Welsh Man Assaulted for "Looking Gay"

Why can't people just... not attack people randomly? Unfortunately we don't live in such a world. Twenty-two-year-old Jack Gunter was attacked on October 13th after a night out with his friends, according to BBC. This is not the first time someone has written about an unprovoked attack on a gay man, as Instinct writer Randy Slovacek has written about a man who attacked two gay men in Brooklyn in his article Police Looking For Attacker In Alleged Brooklyn Hate Crime and my follow up article Suspect in Brooklyn Hate Crime Turns Himself In.

The attack happened outside of a chip shop in Bridgend, Wales, where Gunter had slurs such as "f***ot" thrown at him from people across the street and was punched to the ground and kicked in the face. He describes this attack as the most abusive homophobic attack he had suffered since he came out at thirteen. He doesn't know why the attackers assaulted him, but he speculates that it's because they thought he "looked gay." This horrible experience has Gunter so bothered that he no longer goes out with his friends.

These attacks will keep happening unless people become educated on LGBTQ topics and issues. Students in Wales have been taking matters into their own hands by creating the group Digon, that teaches other students about the consequences and impact of homophobic bullying. This is definitely a good thing, as many people don't understand just how horrible homophobia can be as they don't have to worry about it. Hopefully homophobic bullying and, by extension, all bullying will stop or at least decrease in frequency. For now, the best we can do is educate.

h/t: BBC

Biblical-Themed Ark Park is Just As Homophobic as You Would Imagine

Yeah, there is a Noah's Ark theme park that's here in the same plane of existence that you and I share. Fellow Instinct writer Adam Dupuis has written about it in his post "New Noah's Ark Encounter - It's Got Everything. Even Dinosaurs and Unicorns." According to Vice, visiting Ark Encounter, created by Ken Ham, will not flood you with good times and positive memories, but instead, you'll be inundated with a deluge of homophobia and banal but plentiful ecclesiastical signs.

The fake Ark was created to entertain and reach Christians and non-Christians in order to educate them on the story of the Great Flood and introduce Creationism to people who don't believe in it. Some of the attractions are an animal exhibit with non-animatronic animals in wooden boxes, three displays that depict the pre-flood era which, apparently, had epic human and dinosaur battles (?) and a bunch of text, signs that shoot down the theory of evolution and how Noah's family disposed of their waste (which is what every theme park should have in my opinion), a room in which a video plays on a loop that inaccurately depicts atheists as being mean-spirited, and, finally, bigoted, homophobic literature. 

Anyone who works at Ark Encounter has to sign a statement of faith (for your own sanity, please don't click on the link) in which people have to agree that marriage is between one man and one woman, that LGBT people are abominations, that sex should only be had between a heterosexual married couple, watching porn is a sin against God, and that being pro-life is the only way to live. So basically, LGBT people, people who have a normal sex drive, or people who watch porn need not apply. No thanks! There are also advertisements for the Ark-hosted event “Sacred: Embracing God’s Design for Sexuality” which closely resembles conversion therapy

My takeaway from reading about this... thing... is that there is no way that I will ever attend this excuse for an attraction. Considering the fact that gay rights activists have made so many positive advancements, maybe homophobia would not be the best selling point. Perhaps Mr. Ham should try to reach non-Christians in a less bigoted way. 

But that's just me. 

h/t: Vice, Arkencounter.com, Answersingenesis.com

Anti-Gay Bakery Refused Service by Photography Company on "On Moral Grounds"

Touché, supporters of basic human decency.

As we previously reported, on Wednesday the UK Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ashers Baking Company in Northern Ireland. The establishment refused to bake a cake featuring fictional characters Bert and Ernie with the message “support gay marriage.” The court ruled that this wasn’t discrimination, that the bakery had a right to “freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

That’s infuriating, sure. But that’s not where the story ends.

Anti-LGBTQ+ group The Christian Institute covered the bakery’s legal fees, and shortly thereafter found the tables had turned. Perfocal, a photography company they hired to cover the hearing and press statement, ultimately denied them the service, refunding their money and withholding the photos.

