Heathrow to Paddington trains again disrupted after power fault

Heathrow to Paddington trains again disrupted after power fault

Stranded passengers disembark a Heathrow Express train due to damage to overhead power cables at Paddington Rail passengers are facing disruption due to damage to overhead power cables near one of London’s busiest stations.

Trains between Paddington, Heathrow, Oxford and Maidenhead are severely disrupted due to wires collapsing between Paddington and Hayes and Harlington.

Some people are believed to be getting off stranded trains and onto tracks.

British Transport Police advised people not to leave trapped trains if stranded as train tracks are "very dangerous".

Earlier this month a test train damaged power cables near Paddington forcing services to be cancelled. Report Report Great Western Railway said 10 trains in the section of the collapsed lines were stuck.

Seven have been evacuated while three more continue to be evacuated safely, a spokesman said. All train services between Paddington, Heathrow, and Maidenhead are currently suspended after damage to overhead power lines Services to Heathrow Airport have also been cancelled until further notice.

Heathrow Express said it was sending a rescue service to take passengers on their way to Heathrow Airport back to Paddington where a care team will be waiting to transfer them onto buses to complete their journey.

National Rail said disruption is expected until the end of the day and recommended passengers use alternative methods of transport.

"All train services between Paddington, Heathrow, and Maidenhead are currently suspended after damage to overhead power lines", a spokesman said.

"Engineers are currently on site to assess the situation and begin urgent repairs.

"We are sorry for the inconvenience to passengers and would advise them to check with their rail operator for immediate travel advice." Report Disgruntled passengers have taken to social media to express concerns over delays and missing flights from Heathrow Airport. Report Report

‘Proud homophobe’ Jair Bolsonaro on course to win Brazillian presidency, according to final polls

‘Proud homophobe’ Jair Bolsonaro on course to win Brazillian presidency, according to final polls

Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Fernando Haddad (R) (MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL,DANIEL RAMALHO/AFP/Getty Images) Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro , who has said he is proud to be a homophobe, is on course to be elected president of Brazil today, according to final opinion polls published last night.

In an Ibope opinion poll that was published last night, Bolsonaro was at 54 percent, compared to left-wing candidate Fernando Haddad’s 46 percent . A Datafolha poll put Bolsonaro at 55 percent and Haddad at 45 percent, according to the Guardian.

While the opinion polls show that Haddad has made gains and narrowed the gap, they also indicate that Bolsonaro has a strong lead, meaning he is likely to be elected president of Brazil in today’s election. Jair Bolsonaro (NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty) Bolsonaro has been a controversial figure in Brazil for many years for his homophobic and sexist remarks. He has also said he wants to relax gun control and wants to restore the death penalty.

If he wins, Bolsonaro will become Brazil’s first far-right president since the end of the 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

Meanwhile, his opponent, Fernando Haddad has renewed his focus on homophobia in his campaign, promising to criminalise homophobia and transphobia, as The Huffington Post Brasil reported.

He has attacked Bolsonaro for his views on women, minorities and LGBT+ people, saying the far-right leader has a “psychological problem.”

Bolsonaro has been making headlines across the world for many years for his comments, many of which have been focused on the LGBT+ community.

In 2015, he courted controversy when he said that hospital patients should have the option to reject “gay blood.”

He also told Playboy in 2011 that he would rather his son die than be gay, saying: “I would be incapable of loving a gay son. I prefer that he die in an accident.” Fernando Haddad (DANIEL RAMALHO/AFP/Getty Images) He also told TIME last month that he stood by comments he had previously made, where he said that if he saw two men kissing on the street, he would punch them.

In a 2013 interview with Stephen Fry, he said that “no father would ever take pride in having a gay son.”

Two years ago, in an interview with Ellen Page, he complained about what he claimed were growing numbers of gay people, saying: “Over time, due to liberal habit, drugs, with women also working, the number of homosexuals has really increased.”

He then once again implied that gay people make children gay, telling Page: “If your son starts hanging out with certain people with a certain behaviour, he’ll adopt that sort of behaviour. He’ll think it’s normal.”

