• Livingston couple faces 150 felony charges, including sexual abuse of dog and serving semen-tainted pastries

    A former Livingston Parish sheriff's deputy and his wife have been exposed as serial perverts and abusers, and together, Dennis and Cynthia Perkins face up to 150 felony charges dating back to 2014. Their crimes include rape, animal abuse, and serving drinks and cupcakes contaminated with semen.

    Dennis' 78 felonies include two adults, two minors, and a dog, while Cynthia's own 72 felonies include the same two minors and one of the adults. Most of the offenses relate to only one of the minors, a 13 year old who was the victim of rape, sexual battery, and the production of child porn over the course of several months in 2019. The couple has also been charged with "mingling harmful substances" after it was revealed that Dennis ejaculated onto various pastries and into bottles of energy drinks that were then served to unsuspecting victims.

    The couple was arrested back in October, but the Attorney General's Office has been "reluctant to share information on the nature of the alleged offenses, citing the sensitive nature of the investigation and need for privacy."

    Dennis was fired from his job at the Sheriff's Office after his arrest. He had been with the office since 2002, and was recently the head of the local SWAT team. Cynthia resigned from her job as a teacher at a local junior high school the day she as arrested. She had been working with the Parish school system since 2009, first as a substitute, then a full-time teacher at both elementary and middle schools.

    The Perkins are being held without bail, and their cases will most likely proceed as one through the court system. Dennis' attorney, J David Bourland, is expected to remove himself from his client's case due to an inability to agree on a suitable defense.

  • Republican Representative called trans people "abominations" on the House floor

    The watchdog group On AR Watch has placed Republican Representative Mary Bentley to its watchlist after reviewing footage from the Arkansas General Assembly.

    "Trans Arkansans were under attack during the 2021 General Session. One [legislator] took it to another level when she called all Trans people abominations from the well," they report.

    via LGBTQ Nation

    Rep Bentley, while wearing a blazer and pants, unironically quoted the Deuteronomy 22:5, saying, "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor man put on a woman's garments. For all who do so are an abomination." This same chapter of the Bible also condemns the wearing of mixed fabrics and the lack of a parapet on their home's roof. Bentley also quoted Genesis 1:27, which pertains to God's creation of Adam and Eve – "as male and female, He created them," she said.

    Bentley's comments accompanied her push for House Bill 1570, which bans gender-affirming care of any kind for trans youth, including hormone therapy, puberty blockers (which are reversible), and surgery (which trans youth don't usually get until the age of 18). The bill has unfortunately been passed into law, even after being vetoed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. Bentley also introduced and pushed for the passage of House Bill 1749 — which would not only allow educators to misgender and deadname their trans students, but protect them from any repercussions if they chose to do so — and co-sponsored House Bill 1882, which "gives a person the right to sue if, while in restrooms at schools, offices, or government-run facilities, they encounter someone that was assigned to different sex at birth than them."

    Arkansas currently holds the monstrous title of having passed the most anti-trans bills into law in the United States.

  • France rules that gay & bisexual men can donate blood

    The French National Assembly has recently passed an amendment that allows gay and bisexual men donate blood under the same conditions as heterosexual men. While the measure won't go into full effect until January 2022, there's a lot to be said about what this measure means for global bioethics.

    "The criteria for selecting donors (…) may not be based on any difference in treatment, in particular with regard to the sex of the partner or partners with whom the donors have had a sexual relationship," says the amendment to Article 7 bis of the bioethics bill. Currently, in order to pass the screening process at the French Blood Establishment (EFS), MSM must have previously respected a four-month period of abstinence, effectively excluding many of them from donating blood.

    via HIV Justice

    The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, once considered this kind of law "dangerous", calling it "not the right tool" to end discrimination. However, Véran recently posted on Twitter: "Giving blood will meet the same health safety requirements, regardless of one's sexuality. Parliament has just voted in principle. I will align the donor selection criteria in the coming months." Véran pleaded for the reduction of the abstinence period, saying: "If there were a situation, which would not even be linked to HIV, but which would oblige us to put in place emergency measures to protect recipients and donors, we would no longer be able to do so (otherwise)."

