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Judge Denies Abused Transgender Inmate Ashley Diamond's Transfer Plea: VIDEO

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Abused trans Georgia inmate Ashley Diamond has been denied a request to be transferred to a lower-security prison for her own safety, reports the New York Times.

Earlier this month it was reported that Diamond has been denied access to her hormones, assaulted and raped at least seven times by other inmates. She filed a lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) in February after years of unsuccessfully trying to convince officials to provide her proper medical treatment and protection.

In a federal court appearance yesterday, Diamond said that she has come to blame herself for being a victim.

Addressing Judge Marc T. Treadwell, she said:

“If I wasn’t so feminine, maybe if I didn’t talk the way I talked or move the way I moved, I would be less of a victim that way. I also feel a little less human because when I did report things, the very people I wanted help from, Your Honor, would tell me things like, ‘You brought this on yourself.’”

The hearing only addressed Diamond’s transfer request. Allegations that corrections authorities had failed to protect her from serious harm were not considered.

Treadwell said that the state had made a persuasive argument that Diamond had been transferred to Georgia State as a “positive” reaction to her lawsuit. She is housed in the system’s smallest unit which offers supported living for rape victims and for inmates with special mental health needs.

However, Diamond said she had been sexually harassed and forced to pay protection money since her arrival. She added that when she declined to be put in protective custody, prison officials coerced her into signing affidavits saying she was doing well, a claim which has been denied.

It was also stated that the prison’s psychologist did not appear in court because he had told Diamond he could lose his job if he testified “truthfully.” Treadwell admitted that this gave him cause for “lingering concerns.”

Earlier this month, Elton John and Michael Stipe issued a joint statement calling on the GDC to ensure Diamond's safety and provide her with hormone therapy.

Watch a Southern Poverty Law Center report on Diamond, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Judge Denies Abused Transgender Inmate Ashley Diamond's Transfer Plea: VIDEO" »


Guam Native And 'Millionaire Matchmaker' Star Pleads With Territory's Governor For Marriage Equality: VIDEO

David Cruz III

Gay The Millionaire Matchmaker cast member David Cruz III has written to Guam Governor Eddie Calvo urging him to follow the law and approve same-sex marriage for the island and also recorded a heartfelt video, reports Guampdm.com.

The open letter reads:

“My name is David Cruz and I am a current cast member of Bravo TV's ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker.’ I spend a good part of my life setting people up and helping people find love. “But, recently something has come my way that has broken my heart.

"Last week I was saddened to hear that the Governor of Guam, the island where I grew up, is denying gay men and women their legal right to marry - EVEN after being issued a legal memorandum to do so from the Attorney General of Guam.

“I was compelled to voice my opinion about this matter as I am not only a son of Guam having grown up on the island, but also as a gay man. I spend every moment of my life helping people find love and giving advice about relationships, so I cannot stand by and watch my own community of LGBT people be discriminated against.”

Watch Cruz’s video in support of same-sex marriage in Guam, AFTER THE JUMP

Yesterday we reported that Anthony Apuron, the Archbishop of Guam, described being gay as an “intrinsically moral evil” and insisted that the only way to deal with homosexuality is to think of it as a disorder to be treated.

 

Continue reading "Guam Native And 'Millionaire Matchmaker' Star Pleads With Territory's Governor For Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »


WATCH: Ian McKellen Is ‘Mr. Holmes’ In Official Trailer For New Sherlock Holmes Film

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Ian McKellen stars in the new film Mr. Holmes, an adaptation of Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, as the legendary detective himself, Sherlock Holmes.

However, this new iteration of the famous sleuth is quite different than Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch’s recent robust take on the character. Ian McKellen plays a retired, elderly Holmes facing the trials and tribulations of old age as the brilliant detective’s mind begins to deteriorate, but the intuitive detective proves he still has some wit left at the age of 93.

Watch the intriguing, full-length trailer for McKellen's take on the famous character, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "WATCH: Ian McKellen Is ‘Mr. Holmes’ In Official Trailer For New Sherlock Holmes Film" »


Irish Pastor Says Gay Relationships Are Never 'Consensual,' Compares Homosexuality to Rape: VIDEO

Craig Ledbetter
Image from Twitter

With just over four weeks to go until Ireland’s marriage equality referendum, the "no" campaigners are taking a leaf from American anti-gay activists like Scott Lively in their attempts to sway voters.

