M5S leader Di Maio distances party from ‘medieval’ anti-LGBT conference

M5S leader Di Maio distances party from ‘medieval’ anti-LGBT conference

Luigi Di Maio at a conference in Rome on July 3, 2018. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP Italy’s co-deputy prime minister and governing Five Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio has slammed his coalition partner the League party as “medieval” for its support for an anti-gay, anti-abortion event due to be held in Verona at the end of March.

League party leader Matteo Salvini, who holds the position of co-deputy prime minister alongside Di Maio as well as being Italy’s interior minister, has publicly endorsed the event, along with Italy’s Families Minister Lorenzo Fontana and Veneto governor Luca Zaia, both of whom are also League members.

But both Di Miao and Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte, who has no party affiliation, have been quick to distance themselves from the conference.

The event is being run by the US-based organisation World Congress of Families, designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Speaking on Tuesday, Di Maio said : “The League in Verona celebrates the Middle Ages, we do not.” He has previously described the event as being for “right-wing losers” who do not represent the views of the government.

Earlier this month Conte ordered the event’s organisers to remove the government’s logo from their branding, clarifying that the event does not have his endorsement.

Parliamentarian Giorgia Meloni, who is leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy party, wrote in a tweet that the M5S was spreading “fake news” about the conference by saying it was anti-women.

The tweet goes on to say that M5S is “for free drugs, #gender propanda, mixed marriages: practically a bunch of #gutterpunks in government.” #M5S diffonde fake news sul congresso @wcfverona , sostenendo che sia contro la libertà delle donne. Dichiarazioni ridicole senza alcun riscontro. Loro invece sono per la droga libera, la propaganda #gender , i matrimoni misti: praticamente una comitiva di #punkabbestia al Governo — Giorgia Meloni ن (@GiorgiaMeloni) March 18, 2019 The disagreement has brought additional strain to the already frayed relationship between Italy’s two ruling parties, who have recently been at loggerheads over the controversial high-speed ‘Tav’ rail line construction project intended to link the northern Italian city of Turin with Lyon in France.

League insists that the project must be completed, while M5S is strongly opposed, having repeatedly promised voters that it will be scrapped.

Earlier this month Salvini appeared to be dangling the threat of a government crisis over the issue, but the dispute ultimately fizzled out and a tender process for further construction works has been temporarily put on hold.


BFI Flare 2019: 10 must-see LGBT films from London film festival

BFI Flare 2019: 10 must-see LGBT films from London film festival

The Gospel of Eureka/Leitis in Waiting (YouTube) Wondering which LGBT+ films to watch from the BFI Flare 2019? We’ve got you covered.

No longer pushed out to the fringes, queer cinema is more popular than ever in the mainstream. LGBT+ movies like Call Me by Your Name and Love, Simon are making the leap from arthouse theatres to the multiplex while winning a few awards along the way too.

However, these films only represent a small fraction of the LGBT+ community and ‘success stories’ like Bohemian Rhapsody fail to even do a good job of that.

Fortunately, there’s still plenty of quality queer cinema to be found if you know where to look and the best place to start is at BFI Flare. Every year, the UK’s longest running LGBT+ film festival strives to give a voice to more diverse stories that are rarely seen on screen.

Covering sexuality in all of its forms, BFI Flare plays host to a mix of festival favourites and underrated gems that all demand your attention, but which LGBT+ movie should you see first?

From literary hoaxes and Guatemalan lovers to transgender troops and drag queen pensioners, here are 10 quality LGBT+ films we wholeheartedly recommend you go see at BFI Flare 2019. We The Animals

Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Justin Torres, We The Animals revolves around a young boy called Jonah who’s forced to navigate an abusive home and the surprising feelings he starts to develop for one of his neighbours. Jeremiah Zagar’s narrative feature debut might sound like a conventional coming-of-age story, but We The Animals is far more intelligent than that. This lucid dream of a movie explores the protagonist’s nascent sexuality with an impressionistic and yet somehow authentic tone that’ll keep you thinking long after you leave the cinema. Tucked

Tucked isn’t the first film to star an odd couple who look past their differences to form a special bond, but there’s a reason why this story of two drag performers 60 years apart won the audience award at Outfest. Jordan Stephens brings a natural charisma to the role of Faith, a 21-year-old gay performer new to the club scene, but it’s 83-year-old Derren Nesbitt (who plays Jackie) who truly commands the screen here in a stunning career highlight. Giant Little Ones

