Wales ‘leads the way’ with new LGBT-friendly sex education curriculum

Wales 'leads the way' with new LGBT-friendly sex education curriculum

It has been 30 years since Section 28 was introduced in schools in Wales, England and Scotland.

Section 28 prohibited schools and local authorities from “promoting” homosexuality. The interpretation of the law meant that teachers were forbidden from mentioning the existence of gay people in schools. The legislation was repealed in Scotland in 2000 and in England and Wales in 2003. To mark the anniversary, Welsh education secretary Kirsty Williams has announced major changes to Sex and Relationships Education in Wales and its place in the curriculum.

Following a review of the subject by an expert panel led by Professor Emma Renold, professor of childhood studies at Cardiff University, Williams has announced that this area of study will become Relationships and Sexuality Education, a statutory part of Wales’ new curriculum.

At present, SRE is a statutory part of the basic curriculum in Wales but it is down to schools to decide their approach to the subject, and this sometimes doesn’t stretch beyond the biological aspects of human relationships.

Placing an emphasis on forming and maintaining healthy, happy and fulfilling relationships, RSE represents a major departure from these traditional approaches.

Learners will also be given a much broader understanding of sexuality that is fully inclusive of LGBT+ learners and includes wider issues such as consent, domestic abuse and respecting diversity.

Williams said: The days of traditional sex education are long gone; the world has moved on and our curriculum must move with it. Sex should never be taught in isolation for the simple reason that it is about so much more than just sex; it’s also about relationships, rights and respect and that must go hand in hand with a much broader understanding of sexuality. Anything less does a disservice to our learners and teachers. The fact is relationships and sexuality shape our lives as well as the world around us. They are a fundamental part of who we are and how we understand ourselves, each other and society. Thirty years ago Margaret Thatcher denounced local education authorities for teaching children that "they have an inalienable right to be gay”. But now, Wales is "leading the way" in terms of modernising sex education in schools. In England, the government is currently analysing feedback from a consultation on sex education with a view to modernising its teaching.

UK faith schools have also come under scrutiny this year, after a report found that many still ban the promotion of homosexuality.

More: 12 things we should have learned in sex education, according to Reddit

Realtor group pulls support from GOP rep over comments about selling to LGBT homebuyers

Realtor group pulls support from GOP rep over comments about selling to LGBT homebuyers

© Greg Nash Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) has lost the support of a national realtors group after he indicated that homeowners should be able to refuse to sell to LGBT people, the Orange County Register reported Thursday .

Rohrabacher reportedly told a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) that he didn’t believe in extending fair housing protections to LGBT people during a meeting earlier this week.

“A person who owns their own home, they have a right to choose who they do business with,” Rohrabacher told the Orange County Register on Thursday. “We’ve drawn a line on racism. But I don’t think we should extend that line.”

The realtor group member, Wayne Woodyard, said that he asked Rohrabacher if he would support a bill to extend discrimination protections in the Fair Housing Act to LGBTQ individuals.

“He refused to support and was adamant that every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone that they don’t agree with their ‘lifestyle,’” Woodyard said of Rohrabacher’s comments, according to a letter by the NAGLREP. Woodyard reportedly posted his account of the meeting on Facebook in a post that quickly circulated this week.

The National Association of Realtors said in a statement to the Orange County Register that it had decided to withdraw its endorsement of Rohrabacher over his comments.

The group also pulled him from a list of candidates that the association urges members to donate to.

“The association’s member Code of Ethics is far ahead of Congress on gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination. We certainly hope that Congress will … support the elimination of housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” the NAR said in a statement.

Rohrabacher told the Orange County Register that he’s not “anti-gay” and opposes discrimination on the basis of race, religion or sex.

“There are some fundamentalist Christians who do not approve of their lifestyle. I support their rights,” Rohrabacher told the paper.

He added that the NAR pulling his endorsement “certainly can’t do me any good,” adding that “it’s sad to see [NAR’s] priority is standing in solidarity with making sure a stamp of approval is put on somebody’s private lifestyle.”

The Hill has reached out to Rohrabacher’s office for comment.

Rohrabacher’s statements come as he faces a difficult reelection bid – his race has been rated as a "toss up" by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report .

