LGBTQ World News

North Carolina Hasn’t Learned from its Mistake

North Carolina’s famed anti-transgender bill, dubbed HB 2, has had a few changed added to it in recent weeks. On Tuesday, April 12, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order that made a few changes to the hated bill. The order says that private businesses and nonprofit groups can establish their own bathroom policies and that they, along with local governments, can make their own employment and nondiscrimination policies. These changes only affect state employees. Despite these changes, according the Advocate, multiple businesses and celebrities have canceled their events and business expansions. These celebrities and businesses include Paypal, Ringo Starr, Deutsche Bank, and Bruce Springsteen. Lionsgate has canceled a production shoot and the Stephen Schwartz, the composer for Broadway’s “Wicked,” has cancelled all of the productions of “Wicked” in the state. Eight cities and four states have banned publically funded employee travel to the state as well.


The U.S. Department of Justice to Look into the Ill-treatment of Transgender inmates in Georgia’s State Prisons

Due to multiple, highly publicized complaints, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Georgia are both looking into institutions operated by the Georgia Department of Corrections. This will be the first Justice Department investigation that will be focused on the treatment of LGBT prisoners.

Two cases may have caused to Department of Justice to take action, those cases of Ky Peterson and Ashley Diamond. Peterson, a transgender man, has been in a women’s prison for five years for killing his rapist. Until recently, he was denied hormone therapy. Peterson says that he received a lot of hostility from the guards.

Diamond, a transgender woman, was denied her hormone treatment during her time spent in prison. Denying a transgender person hormone therapy, especially after they have spent some time on the therapy, can cause the person extreme emotional distress.

“My body began to morph, which was very painful,” Diamond said to Atlanta News. “I literally thought I was going to die. I was very vocal from the beginning about needing my therapy.” She spent time in five all-male prisons, she was allegedly raped at all of them.

“It was an every night thing,” Diamond said, “(The staff) turned a blind eye to it all. I think that the gangs run the prisons. I think that I was extorted and used.”

The Justice Department have not said if these two cases have motivated the investigation.

“What we will say is that we have received some complaints relating to allegations of abuse in Georgia prisons. When we reach critical mass, we decide to open up an investigation.” U.S. Attorney John Horn told the Voice.

The investigation is young, but the Georgia Department of Corrections had been cooperative.

Norway’s State Church Votes in Favor of Gay Marriage

On Monday, April 11, Norway’s church synod voted in favor of gay marriages 88 out of 115 synod members at the Church of Norway’s council voted in favor. This means that the state church will adopt provisions for marrying same-sex couples at its meeting next year. The church will also make it a part of its official liturgy. The decision also allows clergy members to decline marrying same-sex couples. Those who disapprove of gay marriage may refrain from performing their ceremonies. Despite this, the church described the vote as “a historic decision that marks a shift in the church’s teaching on marriage.”

“Finally, we can celebrate love, independently of whom one falls in love with,” Gard Sandaker-Nilsen, leader of the Open Public Church movement, said in response to the decision.