Perfocal founder Tony Xu told Pink News:

“When our photographer on the ground learned what it was while doing the job, they felt immediately uncomfortable with the situation, as many members of the public are, but remained professional. As soon as I found out though, I realized this was an opportunity to highlight exactly why this kind of result is damaging. This isn’t just about standing up against discrimination. I hope our stance serves as an example of exactly where this kind of judgment could lead us. Where does it end?”

“It’s been accepted in the highest court in the UK that private companies can accept bookings and then, if they feel that it goes against their morals, refuse that booking if it offends their sensibilities and it not be counted as discriminatory… We had no idea what the case was when the booking was made—we simply see the basic information, date, time, location.”

“We appreciate that this looks like tit for tat, and it is.”

How do we feel about this? Is Perfocal’s tit-for-tat helping? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

h/t: Pink News, Out

Eric Dreiband, an Anti-Gay Lawyer, Was Given the Position of the Head of DoJ's Civil Rights Division

Unfortunately, I can't say that I'm surprised at this decision, but Eric Dreiband, a lawyer with a history of being anti-gay, has been appointed the highest position in the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, according to Metro Weekly. After the vote that helped Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Leader McConnell decided to move two of Donald Trump's picks for the position to the voting floor, one being Dreiband.

On Thursday, October 11th, the Senate voted 50-47 to end the debate regarding Dreiband's nomination and the nomination vote had the same results, with the votes being passed on a party line. One Republican senator, Marco Rubio of Florida and two Democratic senators, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Bill Nelson of Florida were not present at the time of the vote. In this position. Dreiband will be entrusted to implement civil rights laws, which consist of laws that prevent discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or disability. 

According to Judiciary Senate, civil rights groups believe that Dreiband will hold a narrow view of what would constitute a civil rights violation. In addition to that, Dreiband is also in favor of enforcing North Carolina's House Bill 2, which prevents transgender individuals from using the restroom that coincides with their gender as well as annuls ordinances that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He also worked for non-profit organizations that sought religious exemptions from having to provide contraceptive coverage under the ACA. Other companies have used this same argument to prevent same-sex couples from receiving spousal benefits. 

Dreiband's nomination was approved alongside three other anti-gay nominees, effectively creating a threat to LGBTQ rights in the United States. The DoJ's Civil Rights Division has thus far been a defender of civil rights in many aspects of life but with Dreiband being confirmed, the role of the Civil Rights Division has taken a hit.

But after Devos and Pruitt (who is thankfully no longer the administrator of the EPA), I really am not surprised. Disgusted, yes but surprised? Absolutely not.

h/t:  Metro WeeklyJudiciary Senate

These Kids Should Be More Focused on School Than Perpetuating Hate Speech

Students from the Senior class at Escondido High School in California are under fire for posing for photos that spelled out homophobic and racist messages. Students wore shirts with monograms on them to pose for pictures that displayed pre-approved messages during their annual senior barbecue. However, after the fact, some of the students thought it would be hilarious to rearrange themselves and snap some pics that showed the world just how big of assholes they are.

Along with the popular homophobic moniker ‘FAGS’, another group of students formed the ‘N’ word.

Whitney, do you still believe the children are our future? Sounds like learned behavior to me!

The school’s principal, Dr. Adriana Lepe-Ramirez shared in a statement with 10News:

We are a campus that prides itself on inclusion and embraces diversity. We will not tolerate actions that send messages of racism and promote divisiveness. We will work with students, as well as staff, to ensure a respectful and safe environment is maintained throughout our campus. We all need to understand the power of our words and actions, and we must take responsibility for the decisions we make each and every day. At Escondido High School we will continue to work every day to build a culture of family and unity across our community.

The principal also made an important announcement to the entire school which included:

I understand that the messages that were posted on social media incited anger and frustration, but I want to encourage you all to remember that the only thing that combats hate is love, the only thing that combats divisiveness is unity.

The incident is currently under investigation.

h/t: 10News

Switzerland Lawmakers Make Homophobia & Transphobia Punishable With Prison Time

By a vote of 118-60, the National Council of Switzerland has amended its penal code to make homophobia and transphobia as illegal as racism.