More than 300 LGBT+ people have been killed in hate crimes in Brazil so far this year, meaning it could become the deadliest year on record for LGBT+ people in the country. Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Fernando Haddad (R) (Fernando Souza/AFP/Getty; Flavio Florido/AFP/Getty Images) The survey by Brazil’s oldest LGBT watchdog, Grupo Gay da Bahia, also found that 713 anti-LGBT hate crimes — often in the categories of physical or psychological violence — have been recorded in 2018 up until mid-September.

A number of famous figures have come out against Bolsonaro since he announced his intention to run for president.

Stephen Fry recently called his hate speech “genuinely terrifying,” and said it would result in “more broken heads on pavement, more blood spilled, more torture, more killing, more unhappiness, less acceptance, more crying parents.

“That can’t be right,” he added.

Ukraine MP tries to ban same-sex relationships with new draft bill

Ukraine MP tries to ban same-sex relationships with new draft bill

Oleksandr Vilkul (Facebook) Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Vilkul has registered a draft bill that seeks to protect “public morals” by fining and imprisoning those who engage in same-sex relationships.

The draft legislation stipulates that LGBT+ people would be fined for their relationships, and that they would be imprisoned if they become repeat offenders, according to Open Democracy. Participants attend a pride march in central Kyiv on June 17, 2018. (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty) However, Ukrainian LGBT+ people shouldn’t worry just yet, as the bill will have to go through a number of different parliamentary committees in order to be passed. One of these committees is the Committee on Human Rights, Ethnic Minorities and Inter-Ethnic Relations.

The draft bill was registered quietly earlier this month, and marks Vilkul’s first foray into legislative issues for the LGBT+ community.

In an explanatory note with the draft legislation, Vilkul – who is also a former Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine – said that the state needs to pay particular attention to “the artificially created problem of discrimination against people with non-traditional sexual orientation.”

He also says in the note that equality marches, pride parades and queer culture festivals should be banned, and classified as “deviant behaviour.”

Those who are accused of demonstrating same-sex relationships would be fined 1,000-1,500 rubles. If they repeat the offence, they could be imprisoned for between three and five years. The legislation would also prevent people from importing publications that “promote same-sex relationships,” and those accused could be imprisoned for up to three years.

It also seeks to remove the terms “sexual orientation”, “gender identity”, “gender equality” and “gender-based legal assessment” from Ukrainian legislation.

The bill also deals with other issues, such as financial aid during pregnancy and grants for students from large families.

Open Democracy reports that the bill is unlikely to pass through the first committee that will examine it, and will likely either be sent away for reworking, or rejected completely. Participants march behind a banner as they take part in Kyiv Pride (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty) The new draft bill has a number of similarities to a bill that was tabled earlier this year by the Ivano-Frankivsk city council in western Ukraine, which sought to ban same-sex relationships from being represented in public.

That law was ultimately stopped in its tracks in April when the country’s anti-discrimination Ombudsman said it would “restrict human rights.”

LGBT+ people in Ukraine have moved towards greater acceptance in recent years, however they continue to face challenges.

While same-sex relationships are not currently criminalised, same-sex marriage is not legal.

A 2017 poll found that 56 percent of Ukrainians believed that gay and bisexual individuals should enjoy equal rights.

LGBT groups condemn ‘devastating’ mass shooting in Pittsburgh Synagogue

LGBT groups condemn ‘devastating’ mass shooting in Pittsburgh Synagogue

The Tree of Life Synagogue (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty) LGBT+ and human rights groups have condemned the devastating mass-shooting that took place yesterday in Pittsburgh, USA , which resulted in the deaths of 11 Jewish people in a Synagogue.

Six more people were injured in the mass-shooting, which the Anti-Defamation League say is the deadliest attack on Jews in US history. Police are treating it as a hate crime. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty The suspect has been named as Robert Bowers, who has been charged with murder and will face 29 criminal counts.

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD , said the news of the shooting was “devastating and infuriating.”

“Nobody should ever be attacked in their place of worship. Our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones and GLAAD stands with you against anti-Semitism and violence.”