High school coming out stories are now a staple of LGBT+ cinema, but writer-director Keith Behrman smartly avoids the tropes of this mini-genre here with emotional honesty and authenticity. With the help of sumptuous visuals and a winning soundtrack, the friendship shared between Franky and Ballas transcends both societal norms and generic cliches while elevating Giant Little Ones to instant classic status. Expect to hear lots more about this one in the coming months. The Silk And The Flame

Looking for a LGBT+ documentary film? The Silk and the Flame is the one for you. In this rather insightful documentary, director Jordan Schiele trains his camera on a closeted gay man called Yao who travels back to his family’s village near Beijing so that they can celebrate the Chinese New Year together. Despite his impressive professional achievements, Yao is still a disappointment to both parents because of his supposed bachelor status. The complex bonds of guilt, duty and love that tie families together weigh down on Yao, yet his strength and commitment remain admirable throughout, complimented by Schiele’s gorgeous black and white photography. The Gospel of Eureka

Religion and queerness are unlikely bedfellows at the best of times, but this documentary by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher dismantles such notions with a heartfelt look at the Bible Belt in Arkansas. Within the 2000 strong population of Eureka Springs, a thriving LGBT+ community exists alongside religious fundamentalists and together, they all live alongside each other in miraculous harmony. The gospel drag shows alone will have you screaming amen. The Heiresses

Out of both loneliness and desperate financial need, Chela finds a driving job below her station after her partner Chiquita is sent to prison. As she begins working with her friend’s much younger daughter, Angy, new worlds open up to Chela as issues of class, privilege and sex collide around her. In case you need more persuading, know also that Paraguayan star Ana Brun won the award for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival last year, making this a must-see entry from the growing LGBT+ scene of Latin America. Leitis In Waiting

Many societies that occupy the Polynesian islands acknowledge and celebrate the existence of a third gender that incorporates identities similar to trans and non-binary people in the West. Leitis In Waiting tells the story of native transgender women from this area who are fighting against the incursion of homophobic and transphobic attitudes from the West. There’s a real danger here that colonial-era laws could be resurrected and potentially destroy their way of life. Like the very best documentaries, Leitis In Waiting tackles a subject rarely discussed on our side of the Pacific while also helping to fight for real change and social justice. JT Leroy

The phrase “Truth is stranger than fiction” takes on a whole new meaning in this utterly insane retelling of Laura Albert’s now infamous literary hoax. The American writer published three supposedly autobiographical novels about a teenage boy under the pseudonym JT LeRoy . When this fictitious character is invited to appear in public, Kristen Stewart’s character offers to pose as Albert’s male alter ego and the result is a wild mix of gender and identity politics. Such an off-kilter story isn’t easy to adapt, but everyone involved brings their A game, including Stewart and Laura Dern in a scene-stealing role. José

Despite living in the deeply religious society of Guatemala City, 19-year-old José strives to stay true to himself through promiscuous encounters with other men. Everything changes though when he meets Luis, a gay construction worker who shows him that there’s more to the queer experience than just sex. José is understated and tender, but don’t underestimate the power of this Queer Lion winner which took home the top LGBT+ prize at the Venice film festival last year. TransMilitary

The American military is the largest employer of trans people in the USA right now and Trump’s push-back against trans officers could have devastating consequences for an entire community. Because of this, the documentary TransMilitary is more important now than ever, exploring the lives of four trans officers on the job with respect and dignity. You probably won’t see a more important documentary all year. IcePop

Four more Birmingham schools halt lessons on LGBT rights

Four more Birmingham schools halt lessons on LGBT rights

Anti LGBTI education protestors outside Parkfield School (Photo: Twitter) Four more schools in Birmingham have halted LGBTI-inclusive lessons following protests, according to the BBC.

The Leigh Trust, which runs four primary schools in Birmingham, said it was halting lessons until after Ramadan.

Last week, Parkfield Community School announced it will halt its LGBTI-inclusive teaching.

Parents had protested outside the gates of the primary school in Birmingham, UK.

The No Outsiders program was part of the sex and relationship education program. It fostered acceptance among pupils.

