Brave Nigerians take to the streets to protest LGBTI violence

Brave Nigerians take to the streets to protest LGBTI violence

Here are 19 beautiful pictures of Birmingham Pride Here’s 22 pictures of Pride taking over the Belgium capital 5 pop stars performing at Birmingham Pride (plus their best songs) Nigerians protested the murders of LGBTI people on the National Day of Mourning. | Photo: Twitter/Bisi Alimi A group of brave Nigerians have taken to the streets of the capital Lagos to show their solidarity with the country’s LGBTI people.

The protesters hit the streets on the country’s National Day of Mourning to raise awareness about the homophobic violence and murders of LGBTI people. The National Day of Mourning commemorates the countless Nigerians who lost their lives to different kinds of violence.

The Bisi Alimi Foundation organized the march to remember LGBTI people. LGBTI activist, Bisi Alimi was forced to flee Nigeria after he came out as gay on national television in 2004. Sending massive solidarity to staff and volunteers of @tbafoundations joining to protest in Lagos today. These people are bold, displaying #LGBT placard in solidarity with other victim of mob/jungle justice. pic.twitter.com/HsVUqs69WN — Ashiwaju Bisi Alimi (@bisialimi) May 28, 2018 Same-sex activity is illegal in Nigeria, with stoning until death the punishment in 14 of the country’s northern states. In other parts of the country the punishment is up to 14 years in jail.

People at the rally either identified as LGBTI or were there as vocal allies of the communities.

The protesters held placards with messages of support for the LGBTI community, but also calling for the end of violence against the community.

Some of the signs read: ‘Our Silence is Not Golden Anymore on the Killings of LGBTI Nigerians’, ‘we also remember LGBT people in Nigeria killed for being who they are and ‘LGBTI people are being killed too. Why are we so silent?’ This is BOLD

Just speaking up for LGBTI rights in such a public way was very brave for the people at the rally.

‘This is so BOLD, your team deserves some ACCOLADES! My God joining a rally with LGBTI signs and not get mobbed is a well Development. How did you guys pull this off?’ Ima Rose wrote on Twitter. This is AMAZING @bisialimi this is so BOLD, your team deserves some ACCOLADES! My God joining a rally with LGBTI signs and not get mobbed is a well Development. How did you guys pull this off? https://t.co/nWqwVfU4rP — ImaRose Rekiya (@ImaRose_U) May 29, 2018 Police approached protesters on the day, but left them alone once they understood what the protest was about.

‘Some policemen came to ask that I explain what #LGBTI meant, I did then he ask “do you have permit to carry this signs” I said “I don’t need permit and that I know the law” the man left us alone,’ Rebecca E Rose said.

Gay sex ban will remain in Indonesia’s criminal code revamp

Gay sex ban will remain in Indonesia's criminal code revamp

Here are 19 beautiful pictures of Birmingham Pride Two men detained by a vigilante group in Jakarta, Indonesia on suspicion of being gay. | Photo: Warta Kota A politician on the committee to overhaul Indonesia’s criminal code said the amendments to make homosexuality illegal will remain.

A Criminal Code (KUHP) bill working committee has been working for months on a range of amendments to the KUHP.

One of the most controversial proposed amendments was the criminalization of homosexual activity. The proposed changes come amid an escalating crackdown on the LGBTI community and increasing influence of conservative Islamic groups.

Arsul Sani of the United Development Party sit on the KUHP working committee.

He said the article which would criminalized homosexual ‘indecent conduct’ has remained in the most recent revision of the proposed KUHP.

‘Instead of deleting the article, we will revise it so that people won’t see it as discriminatory,’ Arsul told t empo.co . The death penalty

Other proposed amendments that will remain in the revised draft KUHP include; making it illegal to defame the president, premarital sex and cohabitation, promoting contraception, corruption laws and introducing the death sentence.

The working committee must agree on all the proposed amendments before the draft bill goes to the House of Representatives for a vote. The House had hoped to vote on the draft bill by 17 August after several delays.

‘We will finish all of these articles before August 17,’ Arsul said.

The KUHP draft bill working committee will meet again today (30 May) to further discuss the changes.

LGBT funding row divides West Oxfordshire District Council

LGBT funding row divides West Oxfordshire District Council

(3) View gallery THE leader of West Oxfordshire District Council has emphasised its values of inclusivity and tolerance following a row over an LGBTIQ+ group.

James Mills defended a council committee’s decision to decline giving £5,000 a year to the support group after a Liberal Democrat councillor accused Labour and the Conservatives of voting against the LGBT community in West Oxfordshire.

