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Indonesia bans gay emojis

The Indonesian government is in the process of banning gay-themed emojis on social media platforms.

Indonesia’s popular messaging app LINE has already eliminated same-sex couple emojis a tthe behest of the government and other social media may soon follow suit.

The Japanese-Korean company who developed the LINE app have even posted an apology to Facebook for the ‘offending emoticons’.

“LINE regrets the incidents of some stickers which are considered sensitive by many people,” the statement read. “We ask for your understanding because at the moment we are working on this issue to remove the stickers.”

Ismail Cawidu, spokesman for the Communication and Information Ministry told AFP that LINE was not the only social media platform to be targeted.

The Indonesian government contacted companies with similar emojis, including Twitter and Facebook, asking them to remove them or face a blanket ban

“Such contents are not allowed in Indonesia based on our cultural law and the religious norms and the operators must respect that,” Cawidu told AFP.


Philadelphia woman gets jail time for gay bashing

The woman at the centre of a 2014 gay bashing has been sentenced to up to ten months in prison.

Kathryn Knott, the daughter of a local police cheif was in downtown Philadelphia celebrating a friend’s birthday at Philadelphia City Centre when she became involved in an altercation with a same-sex couple who were walking by the venue on their way to get a pizza.

The altercation, which involved several members of Knott’s group — including several alumni from the Catholic high school Knott had attended – soon spiralled into a violent attack.

Witnesses told police someone in Knott’s group shouted a gay slur, kicking off the fight, which left one of the victim’s with a broken jaw.

One witness claimed Knott had participated in the attack – actually throwing a punch – but Knott denied this accusation and said she was actually attempting to intervene.

Video surveillance footage appeared to back up the witness testimony and in December a jury found Knott guilty of simple assault, reckless endangerment and conspiracy. Today a judge sentenced the 25-year-old to five to ten months in jail for her crimes.

Two of Knott’s friends, Philip Williams and Kevin Harriagn had also been arrested over the attack but struck a plea bargain and are now serving probation and community service.

Gay and Lesbian couples feature in Hallmark Valentine’s campaign

Greeting card giant Hallmark has featured a gay and lesbian couple in their most recent advertising campaign for Valentine’s Day.

The campaign which asks ‘how do you know when you’ve found the one?’ features six different couples relaying their personal stories of romance and explains what it means to find your ‘person’.

The one card campaign

Sharing their stories for the camera are gay couple Robin and Jason appearing with their daughter and lesbians La Paris and Karisia

LaParis and Karisia recall the first time they met and for LaParis it was love at first sight…
“i was completely smitten by her,” says LaParis.

LaParis and Karisia

Gay husbands Robin and Jason remember the moment they frist found out they were having a baby.

“When you meet someone and fall in love it’s an exciting process. Then you have a baby and it’s almost like starting a new relationship,” says Jason.

Robin and Jason

LGBT group raises funds to buy anti-gay church

LGBT advocacy groups are fundraising to purchase a New YorK City Church that was run by reverend David Manning, best known for proclaiming ‘Homos should be stoned’.

The Atlah Worldwide Church is set to be sold in a public auction this month following a court order. The Church is said to owe over $1million in unpaid taxes and bills.

Upon hearing of the sale, LGBT groups have set up a GoFundMe page in an attempt to buy the church to turn it into a support and respite centre for homeless LGBT young people.

Since setting up the page on Friday more than $118,000 has been pledged to the Ali Forney Center which is hoping to use the space to expand housing for LGBT youth.

“I think it would represent a real healing of a terrible wound that’s been in that neighbourhood,” said Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center.

The centre currently houses 107 homeless youth and has a drop-in area three blocks from Atlah. It offers mental health and medical services and provides over 50,000 meals to homeless LGBT youth annually.

Siciliano said that every night the centre turns away between 170 to 200 young people in need.

If the centre fails to raise enough funds to buy the building, it plans to use the monies raised to assist with homeless LGBT youth programs at other sites.

ISIS throw gay teen from rooftop

A 15-year-old-boy has been thrown from a rooftop by ISIS militants

A teenage boy who was found engaging in sexual activity with a senior ISIS officer has been thrown from a Syrian rooftop whilst the ISIS member has been sent to the frontlines in Iraq to fight.

According to Syrian news agency, ARA, the teen was reportedly ‘captured’ in the house of ISIS leader Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi on Thursday.

ISIS militants arrested the teen on charges of homosexuality and he was convicted under Sharia law. Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi was also scheduled to be executed however ISIS officers intervened and sent the former leader to fight on the frontline instead.

The boy was thrown from the top of a building in central Deir ez-Zor, Syria.

The UN suggests that more than 30 people have been executed by ISIS in the past 12 months for being gay.

The executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Jessica Stern, said Islamic State’s homophobic violence was inspiring widespread homophobic attacks.

“In addition to men perceived as gay, trans-identified people and lesbians are among those who have been raped and killed,” sais Stern.