Zak Kostopoulos, a greek activist died following a brutal beating in Central Athens and the beating was captured on camera (WARNING THE VIDEO IS GRAPHIC).
The Athens daily Kathemerini reported: “The incident occurred last Friday morning on Gladstonos Street near Omonia Square. The victim allegedly entered the empty jewelry store and panicked when he was locked inside. Initial reports claimed Kostopoulos was trying to rob the store, but others said he was trying to avoid a brawl that had started nearby. Footage from CCTV cameras across the street published in media show the victim stumbling while trying to pick up a fire extinguisher to break the glass door. He then tried to break a street-level display window on the storefront. The store owner was alerted to the incident and returned to his store. The camera footage shows two men, one of whom is reportedly the store owner, kicking him repeatedly in the head as he crawls through the broken glass out into the street. One of the dozen bystanders called an ambulance and police. A separate video that emerged showed the victim attempting to escape after receiving first aid by paramedics, only to trip over a nearby table. It also showed a policeman beating him again as Kostopoulos is already lying on the ground.”
Kostopoulos died in route to the hospital, according to the police. The owner of the store has been charged with manslaughter, his accomplice (seen kicking Kostopoulos) is still at large.
The website News Kosmos reported: “A well-known figure among the LGBTQI community, Kostopoulos was an activist for both gender-related issues, as well as for the HIV-positive community, raising awareness for people living with HIV. He had been active through Positive Voice, the HIV-positive association of Greece (which works with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation). He was also a popular drag show artist, performing under the moniker Zackie Oh. A protest rally in his memory was held in Athens on Saturday night, with the participation of about 500 people.”
WARNING: THE VIDEO SHOWS GRAPHIC MATERIAL
Hypocrisy appears to have no bounds. It seems that an anti-gay man who is trying to stop his local library from hosting a Drag Queen Story Time is now being accused of engaging in questionable behavior.
Christopher Sevier has filed a federal lawsuit this past week in Louisiana on behalf of two anti-gay groups Special Forces of Liberty and Warriors for Christ.
In short, the suit is trying to stop the city of Lafayette from hosting Drag Queen Story Time, scheduled to take place on October 6.
But that’s now what this story is about.
Sevier who has been very vocal about marriage equality for years is now been accused of stalking another man.
Over the past decade, Sevier has been in a dispute with country singer John Rich over song rights. Beginning in 2008 Sevier has sent Rich countless threatening emails, which required the singer to request a restraining order. Sevier has since violated the restraining order.
According to reports, in one email Sevier threatened Rich’s children and in another one, he supposedly sent a half-naked picture of himself wrapped in the American flag and covered in blood. Well, there’s nothing like a homophobe sending a half naked pic to another dude.
But it doesn’t stop there. Apparently stalking is a hobby for Sevier. In 2014, he was accused of stalking a 17-year-old he met at an ice cream shop in Nashville.
According to The Tennessean, Sevier told police he was just being “friendly” to the girl when he offered to help her get “modeling work.” He added that he didn’t know why she would be so creeped out by his repeated attempts at helping her.
Not surprisingly, this isn’t Sevier’s first brush with the law. In the past, he’s had multiple warrants issued for his arrest for failure to appear for criminal contempt proceedings, failure to pay child support, violation of a restraining order, and assaulting his father-in-law in an altercation that injured his then-7-month-old baby.
Brazil has hit an all-time level of violent deaths among LGBT people.
According to a new report, 445 LGBT Brazilians died in 2017 a 30% increase from 2016 according to Grupo Gay de Bahia an LGBT watchdog group.
387 were murders and 58 suicides. One example is Dandara dos Santos, a transsexual woman who was beaten to death. A video of her being kicked and beaten circulated on social media with those around her using homophobic slurs.
Brazil is considered one of the most violent countries in the world with a record 62,000 homicides in 2016. Luis Mott, an anthropologist, and president of Grupo Gay de Bahia state that much of the violence can be contributed to the countries prominence of ultra-conservative politicians, most who are connected to the powerful evangelical caucus in Congress.
“It’s a discourse that destroys solidarity and equates LGBT people to animals,” he said.
Homophobic speech is not a federal crime in Brazil, while state and municipal laws are never enforced or effective.
“In the last decade Brazil looked to produce policies that could protect vulnerable groups like gay and trans people but they mostly failed, due to lack of investment or change in vision of policy,” said Jurema Werneck, executive director at Amnesty International Brazil.
To the world, Brazil’s image is perceived as an inclusive nation that is home to the world’s largest gay pride parade and gay marriage is legal.
But the country has a long and strong conservative steak as well: one of the leading candidates in this year’s presidential election is former army captain Jair Bolsonaro who has said that gay children can be “beaten straight”. And Victório Galli last year said that Mickey Mouse was a homosexual infiltrator and Disney was an apologist for “gayness” sending subliminal messages to children.
This past September, a Brazilian judge approved gay “conversion therapy”, just a week after an exhibition of gay art was canceled.
If you want pride colors for your Apple Watch you’re not going to find it, especially if you live in Russia. The Apple pride colors have been removed from their face gallery, in part because of the country’s anti-gay propaganda law.
