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Indiana’s Republican governor is urging his party to stand up for trans rights

Republican Eric Holcomb replaced Mike Pence as Indiana’s governor after Pence became Vice President. But unlike Pence and many other Republicans, Holcomb is a supporter of transgender rights. Indiana’s Hate Crime Laws The state of Indiana is preparing to debate hate crime laws again. Many companies, including tourism boards, have expressed desire for gender identity to be included in these laws. However, House Speaker Brian Bosma disagrees that gender identity should be among the list of protected groups. Republicans control both chambers of the Indiana state legislature. But for the first time, Indiana’s governor has told lawmakers to leave gender identity in the bill — or don’t pass anything at all. Holcomb has expressed that he’d like the state’s hate crime laws to mirror the executive branch’s nondiscrimination policy – which includes both sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, Indiana does not have a nondiscrimination law that protects residents who aren’t employed by the government. ‘The goal for us all, before we adjourn, is to pass a bias crime bill that moves our state off the list of five states without one,’ Holcomb said in a statement to IndyStar. ‘I’m comfortable with the executive branch employment policy that we’ve had in place since 2005, and I look forward to working with Hoosiers and the legislature as we move to achieve this goal.’ In 2017, 85 bias crimes were recorded in the state — the highest number since 2010. Republican lawmakers at work New Republican lawmakers, elected in the November midterms, ...

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Transgender person shot dead in Detroit, Michigan

A 35-year-old transgender person was fatally shot on the East Side of Detroit. What happened? According to the Detroit Free Press, the unidentified person was found around 6 AM on Friday, 7 December. No other details about the victim have been released at this time. The body was found on E. McNichols Road, between Brush and Omira. The street remains closed for the investigation. Police are currently investigating the incident, but do not consider it a hate crime. Authorities are looking into a claim by a man who was allegedly robbed in the area and fired a self-protection shot. He was unsure who the bullet hit. While both these incidents took place close to each other, police are investigating them separately. Police have a 46-year-old male in custody, according to ABC7 Detroit. ‘I would say that crimes committed against the (LGBT) community are down,’ said Cpl. Danielle Woods, the Detroit police LGBT Liaison. Woods’ role in the department is to provide ‘sensitivity, awareness, and terminology training.’ Anything else? Thankfully, ABC7 Detroit and the Detroit Free Press did not misgender or deadname the victim. Unfortunately, not every news outlet provides the same attention to detail for transgender murder victims. For instance, initial reports of last year’s death of trans woman Stephanie Montez identified her as a ‘man in a dress.’ Over 369 transgender people have been murdered globally in 2018 thus far. Read the original article Author: Rafaella Gunz

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Priest calls Celine Dion’s gender-neutral clothing line for kids ‘satanic’ and ‘demonic’

A Pennsylvania-based priest has deemed Celine Dion’s new gender-neutral clothing line for kids ‘demonic’ and ‘satanic.’ The line Dion launched the groundbreaking clothing line, called CELINUNUNU, last month. ‘CELINUNUNU believes that fashion builds concepts deep within our minds and changes thought patterns,’ the company said in a press release. ‘It aims to free the forces of creativity and imagination in children, nurturing equality and flexibility of thought that enable kids to fully embrace who they are.’ But this line of thinking isn’t okay with Msgr. John Esseff, a priest and exorcist in the Diocese of Scranton. Msgr. John Esseff Esseff spoke with The National Catholic Register (NCR) on the ‘satanic’ nature of these clothes. ‘I’m convinced that the way this gender thing has spread is demonic,’ he said. ‘It’s false. I don’t even know how many genders there’s supposed to be now, but there are only two that God made.’ ‘The devil is going after children by confusing gender,’ he continued. ‘When a child is born, what is the first things we say about that child? It’s a boy, or it’s a girl. That is the most natural thing in the world to say. But to say that there is no difference is satanic.’ ‘To take away the male or femaleness of a baby is hitting at the very heart of nature by denying a simple truth of the way that child was created.’ ‘People behind this are influencing children to disorder. This is definitely satanic. There is a mind ...

