News Briefs: Senseless 8

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8. A kiss is just a kiss … but not in Tanzania

Tanzania police arrested a woman last weekend after a video circulated on social media showing a woman kissing and hugging another woman and presenting her with a ring. Homosexuality is a criminal offense in the East African nation, where a conviction for having “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” can carry a life sentence.
Tanzanian president John Magufuli has heightened a crackdown against homosexuality since coming into power in 2015, and threatened in June to arrest and expel activists, as well as deregister all nongovernmental organizations that campaign for gay rights.
Police sources said authorities are also searching for the woman who was given the ring in the video clip.

7. Pfft! PFLAG banned from N.C. parade

The leader of a Rowan County, North Carolina gay rights group is accusing organizers of the Holiday Caravan Parade of discrimination after a float she and supporters were to ride on last week was banned from participating.
arade organizers said they had to act because the float’s sponsor, Avita Pharmacy, violated the rules by letting a separate group, PFLAG, advertise its message with “signage, apparel, fliers” that were not approved beforehand. Donna Brown Odrosky, president of the group’s Salisbury-Rowan chapter, said the parade’s organizers objected to her members’ attire: rainbow-colored Mardi Gras beads, rainbow designs on their hats and black PFLAG shirts.

6. Black trans woman murdered in Oklahoma

Brooklyn Breyanna Stevenson, 31, was found shot to death in a motel room in Oklahoma City on Nov. 27. Oklahoma’s News 4 reported that police are still investigating the crime and have made no arrests. Stevenson is the 27th known transgender person killed in the U.S. this year.

5. Number of trans killings in 2017 continue to rise, particularly in the South

HRC data shows that the South is seeing a higher rate of deadly violence against transgender people than any other area of the country, however. Seventeen of the 27 deaths that HRC attributed to anti-transgender violence this year occurred in the South, with four in the state of Georgia alone.
Sarah McBride, HRC’s national press secretary, says particular demographic factors in the South may contribute to the higher rate of deadly hate crimes against transgender people. Of the 27 transgender individuals killed in 2017, 22 were women of color. McBride points out much of the violence against transgender people targets “particularly trans women of color.” The South’s particular history with racism is also a likely contributing factor, according to McBride, who says, “when transphobia mixes with misogyny and racism, it can have oftentimes fatal consequences.”

4. No more Roy Moore

During an appearance Wednesday, Nov. 29, the Alabama U.S. Senate candidate, Roy Moore, again attacked the LGBTQ community and continued to deny the allegations of sexual misconduct and pedophilia against him. Of the women who stepped forward to share their experiences and those who helped amplify their voices, he said: “They’re liberals. They don’t hold conservative values. They are the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender who want to change our culture… .” 

3. Keep Mango out of our stalls

Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul Mango is supporting a policy that would lead to a surge of hate violence against transgender Pennsylvanians. Faith, Family, and Pennsylvania Values,” a six-page position paper — only one page of which outlines a policy agenda — was released by the Mango campaign on Thursday. Among provisions that include an outright ban on abortions after 20 weeks and expanding charter schools, the plan pledges that Mr. Mango will “veto any ‘bathroom bill’ legislation violating presumed privacy for bathrooms and public facilities based on the idea that gender is a matter of personal choice.”

2. Has Hatch lost it? Calls Trump a great president!

Posted today by the ‘Damn Dabakis Staff’: Utah GOP elected officials just cannot seem to stop their absurd flattery and blowing of smoke at this clearly terrible president. Does no one in the Utah DC delegation have cojones (noun, Spanish, 2. courage) to tell the truth?
The Trump Emperor is clearly naked. Senators and Congressional Delegation: is power so intoxicating that you will continue the Utah prostration before the guy from NYC? No matter what he says or does? Senator Hatch said to the Tribune, during his nearly 41 years in office, he has seen seven presidents in the White House. Donald Trump, he said Wednesday, is “one of the best I’ve served under.”

1. U.S. Supreme Court declines to review a Texas Supreme Court same-sex ruling

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to not consider the case Pidgeon v. Turner, in which the Texas Supreme Court held that LGBTQ couples are not automatically entitled to government benefits. DNC spokesperson Joel Kasnetz responded: “SCOTUS’s decision in this case upholds discrimination and opens legal avenues for those who want to chip away at LGBTQ equality. Through legislation or through the courts, this disgraceful decision by the Texas Supreme Court must be overturned. Democrats will continue to fight tooth-and-nail for LGBTQ equality in Texas and around the world.”

PHOTO: Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Paul Mango


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