Grampian Pride will be ‘hugely important milestone’ for north-east LGBT community

Grampian Pride will be ‘hugely important milestone’ for north-east LGBT community

The event will start with a parade down Union Street at 10am Scotland’s first openly gay minister has encouraged north east people from all walks of life to celebrate the “hugely important milestone” of the first ever Grampian Pride in Aberdeen tomorrow.

The day-long festival, which will start with a colourful parade from Albyn Place and then on to Union Street from 10.30am, will shine a light on the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community.

After the parade has finished, the festivities will continue at the Grampian Pride Village, which has been erected at the Beach Boulevard.

Oil giants have rallied round to provide funding for the first ever Grampian Pride event in Aberdeen.

As well as a headline performance from Banff singer-songwriter Sandi Thom, visitors will also be able to enjoy music from a variety of local bands and acts and a keynote speech from Annie Wallace, the first transgender person to play a regular transgender character in British soap history, on Channel 4’s Hollyoaks.

Queen’s Cross Church minister Scott Rennie said: “This is a hugely important milestone in the north-east for the LGBT community and their families and I’m happy to see it looks like it’s going to be a big success.

“Although Aberdeen is a pretty inclusive city, this is the first time we have been able to celebrate the LGBT community on such a large scale.

“I always think about kids growing up LGBT and for them it will be so amazing to see that the city they live in is understanding and supportive and values them for who they are.”

Justine Smithies, one of the organiser of the event, said all 5,000 tickets for the village have already been booked, but people can still find tickets on the Grampian Pride website if there are any cancellations.

She said: “We’re expecting about 10,000 people to come along to the parade in the morning as well, so it’s really going to be a fantastic day.

“But it’s not just a celebration of LBGT people, it’s also a march to make people aware that there are still problems all around the world, and even here in Scotland, for LGBT people.

“Just the other day a gay couple were attacked in Edinburgh just for holding hands, so although there have been huge strides in recent years, there are still a lot of issues that LGBT people face today.

To find out more, visit

Celebrating LGBT culture and life in Northumberland

Celebrating LGBT culture and life in Northumberland

Northumberland Pride committee members at Amble Lantern Parade. A week-long celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) life in Northumberland starts this Sunday, to be rounded off with the county’s first Pride festival in Alnwick.

Seven Days of Pride will feature a series of promotions and activities around the county, ahead of the main event on Saturday, June 2, with a march from Alnwick Market Place and music at the rugby club.

The aim is to raise awareness of LGBT culture and heritage, break down barriers and promote inclusion.

Seven Days of Pride gets under way on Sunday, when the Northumberland Pride committee will be at Amble Puffin Festival and Durham Pride. On Monday, the committee will be at the Northumberland County Show.

A LGBT church service will be staged on Tuesday, at St James’s URC, Alnwick, from 7pm. All welcome.

On Wednesday, the Pride committee will be out around Northumberland, while Age UK, Ashington, will host the Rainbow Games at The Round House, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Next Thursday, there will be a 5k fun run/walk at the rugby club, starting at 7.30pm. Fancy-dress is optional. Visit to enter.

On Friday, June 1, Rainbow Kids will host a LGBT session at the New Riverside Lodge, Morpeth, at 1pm, before the venue will hold a pre-Pride party. There will also be a pre-Pride party at The Elephant, Ashington. Both events start at 7pm and tickets, £10, are available from each venue.

Also on June 1, County Hall, Morpeth, will display an art exhibition by Trinity Youth Association between 2pm and 3pm.

On June 2, the march will start at noon, with the festival at the rugby club from 1pm to 6.30pm. Performers to appear at the free-to-enter festival include X Factor finalist and West-End star, Niki Evans. A range of local singers and musicians are also on the bill.

There will be community-focused stalls providing information from local organisations and the LGBT services they offer, as well as health/wellbeing and family zones.

Alnwick’s Blue Bell Inn will host an after-party from 7pm.

Businesses are encouraged to decorate their windows with a Pride theme, while Berwick Border Bridge is set to be lit up with rainbow colours throughout Pride week.

For event details, visit the Northumberland Pride Facebook page.

Republican congressman says it’s fine to refuse to sell houses to gay people

Republican congressman says it’s fine to refuse to sell houses to gay people

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty) A Republican lawmaker has incurred a backlash after saying it’s fine to refuse to sell a house to LGBT customers.

