News Brief: Gay Porn Star Found Guilty of Murder

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Gay Porn Star Mario Romo Found Guilty of Murder

News Brief Gay Porn Star Mario Romo Found Guilty of Murder

News Brief:  Gay Porn Star Found Guilty of Murder

A federal jury has convicted gay adult film star Mario Romo in the murder of his boyfriend, who was stabbed 24 times including a slash to his throat, earlier this month.

Romo started his career with Sean Cody in 2010 and has since worked for nearly a dozen gay studios under the names Francisco and Elder Gonzalez.  His birth name is David Meza.

Romo was found guilty after Mexican authorities found Jake Clyde Merendino stabbed to death and dumped in a Baja ravine near a highway between Rosarito and Ensenada.

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News Brief: 53 People Face Criminal Charges for Attending a Gay Wedding

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief 53 People Arrested Gay Wedding Nigeria

News Brief 53 People Arrested Gay Wedding Nigeria

News Brief:  53 People Face Criminal Charges for Attending a Gay Wedding

53 people are facing criminal charges in Nigeria after police claimed they attended a same-sex wedding.

Homosexuality has long been illegal in Nigeria, but a 2013 law moved beyond simply targeting gay sex:  extending the provisions to criminalize all forms of same-sex unions and clamp down on the LGBT community.  Under the law, people who enter any form of same-sex union are liable for 14 years imprisonment, while people who “witness, abet and aids the solemnization of a same sex marriage or civil union” can face up to 10 years in jail.

The BBC reports that police in the country this month carried out a raid on an alleged ceremonial same-sex wedding in the city of Zaria.  According to the broadcaster, 53 people were arrested and have been charged with conspiring to celebrate a same-sex wedding.

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News Brief: Study Shows that Homeless LGBT Youth are More Likely to be Sex Traffic Victims

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Study Homeless LGBT Youth Sex Traffic Victims

News Brief Study Homeless LGBT Youth Sex Traffic Victims

News Brief:  Study Shows that Homeless LGBT Youth are More Likely to be Sex Traffic Victims

Covenant House International, the largest privately funded youth homeless shelter in the Americas, commissioned a study from Loyola University’s Modern Slavery Research Project (MSRP) on Labor and Sex Trafficking Among Homeless Youth.

The MSRP interviewed 641 young adults aged 17-25 from ten cities across the US and Canada.  Nearly one in five (124) were identified as victims of some form of human trafficking.  The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), defines sex trafficking as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.”

Of the 124 trafficking victims, 74 percent reported being trafficked for sex, 41 percent for labor and 17 percent for both sex and labor.  Of the 92 young people trafficked for sex, over a third identified as LGBT.

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News Brief: Four More Prisons for Gay Men Have Been Found in Chechnya

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Four More Prisons for Gay Men Chechnya

News Brief Four More Prisons for Gay Men Chechnya

News Brief:  Four More Prisons for Gay Men Have Been Found in Chechnya

Journalists investigating the abuse of gay men in Chechnya have made a gruesome discovery. 

Respected newspaper Novaya Gazeta originally reported that gay men were being held in only two concentration camp style prisons in the villages of Argun and Tsotsi-Yurt.  Journalists from the area now say they have uncovered evidence of a further four prisons, meaning there are at least six prisons in the region holding people because of their sexual orientation. 

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News Brief: Chechen Gay Men Recall Horrific Abuse in Detention Centers

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Chechen Gay Men Recall Horrific Abuse in Detention Centers

News Brief Chechen Gay Men Recall Horrific Abuse in Detention Centers

News Brief:  Chechen Gay Men Recall Horrific Abuse in Detention Centers

In the past few months, “over a hundred and possibly several hundred men” have been arrested, detained, and tortured by government security personnel in the Russian republic, The Guardian reports.  It is believed that at least three have, in fact, been killed.

One man, who will be identified by the pseudonym Adam, endured electric shocks by his captors at least once a day, he told the newspaper.  If this was not enough to make him scream, he was then beaten with sticks or rods.  While this was going on, his tormentors lobbed insults at him and demanded names of other gay men.

“Sometimes they were trying to get information from me; other times they were just amusing themselves,” Adam told the paper of the ordeal he went through a month ago.  After several days in a makeshift detention facility, where he and other captives had to sleep on concrete floors, he was released to his family.

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