British governmental homophobia against lesbian refugee


This video from Britain says about itself:

Interview with Aderonke Apata

11 April 2014

Former Yarl’s Wood detainee Aderonke Apata discusses the traumas of the British immigration system.

Interview: Emma Jean Pittarides

Camera: Ralph Pritchard @RalphPritchard

End quote from Open Democracy.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children

The Home Office has been accused of ‘highly offensive’ views

Emily Dugan

Tuesday 03 March 2015

The Home Office was accused of relying on “highly offensive” and “outdated” views of sexuality to reject an asylum claim made by a Nigerian lesbian.

Aderonke Apata, who fears imprisonment and death because of her sexuality, appeared in London’s High Court to challenge the Home Office’s refusal to grant her asylum in Britain. Ms Apata, who came to Britain in 2004 and has won awards for her gay-rights campaigning, is so desperate to convince the Government of her sexuality that she has submitted a DVD and photographs of her sex life as evidence.

But the Home Office argues that Ms Apata could not be considered a lesbian because she has children and has previously been in heterosexual relationships. Ms Apata’s barrister, Abid Mahmood, said these were “highly offensive… stereotypical views of the past”.

He told the hearing: “Some members of the public may have those views but it doesn’t mean a government department should be putting these views forward in evidence.”

The Home Secretary’s barrister, Andrew Bird, argued that Ms Apata was “not part of the social group known as lesbians” but had “indulged in same-sex activity”. He continued: “You can’t be a heterosexual one day and a lesbian the next day. Just as you can’t change your race.”

Holding hands with her wife-to-be Happiness Agboro in court yesterday, Ms Apata, 47, was surrounded by dozens of gay-rights activists.

Homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years in prison in Nigeria under laws passed in January 2014 and there has been a spike in violence against gay people.

Mr Mahmood said the Home Secretary recently referred in court papers to Ms Apata’s case being “a publicity stunt” and had a closed mind. He said: “There is evidence of the genuineness of her case, that she will be picked out as a lesbian if she is returned.”

Ms Apata was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress in 2005 and attempted suicide when she was in prison facing deportation. Her fragile mental health forms part of the case that she would suffer if returned to Nigeria.

Deputy High Court judge John Bowers QC is expected to hand down a ruling by the end of the month.

Speaking after the hearing, Ms Apata said: “The Home Office has treated me badly from day one. Staying in Britain means staying safe, staying with my partner and continuing my campaigning.”

USA: ALABAMA SUPREME COURT BLOCKS SAME SEX MARRIAGES The highest court in Alabama ordered the end of same sex marriage licenses in the state after an extensive battle in the state’s courts. A federal judge had ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in January, but probate court judges had refused to cooperate with the ruling. [Sam Levine, HuffPost]

Chelsea Manning will write for The Guardian


This video from the USA says about itself:

Ann Wright on Chelsea Manning Being Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison

23 August 2013

Ann Wright speaks to The Real News in an exclusive interview responding to Wikileaks Whistleblower Chelsea Manning being sentenced to 35 years in prison.

By Jackson Connor in the USA:

Chelsea Manning To Join The Guardian U.S. As Contributing Opinion Writer

02/10/2015 3:48 pm EST Updated: 1 hour ago

The Guardian U.S. has hired Chelsea Manning as a contributing opinion writer covering war, gender and freedom of information, Katharine Viner, the publication’s editor-in-chief, announced Tuesday via Twitter.

Currently serving a 35-year sentence in federal prison for supplying thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, Manning — who was once known as Bradley — has written on such topics before. In December, she penned an essay for The Guardian titled “I am a transgender woman and the government is denying my civil rights,” and in June she wrote a piece for The New York Times blasting the U.S. government for keeping information from the American people.

“I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance,” Manning wrote for The Times.

According to Politico, Manning will write her pieces for The Guardian U.S. from Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas and will not be paid for her work.

New novel on Russia, USA, LGBTQ people


From New York City in the USA:

Cover
Novel cover
Come to a Launch Party for
VERA’S WILL
to Celebrate the Publication of the New Novel by Shelley Ettinger

Sunday, February 15
at 4:00pm – 6:00pm in EST

147 West 24 Street, 2nd floor, New York City
Reading, signing, a nosh
www.facebook.com/events/

Vera’s Will is a novel of tremendous insight, and tremendous import. Shelley Ettinger moves expertly between two compelling voices, between the recent and distant past, between the personal and political, writing with clarity and heart. Too many stories are lost to  history, too many voices are silenced, often the stories and voices we need most. Vera’s Will is not only a deeply moving book, but a gift, and a kind of rescue.”
Justin Torres, author of We the Animals

Vera’s Will spans the twentieth century and three generations, taking us from Russian pogroms to immigrant struggles, from family-ravaging homophobia to GLBT resistance. Ettinger’s captivating story is rich with social and cultural detail, alive with generously-drawn characters, and unflinching in its political passion.”
Ellen Meeropol, author of On Hurricane Island

Vera’s Will is a beautifully written family saga with a twist that tells the parallel stories of a woman and her granddaughter who are both lesbian. Their intersecting stories, one that begins a hundred years ago in Czarist Russia and the other that begins in suburban America, re-create in vivid detail their historical epochs. One is a story of self-sacrifice,
the other is a story of liberation; the author’s great gift is to show us how they intertwine.”
Michael Nava, author of The City of Palaces

Shelley Ettinger was born in Detroit and lives in New York City. She is a longtime activist in the LGBTQ movement and in anti-racist, anti-war and union struggles. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in many literary journals. Vera’s Will is her first novel.”
More info: shelleyettinger.com