3 Arrested In Brutal Murder Of Young Gay Man In Spain

Samuel Luiz (image via Facebook)
Samuel Luiz (image via Facebook)

Protests have spread across the globe following the brutal murder of a young gay man in Spain at the hands of an anti-gay mob on July 3.

Via The Guardian:

Samuel Luiz, a 24-year-old nursing assistant, was out with friends in the Galician city of A Coruña in the early hours of Saturday when an argument started outside a nightclub.

His friends told El Mundo that Luiz had stepped out of the club to make a video call when two passersby accused him of trying to film them on his phone. Luiz explained he was talking to a friend by video, but he was allegedly attacked by one of the passersby and left with a badly bruised face.

Five minutes later, the assailant allegedly returned with 12 others who beat Luiz unconscious. He was taken to hospital, where he died later on Saturday morning.

Fifteen people have reportedly given eyewitness accounts of the attack.

Luiz’s friend, Vanessa, who he was video messaging with, was a virtual witness to the assault. “All we could hear were blows,” she told the media.

This evening, Spain’s Policía Nacional announced three people between the ages of 20 and 25 had been arrested as “the alleged perpetrators of the violence assault that ended Samuel Luiz’s life.” The police statement went on to say more arrests could follow.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted his condolences to Luiz’s family calling the assault “a savage and ruthless act.”

Tweet by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (translation by Twitter)

More from Reuters:

People took to the streets of Spain’s biggest cities on Monday evening to express their anger at the death of a man in a suspected homophobic attack at the weekend.

Crowds filled a central Madrid square and activists marched down a major street in Barcelona, chanting slogans and waving placards and rainbow-coloured flags.

Interior Ministry data shows 278 hate crimes related to sexual orientation or gender identity were reported in Spain in 2019, an 8.6% increase on the previous year. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights warns only a fraction of hate crimes are reported to the police.

Protests in Spain over the death of Samuel Luiz (screen capture)

NYC Hate Crime Leaves Victim’s Jaw Broken In Two Places

Sina Rezaie
Sina Rezaie
Sina Rezaie (image via Instagram)

A 29-year-old doctor was viciously attacked for no apparent reason early Saturday morning in New York City leaving him hospitalized.

Sina Rezaie says he was walking home from the subway in Greenwich Village when he heard a man shout an anti-gay slur.

“He called me a ‘fa**ot’ and then half a block later, he came from behind and kicked and punched me multiple times,” Rezaie told NBC News from his hospital bed late Saturday.

After the attacker fled the scene, Rezaie stumbled his way to a nearby bar where two friends, Laurie Beck and Richard Delay were working.

Beck says she noticed Rezaie through the window staggering and walking erratically on the sidewalk.

Delay ran outside to check on the doctor before calling to Beck to bring some supplies like a bottle of water and paper towels.

“I saw him holding his mouth, blood running out from face,” Delay told NBC News. “He said that he had gotten attacked by some guy who said something to him as he came off the train. Apparently the guy called him a slur and then threw him to the ground, and started kicking him repeatedly.”

The assault left the doctor with a broken jaw in two places. Due to the extent of his injuries, Rezaie had to undergo emergency surgery to wire his mouth shut with metal plates and screws which will have to remain for at least a month.

Although there are surveillance cameras throughout the area, police have yet to announce any arrests or suspects.

His friends have set up a crowdfunding campaign to help Rezaie

Meanwhile, Rezaie – who says he’s always felt safe in his neighborhood – still has no idea why he was the target of an apparent hate crime.

“I don’t know why this happened to me,” said the physician.

In a post to his Instagram account, Rezaie thanked his friends and followers for the many get-well messages he’s received and added he is now at home recuperating.

Congress Designates Pulse Nightclub A National Monument

Photo from the front of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida

Photo from the front of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida

Days before the fifth anniversary of the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved designating the site of the former nightclub as a national memorial.

The House version of the bill, HR 49, passed on a voice vote on May 12.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

Forty-nine people were killed and dozens more injured in the June 12 LGBTQ+ nightclub shooting, which is among the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

A similar bill passed the U.S. House last year but stalled in the Senate. This year’s bill still has to be signed into law by President Joe Biden before the designation becomes official.

The national designation does not incorporate the memorial into the National Park system and it does not require the monument to receive federal funds.

