The Australian Christian Lobby has hit out at a proposed ban on conversion therapy.
The Christian lobbying group, which is strongly opposed to LGBT rights, hit out at Australia’s opposition Labor Party over what it claims is a “hidden” pledge to ban gay ‘cure’ therapy.
The draft of the Labor Party’s policy platform states: “Labor opposes the practice of so-called conversion and reparative therapies on LGBTIQ+ people and seek to criminalise these practices.” Experts overwhelmingly agree that attempts to cure sexuality or gender identity are futile, misguided, and often extremely harmful , and governments across the world are coming under increasing pressure to crack down.
Attempts to force teens to repress their true selves have been linked to depression, self-harm and even suicide.
But the Australian Christian Lobby has vowed to fight the changes.
In a mailout to supporters, the group scare-mongered about the impact of the proposal, claiming it is ” radical, extreme material.”
The ACL, which previously played up fears over transgender people during the country’s same-sex marriage plebiscite, appears to be gunning for the same tactic.
Managing director Martyn Iles claimed: “It means that if your son comes home one day from his Labor-sponsored ‘Safe School’ and tells you he wants to become a girl, you must support that decision and attempt to facilitate it.
“Discouraging your son from transitioning to a girl, arranging for prayer or counselling to affirm his biological gender would be a criminal offence and domestic abuse under a Labor government.
“‘Safe Schools’ and Labor’s proposed criminalisation of counselling that affirms biology are just another attack on the rights of parents who don’t want to see their kids brainwashed by Labor’s rainbow brigade.
“Let me be clear. Under Labor’s proposed new laws, Christian parents will become criminals and domestic abusers simply for affirming that their sons are boys and their daughters are girls.” Despite claims the pledge was “hidden”, like most of civilised society the Labor Party has made no secret of its opposition to the discredited practice of conversion therapy. The ACL previously attracted anger opposed the removal of the so-called ‘gay panic’ defence – which allows murderers to blame gay victims for violent crimes.
The defence – which allows criminals to get more lenient sentences after violent murders – is based around the suggestion that a perpetrator was “panicked” into committing a violent crime due to an unwanted advance from a gay person.
The law has been removed from the statute books across most of Australia, with Queensland and South Australia only jurisdictions that continue to permit the defence.
The government of Queensland is making moves to repeal the section of the Criminal Code that lowers the sentence for crimes committed in “the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation” from a homosexual advance.
But the Australian Christian Lobby has made a submission to an inquiry on the issue, incorrectly claiming that the removal of the gay panic defence would actually allow men to get away with rape. Former ACL chief Lyle Shelton The ACL claimed during last year’s plebiscite that schools will enforce “radical gay sex education” if people vote for same-sex marriage.
The group claimed in a mailout: “Changing the marriage law to allow same-sex couples to marry will mean taking gender out of our laws.
“Radical gay sex education programs will become more widespread and compulsory as it has overseas.
“If you are concerned about your rights as a parent, or radical gay sex education in classrooms. ITS [sic] OK TO VOTE NO.”
White House Communications Director Bill Shine (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty) Donald Trump’s new White House Communications Director is reported to have settled a lawsuit over the outing of a gay man.
Former Fox News executive Bill Shine was in July named as Trump’s fifth Communications Director last month, replacing Hope Hicks.
It was reported this week that Shine appears to have settled a lawsuit from his time at Fox. Bill Shine (Michael Loccisano/Getty for TIME) Silas Pierce had sued the Fox News Network for $4.5 million, claiming that Shine outed him as gay during a dispute over a cancelled reality show project.
Shine was named as a defendant in the case alongside Fox and the estate of late Fox boss Roger Ailes.
According to filings, Pierce accused Ailes and Shine sending “lawyers and investigators to Florida in an attempt to dig up damaging information” about him and then “[communicating] those private facts about Pierce to various ‘sock puppet’ media outlets.”
However, according to The Hill and The Hollywood Reporter , Shine was mysteriously let off the hook this week.
