A lesbian couple in India were allegedly forced apart by their families, who barged into their home and publicly beat one of them in front of their village.
The two women, who are both adults, were living happily in the Baghpat area of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. On Sunday (8 November) the relatives of one of the women burst into their house and forcibly separated the pair, Times Now reports.
When one woman attempted to resist she was humiliated and beaten in the street, in full view of bystanders who filmed the scene and circulated the footage on social media.
She told local news that she and her partner had made a conscious decision to live together, and that they wanted to work in the field of education but were facing continuous resistance from their families over their relationship.
The lesbian couple had already notified the police of their situation and appealed for safety, she added, but the family took matters into their own hands.
“We had given a written complaint to the police to provide us protection,” she told The Times of India. “But before they could, Shreya’s [name changed] relatives came here and thrashed me publicly and even tore my clothes. And they took her away.”
A senior police official said that the authorities are looking into the matter.
Homosexual relations were decriminalised in India in 2018, but LGBT+ people still face an enormous amount of stigma, particularly in rural areas.
With same-sex marriage remaining a distant hope for queer Indians, some couples are legitimising their relationships by entering into a maitri karar, a type of “friendship contract”.
The couple were forced to file a high court lawsuit to gain protection when their plea for safety was ignored by police. The courts finally granted a protection order in August, giving the women the right to live together in peace.
Shevrin Jones feels good. In fact, he said, he feels great after easily winning election last week to become Florida’s first LGBTQ state senator.
Jones said the election of so many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people across the country this election cycle “is a direct pushback on the hatred and bigotry over the last four years,” citing the Trump administration’s rhetoric against immigrants, people of color and the LGBTQ community.
“This is a win for all of us,” said Jones, who previously served in the Florida House of Representatives.
Jones was among a record number of openly LGBTQ candidates on general election ballots last week. The LGBTQ Victory Fund, a national organization that trains, supports and advocates for queer candidates, puts that number at approximately 574, and NBC News’ review of their data, state election results and local reports found that more than 220 of these candidates have already claimed victory, with dozens of contests yet to be called.
The fund estimated that in 2018, there were approximately 432 openly LGBTQ candidates on general election ballots, with 244 winning their races. This year, they expect the total number of wins to surpass this number.
While there is power in numbers, Andrew Reynolds, a Princeton researcher who has been studying LGBTQ political representation, cautioned against putting too much emphasis on overall numbers.
“The really exciting thing about the election was not the increase — it was who is getting elected,” he said, pointing to victories by queer women, people of color and transgender candidates across the nation.
“You are seeing a different type of voice emerging,” Reynolds said.
Twenty-six openly LGBTQ candidates for U.S. Senate or House were on the November ballot — the most in U.S. history. Even with one gay incumbent’s House race yet to be called, LGBTQ representation in Congress will hit an all-time high next session.
Two nonincumbent LGBTQ victors, both progressive Democrats, easily won their races. If all incumbents win, as is expected, it will increase LGBTQ representation in the House to nine, from seven, with 11 total LGBTQ people in Congress.
Mondaire Jones, an attorney, and New York City Council member Ritchie Torres handily won their races for New York’s 17th and 15th Congressional Districts, respectively, becoming the first openly gay Black candidates elected to Congress.
“Mondaire and Ritchie have shattered a rainbow ceiling and will bring unique perspectives based on lived experiences never before represented in the U.S. Congress,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement. “As our nation grapples with racism, police brutality and a pandemic that disproportionately affects people of color and LGBTQ people, these are the voices that can pull us from the brink and toward a more united and fair society.”
Six of the seven LGBTQ representatives currently serving in the House, all Democrats, have already won re-election: David Cicilline of Rhode Island; Chris Pappas of New Hampshire; Mark Pocan of Wisconsin; Angie Craig of Minnesota; Mark Takano of California; and Sharice Davids of Kansas. The seventh, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, was leading his Republican opponent by nearly 3 percentagepoints as of Thursday with 78 percent of votes in.
There are two LGBTQ U.S. senators — Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, both Democrats, neither of whom was up for re-election.
While an increase of two seats in the House is record-setting for LGBTQ representation in Congress, it was not the big boost advocates had hoped for. One particularly close race was the contest for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, which out lesbian Gina Ortiz Jones lost by 3 percentage points.
