Hate Crime: UK Teen Beaten & Left For Dead For Being Bisexual

(stock photo via Pexels)

A bisexual teen living in Nuneaton, a town in northern Warwickshire, England, was the target of a violent attack and was reportedly left for dead.

CoventryLive reports the attackers were charged in the attack and pleaded guilty to the assault, but received no jail time. Instead, they were given referral orders (a form of community service) and ordered to pay compensation.

The teen had been spending the day with friends when he was approached by one of the two attackers.

“What you hanging around with him for, you do know he’s bi,” said the first assailant.

The other then said, “Is this right?” as he launched into the violent beating.

When one of the victim’s friends said, “I can’t believe you hit him because he is gay,” one of the attackers replied, “I haven’t got a problem with gay people, but I have got a problem with greedy bis like him.”

The teen was allegedly knocked to the ground and the attackers began to kick him before dragging him into a wooded area.

As the beating continued, the teen says they threatened him if he told the police: “If you give our names to the police, we will find you and kill you.”

At home, he told his mother “three lads in balaclavas” had attacked him as the attackers had told him to say. But when he was taken to the hospital, all pretense fell away and he shared the truth of the beating.

Although the physical injuries of the attack began to heal, it is the psychological scars that continued to plague the boy.

His mother says he became a recluse, and she would sometimes find him “huddled with his hands over his head.” Eventually, the teen would refuse to leave his house out of fear.

Although people in the community rallied around him with support, the young boy says,“I just wish that the police and the court had done their jobs properly.”

“I feel let down, I feel like no-one did their jobs properly because, if they did, one of them would be in jail,” he told ConventryLive. “They attacked me because I am bisexual, what happened has changed my life, it has made me constantly look over my back.”

The after-effects of the attack were so severe, the family has moved from Nuneaton for fear the boy would run into his attackers.

HIs mother says that he has begun to recover some of his old self before the beating, but isn’t sure he’ll ever truly shake off the memory.

Having moved away, the family is coming forward now in an effort to highlight the injustice they feel they experienced.

“He just wants to stop any other kids going through what he has been through,” the mother shared with CoventryLive. “If they (the police) had said from day one it was not a hate crime, it wouldn’t have been so bad but all the way through we just kept being told that one of them might go to prison.”

For their part, the Warwickshire Police Force said through a spokesman, “We can confirm it was thoroughly investigated as a hate crime and charged as a hate aggravated crime.”

(h/t CoventryLive)

UK Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Anti-Gay Northern Ireland Bakers

Amy and Daniel McArthur of Ashers Baking Company

In 2014, the Northern Ireland Equality Commission brought a lawsuit against Ashers Baking Company on behalf of LGBTQ activist Gareth Lee who had gone to the bakery to order a cake for a private function to be held observing International Day Against Homophobia.

Lee asked that the cake feature Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie and bear the message “support gay marriage.”

The owners of Ashers Bakery, Daniel and Amy McArthur, originally accepted the cake order.

But Amy McArthur later contacted the man who ordered it and said they could not make such a cake “in conscience.”

The McArthurs have maintained that the issue was not the customer but the message.

The BBC reports that back in May, Daniel McArthur told the press while standing in front of the court house, “We didn’t say no because of the customer; we’d served him before, we’d serve him again. It was because of the message. But some people want the law to make us support something with which we disagree.”

After two earlier court cases, the UK Supreme Court has now ruled in the bakers’ favor overturning a £500 damages award imposed on the bakery owners.

The five justices of the high court were unanimous in their ruling seeing the issue as not one of gay discrimination but one of freedom of expression.

Lady Hale wrote the decision.

From The Guardian:

“It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any of the other protected personal characteristics,” Hale said in the judgment.

“But that is not what happened in this case and it does the project of equal treatment no favours to seek to extend it beyond its proper scope.”

Freedom of expression, as guaranteed by article 10 of the European convention on human rights, includes the right “not to express an opinion which one does not hold”, Hale added. “This court has held that nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe,” she said.

The McArthurs expressed relief for the ruling, saying, “We are very grateful to the judges. We did not turn down this order because of the person who made it, but because of the message itself.”

Lee, however, says he feels “confused about what this actually means.”

“We need certainty when you go to a business,” he told The Guardian. “I’m concerned that this has implications for myself and for every single person.”

The original decision to turn down his order had left him feeling like a “second-class citizen”, he said.

Lee’s last option would be to appeal to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg.

It’s worth noting that Northern Ireland is the only place in the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal.

If this sounds familiar, it should.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, who refused to sell a cake to a gay couple celebrating their wedding.

In the U.S. case, the high court decided that a Colorado state agency had approached the case with religious bias. In the ruling, SCOTUS asked the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to re-examine the case.

