Michael Marsh, a US gamer wanted to set up a gay/straight alliance club in PlayStation Home, Sony's new free 3-D virtual world component for the PlayStation 3.
The problem was that the words he was using - gay , lesbian and bisexual - were being filtered from text chats and were not being allowed in the naming of clubs or in postings in club forums.
Marsh said he raised the issue with Home community managers during the private beta test, but the problems persisted after the public beta introduction of Home on Dec. 11.
I can understand if they're filtering out profanity, but if feel like it's discrimination, Marsh said: By blocking a word like 'gay,' which is a preferred term by the gay community, you're encouraging it as a bad word.
Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesman Patrick Seybold said Home employed filters to prevent defamation in Home's closed test version. But when the service went public, he said, it should have started allowing those words. Some other
users, however, noticed that the filtering continued, and blocked words like Christ , Jew and even Hello , which apparently was flagged because it starts with the word hell . Seybold said the company is looking into
the censoring of words in Home's clubs.
Ethiopian religious leaders gathered in the country's capital of Addis Ababa to press lawmakers to constitutionally ban being gay.
Representing several denominations, including Ethiopian Christian Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant, nearly a dozen clerics said outlawing being gay was insufficient. Current Ethiopian law forbids gay sex and prescribes a six month jail
sentence as punishment, but the constitution remains silent on the issue.
In making their case, the religious leaders called being gay the pinnacle of immorality and blamed it for an increase in sexual attacks on boys and young men.
This is something very strange in Ethiopia, the land of the Bible that condemns this very strongly, said Abune Paolos, the head of Ethiopia's Christian Orthodox Church: For people to act in this manner they have to be dumb, stupid like
animals. We strongly condemn this behavior. They [gays and lesbians] have to be disciplined and their acts discriminated, they have to be given a lesson.
President-Elect Barack Obama is drawing criticism from many supporters for his choice to deliver the invocation at next month's inauguration. Obama selected the Rev. Rick Warren, a leading evangelical opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage.
Warren supported California's recent gay marriage ban and has compared abortion to the Nazi Holocaust. In a recent interview with the Web site beliefnet.com, Warren said he thinks gay marriage is comparable to incest, polygamy and child abuse.
Rick Warren: I'm opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and
calling that marriage.
Interviewer: Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?
Rick Warren: Oh, I do. I just say, for 5,000 years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion. This is not a Christian issue. Buddhists, Muslims, Jews -- you know, historically, marriage is a man and a
After Warren's inauguration appearance was announced, Obama was forced to defend his choice, speaking in Chicago last week:
Barack Obama: It is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something that I have been consistent on and something that I intend to
continue to be consistent on during my presidency.
What I've also said is that it is important for America to come together, even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues. And I would note that a couple of years ago, I was invited to Rick Warren's church to speak, despite his
awareness that I held views that were entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion. Nevertheless, I had an opportunity to speak. And that dialogue, I think, is part of what my campaign's
been all about.
Love your neighbour...
unless he's gay,
And as for lady boys...
The Pope has declared that saving the world from homosexual behaviour is as important as saving the rainforests.
In a Christmas message, Benedict XVI stressed the importance of traditional marriage and condemned gay acts as against God's will.
He also attacked transsexuals, saying: It is not man who decides who is a man or woman but God.
The pope said: The Church must defend not only the earth, the water and the air as gifts of creation belonging to everyone, but it must also protect mankind against the destruction of itself. The tropical forests deserve our protection, but
man as a creature deserves it no less. In a clear reference to homosexuality, he said the failure to respect the union between a man and a woman amounted to the auto destruction of mankind.
Humanity needed to listen to the language of creation to understand the intended roles of man and woman, he added. Anything that deviated from this was a destruction of God's works.
Workers who have devout religious beliefs could be forced out of their jobs following an ruling by an employment appeal tribunal. The warning comes after a Christian registrar who claimed she was treated like a "pariah" for refusing to
carry out civil partnership ceremonies for homosexual couples lost her case on appeal.
A tribunal ruled that Islington Council had not discriminated against Lillian Ladele because of her faith, although it added that the town hall had not treated her sensitively.
Christian groups fear the decision will send a message to other employers that they can get rid of staff whose religious convictions prevent them from carrying out certain tasks.
Ladele, who worked in the register office of Islington town hall in north London for 16 years, believes homosexuality is contrary to God's law and so refused to officiate at civil partnership ceremonies for same-sex couples after they were
made legal three years ago.
