News Brief: Taiwan Set to Become the First Asian Country to Grant Marriage Equality

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Taiwan Marriage Equality

News Brief Taiwan Marriage Equality

News Brief:  Taiwan Set to Become the First Asian Country to Grant Marriage Equality

Hopes are high for Taiwan’s same-sex marriage legislation, as a bill heads towards a crucial vote in Parliament.

The country is one of the most progressive in Asia on LGBT rights, providing some LGBT rights protections and allowing some limited recognition of same-sex relationships.

Lawmakers in the country are hoping to push further on equality issues with politicians from the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) last month filing a bill that would legalize same-sex weddings.  The bill would change the definition of marriage to specify it is between two people, rather than between and “man and woman.”

As the legislation heads towards Parliament, hopes are high that it could pass, which would make Taiwan the first country in Asia to permit same-sex couples to marry.

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News Brief: Trump’s Presidential Victory Sends Shockwaves through the LGBT Community

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Trump's Presidential Win LGBT

News Brief Trump's Presidential Win LGBT

News Brief: Trump’s Presidential Victory Sends Shockwaves through the LGBT Community

The Presidential election of Donald Trump has sent panic through much of the LGBT community, which for the first time in eight years will face an administration hostile to its civil rights gains.  As well as a president-elect who has expressed desire to revers many of its political gains.

Jay Brown, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights organization, said its office had received calls throughout the week from frightened people who wanted to know what the election results might mean for them.  Some callers wondered if they should speed up wedding plans, so they could be married before the inauguration, in case a President Trump tries to overturn gay marriage, he said.  Others worried that the military would reinstate “Don't Ask, Don’t Tell,” the ban on openly gay and lesbian service members that ended in 2011.

“This is a devastating loss for our community,” Mr. Brown said.  “It is something a lot of folks are still trying to wrap their heads around.”

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News Brief: Hilary Clinton Campaigns at Florida Gay Bar

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Hilary Clinton Campaigns in Wilton Manors

News Brief Hilary Clinton Campaigns in Wilton Manors

News Brief:  Hilary Clinton Campaigns at Florida Gay Bar

Hilary Clinton spoke at a gay bar in Wilton Manors in late October, a South Florida town known as an enclave for the state’s LGBT community.

The Aids Healthcare Foundation, Hotspots Media Group, and the Human Rights Campaign, with president Chad Griffin in attendance, hosted the event.  Addressing supporters at the Manor Complex, one of the area’s most popular gay nightclubs, Clinton contrasted her human rights record with that of her opponent, Donald Trump.

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New Brief: Scotland to Pardon Gay Men Convicted Under Outdated Laws

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Scotland to Pardon Gay Men Convicted Under Outdated Laws

News Brief Scotland to Pardon Gay Men Convicted Under Outdated Laws

New Brief:  Scotland to Pardon Gay Men Convicted Under Outdated Laws

Men convicted of same-sex sexual activity on the basis of outdated and homophobic laws will receive a full pardon, the Scottish government has announced.

Holyrood, Edinburgh’s justice secretary, Michael Matheson, told the chamber in late October that the parliament would bring forward a Scottish “Turing law” to automatically pardon gay and bisexual men convicted of sexual offenses that are no longer criminal.  He added that his officials had also been in discussion with Police Scotland to identify the most effective way of ensuring that past convictions for consensual sex between men no longer appeared on a person’s criminal record.

The law is named after Alan Turing, whose work during the Second World War helped break the German Enigma code, who was pardoned posthumously in 2013.  Turing was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 and chemically castrated.  He died two years later; an autopsy found he had killed himself.

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News Brief: Rentboy CEO Strikes Deal

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Rentboy CEO Plea Deal

News Brief Rentboy CEO Plea Deal

News Brief:  Rentboy CEO Strikes Deal

The government could get $10 million in a deal that closes Rentboy.com and sends its former CEO to prison, reports the Associated Press.

Jeffrey Hurant pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution and conspiring to commit money laundering, reports the AP.  The plea deal sends Hurant for no more than two years and imposes a $10 million fine or less, with sentencing decided in February.

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