SLAP: Russian propaganda
A renowned Russian activist was the first person to be fined under St. Petersburg’s new ban on “gay propaganda.” Nikolai Alexeyev was convicted under the new anti-gay law that bans public support of homosexuality. The court ruled that he had promoted homosexuality in front of minors when he held a sign that read “Homosexuality is not a perversion.” The judge reviewed statements from several people who said they feared the sign might have harmed their children. Alexeyev denied any wrongdoing in court and said, “I do not know what it means to promote homosexuality, and I do not admit my guilt.” He said his protest was to show that gays and lesbians have the same rights as other people.
SNAP: Ex-gay conference canceled
The so-called “ex-gay” industry is being attacked on all fronts. This year alone, the head of its most famous group announced that not one gay person has ever been “cured.” Next, the researcher who authored the most cited “ex-gay” study recanted his findings and apologized profusely to the gay community. Now, Exodus International, the largest “ex-gay” organization in the country is cancelling the annual conference due to lack of attendance. The conference was scheduled for later this month, but attendance has been dropping from its ceiling of 1,000 attendees. This year, only a couple of hundred people expressed interest in attending.
SNAP: Missouri lawmaker comes out
After deciding not to run for re-election, Missouri General Assembly member Zach Wyatt said he wanted to do something meaningful before retiring. After news broke about a bill pushed by Republicans that would restrict discussion of sexual orientation in schools, the “don’t say gay” bill — Wyatt knew how to make his mark. Wyatt spoke out against the bill and said, “Today I ask you to stand with me as a proud Republican, a proud veteran and a proud gay man who wants to protect all kids.”