Civil Rights hero John Lewis endorses gay candidate running for governor

Civil Rights hero John Lewis endorses gay candidate running for governor

Lewis received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. | Photo: Wikimedia/US Congress Jared Polis is one of several LGBTI candidates running for office in the US this year. He’s a Democrat from Colorado who’s hoping to become the country’s first openly gay man elected as governor.

Recently, he got a huge endorsement from Civil Rights hero John Lewis.

In the 1960s, Lewis became one of the original 13 Freedom Riders. He also helped organize the March on Washington in 1963. The march ended with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s celebrated ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

In 1965, he led marchers across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The day became known as Bloody Sunday.

He is currently a member of the House of Representatives from Georgia and has been serving since 1987.

Polis posted a video of Lewis’ endorsement on Facebook. Intersectional support ‘Not long ago,’ Lewis begins in the video. ‘Only 58 people in all of Congress had the courage to say, “We must start to impeach Donald Trump.” Jared Polis is one of those few leaders.’The video shows Polis and Lewis together.‘Courageous enough to vote to end Donald Trump’s presidency. Jared and I have worked together for years to expand civil […]

Vigilantes strike again in Aceh, rounding up a trans woman and man

Vigilantes strike again in Aceh, rounding up a trans woman and man

One of the gay men being caned in Aceh. Photo: (Rakyat Aceh/ Indonesia’s most conservative province, Aceh, has been the epicentre of vigilante justice against the LGBTI community.

Trans women have been targeted multiple times, simply for existing in the province.

Aceh is the only province that has special rights to practice Sharia Law.

The latest incident involved a trans woman working in a hair salon, identified as N. A man known as M visited her at the salon, but then the angry mob invaded the shop accusing them of engaging in sex work on Monday night (12 March).

Locals in the capital, Banda Aceh, accused M of paying IDR100,000 (US$7.28) for N’s sexual services.

Vigilantes handed them over to local police who said they would investigate the pair. They face charges of homosexuality because Aceh does not recognize transgenderism. The could also face charges as an unmarried couple spending time alone together in a private space.The head of the Islamic Sharia Enforcement Department said police turned the pair over to them.‘They were handed to the police at first and then they were taken to us,’ Evendi A. Latif told Detik .‘If by qanun (religious law) they are proven guilty then they will be […]

Mike Pompeo’s appointment as Secretary of State riles up LGBT groups

Mike Pompeo’s appointment as Secretary of State riles up LGBT groups

Mike Pompeo Flickr WASHINGTON D.C., March 14, 2018 ( LifeSiteNews ) – While pro-life and pro-family organizations praise President Donald Trump’s appointment of Mike Pompeo as the next U.S. Secretary of State, LGBT advocates are busy registering their displeasure.

The former Kansas Congressman, currently serving as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), will replace outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which advocates for an ever-increasing laundry list of gay and transgender rights in Washington, D.C., is upset with President Trump’s decision: Mike Pompeo’s longstanding opposition to #LGBTQ equality makes him a reckless choice to lead our nation’s diplomatic efforts. — Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 13, 2018 “Mike Pompeo’s longstanding opposition to LGBTQ equality makes him a reckless choice to lead our nation’s diplomatic efforts,” HRC president Chad Griffin said in a public statement. “The decision to nominate anti-LGBTQ Mike Pompeo could have serious consequences for the United States and LGBTQ people around the globe. The State Department has a crucial role to play in advancing human rights — a role which was already rapidly declining under Tillerson. This decision has the potential to make a dire situation even worse. Pompeo does not deserve […]

Oklahoma Wesleyan University president continues his anti-LGBT messaging

Oklahoma Wesleyan University president continues his anti-LGBT messaging

On Sunday, March 4, an op-ed titled “ Conversations about sex ,” written by Everett Piper, the president of conservative evangelical Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU), appeared in the Washington Times , encouraging readers to consider “conversations” about LGBT people by swapping that acronym with ISIS, the jihadist terrorist organization.

It was the latest outburst from Piper, a lesser-known but particularly virulent anti-LGBT extremist with ties to both the Trump administration, and a cadre of anti-Muslim extremists.

In the op-ed, Piper instructs readers, “Go to any article in any magazine or website that argues for ‘conversations’ about sexual morality and simply replace the acronym of the day with another set of letters. For example, every time you see LGBTQ in an article, simply replace those letters with ISIS. Change nothing else…”

Piper seems to believe he’s made a sublime point by illustrating what those results might be: “‘Love is love and ISIS has the right to love who they want to love.’ ‘The ISIS community simply wants to be accepted and affirmed.’ ‘What right does anyone have to refuse to bake a cake for an ISIS wedding?’”

“In this brave new world of hyphens and acronyms,” Piper writes, “we paint ourselves into a corner […]

Varadkar must use US trip to speak on LGBT rights

Varadkar must use US trip to speak on LGBT rights

When Leo Varadkar sits down with Donald Trump in the White House today he either can smile and nod or he can take the opportunity to raise important but difficult issues such as LGBT rights. While the Taoiseach has enjoyed a successful State-side trip so far — bumping into Arnold Schwarzenegger, visiting the site of JFK’s assassination, and thanking the Choctaw Native Americans for their donations during the Great Famine — he has failed to tackle the thorny issue of marriage equality and other gay rights.

In fact, he remained mute on the issue when meeting staunchly conservative governors during his tour of Texas and Oklahoma.

