Showing posts with label Gay Arrests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Arrests. Show all posts

November 15, 2016

Toronto Police Going Undercover to Arrest Men on Men Sex

Marie Curtis Park. Photo via Flickr user Gary J. Wood

 Less than six months after Toronto police officially apologized for the 1981 bathhouse raids that targeted gay men, the cops have charged dozens of consenting adult men for having sex at a local park. 

A couple months ago, the cops undertook undercover operation Project Marie at Etobicoke's Marie Curtis Park in response to community complaints about indecent exposure and an alleged sexual assault. As a result of the investigation, through which "a number" of plain-clothed male officers hung out in the park and at times were solicited for sex, a total of 89 charges have been laid against 72 people, mostly men, according to police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray.

Very few of the charges are criminal in nature.

The majority relate to bylaw infractions and provincial offences, including 36 for engaging in sexual behaviour in a park and 33 for trespassing property. Gray said the men charged were primarily consenting adults. 

Though the charges are minor in a legal sense, they have the potential to ruin lives, according to LGBT lawyers who say the investigation is a gross overreaction by police.

"Toronto police sent undercover police officers into the bushes to wait for men to proposition them for sex so they could arrest them. In 2016," Marcus McCann, a gay Toronto-based human rights lawyer, told VICE.

"That is unacceptable."

In response to news of the operation, McCann and ten other lawyers have stepped up to offer free legal help to the men who've been charged. He said it's likely that some will plead guilty and pay their fines—which can be hundreds of dollars—rather than risk exposing themselves publicly by fighting the charges.

"There have been crackdowns on men who have sex with men in the various locations they do it for 40 years or more," said McCann. "We know for that population these kinds of charges can have very severe consequences around shame and stigma, the risk of outing, there can be employment consequences, family consequences. Something that's a fairly minor bylaw infraction has the potential to really, really disrupt lives for these men and their families."

He said depression and suicidal ideation are also potential outcomes.

Const. Kevin Ward, one of the officers who went undercover, told the Etobicoke Guardian cops aren't planning on easing up on their crackdown.

"I want anyone engaging in these illegitimate activities to know that this is no longer a safe place for this to happen. We are going to be at the park every day and we will not be tolerating it," he said.

However, some are questioning the allocation of police resources on something that didn't net many criminal charges.

"It's basically like a very expensive sting operation for jaywalking," said McCann. He noted that while police have publicly spoken about reports of men who exposed themselves to children in relation to Project Marie, child sex predators aren't who they targeted by using adult undercover officers. 

"I think the Toronto police conflation of men who have sex with men with pedophilia is truly, truly troubling." 

Gray said she could not disclose how much the police spent on Project Marie. She also couldn't say how many community complaints cops received or if there's been a spike in sexual activity at Marie Curtis Park.

She said the initiative wasn't meant to target gay men.

"We don't know the sexual orientation of any of the men who were involved, nor does it matter quite frankly," she said. "These people were engaged in behaviour that was against the law."

McCann said cops should have used a public education campaign, similar to the one they rolled out to curb drinking at Trinity Bellwoods Park. Gray said police started with that tactic, increasing their uniformed presence at the park and explaining to people what behaviour is and isn't acceptable.

Kyle Kirkup, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, said for members of the LGBT community, the operation is reminiscent of the bathhouse raids.

"People may not be out to their families. To have the police kind of force them out of the closet in this way, I think the consequences are going to be really devastating," he told VICE

Kirkup, who identifies as gay, pointed to the controversy that followed Toronto's Pride Parade this past summer, when Black Lives Matter demanded that cops no longer have an institutional presence in future marches.

"I think moments like this community members think, Wow, if this is the way they're governing themselves in 2016, perhaps it's unacceptable to have the police in the parade."

He said a better approach would have been to reach out to LGBT community groups and work together to resolve the issue.

Police are planning a “Walk the Beat" event at the park on Saturday, to discuss the issue with community members.

 Manisha Krishnan       By Manisha Krishnan
Senior Writer
  This a post from vice and posted here without edits or changes.

August 31, 2016

18 Yr Arrested in Dubai for Not Looking Straight

Note to Dubai: There is no LGBT test because being Gay is not a decease!

The Instagram charts his frequent travels from his native Poland to glamorous locations around the world, like Dubai, London, and Los Angeles. But when Luxy (who used his first name only for safety reasons) posted in June that he was headed to Qatar, what would have been just another shopping-filled fantasy turned into a total nightmare.

"I was taken to jail straight from Doha Hamad airport," Luxy told the Daily Dot in an email on Monday. "At passport control, they looked at me with angry faces and said something is wrong, that I have visa problems and I was detected in their system (or so they said)."

