Sentencing reached in murder of gay black man: In a case that we have followed in the past, three men have received sentences for their involvement in the death of Michael J. Sandy, a young man who was lured to an empty parking lot near a secluded Brooklyn beach and was killed when he tried to escape his attackers.
The New York Times says that the comlpex divergence in sentencing reflected "a confounding set of circumstances" while Gay City News points out that the ringleader could get out of jail in "as little as six years." A fourth man was previously sentenced last year when he pleaded guilty and agreed to testify for the prosecution.
Nascent Cuban LGBT rights organization defines its purpose: In October we wrote of the birth of a gay rights organization in Cuba. Today, Bitacora Cubana says that the Cuban Movement for Homosexual Liberation met on Saturday to define its purpose and agreed to demand "legalization for sex-change surgeries and [the right] to change names; the court's recognition of same-sex couples; adoption rights and the recognition of matrimony and inheritance rights for LGBT individuals."
Political asylum: In political asylum news Arthur S. Leonard tells us of a brand new case in which a gay man who was born in Portugal but lived most of his life in Venezuela was denied asylum in the United States in a decision released by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals on November 6th.
A key reason for the denial? The fact that the asylum seeker had entered the United States on various occasions and had returned to Venezuela without apparent fear of persecution - until he filed for asylum.
In the meantime Ven Messam (pictured above in a Wockner News Photo), a Jamaican gay man, was recently granted asylum thanks to the work of Columbia University's Law School students whose department provides pro-bono assistance as a way to provide hands-on experience for students. Lucky are those asylum applicants that receive such assistance.
A Jamaican lesbian was not as fortunate when she sought political asylum in the United Kingdom. The court's response? "Try not to act gay."
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