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July 11, 2014

News Briefs Police arrest suspect in murder of trans woman

Cincinnati--Tiffany Edwards, 28, was found shot to death on Tuxedo Place in Walnut Hills on June 26, and the man wanted in her murder turned himself in to police on July 2.

Edwards, born DeAndre, was found by a garbage collector. Police later issued a warrant for the arrest of Quamar Edwards, who is not related to the victim.

Family members encouraged Quamar to turn himself in and said that he was eager to do the right thing. Quamar Edwards’ uncle Greg Mullins told WLWT that Tiffany asked Quamar for a ride, and that Quamar later said that Tiffany hit on him. While Mullins said it was not based on Tiffany’s sexual identity, it seems like Quamar may be trying to lay the groundwork for a “gay panic” defense.

It is the fourth murder of a transgender woman in Ohio in 18 months; the other three were in northeast Ohio, with one conviction and another arrest so far.

Tiffany Edwards’ murder is, according to the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization, the fourth murder of a transgender person of color in the country in the month of June alone.

Mississipi anti-gay “Jim Crow” takes effect

Jackson, Ms.--Business owners can now turn away LGBT customers if their presence violates “deeply held religious beliefs.”

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act took effect on July 1 after being passed in April. Similar bills were pulled in other parts of the country when it was pointed out that, instead of protecting freedom of religion, the bills are designed to allow discrimination against LGBT people in violation of local and state anti-discrimination legislation.

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed her state’s law after being lobbied by the business community.

In Mississippi, LGBT advocates are distributing stickers to businesses that affirm that they will take LGBT customers. The stickers read, “We don’t discriminate. If you’re buying, we’re selling.”

Study shows children raised by gay and lesbian parents healthy and happy

Melbourne, Australia--Same-sex parents in Australia have children with higher ratings for health and family cohesiveness than opposite-sex couples, according to a new study from the University of Melbourne.

The study, published in the BMC Public Health journal, used 315 parents, with 500 children. Eighty percent of the children were being raised by female couples.

“Children in same-sex parent families had higher scores on measures of general behavior, general health and family cohesion compared to population normative data,” the study relates, concluding, “Australian children with same-sex attracted parents score higher than population samples on a number of parent-reported measures of child health. Perceived stigma is negatively associated with mental health. Through improved awareness of stigma these findings play an important role in health policy, improving child health outcomes.”

FIFA must get tougher on anti-gays for Russia games in 2018

Zurich--The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, already under fire for failing to punish racist and anti-gay outbursts during the current World Cup tournament in Brazil, says that it will need to establish a special task force to deal with the rampant homophobia in Russia.

The muscle-flexing former superpower is slated to host the World Cup in 2018, and has passed legislation barring pro-gay “propaganda” in front of minors, bans gay pride marches and frowns upon adoptions by LGBT people.

In the Brazil games, Mexico fans chanted “puto” at opposing teams, while German fans wore blackface when playing against Ghana and Croatian fans brought neo-Nazi flags. There was no disciplinary action taken by FIFA for these offenses.

But Jeffrey Webb, the organization’s anti-discrimination chief, said that training must be increased for the 2018 games.

“It is much more of a problem in Russia,” he said to reporters, according to Gay Star News. “Russia itself needs a special task force, just for Russia and from an educational standpoint internally.”

“There is absolutely no reason why at this World Cup we don’t have anti-discrimination officers here doing proper investigations, proper reporting,” he continued. “It is obvious there is a disconnect between what we in the Task Force deem as racism and discrimination and what the Disciplinary Committee deems as racism and discrimination.”

Bulgarian pride march blocked by nationalist protesters

Sofia, Bulgaria--The seventh annual Sofia Pride was held on July 5, with about a hundred people marching, protecting by hundreds of police officers.

The march was originally slated for June 21, but it was delayed in respect of people who died during floods along the Bulgarian coasts earlier that week.

Marchers wanted to go past the monument honoring the independence of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire, but were blocked by protesters from a nationalist party, spurred on by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, which accused the marchers of trying to destroy the society.

A letter was published on July 3 on the British Embassy’s website expressing support for the march from the ambassadors from the U.K., the U.S., the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Germany, Denmark, South Africa and Ireland.











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