Earlier this year a tribunal found that the council had unlawfully discriminated against her on the grounds of her religious belief, after she told how she was picked on and bullied for her beliefs and was threatened with the sack.
But on Friday an Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the council's appeal, ruling that the earlier hearing had erred in law and that there was no basis for concluding that any discrimination had been established.
It stated: The council were not taking disciplinary action against Ms Ladele for holding her religious beliefs; they did so because she was refusing to carry out civil partnership ceremonies and this involved discrimination on grounds of
The council were entitled to take the view that they were not willing to connive in that practice by relieving Ms Ladele of the duties, notwithstanding that her refusal was the result of her strong and genuinely-held Christian beliefs.
Ladele now intends to appeal against the new judgement.
Lithuania's Foreign Minister, Petras Vaitiekunas, recently told the mainly Catholic country's parliament that Lithuania is one of the most homophobic countries in the EU – this has to be viewed as a fact , a law that could make life even
worse for Lithuania's gay population looks set to be enacted in the New Year.
The Lithuanian parliament last week accepted amendments to the law on the protection of minors. One amendment asserts that a detrimental effect on the development of minors is caused by public information that agitates for homosexual
relations which defy family values. The proposed legislation is expected to be adopted next year but will go before a Parliamentary committee first.
LGBT advocacy group Tolerant Youth Association (TJA) said: Neither agitation nor family values are defined in the newly-approved law proposal, therefore it would allow a ban on basically any non-negative information on homosexuality.
It would be possible not only to ban websites and films (eg B rokeback Mountain ) positively presenting homosexual relations, but also discos, exhibitions, demonstrations and other public events related to homosexuality if these could be
accessed by minors.
Islamic governments are expected to join with the Vatican in protesting against a French-backed declaration in the UN General Assembly that calls for the decriminalisation of homosexuality worldwide.
Rama Yade, France's secretary of state for human rights, will visit Manhattan this week to throw her weight behind a statement supported by dozens of nations that blasts the outlawing of certain types of sexual behaviour.
The 13-point declaration urges states to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention.
While the controversial document is not binding in international law, it has provoked hostile responses from leaders of religiously conservative nations that regard homosexuality as sinful.
Margaret Awino-Kafeero, a diplomat from Uganda's mission to the UN, which currently chairs Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meetings at the world body, said many Muslim governments rejected the declaration.
OIC delegates have discussed the gay-friendly statement and agreed that governments choosing to prosecute homosexual behaviour should object to the declaration independently.
The OIC decided it will be each individual country's decision, Awino-Kafeero said.
The declaration indirectly criticises more than 80 countries in which homosexuality is punishable by law.
The Vatican's permanent observer to the UN has already revealed Holy See opposition to the statement, which is still being drafted and carries the support of 56 countries.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore said the Vatican opposed the resolution because it would add new categories of those protected from discrimination and could lead to reverse discrimination against traditional heterosexual marriage.
France's declaration is backed by EU members and has won support from non-western countries, such as Ecuador and Uruguay as well as two OIC members, Gabon and Guinea-Bissau.
In an atmosphere where Turkey is being criticized for the slow pace of its EU reforms, the country refuses to sign a declaration calling all states to take steps to stop the criminalization of homosexuality, contradicting its commitments to the
EU in promoting human rights
Turkey breaks company with EU in gay vote Turkey refused to sign a European Union-led declaration presented last week at the United Nations calling all states to take steps to stop the criminalization of homosexuality. The move contradicted
Turkey's commitments to the EU to promote human rights for all without any discrimination.
Italian politicians, commentators, and gay rights groups are taking Italian state television to task for airing the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain without two scenes depicting sexual encounters between its male lead characters, reports
the Associated Press.
The Oscar-winning film tells the story of two cowboys who fall in love and have a years-long secret affair. Protesters say that the unaired scenes — in which the two lead characters, played by Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger, kiss and
have passionate sex in a tent — are central to the film's plot and would never have been cut from the film if they involved heterosexual characters.
RAI TV said in a statement that the cut version of the film, provided by the distributor to be shown during prime time, had been aired by mistake. No one had checked for an uncut version for the late-night airing in question, it said.
But some protesters said that the scenes should have stayed in no matter when the film was shown.
