A doctor and his male friend have been arrested after an 18-year-old man fell to his death after an alleged three-way.
Police apprehended the pair after their guest fell from a balcony at the doctor’s 20th floor condo in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday (18 May).
A police source at Thong Lor police station told The Nation that the two suspects appeared to be under the influence of crystal methamphetamine.
Thong Lor precinct officers received the report of the victim’s death at 3.30pm on Saturday.
Police authorities examined the building’s CCTV recordings. They reportedly found the victim entered the condo block with two older men, both in their 30s and went up to the 20th-floor with them.
One of the men alleged the teen became intoxicated and fell from the balcony. Locals found him on the street wearing only a G-string.
As a result of the CCTV, police arrested the pair. Authorities are due to bring the men to the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court tomorrow (22 May).
Police will apply for the first 12-day detention order over an initial charge of possession of an illicit drug, with more charges pending.
Medical examiners will conduct an autopsy on the victim to determine the cause of death. Authorities expect this to take 15 days due to the reported level of narcotics in his system.
This will decide if the man died before or after falling from the balcony.
LGBTI rights in Thailand
Many see Southeast Asian country as a safe-haven for LGBTI tourists. But the reality for locals is that the law is far from liberal.
While LGBTI sexual activity is perfectly legal, many same-sex households are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.
Moreover, Thailand government does not recognize marriage, civil partnerships, nor adoption.
Although, the LGBTI community in a survey named Bangkok the second-most LGBTI-friendly city in Asia, after Tel Aviv, in 2017.
Written by: Josh Milton. 21 May 2019. Gaystarnews.com
Gay-for-pay porn star Sebastian Young has pleaded ‘no contest’ to child porn charges.
His real name, Joshua Noles, has been set free after spending nearly 1000 days in jail.
The former adult star, who has worked with some of the biggest gay porn studios like Lucas Entertainment, must now be on the sex offenders’ register for life in Florida.
Gay-for-pay porn star freed after pleading ‘no contest’ to child porn charges
Noles previously faced numerous charges in relation to what is allegedly his five-year-old daughter.
It is alleged he raped his daughter, gave her an STD, and possessed child pornography of the assault.
He also threatened to murder the police detective who was investigating him.
Noles spent 60 days in prison in late 2017 for the latter arrest. He was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct for threatening to kill the detective.
Prosecutors and Noles appear to have made a deal on the child rape charge, according to this NSFW blog.
The state has dismissed the charge ‘nolle prosequi’, a term meaning the state is unwilling to pursue the alleged crime.
Details of why will likely remain unknown. Because the case involves a minor, all court documents are confidential.
Escaping the death penalty
Noles was also ordered to pay a $720 (€645) fine for Felony Crime Against Minor & Rape Crisis.
He has also applied for indigency, meaning he has no money, the fine will be converted to a civil judgment against him.
He will also be on the sex offenders’ register for life.
If found guilty of the charges Florida held against him, Noles could have faced life in prison or the death penalty.
Noles has been charged and convicted of multiple felonies over the last 15 years.
He has also been arrested for assaulting his ex-wife three times, convicted for assaulting an elderly person over 65 (for which he spent nearly two years in prison).
He was also arrested and/or convicted eight different times for drug, DUI, burglary, traffic and battery charges.
Written by: Joe Morgan. 20 May 2019. Gaystarnews.com
If you’ve ever been to Atlanta, chances are you may have stopped by Swinging Richards, its cruisey and delightfully tawdry all-nude, all-male stripper joint. The place is nationally renowned and usually packed with locals and tourists alike, but it may also be going away soon due to costly financial troubles. (And a $1 million GoFundMe campaign to pay the bar’s legal fees has also mysteriously disappeared.)
The Project Q Atlanta magazine reports Swinging Richards filed for bankruptcy earlier this month because it owes more than $1.65 million to strippers who sued the bar for allegedly unpaid wages.
