• News Bites for September 30, 2015

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender news bites from this week.

  • Noted AIDS Activists Call Out Makers of Truvada For Profiteering

    A group of noted AIDS activists issued a statement calling out pharmaceutical giant Gilead over price gouging. The group, which included Peter Staley and Larry Kramer, slammed the makers of PrEP drug Truvada and called for the profiteering to end.

  • Op-Ed: Love Him or Hate Him, Fred Phelps Helped Us All

    It was hard to hate Fred Phelps. You could feel sorry for him, remark that all the croutons were not in the salad, but he was so much of a showman, you never took him seriously enough to really hate him.

  • Op-Ed: On This Fourth of July Stand Up to Your Enemies

    As America closes a month of gay pride celebrations, international LGBT rights are still in the Dark Ages in very bright places. We can start with Uganda.

    Thanks to a technological communications revolution, the world is a much smaller place. We witness Iraqi executions on cell phones, and the Internet takes us across the globe in seconds. What happens a continent away is on our laptop seconds later. We can’t look the other way and play pretend.

    There are places where the gay community still needs to be heard. One of those is at East 42nd Street on First Avenue in New York City, by the East River. It is called United Nations Plaza.

    As a representative of the nation’s gay press, the South Florida Gay News today condemns and censures the United Nations for permitting Uganda’s Sam Kutesa to be selected as the new head of the UN General Assembly. It’s a damn, shocking, shame.

    Given that 81 countries on this globe still outlaw homosexuality, it’s easy to see why being Ugandan would not automatically disqualify him from such a prestigious post. Still, given that the head of the General Assembly represents all countries, it’s a position that the LGBT community should care enough about to be heard.

    It has been estimated that there are nearly 500,000 men and women in the Ugandan gay community. They have absolutely no legal protections. Both male and female homosexuality is illegal. Torture and executions have occurred, and authorities have looked the other way. It is not a gay friendly place to be. Many places in Africa are not, and that is precisely why the African delegation had no problem choosing Kutesa.

    A special shout out is warranted for HBO’s new host, John Oliver, for his feature last weekend on just how backward Uganda really is. More importantly, Oliver re-publicized and documented how American religious zealots have generated anti-gay bigotry in Uganda. Yes, evangelicals like Scott Lively have even testified before Uganda’s parliament, calling for a hard line on homosexuality.

    As Oliver notes, “This means that Africa isn’t just where we send our losing team’s Super Bowl shirts, it’s also now where we send our losing political philosophies.”

    As we celebrate American independence this weekend, thankfully we are also celebrating marriage equality in dozens of states. In our America, we have seen sodomy laws fall and gay communities rise.

    America’s LGBT communities are growing exponentially in number and size, in power and strength. We are open, we are out, and we are proud. We are heard, and we have a place at the table. Our name is called in NFL drafts, and can be selected for U.S. District court judicial appointments. We can be proud of who we are. But we should never be comfortable breathing air in a world that is not universally free.

    Homophobia is a fear which breeds hate. We have gone a long way to ending it here at home. We have seen our share of martyrs, from Harvey Milk to Matthew Shepherd. In other countries, darker places, martyrs are still being made. Let’s do what we can while we are here to bring them the independence and freedom we now cherish everyday.

    Let the United Nations General Assembly know that we say ‘NO’ to an anti gay leader as their spokesperson. Let’s start an international petition right here in South Florida. Why not?

    Today, July 2, 2014, is the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. It was a law that came about one hundred years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed American slaves. The Civil War brought an end to slavery, but not discrimination. It took years. It does still. Let’s issue our own proclamation against hate, starting here, starting now.

    Our brutal world still needs taming. Terrorists abduct children in Nigeria, slaughter innocents in Syria, and execute gays in Uganda. In Eastern Europe, LGBT brothers and sisters are still persecuted by churches and governments like Russia foster hate rather than hope.

    Let’s not forget that Stonewall was a riot, not a street party for boy dancers on floats. It was an assertion that gays and lesbians would not settle into second-class citizenry. It was a statement that we would stand up and be counted. It was our Rosa Parks moment, but we are not done yet. We still have work to do at home.

