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Jamaican Activist Fears Reprisals, Ends Legal Challenge To Anti-Sodomy Law - VIDEO

Javed Jaghai

A gay rights activist has withdrawn a legal challenge to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy laws after growing fears of violent backlashes, reports WTOP.com.

Last year, Javed Jaghai initiated a constitutional challenge to an 1864 law that bans sex between men.  He argued that the law fuels homophobia and violates a 2011 charter of human rights that guarantees a right to privacy.

Jaghai is the Education and Outreach Officer at the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (J-FLAG).

As it stands, the law bans anal sex and sets a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and hard labor. Anything interpreted as "gross indecency" between men is punishable with two years in prison.

When Jaghai initiated the legal challenge in 2013, several church pastors led crowded revival meetings to oppose overturning the anti-sodomy law.

However, Jaghai has issued a statement saying he is no longer in a position to continue pursuing the case because of fears of a backlash against his family.

Janet Burak of New York-based advocacy group AIDS-Free World said the fear that pushed Jaghai to end his court challenge is "the same fear that keeps gay men in Jamaica underground, away from effective HIV testing, prevention treatment, care and support interventions.”

Although Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller spoke in favor of gay rights in 2012 and has vowed to put the anti-sodomy law to a "conscience vote," there has as yet been no movement in that area.

Watch Jaghai discuss human rights in Jamaica, AFTER THE JUMP...

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San Diego Man Charged With Willfully Exposing Boyfriend To HIV - VIDEO

Thomas Guerra

The San Diego City Attorney's Office has charged a 29-year-old man with knowingly exposing an ex-boyfriend to HIV, who is now testing positive. Thomas Guerra has also been accused of infecting 24 other men with HIV, reports Gawker.

Guerra's unnamed accuser said that he was messaged by a man on Facebook who told him of Guerra’s HIV positive status.

The accuser also said that he discovered a number of text messages on Guerra's phone allegedly implicating him:

"Texts where he's stating he's negative to people then bragging to others about giving people his 'positive load.’ It's crude, it's...I don't know how someone could treat another individual like that."

Guerra, who is also known as Ashton Chavez, currently faces a maximum of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. However, his alleged victim is hopeful that additional text message records could prompt prosecutors to upgrade the case to a felony, punishable with up to eight years in prison.

Watch an ABC 10 News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Russian Reps Under Investigation For Homophobic Conchita Wurst Cartoon - VIDEO

Murmanskadvertbig

Two Russian politicians are under investigation after using a video depicting Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst to announce their anti-gay platform, reports The Moscow Times.

The six-second video by Murmansk city council representatives Oleg Guz and Almaz Gismeyev - which has since been deleted - depicted several cartoon figures resembling Wurst gathering a sign reading “There will be a parade!”  The video then shows Guz and Gismeyev shaking hands while a voice-over announces their names and the slogan “Against Loudmouths and Gays.”

Although GayRussia.eu said that Guz and Gismeyev uploaded the video themselves, it is unclear whether it was an official campaign video for the upcoming municipal elections on Sept. 14.

Prosecutors in the city are investigating the video for evidence of incitement to hatred.

Check out Conchita Wurst's showstopping winning Eurovision performance, AFTER THE JUMP...

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St. Louis Cop Retires On Full Pension Following Vile Homophobic Rant - VIDEO

Dan page

Dan Page, a St. Louis police officer who was last month suspended after a homophobic, racist, misogynist and Islamophobic video came to light, has retired on his full pension and benefits, reports New York.

Discussing what he sees as the persecution and prosecution of Christians in the U.S. today, Page said:

“There are three phases that a society goes through. One is persecution. That means your faith is being challenged, everybody mocks you, everybody ridicules you. They stand for nothing. If you stand against sodomy and abortion - you are a terrorist ladies and gentlemen. The next phase is prosecution. There's a couple out there in New Mexico that are being prosecuted and put out of business and were arrested because they refused to take pictures of sodomites. What about my freedom of religion from that? And the military right now - you have open sodomy. People holding hands, swapping spit together. It's sick. It's pitiful.”

Page, who first caught the media’s attention when he pushed CNN anchor Don Lemon during a demonstration in Ferguson, decided to retire in order to avoid an internal review set to begin last week.

However, despite his vile rant, the 35-year veteran is expected to receive his full pension and benefits.

Watch an excerpt of Page's homophobic rant and a video of Page confronting Lemon, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Christian Group Fasts Against Same-Sex Marriage (But Continues Eating) - VIDEO

Family foundation

Virginia-based anti-gay group Family Foundation has announced a fast in opposition to same-sex marriage - but participants will be be allowed to eat, reports Pink News.

The group’s 40 Days of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance For Marriage started on August 27th and runs until October 5th, the day before the Supreme Court begins its next session and hears the first in a series of same-sex marriage appeals cases.

However, not wanting to expend too much energy on hatred, the group announced “we are asking the entire Body of Christ to join us for this feast – giving up physical food isn’t necessary – but feeding on the spiritual food provided is vital.”

Watch the group’s apocalyptic fast introductory video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Opera Singer Fired For Facebook Rant Against Drag Queen: VIDEO

Facebook

Opera singer Valerian Ruminski [pictured below] does not like men decorating their nails. He dislikes it so much, in fact, that he took to Facebook to complain - at length - after encountering a man on the OC Transpo bus who had long, jewel-studded nails. Said Ruminski, in part:

RuminskiLook at the stupid nails this moron had on while taking a bus in Ottawa. I guess he needs diamond-studded nails to make up for his face.
[H]e is asking for criticism by parading his choices in front of everyone. Like the black males who wear their pants down off their asses. They WANT you to notice it and get angered by it. Thats [sic] part of the strategy. He has an agenda by gluing diamonds onto his nails...and so do I by commenting on how stupid it is!

It would seem Ruminski wasn't aware that things posted on Facebook are not private. Even with privacy settings maxed out, all it takes is one friend or follower to screencap a post and then it's out in the wild, which is exactly what happened. Karma was quick and Ruminski was fired from his role in Puccini's Tosca to start this fall. 

Opera Lyra general director Jeep Jeffries said that he was "disappointed and appalled, to be honest," in an interview on CBC Radio’s All in a Day. For his part, Ruminski has posted a lengthy public apology to his website, complete with the "I've had gay teachers and friends" line and an attempt at identifying with the total stranger he tried to publicly humiliate:

I didn’t take the time to pause and think and consider that we are all special and that this person was different in a way that was unique to everyone else around us. I am an opera singer. He, as I learned, is a drag queen. The two of us are not too far apart, I guess.

No, Ruminksi, you and drag queens are actually quite far apart. Drag queens, for example, actually know how to read.

You can see a video report of the incident AFTER THE JUMP...

[photo via Facebook]

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