Meanwhile, Janson Wu, executive director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders said they were “saddened and horrified” by the shooting. “Our hearts and our thoughts go out to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones, those who were hurt by this violence, and to all those in our Jewish communities who are reeling from this news.

“We denounce hate in all its forms and condemn the anti-Semitism that motivated this incident.” People gather for a interfaith candlelight vigil (Jeff Swensen/Getty) He added that it is the country’s “collective responsibility” to mend the world by ending gun violence and erasing “hateful rhetoric” that leads to attacks like the one in Pittsburgh.

The Human Rights Campaign, which fights for LGBT+ rights , released a statement from President Chad Griffin, who said the attack was “horrific” and had been motivated by anti-Semitism.

“Our hearts are with the community of the Tree of Life Synagogue, the first responders who bravely rushed into danger to save lives, the people of Pittsburgh, and all those impacted by this tragic act of hate violence. People gather for a interfaith candlelight vigil (Jeff Swensen/Getty) “After Newtown, our nation called for action. After Tucson, Virginia Tech, Aurora, San Bernardino, Charleston, and Alexandria, we called for action. After the shooting at Pulse Nightclub more than two years ago, we called for action. After Parkland and Las Vegas, we called for action.

“Yet, in the face of these mounting tragedies, many of our lawmakers have refused to act on meaningful gun safety legislation. And it is no surprise how these tragedies so often intersect with vile hatred, this time against the Jewish community.”

Griffin also pointed out that this latest attack comes more than two years after 49 lives were lost after a mass shooting in gay club Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

That mass-shooting – which was one of the deadliest in US history – will be on the minds of many in the LGBT+ community today.

Lesbian film Rafiki wins three awards at US festivals, despite ban in Kenya

Lesbian film Rafiki wins three awards at US festivals, despite ban in Kenya

Lesbian film Rafiki has won three awards at two US film festivals, despite still being banned in its home country of Kenya.

The groundbreaking film – which is being tipped for an Academy Award for Best Film in a Foreign Language – previously broke box office records in Kenya when the ban was temporarily removed. The two main characters in Rafiki look at each other (Rafiki) Now, it has won the audience and jury awards for Best Narrative Feature at the TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the Silver Hugo award at the Chicago International Film Festival.

Ben McCarthy, executive director of Three Dollar Bill Cinema, where the Seattle Queer Film Festival was held, praised the film.

“We are thrilled that Rafiki won both the audience and jury awards for narrative feature and that we can bring further attention to this important, beautiful film from a country whose LGBTQ community faces rampant discrimination and fear of imprisonment.”

A colonial-era penal code in Kenya criminalises sodomy, which is interpreted as sex between men. Sex acts between women are not specifically referenced by the archaic law, but lesbians can face extreme persecution in the country.

Despite this, when the ban on Rafiki was temporarily lifted , so it would be eligible for Oscars consideration, it shattered box office records in the seven days it was screened. Cinemas in Nairobi rapidly added extra screenings to the film to keep up with the demand from sold-out crowds. The film was banned by Kenya because of its “homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism” (Rafiki) The film’s director, Wanuri Kahiu, recently said she would keep fighting for the film to be widely released in Kenya after it was banned for promoting “gayism.”

“There’s this new East African word called ‘gayism,’ and the conversation was about that, how this film is promoting and spreading ‘gayism.’ The judge said, ‘No, you don’t catch it,’ and lifted the ban,” she said.

“We’re going back into court to continue to fight for the larger freedom of expression case [to secure a permanent release].

“We have a really young constitution but our constitution hasn’t been tested yet. Freedom [of] expression is one bit. Kenyan actresses Sheila Munyiva and Samantha Mugatsia and Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty) “The laws that ban the film are colonial laws, and we are asking for the laws to be updated so that they reflect the constitution that we have. There’s nothing in the constitution that says we can’t make films like this.

“I never considered myself an activist… but my work became work that you needed to advocate for. I was pushed into a space where I had to advocate for the work I was creating.”

Academy Award nominations will be announced in January 2019, with Rafiki ’s cast and director hoping for a nod.