Despite support from for the program for the education secretary , the education watchdog Ofsted, and local politicians, Parkfield suspended it. ‘It’s not about being homophobic’

According to a letter seen by the BBC , the Leigh Trust is suspending their No Outsiders programme until an agreement with parents was reached.

The Leigh Trust includes Leigh Primary School, Alston Primary School, Marlborough Junior and Infants School and Wyndcliff Primary School.

Parents at Parkfield and Leigh Trust claimed the classes were inappropriate for young children.

They also said the LGBT message contradicted teachings of Islam.

In February, the government published its first guidance on sex and relationships in schools.

The guidance said it ‘expects’ schools to teach about LGBTI relationships.

Campaigner Amir Ahmed told the BBC the No Outsiders program was changing ‘children’s moral position on family values on sexuality.

He said he was part of a ‘traditional community’.

‘Morally we do not accept homosexuality as a valid sexual relationship to have. It’s not about being homophobic.’

Channing Tatum reveals bleached hair and we’re having a strong reaction

Channing Tatum reveals bleached hair and we're having a strong reaction

Channing Tatum in White House Down | Photo: Columbia Pictures Hollywood actor Channing Tatum has revealed a new bleached blonde crop, and we have many, many thoughts.

On the one hand, the Foxcatcher actor clearly looks amazing. And is is giving us strong 2003 gay bar vibes.

On the other, it reminds us a little too much of Eminem… Also, Jessie J – Channing’s rumored girlfriend – rocked the same look in 2012 for charity!

Regardless you can have your say: Channing wants you to tell him if you think it’s a bad idea or not on social media … ‘Bad idea?’

The Magic Mike star uploaded a photo of his new hairstyle to Instagram along with the poll ‘Bad idea? Haha’ and the option of ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

His new look follows High School Musical star Zac Efron’s decision to go blonde back in January.

His new look caused a storm online (inspiring the astute observations ‘heteros have discovered platinum blond’ and ‘is nothing gays have sacred?’). See also:

WATCH: Channing Tatum gets bound, hit with riding crop in P!nk’s new S&M-tinged Beautiful Trauma vid

YouTubers Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams announce engagement: ‘He said yes!’

YouTubers Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams announce engagement: 'He said yes!'

Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams | photo: Instagram/shanedawson So, it’s been quite a week for YouTuber Shane Dawson – and it’s only Wednesday.

Days after an old joke of his prompted ridicule and condemnation online, the vlogger revealed he is engaged to long-term boyfriend Ryland Adams.

Shane got on bended knee at an undisclosed location, sharing a picture of the moment on social media today along with the caption ‘HE SAID YES!!!!!! :,)))))))’. ‘Never been happier’

Ryland, also a prominent social media star, also shared the news to his followers. He did so with the message: ‘we’re engaged!! I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.’

‘I’ve never been happier in my whole entire life!!’ he furthermore added.

The guys are reported to have been dating for three years.

Singer Steve Grand was among the stars to like the posts. Meanwhile, make up vlogger James Charles said on Twitter: ‘CONGRATULATIONS OMFG’. ‘I’m sorry for what I said about my cat’

The news of course follows a clarification Shane issued earlier this week that he ‘ didn’t fuck my cat ‘.

This followed a controversial old joke of his resurfacing online. Dawson told the story of how he ‘humped’ his cat on his podcast Shane and Friends in 2015.

Denying the incident happened, Shane said: ‘I’m sorry for what I said about my cat. I’m sorry for what I said about anything or anyone that was offensive.’

He also continued: ‘I’m sorry for being someone who thought being super offensive and shocking all the time was funny. I’m sorry for my past. But I’m [ready] to make it right.’ See also:

Logan Paul will ‘go gay’ for a month as part of a New Year’s Eve resolution

Government appoints first ever National Adviser to tackle LGBT health inequalities

Government appoints first ever National Adviser to tackle LGBT health inequalities

Penny Mordaunt, the Minister for Women and Equalities, has appointed the first ever National Adviser for LGBT Health. Dr Michael Brady, Medical Director of the Terrence Higgins Trust and a sexual health and HIV consultant at King’s College Hospital, will advise the government on how to tackle inequality in the healthcare system including: Improving healthcare professionals’ awareness of LGBT issues

The implementation of sexual orientation monitoring across the NHS

Working with statutory and professional organisations to address LGBT issues in physical and mental health services

Health inequalities: mental health

Various pieces of research have examined LGBT people’s experience of mental health problems and accessing support. The National LGBT Survey which was last published in July 2018, highlighted that mental health support is an area rife with inequalities.