I don't believe it was an oversight, I believe it was preventive censorship, said gay rights advocate and former lawmaker Vladimir Luxuria, adding that cutting the key scenes was like showing the Mona Lisa without its head.
It is grotesque that RAI censored scenes that have the same content as those seen in most prime-time movies, conservative lawmaker Benedetto Della Vedova was quoted as saying by the Corriere della Sera newspaper. Luigi Vimercati, a
center-left lawmaker, told the paper he would take up the issue in parliament.
A court in northern Iraq's Kurdistan region has sentenced a freelance journalist to six months in prison and a fine for writing an article about gay sex, a penalty that media groups say violates the law and underscores the lack of press freedom
The Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, groups that monitor press freedom across the world, are among the international organizations demanding the release of Adel Hussein, who was arrested Nov. 24 in the Kurdish city
Hussein, whose article appeared in Hawlati in April 2007, is the second Kurdish journalist to land in prison in the past month. On Nov. 8, the editor in chief of the Hawal newspaper, Shwan Dawoody, was given a month in jail and a fine for a
series of stories his paper ran that were critical of the judiciary in Sulaymaniya, which is part of the semiautonomous Kurdistan region.
The court that sentenced Hussein, who is a doctor specializing in sexual and reproductive diseases, said he had violated public custom by writing about health issues related to gay sex. Hussein's story was scientific, not prurient, and did
not encourage homosexual behavior.
A regional press ad, for Sandown Free Presbyterian Church, was headlined THE WORD OF GOD AGAINST SODOMY . Further text stated:
Last year in the 'gay pride parade' a banner stating "Jesus is a Fag" was carried by one of the participants. The supporter of homosexuality was able to walk through the streets of Belfast displaying this offensive
placard in spite of the presence of the PSNI, representatives from the Commission and the march organisers. The act of sodomy is a grave offence to every Bible believer who, in accepting the pure message of Gods precious Word, express the mind of
God by declaring it to be an abomination. (Leviticus, ch18 v22, Thou Shalt not lie down with mankind, as with womankind; it is an abomination.) This unequivocal statement clearly articulates Gods judgement upon a sin that has been only made
controversial by those who are attempting to either neutralise or remove the guilt of their wrongdoing. As a result, we are now witnessing a hostile spirit being exerted against the testimony of Gods precious Word and those who adhere to its
teachings. It is imperative that everyone whose faith is centred upon the authority of the divinely inspired scriptures maintain a strong and public stand for the ethical and moral standards that will ultimately exalt the nation. (Proverbs, ch14
v34, Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.)
The issue of human rights is no longer a basis for this parade, as successive governments have legislated for the lowering of the age of consent, the authorisation of civil partnerships and the inheritance rights of a
nominated partner. It is a cause for regret that a section of the community desire to be known for a perverted form of sexuality, which in certain incidences has provoked the unacceptable and totally unjustifiable response of violence. Such a
response, however, must not intimidate the church into silence.
The ASA received seven complaints:
1. four complainants believed the ad's content was homophobic and, therefore, offensive and
2. six complainants believed the ad was likely to provoke hatred and violence against the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
The ASA noted the ad prominently stated Published by the Kirk Session of Sandown Free Presbyterian Church and recognised that readers would understand that the text was representative of the beliefs of a specific group and indicative of
their opinion only. We considered, however, that some of the text used in relation to homosexuality, for example, ... declaring it to be an abomination ... , . .. God's judgement upon a sin ... , . .. remove the guilt of their
wrongdoing ... , ... a cause for regret that a section of the community desire to be known for a perverted form of sexuality ... , went further than the majority of readers were likely to find acceptable.
We considered that particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of sexual orientation, and concluded that this ad had caused serious offence to some readers.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clause 5.1 (Decency) but did not breach 8.1 (Matters of opinion).
The ad should not appear again in its current form.
2. Not upheld
We understood that the complainants were concerned because the ad called for an outdoor meeting to be held in protest of the act of sodomy and to voice disapproval of the Belfast Gay Pride parade on the same day as the parade was arranged; they
believed this action could be read as an attempt to spread hatred and incite violence against supporters and members of the Pride movement and LBGT community.
While we appreciated the complainants' concern, we considered that the ad did not in itself incorporate language likely to incite a violent emotional response. We considered that it would be clear to readers that it represented the views of a
specific group, which were not universally held, and would be deemed extreme by some. We acknowledged, therefore, that the ad conveyed an opinion that was controversial for some readers but concluded that it was unlikely to provoke hatred or
violence against the LGBT community.