Dana Rohrabacher, a 15-term Californian congressman, told a group of realtors that homeowners should be able to reject anyone they want – so the association pulled its support of him.

The lawmaker told an Orange County Association of Realtors delegation: “Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone (if) they don’t agree with their lifestyle.” (Drew Angerer/Getty) Speaking to the Orange County Register , he confirmed he held this belief, saying that property owners should be able to “choose who they do business with.”

He then insisted that LGBT people shouldn’t have as many rights as other minorities, saying: “We’ve drawn a line on racism, but I don’t think we should extend that line.

“A homeowner should not be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral.”

Rohrabacher worked as a speechwriter and special assistant to President Ronald Reagan for almost his entire presidency. (John Sciulli/Getty) He took his place in the House of Representatives in January 1989, just before Reagan left office – and has been there ever since.

But ahead of November’s mid-term elections, his seat is rated as a toss-up.

His remarks provoked outrage from many in the National Association of Realtors, which withdrew its recommendation that members donate to his campaign.

In a statement, the group of 1.3 million members said: “It was determined that Rep. Rohrabacher will no longer receive support from NAR’s President’s Circle.”

It explained that Rohrabacher had violated the association’s moral code, which does not allow discrimination because of people’s sexual orientation or gender identity. (dana rohrabacher/facebook) “We certainly hope that Congress will… support the elimination of housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” it added.

In response, the politician admitted that ahead of June’s Republican primary, “it certainly can’t do me any good to have people take me off their endorsement list.

“It’s sad to see (the association’s) priority is standing in solidarity with making sure a stamp of approval is put on somebody’s private lifestyle.”

One of those competing to unseat him on the Democrats’ side, Harley Rouda, said that Rohrabacher’s comments were “outlandish and unacceptable.

He added: “What Dana Rohrabacher fails to understand is discrimination is discrimination. It shows how backward his thinking is.”

Rohrabacher has denied that he is homophobic, saying his position may “alienate a certain number of gays who think I’m anti-gay, which isn’t the case.”

The lawmaker, who has voted in the past to ban gay adoptions and same-sex marriage, and to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, has praised Russia’s discriminatory practices against LGBT people. In 2015, he sent a tweet agreeing with a conspiracy theorist who said “Marxists” were “OPENLY revising America’s traditions and history.” (DanaRohrabacher/twitter) Rohrabacher said that this was “absolutely right,” before heaping praise on Putin’s opposition to equality for LGBT people and women in general.

“Interesting this is happening here when in Russia Putin opened churches, opposes abortion & gay marriage,” wrote the US congressman.

Rohrabacher is far from the first Republican to attract a backlash for his behaviour over the past year.

Last year, Ohio congressman Wes Goodman – a married Republican lawmaker with a long history of campaigning against LGBT rights – resigned after being caught having gay sex in his office. (Wes Goodman) Republican Ralph Shortey, a senior member of Donald Trump’s primary campaign team in Oklahoma, stepped down as state senator last March after being discovered in a hotel room with a 17-year-old boy who Shortey hired as a prostitute. Ralph Shortey Later in the year, he pleaded guilty to a child sex trafficking offence for soliciting sex from the boy.

In exchange for this plea, federal prosecutors dropped three counts of child pornography against the former politician. Erika Harold And in March, it was revealed that Erika Harold, a Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General, allegedly said she would rather hand over a child to known child abusers than a loving gay couple.

What is PrEP? How to get it, possible side effects and more

What is PrEP? How to get it, possible side effects and more

What is PrEP and does it have any side effects? And where do you get PrEP from?

PrEP stands for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis and, put simply, is medication to prevent someone from contracting HIV.

Phil Samba is a sexual health activist working to bust myths surrounding PrEP .

“I’ve been taking PrEP for eight months now and I’ve had no issues,” he told PinkNews.

“What I’ve noticed is that a lot more HIV+ men feel a lot more comfortable talking to me.

“I never had an issue speaking to or sleeping with HIV+ men but they seem, I guess, more comfortable talking to me.

“They know they won’t be judged because they know I’m on PrEP.”