24% of respondents had accessed mental health services in the 12 months preceding the survey, whilst 8% had tried to access them but had been unsuccessful. 72% of those who had accessed or tried to access mental health services reported that it had not been easy.

In research commissioned by the Government Equalities Office, it was found that mental health services are the services most often perceived to be discriminatory.

Stonewall commissioned YouGov to carry out a survey on LGBT health, finding that: Half of LGBT people (52%) experienced depression in the last year

One in eight LGBT people aged 18-24 (13%) said they’ve attempted to take their own life in the last year.

One in seven LGBT people (14%) avoid seeking healthcare for fear of discrimination from staff

Advisory panel

An advisory panel, comprised of twelve members, has been set up to support Dr Michael Brady investigate – and try to resolve – health inequalities faced by LGBT people. The members of the LGBT Advisory Panel are: Catherine Meads, Professor of Health at Anglia Ruskin University, specialising in hate crime

S Chelvan, Barrister at No5 chambers, specialising in international human rights and LGBT asylum cases

Ellen Murray, Executive Director of Transgender Northern Ireland

James Morton, Manager at the Scottish Trans Alliance and member of the Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity

Jayne Ozanne, Director of the Ozanne Foundation and member of the Church of England’s General Synod

Lewis Turner, Chief Executive of Lancashire LGBT with previous experience working on hate crime in local government

Marcel Varney, Assistant Director of Children’s Services at Barnardo’s with experience working on adoption policy

Paul Dillane, Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust

Paul Martin, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation

Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of Consortium

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall

Stevie-Jade Hardy, Associate Professor of Criminology and expert on equalities and hate crime at the University of Leicester

Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Dr Michael Brady into his new role as the National Advisor for LGBT health, and look forward to working alongside him as part of the Ministerial LGBT Advisory Panel. Dr Brady brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of LGBT health and is well placed to tackle the stark health inequalities that LGBT people still face.

“We are pleased that the priorities for Dr Brady and the Ministerial Panel will include the implementation of sexual orientation monitoring across the NHS. We know that if we’re not counted, we don’t count, and gathering demographic information about patients’ sexual orientation will go a long way in ensuring the needs of LGB patients are identified and responded to.

“We look forward to supporting, and playing a leading role, in removing the barriers that many LGBT people face when accessing healthcare, through our membership of the Ministerial Advisory Panel, as part of our goal to secure a safe, healthy and equal future for all LGBT people.”

Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt said:

“Dr Brady and the experts on our new Panel will give LGBT people and those working on their behalf a direct route to speak to government and shape policy on decisions that affect their daily lives.

“Everyone should be able to love who they wish to and live their life free from fear and discrimination. That’s why we are working at pace with organisations and across government to make sure our Action Plan can bring about real, lasting change for LGBT people in the UK.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“Every patient should feel welcomed by the NHS, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or race. Prejudice and discrimination have no place in healthcare and I’m determined to end this injustice.

“Dr Michael Brady will bring a wealth of knowledge to the role and I welcome his appointment. A specific national adviser will help improve the LGBT community’s current experience of the NHS and ensure individuals are always treated with the compassion and consideration they deserve. I hope this will truly give people the opportunity to be involved in shaping their own experiences going forward.”

Dr Michael Brady National Adviser for LGBT Health said:

“I’m delighted to be chosen to advise government and the NHS on the work that needs to be done to improve the health and well-being of LGBT communities. I want to ensure that every LGBT person is treated with dignity and respect and receives the right information, treatment and care.

“I want all healthcare workers to understand the needs of LGBT individuals and for everyone to feel comfortable and confident that they will be treated fairly when they access healthcare.”

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said:

“The NHS is here for everyone so we’re pleased to be hosting Dr. Brady in this new post as we chart improvements to our nation’s health for the decade ahead.”

Parents complain to Manchester schools about LGBT lessons

Parents complain to Manchester schools about LGBT lessons

Primary schools in Manchester have been contacted by parents unhappy over sex and relationships lessons that teach children about LGBT rights, in the wake of similar classes being withdrawn in Birmingham after protests.