When he does meet President Trump he will not have his partner Matthew Barrett by his side.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach said Mr Varadkar had made it clear at the start of his term that he would not be accompanied to international functions; however, there have been a few exceptions, including the Montreal Pride parade where both men marched alongside Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

In Washington yesterday, he indicated that he will bring up LGBT rights with US Vice President Mike Pence, who is known for his conservative view on gay marriage — but only […]

John Waters has one pretty hilarious theory why Shape of Water is set where it is

John Waters has one pretty hilarious theory why Shape of Water is set where it is

Iconic director John Waters has put forward a pretty hilarious theory on why he thinks the Shape of Water is set in Baltimore.

The landmark Academy Award-winning film, which is set in Charm City, Baltimore in 1962, follows the romance between a mute cleaner and her fish-like lover, who is trapped inside a research facility.

And when director Guillermo Del Toro was asked about the inspiration behind the time and the location of the event, he cited Diner filmmaker Barry Levinson – as well as Waters.

In fact, the Baltimore setting played out in tribute to Baltimore-native Barry Levinson and Walters.

“And then there’s John Waters, man,” said the Shape of Water director. Jimmy Kimmel and The Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro (Photo by Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S via Getty Images) Waters, who is famed for the likes of Hairspray and Cry-Baby, said that not only was it “lovely” that he inspired Gulliermo Del Toro to set the film in Baltimore – it was for one pretty pertinent reason.

“I thought maybe he had picked Baltimore because most people I know here, myself included, have had sex with a monster once in their life too,” Waters added in an email to The Baltimore Sun.Yeuch! […]

Back to school

Back to school

We’re going for a younger sound in this week’s podcast. As part of BBC School Report day 2018, three disabled schoolchildren give us their take on life in the classroom and playground, and much more.

Carys, Ashleigh and Kelsey take it in turns to answer questions pulled out of the Ouch tea caddy. Listen to find out what they think about mainstream v special school, uniforms and how the word “blind” translated badly on a trip to France.

BBC School Report gives 11-18 year olds across the UK the chance to develop their media literacy skills and produce their own stories about subjects that matter to them.

A transcript will be available soon.

We welcome your feedback. Subscribe , like, share or review us on Apple Podcasts or whichever service you get your podcasts from. The more you do this, the more you’ll flag this programme to other disabled people who might appreciate it. Send us your ideas and feedback or just say hello: email tweet @bbcouch or find us on Facebook .

Produced by Lucy Edwards and Damon Rose.

Syria war: What brought it about?

Syria war: What brought it about?

A peaceful uprising against the president of Syria seven years ago has turned into a full-scale civil war. The conflict has left more than 350,000 people dead, devastated cities and drawn in other countries. How did the Syrian war start?

Even before the conflict began, many Syrians were complaining about high unemployment, corruption and a lack of political freedom under President Bashar al-Assad, who succeeded his late father Hafez in 2000.

In March 2011, pro-democracy demonstrations erupted in the southern city of Deraa, inspired by the "Arab Spring" in neighbouring countries.

When the government used deadly force to crush the dissent, protests demanding the president’s resignation erupted nationwide.

The unrest spread and the crackdown intensified. Opposition supporters took up arms, first to defend themselves and later to rid their areas of security forces. Mr Assad vowed to crush what he called "foreign-backed terrorism".

The violence rapidly escalated and the country descended into civil war. Eastern Ghouta damage seen from space ‘My daughter’s losing her hair from fear’ How many people have died? The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights , a UK-based monitoring group with a network of sources on the ground, had documented the deaths of 353,900 people by March 2018, […]

Brexit: David Davis ‘can live’ with shorter EU transition

Brexit: David Davis 'can live' with shorter EU transition

David Davis said he can "live with" a transition period of under two years if that helps to secure an early deal.

The Brexit secretary said the EU and UK will establish a joint committee during the transition period to guarantee a "duty of good faith" by both sides.

He said that outlines of the transition phase would reassure Brexit supporters.

Mr Davis will travel to Brussels on Sunday for a meeting on Monday with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Prime Minister Theresa May has called for an implementation period of "around two years" after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March next year.

Juncker: UK will ‘regret’ Brexit We don’t want wall with UK – Tusk All you need to know about Brexit In an interview with BBC Newsnight, Mr Davis said he was prepared to accept the EU demand that the transition should come to end earlier – in December 2020 – to ensure the transition is concluded at the same time as the EU’s seven-year budget cycle.The Brexit secretary said his main priority was to secure agreement on the implementation period at next week’s EU summit in Brussels.He told Newsnight: "That is more important to me […]

The trouble telling aid workers and jihadists apart

The trouble telling aid workers and jihadists apart

It should be easy to tell the difference between an aid worker and a jihadist, but the war in Syria shows that is not always the case. Finding a solution could help ensure aid still reaches the people who need it in future conflicts.

A desire to ease the suffering of ordinary Syrians during its years of civil war has been shared by many people around the world.

But getting aid into Syria and making sure it reaches the right people is extremely difficult.

The conflict is complex and jihadists took advantage of the ensuing confusion – particularly at the start of the war – with some aid money diverted and foreign fighters entering the country by posing as aid workers.

Charities and aid have been exploited by extremists in previous conflicts – in countries from Bosnia to Afghanistan.

So, how can they be stopped from doing so in future?In Syria, research by the Lowy Institute shows how extremists have often portrayed themselves as champions of the oppressed , with many claiming to be working with children and orphans.Among them was Briton Omar Hussain, who travelled to Syria in 2014 and became an active voice in social media propaganda for the Islamic State group […]