    Next year, France will begin following the new British model of blood donor screening that includes a new, non-discriminatory questionnaire for potential donors. This model goes into effect on June 14, and it will allow people to donate blood if they've had the same sexual partner for 3 months, and if they have not had any recent exposure to STIs or are PrEP users.

  • Testicle tattoo lands soldier in prison for 19 months

    A soldier in Austria will spend 19 months in prison for the glorification of Nazism (and illegal firearms possession) after downing two bottles of whiskey and having his brother tattoo a swastika on his scrotum. He apparently posted the tattoo online, and showed it off to colleagues and friends while drunk on a separate occasion. This brand of "glorification" has been illegal since the National Socialism Prohibition Act of 1947.

    The soldier, whose identity remains a mystery at this time thanks to Austrian privacy laws, has also been accused of posting Nazi photos at a Cold War Bunker Museum, posting Nazi propaganda online, and drinking "Hitler-branded wine."

    He showed remorse during his trail, saying he was "sorry" and "embarrassed" for his actions.

    He told the court: 'I just got in with bad company. For us, anything that wasn't allowed was something we gravitated towards, but we all underestimated enormously how much a mistake this was.'

    He added: 'Other than that, I can't give any reasonable explanation for why I did it.'

    via Daily Mail

    The soldiers claims that the investigation of his testicle tattoo was what really tipped him off to how stupid Nazi glorification is, calling it "nonsense".

    His lawyer has said they will appeal the sentence

  • Dear Leader Kim Jong Un declares K-Pop a "vicious cancer"

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called K-Pop a "vicious cancer", and declared it to be a threat to his country. According to the New York Times, Kim made the comments alongside a campaign against the South Korean music genre, along with other foreign cultural influences.

    He said it harmed the "attire, hairstyles, speeches, behaviors" of North Koreans. The Times reported that state media said it could make North Korea "crumble like a damp wall."

    via Business Insider

    The Times also reported that North Korea passed a new law last December that would sentence people to 15 years in a labor camp for simply consuming South Korean media.

  • Far-right chats lead to disbanding of German police unit

    Police in Frankfurt, Germany have made the decision to disband the city's Special Task Force (SEK) after discovering far-right extremist messages among the Force's group chats.

    The Interior Minister for Hesse state, Peter Beuth, called for new leadership culture among the lower and middle levels of the police force. Beuth said the messages were an example of, "unacceptable misconduct", and that the disbandment of the SEK was "unavoidable."

    "We are launching a fundamental reboot of the SEK today," he said.

    "Of course our special forces will also be vital in the future, but the parameters will be different," the interior minister said.

    via DW

    Much like the United States, German police and military forces have struggled with far-right scandals over the past several years. Just last year, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was forced to dissolve the 2nd company of the Bundeswehr's Special Forces Command (KSK) after the same brand of far-right extremism infiltrated the unit.

    Hesse state, Frankfurt's financial hub, seems to be quite the hotspot for right-wing activity, especially for German authorities. Threatening emails sent to several people, including a lawyer with a migrant background, were traced back to a Frankfurt police computer. The emails were signed with "NSU 2.0", referring to the National Socialist Underground, a neo-Nazi group that committed 10 murders between the year 2000 and 2007. Even left-wing politicians received these emails, including Janine Wissler, whose personal details were accessed from a police computers.

  • India court moves to ban "cures" for sexual orientation

    According to India's Bar and Bench, the Madras High Court has suggested a slew of comprehensive measures to remove prejudices against the LGBTQ+ community. Among these measures are suggestions for changes in school and university curriculum to include information on the LGBTQ+ community; outreach programs and seminars on the legal rights of LGBTQ+ people for police and prison authorities; and on top of all this, the Court has ordered that strict action be taken against those who would indulge in "curing" or otherwise "changing" someone's sexual orientation.