At the airport, Luxy said security took him to an interrogation room and searched his phone, looking through photos and messages in WhatsApp and other apps. He said security asked him if he was a man or a woman and arrested him shortly afterward. He claimed was accused of homosexuality (which is illegal in Qatar), indecency, and cyber crime. In jail, he said, police repeatedly mocked him and accused him of being a prostitute. Luxy said he doesn't even identify as gay.

Luxy said that during the first 10 days in jail, his arrest was not recorded and he wasn't allowed to contact anyone.

"They reported me as missing in Poland," Luxy told the Daily Dot. "The embassy couldn't find me in Doha because my arrest was not registered anywhere. I was arrested by people in private clothes and put into a private car. It felt like being kidnapped."

According to Luxy, once the Polish embassy was notified of his arrest, he was given a lawyer and eventually released, on August 18, almost two months after his June 27 arrest. Luxy shared his arrest papers with the Daily Dot for verification.

After finally getting out of jail, as the Instagrammer told Gay Star News, he was almost immediately arrested again: "For wearing makeup on Snapchat and Instagram. They said I am a woman and I look like a 'she-male.'"

Luxy is now safely out of Qatar, but he says he's banned from entering any Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. That means the teen won't be traveling to Dubai any time soon.

Homosexuality is illegal in all GCC member countries, and in 2013 a Kuwaiti official announced that the GCC was considering issuing a controversial "gay test" for foreign visitors suspected of being LGBT. No medically approved test to detect homosexuality actually exists.

Currently, about 73 nations around the world have laws that criminalize homosexuality.

Update 8:08am CT, August 30: The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Doha confirmed the following to the Daily Dot: "A Polish national nicknamed Luxy, aged 18, was detained at Hamad International Airport in Doha on 27 June 2016 on a charge of money extortion, blackmail, and assault on a Qatari national’s privacy online (cyber-related offense)—and not of being homosexual or because of a minor visa irregularities. His arrest has not been reported to the Polish consular services by the Qatari Police (which is by and large a standard practice in Qatar), until the detainee’s family information at the beginning of July. It is to be noted that Polish consular service has never reported Mr. Luxy missing." The embassy also wrote that his “arrest conditions were decent and correct" and "no irregular behaviour of any police officer has been reported by the detainee to the consul."

April 30, 2016

LA Judge Slams Gay Sex Stings by Police in Long Bch.

A Los Angeles County judge on Friday strongly criticized the Long Beach Police Department's practice of conducting sting operations against gay men cruising for companionship, saying the policy was "indicative of animus toward homosexuals."

In a closely watched case, Superior Court Judge Halim Dhanidina made the remarks in Long Beach while invalidating the arrest of Rory Moroney for lewd conduct and indecent exposure.

Moroney was arrested in a bathroom at Recreation Park in October 2014 after allegedly exposing himself to an undercover Long Beach police detective, said Bruce Nickerson, the man's attorney.

See the most-read stories this hour >>
Moroney began sobbing as soon as the judge finished reading his decision.

"It was really hard to ... come out and be the voice, but I had to do it because I believe that Long Beach is discriminating against gay men," he said outside of court.

A Long Beach police detective seated in the courtroom simply shook his head.

A city prosecutor and the detective declined to comment after the hearing. It was unclear if there would be an appeal.

Moroney, 50, of Long Beach, would have been required to register as a sex offender if convicted.

Dhanidina said a review of evidence showed that Long Beach's vice unit engaged in discriminatory practices because the squad uses only male officers as undercover decoys in lewd conduct stings. Several officers who testified at an evidentiary hearing earlier this month all said they had a arrested only male suspects for lewd conduct in their time working as vice officers, according to the judge.

Dhanidina rejected prosecutors' arguments that Long Beach based its policing tactics on citizen complaints about lewd conduct, saying that the agency provided little to no evidence of citizen complaints about such conduct at men's public restrooms where the bulk of the stings took place.

The department "intentionally targeted men who engaged in homosexual sex," the judge said.

Moroney was arrested in a restroom known to be a hot spot for "gay cruising," Nickerson said. Nickerson argued, and the judge agreed, that Long Beach's vice officers routinely send flirtatious signals to suspects and induced the crimes for which they later arrested men like Moroney.

"It appears that the presence and tactics of the decoy officers actually caused the crimes to occur," Dhanidina said.

Long Beach police said they would comment on the ruling later in about 24 hrs.

March 31, 2016

Tunisia Jailing Gay Men and Looking up Their Asses



Tunisia has prosecuted seven men for consensual same-sex intercourse and forcing some to undergo anal examinations, a leading human rights organisation has claimed.

Homosexual relationships and acts are a criminal offence in the country, under article 230 of the penal code which criminalises “sodomy” with up to three years in prison. Over the course of the last six months, at least seven men have been convicted of consensual same-sex acts. Many of the men claim that they have also been beaten, humiliated and forced to undergo anal examinations by authorities.

Forced anal examinations are prohibited under the Convention against Torture, the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. They are widely regarded within the medical industry as being flawed and not being a reliable means of ascertaining whether intercourse has occurred.