“It’s all about turnout,” Don Haider-Markel, a political science professor at the University of Kansas, said. “Given the pattern over the whole night, I’m not surprised they didn’t make the inroads they thought they would. It looks like in 2020, Republicans were able to turn out their base in ways that blunted the gains Democrats, and LGBTQ candidates, could make.”
The LGBTQ Victory fund estimates that at least 90 percent of queer candidates on this year’s general election ballots were running as Democrats.
Historical state inroads
The picture is even brighter in state legislatures across the country, where a record-breaking number of more than 240 LGBTQ candidates were on the general election ballot. As of Thursday, at least 124 of these candidates had won their races, approximately three dozen of them nonincumbents. There are still a number of state legislative races with LGBTQ candidates that still have not yet been called.
“LGBTQ candidates made historic inroads in state legislatures across the country, winning in states and chambers where we never have before,” Parker said in a statement. “Trans candidates in particular had unprecedented victories, including electing our first trans state senator and almost doubling the number of trans state legislators. These down-ballot victories reflect where America stands on the inclusion of LGBTQ people in our nation’s politics and each one represents an important step forward on the march toward equality.”
Prior to Election Day, five states — Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee — had never elected an openly LGBTQ state legislator.
Delaware leaves the list following the election wins of Sarah McBrideto the state Senate and Eric Morrison and Marie Pinkney to the state House. McBride’s win also makes her the first transgender person elected to any state Senate in the U.S.
Tennessee will also leave the list after electing its first two out state legislators — one on each side of the political aisle. Bisexual Democrat Torrey Harris and gay Republican Eddie Mannis both won seats in the state House.
Haider-Markel said Mannis’ victory is relatively unusual, as the “Republican Party has still not been that welcoming to LGBT folks.” However, Mannis will join several GOP lawmakers who won re-election last week, including Tom Hannegan of Missouri, Jason Elliot of South Carolina and Dan Zwonitzer of Wyoming, who has played a vital role in preventing the passage of anti-LGBTQ legislation in that state.
Alaska could join Delaware and Tennessee in making political history: Out lesbian Lyn Franks is in a race for a seat in the Alaska House of Representatives that is still too close to call.
“It’s really just a matter of time before you see LGBTQ representation in every state,” Haider-Markel said. “Every state has districts that are amenable to Democrats and therefore to LGBTQ candidates.”
He said LGBTQ candidates continue to win local offices and gain the political experience that allows them to run for higher office.
“The gap is really closing,” he said.
Historic wins for Black LGBTQ candidates
This year’s LGBTQ candidate pool was more racially diverse than ever. In addition to Torres and Jones in Congress in New York, many Black queer candidates had historic wins at the state level.
In Florida, along with Shevrin Jones in the Senate, Michele Rayner became the first Black queer woman elected to the Florida state House.
Parker said she hopes these wins “inspire more Black LGBTQ leaders to step up and run themselves.”
“The politics of division and hatred failed in this race and gave way to a government that is more representative of the people it serves,” she said in a statement.
In Georgia, out lesbian Kim Jackson made history when she won her race for state Senate, becoming the first LGBTQ person elected to that chamber.
Tiara Mack in Rhode Island and Marie Pinkney in Delaware also won their races, making major inroads for Black LGBTQ women across the U.S.
Jabari Brisport won his race and will become the first openly LGBTQ person of color elected to New York’s state Legislature.
Prior to Election Day, there were just 42 openly LGBTQ state legislators of color serving nationwide, only 13 of them Black.
Regarding the diversity of LGBTQ candidates, Haider-Markel said: “It’s the same pattern we are seeing with the Democratic Party writ large. Democrats are running the kinds of candidates that reflect the Democratic base, which is a very diverse base.”
In addition to McBride’s win in Delaware, Taylor Small won her race for the Vermont state House, becoming the first out transgender person ever elected to that state’s Legislature.
Stephanie Byers of Kansas won her election, becoming the first out transgender person ever elected to the Kansas state House and the first out trans person of color ever elected to a state legislature in the U.S.
Incumbent transgender state legislators Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon in New Hampshire and Brianna Titone in Colorado, all won their races.
These victories take transgender representation at the state level from four to seven.
Danica Roem, who became the first openly transgender legislator anywhere in the country in 2017, congratulated the winners on social media.
“Before I ran in ’17, we had no out trans state legislators. In ’21, we’ll have 7,” she tweeted.
Mauree Turner won their race for the Oklahoma state House and became the first openly nonbinary person ever elected to a state legislature in the United States.