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Love letter between nuns shows the true story of queerness in the Middle Ages

A professor at the University of Bonn in Bonn, Germany recently posted a love letter between two medieval nuns on Twitter. GSN covered the letter and how pure it was. In looking to learn more about the two women, and their possible love story, GSN reached out to Professor Erik Wade who initially posted the letter. Wade told us he taught the letter in his class Sex, Race, and Gender in the Medieval World. Students read the letter in Jacqueline Murray’s article Twice Marginal and Twice Visible: Lesbians in the Middle Ages. According to Wade, there’s plenty of new research being done right now that looks into queer identities in medieval times. What do we know about the nuns? ‘We sadly don’t know anything more about the nuns,’ Wade admits. The letter itself appears in a twelfth century German manuscript, including a set of various love letters in Latin such as this one. However, thanks to Wade’s own knowledge about the time, he was able to give GSN a little more context. ‘Very ornate letters like these were common, and they built on traditions of ornate Latin,’ he explaines. ‘Indeed, it’s entirely possible that this collection of love letters was used as models by students in a medieval classroom.’ Wade says scholar Peter Dronke, who wrote the book Medieval Latin and the Rise of the European Love-Lyric, in which this letter also appears, believes the letter expresses real feelings written by real people. Wade also provided GSN with another example of a letter between women around this ...

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Trump nominates new attorney general who discriminates against people with HIV

Donald Trump on Friday (7 December) nominated William Barr as the new Attorney General of the United States. Trump had to nominate a new AG after Jeff Sessions resigned a month ago at the ‘request’ of the president. During Sessions’ time as AG, he implemented numerous policies harmful to the LGBTI community. If the Senate approves Barr’s nomination and confirms him, the community may continue to suffer. Barr previously served as the US Attorney General under the late President George H.W. Bush. Barr on the issues On numerous issues, Barr takes a more conservative approach. He has specifically advocated for discriminatory policies against people living with HIV. In 1991, he successfully challenged the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule allowing people with HIV/AIDS into the US. He also wanted to use Guantanamo Bay to prevent Haitian refugees and other refugees living with HIV from claiming asylum in the country. On the topic of abortion, which does not apply only to cisgender and straight women, Barr said he believes the right to privacy does not extend to abortion in his first confirmation hearing. Further, Barr also believes in a broad definition of presidential power. What are the reactions to Barr’s nomination? ACLU national political director Faiz Shakir said of the choice: ‘William Barr’s record suggests that he will follow Jeff Sessions’ legacy of hostility to civil rights and civil liberties. ‘If confirmed, Trump will have a partner in one of the most powerful roles of the administration, and someone who ...

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Why we wrote a book about marriage equality in Australia

Friday (7 December) marks one year since Australia’s same-sex marriage bill passed parliament. Ahead of this, 12.7 million Australians – around 80% of eligible voters – took part in the Equal Marriage Law Postal Survey. More than 60 percent voted Yes to marriage equality. In the first half of this year alone, more than 3,000 same-sex couples got married in Australia. The fight for marriage equality, however, had been rumbling in Australia for years before that. Member of Parliament Alex Greenwich and historian Shirleene Robinson, both of the Australian Marriage Equality campaign group, have detailed that journey in a new book. Yes Yes Yes: Australia’s Journey to Marriage Equality was released last month. It gives a behind-the-scenes look at some of the critical moments in the fight for equal marriage. From Prime Minister John Howard’s move to outlaw same-sex marriage in 2004 to the Tony Abbot administration launching a public vote. Gay Star News spoke to co-author Alex Greenwich about the new book. Yes campaign supporters (Photo: Provided) What was your motivation to write the book? Shirleene and I wanted to share and celebrate the stories of the thousands of people who worked across Australia, and for well over a decade, to achieve marriage equality. In doing so we hope to encourage and inspire people to get involved in social justice campaigns and keep shaping Australia as a fairer and more equal place for all. What does it reveal about Australia’s bid for marriage equality? It reveals Australia’s journey to ...