Human Rights Watch claims that the apartment of six students was raided by police in December after the men were accused of committing homosexual acts. A judicial police report allegedly recorded that authorities had received a tip off that “a number of homosexuals are using a house in Kairouan to do sodomy.”

The men were arrested and say they were beaten and subjected to homophobic remarks, before being taken to a public hospital where they were forced to undergo anal examinations by doctors. 
One student said: “I was the first to enter the room where the doctor was. I asked the doctor, ‘What is the test?’ He said, ‘A test like a woman’- meaning a virginity test. 

“I said: ‘No, I will not do that test.’ The policeman screamed at me, ‘Respect the doctor!’ I said, ‘I am respecting the doctor, but I refuse the test.

I felt like I was an animal, because I felt like I didn’t have any respect. I felt like they were violating me. 
Alleged victim of forced anal examination
“Then the policeman took me outside to a small garden. He hit me. He slapped me on the face and punched me on the shoulder and said ‘You will do the test’. The doctor was not watching, but he knew I was being beaten. The policeman pushed me back into the room and said to the doctor, ‘He will do the test’.”

He described his distress at the examination performed on him, alleging: “The doctor told me to go on an examination table and said, ‘Stay like you’re praying’ [in the typical Muslim prayer position]. I took my pants off and had to get on the table.

“He entered one finger inside my anus, with cream on it. He put his finger in and was looking. While putting his finger in, he said, ‘Are you ok now’, I said, ‘No I’m not okay’, it was painful.

“Then he put in a tube. It was to see if there was sperm. He pushed the tube far inside. It was about the length of a finger. It felt painful. I felt like I was an animal, because I felt like I didn’t have any respect. I felt like they were violating me. I feel that up to now. It’s very hard for me.”

Another student described how the abuses continued while in custody, alleging: “They started beating us, lined us up against the wall and shaved our heads… A policeman kicked us one by one, saying, ‘These are your asses that you gave up.’ One of us, when he was being shaved was bleeding from the nose due to stress. They just continued shaving him.

“The prison guards would call us out and take us to an open area and ask us to walk or dance like women, and if we didn’t do it, we would be slapped. I was forced to do it. They slapped me to make me do it. A prison guard took a baton and broke it on my hand because I wouldn’t dance. They would do that three or four times a week.

“When the guards were bored they would take us out with handcuffs and beat us. They even poked batons into our anuses, with our clothes on.”

The prison guards would call us out and take us to an open area and ask us to walk or dance like women, and if we didn’t do it, we would be slapped.
The results of these forced anal examinations were later presented in court as forensic evidence that “sodomy” had occurred. A numbr of the students were sentenced to three years in prison and then banished from the local city for a further three years. 

The sentences were later reduced to one or two months each. One student told the charity: “Physical pain goes away, but the psychological and emotional pain does not go away.”

Human Rights Watch has called on the Tunisian parliament to cease using anal examinations as forensic evidence and to urgently decriminalise homosexuality. Amnesty International has also criticized the penal code, previously saying of the students’ arrests: “Ultimately, only through repealing Article 230 of the Penal Code and decriminalizing consensual same-sex relations once and for all will the Tunisian authorities have any hope of providing adequate protection against violence and safeguarding against discrimination.”

December 21, 2015

Under Criticism Malawi Drops Charges on Two men Tortured for Homosexual Activity


The government of Malawi announced today that charges have been dropped against two men arrested Dec. 7 for alleged homosexual activity.

In a statement, Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu reaffirmed Malawi’s moratorium on arrests and prosecutions for alleged violations of the country’s anti-gay law, which has been challenged as unconstitutional and in violation of Malawi’s commitments to uphold international standards of human rights.

The moratorium had been established in 2012 while Joyce Banda was president. Under current President Peter Mutharika, who took office in May 2o14, the moratorium was maintained, but its status was thrown into doubt on Dec. 7, when Cuthbert Kulemela, 19, and Kelvin Gonani, 39, were arrested for allegedly having consensual sexual intercourse inside Gonani’s home. They were released on bail and ordered to return to court to face sodomy charges.

Tembenu announced today that those charges have been dropped. The following statement from Tembenu came after Malawian human rights advocates and LGBTI activists protested the arrests, along with Human Rights Watch and several Western ambassadors to Malawi:

Statement by Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs on Arrests Concerning Homosexual Acts

This statement is issued in response to the recent news in the print and electronic media alleging that the Police had arrested 19-year-old Curthbert Kulemera and 33-year-old Kelvin Gonani on 7th December on suspicion that they engaged in homosexual acts.

The Ministry of Justice wishes to reiterate Government’s commitment to the observance of human rights as enshrined in our Constitution. The Constitution of Malawi represents the collective wisdom and values of the people of Malawi. The Constitution, being the basic law, provides the framework that guides the proper implementation of the aspirations of the people of Malawi through the various statutory laws that Parliament enacts.

