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ACLU Sues San Bernardino Sheriff's Department Over Anti-LGBT Discrimination

San bernadinoLGBT inmates at the West Valley Detention Center, both current and former, have filed suit against the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department for discrimination and abuse faced behind bars. The prison system often separates LGBT inmates for their own safety, but that discrepancy should not reinforce and legitimize the difficulties they have faced according to the suit, from name calling to longer jail sentences. 

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The suit cites several cases in which gay inmates were allegedly denied equal access to drug rehabilitation and educational programs. Gay inmates were allowed less time out of their cells and were unable to participate in work programs that would reduce their sentences, the suit claims.

"In the United States, we punish people because of the crime they commit, not because of who they are," said Melissa Goodman, an ACLU attorney who filed the suit along with the law firm Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP.

The 'Althernative Lifestyle Tank' where LGBT inmates are kept became a personal hell for the fifteen people filing suit alongside the ACLU, including Peter Guzman who claims he was kept in his cell for up to 23 hours each day.  

Guzman, who spent seven months in West Valley awaiting trial in a fraudulent check-writing case, said that from his cellblock he could see that straight inmates were often out of their cells. Sometimes, violent offenders who were straight served food to the gay inmates as part of a work program that gay inmates were denied access to, Guzman said...

 
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's office, along with deputies and sheriff John McMahon, are being named in the suit, and for good reason: they either enforced or committed the in-jail discriminatory behavior.

Mckibben[Former Indiana sheriff deputy and West Valley inmate Dan] McKibben (pictured far right with partner Sean), 51, said he once saw deputies beating a gay inmate. Deputies, he said, regularly used gay slurs when addressing inmates.

McKibben, who spent about two months in the gay cellblock, said he was appalled at the behavior of those who'd taken an oath to uphold the law.

"When you're sworn, you're sworn. And I took that oath," he said. "These guys, every other minute, were violating that."


Alliance Defending Freedom Claims Anti-gay Idaho Wedding Chapel Never Sought Non-Profit Status - VIDEO

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Anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has posted a response to a letter from the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho relating to the litigation group's discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a local wedding chapel, reports Joe My God.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp, the owners of Hitching Post, a wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, claim in the lawsuit that the city's ordinance prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians is unconstitutionally forcing them to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriages.

Back in May, the Knapps said that they would rather close their doors than perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The letter sent by the city to ADF on October 20th makes it clear that, although the Knapps registered their business as a religious corporation early this month, “based on the facts and their corporate status at the time [the couple refused to perform a same-sex wedding],” Hitching Post comes under the city’s non-discrimination order.

However, ADF has posted a response on its website backtracking on claims that Hitching Post has in fact been registered as a non-profit religious organization.  ADF has attacked the city’s “disingenuous waffling” and is now arguing that the Coeur d’Alene intends to “prosecute a for-profit business.”

Knapps“The city has said explicitly, repeatedly, and publicly that it would prosecute a for-profit business. That’s what the Hitching Post is, and it has never claimed to be anything other than that.

"While the Knapps do operate a ministry, they charge a fee for the ceremonies in order to be able to make a modest living. Therefore, the city, in its letter and elsewhere, is admitting that it would prosecute these pastors, who are clearly under a present threat of being sent to jail, fined, or both.

"The city has had months to figure out its own ordinance, and our clients have years of incarceration and devastating fines hanging over their heads. The city’s disingenuous waffling is indefensible.”

Earlier this month, the ADF began lobbying Slovakia's constitutional court to allow activists to place a referendum on the country's ballot that would reinforce the current bans on gay marriage, adoption, and domestic partner protections. The ADF's efforts in promoting bigotry abroad were profiled in Human Rights Campaign's "Export of Hate" report last month.

Watch an ABC report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Alliance Defending Freedom Claims Anti-gay Idaho Wedding Chapel Never Sought Non-Profit Status - VIDEO" »


U.S. Marine Probed In Murder Of Filippino Transgender Woman - VIDEO

Marine accused of transgender filippino woman murder

Police in the Philippines preparing to file murder charges against a U.S. marine suspected of killing a transgender woman will ask American officials to arrange the marine's surrender, reports Bloomberg.

An October 12th police report identified the victim as Jeffrey Laude - also known as Jennifer - who was found dead in a motel bathroom in Olongapo City. Laude had been strangled.

Witness Elias Gallamos said Laude entered Celzone Lodge on the evening of Saturday, October 11th with an “unidentified male white foreigner” aged between 25 and 30 with a marine “style of haircut.”