Under the new ordinance, anyone who is found guilty of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity will face up to three years in prison.

The move to change the penal code was led by National Councillor Mathias Reynard.

Upon passage of the new law, Reynard tweeted his celebration writing, “Victory! By 118 against 60 and 5 abstentions, the National Council accepts my parliamentary initiative against homophobia and Transphobia!"

“A great success for human rights! Final response in December to the Council of States,” he added along with a Pride emoji and LGBT hashtag.

According to Gay Times Magazine, Reynard said following the vote, “Homophobia is not an opinion. It’s a crime. One in five homosexuals attempted suicide, half before the age of 20. This victory sends a strong signal. I have already received hundreds of reactions.”

While Switzerland has allowed civil partnerships since 2007, the country is woefully behind the times in terms of most civil rights for LGBTQ people. There are no legal accommodations for same-sex couples when it comes to adoption, taxes, welfare or fertility.

Following this recent win, Reynard says that he now plans on bringing marriage equality to Switzerland.

(h/t Gay Times Magazine)

Poor Man In Jamaica Was Attacked By His Own Cousins At A Funeral

A gay man in Jamaica was attacked by his own family members.

While attending his great grandmother’s funeral in Westmoreland with his partner, a 24-year-old man, who only wanted to be referred to as K Martin, was attacked by his cousins.

K Martin says that he is no stranger to gay bashings. He has been stabbed, beaten, and chopped before. In addition, the man has lost partial sight in one eye after being attacked by coworkers.

"I am very good at my job but for the past eight months I cannot work because a few of my co-workers set up a chemical and it spill in my eyes so now I can't see clearly. But other than that, me just can't manage the insult dem," he said [sic].

Unfortunately, that didn’t prepare him for being turned on by his own cousins.

As the man told The Jamaica Star:

"If me did listen to mi mada this would not have reached me because she tell me say me shouldn't go. Me still go because me a say a me great granny ting and me say me and me partner a go. But by the time mi aunty give me a wreath and say me fi go put it beside the casket, a man walk up to me and lick me on my shoulder," he said [sic].

Not all of his family members supporting the bashing however. One of K Martin’s aunts tried to rescue him. Unfortunately, that led to her becoming a target as well. The three, Martin, his aunt, and his partner, then ran for safety.

"All a them a some cousin whe me don't even know and me don't do dem a ting. Dem a go tell me say dem no wah no b***y bwoy round dem and me never see dem at all. My partner is even upset because he is saying that I invited him somewhere and my family do him tings. Me feel really bad because to know that we all share the same blood and this happened," he said [sic].

In Jamaica, male homosexuality is illegal through anti-sodomy and/or buggery laws that ban anal sex. On the other hand, sex between two women is legal.

Due to this, Jamaica has created a deep-seated atmosphere of homophobia.

That said, there is support for LGBTQ people and rights in the country. Jamaican activists have started sharing gay stories through the “Gay Agenda” magazine and gay activists were outspoken enough to get anti-gay pastor Steven Anderson banned from the country.

But unfortunately, there seems to be no sign of LGBTQ rights on the horizon for gay Jamaicans, so violent scenes like the ones pushed onto K Martin will surely happen again.

h/t: The Jamaica Star

Suspect in Brooklyn Hate Crime Turns Himself In

The man who assaulted two gay men outside the Metropolitan Bar in Brooklyn turned himself in to the police today and was promptly arrested. We first reported on the incident two days ago in our post - Police Looking For Attacker In Alleged Brooklyn Hate Crime.

The attack occurred on September 23 at 1:00 AM, when the man now identified as Brandon McNamara, 25, started hurling homophobic slurs at two unnamed gay men, aged 29 and 34, outside of the Metropolitan Bar and then punched the 34-year-old in the face, knocking him unconscious. McNamara then threw the 29-year-old against a tree, also knocking him unconscious. According to the NY Post (reporting one of the victim's ages different than other other reports), McNamara entered the Seventh Precinct, which houses NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force, with his lawyer and turned himself in. 

