QBits

Riley Hackford-Peer @ LET IT STAND Rally in Salt Lake City, UT (by ecastro98)

From the mouths of babes…

(via towleroad.com)

"Sometimes I felt really scared that my moms weren’t married. I imagined being taken away by one of my moms. At school we talked about things we hoped to see during our lifetime. I always said I imagined my moms getting married in Utah. On December 20 it happened! I saw my moms get married - in Utah! It felt like fireworks bursting in my heart….But Governor Herbert wants to treat my moms unfairly. He says he wants to protect families. But I want to tell him that my family deserves protection too! I have two moms. And I love them. And they deserve to have their marriage recognized everywhere"

Sexting teen found guilty of distributing child pornography

First case in Canada where a teen convicted of distributing child porn for ‘sexting’

CBC News Posted: Jan 10, 2014 8:05 AM PT Last Updated: Jan 10, 2014 12:09 PM PT

hi-nb-texting-injuries

The 16-year-old Saanich girl was charged with distributing child pornography for sending a picture of another girl by text message on her phone.

A provincial court judge in Victoria, B.C., has found a 16-year-old Saanich girl guilty of distributing child porn for “sexting” pictures of her boyfriend’s ex.

The teen was convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography and uttering threats. It is believed to be the first time in Canada a teenager has been convicted of pornography offences related to so-called “sexting.”

The case had all the hallmarks of a modern-day teenage drama: a jealous new girlfriend, intimate photos of her boyfriend’s former girlfriend and text messaging.

The one-day trial on Thursday focused on 36,000 text messages and 4,000 images that were allegedly shared among the accused, her friend, the boyfriend and the alleged victim.

During the trial the Crown argued the accused, who cannot be publicly identified because of her age, sent nude photos of her boyfriend’s former girlfriend to another friend and to the ex-girlfriend. The Crown argued that the accused made threats in text messages to the ex-girlfriend in November of 2012.      

The Crown argued the accused possessed and distributed child pornography. But defence lawyer Christopher Mackie argued there is reasonable doubt about who did what.

"Any case of this nature, when we get into these technologies, it does become very difficult to trace who’s sending what and how do we know, ultimately, who sent what? So that’s part of the burden the court has to try to figure that out."

Mackie also questioned the Crown’s decision to only charge his client.

"There seems to be a number of people involved, but there has only been one person charged with an offence," said Mackie. 

After the verdict was announced Mackie said he will launch a constitutional challenge, arguing his client should not have been charged.

Fire, police units probe arson at Capitol Hill gay nightclub

Someone poured gasoline on a stairway at a crowded Capitol Hill gay club just after midnight New Year’s Eve, then set the carpeting on fire. The fire was extinguished quickly and no one in the crowd of about 750 people was hurt.


Seattle Times staff reporters

Quick work by a nightclub patron who grabbed a fire extinguisher, and a relatively new requirement for nightclubs to have sprinkler systems helped prevent a New Year’s Eve arson at a crowded Capitol Hill night spot from becoming a potential tragedy.

“This could potentially have been much worse,” said Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore. “You have an establishment full of patrons and an intentionally set fire. That’s a very dangerous situation.”

According to Seattle police, just after midnight Tuesday, someone poured gasoline, then set it on fire, on a carpeted stairway at Neighbours, which bills itself as Seattle’s largest and longest-running gay club.

About 750 people were in the club at the time.

A patron quickly put the fire out with an extinguisher. Someone also pulled a fire alarm, setting off the buidling’s sprinkler system, which helped get the attention of partyers, who evacuated safely.

As of Wednesday evening, no one had been arrested and the motive for the fire was not clear.

Still, the arson at the Broadway club raised the possibility of a hate crime, coming as Seattle’s first openly gay mayor, Ed Murray, took office.

“If there’s any indication it’s a hate crime, we’ll pass it on to our bias unit,” said police spokeswoman Renee Witt. She said the arson and bomb squads are investigating.

