Lawmakers In Ghana Propose 10 Year Prison Sentences For LGBTQ People & Allies

(image via Pexels)

New anti-LGBTQ legislation proposed in Ghana has been described as “one of the most draconian and sweeping anti-gay laws proposed around the world.”

A draft of the legislation proposes up to 10 years in prison for LGBTQ+ people in the West African nation.

Intersex people could be ordered to undergo “gender realignment” surgery by the government.

The penalties would also apply to any straight allies who “advocate for (LGBTQ+) rights, express sympathy or offer social or medical support,” according to The Guardian.

Additionally, media companies or online sites that share information “which could be deemed to encourage children to explore any gender or sex outside of the binary categories of male and female could face 10 years in prison.”

The new law would also specifically define marriage as between a man and a woman.

While human rights activists have expressed outrage over the bill, it has been hailed by several members of Parliament. Figures in President Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration have also reportedly expressed their support.

A PDF of the bill, titled “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanian Family Values Bill,” was leaked online and confirmed by diplomats as authentic.

Ignatius Annor, a TV journalist in Africa for EuroNews who came out as gay in February, tweeted that he couldn’t read past a few paragraphs calling the bill “inhumane.” He added that, “If passed, Ghana is DOOMED.”

One MP who co-authored the legislation, Sam ‘Dzata’ George, took to Twitter to defend his bill and dismiss criticism as “uninformed.”

“Homosexuality is not a human right. It is a sexual preference,” wrote George. “Take your perversion and let me speak my truth!”

Over the past several months, authorities have stepped up pressure on anyone or anything that could be perceived as being part of an “LGBTQ+ agenda.”

In February, the country’s first LGBTQ+ community center was forced to close following a wave of anti-gay outrage.

In May, 21 people were arrested at an event in Ho city which was held to provide training for paralegals and activists who would support LGBTQ+ causes.

There are already laws on the books in Ghana which make it illegal to have “unnatural carnal knowledge,” which is often understood to mean anything other than heterosexual sex.

(Source: The Guardian)

News Round-Up: July 21, 2021

Some news items you might have missed:

Instinct Magazine: The Department of Labor and the Department of Treasury have released new guidance that mandates almost all insurance companies within the U.S. must make PrEP, the HIV prevention pill otherwise known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, free with no cost-sharing.

The Advocate: A federal judge in West Virginia issued an injunction Wednesday against the state’s law barring transgender athletes from competing on school sports teams for their gender identity. “At this point, I have been provided with scant evidence that this law addresses any problem at all, let alone an important problem,” the judge wrote.

YouTube: Texas real estate agent Kelci Cashman and her children were removed from a plane in Orlando heading to Dallas when she went on a homophobic rant and refused to wear her mask. The crowd cheered when she finally left the plane.

Reuters: Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban stepped up a culture war with the European Union today by announcing a referendum on legislation that bans the use of materials seen as promoting homosexuality and gender change at schools.

PBS: COVID-19 cases tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals, exhausting doctors and pushing clergy into the fray. The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 cases rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, up from less than 13,700 on July 6.

NPR: A couple whose gender reveal ceremony sparked a Southern California wildfire that killed a firefighter last year were charged with involuntary manslaughter on Monday. The charges included one felony count of involuntary manslaughter, along with other felony and misdemeanor counts related to the fire.

Spain: 4th Suspect Arrested In Brutal Murder Of Samuel Luiz

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

A fourth suspect has been arrested and charged in the murder of Samuel Luiz, a 24-year-old gay man in Spain.

In a Twitter statement, the Policía Nacional announced the arrest of a man aged between 20 and 25. In addition to murder, he is charged with allegedly stealing the victim’s mobile phone.

This comes after 3 A Coruña residents were arrested in connection with the death of Luiz on Wednesday. The deadly assault was perpetrated by more than a dozen people near a nightclub in the Galician city.

The fourth suspect is apparently friends with the initial suspects, according La Vanguardia, a Spanish-speaking newspaper.

None of the suspects knew the victim prior to the attack according to reports.

The incident began when Luiz reportedly stepped out of the nightclub to video chat with a friend. The attacker apparently believed Luiz was recording him and demanded he stop – “Either stop recording or I’ll kill you, f*g,” yelled one of the attackers.

After initially beating Luiz for a couple of minutes, the attacker left the scene but quickly returned with a mob of friends who all joined in kicking and beating Luiz.

Surveillance footage captured the assault which stretched out for several blocks along the street until Luiz collapsed and passed out.