The lawsuit’s details make Swinging Richards sound even seedier than we imagined. On top of the $875,000 the bar owes to five former dancers after a May 2018 jury trial found in the dancers’ favor, an additional $667,000 is owed to 25 former dancers who sued the bar in January 2014.
The dancers alleged that the bar paid them less than minimum wage and forced them to pay extra fees just to perform:
The Swinging Richards dancers say they are “integral” to the club’s operation and that managers strictly control their actions, from having them strip naked before being hired to setting their schedule, requiring them to pay nightly house fees and undergoing breathalyzer tests at the end of their shifts. The lawsuit argues that the club is an enterprise that engages in commerce regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act and that dancers should be paid $7.25 per hour “‘free and clear’ of any deductions or ‘kickbacks.’”
Someone set up a $1 million GoFundMe page to help pay the bar’s legal fees and owed backpay, but the page seems to have vanished. The campaign reportedly said, “Help us keep Swinging Richards swinging proudly. A recent court decision and overly aggressive lawyers looking for profit, have caused us to reach out to the community for help. Don’t let them shut us down!”
It had raised just $80 before it was shut down.
Despite all this, the club’s owner says its dancers are “among the highest paid strippers in America.” He claims dancers are paid five to ten times over minimum wage and that Swinging Richards will remain open for years to come.
Written by: Daniel Villarreal. 10 May 2019. Life. Queerty.com
Lawyers representing the Hong Kong government in a high-profile LGBTI rights court case appeared to flounder in the final phase of the legal battle on Tuesday (7 May).
Immigration officer Angus Leung, who married his husband in New Zealand five years ago, sued the government in 2015.
The government had refused to recognize his marital status and grant his husband benefits such as medical insurance.
Hong Kong’s top court is now conducting the final hearings in the case and is expected rule in the next few months.
Lawyers representing Leung on Tuesday argued same-sex marriage was no different from any other marriage, according to local media RTHK.
But, government lawyers said Hong Kong only recognized marriage between a man and a wife.
They said granting benefits would undermine the ‘special status’ of marriage in Hong Kong.
Leung’s lawyer, Karon Monaghan QC, pushed the government to explain: ‘It has to be justified. It’s not enough to say marriage is special and unique’.
Justice Roberto Ribeiro, one of the presiding judges, also asked: ‘Why are you saying that it was undermining the tradition of marriage…because a gay person is now allowed to see a dentist’.
Monaghan maintained the government had failed to form a ‘rational connection’ between marriage as ‘special and unique’ and granting Leung his rights.
‘It is the way it is. It has always been what it is. But that is not a reason for excluding a same-sex couple,’ she said. ‘That is entirely circular.’
Written by: Rik Glauert. 08 May 2019. Gaystarnews.com
American Christian extremist Steven Anderson, best known for his hateful diatribes and calls for violence against LGBTQ people, has been denied entry into 26 European countries this week. The Arizona pastor has already been banned from Jamaica, South Africa, the UK, and Canada; he was arrested and deported while in Botswana in 2016.
Anderson planned a trip to the Netherlands to do some “soul winning” according to the Netherlands Times. After activists pointed out Anderson’s history, State Secretary Mark Harbers of Justice and Security responded by not only banning Anderson from entering Dutch boundaries, he made sure that Anderson wasn’t allowed entry into the entire Shengen Area.
The area functions as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy, for 26 countries and encompasses Europe and Iceland.
The Dutch government is “taking strong action against extremist speakers who, by spreading their beliefs, restrict the freedoms of others or even incite hatred or violence,” according to Harbers.
Anderson is a Holocaust denier who praised the Pulse nightclub shooter, calling victims “a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles” and “disgusting homosexuals who the Bible says were worthy of death.”
In the past, Anderson has encouraged his congregants to kill all gay people, calling it a “cure for AIDS.”
He has also advocated for world governments to execute gay people.
Written by: Bil Browning. 03 May 2019. Bias Watch. Lgbtqnation.com
The Supreme Court of the United States announced on Monday (22 April) they will review three cases dealing with LGBTI discrimination in the workplace.
