Gay man who threatened U.S. senators pleads guilty

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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In a little-noticed development, a 28-year-old gay man arrested last June at his home in Alexandria, Va., for allegedly making threats to shoot at least two U.S. senators in the face in a series of Twitter messages pleaded guilty in December to making interstate threatening communications.

Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced Kyler George Schmitz to two years of supervised probation and 90 days of home detention.

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Vandalism of Orlando Equality Florida office raises questions about the new normal

By : Billy Manes
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On Thursday, when nobody was working in Equality Florida’s Orlando office, somebody threw something through (or at) a window at the front of the building, although no rock or brick was found, says Equality Florida development director Michael Thomas Farmer. Is this the new violence-against-gays licence Donald Trump seems to be trumpeting? The timing of the vandalism makes it that much more suspicious, Farmer agrees, but no investigation has yet been filed.

“EQFL staff member Michael Thomas Farmer is currently at our Orlando office after receiving a call that something had been thrown through one of our office windows,” EQFL wrote on its Facebook last night. “We are waiting for the police to arrive to receive further information. But know, if this was some kind of an attempt to scare us from doing the work that we do – it will not work. We will not be intimidated, and we will not back down from our fight to end hate and secure full equality for ALL.”

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United Nations appoints first expert on LGBT violence and discrimination

By : Wire Report
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Vitit Muntarbhorn

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Human Rights Council has appointed international human rights expert Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand as the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

John Fisher, Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, said his appointment on Friday “made history” and “will bring much-needed attention to human rights violations against LGBT people in all regions of the world.”

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GLAAD: Hollywood needs to do better

By : Staff Report
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GLAAD has a new online campaign to battle what it says is Hollywood’s “lack of relevant representation of LGBT people in film.”

The organization criticized such films as Ted 2, Project X and Pain & Gain for their use of homophobic language and violence against LGBT characters, and pointed to a recent report that shows more than 80 percent of the major studio films released in 2014 had no LGBT characters whatsoever.

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LGBT people victims of violent abuse all over the world, UN report says

By : Wire Report
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AP – The UN human rights chief said in a new report that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people are victims of “pervasive, violent abuse, harassment and discrimination” in all regions of the world and cites hundreds of hate-related killings.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein said actions by some countries to reduce violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity since the last report in 2011 have been overshadowed by continuing human rights violations against these groups, too often perpetrated with impunity.

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Human Rights Watch report says LGBT Jamaicans victims of violence

By : Wire Report
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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are the targets of unchecked violence and discrimination in Jamaica, frequently refused housing or employment in the Caribbean country typically described as the region’s most hostile to LGBT citizens, a leading human rights group says in a report released Oct. 21.

In its 86-page report titled “Not Safe at Home,” Human Rights Watch noted that LGBT citizens in Jamaica are often driven from their communities by neighbors and sometimes even family. Some health professionals stigmatize them by casting judgment on their sexuality when they seek care. Police protection against bias and physical attacks is generally poor.

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For some gays abroad, social networking poses risk

By : Wire Report
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For gay men in the dozens of countries that criminalize their sex lives, social networking can be a blessing or a curse.

High-tech dating apps and social media have enabled countless men to expand their circles of friends and lovers in settings that are hostile to any overt trace of being gay. Yet the same technology that they gratefully embrace can expose them to the risk of blackmail, arrest and violence.

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Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate against the LGBT community

By : Sandra Ketcham
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After living together for just a few months, David’s boyfriend started to change.

“He became very controlling, losing his temper over stupid things and … physically getting in my face when we’d argue,” says David, who lives in Port Orange. “I figured it was some sort of stress or it was because he’d had a few beers, but instead it got worse over the next few months until one day he snapped and threw me against the wall. When I told him I was leaving, he called me a faggot and said he’d tell my parents I was gay. I was only out to my sister and a couple of friends at that point.”

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