Watch the video below to see Samba bust common myths surrounding the medication. Samba also co-created the Me.Him.Us . campaign – created “by and for black men” – that appeared on bus stops in London and went viral online.

“Me.Him.Us started around August and it was actually my mentor, Mark Thompson, who got me involved in it,” Samba told PinkNews.

“I’d been friends with the campaigns manager Liam Murphy for some time, so I went to regular meetings and it was there that I started getting involved in campaigning for sexual health and PrEP advocacy.

“After a while Liam asked me to be in it and then I managed to get a lot of my friends and Melli – who played my love interest in it – involved.

“It took off and it became really huge, unexpectedly.” Phil Samba in the ‘Me. Him. Us.’ campaign Samba added that most of the reactions were positive – one criticism was that the campaign ads didn’t include an interracial couple, which he found frustrating.

“It was annoying because we always see interracial couples when it comes to health campaigns when it comes to black gay men’s sexual health, or health in general.”

If you are interested in taking PrEP, or finding out more about it, visit I Want PrEP Now .

Watch how the HIV self-testing kit works and how you can get one through the Terrence Higgins Trust.

This gay man was left for dead and his family are still searching for answers

This gay man was left for dead and his family are still searching for answers

Austin Salias / GoFundMe A 22-year-old Portland man was attacked and burned in what his family allege is possibly a homophobic hate crime.

Aaron Salazar, a student at Portland State University, was travelling to the city when he was found lying near the tracks in the station at Truckee, California on May 15.

Amtrak authorities investigating the case have said there is no evidence of criminal intent, but his Salazar’s family believe he was beaten into a coma because he is gay.

The family have become suspicious of the authorities handling of the case, accusing them of being slow to respond and declining to answer their questions. Austin Salias / GoFundMe His mother, Sonia Trujillo, told the Reno Gazette Journal : “I’m willing to do anything, whatever I need to do to figure out what’s going on.

“I don’t know if they’re trying to protect the train or if they’re trying to protect the people.” According to a fund-raiser set up by the family , Salazar is currently fighting for his life with multiple brain injuries, a broken pelvis, and severe burns on his thigh.

He is also said by relatives to have bruising consistent with a struggle and blood under his fingernails.

However, in recent updates, he is said to have opened his eyes and made good progress under the care of doctors in the ICU of a local Reno hospital. Now the family are demanding answers from AMTRAK, which they say is withholding information. The family’s spokesperson, and Salazar’s cousin, Austin Salias said: “We have been asking and calling and they have been withholding even the simplest answers, like where was Aaron found and what time.“

“Simple questions that any parent would like to know. As for his parents, they need answers for their peace of mind. They just want to know their son didn’t suffer in pain for hours and hours.”

They have now sought legal counsel over the handling of the case, Salias added, and are preparing for a long and expensive fight for answers.

Amtrak has responded with a public statement saying: “The Amtrak Police Department is conducting an ongoing investigation into this incident. At this time, there is nothing to suggest criminal intent.”

Robert Leftwich, the Truckee Chief of Police said that Amtrak had jurisdiction over the case, but added that his thoughts were with Aaron and his family.

Ian McKellen says Hollywood treats gay men as if they don’t exist

Ian McKellen says Hollywood treats gay men as if they don't exist

The actor frequently talks about representation | Photo: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore Gay actor Ian McKellen addressed Hollywood’s problems with representation in a recent interview.

While speaking to Time Out , McKellen, who played Gandalf in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, discussed Dumbledore in Harry Potter.

The interviewer brought up the fact that Dumbledore will not be ‘explicitly gay’ in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film.

‘Isn’t he? That’s a pity,’ McKellen responds simply. ‘Well, nobody looks to Hollywood for social commentary, do they?’

He then disparaged Hollywood’s treatment of marginalized groups in general and didn’t hold back for a second.

‘They only recently discovered that there were black people in the world. Hollywood has mistreated women in every possible way throughout its history. Gay men don’t exist.’

McKellen brought up his 1998 movie, Gods and Monsters, adding that was the ‘beginning of Hollywood admitting that there were gay people knocking around, even though half of Hollywood is gay’. A lack of representation

There is proof that Hollywood needs to do better in regards to representation.

