Lions’ same-sex sexuality, video


This video from the USA says about itself:

Lions Don’t Care If You Approve Of Their Bromance

21 April 2016

Belgian photographer Nicole Cambré recently released several photos that appear to show that lion sexuality, like almost all animals, is highly fluid. National Geographic tried to debunk the photos, claiming that some female lions have manes that make them appear male, which can be true. Cambré then debunked their debunk by posting a video of the supposedly female lion mounting another lion. Cenk Uygur and Hannah Cranston (ThinkTank), hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“Nicole Cambré, a lawyer and photographer from Belgium, recently took some photos in Botswana that shot like a comet across social media over the weekend. They showed two lions, both with lush manes, cuddling at sunset in the tall grass and mounting each other…

Interpreting homosexual behavior in animals, which has been observed in upwards of 450 species but is far from common, remains tricky territory for researchers. And proclaiming it as a reflection of human sexuality is something most anthropomorphism-allergic scientists are loathe to do.

“It’s a bromance, not ‘Brokeback Mountain,’” Craig Packer, a University of Minnesota professor who is one of the world’s top experts on African lions, said of the behavior in the photos. But, he added, “I don’t think you have to look at animals to justify what humans do. Our biology is far more complicated.””

Read more here.

Genetic diversity, evolutionary history and implications for conservation of the lion (Panthera leo) in West and Central Africa: here.

LGBTQ rights and homophobia in Northern Ireland


This video says about itself:

Thousands of revelers lined the route of the 2012 Gay Pride Parade in Belfast on Saturday, August 4, as floats featuring performers of all kinds brought a party atmosphere to the Northern Irish capital. The sun, surprisingly, also made an appearance.

By Annette Pryce:

Hard won LGBT+ rights missing in Northern Ireland

Monday 28th March 2016

A National Union of Teachers delegation to the six counties in February was shocked by the state of affairs, writes Annette Pryce

EQUAL marriage, the repeal of Section 28, adoption, equal age of consent, the Equality Act are all things we as LGBT+ people, as trade unionists, fought long and hard for and feel very proud of. The LGBT+ legislative strategy seems all but complete if you ignore survivor pensions, (don’t ignore that), and a few other important things.

But while we’ve won these rights in Britain, in Northern Irealnd they’re almost totally absent.

When our delegation of 14 NUT LGBT+ teachers arrived in Belfast for our four-day trip we didn’t know what to expect. Growing up hearing about “the Troubles” doesn’t make for a lived experience or a good understanding about what Northern Ireland is like.

Our first meeting with the LGBT+ organisation the Rainbow Project was a crash course in Northern Ireland politics.

Delegates, with their mouths gaping open in shock, demonstrated that our ignorance was just as shocking as the terrible, fragile reality being laid before us.

Despite a clear majority of parties agreeing on equal marriage — and let’s face it, a public that isn’t opposed to the idea — the Democratic Unionist Party use what are supposed to be exceptional veto powers to prevent equal marriage proposals and anything progressively LGBT+ from happening.

Civil partnerships are legal in Northern Ireland — because the Assembly was suspended when the 2004 Civil Partnership Act was passed in Westminster — but there are no equal marriage rights and if you and a same-sex partner got married in Britain, it would not be recognised in Northern Ireland.

But marriage isn’t the most important recognition a state can give you and our delegation wanted to understand what the experience was like for LGBT+ children, teenagers and adults.

With the highest rate of LGBT suicide in the UK, the Rainbow Project told us that 40 per cent of their young service-users had attempted suicide. It was a startling statistic that even with my years of activism and teaching stunned me. “Isolation” was cited as one of the key elements to the statistics as well as school-based bullying.

We headed over to Stormont’s Department of Education to better understand what was being done to protect young LGBT+ people and teachers and received yet more bad news. The department is powerless to intervene in school provision of sex and relationship education and given that every school in Northern Ireland is a faith-based school that often means such education is utterly inadequate, making LGBT+ people invisible.

