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LA LGBT Center eliminates free STI screening after funding cuts
The LA LGBT Center has said that county budget cuts are forcing it to end free STI screenings.
In an announcement posted to their site yesterday, the LA LGBT Center said that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) cut testing and treatment funding to the center by $1 million from 2019 to 2020.
The DPH ended funding for testing at the center’s Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic as part of the funding cuts.
Sports judge lifts lifetime ban on Olympic figure skating coach, 74, - but says he BELIEVES victims who accuse him of sexually abusing them
Richard Callaghan, 74, has coached the likes of Olympic champion Tara Lipinski and U.S. national champion Todd Eldredge, among others
At least four male skaters who were mentored by Callaghan came forward and accused him of sexual abuse
One of the accusers, Craig Maurizi, has alleged that Callaghan 'groomed' him, provided him with alcohol, and had sex with him starting when he was 15 or 16
Another of Callaghan's former students, Adam Schmidt, filed a lawsuit alleging that his former coach started abusing him when he was just 14 years old
The claims led to an investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which handed down a lifetime ban last August
But last month, an arbitrator reduced the penalty to a three-year suspension, making Callaghan eligible to return to professional figure skating in 2022
Fourteen arrested and charged with sexual assault in Fort Bend County last week
Oregon Man Allegedly Posed As Teen On Snapchat To Sexually Assault Children
Police in Oregon say a 26-year-old man posed as a high school-aged student on Snapchat and Instagram to lure in two young children he's accused of sexually abusing.
Beaverton resident Lafayette Castillo was indicted Friday, January 24 on charges including rape, attempted rape, sexual abuse and sodomy, the Washington County Sheriff's Office announced, according to The Associated Press. Beaverton is a city in Washington County just west of Portland.
Castillo is accused of using the social media platforms Snapchat and Instagram to pose as a teenage student so he could talk with children online, authorities said. He then allegedly arranged to meet two victims — aged 12 and 14 — and sexually assaulted them, Fox 12 Oregon reports.
Is this Catholic NFL owner trying to bury stories of child sexual abuse?
LGBTQ people suffer when religion & government mix
A pair of recent decisions from two of the southern federal Circuit Courts of Appeals should be alarming us all. Instead, they’re only alarming a handful of us – because, overall, our community still clings to the inexplicable belief that religion can be our friend or, at least, a friend that we will be able to use to defend ourselves from certain others who also claim religion to be their friend.
Of the two recent decisions, only one has a direct LGBTQ component. Even so, it is truly difficult to say which one is the more disturbing, though the non-LGBTQ one, United States v. Brown, probably deserves the nod.
The Brown in question is Corrine, a former member of Congress from Florida, convicted on a slew of counts, the specifics of which are strangely irrelevant for purposes of what makes one of the opinions in her case problematic.
What does matter is that she was convicted by a jury. On appeal she took issue with the trial court’s decision to not allow “Juror 13” to contribute to rendering a verdict.
Shortly after deliberations began, “Juror 8” informed the judge that “13” had said, “A Higher Being told me Corrine Brown was Not Guilty on all charges” and that he “trusted the Holy Ghost.”
Do those sound like the words of someone who is going to make a decision based on earthly evidence?
What the LGBTQ community has never learned is that, when religion merges with government and science is reduced to having no more standing than faith, our religions and faiths and beliefs (or lack thereof) will never be recognized when they conflict with the particular religion and faith and belief of those who have seized power – legitimately or otherwise.
Once religion enters the government picture, everyone loses – at least everyone not sitting at the table of power.
NC Pastor Charged With Over 100 Sex Crimes
A pastor in North Carolina has been charged with over 100 sex crimes involving three children, according to local authorities. Fifty-eight-year-old Rodney Luffman, pastor at Open Arms Outreach Ministries in Elkin, NC, was arrested at his home in Eastern Wilkes County last week, and has since been charged for a decades-long litany of sex offenses against minors that began around 20 years ago.
Time reports that Luffman is accused of abusing three victims, dating back to the late 1990s. At the time of the alleged crimes, the victims were between four and 15 years old. Det. Amanda Boyd with the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office told news outlets that the department believes the crimes continued for around 16 years. Luffman currently remains in prison on $1 million bail, and it is unclear whether or not he is represented by council.
15 year sentence demanded for former coach in French child sexual abuse case
Church of England: Sex Is OK Only in Heterosexual Marriage
Sexual activity is only acceptable within the marriage of a man and a woman — so says a new document issued by the Church of England.
That’s not a new stance for the church, which is considered the mother church of the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the much more liberal U.S. Episcopal Church is a member. But the Church of England is putting out the guidance because the British government has made civil partnerships, which are not quite equal to marriage, available to heterosexual couples, The Guardian reports.
Legalise sex toys and pornography to cut rape, says Thai MP
A Thai MP has proposed legalising sex toys and pornography as a way to cut rape offences and other sexual assaults.
Treerat Sirichantaropas, a spokesman for a committee tasked with combating rape, said in a Facebook post on Monday he believed legalising pornography and sex toys would help to cut the number of sexual assault cases reported in the country.
Treerat, who is also secretary of the Pheu Thai Plus think tank, said about 30,000 rape cases were reported every year, the majority of them filed by victims aged between 15 and 19 years.
This Week In Asia
California man named Sexy Vegan enters plea in dog sex-assault case
A California man named Sexy Vegan entered a no-contest plea in a case where he was accused of sexually assaulting his dog and posting a video of the abuse on social media, officials announced Friday.
