News Brief: Matthew Shepard’s Parents Lash Back at Anti-LGBT Discrimination

by Aaron Shepard
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News Brief Matthew Shepard’s Parents Lash Back at Anti-LGBT Discrimination

News Brief Matthew Shepard’s Parents Lash Back at Anti-LGBT Discrimination

News Brief:  Matthew Shepard’s Parents Lash Back at Anti-LGBT Discrimination

In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man, was tortured and left for dead on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming.  His tragic death was met with a significant push for hate crimes legislation and the start of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.  Nineteen years later, his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, have written an impassioned letter in the Huffington Post reflecting and criticizing the recent removal of several LGBT protections in the US. 

They wrote, “Please don’t overlook those who are being discriminated against now.  There is nothing more we can do for Matt, but we can continue to do good work in his memory and try to prevent the same thing from happening to other people’s children.”

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News Brief: Porn Mogul, Larry Flynt, Offers $10 Million to Help Impeach Trump

by Aaron Shepard
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News Brief Larry Flynt Offers $10 Million to Help Impeach Trump

News Brief Larry Flynt Offers $10 Million to Help Impeach Trump

News Brief:  Porn Mogul, Larry Flynt, Offers $10 Million to Help Impeach Trump

Larry Flynt, the porn mogul best known for Hustler, has recently taken out a full-page ad in the Washington Post, compelling people to dig up dirt on Donald Trump.  In the ad he offers up to $10 million to anyone who can help unearth the “smoking gun” that would lead to the president’s impeachment.  He assures the reader that this is not a “sour-grapes plot,” but rather the fulfillment of his “patriotic duty.”

“After nine tumultuous months in office, Trump has proven he’s dangerously unfit to exercise the extreme power accrued by our new ‘unitary executive,’” the ad reads.

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News Brief: Trump Officials Insist Discrimination Against Gay Employees is Legal

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Trump Officials Insist Discrimination Against Gay Employees is Legal

News Brief Trump Officials Insist Discrimination Against Gay Employees is Legal

News Brief:  Trump Officials Insist Discrimination Against Gay Employees is Legal

Officials from the Department of Justice appeared in court in late September to argue that discrimination against gay employees is legal.

Under President Obama, the Justice Department regularly intervened in court battles to argue for civil rights protections for LGBT people.  Under Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions, though, the Justice Department has abruptly shifted its stance.

The DOJ made an uninvited intervention in a workplace discrimination case, with officials appearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.  The Manhattan court was hearing the case of Donald Zarda, a former skydiving instructor who alleges that his old company, Altitude Express Inc, fired him because of his sexuality.

In its surprise intervention, federal government officials sided with the employer, arguing that it is entirely legal to discriminate against gay employees on a federal level.

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News Brief: 15 People to Stand Trial for “Debauchery” in Egypt

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief 15 People to Stand Trial for “Debauchery” in Egypt

News Brief 15 People to Stand Trial for “Debauchery” in Egypt

News Brief:  15 People to Stand Trial for “Debauchery” in Egypt

Fifteen people are set to stand trial in Egypt, accused of “acts of debauchery.”  They will stand trial at a misdemeanor court, arrested for “violating the teachings of religion and public morals.” 

The fifteen people had reportedly attended a Mashrou Leila concert on September 22nd, where some of them waved a rainbow flag.  They group was then wrongfully arrested and charged with “inciting immorality” as they allegedly promoted homosexuality by raising the flag.

The arrests are part of a wider crackdown on LGBT people in Egypt, where being gay isn’t illegal, but the “debauchery” and “sexual deviancy” laws are applicable.

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News Brief: Germany Celebrates as First Same-Sex Marriages Take Place

by Aaron Shepard
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News Brief Germany Celebrates as First Same-Sex Marriages Take Place

News Brief Germany Celebrates as First Same-Sex Marriages Take Place

News Brief:  Germany Celebrates as First Same-Sex Marriages Take Place

Germans celebrated this past weekend as the first same-sex couples married after the law was changed to legalize the unions. 

Karl Kreile and Bodo Mende, together for 38 years before they tied the knot, got married in Berlin on Sunday, October 1st.  The couple met in 1979 and have been campaigning for LGBT right since.  At 9:30 am local time, their perseverance paid off and they were wed at the Schoneberg, Berlin town hall.  The two are believed to be the first same-sex couple to marry under the new law.

“We have finally achieved legal equality,” Mende said on Friday.  “It’s been 25 years’ of hard struggle to secure this.”

Registry offices in Germany opened especially as today was the first day that same-sex couples could marry.

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