When we asked the department about protections for LGBT+ teachers we were told that they “didn’t look at the teacher element.” Given this was a room full of LGBT+ teachers you can imagine the cold reception.

There is no Equality Act and therefore no employment protections for LGBT+ teachers except for the vague section 75 of the 1998 Northern Ireland Act. And as for school governors, they have one member of the local clergy on each board and an appointments commission that openly LGBT+ people would have zero faith in.

There was some good movement on bullying in schools and it was demonstrated that recording and intervention programmes were being prioritised and promoted by the Education Minister.

We met our sister unions the Ulster Teachers Union and the Irish National Teachers Organisation to show some solidarity and to hear their take and what their organisations were doing in terms of organising LGBT+ teachers.

It was fantastic and inspiring to hear their efforts to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the education system. We provided messages of support and promised to keep a channel open to work together and exchange best practice on organising LGBT+ teachers.

One beacon of hope was former Communication Workers Union official Chris Hudson, now a reverend at the Unitarian All Souls Church in Belfast. Chris’s church not just openly welcomes LGBT+ people of faith and refugees, it campaigns publicly for their rights. The church hosted us for an evening and lesbian congregation members performed music for us. It was a special moment after a bleak day for our delegation.

There is of course hope in Northern Ireland, with organisations like the Rainbow Project, teachers’ unions, churches like All Souls and the supportive and active spaces that are emerging for LGBT+ people. But the one hope that blew us all away was the irrefutable fact that out of all the parade marches that take place in Northern Ireland, the LGBT+ Pride parade was the largest.

Imagine, a place that has structural segregation and limited protections for LGBT+ people, the largest unifying demonstration is an LGBT+ rights march. That gives us all hope and that’s why our continuing support and solidarity towards our fellow LGBT+ teachers in Northern Ireland means so much.

Annette Pryce is the NUT LGBT executive member.

Homophobic misogynist Portuguese president sabotages parliament


This video says about itself:

Women on waves sailed to Portugal in 2004 but was stopped by the minister of defence who send a warship as he claimed it was a threat to national security.

Women on waves can help women outside territorial waters of countries where abortion is illegal with a safe and legal medical abortion.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Portugal: President vetoes reform of abortion and adoption law

Tuesday 26th January 2016

CONSERVATIVE President Anibal Cavaco Silva vetoed parliamentary Bills yesterday that would have granted full adoption rights to same-sex couples and removed abortion restrictions.

The president insisted that recently passed legislation granting gay couples the same adoption rights as heterosexuals is a radical change requiring broader public consultation.

He says that parliament has failed to demonstrate that it is in the best interest of children.

The head of state is also blocking parliament’s decision to waive mandatory counselling for women seeking an abortion, claiming that such counselling is a common requirement in other European countries and eliminating it would diminish the right to information.

Presidential vetoes can be overturned by a two-thirds majority in parliament, but it is not immediately clear whether the Bills’ backers could muster that many votes.

Mr Cavaco Silva is coming to the end of his mandate and will be replaced by fellow rightwinger Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who romped home in Sunday’s presidential election, collecting more than half the votes against nine rivals.

The president-elect warned that he would use the largely ceremonial post to disrupt the Socialist Party government’s economic plans.

He will take up his duties in March, replacing Mr Cavaco Silva, who has served the maximum of two five-year terms.

The president has no executive power, but he has the power to dissolve parliament if he feels the country is going off track.

The Socialist minority government, which has pledged to reverse capitalist austerity, runs Portugal with the backing of the Communist Party and Left Bloc.

Bisexual refugee’s anti-deportation victory in England


This video from Britain says about itself:

Bisexual Asylum Seeker in Home Office Battle Has Deportation Flight Cancelled

29 May 2015

Immigration authorities have cancelled the deportation flight of a Jamaican asylum seeker who faced removal from the UK after the Home Office refused to accept he was bisexual.

34-year-old Orashia Edwards had been held at Morton Hall immigration removal centre in Lincolnshire after being detained during a scheduled meeting with immigration officials. His family were told he could be deported at any time from May 5, but Edwards was instead detained for nearly a month before being released pending a further appeal against his rejected claim for refugee status – the latest in a series of prolonged periods in detention.

