Tag: AntiLGBT

California governor Gavin Newsom ends anti-LGBT sex offence disparity

California governor Gavin Newsom ends anti-LGBT sex offence disparity

The governor of California Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that eliminates a disparity in sex offence laws treating LGBT+ people more harshly, despite attacks from the far-right, Donald Trump Jr and Ted Cruz.

In a low-key announcement on Friday (September 11) amid the wildfire emergency in the state, Newsom’s office confirmed he had signed SB 145 — one week after the state legislature approved the bill, penned gay Democratic lawmaker Scott Wiener.

Wiener was threatened with “public execution” after far-right conspiracy theorists latched onto the legislation, which closes a loophole in California’s sexual offence laws.

Under existing state law it is a crime to have sex with someone under the age of 18, but judges have a discretionary power to keep teenagers off the sex offenders’ register for having sex with someone of a similar age, such as a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old.

However, the powers only apply to “penile-vaginal intercourse”, which means that LGBT+ teens are liable to be added to the sex offenders’ registry for having consensual sex, where straight teens are not.

Far-right activists had launched baseless attacks on sex offence law

Wiener’s bill to fix the issue by applying the law evenly has led to him being smeared a a “paedophile” by followers of QAnon – the far-reaching but unfounded conspiracy theory that, among other things, claims Donald Trump is at war with an elite, international ring of Satan-worshipping child sex traffickers.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill on Friday
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill on Friday (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The attacks stemming from the conspiracist far-right were also elevated by leading Republicans, with Senator Ted Cruz, Donald Trump Jr and shock jock Rush Limbaugh all perpetuating falsehoods relating to the law.

Cruz claimed: “Priorities. Today’s CA Dems believe we need more adults having sex with children, and when they do, they shouldn’t register as sex offenders.”

Meanwhile, Trump Jr raged: “Why are Joe Biden Democrats working in California to pander to the wishes of pedophiles and child rapists? New California bill would lower penalties for adults who have sexual relations with a minor”.

Departing from both the truth and any plane of reality where truth exists as an objective construct, Rush Limbaugh opted to claim to his listeners: “Paedophilia is now legal in California. Now a 21 year old can have sex with an 11 year old, and not be listed on the sex registry as a sex offender.”

Fact-checkers have been working overtime to point out that nearly all of the viral claims spreading about the law are false – though social media giants Twitter and Facebook have done little to counter the spread of the falsehoods.

LGBT+ activists celebrate California governor’s decision to ignore hateful ‘misinformation campaign’

Celebrating the decision to sign it, Senator Scott Wiener said in a statement: “It’s appalling that in 2020, California continues to discriminate against LGBTQ people, by mandating that LGBTQ young people be placed on the sex offender registry in situations where straight people aren’t required to be placed on the registry.

“SB 145 simply ends that discrimination by treating LGBTQ young people the exact same way that straight young people have been treated since 1944.

“I am so grateful that Governor Newsom — one of the LGBTQ community’s strongest allies ever — once again has shown that he gets it and that he’s willing to support our community even when it’s hard.

“And the politics here are hard, with the massive Trump/QAnon/MAGA misinformation campaign against the legislation. The facts are clear: SB 145 simply ends anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Today, California took yet another step toward an equitable society.”

Democratic state senator Scott Wiener
Democratic state senator Scott Wiener

Equality California’s executive director Rick Chavez Zbur said: “We are incredibly grateful to Governor Newsom for his unyielding commitment to LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice.

“Dr King said, ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’ Signing SB 145 was the right thing to do.

“It was the right thing to do for LGBTQ+ young people, it was the right thing to do to keep our communities safe and it was the right thing to do for California.

“If we want a California for all, then we need a justice system that treats all Californians fairly and equally — regardless of who they are, what they look like or whom they love. That goal is at the core of SB 145.

“Thanks to Governor Newsom and Senator Wiener, California is one step closer to living up to our shared values of fairness, equality and justice for all.”

10 Bucket List Items in Anti-LGBT Destinations – DOPES ON THE ROAD

10 Bucket List Items in Anti-LGBT Destinations - DOPES ON

It’s illegal to be LGBT in 70+ countries. Some of these countries hold the most incredible wonders, brightest adventures, and most sought after travel experiences. We believe that all people, regardless of their identities, deserve to see the beauty and wonder of the world. We’ve written at length about why we choose to travel to anti-LGBT destinations, but I’ll briefly summarize our feelings by saying this if local people have first-hand experience with LGBT people they’re more likely to think favorably of our community. People cannot be expected to accept that which they have no positive experiences. That being said, not every traveler wants to be an activist and you shouldn’t have to be. Traveling with a group is always safer in high-risk countries because it allows you to blend with a crowd and gives you direct contact with bilingual people in case there are any complications. Which is why we put together this list of incredible experiences LGBT people can enjoy on the next holiday. 

