No Non-Binary UK Passports yet, then

Christie Elan-Cane lost a High Court challenge calling on the government to provide gender-neutral passports. Christie Elan-Cane wants passports to have an “X” category, which could be used by those who consider themselves neither fully male nor female, and claimed the UK’s passport process was “inherently discriminatory”.

Currently, all UK passport holders have to specify whether they are male or female.

Mr Justice Jeremy Baker refused to rule the government policy as unlawful.

Speaking after the ruling, Christie Elan-Cane, who has fought on the issue since 1995, said they were “bitterly disappointed” and that non-gendered people are “socially invisible” and being “denied civil rights”.

It is tempting to try to go to Court to change the law, but usually it does not work, because the Court is there to uphold, clarify, and enforce the law. It is the job of elected members of Parliament to change laws.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44575229

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Be careful when you buy Pride merchandise!

Retailers have released a variety of LGBTQ-themed items in celebration of Pride Month this month, reports Time Fortune.

The goods are often produced in countries where homosexuality is illegal or widely persecuted.

Primark makes some of its merchandise in Myanmar, where homosexuality is illegal and gays face imprisonment.

Your Activist suggests that you only buy Pride merchandise which is made in a country where homosexuality is legal and gays are not routinely discriminated against.

http://fortune.com/2018/06/20/hm-lgbt-pride-collection-gay-rights/

Ireland says sorry

25 years since criminal penalties for sex between gay and bisexual men were lifted, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar issued a formal apology for the “hurt and isolation” caused by the criminalisation of homosexuality. Having a gay taoiseach had been “unimaginable” when he was born in the 1970s.

He said it was no secret that “a number of patriots” who were involved in the founding of the state were gay.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/state-apology-for-years-of-hurt-to-gay-people-bkcr7h5b0

Making new friends in Moscow

Aaron Chown/PA | r

As you may have heard on the news, Peter Tatchell was detained briefly for making an anti-homophobia protest in Moscow yesterday. ITV reports:

Mr Tatchell was detained near a statue of Marshal Zhukov in a public square busy with football fans ahead of the first match of the World Cup.

He had been holding a poster critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin, which read: “Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people”.

Several police officers stepped in to detain Mr Tatchell and told him he had broken the law in Russia.

He was released on bail an hour later. The Peter Tatchell Foundation said he had been “treated well”.

https://www.itv.com/news/2018-06-14/gay-rights-campaigner-peter-tatchell-released-following-moscow-demo-arrest/

Gay cure ban nearer in California

An effort to recognise gay conversion therapy as fraudulent was debated in the California state Senate on Tuesday. There was opposition from hundreds who rallied to fight the proposal because they believed it would restrict the reading of or sale of the Bible.

The Judiciary Committee passed the proposal, which means it is a step closer to being considered by the entire state Senate. An earlier version of the legislation has already passed the state Assembly.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-5837187/Group-fights-bill-declare-gay-conversion-therapy-fraud.html

Great weather for Pride

Warsaw Pride yesterday | Czarek Sokołowski/AP | r

Yesterday was the big day throughout Europe for Gay Pride Marches, and many thousands of people took part.

In Warsaw, organisers estimated 45,000 people marched in the annual “equality parade” to protest discrimination not just against LGBT people but also women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

“The situation in Poland is bad because same-sex couples cannot marry or adopt children,” said Alicja Nauman, who was marching with her partner Dominika Wróblewska.

The situation is completely different in Greece.

Thousands, including members of a LGBT police association, also turned out for the 14th edition of the pride parade in Athens. Since the leftist government took office in 2015, Greece has extended civil partnerships to same-sex couples, authorised sex changes from the age of 15 and legislated for children to be adopted by same-sex partners.

Hope everyone had a fantastic day.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/10/thousands-march-for-lgbt-rights-in-pride-parades-across-europe

Scottish Pardons Bill Passed Unanimously

The Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill, which will pardon thousands of gay and bisexual men convicted of having consensual sex with other men before homosexuality was decriminalised.

Men will also be able to apply to have convictions for same-sex sexual activity that is now legal removed from central criminal conviction records. The Scottish government says it expects about 25 men to do so over the next five years.

Offences that are still illegal, such as rape or having sex with someone under the age of 16, will not be pardoned. The BBC explains:

Before the law changed, men were prosecuted for offences including consensual sexual activity in private, kissing another man in a public place, or just chatting up another man in a public place – which was known as “importuning”.

Such behaviour was legal at the time between a man and a woman, and is legal today between two men.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-44372851