Media reports say the video clips show the group continued to cheer the attack on as they continued to kick and beat him.

Luiz died just hours later on Saturday at the A Coruña Hospital. A spokesman for the police told the press, “They showed him no mercy.”

News Round-Up: April 6, 2021

Brody stands guard in Michael's office
Brody stands guard in Michael's office
Brody stands guard as Michael works

Some news items you might have missed:

Caprio Media Design: Brody (above) likes to stand guard while my hubby Michael works. Of course, ON the desk isn’t quite the optimal spot for Michael, but no one asked him.

ABC4 News: A Salt Lake City man reportedly violently raped and assaulted a lesbian woman and told her that he was going to “fix the gay,” according to police.

Yorkshire Live: A father stabbed his own two sons during a Boxing Day argument when they called him out for transphobic and homophobic slurs. One of the sons had to spend three nights in the hospital because the knife almost perforated his bowel and another had a stab wound near his heart.

New York Times: In the final weeks of Donald Trump’s term, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) privately asked the White House for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies for any crimes they may have committed. At that time, he was being investigated as to whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old that violated sex trafficking laws.


People: A man from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was arrested at Walt Disney World in February for refusing to undergo a simple temperature check. As he was being arrested he announced to the officer, “I spent $15,000 to come here!” As if that would absolve him from dodging the rules…

Forbes: Donald Trump’s fortune fell by nearly a third, from $3.5 billion to $2.4 billion, during his time in the White House. Had he divested himself of everything on Day 1, paid the capital-gains taxes on the sales, and put the proceeds into a conflict-free fund tracking the S&P 500, Trump would have ended his presidency an estimated $1.6 billion richer than he is today.

Gr8erDays: Billy Dee Williams is the nostalgia site’s ‘Mantique of the day’ as the big screen star celebrates his 84th birthday. He made his Broadway debut at the age of  7 in 1945!

Drunk Homophobe Threatens Gay Couple Outside Their Home [Video]

Clifford Hammel shouts homophobic slurs outside the home of a gay couple on Staten Island
Drunk homophobe shouts anti-gay slurs outside the home of a gay couple on Staten Island
(image via screencapture)

A gay couple living on Staten Island, New York, were terrorized by a drunk homophobe who yelled anti-gay slurs outside their home, kicked their front door, and promised to “get you wherever you go.”

Joe Canale and Raymond Gamarra were home on Saturday, January 23, when they heard loud noises coming from a neighbor’s late night house party.

According to Gay City News, they went to the neighbors to ask to them to keep the noise down, but a man attending the party became enraged.

The next thing the couple knew, a man identified as Clifford Hammel walked over to their front yard and began harassing them.

In the video obtained by Gay City News, Hammel can clearly be heard shouting, “I see you, f*cking fa**ot. You little b*tch. F*ck you. You fucking fa**ot.”

At one point, Hammel qualified his language as he repeated the slurs, yelling, “You f*cking fa**ot — and that’s not a homosexual. I don’t give a f*ck if you suck d*ck.”

Along the way, Hammel reportedly named the gym the couple go to as well as the school where Canale is the principal.

After attempting to kick the couple’s front door in, Hammel added, “Wherever you go, I will get to you.”

Canale called the police but were told officers were already on their way to the location as someone attending the party apparently needed medical attention having passed out.The couple say the police officers who arrived, Lieutenant Rosago and Officer Vincent of the NYPD, seemed “dismissive” of their situation after explaining the disturbing visits from Hammel. Canale said the officers were “reluctant” to even view the video footage of the man threatening them

The officers explained they thought Hammel was the man being taken to the hospital, so they “don’t have to worry or be afraid.”

But when Canale followed up with police at the 121st Precinct, it seems the officers had written Hammel’s name down incorrectly. AND, Hammel wasn’t the partygoer transported to the hospital.

L-R Raymond Gamarra and Joe Canale
L-R Raymond Gamarra and Joe Canale (photo via Canale)

Disturbed by the nonchalant handling of the incident, the couple reached out to Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon.

In a statement, McMahon said, “Any time a serious allegation is brought to our attention, we work in tandem to thoroughly investigate and bring criminal charges when appropriate under the law.”

He added, “We are committed to securing the right of every person to live their lives free from bias and hate on Staten Island.”

But Gamarra and Canale are unconvinced as to how seriously their concerns were treated.

“Staten Island is not a bastion of tolerance,” Canale told GCN. “There are so many things that are disturbing about this that I don’t even know where to begin.”

