Friday, July 07, 2017

LGBTQ News Compilation-July 7

Russians and Israelis like Trump but rest of world hates him

Washington, D.C. - The whole world hates Trump - with the exception of Russians and Israelis - according to a new Pew poll released June 27. The poll involved 40,447 respondents in 37 countries and was conducted from February 16 to May 8. Only 22% of the respondents said they had “confidence” in Trump, compared with the 64% who said the same about Barack Obama at the end of his term.

In the eyes of Pew poll participants, Trump compared poorly to other world leaders. In fact, he got the lowest ratings among those tested. Forty-two percent said they had confidence in Germany's Angela Merkel, and 28% in China's Xi Jinping. Even Russian president Vladimir Putin inspired more confidence than Trump, with 27% saying they trusted him. As a country, the favorable rating of the United States fell from 64% in the Obama era to only 49% now. Israel and Russia were the only countries surveyed where the public prefers Trump to Obama.

Pew said the overall view of the United States, which Pew has followed since 2002, tends to correspond to approval for the president, even if US culture and Americans as people tend to win higher ratings than their leaders. “The drop in favorability ratings for the United States is widespread,” Pew said. “The share of the public with a positive view of the US has plummeted in a diverse set of countries from Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.” According to Pew, the most severe decline came in European allies such as Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany, and also in South Korea. Trump's character traits got particularly unfavorable notice, with 75% of respondents saying he's “arrogant,” 65% saying he's “ignorant,” and 62% calling Trump “dangerous.” Among the positive characteristics tested, his highest rating was for being a strong leader. Fewer believed he is charismatic or well qualified, or cares about ordinary people. (Seattle Gay News – Mike Andrew at sgn.org)


Supreme Court rules LGBT rights not limited to marriage

Washington, D.C. – In a ruling seen as a reaffirmation of its 2015 Obergefell decision granting marriage rights to LGBT people, the US Supreme Court sided with two Lesbian couples in an Arkansas lawsuit, holding that both partners must be listed as parents on the birth certificates of the couples' children. The decision in Pavan v. Smith was announced June 26. The majority in the unsigned opinion said that ruling also means that same-sex couples are entitled to “the constellation of benefits that the states have linked to marriage.”  Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and the newly installed Neil Gorsuch dissented from the brief and unsigned majority opinion.

Under the Arkansas procedure struck down by the court, a woman's husband is routinely listed as the father of her child - even if he is not the actual biological father - while only the biological parent of a child of a same-sex couple would be listed as a parent. The plaintiffs sued to have the same presumption of parenthood applied to same-sex spouses.

The case involved two married Lesbian couples who had each jointly planned their child's conception by means of an anonymous sperm donor. State officials listed only the biological mothers on the children's birth certificates and refused to list their partners, saying they were not entitled to a husband's presumption of paternity. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said their clients and the children involved in the case suffered harm because of Arkansas policy. “A child's birth certificate affects parental decision-making authority in the medical and educational context,” the lawyers said in court documents. Lawyers for the state argued that “parental rights flow from biology, not marriage,” and that “in the overwhelming majority of cases, the mother's husband is a marital child's biological father.” (Seattle Gay News – Mike Andrew at sgn.org)


Chicago Dyke March bans Gay Jewish flag as Zionist

Chicago, IL - The Windy City Times reports that the 2017 Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center). According to one of those individuals—A Wider Bridge Midwest Manager Laurel Grauer—she and her friends were approached a number of times in the park because they were holding the flag. "It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag," she told Windy City Times. She added that she lost count of the number of people who harassed her.

One Dyke March collective member, asked by Windy City Times for a response, said the women were told to leave because the flags "made people feel unsafe," that the march was "anti-Zionist" and "pro-Palestinian." "They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive," Grauer said. "Prior to this [march] I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me." "People asked me if I was a Zionist and I said 'yes, I do care about the state of Israel but I also believe in a two-state solution and an independent Palestine,'" Grauer said. "It's hard to swallow the idea of inclusion when you are excluding people from that. People are saying 'You can be gay but not in this way.' We do not feel welcomed. We do not feel included." Another of those individuals asked to leave was an Iranian Jew Eleanor Shoshany-Anderson. "I was here as a proud Jew in all of my identities," Shoshany-Anderson asserted. "The Dyke March is supposed to be intersectional. I don't know why my identity is excluded from that. I fell that, as a Jew, I am not welcome here."

