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Lesbians are also being killed in Chechnya and 'no-one seems to care'
A lesbian who escaped the ‘gay purge’ in Chechnya has bravely shared her story, even though it could get her killed.
The woman – who remains anonymous for her safety – shared the horrors of growing up LGBTI in Chechnya and how she wasn’t even safe from her own family.
In early 2017 the world started learning how Chechnya – a region in the north Caucasus of Russia – had started rounding up, detaining, torturing and executing men because of their real or perceived sexual identity.
But in 2018 Chechen authorities turned their sights onto lesbians and trans people.
‘In two years, we were approached by 37 girls who position themselves as lesbians, and two transgender women from the republics of the North Caucasus,’ said Igor Kochetkov, head of the Russian LGBTI Network.
‘Also in 2018, we began to receive reports of girls being detained by the police on suspicion of homosexuality. According to reports from Chechnya, there are girls among those detained in December to January.’
Chechen authorities denied the claims, saying gay people don’t exist in Chechnya.
Gay Star News
How the politics of racial resentment is killing white people
Why do many working-class white Americans support politicians whose policies are literally killing them?
This is the question sociologist and psychiatrist Jonathan Metzl tries to answer in his new book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland. The book is a serious look at how cultural attitudes associated with “whiteness” encourage white people to adopt political views — like opposition to gun laws or the Affordable Care Act — that undercut their own health.
The book is not about racism at the individual level, though you can certainly read that into it. For Metzl, the key question is how did a politics of racial resentment become so powerful that it overwhelmed even the basic instinct for self-preservation? To get answers, he spent years talking to voters in Southern and Midwestern states, asking them to explain their political choices. The answers aren’t terribly satisfying, but they are instructive.
I spoke to Metzl about what he learned and what he thinks we can do to solve this problem. A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.
Push for broader LGBT rights slowed by lack of GOP support
The LGBT rights movement's top legislative priority, a comprehensive nondiscrimination bill, will be introduced in Congress on Wednesday, but the excitement will be tempered by political reality: The bill could well be doomed, at least for this year, by lack of Republican support.
That dynamic mirrors the situation nationwide. Twenty mostly Democratic-run states already have comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, comparable to what the Equality Act would mandate nationally. The protections extend to employment, housing, public accommodations and public services.
The other 30 states — where Republicans hold full or partial power — have balked at taking that step, illustrating that LGBT rights is as polarized along partisan lines as abortion, climate change and other hot button issues.
Arrests in domestic terror probes outpace those inspired by Islamic extremists
Most people arrested as the result of FBI terrorism investigations are charged with non-terrorism offenses, and more domestic terror suspects were arrested last year than those allegedly inspired by international terror groups, according to internal FBI figures reviewed by The Washington Post.
As government officials and activists debate the best way to pursue violent extremists, the figures show how much of counterterrorism work goes undeclared and unnoticed. Thousands are investigated each year. Hundreds are charged with crimes. But the public and the media see only dozens.
The debate centers on whether federal law and law enforcement are too focused on Islamic terrorism and not paying enough attention to the rise in far right-wing extremism. In fact, according to the data, more domestic terrorist targets are being charged, and in both categories, law enforcement officials often leverage simpler crimes, such as violations of gun or drug laws, to prevent violence.
California lawmakers accepted $810,000 in gifts and overseas trips in 2018
California lawmakers were showered with more than $810,000 in gifts last year, many from powerful interest groups lobbying the state who handed out concert and professional sports tickets, spa treatments, gourmet dinners and trips to a dozen countries, new state reports show.
The annual economic disclosure reports shed light on how state legislators can augment their annual $110,459 salaries with gifts that allow them to travel the world and eat at expensive restaurants, often in the company of corporate executives seeking to influence their decisions in the Legislature.
“The truth is the vast majority of gifts and trips are given because the gift givers want something in return,” said Rey Lopez-Calderon, executive director of California Common Cause, a government watchdog organization. “It's not just a question of the gift giver wanting something in return, but that the public could infer that even if it's not true. There is potential for the public's faith in government to be undermined.”
School forced to shut down after inviting lesbian politician to speak for Black History Month
Students at Immaculata Catholic School in Durham, North Carolina, won’t be attending classes today after extremist right wing groups threatened protests over the school’s planned Black History Month celebration.
The event would have focused on African-American women and one of the planned speakers was lesbian city councilor Vernetta Alston.
“As a pastor, I cannot place our Imaculata students into this contentious environment,” school administrator Christopher VanHaight wrote in a letter to parents.
Federal judge rules Christian student group has constitutional right to exclude LGBTQ people
New push for public school Bible studies classes is an excuse to spread Christian gospel
Arizona state government is secretly funding an anti-LGBTQ hate group
Spain questions Catholic Church over sex abuse cases
I was groped by a man called “Mary”: The world changes but not the Catholic Church
Girl, 5, abducted, raped and murdered in Mumbai
SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH SEXUAL ABUSE DATABASE REVEALS HUNDREDS OF CONVICTED PREDATORS AMONG LEADERS
We hold everyone accountable except religion. We kiss their asses and then expect them to eat ours. All we do is enable and empower a hate that is built-in. I'm tired of waiting for respect. Fight the fuck back! 08-Feb-2019
Undocumented Immigrant Who Worked for Trump Will Attend His State of the Union
An undocumented immigrant who worked at one of President Trump’s golf clubs in New Jersey for years and recently spoke out about her experience will attend his State of the Union address after being invited by her Democratic congresswoman, the woman’s lawyer and the congresswoman’s office said Wednesday.
