US: Trans woman burned to death in Florida

Pink News | June 23, 2014

A trans woman has been found burned to death behind a dumpster in Fort Myers, Florida.

The woman has been identified as Yazmin Shancez, 31, though initial police report misgendered her and referred to her by her birth name.

Her burnt remains were discovered behind a bin at a rental facility on Thursday morning.

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Tony Kushner on Suffering Actors, the Wayward Left and the ‘Dream’ of Revolution

Emily Wilson | Truthdig | June 18, 2014

  Tony Kushner poses at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 2009. AP/Craig Lassig


For someone who finds writing tortuous, Tony Kushner does a lot of it. Probably best known for his two-part epic, “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes,” Kushner’s other plays include “Slavs!,” “Homebody/Kabul,” “A Bright Room Called Day” and “Caroline, or Change.” He also wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols’ film version of “Angels in America” and Steven Spielberg’s films “Munich” and “Lincoln.” Kushner, who has won three Obies, an Emmy and a Pulitzer Prize, recently came back to Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where seven of his plays have been produced, for the West Coast premiere of his latest, “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures” (his husband nicknamed it “iHo”).

The play, directed by Kushner’s longtime collaborator Tony Taccone, the artistic director of Berkeley Rep who co-directed “Angels in America,” tells the story of a family in Brooklyn whose Communist longshoreman father has decided to commit suicide. It runs in Berkeley through June 29.

Out in Berkeley for rehearsals, Kushner talked about how with plays we watch actors suffer so we don’t have to; Taccone’s fearlessness when collaborating on “Brundibar,” a children’s opera originally performed in a concentration camp; the toll “Death of a Salesman” took on the late Philip Seymour Hoffman; the ability of democracy and elections to bring about radical change; and his frustration with leftists dismissing government rather than trying to transform it. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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Ugandan LGBT Community Loses Workshop Lawsuit Against Minister of Justice

Melanie Nathan  Oblogdeeoblogda | June 23, 2014.

Today the LGBT Community in Uganda suffered a blow when the case they had brought in the Ugandan courts against the Attorney General and the Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Fr. Simon Lokodo, was dismissed with legal costs awarded against them. The case was brought after the Minister closed down a LGBT workshop at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe. This occurred before the new Anti-Homosexuality Act and before the so called “promotion” of homosexuality was made illegal under Uganda law. From the summary below, one can note that the old penal code’s ‘conspiring’ clause was used to endorse the minister’s assertion that the workshop was, at that time, illegal.

Here is a summary of the ruling as recorded by Fridah Mutesi, one of the lawyers for the applicants.


Today, 23rd June 2014, the High Court delivered the long awaited ruling in the case of Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesera, Frank Mugisha, Julian Pepe Onziema, and Geoffrey Ogwaro v. The Attorney General and Hon. Rev. Fr Simon Lokodo, High Court Miscellaneous Cause No. 33 of 2012. The applicants lost on all four grounds framed by the court and the case was dismissed with costs.

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Breaking: Whistle-blower says Phoenix VA falsifying records, hiding veterans deaths

Tom Boggioni | Raw Story | June 23, 2014

In an exclusive interview with a Veterans Administration scheduler, CNN is reporting that staffers at the troubled Phoenix VA hospital have been altering records, deleting ‘deceased’ designations from the files of patients who died while waiting for care.

‘Deceased’ notes on files were removed to make statistics look better, so veterans would not be counted as having died while waiting for care, VA employee Pauline DeWenter told CNN.

DeWenter, a scheduling clerk at the Phoenix VA said she was ordered by supervisors to manage and handle the so-called “secret waiting list,” where the names of veterans seeking medical care were often placed, and sometimes left for months with no care at all.

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Singapore Catholic archbishop calls on Holy Spirit to ‘restore’ gay people

Gay Asia News | June 23, 2014

Singapore: The Catholic Archbishop of Singapore has in an open letter called upon the Holy Spirit to “restore” gay people and condemned the LGBT community for a lifestyle “detrimental to society.”

“The LGBT movement is gaining momentum. Some of you are confused and are asking what the Church’s position is with regard to the family,” began Archbishop William Goh’s letter to Catholics was posted on the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore’s website on June 21.

The Church “recognizes that there are individuals who are attracted to people of the same sex” but “continues to maintain, that the family, comprising a father, mother and children, remains the basic building block of society,” he said.

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Indian health minister’s conjugal sex only policy irks HIV/AIDS and LGBT activists

Gay Asia News | June 23, 2014

New Delhi: Health and LGBT rights officials are offended with India’s new health minister wanting to promote only sex between husband and wife as a way to combat HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan who took office May 26 said that he would like to see a change in the way the government promotes awareness of HIV/AIDS with more emphasis on “promoting the integrity of the sexual relationship between husband and wife,” which he said was “part of our culture.”

“The thrust of the AIDS campaign should not only be on the use of condoms,” he told “This sends the wrong message that you can have any kind of illicit sexual relationship, but as long as you’re using a condom, it’s fine.”

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Mongolian LGBT community skeptical over anti-discriminatory law reforms

Gay Asia News | June 23, 2014

Ulaanbaatar:  The Mongolian government has begun reforms of the country’s legal system to prevent discrimination but the LGBT community and rights activists remains skeptical saying it falls short of tackling hate crimes.

Hate crime has emerged as a serious issue in Mongolia with numerous attacks against the country’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender population, according to

Though reliable statistics are hard to come by, rights groups say vicious attacks continue to mar Mongolia’s human rights record.

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