Uganda Government Considers Worst Anti-Gay Bill Yet: Today In Gay

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Uganda is considering new anti-gay legislation that human-rights activists are calling “even worse” than the country’s severe Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was struck down earlier this year on a technicality.

The so-called “Prohibition of the Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill” doesn’t just outlaw homosexual acts, it criminalizes the “promotion” of homosexuality, similar to Russia’s gay-propaganda ban. It also outlaws “making a representation … by whatever means, of a person engaged in real or fictitious unnatural sexual practices.”

Anyone convicted faces up to seven years in prison.

“People don’t realize that the ‘promotion’ part of it will affect everybody,” LGBT activist Frank Mugisha told the Agence France-Presse. “If newspapers report about homosexuality it could be seen as promotion. My Twitter account could be seen as promotion. All human rights groups that include LGBT rights defense could be accused of promotion. ”

Human rights attorney Nicholas Opiyo told Buzzfeed the new bill “appears even worse, even more draconian than the (previous) law.”

Surprisingly President Museveni has spoken against the measure, saying it could jeopardize vital aid and trade with the West.

Raymond Burke catholic churchPope Francis has officially demoted Cardinal Raymond Burke, the American bishop who’s been highly critical of the Vatican extending an olive branch to the LGBT community.

During the recent Synod on the Family Burke was outraged a document was released suggesting gays had “gifts and qualities.” He insisted gay couples should be kept away from “impressionable children.”

Last year, Burke declared that homosexual acts are “always and everywhere wrong, evil.”

But yesterday the Vatican confirmed Burke, who was elevated to Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, has been removed as head of the Vatican’s highest court, the Apostolic Signatura, and reassigned to the Patron of the Order of the Knights of Malta.

“The position… has almost no responsibilities,” wrote Catholic journalist Michael Sean Winters “The demotion is unprecedented, and completely warranted. Cardinal Burke’s influence at the Vatican has been crushingly backward looking.”

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On Thursday, a trans woman in Toledo, Ohiowas released from the hospital, where she  had her jaw wired shut after a brutal attack by three men.

The assailants shouted “That’s a dude in a dress” before physically attacking Candice Rose Milligan, 33.

“Once Ms. Milligan was on the ground, the other men kicked and punched her. One of them grabbed a cell phone from Ms. Milligan’s hand and then fled,” explained Equality Toledo’s Dave Crafts.

Christopher Temple, 20, was charged and remains in custody on $25,000 bail, but two other suspects are still at large.

Though Ohio’s hate-crime laws do include sexual orientation they do not include gender identity.

“If it’s anything, it may have been done because of his sexual orientation,” said Sgt. Joe Heffernan, misgendering Milligan. “but we haven’t proven that either.”

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d08d3db3970c-500wiDespite Russia’s law against homosexual propaganda, a same-sex couple was able to get married in St. Petersburg on Friday because one of them is a trans woman.

Irina Shumilova and Alyona Fursova arrived at the registry wearing bridal dresses and carrying bouquets. Irina describes herself as transsexual, rather than transgender, and still undergoing hormone therapy.

Anti-gay legislator Vitaly Milonov said the clerk who married them should be tried for treason. “There are certain moral standards which it is vital to implement,” he said. “These mad people should be banned altogether from getting married.”

rob portmanWell, it looks like we have at least one ally in the newly Republican Senate: Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) told Politics Confidential he’s “comfortable” supporting marriage equality, especially because his son, Will, is gay.

“[I’ve]  thought about the fact that this is not a choice and that my son deserves to have the same happiness that Jane and I have had and the stability that comes with marriage,” said Portman, who is mulling a 2016 presidential run.

“We want to encourage that as Republicans. It’s a position I feel very comfortable with and I’m glad I made it.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.