Ireland’s ‘poet president’ will need to find fitting words

Ireland's 'poet president' will need to find fitting words

The highlight of President Higgins’ first term in office was the first state visit to the United Kingdom in 2014.

Amid the pomp and poetry-quoted it highlighted the transformation in British-Irish relations – a reconciliation built on the foundations of the Northern Ireland peace process.

But now with Brexit straining those relations and the centenary of Irish independence looming at a time of changing demographics in Northern Ireland it is inevitable that Ireland’s first citizen will have to devote more time and attention to north-south and east-west matters – if only symbolically.

Like the Queen, the role of Irish president is mostly symbolic and doesn’t tend to be involved in daily politics. Irish President Michael D Higgins moved by UK reception

During the state visit he spoke of the two nations in Irish as "ar scáth a chéile" – living in each other’s shadow and shelter.

And in his 2018 campaign literature he said that the "Presidency can play a crucial role in sustaining positive relationships between our peoples at a time of political uncertainty". The Queen and Michael D Higgins attending a Northern Ireland-themed reception at Windsor Castle in 2014 It is likely that as the state commemorates its centenary he will emphasise the importance of respect, honesty and inclusion.

"The coming years will require thought and understanding as we reflect on some of the most challenging and difficult periods in our history," he wrote.

At home he is likely to endorse the values of equality, inclusivity and a society of strong and stable communities.

Michael D Higgins, a politician, poet and academic, was elected President of Ireland in 2011 at a time when the country was at a low ebb after an EU-IMF bailout resulting from a property-related banking crash. Uncertainty looms

Since then the country’s fortunes have dramatically reversed and with it its self-confidence.

President Higgins has alluded to that during the campaign.

In the next seven years the only certainty is uncertainty where British-Irish relations are concerned.

Michael D Higgins will have to find fitting words and gestures as the two states meander in new and different directions.

How country stars Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton cracked Radio 1

How country stars Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton cracked Radio 1

Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Justin Timberlake and Dolly Parton Think "country music" and certain stereotypes probably spring to mind.

Banjos, cowboys, people wearing boots and singing about trucks, guns and whiskey.

But in 2018 the genre has moved away from that.

This is the year that American country, other than Dolly Parton, has had extraordinary success in the UK charts and has been played far more on Radio 1.

A lot of the popularity is down to collaborations, such as Say Something by Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton.

One of the major artists bridging the gap between country and pop is Kacey Musgraves.

"When someone asks me: ‘What kind of music do you play?’ I hesitate to say country music sometimes, even though I’m really proud to be a country artist," Kacey tells Radio 1 Newsbeat. Kacey Musgraves performing at Farm Aid 2018 in Hartford, Connecticut Earlier this year she supported Harry Styles on his tour.


Her latest album Golden Hour has moved away from the old-school country sound but still uses traditional instruments like the steel guitar.

She says: "It’s a little throwback to the 70s but it has a foot in the future too. If Daft Punk made a country record, what would it sound like?

"Surely there is a world where all these influences can live in harmony together?"

Kacey has been actively supportive of LGBT people through her music, and has gained a lot of fans because of it, with the lyrics of Rainbow subtly speaking to those who have had issues coming out. Warning: Third party content may contain adverts



The appetite for modern country is also down to streaming services and the accessibility of the music to a global audience.

Spotify says the number of people streaming the genre outside of the United States has grown 21% since 2015.

Their main country playlist, called Hot Country, has more than five million subscribers. ‘Strong collaborations’

The head of country for Spotify, John Marks, says it’s a good time for the genre.

He is based in Nashville, Tennessee – the historic home of country music made famous by the honky-tonk scene, the Grand Ole Opry showcase stage and legends like Johnny Cash.

"Those lingering stereotypes of country music being ‘stuck in time’ are diminishing now," John says.

"So many different artists exist under the country umbrella.

"Everybody is working together from across genres and that’s making it easier for people to consume."


"The combination of strong collaborations with streaming is making this music available for people everywhere," John says.