Following a failed attempt last week by a small number of religious leaders to add a “conscience clause” to the referendum, Pastor Craig Ledbetter of the Bible Baptist Church in Cork has compared homosexuality with rape and adultery.

In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Ledbetter argued that a same-sex sexual relationship can never be consensual:

“Homosexuality is wrong, just like rape and just like adultery.

“We are dealing with one party believing he is right in what he is doing, so it is not really consensual. Two people can consent to adultery or consent to rob a bank, but that doesn’t make either of those things right.

“If they want a sexual relationship they can get the blessing of the State but that should not amount to re- defining marriage which is exclusively the preserve of a man and a woman.”

Recognizing that his bizarre opinions could convince many people to vote in favor of the referendum, he also complained that there has been no serious discussion on same-sex marriage in the Irish media apart from “a few fake TV debates.”

Ledbetter has since claimed that he was misquoted.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d104076b970c-200wiLast week, Christian activists including Iona Institute mouthpiece Breda O’Brien (right) attacked former Irish President Mary McAleese for comments in support of same-sex marriage. Yesterday, O’Brien said that gay people and unmarried heterosexuals should abstain from sex in order to live a Christian life. A petition to revoke the Iona Institute’s charitable status is less than 2,000 signatures short of the required 15,000.

A March Irish Times poll found that 74 percent of the electorate intend to vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

Watch the Iona Institute's The Case For Man/Woman Marriage video and a parody detailing "the right kind of discrimination," AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Irish Pastor Says Gay Relationships Are Never 'Consensual,' Compares Homosexuality to Rape: VIDEO" »


Irish Government Says No to Religious Groups' Call For 'Conscience Clause' In Marriage Referendum: VIDEO

Dr Ali Selim

A collection of Irish religious groups has sent a petition to Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald seeking a “conscience clause” that would allow for a right to discriminate if next month’s marriage equality referendum passes, reports the Independent.

The petition has been signed by 246 people. Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny has already ruled out any potential "conscious clause" being inserted in the referendum. 

Citing recent controversies where businesses have been brought to court for refusing to provide services to gay people, the group has asked Fitzgerald to “ensure the referendum guarantee equality for all”.

Dr. Ali Selim, from the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, said:

“If we are having this referendum on the firm belief of equality then also we should allow people with consciences objections as well. What we are asking for is that we are not forced to endorse a practice that is in conflict with our fate. It is the freedom of choice not to have views imposed on our religious beliefs.”

Ireland marriage pollPetitioners state that they disagree strongly with the proposed constitutional changes and warn that if passed, it would discriminate against people opposed to same-sex marriage for religious reasons who “risk prosecution” because of their personal beliefs.

Speaking on national radio broadcaster Newstalk, Selim said:

“Who decides what discrimination is? Of course decisions should be made in light of Irish law – but if Irish law says you’ve got to endorse something against your beliefs that is discrimination. And that is exactly why we are campaigning – so that there is equality for all, not just for certain people.”

Earlier in the week, Selim said “no Muslim would vote yes” in the referendum.

Listen to Selim threaten legal action against Irish media outlets, AFTER THE JUMP...

A March Irish Times poll found that 74 percent of the electorate intend to vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

Continue reading "Irish Government Says No to Religious Groups' Call For 'Conscience Clause' In Marriage Referendum: VIDEO" »


Family Research Council Warns Gay Marriage Will Destroy Religious Freedom in New Scare Video: WATCH

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A new video produced by anti-gay listed hate group Family Research Council (FRC) claims that a Supreme Court ruling striking down bans on marriage equality would jeopardize religious freedom, reports Right Wing Watch.

Highlighting cases in Oregon and Washington where businesses were sued for violating state non-discrimination laws, the video - made with Rick Santorum’s film company EchoLight Studios - warns that same-sex marriage would undermine the separation of church and state.

Narrator and FRC leader Tony Perkins argues that such cases will lead to a scary future in which the government will infringe on the rights of religious people in order to promote LGBT equality. With guest appearances by Santorum and Mike Huckabee. 

Watch a clip from the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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