A filing on August 3 by Florida’s 9th Circuit Court states that Shine has “resolved all claims” against him, and as a result the court dismissed with prejudice “all claims against [him].” It is unclear what settlement Shine reached with Pierce, and neither side has commented on the terms.
In its own filings, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, Fox News appears to claim that it is not damaging to out someone as gay. Bill Shine attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media 2017 (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty for The Hollywood Reporter) Fox lawyers argued: “There may have been a time when truthfully saying a person was a homosexual was ‘highly offensive to a reasonable person,’ but thankfully, those days have long passed.”
Trump’s new Comms Director was also previously linked to allegations that Fox News execs were anchor Shepard Smith had been told to stay in the closet.
The 2014 report in non-defunct outlet Gawker claimed that Shine “flipped out” when Smith brought his boyfriend to an event and “called a meeting among high-level executives to discuss a plan of action regarding Smith.”
Gawker claimed Shine “carries a reputation for insensitivity toward gay people,” and cited a source who described him as a “major, major homophobe.”
Shine said in response: “Over the past 18 years, we’ve had the privilege of working with Shepard Smith throughout his incredible rise from a field reporter to chief news anchor and his recent promotion to managing editor.
“Throughout his entire career here, Roger Ailes and I have fully supported him in both a professional and personal capacity. We have never asked Shep to discuss or not discuss his private life, and the notion of us having an issue with anyone’s sexuality is not only insulting, but pure fiction.
“We renewed his contract in June 2013 based on this full support as well as his exemplary journalism. He’s the gold standard of this profession and we’re extremely proud to call him the face of our news division.”
DC / Warner Bros Gal Gadot has praised a 5-year-old boy for “breaking gender stereotypes” on social media.
Earlier this month, a Florida mother named Katie Alicea wrote an article for Romper in which she described how her son Isaac had chosen a Wonder Woman backpack and crown for his first day back at school.
While she said she was happy that her son “doesn’t see Wonder Woman as an inferior or weaker superhero” because she’s a woman, Katie was concerned about how his schoolmates would react to him wearing the Wonder Woman outfit.
“I admittedly have some fear for my sweet Isaac,” she wrote. “For how the world can treat someone who doesn’t easily fit into stereotypes or who blazes their own path instead of following everyone else.”
The story went viral, and even caught the attention of Gal Gadot, who portrayed Wonder Woman in the critically-acclaimed 2017 movie, and later reprised her role in the epic DC superhero team-up blockbuster Justice League.
“Just read this article about breaking gender stereotypes by Katie Alicea. Such an important topic and something I believe in so strongly. I hope Issac wore the crown and his WW backpack proudly to school,” she wrote, adding the hashtag #WonderBoy. Just read this article about breaking gender stereotypes by Katie Alicea. Such an important topic and something I believe in so strongly. I hope Issac wore the crown and his WW backpack proudly to school. 🙅🏻♀️ #WonderBoy pic.twitter.com/sCbfprbG5y — Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) August 7, 2018 Despite the hit 2017 movie portraying Wonder Woman as straight, Gal Gadot has expressed her openness to the superhero being bisexual – and she even has an idea of who she’d want to play her on-screen girlfriend.
Appearing on Israeli talk show Good Night With Guy Pines back in 2016, she said: “I saw her the other day, Halle Berry. She’s so beautiful. Wow! She’s so gorgeous! So yeah, I could do [a sequel] with her.”
It’s not an entirely unrealistic scenario, either – DC Comics writer Greg Rucka, who currently helms the Wonder Woman comic books, has previously claimed that the Amazonian warrior princess is “obviously” queer .
Speaking of the female-only island she originates from, Greg said: “It’s supposed to be paradise. You’re supposed to be able to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship. And the only options are women.
“An Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, ‘You’re gay’. They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist.”
It’s not the first time Wonder Woman has been at the forefront of equal representation – last year, her character initiated a same-sex marriage in the comics to celebrate the US Supreme Court’s introduction of marriage equality.