A friend of Laude said that after she met the foreign man in a nightclub, Laude became uneasy because the man hadn’t realized they were transgender. The friend also identified the marine in a photo lineup.

Vowing to investigate the allegations, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement:

“We are aware of the situation and express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. We are also aware that there are allegations that a foreigner, including possibly a US national, was involved in the incident. We are currently looking into these allegations and working closely with the Philippine National Police to take all necessary steps to help identify the suspects.”

A report in May showed that 102 transgender people across 14 countries had been murdered up in the first five months of the year.

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "U.S. Marine Probed In Murder Of Filippino Transgender Woman - VIDEO" »


Suspected Muslim Terrorist Says England Is Rife With Incest, Homosexuality - VIDEO

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A Muslim medical student arrested in London on charges related to terrorism offences had complained on Twitter that the U.K. is rife with incest and homosexuality, reports The Daily Mail.

20-year-old Tarik Hassane was one of four men arrested who were believed to have been orchestrating a terrorist attack in the U.K.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6f3e33b970b-800wiSharing his views on Twitter, Hassane is believed to have said that ISIS fighters in Syria were “fulfilling the greatest deed in Islam.” However, he denied that he is a member of ISIS.

In one post, he said that Muslims in non-Muslim countries should emigrate, even though he intended to carry out a two-year medical placement at a hospital in England.

In another, he said in England “you have incest, homosexuals, sexual interactions in public, physical attacks on Muslims, alcohol/nudity everywhere.”

He also suggested that women can never rule, judge or lead because they are driven by emotion and suggested to one woman that it would be “more beneficial for you to take lessons on how to make dinner and clean and obey.”

However, Hassane’s friends have defended the four men, claiming that they are “football loving students” and that Hassane's views should be taken as a joke. One Twitter user said that Hassane's comment the day before he was arrested - "Oi lads, I smell war" - was related to girls, not terrorism.

Watch a recording of Hassane's arrest, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Suspected Muslim Terrorist Says England Is Rife With Incest, Homosexuality - VIDEO" »


NYC Transgender Woman In Critical Condition Following Hate Crime Attack: VIDEO

Suspects

New York police are hunting for four men who beat a 28-year-old transgender woman unconscious in Brooklyn on Sunday night, reports the Daily News. Two of the suspects are pictured above, captured on a local store's surveillance camera.

Bushwick and halsey new york mapThe woman, a client of New Alternatives for Homeless LGBT Youth, was attacked on Bushwick Ave. and Halsey St. at around 11:20 p.m.

According to witnesses, the victim was nearing the corner when the attackers started yelling "faggot." When the woman yelled back, the group followed her, kicking her repeatedly until she fell to the ground. Reported to be in a critical condition, she was struck with a plexiglass board and knocked unconscious while on the ground.

New Alternatives executive director Kate Barnhart said that it is not clear if the victim will have permanent brain damage.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Last month, police in New York arrested and charged two men and a teenage boy with menacing, third-degree hate crime and assault in the first degree after they chased and shot at a gay man in Brooklyn. The victim was dressed as a woman at the time of the attack.

Watch a CBS New York report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYC Transgender Woman In Critical Condition Following Hate Crime Attack: VIDEO" »


Three Arrested In Connection with Anti-Gay Attack, Shooting In Brooklyn: VIDEO

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Police in New York have arrested and charged two men and a teenage boy with menacing, third-degree hate crime and assault in the first degree after they chased and shot at a gay man in Brooklyn on Saturday night, reports NY Daily News.

The victim, who was dressed as a woman at the time of the attack, was walking with a friend near M.J. Beauty Salon on the corner of Putnam Ave. and Broadway in Bushwick at about 7 a.m. when he was attacked by Cody Sigue, 22, Matthew Smith, 21, and Tavon Johnson, 17.

According to police, the attackers screamed profanities and anti-gay slurs at the pair. The attackers then opened fire and shot the victim in the rear.

Johnson and Sigue were charged with menacing and third-degree hate crime, while Smith was charged with assault in the first degree. Johnson and Sigue each have one prior arrest while Smith has "an extensive arrest history," with 14 arrests including robbery.

Local resident Daquan Ruddock said:

“[It] shows how gay people can’t walk around in the street without someone saying something or doing something towards them. It’s sad.”

Watch an NBC New York report on the attack, AFTER THE JUMP...

Earlier this month, police investigating an anti-gay hate crime in Philadelphia were assisted by the public who used Twitter to track down the attackers.

Continue reading "Three Arrested In Connection with Anti-Gay Attack, Shooting In Brooklyn: VIDEO" »


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