A recent GLAAD study revealed only 14 major studio movies from last year had LGBTQ characters. This is a drastic drop from 2016’s 23 film. No year has seen an equal amount of representation for this community.

Most of the inclusive films featured gay men (specifically 64%), while other characters — lesbians, LGBTQ people of color, bisexuals, and transgender people — still remain vastly underserved.

Clearly, though, McKellen’s comments, hyperbole or not, have some truth to them.

Anti-gay social media campaign forces cancellation of IDAHOBT in China

Anti-gay social media campaign forces cancellation of IDAHOBT in China

Wuhan University. | Photo: Facebook A relentless campaign against a pro-LGBTI university student association in China from its fellow students and the university itself forced it to cancel its IDHOBT event.

The Wuhan University Sexual Orientation Equality Research Group had planned an off-campus event for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBT). The group planned to meet at a nearby public square with rainbow flags to celebrate IDAHOBT.

Wuhan University is one of China’s top universities and is located in Wuhan, the most populous city in central China.

When university officials and other students caught wind of the IDAHOBT event they began targeting students on the popular messaging WeChat service. Spreading the gay agenda

They discouraged students from attending, saying associating with ‘homosexual activity’ would bring the university’s reputation into disrepute.

‘A small number of students have been influenced by western subculture, and today may be on internet platforms advocating homosexual activity,’ one message read.

‘They mislead the public, incite widespread student participation in “gay” community activities, and encourage students to dip into “gay culture”.’

The university even encouraged students to appoint one person per class to verbally warn others off attending.

‘Please, every class appoint a committee member, and as soon as possible, during this morning’s class break, verbally warn classmates to pay attention!’ one message read.

‘Please don’t disseminate the above-mentioned information online, and don’t screenshot my messages. Make sure you understand the verbal warning, and spread it to your classmates properly. This is requested of everyone.’

China Digital Times obtained screenshots of the messages and translated them.

Some students stood up for themselves despite the mounting campaign against them.

‘I don’t consider my sexual orientation to be an error. All forms of love and affection between two people should be respected. You’re not capable of that respect, but at least try not to defame my orientation,’ one student wrote.

Even though they showed great resolve in the face a hateful campaign, the Wuhan University Sexual Orientation Equality Research Group announced the day before IDAHOBT (16 May) the ‘due to unforeseen eventualities’ its event had changed. t

The group moved its event to an on campus classroom. The group also left 150 rainbow bracelets and LGBTI educational pamphlets in the library.

It’s not the first time university students have been at the center of a homophobic campaign. Last year, the women’s basketball team at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) held up a homophobic banner condemning the LGBTI community.

Nike Unveils LGBT History Themed Pride Shoes

Nike Unveils LGBT History Themed Pride Shoes

Nike has unveiled this year’s offerings in its popular BeTrue pride line, and they are an awesome homage to LGBT History.

The company announced on Thursday its designs feature “colors and symbols that have been reclaimed and historically repurposed by the LGBTQ community,” namely the pink triangle and the color lavender. Reclaiming the past to empower the future. This year’s #BETRUE collection breaks symbolic boundaries. Learn More: #nike The pink triangle was used as a symbol by Nazis during the Holocaust to identify gay men in concentration camps. Before Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow pride flag, the pink triangle was the most widely used symbol under which LGBT people gathered while calling for liberation and acceptance.

The color lavender, as Nike notes, also predates the rainbow flag as a sign for the community.

“Lavender, a dynamic blending of gender-linked light blue and light pink, is one of the oldest symbolic references in LGBTQ culture,” the company states. “The shade appears in the four colorways of this year’s shoe cohort, the cornerstone products of the collection: the Nike Vapormax Plus, the Nike Air Max 270, the Nike Zoom Fly and the Nike Epic React Flyknit.”

Not that the rainbow flag is being done away with completely.

Two of the shoes, the Vapormax Plus and the Air Max 270, feature the rainbow spectrum on the bottom and side of the heels, while the Zoom Fly has “a muted rainbow colorway through the shoe’s translucent upper.” The Nike BETRUE 2018 collection will also include t-shirts, socks, a hat, and a heritage hip pack, and will launches June 6 on and at select retail locations globally.

The collection is in its seventh year. A portion of the proceeds go to non-profits working to support LGBT athletes and end discrimination and prejudice in sports.