The Guardian understands that parents at seven primary schools have contacted school management to discuss the inclusion of the lessons in the curriculum.

Parkfield community school, in the Saltley area of Birmingham, recently hit the headlines after it became the scene of weekly protests over “No Outsiders” lessons, which parents claimed were “promoting LGBT ways of life”. The programme, which is designed to challenge homophobia, was suspended indefinitely until a resolution can be reached with protesting parents.

An academy trust in Birmingham has also suspended the No Outsiders programme at some of its primary schools. In a letter to parents seen by the Guardian, the Leigh Trust said it would not be continuing the programme at Leigh primaryin Washwood Heath until the completion of a full consultation with parents. It is understood the suspension will affect three other primary schools in the area, which are managed by the trust.

The letter stated the lessons had been suspended until the board of directors were able to have “meaningful and open discussions” with parents. Pupils shouldn’t be denied LGBT lessons – whatever their parents say | Benali Hamdache

Read more The Parkfield Parents Community group spokesman Mohammed Aslam welcomed the move. He said: “This was decided after the trust received strong objections from parents about its aims, content and misleading ‘consultations’ that preceded its introduction. The programme discriminates against the beliefs of Muslim children, parents, family values and undermines parental rights.”

On Tuesday, parents protested against No Outsiders outside Anderton Park primary school in Birmingham, although it does not run the programme.

Meanwhile, in Greater Manchester , parents at several schools, including William Hulme grammar school in Whalley Range and Acacias community primary school in Burnage, contacted the management about sex education lessons.

Although the schools in Greater Manchester do not run the No Outsiders programme, it is understood some parents, of mainly Muslim background, are concerned about the new plans to overhaul sex education lessons in schools.

In 2017, the government announced a radical overhaul of sex and relationship education and announced that children would be taught about healthy adult relationships from the age of four, with sex education made compulsory in all secondary schools. However, faith schools would still be allowed to teach “in accordance with the tenets of their faith”.

One parent, who wanted to remain anonymous and has a primary-age child at William Hulme grammar, said some parents had handed out letters on Friday urging others to sign a petition against the new sex education lessons. A WhatsApp group, which has almost 250 members, has called for protests at primary schools across the region and for parents to withdraw their children.

The parent said: “The WhatsApp group has been quite militant. It has been handled well at William Hulme’s, with the headteacher having meetings with parents, but there are lots of other schools.

“These are just regular sex education lessons – they are not like No Outsiders – but because of Birmingham they have heard that this is in the pipeline and it’s got totally blown out of proportion. Some of them don’t want their children taught about sex at all, but the main thing they are worried about is LGBT. Some people don’t want their kids being taught that it is OK to be gay.”

The parent said the headteacher confiscated the letters and had a meeting with some parents.

Another parent, who is in a same-sex relationship and has a child at William Hulme, said they felt “incredibly uncomfortable” at the prospect of protests, adding: “I am really worried this is going to gather a head of steam and it will get worse. I couldn’t bear to have a situation like you have in Birmingham where there are protests and speakers on soapboxes with microphones outside the school. An LGBT education would have spared me years of misery | Letters

Read more “There are already issues surrounding homophobia, and I am really supportive of how the school deals with this. It worries me because there are lots of LGBT pupils, including Muslim children, and there are certainly lots of LGBT parents … it is horrible that there are parents who don’t want their children to be taught to be LGBT is OK.”

The school pointed out it had only been contacted by five parents about the changes proposed by the government and that those discussions had been straightforward and amicable. It also stressed that there had been no reference to the situation in Birmingham in the meetings, nor protests at the school.

Angela Stansfield, the assistant headteacher at Acacias primary, said there had been no protests but some parents had requested a meeting. She said: “We are planning to do a meeting for parents later this term to explain where we are with the new curriculum … a significant issue with our parents seems to be linked to LGBT, and our approach has always been that we do not promote any particular sexuality.”

The other five primary schools in the Greater Manchester area where parents are understood to have contacted management about the lessons are Birchfields, Gatley, Plymouth Grove and Claremont primary schools and MEA Central. All of the schools have been contacted for a comment.

A Birchfields spokesman said they had held a meeting to address parents’ concerns, adding: “We have been able to reassure them that nothing has changed here and that we will fully inform them if it does.”