“I understand there’s COVID, but justice delayed is justice denied as far as I’m concerned.”

Ralph Lauren Cuts Ties With Pro Golfer Over Homophobic Slur

Justin Thomas apologizes after using word 'faggot' during Tournament of Champions
Ralph Lauren ends sponsorship of pro golfer over homophobic slur
Pro golfer Justin Thomas (screen capture)

The Ralph Lauren Corporation has announced an end to their 7-year sponsorship of pro golfer Justin Thomas less than a week after Thomas was heard using the word ‘faggot’ after missing a putt at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

The remark occurred after Thomas attempted a five-foot putt at the fourth hole when his shot went astray. He could clearly be heard saying “fa**ot” in frustration.

 

Upon finishing the round, Thomas was informed his remark had been picked up by the TV microphones. He was apparently unaware he’d even used the word.

The Golf Channel spoke to Thomas, currently ranked #3 in the world, about the remark and he immediately expressed his regret for using the word.

“It’s inexcusable – first off I just apologize,” said Thomas. “There’s no excuse. I’m an adult, a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not who I am. It’s not the kind of person that I am. Unfortunately I did it and I have to own up to it.”

“I found out when I got done with my round…it’s bad,” he added. “There’s no other way to put it. I need to do better.”

“I deeply apologize to everybody and anybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”

The next day, Thomas finished the tournament in third place banking a $490,000 payday.

Apology aside, Ralph Lauren Corporation announced on Friday they were “disheartened” by the incident and distanced themselves from Thomas saying the use of the slur is “entirely inconsistent with our values.”

The full statement from the Ralph Lauren Corporation:

At the Ralph Lauren Corporation, we believe in the dignity of all people, regardless of age, race, gender identity, ethnicity, political affiliation or sexual orientation. This is part of our longstanding commitment to foster cultures of belonging – in the workplace and in communities around the world.

We are disheartened by Mr. Thomas’s recent language, which is entirely inconsistent with our values. While we acknowledge that he has apologized and recognizes the severity of his words, he is a paid ambassador of our brand and his actions conflict with the inclusive culture that we strive to uphold.

In reflecting on the responsibility we have to all of our stakeholders, we have decided to discontinue our sponsorship of Mr. Thomas at this time. As we make this decision, our hope is that Mr. Thomas does the hard and necessary work in order to partner with us again – truly examining this incident, learning, growing and ultimately using his platform to promote inclusion.

Gay former professional golfer Maya Reddy told Sky Sports this week that Thomas’ anti-LGBTQ language reflects homophobia in professional golf.

In 2016, Reddy qualified at the age of 23 to play on the Symetra Tour – the LPGA’s developmental tour – but decided to walk away from the sport due to incidents of discrimination and a lack of inclusivity in the culture of professional golf.

“I had tournament directors on mini-tours say xenophobic, racist, and homophobic things to me on the first tee, in the guise of a joke,” explained Reddy.

“I’m kind of in two minds about it,” said Reddy about the Thomas incident. “I think the fact that he apologised about it so quickly and with force, saying that this wasn’t OK and that he should do better, is really important because he acknowledges the harm that using that specific slur causes.

“I think the PGA Tour saying that it wasn’t OK and acknowledging the harm it causes is also very important,” she added. “That being said, what is frustrating for me and many who watched this play out, was that it was so easy for him to jump to that word.”

Golfer Justin Thomas Apologizes For ‘Fa**ot’ Remark

Justin Thomas apologizes after using word 'faggot' during Tournament of Champions
Justin Thomas apologizes after using word 'faggot' during Tournament of Champions
Pro golfer Justin Thomas (screen capture)

Justin Thomas, currently the #3 pro golfer in the world, was apparently surprised to learn that television cameras caught him using a homophobic slur after missing a putt at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Saturday.

Thomas was attempting a five-foot putt at the fourth hole when his shot went astray. He could clearly be heard saying “faggot” in frustration.

The Golf Channel spoke to a clearly chagrined Thomas about the remark and he expressed his regret for using the word.

“It’s inexcusable – first off I just apologize,” said Thomas. “There’s no excuse. I’m an adult, a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not who I am. It’s not the kind of person that I am. Unfortunately I did it and I have to own up to it.”

“I found out when I got done with my round…it’s bad,” he added. “There’s no other way to put it. I need to do better.”

“I deeply apologize to everybody and anybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”

Thomas expanded on those thoughts speaking to NBC Golf after finishing third on Sunday.

