Chinese Man Sues Clinic For Gay Conversion Therapy, Calls On World Health Organization For Support: VIDEO
A 30-year-old Chinese man using the pseudonym Xiao Zhen (pictured) has has sued two companies involved in his experience with "gay conversion therapy," which included painful shock treatments and hypnosis. The companies are Xinyupiaoxiang Counseling Center (where the therapy took place), and Baidu — China's most popular search engine (which lead Zhen to find the treatment).
The New York Times points out that China has made moves to relax laws against homosexuality, decriminalizing it in 1997 and declassifying it as mental illness in 2001. But these clinics remain popular, as less than 3% of adult gay men in China are estimated to be "completely out."
Zhen says the pressure against homosexuality is strong because marriage is universally expected of men in many parts of China, including his small hometown in the Guangdong Province. To the NYT, Zhen recounts his story coming out to his parents over the phone — they "said nothing [and] were [probably] very sad. They just sat there silently and then hung up."
In a YouTube video for AllOut, Zhen speaks about his experience with the organization that carried out his conversion therapy, and how the experience motivated his lawsuit:
They gave me electro shocks, they hypnotized me...I survived this 'treatment' and I decided to fight back. No one should suffer like I did for who they are or who they love. I decided to sue the sham clinic. It's the first time someone in China has done this and the authorities are starting to listen.
Zhen's plans extend beyond this lawsuit:
Newspapers from all over the world are talking to me but I want to go bigger. I'm asking the World Health Organization, the global medical authority, to back me up.
He is doing this with a a petition hosted on AllOut, which (as of this posting) has accumulated 108,000 signatures of its 125,000 goal.
Check the AllOut video via the above link or AFTER THE JUMP...
In another milestone for transgender people in India, a transwoman named Padmini Prakash, 31, has been hired as a news anchor.
Working up to this career, Prakash has held jobs as a dance instructor and soap opera actress, and she's also participated in transgender beauty pageants.
Prakash has worked for Lotus News in the Indian state Tamil Nadu since last August. One of her earliest breaks moving up the ladder came with a promotion to do the channel's daily 7 p.m. special bulletin, a hire motivated largely by Prakash's popularity with viewers.
But, despite this success story, Prakash says she's faced discrimination all her life, even cutting ties with family due to "pressure."
I was very worried because I also had to focus on my diction and maintain a steady narrative pace to ensure that there was clarity and viewers could understand me.
Check out video of Prakash in action, AFTER THE JUMP...
As hundreds of thousands protest climate change inaction on the streets of New York City, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology struggles to understand the basic physics of sea level change and bases policy on (conservative) public comments rather than scientific literature.
Watch and weep, AFTER THE JUMP...
Attorneys for a Christian group representing Arizona have told a federal judge that if same-sex marriage becomes legal in the state, fewer heterosexual couples will be interested in tying the knot, reports KNAU.
Earlier this month, Judge John Sedwick ruled that the state must recognize the California marriage of Fred McQuire and his partner of 45 years George Martinez, who died in August of pancreatic cancer. That ruling allowed McQuire to list himself as spouse on Martinez's death certificate.
Sedwick said the state's argument that Arizona's marriage law doesn't discriminate is without merit because McQuire and Martinez “may not marry...precisely because of their sexual orientation.”
The Christian-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) believes that the legalization of same-sex marriage would send the message that marriage exists “primarily for the state to approve romantic bonds, rather than...sexual conduct of the type that creates children.”
According to attorneys for ADF, once the link between marriage and procreation is broken, heterosexual couples would not feel the need to wed.
However, attorney Jennifer Pizer of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, said “here is zero indication that [same-sex marriage] is having any adverse effect whatsoever on whether heterosexual couples choose to marry or not marry, or how they raise their children, or otherwise participate in society.”
Watch a report on the McQuire/Martinez ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...
The "Livin' La Vida Loca" singer is feeling loco again. Martin yesterday shared his latest track, "Adios" with fans on YouTube. Meanwhile, just days before, Martin took to Instagram to say adios to his scruff and hello to a newly highlighted moustache.
Check out a pic of Ricky's newly manicured whiskers and listen to his latest song, AFTER THE JUMP...
(Image via Instagram)
An increasing number of same-sex weddings in London are shams designed to get around immigration laws.
Despite a government clampdown, these fake weddings have more than trebled in number in recent years.
The BBC’s Inside Out London went undercover to expose the fraud and discovered one gang that organises sham gay marriages for £10,000.
The gang's leaders, who boasted they had "fixed" weddings "lots of times,” offered two potential fake Romanian brides to the reporter, both of whom stated they were not lesbians but were willing to pretend to be gay and marry anyone for cash.
One of the potential brides said she had organised six previous sham weddings and knew how to deceive immigration officers.
She added that she could also arrange a "romantic" photo shoot of the undercover reporter and herself, designed to persuade the authorities that they were in a genuine relationship.
Minister for Immigration and Security James Brokenshire has ordered his enforcement teams to launch an investigation into sham gay weddings as a result of the BBC report.
Watch a clip of the BBC report, AFTER THE JUMP...