [or brothers] to the north, the muxes are an integral part of Zapotec culture, revered, not reviled. And like other third gender people, muxes are not gay. Some take male lovers, others take wives. And they’re not transgender. They are distinct. Nor do all muxes work solely as women. Many take more “manly” career tracks: one muxe, Amaranta Gómez Regalado, ran for Mexico’s congress in 2003. And despite the popular description, not all muxes dress as women. Those are just the vestidas. There are also pintadas, the less common muxes who wear men’s clothing and makeup. And both come together each year for the muxes’ annual pageant, the four-day long La Vela de las Auténticas Intrépidas Buscadoras del Peligró, which translates to “The Celebration of the Bold Seekers of Danger.” "

(via Discovering the Muxe: Mexico’s Third Gender | Out Magazine)

"Like their Two-Spirit sisters [or brothers] to the north, the muxes are an integral part of Zapotec culture, revered, not reviled. And like other third gender people, muxes are not gay. Some take male lovers, others take wives. And they’re not transgender. They are distinct. Nor do all muxes work solely as women. Many take more “manly” career tracks: one muxe, Amaranta Gómez Regalado, ran for Mexico’s congress in 2003. And despite the popular description, not all muxes dress as women. Those are just the vestidas. There are also pintadas, the less common muxes who wear men’s clothing and makeup. And both come together each year for the muxes’ annual pageant, the four-day long La Vela de las Auténticas Intrépidas Buscadoras del Peligró, which translates to “The Celebration of the Bold Seekers of Danger.” "

(via Gay activists file curative petition in Supreme Court - The Hindu)

"The present Curative Petition challenges both the December 11, 2013 judgment and the January order to cure the gross miscarriage of justice. It said, “The effect of recriminalisation on account of the impugned judgment has caused immense prejudice to gay activists, who have been put at risk of prosecution under Section 377 IPC, on account of the association between homosexuality and penile-anal/penile-oral sexual acts.”

The petitioner drew the court’s attention to the fact that under an amendment introduced in the IPC in 2013, Section 375 of the IPC in 2013 makes penile non-vaginal sexual acts, between man and woman, without consent an offence. By necessary implication, such sexual acts between man and woman, which are consensual, are no longer prohibited.

Consequently, petitioner said “these consensual acts between man and woman have been taken out of the ambit of Section 377, otherwise the amended Section 375 would be rendered redundant. Therefore Section 377 now effectively only criminalises all forms of penetrative oral sex, which makes it ex facie discriminatory against homosexual men and transgender persons and thus violative of Article 14. The amendments to Section 375 were carried out after the judgment was reserved and the parties did not have a chance to address this Court on the issue.” “

(via Gay activists file curative petition in Supreme Court - The Hindu)

"The present Curative Petition challenges both the December 11, 2013 judgment and the January order to cure the gross miscarriage of justice. It said, “The effect of recriminalisation on account of the impugned judgment has caused immense prejudice to gay activists, who have been put at risk of prosecution under Section 377 IPC, on account of the association between homosexuality and penile-anal/penile-oral sexual acts.”

The petitioner drew the court’s attention to the fact that under an amendment introduced in the IPC in 2013, Section 375 of the IPC in 2013 makes penile non-vaginal sexual acts, between man and woman, without consent an offence. By necessary implication, such sexual acts between man and woman, which are consensual, are no longer prohibited.

Consequently, petitioner said “these consensual acts between man and woman have been taken out of the ambit of Section 377, otherwise the amended Section 375 would be rendered redundant. Therefore Section 377 now effectively only criminalises all forms of penetrative oral sex, which makes it ex facie discriminatory against homosexual men and transgender persons and thus violative of Article 14. The amendments to Section 375 were carried out after the judgment was reserved and the parties did not have a chance to address this Court on the issue.” “

2nd April 2014, 6:47 PM
Joseph Patrick McCormick

The campaign hopes to keep Jake in the custody of his mother The campaign hopes to keep Jake in the custody of his mother

http://www.youcaring.com/other/help-my-daughter-keep-her-transgender-child/144297

A campaign has been started to raise money towards a lawsuit to allow a woman to keep custody of her trans son.

The campaign was started by the grandmother of the boy, Jake, who says his father initiated the custody battle “solely because she supports her child’s self-proclaimed gender,” and that his father intends to make him go to school “as a girl”.

Grandmother Beth, states that Jake’s mother can’t afford the attorney bills on her own, and that without help, she will lose custody.

The page states: “Right now, Jake goes to school and is treated just like any other first grade boy. His teachers and friends are 100% supportive, everyone calls him by his chosen name and I’ve never seen him happier. If my daughter loses this legal battle all of that will change. Once Jake’s father gets full parenting rights, he will force my grandson to go to school as a girl—or as Jake calls it, as ‘his false self.’”

The campaign has so far raised just over $7,000 of a $19,000 (£11,000) goal.

According to the page, Jake has lived with the support of his family as a boy for over a year, and that he had “thrived”.

TW: violence

Tue Apr 1, 2014 4:32pm EDT


(Reuters) - A search is on for three men accused of knocking a woman unconscious in an apparent anti-gay attack less than two weeks after she gave a television interview about her marriage, authorities in Michigan said on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old woman and her partner were wed on March 22 in Washtenaw County, one of four counties that briefly allowed same-sex nuptials after a federal judge struck down the Michigan ban on same-sex nuptials.

The woman was confronted by three men after she got off a bus on Monday evening close to her home near Ypsilanti, Michigan, about 35 miles west of Detroit, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s office said.

