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In early April, Russian publication Novaya Gazeta broke a sensational story claiming gay men, as well as men simply suspected of being gay, were being rounded up, detained, tortured, and even killed in Chechnya. reports that the movement began gaining steam in February when "Chechen police arrested a man under the influence of drugs." AU's translation of the Novaya Gazeta report states that when police officers looked through man's phone, they uncovered "sexually explicit photos and videos...and dozens of contacts of local homosexuals. It is this database that provoked the first wave of arrests and executions." adds that men have allegedly been "electrocuted, beaten with pipes, and forced to insert glass bottles into their anuses."

Alvi Karimov, a spokesman for Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, told Interfax, a Russian news agency, that the story from Novaya Gazeta amounted to "absolute lies and disinformation."

The alleged arrest, detention, torture, and murder of gay men - and suspected gay men - has not been proven. However, the circumstantial evidence is strong enough that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued a statement on Monday regarding the issue, which reads:

"We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association.

If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored – Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses."
We knew that putting Betsy DeVos in charge of the Department of Education was a disaster waiting to happen and it was only a matter of time before things went from bad to worse. Last week, DeVos announced Candice Jackson as her pick to head up the Office of Civil Rights—a position for which Jackson has absolutely no experience or qualifications whatsoever; leaving us almost certain that this move is actually intended to gut rather than protect the civil rights of the nation’s students. And today’s news is even less encouraging. Given DeVos’s stance on character development in schools and preference for charter and private schools, experts say we have great cause to worry about the future of the school-to-prison pipeline under DeVos’s leadership. 

The school-to-prison pipeline is a huge problem funneling so-called “problem children” out of the classroom and into the juvenile justice system—disproportionately impacting kids of color, poor kids, kids with special needs and kids from single parent homes. When kids are forced out of the classroom and treated like criminals, often for minor infractions such as wearing the wrong uniform, truancy and schoolyard fights, this can set them down a dangerous path that studies show makes them more likely to fall behind in their classwork, drop out of school and end up in the criminal justice system. It also has a financial cost, as it costs way more to incarcerate kids than it does to keep them in the classroom and educate them.
Gender expert and psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Stathis has issued a warning about the overdiagnoses of trans youths, claiming many of the children and teens he sees at his Australian-based gender clinic are not actually suffering from gender dysphoria, or transgenderism, but are instead trying to become trans because it's trendy, wishing to gain attention from their peers. One such child told Stathis that transgenderism "is the new black."

According to the psychiatrist, only a small minority of the youths at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital's gender service will actually be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. By the time most of these struggling youths reach puberty, says Stathis, they will have grown out of their confusion and identify as their biological sex. 

Stathis says a lot of those youths are “trying out being transgender” to be different from their peers and gain attention. 

“One said to me, ‘Dr Steve ... I want to be transgender, it’s the new black’,” said the doctor. 

“You might get a six- or seven-year-old girl wanting to dress as a boy,” explained Stathis during a March interview. “She may even say she wants to be a boy. When she hits puberty, she says, ‘No, I’m just a girl who likes to do boy things.”
Leaders in Chechnya are now threatening journalists who attempt to report on the concentration camps for gay men that have been formed in the Russian republic. Novaya Gazeta, the publication that first broke the news of gay men being detained and tortured in the region, issued a statement saying it now fears for the safety of its employees.

Two days after news of the concentration camps first made headlines, Chechen authorities, Islamic scholars and public opinion leaders held an emergency meeting at a mosque in the country’s capital, according to Gay Star News. It was there that a resolution was written that included threats to the publication.

“In view of the fact that [Novaya Gazeta] insulted the secular foundations of Chechen society and the dignity of men-Chechens, as well as our faith, we promise that retribution will overtake the true instigators, wherever and whoever they may be, without a statute of limitations,” the resolution reads.

Novaya Gazeta then released a statement responding to the resolution, pointing out that it encourages “religious fanatics to violence against journalists” saying, “Silence and inaction in this situation make everyone who is capable of anything done, complicit,” the statement reads. “That is why the Novaya Gazeta continues to work in Chechnya. But we are very aware of the high price we can pay.”
Treating a woman with progesterone during pregnancy appears to be linked to the child's sexuality in later life. In a small-scale study, researchers found the children of these mothers were less likely to describe themselves as heterosexual by their mid-20s, compared to those whose mothers had not been treated with the sex hormone.

Progesterone is produced by both men and women. In the latter, it is involved in the menstrual cycle and helps foetus development – specifically neural development and the production of sex and steroid hormones. It also helps maintain pregnancies. For this reason, when women are at risk of miscarriage they are often treated with progesterone.

In a study published in the Springer journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour, a team led by June Reinisch from the Kinsey Institute in Indiana, followed 34 Danish people whose mothers were treated with progesterone during pregnancy.
In the face of growing international concern about reported detentions and killings of gay men in Chechnya, Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s spokesman says the Kremlindoes not have confirmed information on the targeted violence.

The respected Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported this month that police in the predominantly Muslim republic rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three of them have been killed

Chechen authorities have denied the reports. But the United Nations‘ High Commissioner for Human Rights and prominent international organizations have urged the Russian government to investigate the reported abuse.
Children with same-sex parents are healthier than those with heterosexual parents, new Australian research suggests. Children aged five to 17 who live with gay parents have ‘significantly better’ general health than those with heterosexual parents.

There is also greater family cohesion in families led by same-sex parents, the research shows. Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia studied 500 children aged between one and 17 as part of The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families.

For general health and family cohesion, children aged 5 to 17 years with same-sex parents showed a significantly better score when compared to Australian children from all backgrounds and family contexts.

The children of same-sex couples scored significantly higher for general health, the chances being compared to a figure of less than 1 in 10,000. However, for all other health measures, including self-esteem and emotional behaviour, there were no statistically significant differences.