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.


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.

Court strengthens gay partners rights in EU

Today the European Court of Justice ruled that countries in the European Union where gay marriage is not yet legal must still offer same sex spouses the same residency rights as heterosexual couples under Brussels’ freedom of movement laws.

A country could not use the illegality of homosexual marriage as a reason to stop an EU citizen bringing their non-EU spouse to live with them, which is a right guaranteed by Brussels.

“Although the member states have the freedom whether or not to authorise marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU Member State, a derived right of residence in their territory.”

The decision does not force EU members to recognise gay marriage, in a bid to prevent accusation that the Luxembourg court is meddling in national affairs.

Germany’s President apologises



3 June 2018 | Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the ceremony | R. Hirschburger | Alliance/DPA | 18317

On 3 June 2018, Germany’s President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, asked forgiveness for the suffering inflicted on homosexual men by the German state under Nazi rule and after 1945.

He was speaking at a ceremony in Berlin which marked the 10th anniversary of a monument to commemorate homosexuals who were persecuted by the Nazis.

Steinmeier admitted that mistreatment of gays had continued after the war in both East and West Germany. “The German state has inflicted heavy suffering on all these people, particularly under the Nazis, but also after that, in East Germany and also under the Basic Law.”

The ceremony was for “the many tens of thousands of people whose private spheres, lives, love and dignity were infringed upon, denied and violated.” More than 50,000 men were persecuted by the Nazis, and were “tortured, sent to prisons and to concentration camps.”

Paragraph 175 was abolished in 1994.

The cake’s a bit stale now

Daniel McArthur of Ashers with his wife Amy outside the High Court in Belfast during their Appeal Court case | File photo: Belfast Telegraph | r

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The family which made headlines after refusing to produce a ‘gay cake’ are touring Northern Ireland to meet supporters ahead of their Supreme Court appeal. The UK’s highest court will sit in Northern Ireland for the first time ever to hear the appeal, on May 1 and 2.

The McArthur family, who own and run Ashers, turned down the cake order because it conflicted with their Christian belief in marriage and are challenging the ruling that their refusal to make a cake with the slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’ was discriminatory.

In May 2015 District Judge Brownlie ruled that Ashers broke both sexual orientation and political discrimination laws.

You can’t do that

Facebook has removed a group in which landlords were offering young men free accommodation in return for sex. BuzzFeed found dozens of UK posts on Facebook, Craigslist and RoomBuddies offering men a place to live in return for sex.

Offering accommodation in exchange for sex is illegal under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Facebook and RoomBuddies said they removed such adverts when they were reported.

Россия: гей-брак не является чем-то новым


Heading translation by Google: Russia: Gay Marriage is nothing new


Olga Khoroshilova | 17165gh

At the time of writing, western media are noting the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which, for gay men and lesbians in Russia, heralded a short period of relative freedom of expression and liberty.

The photo above is dated January 1921. Russian Baltic Fleet sailor Afanasy Shaur organised a gay wedding in Petrograd, with guests including 95 former army officers along with members of the lower ranks of both the army and navy, and one woman, who was dressed in a man’s suit.

The guests did not know that Shaur was a member of the secret police, and at the end of the festivities, the guests were all arrested. Shaur had arranged the event to curry favour with his bosses, claiming those attending were counter-revolutionaries who wanted to destroy the young Red Army from the inside.

The case was eventually closed and the “counter-revolutionaries” let off.

After the October Revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks scrapped and rewrote the country’s laws. They produced two Criminal Codes, in 1922 and 1926, neither of which contained an article prohibiting homosexuality.

In the 1920s gay men in Russia lived quite openly. The BBC notes that:

In St Petersburg, some wore red ties, or red shawls, onto which they would sew the back pockets of trousers. Others powdered their faces and wore a lot of mascara. After the revolution, the heavily made-up “silent film star look” became more mainstream and no longer just a fashion for young gay men.

There may not have been an article relating to gay sex in the criminal codes of the 1920s, but the gay community was regularly persecuted. Gay men were often beaten, blackmailed or sacked from their jobs.

The gay community was also organised on class lines, with little mixing between the “aristocrats” and “simple” lower class gay men who held mundane or clerical jobs.

In July 1933, 175 gay men from different walks of life were arrested in what came to be known as the Case of the Leningrad Homosexuals. The documents of the case have never been released, but it is known that all detained were given prison sentences on a range of charges from working for British intelligence to “malicious counter-revolutionism” and “moral corruption of the Red Army”.

The Case of the Leningrad Homosexuals led to the re-inclusion of the article outlawing homosexuality in the Criminal Code of 1934.