Jake Acock, who launched the group himself with fellow Lib Dem councillor Andy Graham, had suggested that councillors were unwilling to offer anything more than ‘lip service’ to the community.

Labour and Conservatives insisted they did support the community but said the support group lacked the detail and structure required to receive taxpayers’ cash at this stage.

One Labour councillor who sits on the committee called Mr Acock’s language ‘inflammatory’.

His vocal criticism of rival parties marks the first significant row within the council since the local elections on May 3, which saw Mr Acock join the council for the first time.

Following last week’s meeting of the economic and social overview and scrutiny committee which made the decision, Mr Acock said: “They voted against around 6,600 people – according to [LGBT charity] Stonewall – who identify with the LGBTIQ+ community in West Oxfordshire. How is this fair? Do they not deserve a voice? Only the Liberal Democrats gave the LGBT community a voice in that meeting.”

Over the past year, Mr Acock’s group has been trying to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in West Oxfordshire by holding drop-in sessions at civic halls around the district for people to get together socially and share advice and support.

He was seeking more funding largely to cover the cost of hiring venues.

Members of the Conservative and Labour Party defended their decision to vote down the request.

Leader Mr Mills said “The West Oxfordshire LGBTIQ group has not yet been established in a manner where it could receive grant funding from us. We are unable to consider grant funding until it has but are happy to help with this if they would like.

“The council will promote and facilitate LGBTIQ inclusion initiatives to encourage tolerance and strengthen the diverse community we serve.

“Everyone who lives in or visits West Oxfordshire needs to feel safe, valued and supported.”

Labour’s Laetisia Carter branded Mr Acock’s language ‘inflammatory’ while Andrew Coles, who is gay himself, said he found suggestions the council voted against the LGBT community ‘unlikely’.

Mr Coles, who seconded a Liberal Democrat motion relating to the group in a previous meeting, said that certain measures needed to be put in place before the group could be given taxpayers’ money.

The councillor, who does not sit on the committee but heard about what happened afterwards, added: “Just after I was first elected in 2012 I proposed a motion calling on the council to support the Witney Pride event planned for that year, which passed with enormous support.

“Also on June 17, 2016, the council, at my suggestion, raised and flew the rainbow flag at half-mast as a gesture of support and a symbol of solidarity following the Orlando nightclub shooting which killed 49 people.

“It was the worst act of mass murder against the LGBT community since the holocaust. James Mills, Andy Graham and myself were there to raise the flag as a cross-party gesture of support.”

LGBTIQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and ‘queer’ or ‘questioning’.

Homophobic neo-Nazi terrorist Ethan Stables to be sentenced for LGBT attack plot

Homophobic neo-Nazi terrorist Ethan Stables to be sentenced for LGBT attack plot

Ethan Stables posing with a rifle (Greater Manchester Police/PA) A white supremacist who planned to carry out an attack at a pub’s gay pride night is to be sentenced.

Ethan Stables was arrested by armed police as he made what prosecutors described as a final reconnaissance visit to the New Empire in his home town of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, last summer.

Following his detention on June 23 last year, officers discovered he had kept a machete, an axe and knives at his home, which were supposedly instruments for carrying out the attack. Ethan Stables posing next to a Nazi flag at his flat in Barrow. Social media posts to far-right pages revealed he was intent on “going to war” and wanted to “slaughter every single one of the gay b******s”.

Following a trial at Leeds Crown Court, the then-20-year-old was convicted of preparing an act of terrorism, making threats to kill and possessing an explosive substance in suspicious circumstances.

Officers discovered that, as well as researching firearms, he had also looked into methods for making a bomb.

Jurors were told how Stables, who had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome prior to his arrest, promoted homophobic, racist and Nazi views online.

Through his phone, he supposedly communicated his hatred for Muslims and Jews, with one WhatsApp message reading: “My country is being raped.

“I might just become a skinhead and kill people.” Weapons found in Ethan Stables’ flat. Following his conviction on February 8, his barrister Patrick Upward QC told the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, that Stables led a “melancholy life” up to the day of his arrest and lived in “almost squalid conditions”.

Mr Upward added that his client “bears no comparison with the men who attacked Corporal (Lee) Rigby,” and that he did not have the “wherewithal” to follow through on the plan.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford told the judge that Stables had intended to attack multiple persons and had looked at a number of ways of doing it.

Stables will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court by Judge Collier on Wednesday morning.

Survey: Should LGBT travellers visit or boycott homophobic countries?

Survey: Should LGBT travellers visit or boycott homophobic countries?

