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LGBTQ News Roundup – 28th January 2022

Botswana president vows to honour gay rights judgment

President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana has said he will respect a court ruling which decriminalised homosexuality in the country. Masisi met with members of Botswana’s LGBT community to tell them of his decision. He assured the community that his failed appeal to the court decision back in November 2021 was motivated by political concerns and not by animosity towards them. 

Gay couple refused south London house viewing and purchase 

A gay couple have described their shock at being refused a viewing and chance to buy a house in south London because of their sexuality. Lachlan Mantell and Luke Whitehouse (pictured), were sent a message from the owners of the property that said they were “unwilling” to let them view or buy it. The homeowners defended their decision based on their religious sounds. An online real estate agency called Purplebricks has withdrawn the house from their website. Mantell and Whitehouse say they are not planning to take legal action against the homeowners. 

Finnish MP on trial for hate speech

A former Finnish interior minister has gone on trial for hate speech against gay people. Prosecutors accuse Paivi Rasanen (pictured), of making derogatory comments on three occasions, including a 2019 tweet showing verses from the Bible.  Ms. Rasanen denies the charges and says she stands by her words. The case is being seen as a test of whether personal religious beliefs can justify controversial language. 

Announcing the charges last year, Finland’s state prosecutor said Ms Rasanen had made comments likely to cause intolerance, contempt, and hatred towards homosexuals. The court will have to decide whether citing the Bible can be considered a crime in some cases in Finland. 

Grindr scammer jailed for blackmailing men

A man has been jailed in the UK for five years for robbing and blackmailing nine men he met for sex on dating app Grindr. After having consensual sex with his victims, 28-year-old Anouar Sabbar would claim he was an escort and demand payment for his visit. He stole £2,360 from his victims between April 2019 and June 2021. At least nine victims were duped by Sabbar, who would edit his Grindr profile after arriving for a hook-up. 


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