Read More

(via Uganda’s gays fear violence in wake of anti-gay bill’s passage - CNN.com)

"The witch hunt had already started, and now it has been legitimized by the parliament of Uganda, which is very scary," said Clare Byarugaba, coordinator for the Ugandan Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, an umbrella gay-rights group. "We don’t know how brutal the police will be now that the bill has passed. With this legitimization, it’s going to get worse."

Long overdue.

Q.

Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing has been given a posthumous royal pardon.

It overturns his 1952 conviction for homosexuality for which he was punished by being chemically castrated.

The conviction meant he lost his security clearance and had to stop the code-cracking work that proved critical to the Allies in World War II.

The pardon was granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy after a request by Justice Minister Chris Grayling.

'Appalling' treatment

"Dr Alan Turing was an exceptional man with a brilliant mind," said Mr Grayling.

He said the research Turing carried out during the war at Bletchley Park undoubtedly shortened the conflict and saved thousands of lives.

Turing’s work helped accelerate Allied efforts to read German Naval messages enciphered with the Enigma machine. He also contributed some more fundamental work on codebreaking that was only released to public scrutiny in April 2012.

"His later life was overshadowed by his conviction for homosexual activity, a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed," said Mr Grayling.

"Turing deserves to be remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science. A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man."

The pardon comes into effect on 24 December.

Turing died in June 1954 from cyanide poisoning and an inquest decided that he had committed suicide. However, biographers, friends and other students of his life dispute the finding and suggest his death was an accident.


Alan Turing

2012 saw a series of events that celebrated the life and work of Alan Turing. The events were held to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth

Many people have campaigned for years to win a pardon for Turing.

Lord Sharkey, a Liberal Democrat peer who wrote a private member’s bill calling for a royal pardon in July 2012, said the decision was “wonderful news”

"This has demonstrated wisdom and compassion," he said. "It has recognised a very great British hero and made some amends for the cruelty and injustice with which Turing was treated."

In December 2011, an e-petition was created on the Direct Gov site that asked for Turing to be pardoned. It gathered more than 34,000 signatures but its request was denied by Lord McNally who said Turing was “properly convicted” for what was at the time a criminal offence.

Prior to that in August 2009, a petition was started to request a pardon. It won an official apology from then Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He said the way Turing was persecuted over his homosexuality was “appalling”.

That was fast! I would have thought the state would have a chance to appeal the decision before any licenses were granted…

Regardless, congrats to the newlyweds!

Q.

Gay Utah Couple Has Officially Married

Utahcouple

It’s official! Gay marriage has begun in Utah. Seth Anderson and his husband may just be the first same-sex couple to marry in the state. Anderson tweeted an image of him and his husband with their official marriage license not long ago with the caption: “Me and my new husband!! My polygamous Mormon great grandparents would be so proud!” The couple evidently caught the DA and his staff off guard as evidenced by Anderson’s updates shared on Twitter.

Ultimately, the couple was able to marry despite an apparent attempt by the DA to thwart their marriage. Congratulations to the happy couple!

By BRADY McCOMBS, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal judge has struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling Friday saying Utah’s law passed by voters in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

Shelby says the state failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way, and the state’s unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify deny allowing same-sex marriages.

Attorneys for the state argued that Utah’s law promotes the state’s interest in “responsible procreation” and the “optimal mode of child-rearing.”

The lawsuit was brought by three gay and lesbian couples in Utah.

Many similar court challenges are pending in other states, but Utah’s has been closely watched because of the state’s history of staunch opposition to gay marriage as the home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the country’s anti-prostitution laws in a unanimous decision, and given Parliament one year to come up with new legislation — should it choose to do so. 

'It is not a crime in Canada to sell sex for money.'- Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, Supreme Court of Canada

In striking down laws prohibiting brothels, living on the avails of prostitution and communicating in public with clients, the top court ruled Friday that the laws were over-broad and grossly disproportionate.