"Not only that, but there is a real authenticity that people connect with." Country artist Catherine McGrath performing at the London Palladium ‘Misconceptions for a long time’

Of course, non-US artists are making country music too. Catherine McGrath from Northern Ireland is one of them.

She spoke to us at her sold-out gig at Bush Hall in London: "Now, with streaming services where you can listen to country more easily, people are realising it’s more about lyrics and storytelling and real-life experiences."

Catherine, who is 21, says she enjoys seeing young girls at her shows.

"When they come up to me and say they relate to my song, that’s what country music is about for me.

"People just need to listen to the music as good songs, and not be worried about labelling it as country. Music is progression, and it shouldn’t have to fit into a category."

Radio 1 has begun to embrace country music artists like Catherine McGrath in 2018. Traditionally the genre would only be played on programmes like the Bob Harris country show on Radio 2.

The former Radio 1 DJ has played a key role in the success of the UK’s biggest country music festival, C2C, which has now been running for five years.

It brings Nashville’s superstars to London, Glasgow and Dublin every spring.


And C2C isn’t the only country festival on the UK scene: 2018 saw new events including Black Deer and The Long Road.

As the artists cross into the world of pop more than ever before, they are hoping more people in the UK will fall in love with country music.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram , Facebook and Twitter .

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra – if you miss us you can listen back here .

In pictures: Mexico City’s Day of the Dead parade

In pictures: Mexico City's Day of the Dead parade

A parade was held in Mexico City on Saturday evening to honour the start of the annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) A parade was held in Mexico City on Saturday evening to honour the start of the annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations.

It is only the third time a parade like this has been held in Mexico’s capital.

It was launched in 2016, inspired by a similar scene set in the city in the James Bond film Spectre.

Organisers hoped the parade would serve as a tourist attraction for visitors looking to witness local celebrations. This year the parade was themed around migration. The city’s government dedicated the parade to migrants who have lost their lives in transit, at a time when thousands from across Central America are currently travelling in a caravan through the country .

One part of the parade had people carrying parts of a border wall, which said (in Spanish): "On this side there is also a dream." Día de Muertos is usually held on 2 November and is a time when families honour deceased loved ones in the belief their souls return to earth to be with them. The sweet side of Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Mexico’s skeleton parade celebrates the dead

People celebrate it in different ways across Mexico’s regions, and customs can vary from family to family.

Some honour their loved ones with candles, their favourite foods and floral tributes in cemeteries, while others build shrines in their own homes. Skull imagery, costumes and body paint may also play a part – and these have become the iconic Day of the Dead images that have been exported around the world at Halloween time.

Catrina figures, which have a skeleton appearance and formal dress, featured prominently in Saturday’s parade. Halloween Day of the Dead makeover on trend

Day of The Dead comes to Russia

Despite the drizzly conditions, thousands attended the Mexico City event, which was also broadcast on television. Local media report that 1,200 volunteers took part in the spectacle of colour, costume and music. The parade acknowledged the region’s past, including Aztec traditions like human sacrifice, and the migration routes of the early inhabitants of Central America.

Significant Mexican cultural figures, including singer Chavela Vargas and artist Frida Kahlo, were also honoured at the event. A similar parade was also held in the city of Guadalajara, in western Mexico. Organisers were expecting thousands of spectators at the event, which also had live music, artists and jugglers taking part. In Los Angeles, California, people also dressed up in Day of the Dead-inspired costumes for the 19th annual event held in the famous Hollywood Forever cemetery. All images copyright.

Doug Wardlow, LGBT rights and the gay man he allegedly bullied in high school

Doug Wardlow, LGBT rights and the gay man he allegedly bullied in high school

Ryan Durant, 39, speaking in Brooklyn Center on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, said Minnesota attorney general candidate Doug Wardlow harassed him relentlessly in high school for being gay, and mocked him after he attempted suicide. Jean Pieri / St. Paul Pioneer Press 1 / 4

ST. PAUL — Republican attorney general candidate Doug Wardlow’s record of opposing some gay rights dates back years.

For Ryan Durant, a former high school classmate, Wardlow’s views aren’t just a question of policy. They’re personal.

