Law Enforcement Hub




St. Petersburg Pride Rally Denied Permission Takes Place Without Violence

A Gay Pride event took place without any violence in St. Petersburg, Russia, last Saturday, reports The Moscow Times.

SppLast week, event organisers Ravnopraviye said that they intended to hold the rally despite officials denying a request for permission.

The rally happened on the Field of Mars square, a newly created free-speech zone in the city. While The Moscow Times said that 24 people took part, Queer Russia estimated the number to be around 150.

Police accompanied activists both to and from the rally.

During the rally, activists talked about the need to respect civil rights and thanked the police for their protection.

According to Pink News, some attendees were detained for carrying placards depicting images and sayings which fell under Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.

The law, signed by Vladimir Putin last June, bans the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors.

At least six people were arrested at two gay pride rallies in Moscow last May.


SC Attorney General Will Continue to Defend State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban: VIDEO

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has said that he will continue to fight a lawsuit aiming to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage despite a ruling by a federal appeals court, reports The Daily Journal.

Unlike Wilson, yesterday North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced he would no longer defend the state's ban in court. There are four lawsuits currently challenging it in North Carolina.

South Carolina passed a law banning same-sex marriage in 1996. Voters approved a similar constitutional amendment in 2006.

Yesterday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The ruling has jurisdiction over South Carolina which is in the circuit, along with North Carolina and West Virginia.

The lawsuit against South Carolina was filed by a Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin who were legally married in Washington, D.C., and are now living in South Carolina. The case has been on hold while the appeals court considered the Virginia case.

Mark Powell, a spokesman for Wilson, said he sees no need to change course because the U.S. Supreme Court will likely make the final decision.

"Ultimately, this will be a decision for the U.S. Supreme Court. People should not rush to act or react until that time, when a decision is made by the highest court in the land.”

However, according to Ryan Wilson, executive director of South Carolina Equality, the ruling brings the state one step closer to same-sex marriage and “confirms that gay and lesbian couples are no different from straight couples.”

Last October, Linda Oliver, the mayor of West Union, South Carolina, came under fire for saying that she didn't want "queer" marriages "rammed down her throat."

Watch a Wavy.com report on the striking down of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "SC Attorney General Will Continue to Defend State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »


Fort Worth Police Video Reaches Out To Gay Recruits: VIDEO

Chris Gorrie Fort Worth PD

This is unexpected. The Fort Worth Police Department made national news five years ago when they engaged in a Stonewall-style raid on the gay bar The Rainbow Lounge. The Fort Worth PD is now attempting to repair its relationship with the gay community by reaching out with a recruitment video featuring out gay officer Chris Gorrie to display the increased diversity and sensitivity now present in the police department.

While it's nice that the Ft. Worth PD is trying to improve its image and relations with the public, there's still some work to be done. Gorrie himself even makes excuses for discrimination in his video with implications that an officer should prove himself before coming out and engages in a little victim-blaming:

If you establish yourself as a good cop, one that works and not one that's lazy, among your comrades prior to them learning that you're gay, there's less of a stigma or they have less of an issue with it. That's not to say there haven't been issues. I knew of a guy who came into the Academy and who was gay - openly so - and he blamed his failures on what he perceived to be discrimination. I don't think he was actually discriminated against, I just think he used that as an excuse.

Still, it's a step in the right direction and is better than outright brutality. You can watch the CBS news report as well as the recruitment video AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Fort Worth Police Video Reaches Out To Gay Recruits: VIDEO" »


Russia Designates LGBT Rights Group As A 'Foreign Agent'

Coming out russia

On July 21st, a court in St. Petersburg, Russia designated LGBT rights group Coming Out as a “foreign agent,” reports 76Crimes.com.

Organizations registered as "foreign agents" in Russia are subject to extra governmental audits and other measures that limit their efficacy.

Coming Out has been fighting the designation for 16 months.

Following the ruling, the group issued a statement on Facebook which reads in part:

"The label 'foreign agent' on all the public materials of the organization would be a sign for wider society that the idea of protecting the rights of LGBT people is something 'foreign', and, therefore unnecessary and even harmful. An organization registered as a 'foreign agent' would also be subject to extra governmental audits, and further measures that would limit its capabilities to work.

"'Coming Out' will appeal the court’s decision, but there is no guarantee that the organization will not be registered by the Ministry of Justice in the nearest future, as it happened also with five major human rights organizations.

"This decision marks an end of the 16-month saga during which 'Coming Out' invested considerable time, effort, and resources to explain to the courts, mass media, and the general public that defending universal human rights of Russian citizens is in the interests of those citizens, and of Russia. We are hoping that, regardless of the final outcome, this message was able to reach the hearts and minds of many people.

According to The Advocate, although Coming Out did not directly mention Russia's ban on "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" as the source of the initial complaint, reports suggest that the law has created an untenable situation for LGBT Russians.


Gay Texas Foster Children Caretaker Fired For PDA With His Fiance: VIDEO

Casey stegall

A caretaker for foster children in Lubbock, Texas, was fired recently after he introduced some teenage clients to his fiance during an outing at a water park on the Fourth of July, reports Lone Star Q.

Officials at the Children’s Home of Lubbock, which is affiliated with a Christian church, accused Casey Stegall of engaging in a public display of affection with another man.  

Speaking to The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Children’s Home president Lynn Harms said:

“When you are implementing life training and so forth — particularly with children — to put a confused message out there is counterproductive. If you want to try to force our culture to meet your expectations, that’s not going to go well. I don’t feel like the culture here has to meet an individual’s desire for the world to be different.”

Harms also said that gay employees who “fly under the radar” are accepted but that other gay employees have been fired because of “how they conduct their business.”

Devastated by his termination, Stegall has since contacted attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

Although cities around the U.S., including Houston, have introduced municipal ordinances banning anti-LGBT employment discrimination, Lubbock has not done so.

Last week, President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban anti-LGBT discrimination by private employers, remains stalled in the U.S. House. However, last week the Washington Blade reported that Democratic House Representative Jared Polis is preparing to initiate a discharge petition for (ENDA).

Watch a video of Stegall discussing the termination of his contract, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Texas Foster Children Caretaker Fired For PDA With His Fiance: VIDEO" »


60 Percent Say Irish Baker Who Refused To Make Cake Supporting Gay Marriage Should Not Face Legal Action

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A ComRes poll commissioned by the Christian Institute shows that 60% of respondents think no legal action should be taken against a bakery in Northern Ireland that refused to make a cake for an LGBTI activist group, reports Pink News.

Earlier this month we reported that Ashers Baking Company refused an order for a cake which was to be decorated with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage,” a logo for QueerSpace, and an image of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland said that refusing to make the cake amounted to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and wrote to Ashers asking that it remedy the situation within seven days or be taken to court.

However, the Christian Institute poll shows that 60% do not approve of legal action against the bakery.  Additionally, 80% of those polled over the aged of 65 disagree with legal action.

In a similar ongoing case in Colorado, Denver baker Jack Phillips has appealed an order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission requiring him to prepare wedding cakes for same-sex couples. Phillips said that although he has no problem with LGBTI people, he disagrees with same-sex marriage.  He has also stated that he would rather close down his business than make cakes for same-sex weddings.


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