Buy the latest issue of Gay Times GAY TIMES JUNE 2018 • A SPECIAL PRIDE EDITION. Get inside the latest Gay Times to discover exclusive interviews with Nyle DiMarco, Lady Phyll, Tyler Oakley and many more! BUY NOW .
The portraits of Ms Ayub (L) and Mr Pang (R) have been removed from an exhibition Festival organisers in Malaysia have removed two portraits of LGBT activists from a public photo exhibition after complaints from the government.
The director of the George Town Festival said he was "directed" to take the portraits out by the minister of Islamic affairs, Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
Mr Mujahid said the promotion of LGBT culture was not supported in Malaysia.
The exhibition features a series of portraits with different Malaysians posing with the country’s flag.
The photos were taken last year to commemorate 60 years of Malaysian independence.
Among them were Nisha Ayub, a transgender activist who has won several awards, including the US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award in 2016 for her work on transgender rights.
Pang Khee Teik is the co-founder of Seksualiti Merdeka, an annual sexuality rights festival, and the editor of online forum Queer Lapis.
He was photographed clutching a rainbow pride flag and draped in the national flag.
Homosexual activity is illegal in Malaysia under both secular and religious laws. ‘Malaysian pride, not gay pride’
Joe Sidek, the festival’s director, told the BBC he was "directed" to take the pictures out but "I wasn’t threatened".
He said the objective of the public exhibition, Stripes and Strokes, was to showcase "Malaysian pride, not gay pride".
"I don’t approve of censorship but I understand why it had to be done." Malaysian newspaper sparks anger with ‘how to spot gay person’ list
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He insisted he was looking at the "bigger picture" and that fighting this request could cause problems in the future.
"So I chose to lose this battle," he said, adding that he had been criticised for his decision. Malaysia is a largely conservative Muslim society and LGBT issues remain a taboo Mr Mujahid had told Malaysia’s The Star newspaper that Malaysian society "cannot accept LGBT being promoted because that is against the society norms".
"When you put the picture with the [pride] symbol, if that is not promotion… then tell me what is the definition of promotion?"
The activists featured in the photo series have since spoken out.
"They talk about rights as a citizen of Malaysia but they are denying people like me to express our love to our own country," said Ms Ayub in a Facebook post.
"They can burn or throw away my picture but they cannot take my love to my country. I may be transgender, but I’m just a Malaysian [who] has family, friends, that always has hope for a more inclusive Malaysia."
Mr Pang echoed Ms Ayub’s words, saying on Facebook that the only activity being promoted was "loving our country in spite of the hate".
"We expressly reject the concepts of gender identity, transgenderism, and gender as being meaningful to defining what a Woman or Girl is" (Pussy Church of Modern Witchcraft/facebook) A church of anti-transgender witches has achieved tax-exempt status after being recognised by the US Government as a religious entity.
The Pussy Church of Modern Witchcraft (PCMW) explicitly states on its site that trans people are not welcome in its organisation.
It appears to have taken advantage of the Trump administration’s emphasis on religious liberty over minority rights, as shown by the establishment of a ‘religious freedom task force’ . The church describes itself as “a congregation of adherents to our female born, lesbian-feminist-based religions beliefs and traditions” (Pussy Church of Modern Witchcraft/facebook) This is the same government which last month was accused of targeting trans women by revoking their passports.
The Internal Revenue Service’s decision to allow the PCMW to define itself as a church means that the group, which is located in Maryland, doesn’t have to reveal the names of its donors, according to Forbes .
On its site, the church is described as “a congregation of adherents to our female born, lesbian-feminist-based religions beliefs and traditions.” The group is now officially a church (Pussy Church of Modern Witchcraft/facebook) The explanation adds that “males are not permitted to participate, regardless of how they identify.
“We expressly reject the concepts of gender identity, transgenderism, and gender as being meaningful to defining what a Woman or Girl is.” The group’s principles seem to align with those of the British anti-trans group which ‘hijacked’ the Pride in London parade last month. Anti-trans protesters took over the front of Pride in London Pride in London organisers issued an apology for the incident after the group was allowed to lead the Pride parade across much of its route bearing the sign “Transactivism erases lesbians” while distributing anti-trans leaflets.