Durant remembers Wardlow as a high school bully who repeatedly harassed him for being gay — and as the person who mocked him after he attempted suicide in the 10th grade. Both Durant and Wardlow attended Eagan High School and graduated in the class of 1997.

In an account corroborated by several other students, Durant, 39, alleges that Wardlow, who is now 40, bullied him for years because of his sexual orientation. He said Wardlow called him derogatory terms like “fag” and “faggot,” and then escalated to more personal insults such as “people like you should be shot.”

Among the classmates corroborating the account is a former friend of Wardlow’s who said he also participated in the bullying.

Wardlow, in an emailed statement to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, denied ever doing “anything remotely like the things alleged.”

Wardlow’s views of gay and transgender people are an issue in the heated campaign between the former state lawmaker and Democrat Keith Ellison, who has denied an ex-girlfriend’s allegation of an instance of domestic abuse.

Durant believes Wardlow’s behavior, even years ago, is relevant today.

“I’m bringing this up because people can say people change,” Durant said. “You’re not the same person you were when you were in high school.” But Durant said he sees Wardlow’s public positions on gay rights as evidence that his views have not evolved.

Several classmates corroborated Durant’s claims, said they knew of bullying by Wardlow, or said they themselves were harassed by Wardlow.

Jason Kopp, who said he was a close friend of Wardlow’s at the time, said he and Wardlow harassed Durant because of his sexual orientation.

Another classmate, Sarah Beaulieu, said Wardlow bullied her often, calling her derogatory names like “slut” and “dyke” even though she was not gay. She also recalled seeing Wardlow harass Durant, who was her friend, on multiple occasions.

One schoolmate of Wardlow’s said Durant’s allegations don’t match the Doug Wardlow she knew at Eagan High.

“It’s so crazy to me to think of Doug’s personality being even capable of saying or doing something cruel to another person,” said Heidi Bassett, who graduated a year after Wardlow and said she knew him as a fellow “debate nerd.” Bassett said she didn’t know Durant. She said she contacted the Pioneer Press on Friday evening after Wardlow sent her a message asking her to.

The allegations

Durant said he met Wardlow in middle school shortly after his family moved to Eagan in 1991. He said Wardlow began taunting him before Durant came out as gay in eighth grade, and that the harassment continued throughout his first two years at Eagan High School.

Wardlow was part of a group of students, including Kopp, who bullied Durant for being gay, Durant said. Kopp, who later came out as gay himself, has since apologized for his conduct. Durant said Wardlow was the “worst” bully of the group and has never apologized.

“I hated going to school every day,” he said. “I wanted out of there so bad.”

Durant said he was a sophomore at Eagan High School when he attempted to kill himself. He recalls leaving a goodbye note on his computer screen for his parents.

He said he takes responsibility for his attempt to harm himself. But he said Wardlow’s behavior was “a contributing factor, and a large one” to his state of mind at the time.

He said he spent months in the behavioral ward of the hospital before returning to school.

He said when he returned, Wardlow said to him: “What, you couldn’t even get that right?” referring to his suicide attempt.

Wardlow denies all of it

A Wardlow spokesman initially said Wardlow was receptive to an interview, and the Pioneer Press emailed a summary of Durant’s allegations to the campaign. In the end, Wardlow declined repeated requests for an in-person or telephone interview to discuss the matter.

He instead sent an emailed statement:

“I categorically deny these allegations about me when I was 14 years old. I never did or said anything remotely like the things alleged. … Clearly, Ryan Durant is politically motivated. In late 2009, before I held any political office and just after I announced my candidacy for State House, Durant posted on Facebook that he would consider voting for me. … Now, Durant frequently compares Republicans to Nazis on his Facebook page, and he recently ‘liked’ Ellison attack dog William Davis’s Facebook comment that Republicans should be sent to the guillotines. The change demonstrates that the allegations are politically motivated lies. Ellison has shopped this story to multiple media outlets as a last-minute ‘Hail Mary’ to save his failing campaign. It will not succeed.”