Joshua Query, running for re-election to the New Hampshire state House, will be the first openly gender-nonconforming person elected to a state legislature. Query did not run openly as gender-nonconforming when they first won in 2018.
At the local level, LGBTQ candidates achieved important milestones as well. Todd Gloria won his election for Mayor of San Diego, becoming the first out LGBTQ person elected mayor of that city.
Last month in Alaska, Austin Quinn-Davidson became the first openly LGBTQ mayor in Anchorage when the incumbent resigned.
While last week’s victories for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer candidates have increased representation across the U.S., just a fraction of a percent of the country’s roughly half million elected officials are LGBTQ, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
On the federal level, LGBTQ representation in Congress stands higher, at about 1.7 percent, and that number is expected to increase to 2 percent in January once Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres are seated. At the state level, Reynolds of Princeton estimates the current percentage sits at 2.1 percent and will increase to 2.2 percent once all of this year’s election winners are seated — an increase he refers to not as a “rainbow wave” but as a rainbow “splash.”
With LGBTQ people making up an estimated 5 percent of the U.S. population, the Victory Fund estimates we would need to elect 22,000 more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer elected officials to achieve “equitable representation.”
“I truly believe when we all have a seat at the table and everyone is represented,” Shevrin Jones said, “it makes our nation better.”
Legendary transgender perfomrer and singer Bambi Lake tragically passed away after being diagnosed with cancer, the Bay Area Reporter reports. Lake was 70.
Lake was a beloved performer in the Bay Area, and a mainstay in San Francisco’s queer underground scene. She was a sex worker, a porn actor, a cabaret artist, a songwriter, and a member of the legendary San Francisco theater group The Cockettes.
Lake’s friend, Birdie Bob Watt, called Lake a trailblazer. “She’s been inspirational to a lot of people as far as her ability to navigate her own path,” Watt said. “…In telling her story she gave a lot of other people power, as well as giving power to herself.”
In the 1990s, Lake co-authored a memoir titled The Unsinkable Bambi Lake with Alvin Orloff, the manager of Dog Eared Books Castro. Shealso released a solo album, Broadway Hostess, in 2005. Her show The Golden Age of Bambi Lake was a sold out hit at the popular nightclub Oasis.
In 2015, trans filmmaker Silas Howard made a short documentary about her, Sticks and Stones: Bambi Lake in 2014. Howard remembers her as being an unforgettable and unmatched figure in queer culture.
“An elusive and unstoppable force, Bambi lived for the stage, as it was one of the few places she was not only seen but revered for her talent and vulnerability,” Howard told Out. “She survived the AIDs pandemic, battles with houselessness and addiction, and lived to the age of 70s as a trans woman. A pioneer, an icon, a paradox, an overwhelming presence, a miracle to behold. She was fearlessly out as a trans woman when that term was not even in the popular lexicon.”
Howard also remembered her one-of-a-kind style. “She did it with a style which mixed DIY punk aesthetics with 1940s Hollywood glamour, a touch of Haute Couture and blatant sexuality,” he said. “She did it with a brash, confidence. In telling her story she gave a lot of other people power, as well as giving power to herself.”
Lake will be sorely missed, not just in San Francisco, but across the global LGBTQ+
Today we’re excited to announce the launch of the Spanish version of our website. This has been part of our new strategic plan that we have been working on as we move forward into a new year. It is vital that we are able to reach out and communicate with our Latinx community that we serve here in Sonoma County.The challenges that this community faces in dealing with HIV and more is a key issue for us here at Face to Face and we are thrilled to be able to find more ways that we can share the work we do here with them. While this is just one step in the process we hope that it leads to more understanding of the key issues that the population faces.
We will continue to strive to do more outreach via our social media channels moving forward.
Greetings!Hoy nos complace anunciar el lanzamiento de la versión en español de nuestro sitio de web. Esto ha sido parte de nuestro nuevo plan estratégico en el que hemos estado trabajando a medida que avanzamos hacia un nuevo año. Es vital que podamos acercarnos y comunicarnos con nuestra comunidad Latinx a la que servimos aquí en el condado de Sonoma.Los desafíos que enfrenta esta comunidad para lidiar con el VIH y más es un tema clave para nosotros aquí en Face to Face y estamos encantados de poder encontrar más formas en que podemos compartir el trabajo que hacemos aquí con ellos. Si bien esto es solo un paso en el proceso, esperamos que conduzca a una mayor comprensión de los problemas clave que enfrenta la población. Continuaremos esforzándonos por hacer más divulgación a través de nuestros canales de redes sociales en el futuro.