That was then. And now …

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Bisexual Jamaican wins his long fight for refugee status

Friday 22nd January 2016

A LEEDS asylum-seeker who feared for his life if he was sent back to Jamaica was granted refugee status and permission to stay in Britain yesterday.

The decision to allow Orashia Edwards, 33, who is bisexual, to remain follows a three-and-a-half-year campaign by his supporters, with demonstrations at immigration offices in Leeds.

Jamaica has a reputation for homophobia, including physical attacks.

After hearing the news, Mr Edwards, who has family in Leeds, said: “I want to thank everyone who has supported my campaign over the years.

“None of this would have been possible [without their efforts]. I’m finally allowed to work so have applied for my national insurance number and can go get a job and open my own bank account. Things are really looking up for me.”

A Leeds No Borders campaign spokesman said: “He is no longer living in constant dread and is able to make real plans for his future.”

Margaret Thatcher’s anti-gay bigotry on AIDS revealed


This video from Britain says about itself:

Margaret Thatcher‘s Anti-Gay Speech (1:00 min)

“Children are being taught they have an inalienable right to be gay. All of those children are being cheated of a sound start in life.” — Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, October 9, 1987. Conservative Party Conference. Blackpool, United Kingdom.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Bigot Thatcher‘s fight against aids education

Wednesday 30th December 2015

PM worried teens might learn about ‘risky sex’

MARGARET Thatcher fought tooth and nail to stop a national public education campaign on Aids because she didn’t like talking about “risky sex,” government files released today reveal.

Declassified papers from the National Archives showed the bitter battle between Thatcher and her health secretary Norman Fowler over proposals for a major HIV awareness campaign.

LGBT activists and HIV survivors reacted in disgust as they heard that the former PM had been opposed to placing information on the epidemic in visible locations.

In a handwritten note to Mr Fowler, she said: “Do we have to do the section on risky sex? I should have thought it could do immense harm if young teenagers were to read it.”

Thatcher also claimed that the campaign could breach the Obscene Publications Act and pushed for a more conservative and limited distribution of information.

She wrote: “It would be better in my view to follow the [sexually transmitted disease] precedent of putting notices in surgeries, public lavatories, etc.”

Long-standing LGBT rights campaigner and HIV survivor Joseph Healy told the Star of his shock at finding out about Thatcher’s decision.

“There was widespread fear in the gay community. We all knew people who had it, but nothing appeared until the famous ‘tombstone’ TV ads in the late ’80s.

“I saw so many young men die in great pain, many of them ostracised by their families and others because so little was known about the illness.

“This is yet another one of Thatcher’s crimes against the LGBT community, along with section 28.

“So many young lives could have been saved and so much suffering avoided if she and her government had supported a health education campaign.”

Section 28, introduced by the Thatcher government in 1988, prohibited local authorities from portraying homosexuality in a positive light.

The ban was only lifted by Labour in 2003, with current Prime Minister David Cameron voting for partial retention.

The first Aids case in Britain was recorded in 1981 and by 1986 public awareness of the virus was growing rapidly.

London members of direct action group Act Up, which campaigned from the late 1980s onwards on behalf of people living with Aids, accused Thatcher of “wilful neglect.”

Act Up’s Ashley Joiner said: “Margaret Thatcher’s calculated wilful neglect, government inaction and homophobia has directly resulted in the social stigma attached to HIV today.

“The lack of change in discourse since Thatcher’s government, paired with the recent cuts to financial aid, demonstrate how the Conservative government is determined to allow history to repeat itself.”

Thatcher was forced to allow the campaign to go ahead when told the Cabinet was against her objections.

She also attempted to thwart a subsequent campaign involving sending information to every British home.

But she was forced to give way again after her press secretary Bernard Ingham told her: “There is certainly a feeling abroad that the government is doing too little and is not treating the issue with sufficient urgency.”