Apple strives to be a progressive and equality base company. In June the company created an LGBT background for the Apple Watch, so people around the could wear the rainbow colors on their wrist for Pride. Unless you live in Russia.
So, if you selected the pride background for your Apple Watch or iPhone in Russia, the colors would just vanish.
The Verge reported that several Reddit users have posted about issues using the pride colors which have been an issue for several months. A senior editor posted a video changing the background to pride colors and then switching the user region to Russia.
The global recognizable LGBT banner just disappears.
Guilheme Rambo (@_inside) pointed out: “The Apple Watch pride face is hardcoded to not show up if paired with an iPhone and is being used in Russia.”
This is due to Russia’s strict gay propaganda law. The purpose of the law is to protect children from imagery which could be considered as normalizing homosexuality in Russia.
The law which was enacted in 2013 has been used to justify clampdowns on LGBT communities throughout Russia.
For example, 16-year-old Maxim Neverov was fined 50,000 rubles ($760 U.S. dollars) for posting pictures of partially nude men embracing each other and posted on the social network site Vkontakte.
This appears to be the first time someone who is not involved in campaigning for LGBT rights and awareness has been prosecuted under the law. Neverov is expected to appeal the decision.
Russia is said to have a dismal LGBT rights record, where authorities routinely clamp down on LGBT rights marches and protests.
Russia is currently ranked as Europes second least LGBT-friendly nation by ILGA-Europe.
India's Supreme Court in a historic ruling handed down a decision that makes homosexuality no longer a criminal offence.
In a unanimous Supreme Court decision, that court ended the countries sodomy ban. "Any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates fundamental rights," wrote Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
One of the Justices, Indu Malhotra, said that "history owes an apology to LGBTQ people."
It was cause for celebration across the country for the LGBTQ community.
People on Instagram began to post images as people welcomed the news by sharing their favorite photos from Pride Celebrations:
The Australian government is being criticized by human rights organizations for not approving a visa application for Chelsea Manning.
Manning was scheduled to speak at a series of events, but will now instead appear via video-link from New Zealand from September 7 and September 11 by event organizer Think Inc.
You might remember Manning who was imprisoned for seven years for leaking classified U.S. military document in 2010. She was released in 2017 after her original 35-year sentence was commuted by President Obama.
Several human rights groups have voiced their displeasure at the Australian government for not approving Manning’s visa application, stating it’s restriction on freedom of speech.
Claire Mallinson, Amnesty International Australia’s national director, said: “By failing to approve a visa for Chelsea Manning, our government has silenced an important voice on human rights and in doing so sends a message to the people of Australia, and to the international community, that this new Australian government places little value on freedom of speech.”
Manning will speak about being a whistleblower, LGBT, and human rights activist.
The executive director of the Human Rights Law Center Hugh de Kretser said: “As a democracy, we should be encouraging not banning contributions from people like Chelsea Manning.
“This is yet another example highlighting the need for far stronger checks and balances over the Minister’s powers under migration laws.”
Paul Oosting, national director of left-wing lobby group Getup!, said the decision amounted to “denying Australians the opportunity to engage in conversation with a renowned human rights whistleblower.”
Shelly Fitzgerald had been employed at the Catholic school was dismissed after 15 years of employment. A parishioner requested a public copy of her marriage license and then sent it to administrators. It appears that Roncalli staff gave her only three options: resign, wait to be fired or divorce.
"Archbishop Thompson ultimately makes the decision on whether or not Ms. Fitzgerald is allowed to hold her position," Roncalli junior Anna Clodfelter said in a statement released by students. "Our focus from this point on will be calling on Archbishop Thompson to do what is right."
The school released this statement in its defense (comes across as a load of crap):
"As role models for students, the personal conduct of every teacher, guidance counselor and administrator and staff member, both at school and away from school, must convey and be supportive of the teachings of the Catholic Church. These teachings include, but are not limited to: honoring the dignity of each human life from conception to natural death, care for God’s creation, and the belief that all persons are called to respect human sexuality and its expression in the Sacrament of Marriage between a man and a woman as a sign of God’s love and fidelity to His Church."
Students concerns for LGBTQ youth expressed shock at the school’s callousness.
"We were able to convey our concerns on the mental health of students who either identify with the LGBT community or connect with Ms. Fitzgerald as their guidance counselor," student Madison Aldrich said in a statement. "Many students consider Ms. Fitzgerald’s office their 'safe place.' How will LGBT students feel if they see adults firing adults based on who they love?”
The school claims its anti-LGBTQ policy is "clearly defined in school employee contracts and ministerial job descriptions."
Fitzgerald took to social media and said she felt “had to stay hidden and quiet from my friends or risk losing my job... I ask that you pray for my family, for change in the world, and know I have absolutely loved my job for the past 15 years.”
California becomes the first state in the nation to recognize LGBTQ military veterans.
On Monday Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill designating the LGBTQ Veterans Memorial at the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, and making it the state’s official LGBTQ Veterans Memorial. The memorial park will assume the maintenance of the monument.