"Parliament has the power to regulate against nuisances, but not at the cost of the health, safety and lives of prostitutes," wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin in the 9-0 decision that noted "it is not a crime in Canada to sell sex for money."

Vancouver sending Sochi delegation to lobby for gay rights

I hope this trend of sending LGBTQ delegats continues.

Q.

Delegation will be lead by openly gay deputy mayor Tim Stevenson

By Trinh Theresa Do, CBC News Posted: Dec 18, 2013 7:07 PM ET Last Updated: Dec 18, 2013 7:07 PM ET

Openly gay Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson will represent the city at the Winter Olympics in Sochi

Openly gay Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson will represent the city at the Winter Olympics in Sochi

Vancouver is using its influence as the last Winter Olympics host by sending an official city delegation to Sochi to advocate for gay rights with the International Olympic Committee and the Paralympic Committee.

The city delegation will be headed by openly gay deputy mayor Tim Stevenson and is expected to arrive in Sochi at the beginning of February 2014.

Vancouver city council passed a motion Wednesday morning confirming that deputy mayor Stevenson will represent the city in place of Mayor Gregor Robertson.

The Canadian federal government has not yet announced its formal delegation and has only confirmed that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not be attending. 

The Vancouver delegation is urging the IOC to demonstrate their full support for human rights by directing all future host cities to endorse community-led Pride Houses as part of their bids, as well as updating its Olympic charter to explicitly include a non-discrimination clause with regards to LGBTQ persons and sexual and gender identity.

The Paralympic Committee has already included that provision in its constitution, which states that part of its mission is to “promote sports for athletes with disabilities without discrimination for political, religious, economic, disability, racial, gender or sexual orientation reasons.”

Stevenson doesn’t think it’s a huge problem to align the two charters.

“It’s pretty straightforward,” he told Evan Solomon on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics. “Just look over there and bring them over to your charter and you’ve got it.”

The Vancouver delegation also wants the IOC and IPC to protect LGBTQ athletes, coaches, officials, spectators and their allies during the 2014 Olympic Games.

The Canadian Olympic Committee is not explicitly commenting on Vancouver’s lobbying efforts, instead merely repeating earlier statements that it opposes discrimination of any kind.

In a statement sent to CBC News, the COC said its main focus is the preparation and performance of its athletes.

“The IOC has stated it continues to work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media and it has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games.”

Read More

Trans people in the Netherlands are celebrating a major victory today as the Senate voted to ban forced sterilization last night (17 December).

The new law lowers the age of consent to transition to 16, and simplifies the procedure to be register their gender in official documents.

Currently, a person’s legal gender can only be changed after forced sterilization and gender modification operations, followed by judicial permission.

Several thousand people are believed to be living with official documents that identify them as the gender they were assigned at birth.

This means they face problems on a daily basis while applying for a new job, showing identification and using health care.

But now, with the introduction of the new bill that was adopted by parliament last April, this should change.

Some senators were deeply opposed to the bill, arguing the sterilization requirement should be upheld in order to avoid problems with parental law.

The Transgender Network Netherlands described it as a ‘victory for transgender people’.

The law will come into force on 1 July 2014.

(via Memorial to gay Holocaust victims inaugurated in Tel Aviv park - National Israel News | Haaretz)
"Under gray and rainy skies, without fanfare, history was made in Israel on Tuesday with the inauguration in Tel Aviv of the country’s first memorial to victims of the Nazis that commemorates not only their suffering as Jews. After Berlin, Amsterdam, Sydney and San Francisco, Tel Aviv now has a memorial to the thousands of people who were persecuted by the Nazis for their sexual orientation – Jews and non-Jews both."
Read more at the source link but I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t try to incorporate the black triangle which was used to designate lesbians and asocials as the pink triangle was specifically used for homosexual men. Sadly, this article does not address this. Nor does it mention that when the camps were liberated, gay men remained prisoners as they had broken the laws against homosexuality and were forced to finish serving their sentences.