Malawi as a member of the international community is also committed to adhere to universally accepted human rights standards. The Government there for acknowledges the view expressed by international Human Rights bodies that the inclusion of offenses prohibiting homosexuality in our statute books/within our legislation may be at variance with the views held by such bodies. Consequently, the Government has committed itself to review the penal laws on homosexuality under the Penal Code, but this has to be done in consultation with the people of Malawi as prescribed by the Constitution. This position was clearly stated by Government before the United Nations and African Union treaty bodies.

Further in line with this commitment, Government has imposed a moratorium on arrests and prosecution of consensual homosexual acts. Government has also consistently invited civil society to carry out intensive sensitization campaigns on gay rights, as the concept is alien to Malawian culture since the previous two attempts to change the law met with stiff resistance from the general public.

Government has noted the concerns raised by interested parties and international bodies regarding the arrest of the two men. The findings of these investigations do not disclose a case of two consenting male adults indulging in consensual sex. Rather, the evidence indicated a case of indecent assault.  Hence, the diligence on the part of the Police to require medical examination in order to establish the truth. The Ministry has not detected any prejudice or malice on the part of the conduct of the Police.
In its efforts to review the law for compliance with the Constitution and Malawi’s international obligations, the Government will immediately engage its agencies, namely the Law Commission and the Malawi Human Rights Commission so that all the cultural sensitivities regarding this issue are properly addressed.  As this process is being undertaken, Government is appealing to all those concerned especially the international community to fully appreciate that this is a highly sensitive matter that requires understanding and accommodation of diverse views before it is fully resolved.

Meanwhile, as Government is addressing the specific incident that occurred in Lilongwe, it has noted with concern that comments coming from some commentators from both within and without show lack of appreciation and respect of Malawi’s culture and traditions as well as the challenges which Government is facing in resolving this issue. While Government welcomes an open discussion of the issue by all concerned, the use of inflammatory and derogatory language being made by some of those contributing to the discussion is counter-productive and serves only to divert proper focus on the issue at hand.

Government is re-affirming its commitment to observe the moratorium. In light of this commitment, the two gentlemen have been released from custody and all the charges dropped.