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India held its first androgynous fashion show and it looked amazing

India held its first androgynous fashion show this weekend in Jaipur. The inaugural Feronia Fashion Night celebrated gender diversity with androgynous collections by established and up-and-coming designers. Organizer Shruti Drolia told Gay Star News the night ‘aimed to avoid gender stereotypes ingrained in our society’. After contemplating the everyday fear gender-diverse people face, Drolia decided to put on the show. ‘People from the LGBTQ community are people just like we are’ Drolia said. ‘Why do we behave so badly to them?’ the organizer asked. The Feronia Fashion Night showcased androgynous fashion by established and up and coming designers (Photo: Provided) Androgynous designs at the Feronia Fashion Night (Photo: Provided) Audiences received the event well, according to organizers. The wider community welcomed the mix of LGBTI issues and fashion. A highlight was showcasing androgynous fashion by young designers, according to Drolia. Leading Indian transgender rights activist Gauri Sawant also attended the fashion night. Furthermore, she welcomed the celebration of gender equality and inclusivity. She also underlined a message of ‘humanity above all’. The night showcased young and also established designers (Photo: Facebook) Feronia Fashion Night in Jaipur (Photo: Facebook) The night showcased established and young designers (Photo: Facebook) On the night, Mumbai fashion designer Amar Mithapalli’s collection saw men wear the traditional Indian sari—usually worn by women. Meanwhile, Anurag Manju Gupta from New Delhi presented an MC Escher-inspired collection. Young designer Padma Raj Keshri from Ahmedabad explored traditional handicrafts in their collection. Finally, Indonesian Designer Hoshigoru William presented a resort wear ...

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UK’s first ever youth festival for LGBT+ young people of colour to be held in Birmingham

Despite experiencing Hate Crime at a higher rate than white LGBT+ people* and differing needs among communities, there are still few LGBT+ organisations that have specific provisions for people of colour. In Birmingham, 42% of residents are from an ethnic group other than white and 45.7% of Birmingham residents are under 30, compared with 36.8… Read the original article Author:

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Taiwan’s proposal of a separate same-sex marriage law angers equality campaigners

Taiwan’s government has proposed creating a special law for marriage equality. The country’s premier said that the government would begin drafting a separate law which would recognize same-sex marriages in conjunction with a 2017 ruling by the country’s top court. This comes after Taiwan voted against legalizing same-sex marriage by making amendments to the Civil Code in a referendum on Saturday, 24 November. However, marriage equality advocates, who are still campaigning for full equal rights, have pushed back against the government’s proposition. Activists say that by introducing a separate law for same-sex couples would effectively treat them as second-class citizens. Civil Code amendments rejected A vote on marriage equality was arranged following a decision by Taiwan’s top court in December 2017. The country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the current marital restrictions were unconstitutional. The referendum asked voters if they wanted to restrict ‘marriage under the Civil Code to one man and woman’. Taiwanese voters overwhelmingly chose to maintain the Civil Code as it is. A cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka, speaking on behalf of Taiwan’s premier William Lai of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said: ‘We have to respect public opinion and abide by the referendum outcome. We have to revise a law other than the Civil Code, which is (to enact) a separate law,’ The Japan Times reports. Yotaka said that the government would abide by the Constitutional Court’s ruling when drafting the new law. ‘As for the characteristic of the separate law and what it will be called … we will propose a bill that reflects ...

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This zombie Christmas musical is the camp movie we need right now

It’s the end of the year, which means a deluge of movies hitting the big screen. One you can’t let get lost in the shuffle is Anna and the Apocalypse. Let me set up the premise: A small English town at Christmastime. Then a zombie apocalypse breaks out. Oh, and it’s also a musical. Best of all? It’s brilliant. Directed by John McPhail and written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry, the movie follows Anna. She and her friends are approaching the end of their last school year before university and trying to figure out what’s next when a deadly — or rather, undeadly — virus breaks out. The movie is hysterical (one of the characters calls Taylor Swift ‘Tay-Tay’); the music, by Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly, is genuinely clever and catchy (I already have the soundtrack on repeat); and one of the stand-out characters is queer. An exceptionally talented bunch The heart of the movie rests with the young group of students trying to survive not only zombies, but their evil — and entirely human — teacher, Savage (Paul Kaye). There’s Anna (Ella Hunt) and her group, John (Malcolm Cumming), Lisa (Marli Siu), and Chris (Christopher Leveaux). Plus queer loner Steph (Sarah Swire) and bad boy Nick (Ben Wiggins). From L to R: Anna, John, Chris, Steph, and Nick | Photo: IMDB/Orion Pictures Swire is a particular scene-stealer as American transfer student Steph in the film. As she bonds with the new group, overcoming her own struggles of abandonment and ...

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