A statement from posted June 25 on Dyke March Chicago social media accounts read in part: "Sadly, our celebration of dyke, queer and trans solidarity was partly overshadowed by our decision to ask three individuals carrying Israeli flags superimposed on rainbow flags to leave the rally. This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Dyke March Collective members." In their statement, Dyke March Collective organizers singled out Grauer's organization A Wider Bridge for what they called "provocative actions at other LGBTQ events [and] for using Israel's supposed 'LGBTQ tolerance' to pinkwash the violent occupation of Palestine." (Windy City Times at http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/More-than-1500-at-Dyke-March-in-Little-Village-Jewish-Pride-flags-banned-UPDATED-June-25-/59621.html)


Transitioning as a child complicates reassignment surgery

Jazz Jennings, a transgender reality star, recently opened up to People about how her decision to transition at a young age has complicated her actual transition. Jennings, who has a TV show on TLC called “I Am Jazz” admitted that transitioning at a young age might not have been the best move. She told People TV that she might not have enough “material” to work with down there.

Basically, Jazz started taking hormones before puberty in order to transition and now she has a baby penis down there. Apparently, having a completely underdeveloped downstairs mix-up is preventing Jazz from turning their current downstairs into the downstairs that they want. Jazz discusses her downstairs mix-up.

“There’s definitely been a lot of complications in terms of the bottom surgery,” Jennings explained on Tuesday’s PEOPLE Now. “We’ve been talking about it a lot. You’ll see in the show, there’s some problems because I’ve been on the hormone blockers and basically I haven’t had a lot of development — so we’re debating if I have enough material to work with.” (Milo,yiannoppulos,net at https://milo.yiannopoulos.net/2017/06/jazz-jennings-complications/)


Madrid most welcoming for LGBT people, Beijing the least

Berlin, Germany - Strangely enough, Catholic Madrid is the most welcoming city in the world for LGBT folks, while Beijing is the least. These ratings are based on a survey by the German housing website Nestpick and were published by Newsweek magazine. One hundred world cities were included in the survey. Madrid is followed by Amsterdam, Toronto, Tel Aviv, and London. New York City and San Francisco topped the list for US cities (at numbers 9 and 10 worldwide). Seattle came in at 55. Just ahead of Beijing at the bottom of the list are Belgrade, Bratislava, Sofia, and Zagreb - all Slavic cities. However, Johannesburg (number 94) was the only African city included in the survey. Ten US cities mage the list including Autin at 23 and Miami at 27.

“We asked over 2,500 participants from each city to give three lifestyle factors a rating out of five stars: the strength of their city's gay dating scene, the quality of its LGBT nightlife, and the openness of their fellow citizens,” Nestpick explained. “Cities needed to average at least two out of five stars for each of the three lifestyle factors in order to qualify for the final shortlist.” After narrowing down the list, the Nestpick pollsters added a fourth category – safety and looked at official hate crime data. Finally, the survey considered the civil rights of LGBT residents in each of the 40 countries whose cities were included. (Seattle Gay News – Mike Andrew at sgn.org)


Norwegians collect money to fix penis-shaped rock formation

Helsinki, NorwayThe Associated Press reports that activists are collecting money to repair a penis-shaped rock formation in southern Norway after the popular tourist attraction was found badly damaged. Joggers discovered that the Trollpikken rock formation had cracked and noted drilling holes in the rock — something that experts say strongly suggests the rock was deliberately vandalized.

Within a day, over 500 people had donated nearly 90,000 Norwegian kroner ($10,600) to fix the formation located south of the southern coastal city of Stavanger. Activist Kjetil Bentsen told public broadcaster NRK that he was convinced the Trollpikken "will be rebuilt" with donated money.