March 12, 2015

Shinning a Spotlight on Egypt’s New LGBT Crackdown


Speakers at an upcoming economic development conference in Egypt are being urged to use the platform to address the country’s recent human rights abuses, particularly its crackdown on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.  
The American LGBT rights group Human Rights Campaign has sent letters to 12 speakers scheduled for the Egypt Economic Development Conference who are representatives of American or multinational corporations, highlighting the recent arrests of LGBT people in the North African nation and urging them to use their summit discussions to engage participants in “important conversations about how a diverse and inclusive society could better attract investment to Egypt and the long-term benefits of such an approach.”
The Human Rights Campaign says many of the conference speakers it has reached out to belong to companies the organization already has a positive relationship with, or that the speakers themselves have a record of advocating for the rights of LGBT people. Among the conference participants HRC says it has sent letters to are Coca-Cola executive Ahmet Bozer, Microsoft's Ali Faramawy, Bob Dudley of BP, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and Peter Orszag of Citigroup.
“What we see is a new world where there are these tremendous champions in leadership positions in places across the world,” says Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global. “So when a country backslides or takes measures to harm the LGBT community, HRC has expectations that those leaders continue to demonstrate their values."
Egyptian officials hope that the conference – which will be held this weekend in Sharm el-Sheikh and has been organized with partners from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – will help boost the country’s economy, which has struggled since 2011, the same year former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.
Secretary of State John Kerry will also attend the conference while in Egypt this week. A State Department press release Monday outlining the trip said human rights would be part of Kerry’s broader agenda while visiting the country. It is unclear whether he plans to bring LGBT rights up – publicly or privately – at the economic summit.
"Secretary Kerry has the opportunity to reiterate the importance of protecting human rights and civil society when addressing those convened at the investment conference,” Cobb says. “The U.S. must make it clear that suppressing civil society and violating the human rights of LGBT people weakens Egypt and makes it a less attractive investment for international partners."
Cobb also points out that the State Department has named, for the first time, a special envoy for LGBT rights.
In recent months, dozens of LGBT people – particularly gay men and transgender women – have been the target of arrests and prosecution in Egypt. The country does not have a law specifically outlawing homosexuality, but authorities have used public debauchery and public indecency laws to target people believed to be gay or lesbian. 
The arrests often are widely broadcast, suggesting a collusion with Egyptian media. And even when those targeted are not ultimately convicted, as was the case for 26 men in a December bathhouse raid, the public nature of their arrests means they will likely continue to face harassment.
There is much speculation as to what is driving the crackdown, says Amy Hawthorne, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Some say it's a top-down effort by current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to shore up political support and rebut allegations that his government is too secular.
“Others think it's elements inside the Interior Ministry or other security forces that really want to go after particular segments of society for other reasons,” she says.
Hawthorne notes the abuses extend much wider than the LGBT community, with Islamists and affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood, journalists, and political protesters also targeted. A report released by The Arabic Network For Human Rights Information estimates that 42,000 people were detained during the last year and a half for political reasons.
The role the global community can play in stemming such abuses is complicated. Where LGBT rights are concerned, anti-gay forces often paint homosexuality as a Western import, and thus foreign calls to end abuse can backfire.
“There’s almost a necessary pushback if you start addressing it so overtly, particularly in certain cultures,” says Stephen Hayes, president and CEO of The Corporate Council on Africa.
Nevertheless, the human rights community has stressed the issue as a priority to both its governmental and private sector allies. A number of groups raised their concerns ahead of a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit last August, given the track record of some of the countries participating when it came to LGBT rights and other abuses. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, also put pressure on the games' corporate sponsors to speak out in favor of LGBT rights in response to persecution of gays and lesbians under President Vladimir Putin’s regime.
How willing companies are to make LGBT rights an issue at the conference remains to be seen. A GE spokeswoman said the company was aware of the HRC letter’s existence, but the company had not yet received it. Amr Awadallah – founder and chief technology officer of Cloudera – received the letter, but because he is on a panel focusing on technology, entrepreneurship and innovation, he doesn't plan to discuss any other topics, a spokeswoman says.
When asked whether Dudley, the BP exec, had received the letter HRC said it sent him, a BP spokesman said in an email, “Our CEO's correspondence is private. However we as BP have a broad and supportive diversity and inclusion policy." The spokesman also noted that BP’s code of conduct supports diversity. 
Likewise Citigroup, where Orszag – the former director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama – works, offered the following statement:
"Citi supports the protection and elevation of human rights around the world and is guided by fundamental principles of human rights, such as those in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (“ILO Declaration”). Citi is also a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact. Citi supports the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (“UN Guiding Principles”) including the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. Our support for these fundamental principles is reflected in our policies and actions towards our employees, suppliers, clients, communities and the countries where we do business.
Citi has approximately 200 million client accounts and 250,000 employees and has operations in more than 100 countries. As a global financial institution, Citi can impact human rights as an employer and can have an influence on human rights through our business relationships with clients and suppliers. We have established a set of policies and standards, described below, which reflect Citi’s mission to enable progress and our key principles of Common Purpose, Responsible Finance, Leadership and Ingenuity. Through these policies and standards and related due diligence, Citi seeks to implement our responsibility to respect human rights with regard to our employees, suppliers, clients, communities and host countries."
Some of the other businesses associated with targets of the HRC letter either did not respond to a request for comment or were unable to reach the executive in question. 
“So far it seems like there are some businesses that are willing to invest there because they see the opportunities outweighing the risks,” Hawthorne says. “So the challenge based on human rights is to really make the case that all this repression is going to affect their ability to do business – because we know just a moral argument isn’t going to work.” 

Egypt’s gay community is going deeper underground in fear after police arrest dozens of men at a Cairo bathhouse in a raid that was then featured on a lurid TV tabloid program stirring up public panic over “debauchery.” Egypt’s government is cracking down on gays, activists say, to promote its credentials as protectors of public morals

By MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press
CAIRO (AP) — Just before midnight, the police navigated down the narrow alleys of an old downtown Cairo district and descended on a rundown bathhouse. They dragged out dozens of nearly naked men, who covered their faces as they struggled to hold up towels, and loaded them into police trucks.
There to film it all was an Egyptian television presenter, who claims she actually triggered the raid by tipping off police about alleged homosexual activity in the bathhouse. Days later, she aired what she boasted was an expose of "a den of mass perversion" spreading AIDS in Egypt.
The raid last week is the latest in a crackdown that gay rights activists say has made 2014 the worst year in a decade for Egypt's gay community. Homosexuals have been driven deeper underground, fearing not only arrest but also the public scare-mongering against the community drummed up in the media.
"I was devastated," a gay woman in Cairo's upscale district of Zamalek told The Associated Press, speaking of the raid and the images aired on "The Hidden," a lurid TV expose program. "Every time there is an incident, the community starts to hide underground ... while police go hunting," she said. Like others, she spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of retribution.
"If this interview were a year ago, I wouldn't hide my identity because I love who I am," she added.
Activists say that by cracking down on gays, the government of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi aims to boost its credentials as a protector of morals and religious values in a competition with its rival, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists. El-Sissi led the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from power last year, and since then security forces have all but crushed the Brotherhood, arresting more than 20,000 and killing hundreds as they put down Islamist protests. The government has also arrested secular opposition figures, effectively silencing any voice of dissent.
At the same time, pro-government media have been whipping up fears of threats to society from outsiders, whether foreign plotters, homosexuals, atheists or even devil worshippers.
Gays are taking precautionary measures. They avoid public places where they used to gather and stay away from Internet and dating applications, fearing police traps. Some contemplate leaving the country.
"We are an easy prey, the weakest link," one gay man in his 30s said. "The regime is at war with Islamists and we are small thing they can crush on their way and as part of their propaganda war."
He said he now avoids social gatherings and is careful when talking on the phone or when using dating mobiles apps like Grindr.
"I am even afraid at home with my partner," he said.
Around 150 men this year have been arrested or are on trial in connection with homosexuality, the highest number in more than a decade, said Scott Long, an American activist and researcher on gay rights. He said this is the worst year since 2001, when police raided a Nile boat restaurant and arrested 52 men accused of holding a gay party.
This year, police have made arrests nearly every month, sometimes in raids on houses, said Long, who tracks such incidents.
"There is consistent pattern of invading private life. Arresting people in their apartment, breaking down their doors, looking for evidence of 'deviance', what underwear you wear, looking for condoms in the drawers," Long said. "This is a strong message by the state power to pervade private life."
"It's a cynical, opportunistic kind of power play," said Long. Under Morsi, the ruling Islamists "didn't need to prove their moral credentials," he said, but for el-Sissi's government, "there is a need to show they are defending the moral principles of Egypt."