McNamara has been charged with assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment as a hate crime, two counts of assault, and harassment as a hate crime in the first and second degrees. 

While the victims are in good condition, one suffering a broken shoulder and the other a broken finger, the assailant is being brought to justice.

This unprovoked attack should not have ever happened. It is important that people become educated on homosexuality so these things do not continue to happen. Of course when a bar scene and alcohol may be involved, anything can and does occur.

h/t: nypost.com

How Should We Feel About The Selfie The "Queer Eye" Guys Took With Alleged Homophobe Candace Cameron Bure?

It’s safe to say the Queer Eye guys have mostly had a great week. First of all, the show won trophies for Outstanding Structured Reality Program and Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program. Then on Monday night, The Fab Five were a hit at the Emmys ceremony, presenting the award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series. Their bit, in which they offered to give characters of very heavy dramas lifestyle tips and makeovers, was an upbeat highlight in an overall disappointing telecast.

Star and designer extraordinaire Bobby Berk caused some controversy, however, by posting a selfie to Instagram with co-star Jonathan Van Ness and Fuller House stars Candance Cameron Bure and Andrea Barber.

The caption read: “When your childhood TV friends become your adult REAL friends.”

In 2015, Cameron Bure expressed support for a bakery that refused to make a cake for a gay couple, clashing with Raven-Symoné onThe View.

Later that year, Raven-Symoné and Cameron Bure both outraged the LGBTQ+ community and allies with a clueless-bordering-on-sinister The View interview with HIV-positive former child star Danny Pintauro. The hosts were widely seen as insensitive and unprofessional, with one question of Cameron Bure’s standing out in particular:

"I want to know, do you...do you take responsibility for your actions, for being promiscuous, going into a lifestyle of having heightened sex because of the meth that you were using?"

Last year, Bianca Del Rio picked a fight with Cameron Bure when the actress posted an Instagram pic of herself in a shirt stamped with Del Rio’s catchphrase, “Not Today Satan.” Del Rio called her a "homophobic Republican."

Cameron Bure denied the accusation--the homophobia part anyway: “Why do you have to be nasty to me? You don’t know what’s in my heart. I’m not homophobic and always sad when people think otherwise. Loving Jesus doesn’t mean I hate gay people or anyone.”

Flash-forward to now, and people aren't sure how to feel about the new selfie. Many dog-piled with criticism. 

As for Berk, (who's brought up facing religion-based homophobia as a child on his Emmy-winning show), this is what he had to say about the avalanche of harsh Instagram comments in a video response:

“Pretty sure that kind of attitude is what we’re trying to stop on Queer Eye. She’s a human and an artist just as I am, and the whole basis of Queer Eye is to learn to be able to coexist and to learn from people who think differently from you,” he said.

“I do know her views. I am against her views, but as a person I love her just as we should all love each other.”

Where do you stand in the debate? Feel free to let us know in the comments.

h/t: Pink News

Homophobic Man Avoids Jail Time After Biting Another Man’s Ear Off

According to the Northumbria Police Department, Martin Gallagher attacked a man in the bathroom of a Newcastle nightclub saying that the other man looked at his genitals while they peed at the urinals. Gallagher was intoxicated at the time and reacted by biting the other man’s ear off.

The attacker pleaded guilty to “assault occasioning grievous bodily harm” earlier this year. He was sentenced to two years on probation and a three month curfew. He is also forced to perform 200 hours of community service and pay the victim approximately $6,500 in compensation. It is important to note that the attacker was not given any jail time.

Detective Constable Lisa Common from the Northumbria Police department did not seem pleased with the verdict and said:

“This was an unprovoked attack on a complete stranger who had gone out that night to socialize with friends. Instead, he was confronted by a drunken male who was so out of control he bit the victim’s ear off. The victim has been left suffering not just permanent physical injury, but emotional trauma as a result of the incident. I hope he can take some comfort in the sentence that has been given today.”

When asked about motive, the attacker cited a “gay panic.”

On the attack, the victim said:

“[These have been] some of the most testing and strenuous times in my life. I’m still coming to terms with my new reflection and hope for a future to bring better days.”

h/t: lgbtqnation.com