    "I strongly feel that the change must take place at a societal level and when it is complemented by a law there will be a remarkable change in the outlook of the society by recognising same-sex relationships", [Justice Anand] Venkatesh said in his judgement, according to Live Law. He observed that legislative changes were needed to eradicate social discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community to ensure their life and dignity.

    via Scroll

    Reforms for the eduction system include measures such as sensitizing parents on LGBTQ+ issues and amending school polices and resources to be more inclusive for gender-nonconforming students.

    Those in law enforcement and the judicial system will also work to sensitize their own workplaces, familiarize themselves with the legal rights of the LGBTQ+ community, and conduct outreach programs alongside NGOs to support and amend the problems facing the LGBTQ+ community at the hands of the police.

    Physical and mental health professionals bear a similar load. The idea of conversion therapy must be tossed out the window, and attempts to medically "cure" the sexual orientation or gender presentation of their patients will be prohibited.

  • 44 people arrested for attending same-sex marriage

    Police in Nansana, Uganda have arrested 44 people who organized and attended a same-sex marriage on Monday. According to Luke Owoyesigyire, a spokesperson for the Kampala Metropolitan Police, a tip was sent to local authorities about a group of men suspected of being homosexual and conducting a wedding in 780 zone, Ochen ward.

    "Immediately a team of police officers proceeded to the scene and a group of 38 adult males and 6 females were found conducting a ceremony at around 1pm that looked to be a wedding. All the men had make up and some were dressed as female in dresses and wigs," Owoyesigyire said.

    "At the same functions gifts were recovered, these included suitcases, a tv, assorted gifts like sugar, salt, pineapples and many other gifts normally given at traditional functions."

    via Nile Post

    Owoyesigyire also claimed that used and unused condoms were found at the scene, and that the suspects were not observing Covid SOPs.

    Criminal Investigations Divisions spokesperson Charles Twine said that the group would be charged for potentially spreading an infectious disease.

  • Bigoted teacher uses God as excuse for disrespecting his trans students

    Byron "Tanner" Cross, a PE teacher in Virginia, is refusing to comply with a school policy to refer to students by their preferred pronouns, referring to the policy as "abuse to a child."

    We condemn school policies like 8040 and 8035, because it will damage damage children, defile the holy image of God. I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. I'm a teacher, but I serve God first, and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa, because it's against my religion, it's lying to a child, it's abuse to a child, and it's sinning against our God.

    via NBC News

    Tanner has been placed on leave.

  • Woman convenes her own grand jury to settle her own rape case

    Madison Smith claims that consensual sex with a friend turned into a horrific assault in his dorm room. When prosecutors declined to bring rape charges, Smith took matters into her own hands, calling on a 134-year-old state law and collecting hundreds of signatures to form her own grand jury.

    Her attacker, Jared Stolzenburg, initially plead guilty to aggravated battery, and received only two years' probation. That wasn't enough for Smith.

    "This happens nationwide, worldwide that victims and survivors are minimized by the prosecutors who don't believe them," she said, "And that is not OK because rape culture is so prevalent, and we need to get rid of it, and one of the ways to do that is to get our stories out there."

    Kansas is one of six states that allows private citizens to petition for their own grand juries. The 1887 law is mostly used by anti-abortion activists to investigate abortion clinics, but has also been used to go after adult bookstores. Smith's case, however, will most likely be the first time the law is used in a case of sexual assault. According to Kathy Ray of the Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, "This case has a lot of issues within the criminal justice system, and sometimes victims feel they have no other choice but to go public."

    While the process of gathering signatures wasn't easy for Smith, who spent hours upon hours explaining her story to strangers, clipboard in hand, the reactions from some of her signers was profound.

    Some of the strangers she approached snatched the pen from her hands just a few minutes after she began speaking, hugging her and whispering into her ear so others nearby couldn't hear that they had been sexually assaulted in the past themselves.