Vegan — whose name was previously Hansel Marion DeBartolo III — was busted for posting a video that showed a pit bull licking his rear end on Sept. 5, the Los Angeles County DA’s office said.
The Amish Keep to Themselves. And They’re Hiding a Horrifying Secret
The memories come to her in fragments. The bed creaking late at night after one of her brothers snuck into her room and pulled her to the edge of her mattress. Her underwear shoved to the side as his body hovered over hers, one of his feet still on the floor.
Her ripped dresses, the clothespins that bent apart on her apron as another brother grabbed her at dusk by the hogpen after they finished feeding the pigs. Sometimes she’d pry herself free and sprint toward the house, but “they were bigger and stronger,” she says. They usually got what they wanted.
As a child, Sadie* was carefully shielded from outside influences, never allowed to watch TV or listen to pop music or get her learner’s permit. Instead, she attended a one-room Amish schoolhouse and rode a horse and buggy to church—a life designed to be humble and disciplined and godly.
2 Mass. Priests Suspended Amid Decades Old Abuse Complaints
French trial exposes how church covered for predator priest
Senators demand review of Army Reserve sexual assaults
Do Open Relationships Work?
An open relationship means you still have one primary partner but both can have other sexual partners. Polyamory means you have multiple relationships that are both emotional as well as sexual. There is no primary.
I grew up like you. Thinking you find your “one”, exchange vows, make babies, and live happily ever after. This person is your best friend and soulmate. Your forever and one and only. This is what love looks like and what everyone wants.
If I look at this through a biological lens, we are not designed to be with one person forever. That is a social/societal construct with a shame fence that keeps us from straying. Our bodies crave diversity. We are curious creatures. We have fantasies and imaginations. We are hardwired this way.
My conclusion with “the obvious.”
Good Men Project
Prostitution Legal In The US? New Bill Could Make Vermont The Next Nevada
A new bill introduced by progressive lawmakers in the Vermont Legislature looks to decriminalize adult prostitution in the state while maintaining strict human trafficking laws to protect victims, especially those under the age of 18.
Bill H.569 was introduced in the Vermont House of Representatives by four female representatives, led by Rep. Selene Colburn of Burlington. The bill would legalize prostitution in Vermont, so long as it is between consenting adults over the age of 18.
Minnesota Senate Leader: Sexual Assault, Bad Parenting Make People Gay
Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka defended conversion therapy and claimed that sexual assault can cause homosexuality, all in a wide-ranging interview with televangelist Andrew Wommack.
The senator, a Republican, recalled hearing the story of “a lady that was lesbian, and [a counselor] said before you judge her, let me just tell you her backstory. … He said she was chained to a toilet as a like 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-year-old girl and raped by her dad, for years and years. How do you think she’s gonna feel? In other words, he’s trying to get you to realize that there’s a deeper backstory, and if you understand that, you can love them while you’re … bringing truth and trying to help them.”
He also contended that lack of closeness to a parent of the same sex can cause a person to be gay. In a conversation with a gay man, Gazelka said he asked if the man was raised by a mother and father or just by his mother; it turned out the man was brought up by his mother and grandmother. “We actually had a conversation that we could talk about the issues around the why and the what,” the senator said.
“I think the best place to land is let the church have the total freedom to do as they please, and then for professional counselors, if an adolescent comes into their office, says I have unwanted same-sex attraction, I’m hoping that counselor can say ‘How can I help you?’” Gazelka told Wommack.
Bali villas targeted by authorities for “catering” to the LGBTQ community
Republicans declare war on transgender people in state legislatures all over the US
Grindr is sharing users’ sexual orientation and location data, says study
The LGBTQ dating app Grindr has been caught sharing users’ sensitive data with thousands of ad partners, reports Bloomberg. That’s according to a study from the Norwegian Consumer Council. The NCC’s report says Grindr uses Twitter’s ad subsidiary MoPub to funnel the personal information of Grindr users to ad partners.
The data includes a Grindr user’s location, age, gender, and sexual orientation, which malicious individuals or parties could then use to identify and target LGBTQ people. As a result of its findings, the NCC and European privacy advocate Max Schrems has filed no fewer than three complaints against Grindr and five ad-tech companies. Those complaints were filed with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, and they allege Grindr’s sharing of personal data breaches the EU’s GDPR privacy rules.
American women are more prejudiced than men against lesbians
A landmark study has revealed some startling information about people’s perceptions of homosexuality.
The team of researchers tested people from 23 countries on their attitudes about gays and lesbians. In America, men and women “did not significantly differ in their attitudes toward gay men,” but women were significantly more likely to be prejudiced against lesbians.
Kanye West joins stadium “prayer rally” with some of America’s most anti-LGBTQ activists
Rapper Kanye West announced he will appear at Awaken2020, a stadium-sized prayer rally hosted by some of the nation’s most anti-LGBTQ religious conservatives. After West’s announcement so many people rushed online to get free tickets to the event, the group’s website crashed.
West, who’s erratic behavior has seen him suddenly becoming a rightwing Christian and devout worshipper of Donald Trump, has been pushing his new gospel album recently. One of the songs is an ode to Chick-fil-A, the fast-food chain most frequently identified with religious controversy over LGBTQ rights.
Florida Republicans submit 4 anti-gay bills on last day to file
Tennessee Will Allow Adoption Agencies to Ban LGBTQ+ Parents
Indonesian mayor plans LGBT raids after infamous rape spree, outraging activists