Police are looking for tips to find the person or persons who did it. The culprit or culprits could face a one-year prison sentence for a serious environmental crime. (Mail.com and The Associated Press at https://www.mail.com/int/news/europe/5306322-norwegians-collect-money-to-penis-shaped-rock-form.html#.1258-stage-mostviewed1-3)


Convicted murder serving life marries male inmate

Montreal, Canada – CTV News states that a Quebec TV network is reporting that convicted murderer Luka Rocco Magnotta was to get married last month. TVA Nouvelles says the man who killed and dismembered Chinese student Jun Lin in 2012 was to wed a male inmate from New Brunswick on June 26 at the penitentiary in Port-Cartier, on Quebec's North Shore.

Magnotta, who will turn 35 in this month is serving his life sentence at the maximum-security institution after being convicted in December 2014 of first-degree murder in Lin's slaying. Magnotta was also found guilty of the four other charges he faced: criminally harassing then-prime minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; mailing obscene and indecent material; committing an indignity to a body; and publishing obscene materials.

In June 2015, it was revealed that Magnotta was looking for a "prince charming" on a matchmaking website for prisoners. His profile was posted on Canadian Inmates Connect Inc., a website that tries to hook up lonesome convicts -- some behind bars for violent offences like first-degree murder -- with potential companions on the outside. "Seeking single white male, 28-38 years of age, white and in shape," read a blurb the website's founder said at the time was written by Magnotta. "One who is loyal, preferably educated, financially and emotionally stable for a long-term committed relationship. If you think you could be my prince charming, send me a detailed letter with at least 2 photos." The ad was removed at Magnotta's request in July 2015 after the site's creator said she received a letter saying he had found what he "was looking for." (CTV News at http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/convicted-killer-luka-rocco-magnotta-getting-married-report-1.3468515)


UK may close Jewish school for not teaching LGBT rights

London, England Arutz Sheva 7 reports that A private haredi school with 212 students in northern London is in danger of being ordered to close after it failed its third inspection since February 2016 last month. The school, which teaches haredi girls ages three to eight, was reported as not giving students "a full understanding of fundamental British values" because they do not teach the LGBT agenda. Jewish law prohibits the homosexual act and only recognizes a marriage between a man and woman as a legitimate way to build a family.

According to the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services, and Schools (Ofsted), the girls "are not taught explicitly about issues such as sexual orientation. This restricts the pupils' spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development and does not promote the equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles." School leaders "recognize the requirement to teach about the protected characteristics as set out in the Equality Act 2010," the report continued. "However, they acknowledge that they do not teach pupils about all the protected characteristics, particularly those relating to gender re-assignment and sexual orientation. The school's culture, however, clearly focused on teaching pupils to respect everybody, regardless of beliefs and lifestyles." Though the school is not expected to "promote" ideas about sexual orientation or gender reassignment, they must still "encourage pupils' respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the 2010 Equalities Act."

"It’s now been made crystal clear by Ofsted that the Equality Act is actually hierarchical," Christians in Education member Gill Robins said. "Sexual orientation and gender reassignment are at the apex of the Act." Freedom of religion is not. "All equalities are equal, but some equalities are more equal than others. Ofsted has revealed its true agenda. It doesn't matter how good your school is in all other respects - simply refusing to teach very young children about gender reassignment will lead to your closure." An Ofsted spokesperson said the current standards "actively promote fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs." However, teaching sexual orientation does not conform to the religious beliefs of Orthodox Jews. (Arutz Sheva 7 Israelnationalnews.com a http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/231684)

Beyond the Beltway

Beyond the Beltway

Compiled by Jim Becker

These news notes have been compiled, with permission, from the online version of various newspapers and other websites. We thank these publications for allowing us to bring you their news stories. Usually the reports have been significantly edited and you can read the full story by going to the website mentioned following the item. Comments are strictly the opinions of Jim Becker and not of Baltimore Outloud or Pride Media.

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