Stuart Hatton Jr., the reigning Mr. Gay UK, has been named Mr. Gay World 2014, NewNowNext.com reported. At a ceremony in Rome, the 28-year-old from South Shields beat Cyprus's Kiriakos Spanos, who came in second place, and Ireland's Robert Lowlor, who claimed third. A model and dance teacher at his family's studio, Hatton beat challengers from 32 different countries in a variety of challenges, including swimsuit modeling, art and knowledge of LGBT rights and equality.
Fierce anti-gay sentiment and violent threats shut down Bahama's first Pride event just as it was starting, according to Out Traveler. Early in the event, organizer Victor Rollins posted a photo on Facebook of himself with a Pride flag. His life was threatened soon after, leading him to cancel the festival's remaining events. Also, leading up to Pride, local newspapers and talk shows stirred up opposition to the festival.
Stamps commemorating Finnish gay erotic artist Touko Laaksonenwho published his drawings under the name Tom of Finlandhave been the biggest sellers in the history of Finland's Posti postal service, with people pre-ordering the stamps in 178 countries, Gay Star News reported. The biggest overseas orders coming from Sweden, Britain, the United States and France. The demand for the stamps has reportedly taken the postal service by surprise.
A young Jamaican gay-rights activist who brought an unprecedented legal challenge to the Caribbean island's anti-sodomy law has withdrawn the claim after growing fearful about violent backlashes, the Associated Press reported. Last year, Javed Jaghai, 25, made headlines after initiating a constitutional court challenge to Jamaica's 1864 law that bans sex between men. But in an affidavit, Jaghai said he has been "threatened enough times to know that I am vulnerable," adding that he believes his "loved ones are under threat."
In Canada, Ottawa's Opera Lyra has fired U.S. opera singer Valerian Ruminski after he turned to Facebook to mock a fellow passenger's diamond-studded nails, according to Gay Star News. Among other things, Ruminski wrote, "Look at the stupid nails this moron had on while taking a bus in Ottawa. I guess he needs diamond studded nails to make up for his face." What Ruminski didn't know was that the person he was mocking was Samnang Tep, who performs under the drag identity of Miss Jade Londonrecently crowned Queen of Ottawa's Capital Pride Festival. Ruminski has apologized, adding that he didn't mean to mock Tep's sexuality.
In England, Joseph Williams, 21, has denied charges of attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent in the attack of Connor Huntley, a gay man who was found with a claw hammer embedded in his head May 28, 2013, BBC News reported. The court heard that Williams had made disparaging remarks about gay men; Huntley was openly gay, and often dressed in drag. Huntley was taken to a hospital with severe head injuries and treated for a depressed skull fracture and a penetrating brain injury, but was left brain-damaged.
The Australian Government has removed barriers to the use of HIV home tests in Australia in a move LGBTI community-health groups hope will help Australia reach its goal of ending new HIV transmissions in the country by 2020, Gay Star News reported. Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration has to approve any such device before it can be sold within the continent, but people can import the tests for personal use. OraSure's OraQuick is the only home test device approved for home use in the United States; however, no such device has been approved as yet for use in the United Kingdom, France or Australia.
A 23-year-old Scot was jailed for a year for performing a sex act on a sleeping man, Gay Star News noted. Iain Fisher, an air steward, had been at a bar with two female colleagues when they met the 22-year-old man and invited him to a house party. Later, Fisher performed a sex act on his sleeping victim, who is reportedly straight. Fisher was put on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.
Two city councilmen from Murmansk, Russia, are under government investigation for "inciting hatred" after they released a video that features the pair congratulating one another for being "against loudmouths and gays" following a poorly executed digital animation of Eurovision winner and Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst, The Advocate reported. The video, alllegedly posted by Murmansk council members Oleg Guz and Almaz Gismeyev, features simplistic cartoon illustrations of Wurst, along with a slogan The Hollywood Reporter translated as "against empty talkers and gays."
British TV/radio host Paul Rosswho has been married to a woman for 10 yearshas admitted to a yearlong affair with another man, and to snorting the drug mephedrone up to six times a day, according to the UK Express. Ross began an affair with former English teacher Barry Olivier after first having sex with him in the bushes at a cruising spot. Ross ( the brother of TV/radio presenter Jonathan Ross ) has now severed ties with Olivier, and has sought professional help as his wife has vowed to stand by him.
About 500 gay-rights activists protested outside the Greek parliament in Athens after legislation on civil unions for gay couples was delayed, according to Gay Star News. Nearly three years after it was first brought to parliament, lawmakers approved a bill that criminalizes the incitement of violence on the basis of race or sexual orientation; however, civil unions were left out of legislation. Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou said further study was needed on how the civil unions would affect tax, social insurance and family law.
Crimea's most senior official has said sexual minorities "have no chance" on the peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in March, the UK Guardian reported. Speaking about gay people during a Crimean government session, regional de facto leader Sergei Aksyonov said "we in Crimea do not need such people." He added that Crimean children should be brought up with a "positive attitude to family and traditional values."
The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) condemned the decision by Gambia's legislature to pass new legislation that would lead to life in prison for some LGBT people in the country, a press rleease stated. According to multiple news reports, The Gambia's National Assembly passed legislation that includes nearly identical language to Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act, which Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law in February. "These draconian laws have no place in the 21st century, and the United States must send a clear messageprivately or publiclyto the Gambian leadership that a government must not trample on the rights of its LGBT citizens," said Ty Cobb, HRC's director of global engagement.
Merging war and sex in what skeptics said was a smear campaign, a short story considered to be gay porn has gone on sale on Amazon.comand it details the sexual exploits of an iconic separatist leader in Ukraine, The Moscow Times noted. The bluntly titled Sucking Strelkov is 5,700 words long ( 22 pages ) and can be bought for $1.93. The story tells of a porn film crew looking to shoot a video with on-duty soldiers; the crew ends up in Donetsk, the stronghold of the eponymous pro-Russian separatist republic in eastern Ukraine, where rebel leader Igor Girkinaka Strelkovrapes the cameraman to express his disapproval of their quest.