February 25, 2015

Louisiana Police Arrests 2 Men for having Sex ARE They Using this as tool for Harassment?


Concerned about whether conservative states will acknowledge the legal reality of marriage equality—even if it’s handed down from the Supreme Court? Well, Louisiana is still having a hard time accepting the demise of anti-sodomy laws, despite the fact that SCOTUS ruled them unconstitutional more than a decade
The police chief of Baton Rouge, La., had to apologize after it emerged that officers recently charged two men under an anti-gay law that the Supreme Court of the United States rendered unconstitutional over a decade ago.
The incident happened on Thursday night, say reports, when two men, ages 33 and 25, were caught having sex in a stationary car at a local Baton Rouge park. Officers arrested the men on a count of trespassing and also “crimes against nature” — Louisiana’s version of an anti-gay sodomy ban. 
There’s just one problem: same-sex consensual acts aren’t illegal in the U.S. and they haven’t been for over a decade. To their credit, when the police force realized this error they quickly moved to correct it. Administrators have said that no anti-gay intent was meant and that this was a simple case of those particular officers not knowing the statute was no longer enforceable:
“They were charged on counts of trespassing and crimes against nature and then we recognized that the crimes against nature  (charge) was unconstitutional,” quotes Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Don Coppola as saying. “(BRPD) Chief Carl Dabadie immediately contacted the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s office to have those charges removed.”
Coppola says a memo has now been sent to all officers telling them that the crimes against nature statute is not constitutional and should never be invoked. He has also apologized to the two men involved, but has characterized this as a “simple mistake.” Taking this on good faith, we can recognize it very well might have been a simple mistake, but it’s worth stressing that this isn’t the first time East Baton Rouge’s police force have made this error.
In 2013 the Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office garnered national attention after an investigation by The Advocate (not the LGBT title but one that covers state news for the Louisiana region) found the Sheriff’s Office had used the unenforceable crimes against nature statute as part of a sting to trap at least 12 men who agreed to or discussed consensual sex with an undercover agent at a local park.
At the time, the department had claimed it was unaware that the Supreme Court of the United States had rendered the law unenforceable as part of  its Lawrence v. Texas ruling in 2003. Then, the court found that it was unconstitutional to regulate private consensual acts between same-sex consenting adults. This meant that every statute used to make the act of same-sex sexual acts illegal was rendered unenforceable. However, because the Supreme Court (rightly) cannot make or repeal laws, the statutes remained on the books.
Several states have repealed their anti-sodomy laws–because it’s pointless and confusing to have them written in law–but around 13 states still have those laws on the books, including Louisiana. This is how the so-called mistake came about in 2013, and apparently many of East Baton Rouge’s officers still haven’t got the message today.
“It’s outrageous that we have people in this state sitting in jail accused of a crime that’s been declared invalid,” Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU in Louisiana, is quoted as saying. “The Baton Rouge Police Department needs to get the message that they can’t arrest people illegally.”
This is especially aggravating, not just because it’s the same police force that has yet again attempted to use this law (and, it appears, the only police force in Louisiana), but because Republicans in the state House last year refused to take up a simple measure that would delete the crimes against nature statute’s anti-gay provisions.  To repeat again, the Supreme Court has ruled these laws unconstitutional, but they are still occasionally being used. Simple logic dictates that the legislature must do something about this, but it continues to hold on to this anti-gay provision, as do several other states. We have to ask why?
Unfortunately, religious conservative lawmakers are on record as saying that they believe repealing the statute would amount to “condoning” or “approving” of what they believe is sinful behavior; this is another example of how someone’s private beliefs yet again are encroaching on and harming the lives of others in the secular world. Legal groups have signaled they are prepared to sue to get these laws off the books, and unfortunately it appears that may be necessary.
Louisiana arrests on the average of once a year men having sex with men going back to  the Supreme Court decision stopping such actions, in which arrests were more. Is the Police not instructing cops on the law? like any other law or the police including the cop on the beat arresting gays knowing charges will be dropped but instead using it as a tool for intimidation and harassment of the gay community?? Lets not go too far to the south when in NYC the police Dept under Mayor Bloomberg had a squad of young stud officers going to adult porn stores to arrest their patrons wether they were inside or just passing by. It took a major effort of the gay community and openly gay legislators to make the mayor and it’s commissioner dismantle the unit. Wasted millions of dollars and no arrests that stuck on the original charges. On most of them the charges were dismissed or plead down. Eventually all charges were dismissed but who refunds the city for the moneys and those actions and who is going to give back the lives to those men that had families and were forced to come out this way. Iam for every gay to come out and critical of anyone that don’t at least to their families or close friends but still I believe with the universal thought that coming out is a personal act and only the person coming out knows best when is the time to do so and should not be blackmailed or exposed by the government to come out.
Having said that I will expose any politician or closeted homophobe whomever they are who   damages the community by playing the double card. If you are closeted shut up! and stop criticizing those that had the heart and the moral compass to come out.