(via Memorial to gay Holocaust victims inaugurated in Tel Aviv park - National Israel News | Haaretz)

"Under gray and rainy skies, without fanfare, history was made in Israel on Tuesday with the inauguration in Tel Aviv of the country’s first memorial to victims of the Nazis that commemorates not only their suffering as Jews. After Berlin, Amsterdam, Sydney and San Francisco, Tel Aviv now has a memorial to the thousands of people who were persecuted by the Nazis for their sexual orientation – Jews and non-Jews both."

Read more at the source link but I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t try to incorporate the black triangle which was used to designate lesbians and asocials as the pink triangle was specifically used for homosexual men. Sadly, this article does not address this. Nor does it mention that when the camps were liberated, gay men remained prisoners as they had broken the laws against homosexuality and were forced to finish serving their sentences.

(via Gay Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson going to Sochi Winter Olympics - British Columbia - CBC News)
Well done Vancouver!
Q.
“Vancouver really wanted to make a strong stand being the previous host city, in light of the fact that Russia has not allowed a Pride House in Sochi. It seemed that the most effective thing that we could do is have me represent the City of Vancouver as an openly gay councillor and deputy mayor.”

(via Gay Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson going to Sochi Winter Olympics - British Columbia - CBC News)

Well done Vancouver!

Q.

“Vancouver really wanted to make a strong stand being the previous host city, in light of the fact that Russia has not allowed a Pride House in Sochi. It seemed that the most effective thing that we could do is have me represent the City of Vancouver as an openly gay councillor and deputy mayor.”

(via Scott Jones says he was attacked for being gay - Nova Scotia - CBC News)

TW: Assault, Gay Bashing

"Our eyes met. It was a very distinct moment, a glare that I recognized from my life as a gay man," Jones said.

"I’m sure a lot of people in the queer community can identify with the look — just of judgment."

Click on the source link to read more.

(via Luxembourg installs Bettel, Juncker out | News | DW.DE | 04.12.2013)
"Luxembourg has sworn in Xavier Bettel as its first openly gay prime minister, signaling social reforms. He replaces Jean-Claude Juncker, who was the EU’s longest-serving head of government, with 19 years in power."

(via Luxembourg installs Bettel, Juncker out | News | DW.DE | 04.12.2013)

"Luxembourg has sworn in Xavier Bettel as its first openly gay prime minister, signaling social reforms. He replaces Jean-Claude Juncker, who was the EU’s longest-serving head of government, with 19 years in power."

Hate crimes down across US but not for gay victims
The FBI has released its hate crime figures for the year 2012, finding an over-all drop of 7% but gays and lesbians are still being attacked at the same rate
An FBI agent's badge and gun
Photo by Wikipedia

Prejudice over a victim’s sexual orientation was the second largest motivator in hate crimes carried out across the United States in 2012 according to new figures released by the FBI this week.

19.6% of victims were singled out over their sexuality, compared to 48.3% over race, 19% over their religion, 11.5% over their nationality and 1.6% over their disability – in most cases a mental disability.

Of the hate crimes motivated by prejudice against a person’s sexual orientation, 54.6% were over a victim being a gay male, 28% were as a result of general prejudice against same-sex attracted people, 12.3% were because the victim was a lesbian and 3.1% because a victim was bisexual.

2% of victims were attacked because of an anti-heterosexual bias.

In total there were 1,318 hate crime offenses motivated by hatred of a person’s sexuality reported to the FBI in 2012.

In total 2012’s figures showed an overall 7% drop in hate crimes across the US, mostly in the race category, but crimes of prejudice against people based on their sexuality remained largely unchanged compared to the year before.

The FBI only began gathering data about hate crimes against people based on their gender identity this year following the passage of the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crime Prevention Act so will begin publishing that data from next year.