Sydney siege hero was a gay man
The man being called a hero for tackling a gunman during the siege of a Sydney café was openly gay. Tori Johnson, the café manager, noticed that the gunman was dozing off and tried to take his gun. Johnson was fatally shot before police stormed in, killing the gunman. At The Huffington Post, James Peron writes that while Johnson was a hero, he died a second-class citizen, unable to legally marry his partner of 14 years.
First Scottish gay wedding held in Australia
Confusingly, the first Scottish couple to be gay married tied the knot at the British embassy in Sydney, Australia. Australia is 11 hours ahead of Scotland, so they were able to marry before registrars opened for business in Scotland. Unmarried couples will have to wait a 15-day notification period to be married in Scotland, but couples already in civil partnerships can transfer to marriage immediately.
Jamaican priest washes feet of lesbian guests
A priest in Vineyard Town, Jamaica, surprised many of his parishioners by inviting two lesbians and a transgender man to visit the church, where he washed their feet. Father Sean Major-Campbell said he wanted to not just talk about peace and love, but force his church to act on their principles and protect human rights in their everyday lives. Many parishioners, however, were less than pleased, with one saying, “I don’t know how suddenly gay rights become human rights and human rights is now gay rights, and I have a problem with that.”
Venezuelan gay activist killed by car thief
Prominent Venezuelan equal-marriage activist Giniveth Soto was killed by a car thief while driving a taxi to make extra money for her wife and newborn son. Soto challenged the Venezuelan government to recognize her marriage and allow her to register the birth of her son. In a tragic example of what Soto was fighting for, her family cremated Soto’s body and took the ashes without the consent or consultation of her wife.
Violence against Russian LGBT people growing since gay propaganda laws
According to a report from Human Rights Watch, Russian laws banning gay propaganda have emboldened anti-gay attackers and exacerbated violence and discrimination. The report says that Russian authorities deliberately ignore crimes against gay people, who are frequently beaten, abducted and abused.
Catholic lesbian promotes celibacy
Catholic lesbian writer Eve Tushnet is part of a growing movement of gay Catholics who choose to be both open about their identity and celibate for the sake of inclusion in their religious community. She says lesbians can live fulfilling lives without sex, instead channelling their desires into community service or deep friendships.