"Hey bitch, are you that faggot from the news?" the woman recalled one of the men saying to her, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

She was then punched in the face and fell to the ground unconscious, Jackson said.

The woman said she regained consciousness while she was being kicked in the abdomen, and then the men ran off, Jackson said.

She was treated at an area hospital for bruises and swelling to her face and abdomen and released, he said.

The woman said she rides the same bus almost every day and did not recognize the attackers, he said.

She and her partner were one of more than 300 couples around the state who sought licenses on Saturday, March 22, and her image was broadcast on local television, Jackson said.

A federal appeals court stayed the judge’s ruling later on Saturday and same-sex marriages in Michigan have been halted until an appeal is heard.

Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage, a number that would be substantially increased if a series of recent federal court decisions are upheld in Michigan, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Gunna Dickson)

Ireland’s first gay penguins make perfect match

Penelope and Missy in their polar ice home in Dingle Oceanworld.

Ireland’s first gay penguin couple have set up a nest together in the country’s only gentoo penguin colony.

The same-sex pair, Penelope and Missy, are exhibiting all the signs of a courting couple in their €1m polar ice home in Dingle Oceanworld.

They are following in the footsteps of a number of famous same-sex penguin couples including long-time pair, Roy and Silo, from the Central Park Zoo in New York City, along with a King penguin couple in a Danish zoo which became adoptive fathers to a chick from an abandoned egg.

The Irish duo are one of five couples which have paired off for the breeding season at the polar exhibition which mimics the icy conditions at the South Pole in the Kerry Aquarium.

The head penguin keeper, Kate Hall, said same-sex couples are not unheard of in the penguin world, although it is usually two males who pair off.

“The ones in Central Park are icons for the gay community over there,” said Ms Hall. “They have a lot of fondness and affection for them.

“It’s definitely not an unusual occurrence although this time it’s two females.”

She said Missy and Penelope have been displaying all the signs of a courting couple in their enclosure, which is home to a dozen of the black and white creatures.

“The thing penguins do to show they like each other is they bow to each other and they are doing that.

“When they come into breeding season, they do it to the penguin of their choice and it reinforces the bond between them.

“It is very sweet to watch.”

They’re already living in the sewers — where are they supposed to go next?

Click o the source link to read more.

Q.

"Even after a judge ruled LGBT homeless youth were allowed to find some refuge in public sewers, New Kingston police are reportedly forcing destitute gay teens out of the only shelter they can find "

TW: slurs, homophobia

George H, father of four:

Well, it might sound harsh but I would disown him. I’m telling you the honest truth! It may seem harsh, but if he was a gunman it’s the same way I would treat him. He would have to go and live his life and don’t get me mixed up in it. The way I see it, the world can’t run without families, you have to reproduce to make families, and two men can’t reproduce. So that alone should tell you that it’s wrong. If it was my daughter, she stands a better chance with me. Women can get away much more than men ‘cause it’s not so obvious with females. But I still wouldn’t encourage it. I would do what I need to do to try change her mind.

Garfield Y, father of three:

It would be difficult as hell, but I would accept it. It would be easier to handle if it is my daughter as we could still maintain that father/daughter relationship. But it would be impossible to have anywhere near a good father/son relationship with my son.

Wayne W, father of one:

As long as she is happy, I wouldn’t kill her. I would more be happy that she trusts me enough to tell me. But if I have a son who is gay that is different still. I wouldn’t want to hear, but I wouldn’t kill him. I would just stay far from him. Just the thought of him doing that with another man turns my stomach! But girl or boy, support done at 18, straight or not!

Hugh W, father of two:

I would be very upset, but if it’s my daughter I would love her just the same. I would not condone the lifestyle but what am I going to do? I would still have to love her.

Angela H, mother of three:

I don’t know, to be honest. A lot of people say it can’t happen to them and then you realise that is when you are faced with it then you know how to handle it. But I would not judge.

Bobbette B, mother of one:

If I find out while she is in high school I would try and get counselling for her. If that doesn’t work, then it would be very hard to accept because it is not something I believe in. But I couldn’t put her out.

Olivia J, mother of one:

I would try and find counselling for her. But if I have a boy and realise he was gay, he would have to leave! Him couldn’t stay in the same house with me.

Roxanne T, mother of one:

I wouldn’t do anything. It’s my child. I definitely wouldn’t throw her out. She just couldn’t flaunt it in my house, but I would have to love her just the same.

Andrae T, father of two:

With the knowledge I have now I would not throw out the child. But there would be a lot of rules in my house; for the boy: no tight clothes, no bleach-out hair and skin, no dressing in drag. He is still supposed to look respectable. And he still has to go to school. His occupation cannot be ‘gay’. For the girl, no baggy clothes, no wearing of underpants — she still has to look like a girl. For them the rule is simple — like AIDS — you’re not supposed to tell by just looking!

Transgender Day of Visibility (by TransMilitary)

Amazing Grace for String Duo (by Tona Brown)

"Tona Brown is a transgender violinist and vocalist who has the opportunity to be the first African-American violinist to perform at Carnegie Hall, in the first ever LGBT Pride event at this location. However, Tona needs your help funding the performance.

Tona founded the Aida Strings in 2005 with the goal to showcase the talent of artists in African American and LGBT communities who had a harder time getting the same exposure or opportunities as others. Tona is also an advocate for transgender issue and the arts.

Tona needs to raise just $3,500 in order to make this historic performance happen. Can you pitch in and help?
GLAAD is supporting Tona on her mission to get to Carnegie Hall. All proceeds benefit the LGBT Pride event at Carnegie Hall.”

Contribute Now ▶

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-get-tona-brown-to-carnegie-hall/contributions/new