Sincerely/Atentamente,Sara Sara BrewerExecutive Director/Directora EjecutivaFace to Face
The EU has unveiled its first ever plan to tackle LGBT+ discrimination following increasing calls for action over the rise of homophobic rhetoric in Poland.
The European Commission’s unprecedented five-year strategy details a number of targeted actions, including legal and funding measures, aimed at addressing the inequalities still faced by LGBT+ Europeans.×
It includes plans to extend the list of EU crimes to cover homophobic hate speech, ensure that LGBT+ concerns are better reflected in policy-making, and propose new laws to guarantee same-sex parenthood will be recognised across the 27 member nations.
“This is not about ideology. This is not about being men or women. This is about love,” said commission vice-president Vera Jourova. “This strategy is not against anyone. This does not put anyone on a pedestal. But it is about guaranteeing safety and non-discrimination for everyone.”
The commission said some progress is being made toward equality, but acknowledged a 2019 European Fundamental Rights survey that found 43 per cent of LGBT+ people still feel discriminated against, compared to 37 per cent in 2012.
Coronavirus lockdowns are thought to be worsening the situation by forcing some young people to remain in places where they might face violence, hostility and bullying or suffer anxiety or depression.
Although the strategy doesn’t specifically mention Poland, commissioner for equality Helena Dalli made clear that the country’s extreme anti-LGBT+ policies are in direct opposition to the EU’s “core values”.
“Today, the EU asserts itself, as the example to follow, in the fight for diversity and inclusion,” she declared in a statement on Thursday (12 November)
“Equality and non-discrimination are core values and fundamental rights in the European Union. This means that everybody in the European Union should feel safe and free without fear of discrimination or violence on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics.
“We are still a long way away from the full inclusion and acceptance that LGBTIQ people deserve,” she admitted.
Member countries that don’t have equality strategies were prompted to adopt one suited to the needs of their citizens, with the reminder that the commission will be monitoring their progress and reviewing the situation in 2023.
With LGBTQ advocacy organizations eager for change in the new Biden administration, the Human Rights Campaign has laid out proposals lighting the way forward with a detailed guide on administrative actions to reverse President Trump’s anti-LGBTQ policies.
The 24-page document, titled the “Blueprint for Positive Change 2020,” lays out guidance across all federal agencies to reverse the anti-LGBTQ policies under the Trump administration and advance equality after President-elect Biden takes office.
Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, pointed out in an interview with the Washington Blade on Wednesday his organization prepares a blueprint at the start of a new administration, but this time at the end of the Trump era things are different.
“These are steps that the Biden-Harris administration can take affirmatively and administratively to protect LGBTQ people and really not only put us back in positions that we were in before the Trump administration, but advance us forward toward equality,” David said.
The Human Rights Campaign, David said, has been identifying policies for the past year under the Trump administration in anticipation of producing the blueprint and having the chance to reverse them if President Trump was voted out of office.
Key among the recommendations is implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which found anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
David pointed out the Trump administration has never implemented the decision even though it was handed down in June.
“Bostock is not just simply about employment protections,” David said. “The court clearly says if federal statutes prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, that should also include sexual orientation and gender identity. So we have many federal statutes, housing, credit, other federal statutes that would provide protections to LGBTQ people, so a full implementation of Bostock would take us steps forward in terms of protecting LGBTQ rights and advancing those rights.”
Also highlighted in the blueprint is reversing the transgender military ban, establishing an interagency working group to address anti-transgender violence, appointing openly LGBTQ federal officials, and uniform standards in federal surveys for data collection on the LGBTQ community.
The Human Rights Campaign isn’t the only LGBTQ advocacy group putting out guidelines for the new administration to advance LGBTQ rights.
Other LGBTQ organizations — including the Movement Advancement Project, the Center for American Progress, the Equality Federation, GLSEN, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the LGBTQ elder group SAGE — issued their own document with 10 priorities for the Biden administration. Much of the guidance is similar, including implementation of the Bostock decision, reversing the transgender military ban and restoring non-discrimination regulations for LGBTQ people.
David said he has been in conversations with the Biden transition team and provided a copy of the blueprint to them and the reaction was “positive.”
“They have been very hospitable, very open to receiving the blueprints, and and very accommodating in discussing any concerns or questions that may arise as we go through the process,” David said.