That’s the question TTG and Gay Star News are asking LGBT travellers in a joint survey to analyse travel habits of the LGBT community.

We want to know what ethical issues LGBT travellers consider when choosing their holidays, and how the travel industry can ultimately help LGBT rights.

We also want to know what LGBT holidaymakers enjoy doing on holiday – is your perfect trip about embracing adventure, exploring museums, attending festivals, tasting local food?

The results of the survey will be revealed by Tris Reid-Smith, editor-in-chief of Gay Star News at this year’s TTG LGBT Conference on July 4.

The TTG LGBT conference takes place at the Tropicana Beach Club. Tickets are still available – For more information or to buy tickets visit the TTG LGBT Conference website .

Faversham to host first LGBT Pride event

Faversham to host first LGBT Pride event

Faversham’s first LGBT Pride celebration will take place this summer.

An all-day family garden party with live music, a barbecue, games and a rodeo bull is being planned for Saturday, June 23.

A party for over-18s will follow in the evening, featuring a DJ, bar and drag queen competition. David Wright and Hannah Wood promoting the Summer Pride Event The day is the brainchild of David Wright, head of trading operations at West Faversham Community Centre, where the event will be held.

“The reason we’re setting this up is because there hasn’t been anything like this in Faversham before,” he said.

“We have people from here having to go to Canterbury for Pride, but we feel like we can celebrate the diversity of Faversham within the town.

“I think our main hope is that it spreads the message that Faversham is an all-inclusive town, and that we can celebrate all members of our community.”

Faversham Pride, which will be held two weeks after Canterbury Pride, will be the West Faversham Community Centre’s biggest event of the year.

Mr Wright hopes to make it an annual celebration which will be even bigger in years to come. Faversham’s first Pride event is being held on June 23 He said: “Our hope is that we can grow it and that with the community, we can build an event for the town and all its members.”

“So far the response has been positive, from everyone, from all sides of the community.

“We have not had anything negative at all, and people from the town and outside of the town have been asking how they can get involved.

“We have had a lot of people donate their time, from live music to drag acts.

“It’s just nice that everyone is getting behind this event and they are all from the local community, and are really excited to join and support it.”

Entry to Faversham Pride is free.

The garden party will run from 1 to 4pm and the evening party will run from 8pm to 1am. Visitors are asked to walk or use public transport.

Visit www.westfavershamca.org for more information.

Leading lesbian US activist Connie Kurtz dies at 81

Leading lesbian US activist Connie Kurtz dies at 81

Connie (front) and her wife Ruthie (Julie Seaver/Facebook) Leading lesbian activist and artist Connie Kurtz has died at the age of 81.

Kurtz, who worked with her wife Ruth Berman to create the LGBT Elder Americans Act, passed away on May 27 after a long illness.

The legislation paved the way for older LGBT+ people to be recognised as a vulnerable population, which meant that the government would collect statistics and serve them, reported Gay City News. Connie Kurtz and Ruthie Berman (Flickr) “Connie and her soulmate Ruth have been iconic leaders of our community for decades, which is why the federal legislation SAGE has introduced in Congress on behalf of LGBT elders is named after them,” said Michael Adams, the CEO of SAGE, referring to the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act, reported Gay City News .

“Words can’t explain how sad we are that Connie has passed. We send our love and condolences to Ruth. And we celebrate and honour Connie’s fierce and passionate legacy, which has made the world a better place for so many of us.” A 2002 documentary was made about the inspiring couple (amazon.com) Kurtz met her partner Ruthie in 1988.

Alongside her wife, she created branches of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in New York and Florida, and in 2000, and served with her as a co-chair on Lesbian Rights Task Force of the New York State chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). A rainbow flag / AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN Although marriage was not yet legal for same-sex couples in the US, the pair had a Jewish wedding officiated by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum in 2000, and married officially two days after same-sex marriage came into fruition in the New York state in 2011.

“Connie was a force of nature,” Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, who married the couple, told Gay City News .

“Everyone who encountered her — even for the first time and even briefly — felt her passion, her love, her fierceness, and her humor. Connie and her love Ruthie changed the world, and never lost the love of life, of art, and of all of her people. I am sending my love to Ruthie and all who are in grief over this terrible loss. A great light has gone out in our world. May her memory forever bless us and may our lives be forever a blessing to her memory.

Christian college boss apologises for ‘equating’ sexual assault with gay sex

Christian college boss apologises for ‘equating’ sexual assault with gay sex

Greg Christy (Photo: Northwestern College) A Christian college head has apologised for “equating” sexual assault with same-sex relationships.

