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23-Year Old Beheaded In Anti-Gay Hate Crime Murder In South Africa

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A 23-year old transgender and gay man was beheaded in his home town of Kuruman, South Africa Friday, in an anti-gay hate crime. Thapelo Makutle, who was crowned Miss Gay Kuruman, was murdered by two men who remain at large. Reports state that police, for reasons of language and training, are not classifying the murder as a hate crime, and do not understand the significance of the attack. On report states the police reject that Makutle was beheaded, but acknowledge his throat was slashed.

Mamba Online reports:

According to the group Legbo Northern Cape, Thapelo Makutle was attacked at his place of work in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district on Friday. The organisation said that there was an argument related to “his sexuality and homosexuality”.

His two attackers are believed to have followed him to the room where he lived and on Saturday cut his throat, decapitating him.

They left his body under a blanket as though he were sleeping.

Makutle, who identified as both gay and transgender, was a volunteer for Legbo Northern Cape. He recently participated in the Kimberley Out In Africa Gay and Lesbian Festival, was known as a beauty queen named Queen Bling and was recently crowned Miss Gay Kuruman.

“It’s so sad. I can’t describe the pain that we are feeling right now,” Shaine Griqua, director of Legbo Northern Cape, told Mambaonline. “We have lost a young, talented, gay man who was open about who he was. The last few days have been like a dark cloud.”

He said that no arrests have yet been made in connection with the murder. He expressed his frustration with the lack of support for LGBT people in the Northern Cape and noted that hate crimes are on the rise in the province.

“We recently had a lesbian stabbed three times in a bar because they said that she should be a woman and not a man. She chose not to press charges because she didn’t want her family involved,” Griqua said.

“The government is not interested in this problem,” he added.

A later report form Mamba Online states:

According to the Mothibistad police, Thapelo Makutle’s body was found lying on the floor of his rented room. It is alleged that the victim has been out with his friends that night. He left unannounced and his friends assumed that he had gone home to sleep.

Shaine Griqua, Director of Legbo Northern Cape, who first reported the attack, said that confusion around the state of the body likely stems from miscommunication due to most people in the area not speaking English as a first language.

Griqua believes that the attack was a hate crime and said that he has information that Makutle was killed as a result of an argument about his sexuality and gender appearance, but police have yet to confirm this, saying that the motive is as yet unknown.

He told Mambaonline that the police in the area are ill-equipped to deal appropriately with a hate crime.

“These people [the police] are not reliable. They don’t even know what a hate crime is. If you ask them if it was related to his sexuality they will say ‘no’ because they don’t understand the context,” Griqua insisted.

Global Post adds:

In a statement, Cosatu’s Northern Cape secretary Anele Gxoyiya condemned “this brutal attack on a young, brilliant and educated soul whose head was chopped off in a hate crime.”

While South Africa is one of the few countries in the world to extend equal rights to homosexuals, and the only nation in Africa to allow same-sex marriage, the reality of life in townships and rural areas for gays and lesbians has been one of often brutal violence.

In a high-profile incident last year, Noxolo Nogwaza, a lesbian activist based in KwaThema township near Johannesburg, was gang-raped and then stabbed and stoned to death, in what the New York-based group Human Rights Watch described as part of an “epidemic” of hate crimes against gays and lesbians in South Africa.

Politics Web published a statement in response to the murder, by Lindiwe Mazibuko MP, Democratic Alliance Parliamentary Leader:

This violent and gruesome assault is yet another reminder that many of our country’s people are still denied the basic rights and freedoms which our Constitution enshrines.

There is a spate of homophobic hate crimes which have recently taken place across our country, including the repugnant and unconscionable crime of so-called “corrective rape” committed against lesbian South African women.

At this time, South Africa needs strong leadership from President Jacob Zuma, and an indication of his commitment to ensuring that all South Africans are able to live their lives free from fear of discrimination or violence.

Unfortunately, the silence from the Presidency has been deafening. This silence is made worse by the fact that President Zuma has in the past shown himself to be prejudiced towards homosexuals.

Last year, the DA welcomed the establishment of a government-led Joint Task Team on a “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Intervention Strategy”, established in September 2011, under the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Unfortunately, this task team has yet to make any report on its work.

Meanwhile, the spate of crimes continues.

President Zuma must speak out against this weekend’s horrific murder, and the many others like it, which are in danger of becoming all too commonplace in our country today.

I will today be calling for a debate in Parliament about the prevalence of these crimes in South Africa, and calling on MPs to discuss what can be done by the government to address this ongoing problem.

In addition, I will also be writing to the President to ask what immediate steps his government will be taking to address the violence and intimidation that homosexual South Africans must face on a daily basis.

Such crimes, and the President’s silence on them, cannot be allowed to continue.

Hat-tip: Towleroad

 

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REPUBLICANS ARE ANTI-SCIENCE

Watch: Anti-Science GOP Senator Urges Interior Nominee to Delete Tweet Saying ‘Republicans Don’t Believe in Science’

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During the 2020 vice presidential debate U.S. Congresswoman Deb Haaland responded to remarks Mike Pence made, tweeting: “They deleted the word science from their website.” She appears to have been referring to one of the first acts the Environmental Protection Agency, under newly-sworn-in President Donald Trump, took: scrubbing part of the EPA’s website of the word “science.”

Columbia University’s Law Schools’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law reported:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which develops clean water standards for states, removed references to “science” from a website describing its mission. A statement that the OSTP develops “science-based” standards to address water pollution was changed to indicate that the office develops “economically and technologically achievable standards.”

The following year, in 2018, Scientific American reported further erosion of adherence to science in the Trump administration:

Thousands of webpages with climate change information have been removed or buried at agencies including U.S. EPA, the Interior and Energy departments and elsewhere across the government, according to a new report.