These LGBT refugees came to Kenya seeking freedom. Instead, they’ve been imprisoned and abused

These LGBT refugees came to Kenya seeking freedom. Instead, they've been imprisoned and abused

Nairobi: On February 22, activists, reporters, and well-wishers from Kenya and all over the world gathered in a courtroom in Nairobi, hoping to witness a historic moment: the decriminalisation of homosexual conduct for the first time in conservative East Africa, a region where anti-LGBT crackdowns are common, sometimes even at the behest of presidents.

A judge ultimately deflated the room with a last-minute postponement of the ruling – fuelling the rumour mill that Kenya’s top politicians were interfering – but the mood wasn’t glum. One activist joked that he’d have time to buy a snappier suit before the new date set for the ruling in late May. A collection of artwork made by Ugandan LGBT refugees at a safe house on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Credit:The Washington Post/Max Bearak But on that same day, 20 LGBT refugees who had come to Kenya hoping to escape repression in countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Congo were spending their first full day in jail. Their ordeal has now lasted nearly a month and demonstrates the difficulties LGBT people in Kenya face regardless of what happens in the courts.

The refugees were arrested en masse near the headquarters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in an upscale neighbourhood of the Kenyan capital. Police say they were creating a public nuisance, trespassing, and defecating in public. In interviews during visiting hours at Nairobi West prison, five of the refugees said the charges are trumped up and that they have suffered horrible physical abuse at the hands of prison guards and other prisoners.

The interviewees complained that they had lice and that those who were HIV positive among them could not access their antiretroviral treatment.

Lutaya Bennon, one of six of the detainees in the men-only prison who identify as trans women, had tears in her eyes as she recounted how guards had ripped out her earrings. "Everyone in here is horrible to us," she said. "In the night, some other prisoners have come and forced us to let them touch our penises." LGBT activists and supporters attend a Kenyan court ruling on whether to decriminalise same-sex relationships, in Nairobi, Kenya, on February 22.Credit:AP Bennon and others said that all 20 were carrying identification from UNHCR. Edgar Atuhe, 24, who – like Bennon – is Ugandan, said that UNHCR or affiliated organisations had not yet come to check on them in the prison, though a UNHCR spokeswoman said that they had been in contact with the detainees "directly and indirectly" and that a lawyer had been provided for them from a partner organisation.

That lawyer, Atuhe said, told all the refugees to plead guilty, advice which the UNHCR spokeswoman echoed and said was "in the hope of trying to get a reduced or lesser punishment".

"These offenses were committed in public and difficult to deny," said Yvonne Ndege, the UNHCR spokeswoman. Atuhe and others said they would not take the advice as they believe they did nothing wrong.

Prison guards only let five of the 19 detainees at Nairobi West (one person is being held at a women-only prison nearby) speak to the reporter, saying that "you will get from these five what you would get from the rest".

Among them was Sabam Kimbugwe, who opened his mouth to show how many teeth had been knocked out by a prison guard (at least four). He said that similar attacks had happened to others whom the reporter was not able to meet, provoked sometimes by small things such as a refusal to eat the porridge they are served every day. A tentative court date for the refugees has been set for March 26, while the new date for the court ruling is in late May.Credit:EPA Ndege said "were looking into this" in response to the allegations of abuse in the prison, and said they are planning visits with the detainees this week.

A tentative court date for the refugees has been set for March 26.

Homosexuality is illegal in most African countries, many of which inherited anti-sodomy laws from European colonial governments. Prominent politicians in Kenya have described homosexuality as "un-African" and an affront to the values of most Kenyans, 85 per cent of whom identify as Christians, and another 10 per cent who identify as Muslims.

In neighbouring Tanzania, many LGBT people have gone into hiding after authorities in the capital Dar es Salaam called on residents to "help identify homosexuals" so they could be arrested. Uganda, which also borders Kenya, drew international condemnation in 2014 for passing a law that carried a life sentence for "aggravated homosexuality". The law was annulled later that year, but thousands of LGBT Ugandans became refugees, fleeing a spate of murders that accompanied inflamed rhetoric around the law.

Many, like Lubega Musa, came to Nairobi, and hope to be resettled in more accepting countries such as Britain or Canada. Musa, 26, now lives in a suburban safe house with other refugees – and is friends with many of those recently detained. He has been in Kenya for almost three years and cautioned against optimism despite the judicial progressiveness many activists here hope for.