Brighton Pride, the country’s largest LGBT Pride festival, which welcomed more than 300,000 attendees earlier this month, vowed that it would not let a similar incident happen during its parade – but in fact, the event went one better.
It allowed activists called #LWithTheT – a direct riposte to the radical anti-trans group’s #GetTheLOut hashtag – to lead the parade, and it was beautiful. The group led the parade one month after the Pride in London ‘hijack’ (rachellerfoster/twitter) The group, which was made up of trans women, trans men, non-binary people, lesbians, bi people and gay men, led the crowd in chants of “Please know your history, trans women fought for me,” “We will not hide, trans women started Pride” and “Keep the L with the T, you can’t break the community.”
Some attendees in the audience reportedly burst into tears at the sight of a pro-trans group leading the parade after years of rhetorical and physical attacks against trans people.
Jules Guaitamacchi, who was marching in the group, told PinkNews that the movement was established “in response to the events that took place during London Pride, when a group of anti-trans lesbians hijacked the parade and spread messages of hate and discrimination.
“When the news hit all the major headlines, trans people all over the world were completely hurt and devastated.
“We immediately got in touch with Brighton Pride highlighting the importance of supporting the transgender community at this time and they agreed for the #LwiththeT campaign to lead the parade.”
Trans actor Riley Carter Millington made history with his role as Kyle Slater in Eastenders The first transgender man in British soap history to play a recurring trans character says roles like his "opened the pathway for other roles".
But Riley Carter Millington says opportunities are still "very limited".
He began his year-long role as EastEnders’ Kyle Slater in 2015.
Annie Wallace became the first transgender actress in a soap with her role as Sally St Claire in Hollyoaks shortly after, and last month Emmerdale welcomed its first transgender character by recruiting Ash Palmisciano.
While Riley says he "hadn’t experienced the trials and tribulations of auditions for trans actors" when trying out for EastEnders, the 24-year-old actor admits it’s "more of a struggle to get those cisgendered roles".
Transgender applies to someone whose gender is different from their "assigned" sex at birth.
Cisgender describes someone who is not transgender. It applies to an individual whose gender matches their "assigned" sex at birth. Riley played Evans, a cisgendered role, in the national tour of Birdsong Riley says it "feels like we are cast as people with a limited ability when there’s a massive range of ability". ‘All things are not equal’
Riley’s words follow Variety’s first-ever transgender actors’ roundtable – a discussion featuring several actors.
Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono, Alexandra Billings, Brian Michael, Jen Richards and Trace Lysette are all included in the interviews.
Report The magazine has dedicated its latest issue to trans representation in Hollywood, complete with an open letter calling for networks and studios to tell more "authentic stories" for and by transgender people.
"If all things were equal then everyone should be able to play every character, but all things are not equal," says Laverne, who plays trans character Sophia on Orange is the New Black.
"The suggestion that acting is acting and everyone’s on a level playing field is ahistorical, is apolitical."
Report Riley says things are "getting better", but he agrees that "what lacks is the opportunities".
"I’m proud to be transgender, but I like to explore different things and different roles as an actor. I don’t want to just be pigeon-holed into trans roles, I want to explore the cisgendered roles.
"The trans label should be taken off – just see us as actors." Scarlett Johansson and LGBT backlash
Scarlett Johansson was also a topic discussed in the Variety roundtable.
The Avengers star dropped out of a role in the film Rub & Tug – which is still in the early stages of being made.
Scarlett was going to play a transgender man, 1970s Pittsburgh crime boss Dante "Tex" Gill, who was born Jean Gill.
But she dropped out of the role following backlash from the LGBT community.
Transparent actor Alexandra Billings says Scarlett did "serious damage" and that her initial apology "silenced" trans people. Scarlett was due to play a transgender man in the upcoming film Rub and Tug Trans actor and director Jake Graf tells Newsbeat he thinks the decision to cast Scarlett Johansson was "poor".
He says the producers of Rub & Tug didn’t even consider any trans actors for the role.