Having said that I keep calling on US Senator Linsey Graham to come out! If he is not gay he should clearly deny it! History will not be kind to any good he might have tried to do compared to the damaged he is done by hurting gays by standing by the homophobe stance of no gay marriage, no gay soldiers and anything that has come through the senate that had to do with helping the gay community get out of the hole of the treatment we were receiving in our own country. There are still people that think that we are so alien we should not even get married instead rent a room or have sex like the men in Baton Rouge that got arrested for having sex at night inside a car, under a highway in a park.  Adam Gonzalez


February 22, 2015

Gay Man Charged for Not Disclosing his HIV to Another Man in Atlanta (how do the cops know?) as a Crime (Previous cases we still looking at)

A gay Atlanta drag performer and HIV activist was arrested and charged with exposing a person to HIV after he allegedly had sex with a man who later told police. 
Sheriff's deputies arrested Tyler McKenzie Orr, 24, on Thursday, two weeks after a former sex partner told authorities that he and Orr had unprotected sex in December. The man told investigators that he later discovered Orr is HIV-positive but that he didn't inform him of his status prior to having sex together twice. 
Orr faces two counts of exposing another person to HIV, which is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 10 years in prison, according to Greenville Online. Gay and HIV activists criticize such laws, saying they prevent people from getting tested and further stigmatize people with the disease.
Orr has lived in Atlanta, but the native of South Carolina recently returned to the state and started performing in gay clubs in Greenville and Spartanburg. Orr performs as drag queen Erika Jaylon Dupree.
He was arrested on Thursday at his home in Walhalla, S.C. The small city near Interstate 85 is close to the border of Georgia and South Carolina and about 120 miles from Atlanta. Orr remains jailed in the Oconee County Detention Center. 
The Sheriff’s Office began its investigation after an officer spoke with the victim on February 5th. The victim revealed to the officer that he had unprotected sex with Orr on two occasions, December 11th and December 15th of 2014, at the Fairfield Road address.
The victim told deputies that he later learned that Orr was HIV positive. Investigators determined that Orr was HIV positive prior to having sex with the victim but did not notify him of such.
Orr said he attended the Georgia GSA Summit on Feb. 7 at Agnes Scott College in Decatur. The day-long event addressed LGBT health, advocacy and social justice. He is also an HIV activist who has publicly discussed being HIV-positive and created a video for #SpeakOutHIV, an effort by Greater Than AIDS to combat HIV stigma. 
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January 12, 2015

Shocker, Egyptian Court Rules on Gays Arrested on Bath house

  Breaking coming from CBS Interactive                                                                        

CAIRO  A Cairo court acquitted 26 men on Monday who had been accused of "debauchery"in a rare victory for Egypt's gay community that has of late faced an increasingly oppressive police crackdown.