The undocumented immigrant, Victorina Morales, had worked as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., since 2013, and spoke to The New York Times as part of an article published last month. The report revealed that the president’s company — the Trump Organization — was, for years, employing people at the golf club who are in the country illegally.
During Her Vegas Show, Lady Gaga Had Some Choice Words for Homophobic VP Mike Pence
On Saturday night in Las Vegas, during her current concert residency “Enigma,” Lady Gaga had some harsh words for the current U.S. president and vice president. Naturally, the crowd ate it up. But it was the Lady Gaga Mike Pence criticism in particular that had people in the audience — and those who have watched online — really applauding the beloved pop star.
The Trump Administration Just Asked The Supreme Court To Let It Enforce Its Transgender Military Ban
The Trump administration on Friday asked the Supreme Court to take up three cases challenging the administration’s repeated efforts to bar transgender people from serving in the military. The move is the latest unusual filing at the high court by an administration that appears eager to leapfrog over appeals courts that have previously sided with challengers to the administration’s policies.
The effort to reverse Obama-era policies allowing for open transgender military service began when President Donald Trump tweeted out news of the ban in July 2017 and has been met with heavy skepticism from courts around the country since that morning.
The U.S. is denying marriage benefits to this gay widower, so he’s suing the government
The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) has a policy that says a spouse must be married to their partner for at least nine months before they’re eligible to receive a deceased partner’s survivor benefits.
That’s not a problem for most couples, but it is for Michael Ely, a 65-year-old gay Arizona resident. He was denied SSA survivor benefits when his husband of six months died of cancer in 2015.
Ely and his partner Jim Taylor met in 1971 and they stayed together for the next 43 years. But because marriage wasn’t legal in Arizona until October 2014, they couldn’t marry until just before Taylor died.
“We got married as soon as we could, quickly gathering our loved ones together in less than three weeks,” Ely said. “But we were only able to be married for six months before I lost him to cancer.”
Trump is forcing 4-H to stop welcoming LGBTQ kids & the guy who tried to block him just got fired
The youth development and mentoring organization 4-H is the latest target of the Trump administration. The group is under fire for being too nice to LGBTQ youth.
After the international youth organization issued diversity guidelines meant to grow membership by ensuring all children felt welcome, evangelical Christians and anti-LGBTQ hate groups targeted the group to try to get the policy withdrawn.
The Trump administration, beholden to the far right for power, has taken up the cudgel on behalf of their political overlords once again and this time they’re going to war against children.
Trump signals US won't punish Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi killing
President Donald Trump signaled Tuesday that he will not take strong action against Saudi Arabia or its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the death and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The White House has been struggling to square a widespread sense that the crown prince directed the killing with its desire for Saudi support for its foreign policy priorities and a need to manage close relationships between bin Salman, the Trump administration and members of Trump's family.
In an exclamation-mark laden statement subtitled "America First!" Trump said that "our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event -- maybe he did and maybe he didn't!"
Speaking to the press later in the day, Trump cited the Kingdom's influence over oil prices and said, "if we abandon Saudi it would be a terrible mistake." He also said he was "not going to destroy the economy of our country" over Khashoggi by giving up arms deals to Saudi Arabia.
Education Dept. Proposes Enhanced Protection For Students Accused Of Sexual Assault
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced sweeping rules on how colleges handle cases of sexual assault and harassment that she says will fix a "failed" and "shameful" system that has been unfair to accused students. In what the administration is calling a "historic process," the proposed rules aim to significantly enhance legal protections for the accused and reflect a sentiment expressed by President Trump that men are unfairly being presumed guilty. More than a year in the making, the rules replace Obama-era policies on how to implement Title IX, the law barring gender discrimination in schools that get federal funding.
The new rules are drawing both applause and anger.
Among the most significant changes is that schools can make it harder to prove allegations by raising the level of proof needed. Instead of requiring only a "preponderance of the evidence," as the Obama administration had directed, schools could demand "clear and convincing evidence." And many schools may well be forced to raise the bar, since the regulations also require that the standard for students be the same as that used for faculty and staff.
KANSAS OFFICIAL TELLS BLACK WOMAN HE'S MEMBER OF THE 'MASTER RACE:' 'DON'T EVER FORGET THAT'
A Kansas County commissioner is facing calls to apologize after telling a black woman that he is part of the “master race” during a routine public planning meeting.
The remark was made on Tuesday by Leavenworth County commissioner Louis Klemp, a white man, and seemingly directed at a woman presenting for an architecture firm. It has been branded as racist—and local media reported it was not the first time Klemp has sparked controversy.
“I don't want you to feel like I'm picking on you. Because we are part of the master race,” he said in the meeting. “You have a gap in your teeth you're the master race, don’t ever forget that.”
Bob Holland, another Leavenworth County commissioner, told KCTV5 that Klemp—who is reportedly due to leave his position on January 15 next year—should make an apology.
“What’s this master race?" Holland said on Wednesday. “None of us are a master race. We are all Americans, we are all human beings. I think he is a racist. I do. I think he owes an apology to that woman. I think he owes an apology to the whole commission. And the county.”
Professor Calls Cops on Black Student for Having Her Feet Up in Class