Some of the policy changes, David said, could be done immediately, such as implementation of the Bostock ruling, but others would take additional time because of federal law governing regulations.
As the U.S. Supreme Court determined earlier this year in its decision on DACA-protections for undocumented immigrants, the Administrative Procedure Act prohibits any administration from making policy changes too quickly or without going through an open process allowing for due consideration.
David identified the Department of Health & Human Services withdrawing an Obama-era rule interpreting Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in health care, to apply to cases of anti-trans discrimination as one Trump-era measure that would take some time to reverse.
“We certainly suspect that anti-equality forces will be attacking the Biden-Harris administration in their attempts to protect LGBTQ people,” David said. “So we want to make sure that we take all of the steps necessary to implement regulations that would be appropriate in protecting LGBTQ people, so that’s one example of where we would have to go through a process.”
Reggie Greer, the Biden-Harris campaign’s LGBTQ+ engagement director, spoke generally about Biden’s support for LGBTQ rights in response to a request to comment on the blueprint.
“President-elect Biden has dedicated his life to advancing LGBTQ+ rights and will work to usher in the most pro-equality administration in history,” Greer said.
Biden as a presidential candidate, however, trumpeted his support for LGBTQ rights and issued a detailed policy plan on the way forward on LGBTQ issues that encompass many of the same plans.
But what about the Equality Act?
The new blueprint is for administrative actions, so it doesn’t take into consideration legislative items such as the Equality Act to advance LGBTQ rights, which Biden has said would be his No. 1 legislative priority and signed within 100 days of his administration.
The failure of Democrats to capture to the U.S. Senate, however, has thrown a wrench into the anticipated majority Biden would have for his legislative agenda.
The Associated Press Wednesday morning called the Senate race in Alaska in favor of Republican Dan Sullivan. The Senate would be at most split 50-50, and that would be the case only if Democrats are successful in both races in the upcoming run-off elections in Georgia.
Despite the lack of a Democratic majority in the Senate, David said he sees opportunities to move the Equality Act.
“If we’re not able to obtain full majority in the Senate, we will expect to work both with the House of Representatives and the Biden-Harris administration to push through with the Equality Act,” David said. “You know, there are certain pieces of legislation that were passed during the Obama administration, with a Republican Senate that were progressive, pro-equality pieces of legislation, so we anticipate that we can do the same here.”
David conceded challenges would exist in moving forward with the Equality Act, but pointed out the president-elect has a record of reaching out across the aisle.
“Even if we’re not able to control the Senate, the Senate majority will need certain things from the Biden-Harris administration just in order to make sure governments function, and Joe Biden has always been someone who reaches across the aisle to make sure he can get things done,” David said. “So we anticipate working with them, and working with President Biden to make sure that we get through pro-equality legislation.”
LGBT+ asylum seekers are often subjected to bias and derogatory remarks from interpreters, a report has warned.
The report from the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, published on Wednesday (November 11), flagged concerns about the way people seeking asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity are treated during Home Office processes.
According to the report, stakeholders had raised concerns that “interpreter bias” has a large impact on applications among LGBT+ asylum claimants.
It warns: “One [stakeholder] argued that this was particularly prevalent in LGBTQI+ claims, with applicants reporting interpreters using derogatory slang and making judgements, which impacted the confidence of applicants.
“Another referred to reports from LGBTQI+ applicants about interpreters ‘mistranslating, rebuking or judging people, or being dismissive of their fears such as the death penalty’.
“There were concerns that applicants could feel inhibited about talking about their claim which could affect the decision.”
According to the report, the Home Office’s Asylum Operations unit had “confirmed stakeholders’ concerns, commenting that with some LGBTQI+ claims they could ‘feel the tension’ between the applicant and interpreter.”
While some Home Office decision makers were aware that some interpreters were “fairly old guys who have their views”, the report says that they concluded they should “try and ignore it” and not “cause trouble”.
The report continues: “In some instances, applicants expressed discomfort about disclosing LGBTQI+ issues to interpreters from the same culture and some decision makers had witnessed applicants’ discomfort because the interpreter… simply summarised the applicant’s words rather that interpreting them verbatim.
“Applicants also raised this issue, saying that the bias stemmed from the interpreters’ religious beliefs.”
With interpreters often their only way of communicating with Home Office staff, LGBT+ asylum seekers who experience problems have few ways to make their concerns heard.
