The number of anti-LGBTQ hate groups grew 43% in 2019 – White House says that’s a “far-left smear”

The White House said that it’s “disgusting” to call them out for associating with and promoting anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

 

By Alex Bollinger

 

LGBTQ Nation (02.04.2020) – https://bit.ly/2xXKY8v – Anti-LGBTQ hate groups are on the rise in the U.S., according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), but the Trump administration is calling it a “far-left smear.”

 

The SPLC released its 2019 “Year in Hate and Extremism” report, which says that the number of anti-LGBTQ hate groups rose by 43% since 2018. It is now following 70 anti-LGBTQ hate groups in the U.S.

 

“The Trump administration has demonstrated a clear willingness to embrace their leaders and their policy agenda,” the SPLC report states, referring to how Trump administration officials have filed legal briefs on behalf of hate groups, spoken at events organized by hate groups, nominated judges connected to hate groups, and even hiring former hate group employees to work in key civil rights positions.

 

“According to a report by Lambda Legal, a third of the more than 50 U.S. circuit court judges nominated by Trump have a ‘demonstrated history of anti-LGBTQ bias,’” the SPLC report says. “Lambda argues that the justice system is ‘now indisputably in a state of crisis.’”

 

The report says that much of the growth in anti-LGBTQ hate groups has taken place “at the grassroots level” and cites Steven Anderson and his Faithful Word Baptist Church as an example. Anderson has been banned from 33 countries due to his hate speech – which includes calling the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting “disgusting homosexuals… worthy of death” – and his organization was just added to the SPLC’s list of hate groups.

 

Out White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere – who is on-board when it comes to Trump’s anti-LGBTQ equality agenda – called the report “disgusting.”

 

“While the radical left has pushed false accusations that LGBTQ Americans are threatened, the president has hired and promoted LGBTQ Americans to the highest levels of government, including positions at the White House, Cabinet agencies, and ambassadorships,” Deere told NBC News.

 

Deere also cites Trump’s “global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality” – an initiative that the White House announced but took few discernible steps to advance and that has had no successes – and his “bold declaration” to end HIV transmissions in the next 10 years, a promise experts are skeptical Trump’s policies will achieve.

 

One anti-LGBTQ hate group tracked by the SPLC, the Alliance Defending Freedom, said that it was “appalling” to release the report during the coronavirus pandemic and said that the SPLC should “retract the report.”

 

“Stop sowing division and join the rest of America against our common foe: COVID-19,” said a spokesperson for ADF, a group that is currently fighting a legal battle to ban transgender girls from competing in school sports.

 

A group that merely opposes LGBTQ legislation will not appear on the SPLC’s list of hate groups. It has to “attack or malign” LGBTQ people in its actions or official communications, often by associating homosexuality with pedophilia, calling for death to LGBTQ people, and saying that LGBTQ people are a threat to children. Hate speech, the SPLC argues, is often a precursor to violence.

 

“We are not against Christian groups,” said the SPLC’s Lecia Brooks. “For us, it’s more about the way they go out of their way to demonize LGBTQ folks.”

 

“Sadly, there is not enough public outcry against anti-LGBTQ groups because we have just let it go saying, ‘That’s just their religion.’”




Judge orders US to return illegally deported gay asylum seeker before he’s killed

ICE deported him to Africa before his case had been heard. It may be too late to bring him back now.

 

By Juwan J. Holmes

 

LGBTQ Nation (09.01.2020) – https://bit.ly/2tTMO8F – A court has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to allow the return of Oumar Yaide, a gay asylum seeker deported from San Fransisco back to Chad before his asylum case could be reheard.

 

The U.S. Government must work with Yaide’s lawyers to “formulate a mutually agreeable plan” that ensures Yaide can return as soon as possible.

 

Yaide arrived in the United States in 2009 seeking political asylum from his native country due to being a member of the Gorane, a Chadian ethnic group which he claims is “a disfavored group.” The application was denied in 2014, and the final appeal was also denied in 2018.

 

Upon his detainment for deportation, however, Yaide requested to have his case reopened due to homosexuality becoming criminalized by Chad in 2016. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agents ignored his pending review and deported him. ICE agents took him from a California prison and flew him in handcuffs from Sacramento to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before his attorneys were informed.

 

While Yaide’s fear that “torture and death” became closer to becoming reality, his attorneys filed a writ of habeas corpus asking for his return, and a temporary restraining order from deporting him. Judge Charles R. Breyer ruled that the deportation “violates [Yaide’s] procedural due process right to pursue his motion to reopen.”

