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Australian Judge Compares Homosexuality With Incest And Child Abuse

CourtGavel

Campaigners have attacked a Sydney judge’s comparison of incest and pedophila with homosexuality as “completely unacceptable” and an insult to people who have experienced sexual abuse, reports the Star Observer.

District Court Judge Garry Neilson comments arose in the case of a 58-year-old man who is charged with repeatedly raping his younger sister in the early 1980s. 

Neilson said that in the same manner as homosexuality was once seen as taboo, “a jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available’”.

He went on to say:

“If this was the 50s and you had a jury of 12 men there, which is what you’d invariably have, they would say it’s unnatural for a man to be interested in another man or a man being interested in a boy. Those things have gone.”

Talking to the Star Observer, New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby policy and project officer Jed Horner said Neilson’s comments made an offensive comparison between being gay and sexual offences and were an insult to survivors of sexual abuse.


Dominica Says It Will Never Accept Same-Sex Marriage

Dominica

The Dominica Government has insisted that the island will not follow other countries in accepting same-sex marriage, reports the Jamaica Observer.

Sentences for sex between men can include ten years’ imprisonment. The penalty for attempted buggery between men is four years’ imprisonment.

SkerritIn a statement, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said:

"I will make it clear that there are some things that this Government will not accept and we will never allow for the state to recognise same-sex marriage in our country.”

Claiming that the Sexual Offence Act of Dominica discriminates against homosexuals, activist group Minority Rights Dominica (MiriDom) has called on the Government to re-examine the law as it relates to buggery.

However, Skerrit said that while he is willing to meet with MiriDom, he does not believe that “any one group should impose any views on any other group.”  Skerrit has also dismissed reports that police have threatened to arrest people engaged in same-sex sexual activity.

In 2012, retired police officer Dennis Jay Mayer and his partner, John Robert Hart were arrested on the Atlantis Cruise ship in Dominica and charged with nudity.


Six Men Convicted Of Homosexual Acts in Morocco

Morocco

On July 2nd, a Moroccan court of appeals upheld the convictions of at least four of six men accused of homosexual acts, reports Human Rights Watch.

The country’s constitution states that Morocco “commits to banning and combatting all discrimination toward anyone, because of gender, color, beliefs, culture, social or regional origin, language, handicap, or whatever personal circumstance.”

The men were convicted on charges that included “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.”

On May 12th, the court of first instance convicted the men of homosexual acts. At that time, sentences included one of three years in prison, one of two and a half years in prison, and four shorter periods in prison. The court is thought to also have banished possibly all six defendants from Fqih Bensalah, the city in which the offences took place.

According to defense lawyer Hadda Maidar, the convictions were upheld on the basis of statements made in police custody. All six men have since repudiated their statements which they say were made under duress.

In its July 2 ruling, the appeals court shortened the two prison terms for two defendants, converted the others to suspended sentences, and cancelled the banishment orders. 


Study: Better Qualified LGBT Applicants Face Discrimination From Federal Contractors

A new study by Freedom to Work and the Equal Rights Center demonstrates that better qualified LGBT applicants are 23% less likely than applicants who don’t identify as LGBT to get a call back from some federal contractors, reports Vox.com.

Report on employment discrimination exxon mobilLast month, President Barack Obama announced that the White House is preparing an executive order banning employment discrimination based on gender identity for federal employees.

The study, titled Federal Contractors Show Anti-LGBT Hiring Bias, sent two fictitious resumes - one of which mentioned a leadership role in an LGBT organization - to 100 positions across eight federal contractors including ExxonMobil and General Electric.

ExxonMobil has a history of repeatedly rejecting LGBT workplace discrimination policiesand have even been taken to court for anti-gay discrimination.

The LGBT resume always included a higher grade point average and stronger work experience. Despite the stronger credentials, the LGBT applicant was much less likely to get called back.

A report infographic demonstrates one example of the application process through ExxonMobil.