 

Hike to the Treasury in Petra 

Jordan might be a lesser-known travel destination but it is emerging as a true powerhouse in recent years. At this point, everyone has seen the stunning photos taken on the hill from above the Treasury on Instagram. A night spent sipping tea at a desert camp with the Bedouin people followed by a hike to the Ancient City of Petra. You can imagine that would be the highlight of visiting Jordan.  This UNESCO World Heritage Site looks like it’s been ripped straight from the pages of an Aladdin fairytale book. With the camels, gorgeous carpets, and beautiful sandstone colored buildings. However, if you ask anyone who’s been there what their favorite part is and everyone will tell you the people. There’s really nothing more magical than that. 

Spot the Big 5 in the Serengeti

Have you thought about visiting Tanzania yet? We’ve all watched the magic of the Serengeti through the eyes of the National Geographic Channel for years. Everything from the lions hunting for prey to the vultures cleaning up the mess was documented for us. However, there is no substitute for being right in the middle of it all. With the rhino growing closer and closer to extinction the time is now to go see these majestic animals. Just in case you didn’t know the big five includes the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino all five can be found in the Serengeti. 

Haggle for goods at the Medina of Fez

The Medina in Fez is a swirling center of hectic chaos that has not changed for centuries. Your senses will but absolutely overloaded in all ways when you visit Morocco but the Fez is the peak of that beautiful chaos. When you think you simply can not take anymore you’ll pop up to a rooftop terrace to sip tea overlooking everything. Fez is bright, it is colorful and it’s loud but there is an energy there that is nearly unmatched. Once you’ve had your tea, navigate the narrow streets and negotiate a good price on something for the home. Don’t take it easy, these merchants are seasoned veterans and drive a hard bargain. Getting a good deal here is a notch in your traveler belt you can proudly claim forever. 

Visit the Splendor of the Taj Mahal

A visit to India undeniably belongs in a prominent place on all travel bucket lists. While the whole country is spotted with beautifully unique cities any trip would be incomplete without making a stop at the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a physical gift symbolizing an emperor’s deep love and appreciation for his wife. The Taj Mahal complex is very large with massive gardens and outbuildings but the mausoleum is the highlight. It is an architectural blend of Persian, Islamic and Indian design. The Taj Mahal and its surrounding complex are one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. It is worth noting that while there are efforts being made to protect the Taj, pollution is harshly affecting the stunning white marble. 

Marvel at the wonder that is the Pyramids of Giza

Only one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World still exists. That wonder is, of course, the Pyramids of Giza. The pyramids are located on the outskirts of the bustling metropolitan city of Cairo. In fact, you can see the skyline from the Pyramids, a crazy blend of old and new.  A visit to Egypt just is not complete without taking time to kiss the Sphinx. Built almost 5000 years ago the Pyramids of Giza are a truly exceptional architectural feat. While there are still many theories on exactly how and who built the Pyramids there is no doubt it belongs on every travel bucket list. Seeing the way the dust kicks up off the camels’ hooves as they pass through the desert is truly any photographer or travelers’ dream. 

Nile river boats in aswan egypt

Tour the historic walls of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Russia 

Close your eyes and picture your self visiting Russia. There’s a really good chance you pictured the colors, patterns, and shapes of St. Basils Cathedral. Located at the southern end of the famed Red Square. St Basil’s Cathedral has become Russia’s most iconic building. A UNESCO World Heritage site that was ordered to be built by Ivan the Terrible in 1561. The interior of the cathedral is smaller and more compact one might expect. However, while visiting the ornately decorated nine chaples you will often find choral groups singing. 

Explore the Magnificent Petronas Towers in Malaysia 

Malaysia was home to the tallest building in the world from 1998 to 2004. Located in Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Towers are still the tallest twin towers in the world. To get a birds-eye view you can buy a ticket to go inside or view this stunning architectural feat from the ground. On the 41st floor, you can walk the sky bridge, the highest of its kind. From there you’ll keep traveling upwards to the 86th-floor viewing platform where you’ll see the whole city. Built by an Argentinian architect there is a distinct touch of Islamic influence. With five tiers of the building representing the five pillars of Islam. Make time on your visit to Malaysia to check it out in the evening, they are truly stunning lit up at night. 

Snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef

The world’s second-largest coral reef is located in Belize. No matter if you are an expert scuba diver or snorkeling for the first time, Belize is right for you. There are over 500 species of fish that call this reef home. If you are interested in becoming PADI certified this is a great destination to do so. If snorkeling is more your speed, you can expect to spend lazy days under the sun spotting more sea life than imaginable. If you’re looking for a Caribbean destination Belize is a great option. 

Trek with Gorillas in Uganda

Be prepared to get a little sweaty and dirty on this adventure in Uganda. You’ll be hiking though the thick mountains of Uganda looking for the mountain gorillas. With nothing between you and these massive animals, your anticipation will be building with every step. While there is no barrier between you and the gorillas they are very familiar with humans. Take the time to observe them with their families in their most natural habitat. When you’re packing for this one don’t forget to pack some patience. Even with an experienced guide, it can take hours to track the gorillas down.