News Round-Up: September 18, 2018

Medical student Marco proves that you can be very sexy even fully clothed.

Some news items you might have missed:

• Just to prove folks can be oh-so-sexy fully clothed, check out all of what med student Marco has going on underneath. Oh, yeah, and there’s that easy-on-the-eyes face. #woof

• The security guards who ejected fans waving rainbow flags at a concert by pop phenom Dua Lipa concert last week have been arrested for their actions.

• Out Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon is donating a pair of skates and the competition outfit he wore when he helped Team USA win a bronze medal at the 2018 games to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

• Britain’s High Court has overturned pharmaceutical company Gilead Science’s patent extension on Truvada. This ruling could mean affordable, generic versions of the drug could be available in the UK by April 2019.

• Roseanne Barr says the upcoming Roseanne spinoff, The Connors, will kill off her character by having her die of opioid overdose as a ‘screw you’ to Trump supporters. However, in the recent season of the rebooted Roseanne, writers had laid the groundwork for her character to struggle with prescription pain killer addiction.

• Digital series After Forever won “Best Short Film Ensemble” at the L.A. Indie Film Festival this weekend.

• A Sesame Street writer admits he always considered and wrote the longtime characters Bert & Ernie as a “loving couple.”


The folks at Sesame Street did respond to the recent revelation by tweeting a statement about the “best friends” which read, in part, “Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”

UK Government Announces Initiative To Improve Lives Of LGBT People

The UK government has announced a new initiative to help improve the lives of LGBTQ people

A new survey of 108,000 LGBTQ people in the UK has cast a new light on the discrimination that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face each day.

Among the findings:

• More than two-thirds of respondents admitted they don’t hold hands with their same-sex partner in public our of fear

• 2% of the 108,000 had undergone conversion therapy; 5% had been offered the discredited treatment

• 40% of respondents had experienced anti-LGBTQ hate incidents; of those 9 out of 10 were unreported

• 23% admitted they had experienced anti-LGBTQ animus in the workplace

• 70% avoid living openly as LGBTQ to avoid negative reactions

• 67% of transgender respondents say they avoid being open about their gender identity due to fear of how others would react

In response to the findings, a new initiative has now been announced titled, “LGBT Action Plan – Improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people” which aims to explore “legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy.”

Medical experts around the world including the World Health Organization, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and almost every other professional therapeutic group in America, have denounced the practice of so-called “conversion” or “ex-gay” therapy as inappropriate, unethical, harmful and, in some cases, can lead to suicide.

The approach of “conversion therapy’ is based on the premise that LGBTQ people are suffering from a mental condition that needs to be ‘fixed.” The World Health Organization declassified homosexuality a mental condition in 1992.

In the United States, 13 states plus Washington, D.C. and over 30 local municipalities ban the harmful practice for minors.

Reacting to the survey’s results, British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement saying he felt “struck by just how many respondents said they cannot be open about their sexual orientation or avoid holding hands with their partner in public for fear of a negative reaction.”

“No one should ever have to hide who they are or who they love,” the UK leader said. “This LGBT action plan will set out concrete steps to deliver real and lasting change across society, from health and education to tackling discrimination and addressing the burning injustices that LGBT people face.”

Ruth Hunt, chief executive of the British LGBT rights group Stonewall, hailed the new initiative by the government as “an important first step” but added that it needs to lead to “tangible change.”

“Some people will be shocked by the findings. But for anyone who is LGBT, or has a family member or friend who is, these results will be sadly recognizable,” she said in a statement. “Laws have improved and attitudes have changed but our society still treats LGBT people like second-class citizens.”

Two Teens Get Slap On The Wrist After Choking A Student Into “Apologizing” For Being Gay

Will Mayrick (image via Facebook)

Two teens in the UK, who choked a student during a Tube ride in London until he “apologized” for being gay, have basically walked out of court with a slap on the wrist.

Will Mayrick, 20, says he feared for his life after two attackers grabbed him in a headlock, squeezing the breathe out of him, during an evening out with four of his friends.

The photography student today said the hideous ordeal might never have happened if the teenage perpetrators had undergone LGBT education classes at school.

Mayrick told the press that the Government needs to make LGBT studies a requirement. “It’s clear that there needs to be a better support network in schools,” he told the Evening Standard.

In the end, both attackers (aged 16 and 17) were given 12-month referral orders and each ordered to pay fines of about $27 for “victim surcharge” and $200 for “compensation.”

After the sentencing, Mayrick withheld judgement of his assailants saying, “They were so young, and I can’t help but think that if they had had some sort LGBT education then the attack might never have happened.”

