Have we peaked already?

British society may be reaching “peak acceptance” of homosexuality, according to research by Manchester University. Members of religious and ethnic communities continue to be less tolerant towards the gay community.

Their findings show that in 2010, 58 per cent of black and south Asian 16- to 44-year-olds believed same-sex relationships were always wrong – down from 67 per cent in 1990.

That compared with just 12 per cent among white respondents in the same age group (down from 46 per cent 20 years earlier).

“We show that religiosity and ethnicity became more associated with homonegativity (intolerance of homosexuality) between 1990 and 2010, with religiosity replacing education as the characteristic most strongly associated with it,” conclude the researchers.



Out at work? Oui!

Mounir Mahjoubi | Morocco World News | r

France’s Digital Minister Mounir Mahjoubi has come out as gay, hoping to give gay people more visibility at a time when homophobic acts are on the rise.

He came out yesterday, the International Day Against Homophobia. The 34-year old junior minister in Emmanuel Macron’s government tweeted that homophobia “sometimes forces us to adapt and lie just to avoid hatred and to live our lives. Homophobia is an ill that eats away at society, invades schools, and poisons families and lost friends.”

Mr. Mahjoubi is not the first French politician to come out, but he said his personal experience could inspire those facing prejudice.


Beirut Pride Stopped by Police

Beirut Pride was the only scheduled gay pride event in the Arab world. It was cancelled by police who arrested the organiser Hadi Damien, who was detained overnight on Tuesday. They released him when he signed a pledge to cancel the week’s remaining events.

Last year, Lebanon became the first Arab country to hold a gay pride week, but the opening event was cancelled because of safety concerns after threats were made.

Lebanon’s LGBT community say they are still discriminated against by the state.

In a statement on the Beirut Pride website, Damien says that security services turned up late on Tuesday at a public reading of a play, and took him in for questioning. He was told that if he refused the cancellation, he would be referred to the investigation judge for interrogation.


Gay senior citizens still facing discrimination

The Chicago Tribune has been looking at the problems faced by older members of the gay community in Chicago. They seem to have many of the same issues we have in the UK and Europe.

The number of LGBT people in the U.S. ages 50 and older is estimated at 2.7 million and is expected to grow dramatically over the next few decades, according to a 2017 report in The Gerontologist.

In senior living communities, LGBT people live side by side with heterosexuals who came of age when homosexuality was considered a mental illness or even a criminal offense. Bullying and discrimination are common, Larson said.

An outspoken older gay Chicagoan told Larson he had ridden the elevator in his senior housing with another resident who objected to the facility’s gay support group, using a gay slur.

“Well, I’m one of them, so you can shut the hell up,” the gay senior shot back. Larson chuckled when she related that response, but she said that for an LGBT person who is less confident, that kind of hostility could be intimidating.

One elderly gay resident was attacked from behind, knocked off her mobility scooter and called derogatory names by other residents.


Europe letting gays down, says ILGA

Belgrade Pride, 2017 | Heinrich-Boell-Stiftung | r

Malta is the best place in Europe to be gay, according to its laws. Azerbaijan is the worst, but Latvia and Poland, which are EU members, do not rank much higher, while overall progress is “stagnating”,

reports EU Observer.

Malta scored 91 percent in the annual Rainbow Europe Survey, which looks at countries’ pro-LGBTI rights laws and policies.

It was followed by Belgium (79 percent), Norway (78 percent), Finland (73 percent), France (73 percent), and the UK (73 percent). Denmark, Portugal, and Spain also scored well.

Germany didn’t. Germany (59 percent) still lacks laws to protect LGBTI people from hate speech. Italy scored 27 percent and Poland (18 percent).

The survey of 49 states describes Europe as “a region where advances are not being made at the rate they once were. This lack of sustained progress on LGBTI equality issues should set off alarm bells.”


Thugs go free

Two youths who choked a student and forced him to apologise for being gay in a vile homophobic attack on London Underground have walked free from court.

Will Mayrick feared for his life and was left struggling to breathe after two attackers placed him in a headlock as he travelled on a train to a fancy dress event at the O2 with four of his friends.

His attackers, 16 and 17 years old, from Newham, pleaded guilty to the assault which occurred on a Jubilee line train on October 21 last year. They were handed 12-month referral orders and were each ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £150 compensation.

The 17-year-old admitted a public order offence and the 16-year-old pleaded guilty to assault by beating before both were sentenced at Bexley Magistrates’ Court last Friday.


Well done Oswestry

I never had Oswestry down as a bastion of lesbian achievement but clearly I was wrong. Congratulations to Councillor Sandy Best who was sworn in as mayor at a ceremony in the Guildhall with her lady mayoress and partner, Marilyn Taylor.

Ms Best, a historian who has now written some history, said it was a huge personal honour to be elected as mayor. The office dates back to 1674, and said she was proud to be the first openly gay mayor in Oswestry and both of them were looking forward to representing the council.