 

Breyer also wrote, “obviously, imprisonment or death would foreclose Yaide’s ability to pursue his motion to reopen” regarding ICE knowingly sending Yaide to a country where he faces death for his sexuality.

 

The Department of Homeland Security claims that Yaide is beyond their jurisdiction now, and so they can’t retrieve him. Yaide’s Chadian passport is expired and the country may not issue him a new one, court documents show.

 

Chad is one of an approximate 68 countries in the United Nations where consensual same-sex activity is illegal, according to advocacy group ILGA World. Persecution of LGBTQ+ people has been an accepted basis for some asylum seekers since at least 1994.




The first male couple on Denmark’s “Dancing with the Stars” is stirring up controversy… & winning

They have gone out of their way to respond to critics of two men dancing together on TV.

 

By David Castillo

 

LGBTQ Nation (06.11.2019) – https://bit.ly/2NK2l25 – Jakob Fauerby and Silas Holst are making Danish TV history with their appearance together on Vild med Dans, the country’s version of the Dancing With the Stars franchise.

 

The pair is the first same-sex couple in the show’s 16-year history and so far they have scored the highest points in four out of eight episodes. And this Friday they’ll compete once again in a season that has surprised many, especially Fauerby himself.

 

“Not in my wildest dreams did I anticipate this,” said Fauerby, a Copenhagen-based actor who said that his goal all along, aside from becoming a better dancer, was to show people that same-sex dancing was something they could tolerate.

 

The experience, says Fauerby – best known for his membership in the satirical group PLATT-FORM – has been an “amazing rollercoaster.” Even in liberal Denmark, the news that the wildly popular show would feature two men dancing sparked controversy among some long-time fans. The criticism ranged from the ugly, like those that complained about how it was “unnatural,” to laments about how few beautiful dancing gowns the season would showcase. Many more wondered who would be “the man” and who would be “the woman.”

 

Through it all, Fauerby has maintained a positive outlook, confident that what he is doing is good for his fellow Danes, especially his fellow LGBTQ brothers and sisters. It was actually Fauerby’s decision to set the condition of dancing with another male.

 

“I had already thought that if they called me, I would ask if it was possible to dance with a man,” said Fauerby. “So, when they called and I asked, they said it was probably something they could talk about.”

 

A few days later he received the good news that his request could be met. Fauerby credits the producers for creating the opportunity, noting that he believes producers probably wanted to feature a same-sex couple for quite some time but that they were unsure about how to ask someone to represent the LGBTQ community. They also had to find the right professional dancer who was willing to participate.

 

“It’s difficult to ask someone ‘Hey do you want to be in the show, but do you want to be the LGBT representation of it?’” he said. “So, I think they just waited for someone to express the willingness to do it themselves.”

 

As for the dancer, they found an enthusiastic participant in Silas Holst, a Vild med Dans favorite who came back from a five-year break to dance with Fauerby.

 

“I am absolutely delighted, but it is even more important to me that we do well,” Holst told Danish outlet B.T.

 

They have indeed done quite well. In the show’s premier, they scored 18 points, placing first with the highest score of the night. The next week, they received the highest score  again with 23 points.

 

Watching them dance, it is no wonder that the pair has been victorious in half of the shows that have aired so far. Indeed, many of the comments from fans have pointed out that it can be sometimes hard to tell who is the professional and who is the amateur.

 

Throughout the competition, Fauerby has met his critics and detractors head-on. He has made the rounds on TV news shows and radio call-in shows to speak directly to his critics. But he says he understands why there are such strong feelings about it, especially in the age of streaming and on-demand.

 

“We are a small country of only 5.6 million people, and every Friday more than a million people tune in to watch the show and many more watch it on-demand afterward,” said Fauerby. “There are very few shows that everyone sees, and this is one of them, so there are a lot of feelings connected to it.”

 

So Fauerby has tried to meet these people where they are in order to understand them better, but also to let them know that he has no plans on “ruining” the show, just that he wants to do his best. Of most importance to the actor, however, is the representation his appearance brings to the LGBTQ community.

 

“For me, in my living room, when I dance at home, I dance with a man,” said Fauerby. “When I was a child, I never saw representation. We’re just one couple out of 160 in 16 years. So for me if a young boy, girl, or trans person has the opportunity to see that positive representation as part of a TV show that is empowering in itself.