Greg Christy, who heads private Christian institution Northwestern College in Iowa, had come under fire from students over a post lamenting “sexual brokenness”.

In a blog published on the college website , Christy had written: “While there are many cultural issues that threaten to distort God’s vision for human flourishing, issues related to human sexuality are at the forefront.

“Pornography, premarital sex, adultery, sexual assault, the objectification of women, and same-sex activity all exemplify the brokenness of sexual desire and expression.”

He had also stated: “The college lifts up the Christian ideal of marriage between a man and a woman and contends that all sexual intimacy shall be within the bounds of such marriage.” (Photo: Northwestern College) The apparent attempt to draw an equivalence between sexual assault and the other activities in the list incensed students and alumni, who accused the college President of stirring up homophobic sentiment.

One alumni said: “I am very disappointed Pres. Christy would go out of his way to speak against marriage equality and same-sex relationships in this reflection. NW, the RCA [Reformed Church in America], and the church as a whole can and must do better.”

Another added: “By listing these together, you equated them to one another and ‘sexual desire and expression’.

“Sexual assault and the objectification of women have nothing to do with sexual desire or expression – they are about exerting power and control.

“As Northwestern’s president and an advocate for students, this shows a lack of understanding for, as you put it, ‘human sexuality.’ Your students and faith community deserve better.” (Photo: Northwestern College) In the face of widespread anger, Christy opted to apologise. In an interview with the Des Moines Register he said: “In no way was I intending whatsoever to equate that sexual assault was in any way, shape or form equal to or the same as any of the other items that were listed.

“I was just [trying] to say that just like same-sex activity is inappropriate, so is premarital sex, according to scripture.

“I’m sorry and regretful that those words have caused hurt to people.” (Photo: Northwestern College) However, he insisted he would stick by his beliefs on same-sex marriage.

Several reviews on the school’s Facebook listing make allegations of anti-LGBT treatment.

One states: “Northwestern is not a good choice if you are gay. It is safe, people are kind, but if you are an openly gay person the institute of NWC will disown you.

“As a graduate of NWC I’m ashamed to see the way it has treated students that have attended in the past. (Expulsion, loss of scholarship.) and its treatment of students in the present is no better.”

Another added: “This school maintains archaic attitudes towards God’s gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered children.

“They maintain a spirit of oppression, silencing people and discrimination. I thought that since I graduated in ’94 NWC and the RCA might have evolved at least by a couple years, but there’s no such luck.”

National die-in planned for anniversary of Pulse shooting

National die-in planned for anniversary of Pulse shooting

Activists are organising a dramatic die-in to commemorate the second anniversary of the Pulse massacre.

A total of 49 people were killed at Orlando’s Pulse gay club during the horrific mass shooting in June 2016 when gunman Omar Mateen, who had pledged support for ISIS, opened fire on the crowd.

At the time it was the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history, though it has since been surpassed. (Joe Raedle/Getty) The National Die-In will take place in Washington DC, at the National Mall, on June 12 – and with the help of Parkland survivors, organisers hope to attract as many as 100,000 participants.

One of the event’s founders, Orlando campaigner Amanda Fugleberg, lives 15 minutes from the site of the shooting. She said that the massacre had deeply shaken her. (nationaldiein/twitter) “It was the first news I saw when I woke up that day and I remember the death toll just rising,” she told Advocate .

“It brought me to tears to know something like that happened so close.” (Joe Raedle/Getty) The die-in will last for 12 minutes, which each of the 720 seconds representing a victim who has died in a mass shooting since the Pulse massacre.

She has reached out to David Hogg , who has spoken out for better gun legislation in the wake of the Parkland shooting in February that left 17 dead. David Hogg (Mark Wilson/Getty) She said that Hogg, who recently led a successful die-in campaign against Publix over its support of a National Rifle Association-backed candidate for Governor, had expressed strong support for the event.

Survivors from Parkland and Pulse met each other earlier this year , in an emotional event which saw attendees stand together as the names of the 66 victims of both mass shootings were read aloud. The Publix die-in (Joe Raedle/Getty) Fugleberg, who is arranging the die-in with fellow activist Frank Kravchuk, started planning it less than two weeks ago, in conjunction with a march on June 11 in Orlando led by Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf.

In the space of 10 days, the campaign has attracted more than 1,000 followers on Twitter, with attention on the event expected to ramp up in the coming days. (Joe Raedle/Getty) In terms of where she stands on gun control, Fugleberg said: “I’d like to see universal background checks, which right now are not great considering the Pulse shooter was able to acquire guns when he’d been on an FBI watch list.”