There has been an ongoing debate about whether or not Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, granting federal protections against discrimination for certain identities, applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.
These cases will finally settle the matter. This has been a source of contention between federal courts and the Trump-Pence administration.
The three cases
Lawyers are presenting three cases relating to LGBTI employment discrimination to the Supreme Court.
In the first case, a funeral home fired its director, Aimee Stephens, when she came out as transgender. She said she would be coming to work as a woman and they responded that would be ‘unacceptable’.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Stephens’ favor in March 2018, saying her firing violated Title VII.
Donald Zarda is the defendant in the second case. Altitude Express, Inc. fired Zarda from his skydiving job due to his sexual orientation. A federal court initially rejected his discrimination claim before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII’s language about sex discrimination does apply to sexual orientation in February 2018.
Finally, an employer fired Gerald Lynn Bostock from his job as a county child welfare services coordinator when they learned he was gay. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied his appeal in May 2018.
Courts vs Trump
Federal courts have not come to an agreement about whether or not Title VII applies to sexual orientation and gender identity. Some have ruled in favor of LGBTI protections, while others have not.
The Trump-Pence Administration stepping into the debate further complicates the situation.
On numerous occasions, the Justice Department under Trump has declared that Title VII does not apply to either sexual orientation or gender identity.
What happens now?
There has been no clear answer on employment protections for LGBTI people, muddied by varying court decision and political leaders’ opinions.
Lawyers will argue the cases before the seven Supreme Court Justices in the fall. A decision will likely be handed down in June 2020 — during the thick of the presidential race.
The Supreme Court currently has a conservative majority. Trump nominated two conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, within his first term. There is no way of knowing how they will rule until the decision is handed down, however.
The Supreme Court is not the only path for LGBTI federal protections.
Democrats recently re-introduced the Equality Act to Congress, which would mandate federal protections for LGBTI Americans across the nation.
Written by: Anya Crittenton. 22 April 2019. News. Gaystarnews.com
Transgender children in the Netherlands are now able to change their gender on passports before the age of 16, while trans adults can self-identify without a doctor’s statement.
Children seeking to have their gender legally recognized will be able to do so by requesting a court date.
Sander Dekker, the Dutch minister for legal protection, said on Thursday (April 11) that judges will grant such requests only in “extreme circumstances.”
Responding to criticism that children may “change their minds” and revert back to the gender they were assigned at birth, he confirmed that any child who legally transitions will be given only one opportunity to reverse course without a court date.
Netherlands streamlines legal gender change
The path to legal recognition has also been made easier for people aged 16 and above, who can now change their gender marker without a statement from a doctor or psychologist.
Under the new process individuals will be given four weeks to cancel a change in legal gender before it becomes permanent.
LGBT+ groups said that they were “pleased with the abolition of the expert statement,” but argued that the new measures are not far-reaching enough.
Transgender Network Netherlands, COC and NNID released a joint statement which read: “This proposal does not provide any relief to intersex people and violates the right to self-determination of transgender children.”
Intersex and non-binary people in the Netherlands can apply for the gender marker X, but must do so through the courts without any guarantees. Dekker indicated that this process may also be made simpler.
Which countries issue gender-neutral passports?Leonne Zeegers became the first Dutch person to receive a gender-neutral passport in October 2018, following a two-year legal battle.
Australia, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Pakistan, India, Ireland and Nepal have also introduced (or are introducing) a gender-neutral passport, alongside a handful of US states.
In June 2018 Christie Elan-Cane lost a high court challenge which called on the British government to adopt an X marker.
Written by: Reiss Smith. 11 April 2019. Current Affairs. Pinknews.co.uk
Spain’s health minister Maria Luisa Carcedo is calling for the end of LGBTI conversion (or ‘gay cure’) therapy across Spain.
Practitioners of the harmful therapy oversee LGBTI people undergoing dangerous treatments in order to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. It can include electric shocks or emotional manipulation, on the belief that being LGBTI is a mental illness.
But Spain’s minister for health, consumption and social welfare wants to see the practice ‘completely abolished’.