    "They were very thankful that I was fighting, just fighting the justice system and trying to make a change in the world because they were too scared to fight back," she recalled.

    Justice was hard won. In the initial case, McPherson County Attorney Gregory Benefiel told Smith's own mother that the case was "challenging" because Smith didn't verbally withdraw her consent. She couldn't do so because Stolzenburg was strangling her.

    "I really thought that he was going to kill me, and the only way I was going to leave that room was in a body bag," said Smith, who is working at a nursing home before she begins to study nursing in the fall.

    "He would strangle me for 20 or 30 seconds at a time, and I would begin to lose consciousness," she said.

    Julie Germann, the former Minnesota prosecutor who reviewed the 134-year-old law for Smith's case, had a few sharp words to add.

    "This idea that because she consented then anything that follows is acceptable, that is a very dangerous precedent to set," said Germann, who consults and teaches about sexual assault.

    Jared Stolzenburg, Madison Smith's attacker, was heard by a court service worker saying he "does feel sorry for the victim," but that he should have communicated better.

  • Sore loser locks Samoa's first female PM out of parliament

    Fiame Naomi Mata'afa arrived at parliament on Monday to be sworn into office as Samoa's first female PM. She wasn't allowed inside. Why? The former prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and his supporters had locked down the building before Mata'afa's arrival. Malielegaoi has so far ignored a court order to step down from his position.

    In the meantime, Mata'afa has been sworn into office in the parliament's gardens under a marquee, along with other members of her Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (Fast) party.

    Malielegaoi and his party, the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), have been in power for over 20 years, and were recently ousted by the Fast party after a single independent MP broke a 25/25 tie between the two parties during the last election.

    In a statement, the Fast party said: "Democracy must prevail, always. There can be no exceptions from this fundamental principle. Those who claim otherwise and act accordingly play with fire."

    via BBC

    Malielegaoi called the outdoor ceremony "illegal and unlawful", but the former PM's feelings cannot contend with the votes of the people and the ruling of the supreme court.

  • The Satanic Temple in Texas is suing the state due to new abortion restrictions

    Texas's Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed a new abortion ban into law on Wednesday. While some Texans are calling the law a milestone in pro-life legislation, others say that it's too extreme. The law, initially proposed by State Sen. Bryan Hughes, bans abortions six weeks into pregnancy, making it one of many "heartbeat laws" introduced over the past several years, and it's sent to go into effect on September 1.

    Those who oppose the law's passage have already started taking steps in suing the state and fighting the bill in court. This includes the state's own Satanic Temple. The Temple has filed suit against the state claiming that the new abortion restrictions violate the religious beliefs of its members.

    On behalf of TST member "Ann Doe," TST is suing the state of Texas for imposing medically unnecessary abortion regulations including a sonogram, a forced decision to reject the 'opportunity' of seeing the sonogram results, the forced listening to a narrative of the sonogram results, and a mandatory waiting period between the sonogram and the abortion.

    via The Satanic Temple

    Ann Doe performed the Temple's abortion ritual, which is a ceremonial affirmation of bodily-autonomy and self-worth that integrates the abortion process. Before filing suit, the Temple's attorney sent a letter to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, demanding an exemption on behalf of Ann Doe:

    "The abortion ritual (1) requires an abortion; and (2) affirms her religious subscription to TST's Third and Fifth Tenets. But before Ms. Doe can get her abortion–and therefore participate in the abortion ritual–the government has required that she get a sonogram… [ These ] requirements substantially interfere with Ms. Doe's religious beliefs and practices for two reasons. First, the requirements are a precondition to Ms. Doe's ability to participate in a religious ceremony. It is a substantial interference per se for the state to place a regulatory hurdle–one that costs money–in front of a religious exercise. The state might as well tax and regulate Mass."

    via The Satanic Temple

    The Temple's website outlines their case in brief, and even asks for a donation (if you're so inclined). If not, nothing is stopping you from calling, texting, emailing, or just sending good old snail mail to Mr. Abbott.