The sign language lawyer who became a social media star

The sign language lawyer who became a social media star

The video that energised the Chinese deaf community, featuring Tang Shuai When a lawyer posted a video in sign language about the danger of Ponzi schemes, his post went viral and hundreds of deaf people got in touch with their legal troubles, from fraud to domestic violence. He had uncovered a huge community in need of help.

Tang Shuai was simply trying to improve legal knowledge among the deaf community when he posted the video on China’s WeChat messaging app in February.

It was an instant hit. Mr Tang was flooded with so many friend requests that he had to ask WeChat to boost the friend limit from 5,000 to 10,000. So why did it strike such a chord?

The answer goes way beyond legal difficulties and into the complex world of sign language in China. Language barriers

There are two types of sign language in the country. Chinese Sign Language (CSL) is taught in schools and used by most interpreters and instructors. It is the standardised version of the language, tied closely to the written language. But day-to-day, many deaf people also use natural sign language. The language has grown and evolved over time, and changes from region to region.

This has led to misunderstandings in courtrooms – and some dire consequences for deaf people – which Mr Tang is well placed to understand.

He was born to deaf parents in Chongqing in south-west China, and can understand both forms of sign language. Pakistan’s only sign language cafe

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But he tells the BBC that his parents were initially hesitant about him learning.

"My parents didn’t like me studying sign language at first," Mr Tang says. "I had no choice but to quietly sneak into my parents’ factory, to learn with the deaf ladies and gentlemen there," explaining that many of the workers were deaf themselves.

He picked up more skills by visiting the popular Chaotianmen tourist area.

"Many deaf people from outside of the city come there. It was possible for me to learn many different versions of sign language," he says. Lost in translation

Before becoming a lawyer, Mr Tang worked for six years as a sign language interpreter in Chinese courts. He studied law after realising many deaf people knew little about their legal rights. A group of deaf prisoners watching sign language interpreters at a courtroom in China He tells of one notable case, where he defended a man suspected of theft.

"When I went to the city detention centre to meet [my client] I used natural sign language. He was surprised to see that I could communicate with him…then he told me, ‘I can’t understand much of the sign language used by the [police] interpreters’."

Mr Tang said additional sign language lawyers were brought in to assess mistakes in the translation of evidence given earlier in the case, and the court ruled his client was innocent of one of the original charges.

After the case, the judge told Mr Tang the case highlighted the "many problems, where deaf people are involved, in the translation of sign language." You might also like: Xiongxiong the loyal dog charms Chinese social media

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Defending the voiceless

Mr Tang wanted to do more to help the deaf community.

Despite a significant expansion in access to education, some deaf Chinese are still targeted by financial scam organisers. Stories of deaf people who lost fortunes in scams prompted Mr Tang to launch the video series that shot him to social media fame. Tang Shaui uses sign language and animations to explain what a Ponzi scheme is Financial scams are thriving in many parts of China as organisers target vulnerable communities with the promise of employment or lucrative returns for direct sales. China hit by financial scam ‘epidemic’

Victims are promised rewards if they recruit more investors into the operation. The schemes operate by attracting new investors, with some of the funds paid back to early joiners. Experts say the Chinese schemes are different to Western versions due to the lack of sophistication of the investors involved.

Mr Tang outlined the pitfalls of Ponzi schemes by telling the story of a wolf that cheats rabbits by promising to give them high returns on their investments – for every 10 carrots they invested each month, he would give them four carrots as profit. When word got out, more rabbits would give their carrots to the wolf but in the end, the wolf conned them all by running away with their carrots.

Mr Tang’s video was praised not only by deaf people in China, but netizens and even the national media. He became an online celebrity almost overnight, with many outlets dubbing him the spokesperson for "those in the world that are voiceless". Tang Jihui, a deaf client, says: "Lawyer Tang is our legal spokesperson" Now he uses his expertise to promote legal awareness among the deaf community, alongside his full-time job as a lawyer. He set up a public WeChat account for his video series to provide education on key legal issues. He also set up a legal welfare service to give face-to-face consultations using video calls.

After being inundated with requests for legal assistance – and because of the lack of signing lawyers in China – he started training sessions for deaf people who want to forge a career in law. According to media reports, Mr Tang has hired five deaf graduates from a local university and is training them to provide legal guidance to deaf people. Mr Tang employs deaf graduates who can provide legal guidance to deaf people via video link Deaf people aren’t the only ones empowered by his videos. Mr Tang has inspired thousands of hearing people, with many saying they now want to learn sign language.

"I hope that sign language can be as important as a foreign language in our national education system," one Weibo user says.