The onePULSE Foundation, a nonprofit founded in the wake of the shooting, plans to build the National Pulse Memorial & Museum in Orlando over the next few years. Preliminary designs for the memorial and museum incorporate the remains of the club into a garden with a reflecting pool and 49 trees, with the open-air museum planned for construction a half-mile away.

Scott Bowman, a spokesman for onePULSE Foundation, issued a statement Wednesday that onePULSE was “thrilled” about the memorial’s national designation.

“The unanimous consent is such welcome news as we are set to mark the five-year remembrance of the Pulse tragedy,” said Bowman. “This recognition from both the House and Senate means so much to the LGBTQ+ community.”

News Round-Up: March 29, 2021

StanSebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in 'The Falcon & the Winter Soldier'
StanSebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in 'The Falcon & the Winter Soldier'
Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’

Some news items you might have missed:

The Advocate: Arkansas’s state legislature has approved a bill that would bar doctors from prescribing hormones and puberty blockers for people under 18 which have been shown to have a positive effect on young transgender people.

LGBTQ Nation: A Turkish thug allegedly kidnapped and beat a deaf gay man. The thug then posted photos of the gay man covered in his own blood after the beating to social media. According to reports, the police have apprehended the assailant.

Instinct Magazine: Fans of the new Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (above and below) believe the creators are dropping clues that Bucky Barnes (played by Sebastian Stan) might be bisexual.

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’

Axios: A Tampa-area man lost his job at a marketing and web design company after a TikTok user exposed his video advertising a fake COVID-19 vaccine card business. James Koncar’s fake vaccination card video — which included the caption “F*ck masks” — was highlighted by Mississippi pharmacist Savannah Malm, who has posted other viral call-out videos linked to the pandemic.

Mediaite: During an event in Kentucky at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Hazard Clinic promoting vaccines, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was specifically asked about vaccine hesitancy among Republican men. Recent polling has shown nearly half of Republican men saying they wouldn’t get the vaccine. “As a Republican man, as soon as it was my turn, I took the vaccine. I would encourage all Republican men to do that,” replied McConnell.

Twitter: Even though Lil Nas X has racked up over 37 million views of his new music video “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” conservative detractors have been busy calling the Grammy Award winner out. The fun thing is, though, the acclaimed rapper is having fun clapping back. Check out a few responses from Lil Nas X below.

Man Disables Security Cams In Advance Of Brutal Hate Crime

An 18-year-old man in Jamaica is in critical condition after being ambushed in a fake dating app hookup where he was robbed, had his penis partially severed and set on fire.

Stock photo of a crime scene

A Florida man has been arrested after cutting the power to the home of a gay couple and then brutally attacking one of them.

Damiek Jones, 31, has been arrested and charged in the vicious stabbing attack that took place late Sunday night in New Smyrna Beach.

The victim and his boyfriend told police there were at home when the power went out. Stepping outside to check the circuit breaker, Jones ambushed the victim hitting him in the head, possibly with brass knuckles according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

The attacker, later identified as Jones, then stabbed the victim repeatedly in the back of his thighs and head. During the attack, a red bandana covering Jones’ face came off whereupon the victim recognized him.

According to the couple, Jones knew the residence had security cameras in place which would explain why he disabled power to the house.

The victim’s partner heard yelling and came to the rescue chasing Jones as he fled the scene. During the chase, the boyfriend saw Jones throw items into a neighbor’s yard.

Police were called to the home at 11:16 pm and with the aid of a police dog recovered a chisel (the presumed weapon), the bandana, and a scarf. A backpack was also found containing nunchucks, a knife, pills, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Mugshot of Damiek Jones
Damiek Jones (police mugshot)

Additionally, a journal was found in the backpack which included chilling passages detailing Jones’ animus towards queer people.

“I now understand that to hate them all is a requirement. (The victim and boyfriend) and now (names two women), all of you shall have a moment of fate to look forward too,” wrote Jones according to the police report.

In light the journal entry, New Smyrna Beach police determined Jones “committed the crime with prejudice based on the sexual orientation of the victim.”

Jones was arrested and charged on Monday with committing a second-degree misdemeanor with prejudice, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a Schedule IV substance.

He is currently being held in the Volusia County Branch Jail on $15,500 bail.