Neither Ellison nor his campaign brought Durant’s story to the Pioneer Press; the Pioneer Press contacted Durant independently after listening to a radio segment that he called in to. Durant alleges Wardlow harassed him through the 10th grade, when Wardlow was 16 years old.

Durant has spoken with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. At one point, members of the DFL reached out to Durant, urging him to tell his story at a news conference. He declined. Durant said he leans Democrat but has never worked for the party in any capacity.

Wardlow’s public record on gay rights

As the attorney general campaign has worn on, Wardlow has frequently declined to discuss his stances on gay rights.

He has said gay marriage is “the law of the land.” During a recent debate with Ellison, he said that he believes gays should enjoy equal protection under the law. When asked about his past advocacy against issues favored by the LGBT community, he has frequently demurred, saying they’re legislative matters outside the purview of the attorney general’s office.

But his public record of opposing a number of gay-rights issues, like same-sex marriage and recognition of transgender people, is clear.

In 2004 and 2005, Wardlow appears to have authored a conservative blog while he clerked at the Minnesota Supreme Court.

In it, he criticized gay marriage, summarizing his takeaway from the 2004 election thus: “Americans have spoken decisively: We do not want the government to secularize our society, we stand together in the common belief that marriage should be reserved for the union of one man and one woman.”

Wardlow was elected to the state House in 2010. During his tenure, he supported a Republican-led effort to place on the ballot an amendment to the state Constitution that would have defined marriage as exclusively between a man and woman.

The amendment was voted down by a majority of voters in the 2012 election. The next year, the DFL-controlled Legislature, with Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature, legalized gay marriage.

Shortly after the House voted in favor of the provision, Wardlow tweeted: “MN House votes to allow same-sex marriage, undermine building blocks of a free society, upend rule of law, jeopardize ordered liberty.” Wardlow appears to have deleted that tweet earlier this month as part of a purging of his social media accounts.

Alliance Defending Freedom

In 2014, Wardlow began serving as legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based Christian group that has fought expansion of some gay rights.

Wardlow gained a national platform in his role as he defended businesses that practiced unequal treatment of gay or transgender people on religious grounds.

In 2015, Wardlow penned a piece for FOX News criticizing the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage. Wardlow wrote: “Marriage is and always will be the union of one man and one woman for life, regardless whether the government incorrectly applies the label of marriage to other kinds of relationships.”

Last year, Wardlow, on behalf of ADF, argued against transgender accommodations before the Anoka-Hennepin School Board.

Wardlow told school board members “… there are boys, and there are girls, and boys and girls are fundamentally different in ways that really do matter.”

Wardlow doesn’t appear to still work for ADF, although his exact status is unclear. The organization has not responded to requests to clarify the question, and Wardlow and a spokesman did not answer it.

LGBT community concerned about Wardlow Monica Meyer, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group OutFront Minnesota, said Wardlow’s record matters for a position like attorney general.“As the top lawyer in the state, we really want an attorney general who will work to … enact laws that actually stop discrimination against people based on who they are and who they love,” Meyer said, adding later: “From his work history and what he has chosen to do with his law degree, (Wardlow) has been anything but that.”When questioned on the issue by Ellison at a recent debate, Wardlow responded: “I will fight for the rights of all Minnesotans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender or race.” Party backs Wardlow Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said she believes Wardlow — not Durant, Kopp or the other students who corroborate Durant’s account.“I have known Doug for several years,” Carnahan said. “He is a good, honest man. In all his speeches, I’ve never heard anything like that come out of his mouth. I have a hard time believing these allegations because they do seem to be politically motivated.”

LGBT visitors explore gay HongKong: Spotlight is on Miles of Love

LGBT visitors explore gay HongKong: Spotlight is on Miles of Love

Why have Gulf-based Filipinos fallen in love with Armenia?

Hong Kong Tourism is about to turn pink. and the Hong Kong Tourism Board has nothing to say about it. The upcoming Miles of Love conference attendees at the Eaton Hotel in HongKong, China will be the epic center.