In 2001 the memorial was established by Frank Moulton AMVETS Post 66 which is based in Palm Springs but was not recognized by the state until now. It is an obelisk of mahogany granite from South Dakota with the logo of the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Veterans of America. According to a press release it was the nation’s first memorial to be dedicated to LGBTQ veterans.
“Our memorial has become a holy place for people who want closure; people who were excluded from the military funerals of their loved ones, excluded from saying goodbye and having an opportunity to gain closure,” Tom Swann Hernandez, founder and current commander of Post 66.
Hernandez testified before the state legislature to argue for the memorial to be officially recognized by the state. Legislation such as this was introduced and passed before, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) voted the bill in 2004.
It was said that, “People said, ‘Well, if you have a gay veteran’s memorial, then we’ll have one for left-handed veterans one day, for right-handed veterans,’” at an event in July Hernandez said “that there are people who try to diminish the importance of the memorial, but we will not give up.” Assembly Bill 2439 passed with bipartisan support, whereas before it was opposed by Republicans.
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia the chief sponsor of AB 2439 stressed the importance of honoring LGBTQ veterans because of the struggles many had to endure to serve in the military. Hernandez successfully fought the Navy when they attempted to discharge him after he came out in 1992. Today Donald Trump’s administration is trying to prevent transgender people from serving. . “It doesn’t seem to be getting any easier for our LGBTQ community to continue to fight for the inclusiveness that you — the men and women in uniform — have fought to ensure,” Garcia said
A special dedication ceremony will be held in November hosted by Post 66 and they have invited Gov. Brown.
Last Thursday, Brendan Mannix filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco Police Department accusing the department of homophobia and harassment. Specifically members of the department for sexual harassment, sexual discrimination based on his sexual orientation and retaliating against a whistle-blower.
Mannix states in his lawsuit that he was subjected to homophobic remarks by colleagues in regards to his sexual orientation, calling his a “queen” and “too dramatic” and disparaging remarks about his masculinity.
When he tried reporting this to the department he claims it made no effort to acknowledge or stop the harassment, but instead retaliated against him by not providing him back up while on patrol (a department requirement when asked) and giving him “unfavorable assignments at the station.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported:
The bulk of Mannix’s accusations focus on two sergeants. One suggested Mannix was in a sexual relationship with the other gay officer at the station, and when Mannix did or said something the sergeant believed was stereotypically gay, he would say “ugh, you gays!” or “God, you gays!” Organ said.
The sergeant, Organ said, would also mock Mannix’s hairstyle and physical appearance, making comments like, “Is that hair big enough?!” and “How much do you weigh? One hundred pounds soaking wet?”
It is also been claimed that a sergeant “talked positively about how ‘back in the day,’ the police would ‘round up’ all of the ‘trannies’” who were prostitutes.
Mannix also describes the department as an “Old Boys’ Club’ atmosphere” where “anyone who did not fit a precise mold–broadly speaking, straight, cisgender, white and male–was targeted for mistreatment; those who complained about it were treated even worse.”
Spokesman David Stevenson did not comment on the lawsuit but stated: “committed to diversity, tolerance, and respect for the public and all of our members.” Furthermore, “Department members are sworn to hold each other accountable and required to act swiftly to report any misconduct,” Stevenson said.
The attorney office for the city of San Francisco declined to comment on the lawsuit as well, but said: “The city of San Francisco, including the Police Department, has been a leader on LGBT rights for decades and remains committed to providing a safe and respectful work environment for all.”
The Austrian magazine Falter has reported that an 18-year old from Afghanistan has been denied asylum because of doubts about his declared sexual orientation. It seems that the “evidence that was cited by officials was that he didn’t “act” or “dress” like a gay man.
“The way you walk, act and dress does not show even in the slightest that you could be homosexual,” the official reportedly wrote. The expert opinion was stated that there was no reason for the young man to fear for his personal safety in his home country. The Afghan man plans to appeal the decision.
The young man arrived in Austria from Afghanistan in 2016 and assigned to the SOS Children Village refugee camp. In his asylum application cited the fact that he was part of the persecuted Harara community, then appealed on the bases of sexual orientation.
Official’s observed that the Afghan’s behavior was at odds with his stated orientation and because he’d been in a fight at the refugee center, and a potential for aggression that wouldn’t be in the normal behavior of a homosexual.
He was observed spending more time alone or in smaller circles and avoided larger groups. “Aren’t homosexuals rather social?” the official asked in the report
During his asylum interview the man, was asked when he knew he was gay, his response was at the age of 12. An Official believed that was rather early and most likely untrue stating that as “there is no public sexual stimulation through fashion and advertisement” in Afghanistan.”
The Interior Ministry released a statement: “Asylum-seekers must substantiate their reasons for fleeing. There are no concrete rules of proof, but the authorities must show if and why a claim was found to have been substantiated,”
This would not be the first instance that an official denied asylum because of doubts of seekers sexual orientation. The European Court of Justice ruled that it is unacceptable for a Hungarian Official subject a Nigerian asylum-seeker to psychological testing to prove his sexual orientation.
“The performance of such a test amounts to a disproportionate interference in the private life of the asylum-seeker,” the judge said.
Maybe someone should inform the Ministry officials that under Sharia law, punishment is as severe as execution.