News Round-Up: May 2, 2018

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Yes, in case you were wondering, folks do make passes at guys who wear glasses. Especially if you look like Germany’s Obaid Habibi (above).

• The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a resolution to recognize the South of Market neighborhood as the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District, ensuring the location will remain an LGBTQ haven protected from overzealous gentrification efforts.

• The oh-so-handsome Jake Gyllenhaal will portray gay legendary composer (West Side Story, Candide) and conductor Leonard Bernstein in an upcoming film The American. Gyllenhaal is also set to produce the pic.

• As the Boy Scouts prepare to welcome girls into the organization, they are dropping the word ‘boy’ from the name of its signature program. Boy Scouts, which includes kids from 10 to 17, will become Scouts BSA in February.

• Anthony Shelton 20, and Cameron Ajiduah, 19, were sentenced to 20 and 15 years in prison, respectively, after having been found guilty of federal hate-crimes charges for assaulting and robbing gay men in four home invasions in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The two men used the dating app Grindr to target their victims.

• The two black men who were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks while waiting for a business colleague have settled with city officials for a symbolic $1 plus the promise to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.

• And how about one more shot from “Hunk of the Day,” Mr. Obaid Habibi…

A post shared by O B A I D 🐻 (@obaid_habibi) on Apr 19, 2018 at 9:18am PDT

Virginia: Senate Committee Votes Down Adding LGBT-Inclusive Hate Crimes Bill

Virginia state Senate chambers

In Virginia today, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted along party lines 9-6 striking down Senate Bill 112, which would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s hate crimes law.

Via The Washington Blade:

State Sens. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath County), John Edwards (D-Roanoke), Janet Howell (D-Fairfax County), J. Chapman Petersen (D-Fairfax City), L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) and Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax County) voted for SB 112, which would have also added gender and disability to Virginia’s hate crimes law.

State Sens. A. Benton Chafin, (R-Russell County), Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover County), Thomas Norment (R-James City), Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg), Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania County), William Stanley (R-Franklin County), Richard Stuart (R-Stafford County) and Glen Sturtevant (R-Richmond) voted against it.

The vote took place five days after the 2018 General Assembly began.

Republicans maintain slim majorities in the state Senate and the Virginia House of Delegates.

Russia: Number Of LGBT Hate Crimes Doubles In Five Years After Passage Of ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law

By RamaOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0 fr, Link

In only five years, the number of hate crimes committed against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Russia has doubled.

During that time Russian’s ‘gay propaganda’ law was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in June of 2013 as a tool to halt gay pride parades and harass LGBT activists.

Svetlana Zakharova, a board member with the prominent gay rights organization Russian LGBT Network, says “(Offenders) have become more aggressive and less fearful.”

“It seems to them that, to some extent, the government supports their actions. Many perpetrators openly talk about their crimes as noble deeds.”

Frighteningly, of 250 crimes that were examined, 200 were murders.

Researching records and data from judicial watchdog RosPravosudie, the number of sentences for crimes against LGBT people increased from 18 in 2010 to 65 in 2015.

Experts say the statistics don’t reveal a full picture of the animus shown LGBTs as many hate crimes are not reported, investigated or prosecuted.

Russia was ranked second to last on a list of Europe’s LGBT-friendly nations in 2016 by ILGA-Europe, a network of European LGBT groups. Only Azerbaijan scored worse than Russia.