Jake cast a cisgender actor in his film Brace, which he says he "regretted at the time", but he also admits that he struggled to find visible trans actors "five or six years ago".
"At the time, all I wanted was to cast another trans actor opposite me to play that trans role and we couldn’t because they just weren’t out there.
"Obviously I would never do that again, but now I’m very lucky in that I’m incredibly well-connected to lots of amazing trans actors but at the time it was really, really tough."
In terms of the debate around cisgender people playing transgender roles, Jake says "it’s important that we don’t only say that a trans actor can play a trans role".
"Because then I think you’re falling into the trap of saying only a gay actor can play a gay role, and in that case can only a cisgender actor play a cisgender role?" Jake says "things are definitely progressing" but this wasn’t always the case Instead he thinks everyone who wants to act should "learn that craft and put the work in".
"I think to expect a foot in the door just because you’re trans kind of comes across to me as a bit lazy and a bit entitled.
"But those actors who have taken the time, I think we certainly should get that first call and just at least be seen like everyone else is getting seen for those parts.
"We certainly need to be given these opportunities."
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A screenshot from Becks a film showing at the Queer Screen Film Fest. | Photo: Supplied One of the world’s leading LGBTI festivals will have a majority of female directors in its latest lineup.
Sydney’s Queer Screen Film Fest i s back for its sixth year and is celebrating the unique achievement. Running from 18-23 September, women direct or co-direct 55% of the 29 films on offer this year.
‘I’m incredibly proud that Queer Screen continues to champion the work of female filmmakers,’ said festival director, Lisa Rose.
‘The fact that we have increased our screenings again this year, up from 20 films last year, but have also managed to increase the percentage of female filmmakers is quite exciting.’
Having a majority of female directors is a massive achievement for the festival at a time when there is global spotlight on gender disparity in the film industry.
Earlier this year, the prestigious Cannes Film Festival came under fire for only having three female directors in its lineup. Queer Screen’s achievement is not lost on Rose.
‘Having a film festival with over half the filmmakers identifying as female is rare. It shouldn’t be, but it is and I am honoured that Queer Screen can be seen as doing it’s part to address this in balance,’ she said. Pitch Off
Queer Screen showcases LGBTI stories across short films, feature films and documentaries. It is also the biggest festival in the festival’s history, with 29 films from 12 countries and includes 15 Australian premieres.
A new edition to the 6th Queer Screen Film Fest is the new filmmaker initiative, Queer Screen Pitch Off. Australian LGBTIQ filmmakers will battle it out in a public pitch off event for $10,000 in short film production funding.
‘Queer Screen is thrilled to have a real hand in adding to representation of LGBTIQ films and filmmakers. In the current climate of arts funding cuts, it is so vital for us to offer an opportunity to filmmakers that will see queer films made… [it] will help not only queer filmmakers but it’s also a chance for a queer audience to see themselves represented on screen.’ said Queer Screen President, Cheryl Kavanagh.
Stand out films in this year’s lineup include the Sydney Premiere of George Michael Freedom: The Director’s Cut. A cute documentary, called Life in the Doghouse will also have its Australian premiere. It’s a moving documentarty about a gay couple who have turned their entire house over to rescue pooches.
This Florida conservative city will host its very first Pride march this fall Ruby Rose. | @rubyrose / Instagram Ruby Rose just got emotional while explaining why being cast as Batwoman is so important for lesbian representation.
Rose said on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night (8 August): ‘I’m so thrilled.
‘It’s a game changer,’ she said. ‘Growing up [and] watching TV, I never saw somebody that I could identify with… let alone a superhero!’
She said she lives by two mottos in her life – ‘Be yourself because everyone else is taken’ and ‘Be the person that you needed when you were younger’. . @RubyRose gets emotional about being cast as Batwoman pic.twitter.com/vWpfuTbagE — Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) August 9, 2018 The conversation continues and Fallon revealed Rose goes into hospitals to visit sick kids, but now she can go in dressed as Batwoman.