During that VP debate, Rep. Haaland, a Democrat of New Mexico, who happens to be Native American, posted these two tweets:

She was not wrong.

She also did not know that four months later she would be sitting in front of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and be asked to delete her tweet by a Republican Senator – who does not believe in science.

Meet U.S. Senator Steve Daines of Montana.

Daines is anti-LGBT:

He is pro-coal and fossil fuels and doesn’t believe in green energy or that climate change is real:

Daines, who as local Montana news report shows, is the “most conservative U.S. House member in Montana history.”

Another local Montana news outlet asked why Sen. Daines is “Supporting the Anti-Science, Anti-Public Health Turning Point USA?” TPUSA is a far right wing organization very closely tied to both President Donald Trump and his son, Don Jr. It former communications director once suggested the only problem with Adolph Hitler was he was globalist.

Senator Daines is so anti-science he believes in creationism – or at least thinks it should be taught in science classes.

“What the schools should teach is, as it relates to biology and science is that they have, um, there’s evolution theory, there’s creation theory, and so forth. I think we should teach students to think critically, and teach students that there are evolutionary theories, there’s intelligent-design theories, and allow the students to make up their minds,” he said, as Mother Jones reported.

He’s also anti-abortion and supports an anti-LGBT hate group:

The fact that Daines has a degree in chemical engineering does not mean he believes in science. And if he does, he hides it very well, as his record shows.

Here’s Sen. Daines asking Congresswoman Haaland to delete her tweet, seemingly as a prerequisite to getting approved to become Interior Secretary.

 

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Large Increase in Americans Who Now Identify as LGBTQ – Especially Among Gen Z – But Few Republicans

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Over the past three years, a very short time period, there has been a large increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBTQ, or any designation other than heterosexual.

According to a just-published report from Gallup, 5.6 percent of Americans identify as LGBT, or non-heterosexual, up from 4.5 percent in 2017. The report covers all of 2020. (Note: Gallup uses the term “LGBT,” a far narrower construct than many Americans observe today. These numbers reflect that specific designation.)

Among Generation Z, which Gallup defines as those 18-23, nearly 16 percent – about one in six – identify as LGBT. That’s almost three times the national average.

About one in eleven Millennials (those born between 1981-1996) or 9.1 percent, say they identify as LGBT.

Gallup also reports more than half of LGBT Americans (54.6%) identify as bisexual. That’s 3.1 percent of the total U.S. adult population.

One in four (24.5%) of LGBT Americans say they are gay, 11.7 percent lesbian, and 11.3% transgender. 3.3 percent “volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving.”

There is also a political component to the study.

13 percent of liberals, but just 2.3 percent of conservatives say they are LGBT. In stricter party terms, “8.8% of Democrats, 6.5% of independents and 1.7% of Republicans identifying as LGBT.”

In related news, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine who just last June was the only GOP co-sponsor of the LGBTQ Equality Act, has refused to demonstrate similar leadership this year, when she could cast the deciding vote. President Joe Biden has committed to signing the legislation into law.

 

Image via Shutterstock

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

Anti-LGBTQ Religious-Right Christian Nationalist Home-School Activist and Anti-Masker Launches Congressional Bid

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Christian nationalist home-schooling advocate, author, and podcaster Heidi St. John launched a run for U.S. Congress Sunday in Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District, where incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler became a target of supporters of former President Donald Trump after voting for his impeachment in January and revealing damning details about a phone call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy that took place during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

A week prior to the launch of her congressional bid, St. John took to Facebook to post, “Trump now knows who his enemies are in the REPUBLICAN party. And so do we. Silver lining of the shampeachment.  The RINOS need to GO!!  #acquitted.”

St. John calls herself “The Busy Mom” on Facebook, hosts a daily “Off the Bench” podcast, publishes a blog, and runs a ministry for mothers that promotes her book “Becoming Mom Strong.” She is an ally of Alliance Defending Freedom President Michael Farris and has spoken at the church of religious-right activist pastor Jack Hibbs in California. Rick Green, host of the “WallBuilders Live!” radio program, was a recent guest on her podcast, which she said gets about a million downloads per month.

St. John urges parents to pull their children out of public schools, which she refers to as “government indoctrination centers” that promote “garbage sexual ideologies” and a “weird era of transgenderism.” She said on a recent podcast that gender confirmation surgery should be illegal and that doctors who perform it are “criminals.”

St. John charges that the COVID-19 coronavirus was “weaponized” to create fear by the media and Democrats who saw the virus as an opportunity to hurt Trump’s reelection chances. She urges people not to be mask-wearing “sheep” and to take off their masks. In a Jan. 18 video, she said that Christians’ job is to proclaim truth, adding, “That’s why I don’t do the mask. It’s B.S. of the highest order.”

In a Jan. 9 Facebook video, she declared, “This nation is a Christian nation” while denouncing people who criticized Trump’s religious-right supporters as Christian nationalists or as being part of a Trump-worshiping cult. She said the idea that Trump incited the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol was “a lie that the left is pushing.” She also said that “social justice is a lie from the pit of hell.”

Before Inauguration Day, St. John appeared to be hoping for a miracle that would keep Trump in power. A Jan. 12 Facebook post read, “’It’s all over’? Then along came David with his sling shot. God decides when it’s over.”

In an Inauguration Day blog post she wrote, “My heart is breaking for our Republic today. I know many of you are grieving with me. I am still in disbelief that the left pulled off the greatest vote heist in American history.”

St. John appeared on Wisconsin pastor David Fiorazo’s “Stand Up for the  Truth” podcast on Feb. 4, where she said, “I’m hoping that in 2022 there’s a red wave in this country like we’ve never seen, and not just a red wave—a Christian red wave.”

 

This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is re-published here by permission.
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