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Scruff Warns Gay Travelers: Hooking Up Is Illegal Here

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Dating/hookup app Scruff is rolling out a new alert feature this week that warns travelers when they're entering a country where homosexuality is criminalized reports The New York Times. Eric Silverberg, co-founder of Scruff, implemented the new alert system after authorities abroad began using the app to lure, trap and incarcerate gay men using fake profiles.

Said Silverberg:

"This feature of the GPS-enabled app that was so exciting for us here in the United States, being able to meet guys nearby, became something of a liability for our members that were in other regions and other countries where homosexuality is criminalized."

Scruff formed a partnership with ILGA, which produces an annual State Sponsored Homophobia Report, to create a webpage that lists countries with laws that criminalize homosexuality. A survey conducted by Silverberg showed that 100,000 Scruff users from the U.S., Australia and Britain recently traveled to countries with anti-gay laws over a 30-day period.


Throwback: Duggars Call LGBT People A Threat To Child Safety - LISTEN

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Right Wing Watch posted a slew of anti-gay audio from the Duggar family for throwback Thursday last week, further exposing Josh Duggar and his family's hypocrisy regarding the LGBT community and sexual abuse. One clip features a segment with Josh on Washington Watch, a Family Research Council radio program, discussing the defeat of Arkansas' LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance and that it was necessary to "protect the wellbeing of women and children." Josh further elaborated in a separate clip that opposing the ordinance was a sign of "love" toward the gay community.

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 10.58.30 PMMother Michelle Duggar also lent her voice to robocalls, calling for the repeal of Fayetteville's nondiscrimination ordinance because it would empower male "child predators" to use women's facilities, jeopardizing the "safety and innocence of a child." As rumors concerning Josh leaving 19 Kids And Counting (if it even returns at all that is) circulate, you can listen to a collection of the Duggar's finest hypocritical moments, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Throwback: Duggars Call LGBT People A Threat To Child Safety - LISTEN" »


Three Men Jailed In Morocco For Gay Sex, Activists Call For Repeal of Anti-Gay Law

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Last Friday three men in Morocco were each sentenced to three years in jail for engaging in homosexual sex, an act that falls under Morocco's atavistic "sexual deviancy" laws, specifically Article 489. The police were tipped off by neighbors to two of the men, who were caught having sex in the workshop of one of the men who works as a professional mechanic. While detained the men said that they were introduced by a mutual friend, who was subsequently arrested and apparently admitted to also engaging in homosexual sex.

The judgment has drawn the ire of rights groups. Graeme Reid, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, called out the hypocrisy of Morocco's own laws and called for a repeal of the discriminatory anti-gay laws:

Private life is protected under Morocco's 2011 Constitution, and yet the government persists in enforcing the law that criminalises consensual same-sex conduct. Convictions under this law are unjust. They also damage people's lives because of the social stigma against homosexuality, which the law reinforces. Morocco should immediately stop enforcing the law, pending its repeal.

Earlier this month the LGBTI rights group Aswat renewed their push for the repeal of the law with a manifesto signed by 50 Moroccan human rights activists, feminist activists, journalists, academics, writers, and others.


Boy Scouts President Robert Gates Says Gay Adult Ban Could Be Lifted By October

In a new interview with NPR, Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates provides a timetable for when his organization will make a decision on whether to lift its ban on gay adults:

Gates"I think that we will have a decision not later than October, but so far there has been no change. We need to reach out to our sponsoring institutions and talk with them about the potential change. We need to talk with donors and others so there's a process to be gone through here, but I think that it's inevitable that we have to change the policy and that's what I recommended, and we'll see as I say not later than October if the rest of the movement is in agreement with the position. But I think that change is the right thing for our movement."

Gates adds that his approach would allow religious-sponsored Scout units to continue banning gay adults.

"There would be a First Amendment protection for their right to do so, but from the National Council's standpoint gays would be permitted in units that want to have them," Gates said.

NPR notes some 70 percent of Scout units are sponsored by churches.


Indiana's Anti-gay Gov. Mike Pence Passes on 2016 White House Bid to Focus on Re-election

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who ignited a firestorm earlier this year after signing a controversial "religious freedom" bill into law, is passing on a 2016 White House bid to focus on his re-election efforts, CNN reports

"Gov. Mike Pence is a conservative leader and dedicated public servant who always puts Indiana first," Indiana GOP Chairman Jeff Cardwell said in a statement. "We are excited the governor will formally announce his plans to seek re-election during our annual Spring Dinner, and we look forward to hearing his ideas for the future of our great state."

That pegs his announcement for mid-June, when Indiana Republicans gather for their annual fundraising dinner.

The AP notes Pence's unpopularity could "make him the first sitting governor to face a serious primary challenge since the state adopted the system in the 1970s."

Two wealthy Republican businessmen are already talking about launching or supporting challenges to Pence. If they follow through, the race could expose the depth of GOP turmoil caused by this year's debates over similar religious initiatives in states such as Indiana, Arkansas and Louisiana.

OesterleOne of these "wealthy Republican businessmen" is former Angie's List CEO Bill Oesterle (right), who stepped down last month and pledged to re-enter politics in an effort to help fix Indiana's "badly damaged" reputation following the firestorm over the state's "religious freedom" law.

Oesterle, a former supporter of Pence, was one of the first major Indiana-based business leaders to join the corporate backlash against the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He was also one of the first (and remains one of the few) business leaders to reject the so-called "fix" to the state's law, calling it"insufficient" to prevent discrimination against LGBT individuals.

The other buisnessman is Indianaapolis auto dealership owner Bob Thomas. 

The AP adds:

Two Democrats have already announced candidacies for their party's 2016 nomination, including former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg, who narrowly lost to Pence in the 2012 gubernatorial election. Democratic state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz, who has clashed repeatedly with Pence on education policy, could also enter the mix.


Anti-gay Irish Bakery's Google Profile Displays Image Reading 'Keep Calm And Kill Faggots'

AshersThe Google Maps team has come under close scrutiny in the past few weeks following a series of distasteful images and redirects found embedded in various Google Maps locations. The problems first began back in April when users reported finding a watermark depicting Google’s iconic Android mascot urinating on Apple’s logo.

Weeks later it was discovered that typing the phrase “house ni**a” into the popular map search engine returned directions to the White House. Google has disavowed having any idea where these offensive embeds might have come from, and assured the public that it’s looking into the matters. Unfortunately, but it would appear as if it’s happened again, this time taking potshots at gay people.

Search results for Ashers Bakery, the Irish bakery that came under fire for refusing to bake a gay wedding cake, now return a riff on the Keep Calm meme that reads “Keep Calm And Kill Faggots.” Unlike the other search results that appear to have been embedded into the very fabric of Google’s search algorithm, these images were likely attached to the bakery’s profile as the result of an unknown Google user.


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