The report recommends the Home Office should give an official within the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System ownership of language services, and should “publish and resource a comprehensive programme of improvements to the provision and use of language services, with clear timelines and deliverables.”
The Biden transition team has named transgender veteran Shawn Skelly as a member of its agency review team as LGBTQ advocates are pushing the new administration to undo President Trump’s transgender military ban expeditiously.
Skelly, who co-founded Out in National Security, an affinity group for LGBTQ national security professionals, and served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for 20 years as a naval flight officer, is named a member of the agency review team for the Defense Department in a news statement that went out Wednesday.
Ted Kaufman, a former U.S. senator and co-chair of the Biden-Harris transition team, said in a statement members of the agency review team would rigorously evaluate operations of federal agencies as Joe Biden prepares to take office as president.
“Our nation is grappling with a pandemic, an economic crisis, urgent calls for racial justice, and the existential threat of climate change,” Kaufman said. “We must be prepared for a seamless transfer of knowledge to the incoming administration to protect our interests at home and abroad. The agency review process will help lay the foundation for meeting these challenges on Day 1. The work of the agency review teams is critical for protecting national security, addressing the ongoing public health crisis, and demonstrating that America remains the beacon of democracy for the world.”
In 2013, Skelly joined the Obama administration and was the first transgender veteran to serve as presidential appointee, according to her bio.
Skelly was special assistant to the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics; coordinator of the Department of Defense Warfighter Senior Integration Group. Skelly also served as director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the Department of Transportation during the Obama-Biden administration.
LGBTQ advocates are pressing Biden to reverse Trump’s ban on transgender military service in short order upon taking office as litigation against the policy continues in federal courts. According to a memo from the San Francisco-based Palm Center, Biden could lift the ban against transgender service members in as little as 30 days.
The chair of England’s Football Association, Greg Clarke, has resigned after referring to ‘coloured footballers’ and saying being gay is a ‘life choice’ in front of parliament.
Clarke was, until yesterday, the chair of the Football Association (FA), which governs association football in England, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man.
On Tuesday (10 November), Clarke attended a parliamentary hearing with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport via video call.
But when answering questions from MPs on diversity in English football, he made a series of offensive and outdated comments about Black people, South Asian people, gay people and women.
Discussing online abuse, Clarke told MPs: “If I look at what happens to high-profile female footballers, high-profile coloured footballers and the abuse they take on social media… social media is a free for all, and people can see if you’re Black, and if they don’t like Black people because they’re filthy racists, they will abuse you anonymously online.”
mmediately after his comments, he was asked by the committee whether he would like to apologise for his use of the term “coloured”.
Clarke said he “deeply apologised” but insisted he has “worked overseas” and added: “Sometimes I trip over my words.”
But his comments about race were not over.
Asked about the lack of Asian footballers in English football, Clarke insisted that compared to “Afro-Caribbean communities”, “South Asians… have different career interests”, and were more likely to work in “the IT department at the FA”.
He said: “What I would want to do is to know that anybody who runs out onto the pitch and says on Monday, ‘I’m gay and I’m proud of it and I’m happy and it’s a life choice’… they would have the support of their mates in the changing room.”
Clarke also claimed that “the women’s game is different” because “girls… just don’t like having the ball kicked at them hard”.
Lou Englefield, director of the international campaign Football v Homophobia, said in a statement responding to Clarke’s comments: “The idea that being gay is a life choice is an outdated concept that many people will find deeply offensive.
“There are some people who will use a statement like this from the FA chairman as a way to prop up their homophobia.
“We are deeply disappointed that the FA has expressed this opinion alongside sexist opinions about girls and the use of racist language and stereotypes.”
However, they told local radio station NEWS 95.7: “I’m happy that I’m able to share my story, but I would hope that MSI, moving forward, would be more proactive in changing and supporting trans individuals so it’s not a matter of people having to go through this process to human rights complaints to make sure that they are getting the support that they need.”
Community legal worker Mark Culligan told CBC that the change was a “real milestone”, and said: “The previous coverage was based on the understanding that transitioning happens from male to female, from female to male, and what was unique about Sebastian’s case was that they were asking for a surgery that more accurately reflected their identity as a non-binary individual.”
At the time, Patricia Arab, the minister of internal services, said: “A priority for our government is making sure we are as inclusive and diverse as possible, and making sure all our residents feel safe and that they have a place here.
“This isn’t the last step in the conversation but it’s certainly a significant move to make sure that we have a safe and inclusive community here in our province.”