(source: Daytona Beach News-Journal)

News Round-Up: November 16, 2020

Fitness guru Joel Green (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Mindful Monday: Fitness expert and InstaHunk Joel Green (above) notes quite wisely, “Some of the best things in life aren’t things.” 

Reuters: The number of coronavirus cases in the United States crossed the 11-million mark on Sunday reaching yet another grim milestone as the third wave of COVID-19 infections surged across the country. Reuters data shows the pace of the pandemic in the United States has quickened, with one million more new cases from just 8 days ago when it hit 10 million, making it the fastest since the pandemic began.

Mediaite: Operation Warp Speed chief adviser Dr. Moncef Slaoui downplayed President Donald Trump’s involvement in the coronavirus vaccine breakthroughs on MSNBC telling viewers that the Trumpster “has never been very actively involved.”

AP News: Donald Trump will have to pay $7.9 million if he wants a statewide recount of unofficial results in Wisconsin showing him losing to Democrat Joe Biden by about 20,500 votes. In 2016, Wisconsin’s recount took about 12 days and only showed a change of 131 votes.

• Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A recount in Georgia’s presidential race found more than 2,600 ballots in Floyd County that hadn’t originally been tallied. County election officials apparently didn’t upload votes from a memory card in a ballot-scanning machine. GOP leaders in the county believe Donald Trump could have a net gain of 800 votes from the discovery, which wouldn’t be enough to overcome Joe Biden’s 14,000+ vote lead.

Global News: A Halifax man says police aren’t doing enough to keep him safe after he says he was violently attacked by his neighbor for reporting him for domestic abuse. The victim recorded audio of the attack and posted it on Twitter. Warning: graphic audio.

Chechen President Banned From U.S. Over Reports Of LGBTQ Torture

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov (screen capture via HBO Sports)

I expect the Trump administration will tout this as part of its “great record” on LGBTQ issues, but in the end, I’m not sure it actually DOES anything of consequence.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that Ramzan Kadyrov, president of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, has been banned from entering the U.S. under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2020.

Section 7031(c) “requires the Secretary of State to bar from U.S. entry” foreign officials about whom the Secretary has credible information indicating that they have been involved, directly or indirectly, in “gross violation of human rights.”

You’ll note the statute says “requires” so let’s not give Pompeo too much credit here.

Today’s announcement also affects Kadyrov’s immediate family members. That said, it’s not clear Kadyrov or his family had any plans to visit the U.S. any time soon.

Plus, Section 7031(c) will expire on September 30, 2020, unless Congress extends it by a continuing resolution or restated in a new law.

A statement issued by the State Department says this action is being taken “due to Kadyrov’s involvement in gross violations of human rights in the Chechen Republic.”

The Department says it has received extensive credible information that Kadyrov is responsible for numerous human rights violations including torture and extrajudicial killings.

In 2018, the United States joined fifteen other nations in creating a fact-finding mission into “horrific reports of abuses against LGBTI persons” and others who were targeted by Kadyrov. The subsequent report found that “harassment and persecution, arbitrary or unlawful arrests or detentions, torture, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions” had taken place.

The State Department says it is now concerned Kadyrov may be “using the excuse of the coronavirus pandemic to inflict further human rights abuses on the people of the Chechen Republic.”

Kadyrov, who was appointed president of Chechnya in 2007 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly denied not only the allegations of torture and murder but that gay people even exist in his country.

Human rights activists have been sounding the alarm for years that Kadyrov had launched a series of state-sponsored anti-gay purges across the highly conservative, traditional Muslim country.

In May 2017, the Human Rights Watch shared one detainee’s description of the horrific treatment he’d been subjected to in an unofficial prison: “They electrocuted us, beat us with pipes, kicked us, and punched us, they made other inmates beat us, they called us names, spat in our faces.”

The U.S. announced sanctions against Kadyrov in December 2017, including visa bans and asset freezes, under the 2012 Magnitsky Act.

The BBC reported at the time that Kadyrov responded by “mocking the US move in an Instagram post in which he said ‘a sleepless night is waiting for me.'”

He added he was “proud” to be “out of favor with the special services of the USA.”

The new film Welcome to Chechnya, which debuted on HBO June 30, documents the horrific persecution of LGBTQ people in Chechnya.