    Here in America, teenagers are still bullied. ENDA has not got through Congress. LGBT employees do not have equal rights in hundreds of communities, and Neanderthal city commissioners, like the Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, still oppose marriage equality.

    Stonewall is not over, and July 4 is not for everyone, just yet. But we have the world at our fingertips, and we can let everyone from Fort Lauderdale city commissioners to global leaders in world assemblies know that our voices can and will be heard.

    Stand up and be counted.

  • OpEd: Rethinking HRC

    Recently, I took a trip to Washington D.C., but I didn’t take that three-hour Amtrak ride south to look at monuments and statues. I went to talk.

  • PBCHRC Tells Equality Florida to Stay Away

    A longtime gay rights activist is asking for the state’s largest LGBT civil rights organization to stay out of Palm Beach County.

  • Pussy Riot Starts Independent Russian Media Outlet

    After spending nearly two years in a Russian prison for their charge of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred," Pussy Riot members Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova went on to create Mediazona, a new independent media organization aimed at bringing attention to justice and prison issues in Russia.

  • Raven-Symoné on Caitlyn Jenner as Activist: 'You've Got to Learn it First'

    Following Sunday night's debut of the reality series "I am Cait" on E!, former child star Raven-Symoné, who currently is sharing co-hosting duties on "The View" expressed her opinion that Caitlyn Jenner is moving too fast in positioning herself as the go to advocate for transgender rights.

  • Report: Gay Porn Star Zac Stevens Dead at 25

    Gay porn performer Zac Stevens died in San Diego this week, according to a report by (extremely NSFW). He was 25.

  • Russia Drops Charges Against LGBTQ Activist

    Russian authorities have dropped charges against a British LGBT activist who was detained near the Kremlin as the World Cup was opening nearby.

  • Russian Lesbians Take Selfie With Anti-Gay Lawmaker

    MOSCOW (CNN) -- A Russian politician behind a controversial anti-gay propaganda law has been caught up in a social media storm in which he is pictured in a photograph of two women kissing.

  • Salt This Way: New Business Utilizes Salt to Heal You

    When Suzi Hollis lost her arm in a construction accident in 1996, it was the beginning of a painful journey. One that would take her through therapy, pill mills, steroids and finally to salt.

  • Salvadoran LGBT Activists Criticize Loss of Protected Immigrant Status

    (WB) LGBT rights advocates in El Salvador have sharply criticized the Trump administration’s announcement that Salvadorans will no longer receive protected immigrant status in the U.S.

  • San Francisco Trans Community Stands and "Dies" Against Violence

    Dozens of transgender people, and allies, gathered in front of San Francisco City Hall on February 10 to protest the rising tide of violence against trans women of color. The event, called Trans Liberation Tuesday, was sparked by the February 1 murder of Taja DeJesus, a 36 year old transgender woman, who was stabbed multiple times in the City's Bayview neighborhood. James Hayes, the 49-year-old suspect in DeJesus' death, was later found hanging in an apparent suicide.

  • Satanic Cross Goes Up by Hallandale Beach City Hall

    A satanic religious display now graces the front lawn of City Hall: An upside-down cross that lights up in red when the sun goes down.

  • Singapore Court Fines Blogger For Comments On Gay Sex Cases

    SINGAPORE (AP) — A Singapore court fined a prominent dissident blogger on Wednesday for questioning the timing of two constitutional challenges to the city-state's ban on gay sex.

  • Singapore Gays Rally To Counter Opposition

    SINGAPORE (AP) _ Thousands of gay rights activists gathered in downtown Singapore on Saturday for an annual rally that came under unprecedented criticism from religious conservatives, with one influential Christian pastor calling on the government to ban the event.

  • Smart Ride Celebrates 15 Years And Almost $10 Million Raised

    Ten days. That’s how long doctors told Glen Weinzimer he had left to live in 1993 when he was diagnosed with AIDS.

  • Take That Jack Seiler

    LGBT activists left a very public message for Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler outside of City Hall last night.

  • Task Force Donates $227,509 Miami Foundation

    (SFGN) Last week the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force donated $227,509 to the Miami Foundation’s GLBT Community Projects Fund. The donation represents a big share of the net proceeds from the 2014 Winter Party Festival and the 17th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner. Both of those events are held in Miami Beach.