Beyond the Carolinas: National/Global News Notes
Teen couple swaps genders
TULSA, Okla. — The story of a transgender teenage couple swept through the internet in late July. Arin Andrews and Katie Hill have both undergone remarkable transitions. Two years ago, Arin, 17, was known as a girl named Emerald and Katie, 19, was known as a boy named Luke. Britain’s The Sun carried the remarkable story of the transgender couple. Read more about their story, see several photos and a short video at bit.ly/13b0i67.
Conversion therapy ban considered
BOSTON — State legislators in Boston are considering a proposal to ban controversial “ex-gay” and “conversion therapy” on minors. A bill under consideration would prohibit any licensed professional in Massachusetts from engaging in any practice that seeks to impose a change in the sexual orientation or gender identity of anyone under 18.
Gay search tags blocked on Tumblr
SUNNYVALE, Calif. — The now Yahoo!-owned Tumblr began filtering pornography-related posts from its search in mid-July. Problem is, Tumblr is filtering posts tagged as #gay, #lesbian and #bisexual. The tags do not appear when users are using a safe search mode. “The reason you see innocent tags like #gay being blocked on certain platforms is that they are still frequently returning adult content which our entire app was close to being banned for,” Tumblr explained. “The solution is more intelligent filtering which our team is working diligently on.”
N.Y. to issue refunds
ALBANY, N.Y. — The State of New York has announced it will issue refunds to same-sex couples who were forced to pay high estate taxes upon the death of their partner. The decision, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 23, comes after the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Turing to receive pardon
LONDON — Famed British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, who was chemically castrated after a 1952 conviction for homosexualiy, will finally receive a formal pardon. Turing’s conviction and castration came after his famous work breaking the German Enigma codes during World War II.
Russia arrests first gay tourists
MURMANSK, Russia — Under new laws banning the promotion of gay “propaganda,” Russian officials have arrested their first foreign tourists. Officials in the northern city of Murmansk took four Dutch filmmakers, including a local city councilor from Groningen, The Netherlands, into custody on July 21. They were released the next day and each were fined 3,000 rubles. The tourists were filming a documentary exploring the LGBT community in Mumansk.