The report concludes that both the ERC and FTW applaud Obama’s executive order which will finally give LGBT employees legal recourse to address work discrimination.

On June 25, 140 religious leaders petitioned for an exemption from the pending executive order.

Watch President Obama's Pride Month address at which he announced the executive order, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Continue reading "Study: Better Qualified LGBT Applicants Face Discrimination From Federal Contractors" »


Bisexual Asylum Seeker Avoids Deportation To Jamaica - VIDEO

Oraisha edwards

Orashia Edwards, a bisexual Jamaican man who says he faces danger in his native country because of his sexuality, learned on Tuesday that he will not be deported from the U.K.

Homophobia remains a major issue in Jamaican society.

The case for a judicial review of Home Secretary Theresa May's decision was thrown out by a judge in Leeds.

In his written judgement, Judge Clive Heaton QC said that Edwards was being dishonest about his sexuality.

According to Pink News, Edwards has been living in the U.K. for four years along with the rest of his family. He has a one-year-old daughter. Mr Edwards has not been in Jamaica for 14 years.

Speaking to the BBC after the verdict, Edwards said:

"This is my home, I feel safe here, my family and friends are here. I can't go back to Jamaica."

In a press release, activist organization Leeds For Change, which has claimed Home Office decisions behind asylum are prejudiced against LGBT applicants, said it “won’t stop fighting for Orashia to stay here in Leeds with us, his family and the LGBT community. An application to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Orashia will be issued shortly.”

All claims of bias in asylum applications have been denied by the government.

Edwards learned Tuesday that he will now not be deported from the U.K. A spokesperson from the Home Office refused to comment on the change in its decision.

Edwards is today in court submitting new evidence.

Watch State Of Limbo, a short documentary about the Edwards case, and a follow-up interview prior to the hearing, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bisexual Asylum Seeker Avoids Deportation To Jamaica - VIDEO" »


Fight Over Same-Sex Marriage Continues in Boulder, Colorado: READ

Colorado’s attorney general John Suthers is in a continued legal standoff with Boulder County officials on the issue of same-sex marriage. Hillary hall Boulder Colorado clerk

The Boulder County clerk Hillary Hall has been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples since June 25. This comes after last week's ruling from the 10th Circuit of U.S. Appeals striking down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage. Hall's office made the decision to enforce the Court of Appeals' ruling after they interpreted that issuing the licenses was now legal. 

In a June 27 letter to Hall from the State of Colorado Department of Law, Colorado Solicitor General Dan Domenico, on behalf of Suthers, wrote:

“It is clear that your offices and ours have a difference of opinion regarding your authority to issue marriage licenses that do not comply with existing Colorado law...You alone are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and many of these couples have declared that they believe their licenses to be legal and valid...The State’s position is that those licenses cannot be recognized and are invalid and of no legal effect.”

The letter proposed that Hall agree to cease issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in exchange for a joint petition to the Colorado Supreme Court “seeking expeditious resolution of the question of [Hall’s] authority to issue licenses to same-sex couples.”

Yesterday, the attorney general’s office responded to county officials’ request for additional time to consider the proposal. According to Buzzfeed, Domenico wrote that officials could have until July 10 to respond to the proposal only if Hall stopped issuing marriage licenses.

In a statement to Buzzfeed, Domenico said:

“If she elects to continue after [July 1], I am afraid we will be forced to take legal action.”  

Hall refused that proposal, arguing that the response denied her request for additional time:

“Shortly after 11:00, we received a response from the Attorney General. Our request was essentially denied as the terms for more time were contingent on stopping the issuance of same-sex licenses. Our position is the same as previously stated. Same-sex licenses are legal and just licenses and we will continue to issue them.”

Suthers’ office has since told county officials that they plan to go to court today.

Read Domenico's letter to Hall, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Fight Over Same-Sex Marriage Continues in Boulder, Colorado: READ" »


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