The defendants had faced between 1-9 years in prison on varying degrees of "debauchery" -- the most common Egyptian legal term used in cases against men accused of homosexuality.
Though homosexuality is not technically illegal in Egypt, the police and courts have a history of persecuting the gay community in this socially-conservative country. That Monday's ruling went they way it did surprised many observers.
"It's unprecedented," said longtime human rights activist Scott Long. "This just doesn't happen."
The session lasted barely a minute -- just enough time for the judge to do a roll-call of the defendants' names before uttering a single word: "innocent."
The court immediately erupted into raucous celebration as the men inside the courtroom cage shouted and waved their shackled hands and attending relatives yelled and sobbed in relief.
For the accused and their families, this case has been a terrible ordeal. Societal stigma against homosexuality is strong here; as the defendants were marched into court chained hand-to-hand, they desperately attempted to hide their faces with scarves or their shirts, whatever was at hand. Family members grew angry at the sight of cameras, afraid that the faces of their sons or brothers would be broadcast on television and publicly identified.
In fact, they already had. Among all the various cases of police arresting Egyptian gay men, what makes this one particularly notable is how the police raid of the bathhouse, on Dec. 7, 2014, unfolded as television cameras rolled. 
An image from Egyptian satellite channel Al-Qahira wa al-Nas shows journalist Mona Iraqi, (rear, right) photographing men arrested during a police raid on a public bathhouse in Cairo
An image from Egyptian satellite channel Al-Qahira wa al-Nas shows journalist Mona Iraqi, (rear, right) photographing men arrested during a police raid on a public bathhouse in Cairo, December 2014.
The Egyptian journalist who organized that shoot, Mona Iraqi, described the bathhouse as "the biggest den of perversion in the heart of Cairo."
It was that context of intolerance that had tempered the expectations of defense lawyers and human rights activists observing the trial.
"There was no evidence," defense lawyer Islam Khalifa told CBS News on Monday. "But in this country there are always no expectations."
Activists and lawyers said it was the biggest case against the gay community since the infamous Queen Boat case of 2001, when police arrested 52 men on a Nile disco boat and accused them of "offending religion" and "debauchery."

January 9, 2015

Australia is following suit in Changing Sex laws to Erase “Historic’ Gay Sex Convictions

The ACT Government is set to erase all historical gay sex convictions, Attorney-General Simon Corbell has announced.
Homosexuality was illegal in the ACT up until 1976 and people convicted before that date still hold a criminal record.
Mr Corbell today announced that the laws would be changed to allow men convicted of consensual homosexual acts to have their conviction expunged.
"It is important that the ACT provides equality and access to justice for men who were convicted of a crime that by modern day standards is no longer considered a criminal act," he said.
Mr Corbell said men could have been charged with offences including attempted buggery, buggery on a male person and indecent assault on a male person.
"The number of men with a criminal conviction for homosexual sex is not known, however it is estimated a small number of relevant convictions do exist in the ACT," he said.
"Several jurisdictions have made or are considering schemes to erase convictions for consensual homosexual acts."
He said the Government would be guided by the schemes developed in Victoria, New South Wales and the United Kingdom when developing their own scheme.
Mr Corbell said the Government would introduce the bill later this year.
"The ACT Government is ensuring that territory laws do not discriminate on the basis of sexuality," he said.
"Erasing historic offences is a complex and sensitive area of criminal law and any changes must be made after careful consideration of all relevant issues, including the process to abolish convictions.
"As these details are considered I look forward to consulting with stakeholders about the best way to achieve justice for Canberra's gay community."
ABC News

December 30, 2014

Upheld Convictions but Reduced Terms for Gays Arrested in Egypt

 Eight people sentenced to three years in jail after joining an illegal gay wedding ceremony are seen behind the bars in Cairo, Egypt, on November 1, 2014. The men were found guilty of spreading 'indecent images' and 'inciting debauchery' over a video that appeared to show them celebrating a gay marriage in Cairo. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Eight people sentenced to three years in jail after joining an illegal gay wedding ceremony are seen behind the bars in Cairo, Egypt, on November 1, 2014. The men were found guilty of “inciting debauchery” over a video that appeared to show them celebrating a gay marriage in Cairo. Credit: Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
An Egyptian appeals court on Saturday upheld the convictions but reduced the sentences of eight men who appeared in a same-sex wedding video.
Last month, the men were convicted of “inciting debauchery” and sentenced to three-year prison terms after a video surfaced online of them at what appeared to be a gay wedding, the Associated Press reported. The sentences were cut to one year.
“Over the years, Egyptian authorities have repeatedly arrested, tortured, and detained men suspected of consensual homosexual conduct,” Graeme Reid, LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement following the arrests of seven of the men in September.
“These arrests represent another assault on fundamental human rights and reflect the Egyptian government’s growing disdain for the rule of law,” Reid said.
All of the men have consistently denied the charges.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in Egypt and while homosexuality is not an offense, in a country dominated by conservative Muslim values, gays have been charged with violating laws of morality, Reuters reported.
The most recent and high profile of these cases occurred in 2001. Known as the Queen Boat Trials, more than 50 men were arrested and charged with “habitual practice of debauchery,” after being detained on a cruise ship discotheque. Others were also charged with “contempt of heavenly religions.”
Nearly half of the men in the Queen Boat Trials were convicted, and served sentences ranging from two to five years.
Gay rights activists say that at least 150 men in Egypt have been arrested in connection to alleged homosexual behavior in the last 18 months.


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