She said in a press conference on Wednesday (3 April): ‘They are breaking the law therefore, in the first instance, these courses have to be completely abolished.
‘I thought that, in Spain, accepting the various sexual orientations was assumed in all areas, but unfortunately we see that there are still pockets where people are told what their sexual orientation should be,’ she said.
Conversion therapy in Madrid
Conversion therapy is legal across Spain, except in autonomous communities like Madrid, Valencia, Andalusia and Murcia.
The comments come about after a newspaper reported on an alleged underground course in Madrid to cure gay men of their homosexuality.
The online newspaper, El Diario, sent a reporter posing as a gay man to a counseling session provided by a diocese of the Catholic Church close to the capital Madrid called the Bishopric of Alcalá de Henares.
People at the counseling session allegedly advised the man to stop watching porn and to masturbate less.
Representatives of the diocese called the claims ‘fake news’.
Madrid banned conversion therapy in July 2016. The ban then went into effect from 1 January 2017 and applies to medical, psychiatric, psychological and religious groups.
The practice of conversion therapy is illegal, regardless of whether someone requests it personally or not. Punishments include fines of up to €45,000 ($51,000).
Written by: James Besanalle. 04 April 2019. Gaystarnews.com
Everyone knows that Utah is one of the most politically conservative states in the union, but it’s apparently so conservative that it actually had a 1973 fornication law punishing sex outside of marriage as a class B misdemeanor with up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail.
This last week, the state finally repealed that law. But surprisingly, six other states have laws forbidding sex outside of marriage including Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and even Washington D.C. According to civil rights attorney Brian Barnard, all 50 U.S. states had anti-fornication laws on the books back in 1971, but it’s unclear if this is accurate.
What’s especially weird about these laws (apart from being Puritanical and sex-phobic AF) is that they explicitly punish sexual encounters between consenting adults.
Utah Republican Representative Paul Ray called the 1973 law “unenforceable,” and other legislators considered it one of many laughable old-timey laws that had been kept on the books purely for “morality’s sake” (ie. because some conservative Mormons wanted it.)
And yet, in 1990, the Salt Lake County Attorney used the law to press charges against a Murray, Utah high school teacher for having sex with two music students. The charges were later dropped in exchange for a guilty plea to two counts of sexual abuse of a child.
Along with this law, Utah lawmakers also recently voted to repeal similar statutes against adultery and sodomy, according to the Associated Press.
In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court banned sodomy laws nationwide, criminalizing sex between consenting same-sex adults. But despite this ruling, 16 U.S. states still have anti-sodomy laws still on their books: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.
Some people arrested for sodomy remain in prison even though it’s no longer illegal.
Written by: Daniel Villareal. 01April 2019. Querrty.com
The popular gay hookup app Grindr is up for sale after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has determined that the app’s purchase by Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd presents a “national security risk.”
The company has partially owned the app since 2016 and completely took over ownership in 2018. The company announced last year that it was planning an initial public offering, but that plan has been scrapped as Kunlun moves to unload the property.
The company is reportedly planning to auction the app off and is reaching out to investment firms and competitors to gauge interest.
Foreign investors are required to submit their purchase of an American company to the CFIUS for review, but Kunlun did not submit the required paperwork for review. The agency does not reveal the reasons behind its decisions since it could potentially reveal classified information by US intelligence agencies.
Experts, however, say the agency has focused on privacy concerns lately and Grindr keeps highly personal information about it’s users like HIV status, contact information, sexual preferences, and pictures of users – frequently including naked photos. American users and prominent LGBTQ activists had also expressed similar concerns.
Senators Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Grindr last year questioning how the app would protect users’ privacy after the purchase.
The app recently shuttered it’s blog, INTO, after the publication ran a story accusing the straight company president, Scott Chen, of being anti-marriage equality. Chen quickly fired back, saying he was mistranslated, but employees resigned in protest shortly before the site was closed down.
Written By: Bil Browning. 27 March 2019. lgbtqnation.com