Hong Kong Tourism is speechless when eTN called the Los Angeles office of this government agency in charge of promoting tourism to this specialized Chinese region. When eTN asked about the upcoming event there was no response, and this may have been expected. The international speakers expected to speak in Hong Kong are not known to belong to the “all quiet” category, and the upcoming Miles of Love conference may put LGBT visitors to HongKong at ease.

Speakers at the LGBT event in HongKong includes: Matt Beard, Executive Director, All Out

Theresa Goh, Singapore Paralympian, Ambassador, Pink Dot Singapore 2017

John Tanzella, President/CEO, International Gay and Lesbian Tourism Association

Kimahli Powell, Executive Director, Rainbow Railroad

Ging Cristobal, Project Coordinator for Asia, OutRight International

Mikhail Tumasov, Coordinator, Russian LGBT Network, Members of Pussy Riot and

Cambodia’s first and only gay dance troupe: Prumsodun OK & NATYARASA

Currently, there is no law against discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation in Hong Kong. From 2-5 November, LGBTQ activists and travel industry representatives will convene for a groundbreaking travel advocacy event in Hong Kong, host destination for the Gay Games in 2022. IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella and IGLTA Board Member Shiho Ikeuchi are among the 30 diverse speakers from 15 countries that will address the Miles of Love conference attendees at the Eaton Hotel.

The Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance 1991 prohibits discrimination on a variety of grounds, including “other status”. In the case of Leung TC William Roy v. Secretary for Justice (2005), this has been interpreted to include sexual orientation. However, the Bill of Rights only applies to government-sponsored discrimination and not the private sector. Since the 1990s LGBT rights groups have lobbied the Legislative Council to enact civil rights laws that include sexual orientation without success.

In 1993, former legislator Anna Wu proposed an Equal Opportunities Bill through a private member’s bill to outlaw discrimination on a variety of grounds, including sex, disability, age, race, and sexuality. Her effort didn’t yield any result until 1995 when equal opportunities law was enacted. However, sexuality was not included in the passage of the bill.

Set to coincide with Hong Kong’s annual Pink Season LGBTQ festival, Miles of Love will explore how the travel industry can work with LGBTQ communities and activists globally to bridge the gap between human rights and travel. Planet Ally and All Out are hosting the event. Rainbow Railroad to receive IGLTA’s Pathfinder Award “IGLTA is proud to support Miles of Love, “ said John Tanzella, IGLTA President/CEO, who will deliver a keynote address at the conference and host a business networking session for local tourism professionals on the last day. “We are dedicated to strengthening ties in the region and sharing our resources to help create greater understanding of the LGBTQ travel community. At Miles of Love, I’ll focus on the work of our philanthropic IGLTA Foundation and the ways in which it supports LGBTQ-owned businesses in emerging destinations and industry education.”

Plenary sessions will feature Asia-based travel industry representatives outlining their work to create more inclusive businesses and LGBTQ activists from Asia and the Middle East assessing tourism’s impact on the road to equality. Also in the speaker lineup are: Fern Ngai, CEO, Community Business; Kimahli Powell, Director, Rainbow Railroad; Marissa Howarth, Consul, Australian Consulate-General, Hong Kong; and queer/women’s rights activists Pussy Riot. Cambodia’s first gay dance company, Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA, will perform at the opening reception.

“The conversations that will happen at Miles of Love are long overdue,” said Bess Hepworth, founder of Planet Ally and lead organizer of the conference, which also includes LGBTQ training sessions for businesses. “I believe that this dialogue will be a key driver in opening new collaborations that will drive both business success and the achievement of safety and dignity for LGBTQ people.”

For complete Miles of Love details, please visit: www.planetally.org/miles-of-love/ When: 7-9pm, 5 November

Where: Eaton Hotel, 380 Nathan Rd, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Complimentary tickets available via Eventbrite link here .

About IGLTA & The IGLTA Foundation

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association is the global leader in advancing LGBTQ travel and a proud Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. The IGLTA Foundation supports the mission of IGLTA with a focus on education, research and developing future leaders in LGBTQ tourism. IGLTA membership includes LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events and travel media in more than 80 countries. For more information: iglta.org or iglta.org/foundation and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @iglta.