According to a recent study by Stonewall, 55% of secondary school teachers and 42% of primary school teachers say they don’t stand up to homophobic language every time they hear it.

Additionally, 86% of secondary school teachers and 45% of primary school teachers polled said students in their schools had experienced homophobic bullying.

UK Prime Minister “Deeply Regrets” History Of Anti-LGBT Laws

Wow.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May, speaking at a week-long summit meeting of the Commonwealth, a 53-country network of mostly former colonies, said she regrets the anti-LGBT laws enacted years ago and called for their reform.

“I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then and they are wrong now,” May said.

“As the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister I deeply regret both the fact that such laws were introduced and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today.”

Currently, 37 of the 53 member nations of the Commonwealth outlaw same-sex relations.

Last week, out UK diver Tom Daley addressed the issue at the Commonwealth Games in Australia after winning the 10K meter synchronized diving event with his partner Dan Goodfellow.

Watch May’s comments below.

UK Radio Host James O’Brien Decimates Anti-LGBT Caller With One Question

Radio host James O’Brien

Discussing homosexuality and religion on his LBC radio show in the UK, host James O’Brien shut down a “Christian” caller named Daniel with just one question.

“What did Jesus say in the Bible about homosexuality?”

From Attitude:

Scrabbling for an answer, Daniel begins: “Well, in 1 Corinthians…”

But O’Brien cuts in to point out that the First Corinthians is “a letter written by someone who never met Jesus.”

He adds: “1 Corinthians is a letter that St Paul wrote. What did Jesus say, on the record, in the Bible about homosexuality?”

As Daniel struggles to answer, O’Brien keeps on coming.

“It’s a simple question. What did he say? You can say nothing, because that’s the true answer, or you can carry on blustering,” he says.

In all, O’Brien asks Daniel what Jesus said about homosexuality an incredible 27 times.

He tells the befuddled caller: “Listen, you have a great day. May God go with you. You can’t answer the question about Jesus… which is kind of the point. Which leads me to conclude what you’re really terrified of Daniel is something that’s going on inside of you.”

Check O’Brien’s expert handling of the situation below:

Donald Trump Retweets Fascist, Far-Right UK Hate Group

Donald Trump throws another curve ball

Earlier today, Donald Trump retweeted three anti-Islamic videos posted by Jayda Fransen, a leader of Britain First. The group is so heinous they are banned from mosques in England and Wales.

Fransen was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment in November 2016 after abusing a woman wearing a hijab.

In addition to “amplifying” the voice of a fascist group, the videos Trump retweeted have been called into question as to the veracity of the content.

One of the videos, showing a “Muslim migrant” assailant beating the Dutch boy is in fact neither a migrant or a Muslim.

So, you understand what a bone-headed move this was, yes?

Folks in the UK were so upset the office of Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement saying Trump was “wrong” to retweet material from a group that promotes “hateful narratives.”

“British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far-right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents: decency tolerance and respect,” said the statement.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the media it didn’t matter if the videos he retweeted were real or not.

“Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about,” Sanders told reporters.

Folks in the Twitterverse were duly confounded:

UK Commercial Draws Fire For Including 2 Gay Dads In Ad Spot

A commercial spot for UK based McCain frozen potatoes has conservatives up in arms for including a momentary shot of two dads with their real-life 19-month-old son.

Seriously.

From the ad text:

“Or maybe it’s dad who tucks you up? Dad? Daddy? Two daddies?… Families come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s meal times that make a family.”

Sounds warm and fuzzy, no?

But angry comments were directed at the gay dads from the spot, Lee and Mat Samuels-Camozzi. The men were called pedophiles and accused of denying their child a mother.

Sharing that they’ve received dozens of hateful comments, Lee says, “We are shocked this kind of attitude exists in the 21st century. We’re proud of our little family and we have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Lee and Mat aren’t the only ones being attacked, though. There are apparently equal opportunity haters on the job here. The spot drew additional ire for including mixed-race families.

Watch the lovely and very inclusive ad below.

(tipped by TRR reader Chad)

UK Eases Rules On Blood Donations By Gay & Bisexual Men

(image via Flickr)

Restrictions on blood donations by gay men in the United Kingdom have been eased again.

In 1981, the government placed an outright ban on all blood donations by gay men as a response to the AIDS epidemic.

That policy was relaxed to allow gay men to donate blood IF they practiced sexual abstinence for 12 months.

Now, gay and bisexual men will be able to donate if they refrain from having sex for three months.

The changes in policy are directly related to the improved testing which detects HIV, syphilis or hepatitis.

Here in the U.S., gay and bisexual men have been able to donate blood since 2015 if they abstain from sex for a year. Prior to 2015, there was an outright ban in place since 1992.

(source)