British government to ban conversion therapy

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The British government on Tuesday announced it will ban so-called conversion therapy in the U.K.

The ban is among the 75 recommendations to promote equality and fight discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity that the government made in response to a nationwide survey of more than 108,000 LGBTI people it launched in July 2017.

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FiveFilms4Freedom US Tour – Orlando

By : KathleenHarper
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To mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in the UK, join the British Council and partners on November 9 in Orlando for a film screening and panel discussion showcasing #FiveFilms4Freedom, the world’s first and largest digital LGBT film festival. This event is supported by the Love GREAT Britain campaign.

Keynote speaker: Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith
Guest speaker: Vicki Nantz, Orlando filmmaker

Panellists:
The event will feature a panel discussion on LGBT issues, featuring:
– Moderator: Sherri Absher – The One Orlando Alliance
– Heather Wilkie – Executive Director, Zebra Coalition
– Joe Saunders – Senior Political Director, Equality Florida
– Terry DeCarlo – Development and Chief Comms Director, GLBT Community Center of Central Florida
– Rosie Westhoff – filmmaker, director of Crush
– Jonny Ruff – filmmaker, director of Heavy Weight

Films:
The five short films selected for #FiveFilms4Freedom 2017 include both drama and documentaries and tell stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender experiences. They range from the tentative steps of first love, through an intimate portrait of an extraordinary family, to an exuberant picture of underground cultural expression. This year, for one year only, all five films are from the UK.
– Crush (directed by Rosie Westhoff) – An almost wordless story of the flash of first love as a young girl waits for her train in Britain.
– Where We Are Now (directed by Lucie Rachel) – An intimate documentary potrait of the relationship between a transgender parent and her bisexual daughter in Scotland.
– Heavy Weight (directed by Jonny Ruff) – A boxer finds his world turned upside down by the arrival of a new fighter at the club.
– Still Burning (directed by Nick Rowley) – Era, a young migrant from Guadeloupe living in Paris, introduces his brother to leotards, heels and the ‘fierce’ attitude of the dance movement ‘voguing’.
– Jamie (directed by Christopher Manning) – After chatting to a guy online, shy Jamie makes the bold step to meet up with him in person.

As the UK’s principal cultural relations organisation the British Council is strongly committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. Our work is centred on building meaningful, enduring and respectful relationships across different cultures. We cannot do this if we do not have a commitment to equality, inclusion and valuing diversity.

 

UK promises to prosecute online hate crimes vigorously

By : Wire Report
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LONDON (AP) – British authorities are promising to prosecute hate crimes committed online as vigorously as those that take place face-to-face, recognizing the growth of hate speech on social media and the potential for such crimes to affect large numbers of people.

New guidelines issued Aug. 21 outline a tough stance on cyber hate attacks on the basis of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity. In addition, the guidance for the first time recognizes hate crimes against bisexuals as distinct from homophobic or transphobic attacks.

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Court rejects UK couple’s bid for civil partnership

By : Wire Report
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LONDON (AP) – A British couple who want their relationship recognized in law without the “patriarchal baggage” of marriage on Tuesday lost the latest stage in their fight to be allowed a civil partnership.

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan say they and other couples face discrimination because only same-sex couples are eligible for civil partnerships.

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UK’s first openly gay rabbi Lionel Blue dies at 86

By : Wire Report
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LONDON (AP) – Lionel Blue, Britain’s first openly gay rabbi who was known for his popular early morning radio spots, has died at 86.

The Liberal Judaism group said he died Dec. 19. He was hospitalized with a chest infection and died of pneumonia.

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UK serial killer convicted of murdering 3 men he met online

By : Wire Report
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LONDON (AP) – A British man has been convicted of murdering three men he met on gay dating websites.

Prosecutors say Stephen Port invited the men, all in their 20s, to his home, where he gave them lethal doses of the psychoactive drug GHB so he could rape them while they were unconscious.

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Cumberbatch, Fry, others urge UK to pardon gay men

By : Wire Report
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LONDON (AP) – Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch has joined others in calling for the British government to pardon gay and bisexual men convicted in the past under the defunct “gross indecency” law.

Their letter published Jan. 31 in the Guardian praises the government for the 2013 pardon of World War II code breaker Alan Turing, whom Cumberbatch portrays in the movie “The Imitation Game.”

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