By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council (UNSC), whose primary mandate is the maintenance of international peace and security, has occasionally digressed to discuss global issues such as climate change and HIV/AIDS.
But in a historic first, and at a closed-door meeting co-hosted by the United States and Chile,
the UNSC took up the issue of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) rights – providing a platform for an Iraqi and a Syrian, both of whom escaped persecution by the radical Islamic State (IS) purely for their sexual orientation.
The meeting took place Monday, under what is called the “Arria-formula”, named after Ambassador Diego Arria of Venezuela who initiated the practice back in 1992.
Described as “informal and confidential gatherings”, they enable Security Council members to have a frank and private exchange of views – but with no official commitments.
Critical of this restricted political dialogue, Boris Dittrich, advocacy director of the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch (HRW), told IPS that Monday’s meeting was clearly “not an official U.N. Security Council meeting.” Read More
By Nathan James
In the two weeks since F. Gary Gray’s biopic about the hip-hop quintet N.W.A.’s origins was released, the film has earned good reviews for its taut storytelling, excellent casting, and powerful message about life in the “inner city”.
The story follows the group as they struggle with the challenges of life in “the hood” of Compton, California, a rough suburb of Los Angeles, in the 1980s.
The gritty narrative is delivered to great effect by leads Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre), Jason Mitchell (Easy E), Aldis Hodge (MC Ren), Neil Brown, Jr. (DJ Yella), and strong supporting performances by R. Marcus Taylor as ne’er-do-well producer Suge Knight, Carole Patterson (Tomica), and Keith Stanfield as Snoop.
The entire cast rounds out the realism of Gray’s street-level drama, capturing the rebellious nature of the group, and the way it changed the hip-hop genre forever. Read More
Gay right activists have taken part in a parade in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu to press their demands for gay rights to be enshrined in the constitution. Hundreds turned up for the colourful rally – dancing in the streets.
They are demanding same-sex marriage be guaranteed in the new constitution, gay couples’ rights to adopt, buy joint property or inherit from one another. Read More
By Kim Lewis
The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDs Resources Emergency Act marked a milestone recently as it celebrated its 25-year anniversary of providing comprehensive care for nearly 525,000 low-income people living with HIV.
The act was named for the young man who was diagnosed with AIDS at the age of 13 following a blood transfusion. Prior to his death in 1990, Ryan fought discrimination based on his illness in his community in Indiana. Legislation to honor him and support others with HIV/AIDS was passed soon after his death. Read More
CHICAGO — Young men who have sex with men have the highest risk for HIV infection, but only one in five has ever been tested for HIV, a much lower rate than testing for non-adolescents, reports a new national Northwestern Medicine study conducted in partnership with the Center for Innovative Public Health Research.
The greatest barriers to these teenage males getting tested are not knowing where to go to get an HIV test, worries about being recognized at a testing site and — to a lesser degree — thinking they are invincible and won’t get infected. Read More
Roanoke, Virginia WDBJ TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were gunned down while working. A third person was also injured by the shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan; a former co-worker at the same TV station. Flanagan later killed himself when cornered by police.
Flanagan, described as a Black homosexual, said he was a “walking powder-keg.” He also claimed his rage was fueled by the Charleston South Carolina shooting. Read More
The best week to be in Provincetown is the week of Carnival. The parade is its signature extravaganza.
While many would contest that any week in P’Town during the summer months is a carnival, the official date is always week thirty-three—this year it was from August 15 – August 21.
The 2015 Carnival theme was Candy Land, and what the theme evoked for revelers and tourists alike varied widely and wildly. Read Moore
In the horrific aftermath of last week’s double murder of a WDBJ-TV news crew, on their live morning-show broadcast, by a disgruntled former employee of that station, the mass media rushed into a frenzied effort to uncover every possible negative detail about the killer’s life and personality.
Vester Flanagan, the 41-year-old ex-reporter whose turbulent life came to an abrupt end when, Read More