She responded: ‘Wow, not only can kids watch this growing up and relate to it and feel empowered and think that they can be a superhero. But also, I can go and do these things like visiting hospitals and kids and people in need.
‘It’s a really amazing opportunity,’ she said. Ruby Rose: ‘Yeah, no – still gay’
Rose stars in the recent movie release The Meg.
On her co-star Jason Statham, Rose said: ‘Isn’t he a babe?’
Fallon responds: ‘He is a babe, yeah. I wasn’t gonna say that.’
Rose replies: ‘Trust me, it’s the same for me to say as you to say it. That’s how much of a babe he is.
She added: ‘Every time he took his top off, I was like: “Yeah, no, still gay. But like really good!”‘ See also:
This Florida conservative city will host its very first Pride march this fall A heartwarming new video features gay men discussing their childhood with their moms.
Produced by Matthew J. Dempsey , the video explores the special relationship gay guys have with their mothers.
Dempsey and his gay male friends flew their mothers into Los Angeles to ask them what it was like raising gay sons and how they think things turned out.
In the video caption, Dempsey writes: ‘Gay guys and their moms often have a special bond and a uniquely close relationship.
‘Our moms gave us license to set down the pretense of how a “real boy” was supposed to be. [It] allowed us to just be ourselves.
‘However, even the most open-minded mothers can still naturally have all kinds of concerns for their young gay sons as they grow into men,’ he said.
In the video, the gay guys ask their moms a series of questions.
These include when they first knew their sons were gay. They also discuss the hardest thing about parenting a gay child and their biggest fears after coming out. Watch the sweet video:
Remembering Daniel: 2018 Margate Pride will help fight mental health stigma Hialeah, Florida, counts 224,669 inhabitants. Located in Miami metropolitan area, the city is also known to be the fourth most conservative in the US.
This often translates to a not-so-welcoming attitude towards the LGBTI community. Karen Larrea and Madeline Fernandez want to change that by organizing the very first Hialeah Pride festival.
‘There’s an LGBT community in Hialeah, and they don’t have their own festival. I feel like they need a safe place to go as well,’ Fernandez told Miami New Times.
She also listed several surrounding cities, such as Miami, Coral Gables, and Miami Beach, as areas that are not only more accepting but also welcoming toward the local LGBTI population.
‘It’s needed to break barriers,’ she added.
‘If you just stay quiet and you don’t make yourself known and put out there, then everything stays the same.’ Political authorities are happy with the project
Fernandez explained ‘there’s been a great reaction from the mayor [Carlos Hernández], he’s on board with it.’
‘He’s very happy we’re going to do a pride in Hialeah.’
Furthermore, she said they are ready with any possible reaction from the community.
‘I’m sure it’s anticipated with anything. Everybody has their opinion, and that’s why we live in a free country where everybody can express themselves. I’m hoping if they protest, it’s in an orderly fashion.’ How is Hialeah Pride going to be different from other Florida’s Prides ?
The Pride will take place on Sunday 7 October. Fernandez and Larrea chose October as it is LGBTI History Month in the US.
Fernandez explained how their Pride is set to be different from the others she has attended.
‘Other Prides usually separate transgender [people] and give them a tent. They’ll give the women a tent. For the gay men, they get the main stage and stuff like that. At this Pride, the main stage is going to have entertainment for everyone,’ Fernandez said.
‘For transgender, for queer, for every letter in the “L-G-B-T-Q”. For the straight allies that support LGBTQ, lesbians, gay men… it’s all going to be in one space.’
‘We don’t want to do a segregated pride, which is most of the time what I see. I’m not saying it’s wrong or right, but I feel like everyone should be together. They already separate us enough,’ she said.
The full lineup is still TBC. However, Florida favorite lesbian DJ Citizen Jane will be behind the decks.
In addition to being a party, Hialeah Pride will also provide revelers with education and self-care.
‘We’re also going to have a medical section. Since it will be in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re doing mammograms for free, as well as HIV testing,’ Fernandez said. Read more about Prides :
‘You can’t criticize Trump’s LGBTI policies and then stand around drinking champagne with the ambassador that represents that administration’