“I wish that I could learn to grow a different way than the way that I chose to do it, but unfortunately it’s in the past and there’s nothing I can do about it now,” said the 27-year-old.

“It definitely was a distraction out there today. But now I just get to take time going forward and try to become better because of it.”

Thomas banked a $490,000 payday for his third place finish.

Some on social media defended Thomas’s use of the slur:

But others wondered why it was this particular word that Thomas used.

It wasn’t f*ck, sh*t, dammit, dang it, or a host of other terms. It was a homophobic slur. That he didn’t even notice he used until it was pointed out.

What do you think, readers? Big deal? Little deal?

You may recall longtime sportscaster Thom Brennaman lost his job last September using a similar slur.

Thoughts on why a homophobic slur came out of Justin Thomas’s mouth versus a host of other swear words?

And why do so many dismiss the use of the word ‘faggot’ as being nothing to get upset about? Would it have been different if he’d used the N-word?

Teachers’ Homophobic Chat Left Open During High School Zoom Class

(image via Change.org)

Some high school teachers in New Jersey are in hot water after sharp-eyed students noticed (and screen captured) a homophobic chat among educators left open on a science teacher’s desktop during a Zoom class.

From NJ.com:

In a group chat dated Wednesday, Dumont High School teachers appear to bash the sexual orientation and lifestyle of one of their co-workers.

“Why is that kid with the gay gym teacher?” asks one, according to a screenshot of the chat posted online.

“Is that her adopted kid? Who is gonna be all f—-d up growing up watching 2 chicks kissing and calling them both mom,” says another, according to the screenshot.

Dumont Mayor Andrew LaBruno said Wednesday the comments were made between Dumont High School teachers during a group chat while the Zoom class was taking place. Someone captured the chat and shared it with others, the mayor said.

In a statement posted to Facebook, LaBruno called the comments “disturbing and extremely appalling” and said he is calling on schools Superintendent Emanuele Triggiano to investigate the matter.

A petition at Change.org calling for the homophobic teachers’ resignations has more than 18,000 signatures at this writing.

Podcast: LGBTQs Named For Biden White House, New Holiday Music & More

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• The Biden/Harris transition team has named LGBTQ White House veterans to prominent roles in the incoming administration

• The murderer of a transgender teen has been sentenced to life in prison

• Homophobic high school teachers in New Jersey were caught dissing a queer colleague during a Zoom class

• Award-winning singer/songwriter Justin Utley released his first holiday single, “All is Bright”

• First Lady Melania Trump planned to light the White House in rainbow colors during Pride Month but the idea was shut down

• A new poll shows LGBTQ voters did NOT turn out in record numbers for Donald Trump after all

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report podcast

Fire Chief Catches Heat After Calling Drag Event ‘Fa**ot Show’

L-R William Buckaloo & friend, Magnolia Applebottom (images via Instagram)

A fire chief in Delaware attended a drag show at a local restaurant over the weekend and then took to social media to complain about being ‘talking into’ going to a ‘faggot show.’

William Buckaloo, the assistant fire chief in Rehoboth Beach, attended a drag show at the Blue Moon and tagged himself in a Facebook post which read, “The sh*t I get talked in to (sic)…Matt, talked us to go to a f*ggot show.”

The hostess for the show, Magnolia Applebottom, came across the social media post and addressed the remarks on her Instagram:

“What a sad turn of events. The @lewes_fire chief thought it was ok to go to a gay owned and operated establishment… and go to a show hosted and produced by a award winning gay entertainer and use that F word on social media… Your job is to protect the people in our community not bring us down. Do better!!! Be better!!! And we recognize your inappropriate behavior.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Magnolia Applebottom (@mrsmagnolia)

The friend tagged in the Facebook post by Buckaloo, Matt Sprenkle, quickly put space between himself and the fire chief as well as denouncing Buckaloo’s comments.

Sprenkle told the Washington Blade he did not invite Buckaloo to the show nor did he attend the show, as he was dining in the restaurant at the time.

Sprenkle clarified that he’s only an acquaintance of Buckaloo’s and the two men had run into each other at the Blue Moon.

“I do not agree with any of the comments he made and do not associate myself with them,” said Sprenkle.

After the social media firestorm, Lewis Fire Department Chief Steve Evans told the Blade that he had removed Buckaloo from his position. Evans added that he “expects the department will formally suspend Buckaloo” as well.

Buckaloo has not commented publicly since being removed from his position.