"If homosexuality is decriminalised here, it will actually be worse for us. Our resettlement process will slow down, or even stop. UNHCR will say we are safe now. But actually, we will be less safe," he said. "It would be a good moment for activists, but it is a scary one for the refugee or the trans woman on the street. To the celebrators, I say shorten your high heels, babe! If it happens, this could be a huge milestone, yes, but on the street, it is just one step."

The Washington Post

Mardi Gla: Glasgow’s newest Pride event has city council backing

Mardi Gla: Glasgow's newest Pride event has city council backing

Gay pride GLASGOW’S new Pride celebration has won the support of its European peers as well as backing from the city council.

Mardi Gla, run by the LGBT Co-operative, will be Glasgow’s first ever Pride event recognised by the influential European Pride Organisers Association, known as Euro Pride.

Meanwhile, Glasgow City Council confirmed its support for the Merchant City-based event.

City Convener for Equalities and Human Rights Councillor Jennifer Layden said the council had been impressed by the team’s approach, following an uncertain period for Pride events in the city.

Ms Layden said: "Mardi Gla can be the successful, open, welcoming and free celebration of LGBT Pride that Glasgow deserves – and I’m very happy to support the event.

"I understand how important this is to the city and I’m confident the team have sustainable, realistic plans to ensure Glasgow has a quality Pride event that everyone in the community can feel a part of."

Euan Mcleod, a former Labour councillor, is executive director of the LGBT Co-operative and said the event will include a march and two-day festival.

Mardi Gla will take place on July 20 to 21, using some of the same footprint and infrastructure as the Merchant City Festival.

Its organiser aims to be one of the most accessible, transparent and democratic LGBT organisations in the UK; with one third of board members elected annually by members of Glasgow’s LGBT community.

Will Labate, chairman of the LGBT Co-operative, said: "We are delighted that our ambitious plans for transforming Pride in Glasgow have been recognised at a European level and we look forward to working closely with Glasgow City Council as we work together to deliver a free and educational Pride in Glasgow this July."

Mardi Gla and its organisers have also been granted membership of Euro Pride, with Glasgow only the second community in Scotland to meet entry conditions.

Euro Pride was formed in 1991 and now has almost 100 members across 30 countries.

It promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride across the continent and seeks to empower and support local and national organisations to promote Pride as both a celebration and a vital human rights movement.

The association also aims to facilitate networking and skill-sharing among member cities and is advocate for the Pride movement at a national and international level, including at the European Parliament.

Kristine Garina, President of European Pride Organisers Association, said: "We are delighted to have welcomed Mardi Gla – Glasgow’s Pride to our membership.

"Our Association is growing at an unprecedented rate and it’s great to see another Scottish Pride keen to engage in the international Pride movement.

"We look forward to working with the Mardi Gla team to support their event and ensure Scottish representation on the international stage."

Four More Birmingham Schools Suspend LGBT Lessons

Four More Birmingham Schools Suspend LGBT Lessons

It’s reported four more schools in Birmingham have suspended lessons about diversity and LGBT issues.

The move follows complaints from parents about how age appropriate the ‘No Outsiders’ project is.

Parkfield Community School in Birmingham was the first to halt the lessons earlier this month following protests by parents, who claimed the lessons also went against their beliefs.

The No Outsiders programme, which teaches about the Equality Act, was authored by the primary school’s assistant headteacher, Andrew Moffat.

Pupils are taught about the positive values of diversity, tolerance and acceptance, in a broad curriculum encompassing LGBT rights, same-sex relationships, gender identity, race, religion and colour.

Ofsted inspectors have concluded the lessons are "age-appropriate".

Leigh Trust said it was stopping the programme at Leigh Primary School, Alston Primary School, Marlborough Junior and Infants School and Wyndcliff Primary School until after Ramadan in May, according to reports.

Campaign group the Accord Coalition for Inclusive Education have criticised the decision.

Chair, Reverend Stephen Terry, said: "This latest news is extremely worrying.

"Parents are entitled to their views on sexuality and morality, and to set these beliefs before their children.

"A school’s task is to set out different views and approaches in society, with an overall duty to tackle prejudice and foster good relations between people of different characteristics.

"Teachers should be actively supported in this regard, not undermined."