 

Much of the early criticism hurled at the news centered on a fear of sexualization of the competition. It is a fear Fauerby hopes has been dashed since his debut.

 

“What happened after the first two shows is that people saw weren’t going to have anal sex on stage,” said Fauerby with some laughter. “It is feelings. It is sensuality. But it is not sexuality. It’s just two people dancing.”

 

The representation Fauerby has striven to showcase has also extended beyond the stage and into his family life. Just over two weeks ago, he and his husband Anders, together with their good friend Rebecca, welcomed to the world a new baby girl.

 

In fact, she arrived on a Friday night, which is when the show airs live. He, Anders, and Rebecca had been musing for several months about what might happen if she decided to come on a show night. After his daughter was born, he traveled to the studio to prepare for the show.

 

“I missed the rehearsal, arrived an hour before the show started, did a quick press conference, then got into makeup and danced the show,” he said. “We are a rainbow family, and it’s been overwhelming and amazing.”

 

At 42, Fauerby says one thing about this opportunity that he has found most incredible is the privilege he has to learn dance from a professional dancer.

 

“To learn something that you weren’t able to do before is an enormous privilege,” said Fauerby. “For several hours a day, one of the best dancers, not only in Denmark, but in the world is teaching me how to dance and that is just amazing.”

 

Fauerby also credits the platform the show has given him to take a stand for LGBTQ rights and visibility. The privilege to do so is not lost on him, and he has taken every opportunity he’s been given to make sure that voice is heard.

 

“Having this tremendous power to have access to speech, the privilege of having a voice is something I take very seriously,” he said. “And something has changed. We were standing at the Royal Theater with more than a million people watching us at home dancing the rumba. That has not been done before in Denmark.”

 

As for LGBTQ people outside of Denmark, Fauerby hopes that they see his participation on the show and understand just why visibility is so important and that they act.

 

“LGBTQ people with resources, access, and courage should know that representation is so important. That’s easy for me to say because I live in a rich country, in a democracy that works, with legislation that works, where women’s rights are in place, where gay rights are in place,” said Fauerby. “We have a lot of fights here, especially regarding transgender people, but the legislation is there. So I’m privileged, but I cannot tell someone in Saudi Arabia to go out and fight.”

 

“So if you live in a place where your safety isn’t jeopardized, then please go out and be visible. Show the world that being you is okay.”

 

Jakob Fauerby and Silas Holst will compete this in week nine of the show, which airs Friday nights at 8 p.m. on Denmark’s TV2.




World Pride 2023 will take place in Sydney, Australia. Here’s why that matters so much

Australia isn’t perfect on LGBTQ rights, but they’ve been helpful to their queer regional neighbors.

 

By Daniel Villarreal

 

LGBTQ Nation (20.10.2019) – https://bit.ly/2MXY9ue – The InterPride network just selected Sydney, Australia as the host city for World Pride 2023, making it the first Australian city and the first city in the southern hemisphere ever to host the global LGBTQ event.

 

We recently ran a column written by Alex Greenwich, the only out gay Australian Member of Parliament, explaining why Sydney would make an ideal World Pride host — so we consider this a victory for both them and us!

 

In his LGBTQ Nation column, Greenwich touted Australia’s leadership in helping expand queer rights on that side of the world, especially in countries where queerness is criminalized and queer people can’t access healthcare:

 

“World Pride is not just an amazing celebration, it’s about making a real difference … [in] changing the lives of LGBTQ people in need. In the Asia-Pacific region that need is great…. Australia also has a proud record of calling out human rights abuses in our region and also providing financial aid for HIV and AIDS programs. But we don’t know it all, and always need help and invite the world down under to take vital efforts for the LGBTQ community in our region to the next level.”

 

The theme for 2023 will be “Fearless,” and the event itself could highlight critical issues facing queer people in the eastern part of the globe.

 

The Star Observer points out that World Pride 2023 will be “held in conjunction with the 2023 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras… Australia’s largest annual LGBTQI event.”

 

As such, World Pride will show international LGBTQ tourists the allure of Sydney as a travel destination and the spectacle of their Mardi Gras, an event which, like U.S. Pride marches, arose from protests against police brutality.

 

The first 2000 WorldPride has held in Rome. Since then, the event has been held in Jerusalem, London, Toronto, Madrid and New York City. In 2021 the event will be held in the twin cities of Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo, Sweden.