On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code clauses 8.1 (Matters of opinion) and 11.1 (Violence and anti-social behaviour) but did not find it in breach.
Two senior lawyers have advised the church that the ASA ruling had gone too far legally and a groundswell of public support has begun behind the Rev David McIlveen of Sandown Free Presbyterian Church in Belfast.
McIlveen said he had been inspired by the level of support he had since received: After Wednesday's Press conference I had missed 24 calls on my mobile and when I got home I had to spend some time going through about 50 messages of support on
my answer machine.
A legal expert who specialises in both sexual orientation and freedom of speech said the ASA had got the balance wrong between the two issues, and that its ruling could be open to judicial review.
Dermot Feenan of the University of Ulster School of Law explained that rights to express religious views must be balanced with the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sexuality.
He said the advertising code used by the advertising authority prohibits adverts likely to cause serious offence, but that the authority did not show how the offence caused by this advert was serious enough to warrant censorship: There
was no evidential basis for its finding that the ad went further than the majority of its readers were likely to find acceptable.
Moscow's mayor, who has banned gay rights parades in the past, vowed Thursday to continue his ban on what he called sexual minority propaganda , according to Russian news agencies.
Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who has called homosexuality satanic , said City Hall has banned, and will continue to ban, the propaganda of the views of sexual minorities. Those views, he is quoted as saying, could become one of the
factors for the spread of HIV.
City Hall has rejected repeated requests by public organizations to draw attention to gay rights with parades. Attempts by activists to defy the ban have ended violently in some cases and petered out in others.
Catholics in Poland are calling for a boycott of furniture retailer IKEA because its catalogue features pictures of same-sex couples.
National newspapers and news websites have covered the story and the concerns of some religious people that the Swedish company is trampling on Christian concepts of family.
For their part, IKEA has robustly defended its advertising and has refused to respond to the boycott. Homosexuality is one of the essential elements of living in contemporary society, said IKEA spokesperson Karolina Horoszczak.
The boycott is being led by Fronda.pl website. Treating single-sex relationships on a par with married couples is impermissible, said Grzegorz Górny, the editor-in-chief of Fronda: IKEA's publication is a promotion of a
particular style of living, which does not deserve public propagation.
The Lahore high court has banned the screening of Bollywood flick Dostana across Pakistan, saying it has some highly objectionable gay content.
The court held that the movie propagates homosexuality, which is not only illegal in Islamic Republic of Pakistan but also considered a crime punishable by whipping, imprisonment, or even death.
The petitioner maintained that Dostana promotes gay marriage which is prohibited in Islam and all other religions. Gay marriage is an atrocious and obscene act, more likely to be performed by someone of unsound nature, the petitioner said.
The Lahore high court subsequently directed the chairman of Pakistan Film Censor Board not to allow screening of the film and furnish the transcript of Dostana before the court at the next hearing of the case.
The Delhi High Court on Friday has reserved its verdict on petitions filed by gay rights activists seeking decriminalisation of homosexual acts among consenting adults in private.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar asked the Centre and anti-gay rights activists, including senior BJP leader B P Singhal, to file their response in the matter by next Monday.
The petitioners pleaded that the criminal provision against homosexual behaviour should be scrapped for consenting adults who indulge in such acts in private.
They contended that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which provide punishment upto life imprisonment is violative of their fundamental right.
The Centre, however, opposed the petition saying that such behaviour is immoral and cannot be allowed in Indian society.
The gay rights movement suffered a stunning defeat as California voters approved a ban on same-sex marriages that overrides a recent court decision legalizing them.
The constitutional amendment will limit marriage to heterosexual couples, the first time such a vote has taken place in a state where gay unions are legal.
Gay-rights activists had a rough election elsewhere as well. Ban-gay-marriage amendments were approved in Arizona and Florida, and Arkansas voters approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents. Supporters
made clear that gays and lesbians were their main target.
In California, with 95% of precincts reporting Wednesday, the ban had 52%, while 48% opposed.
Similar bans had prevailed in 27 states before Tuesday's elections, but none were in California's situation — with about 18,000 gay couples married since a state Supreme Court ruling in May. The state attorney general, Jerry Brown, has said those
marriages will remain valid, although legal challenges are possible.
The head of the Islamic Medical Association sent a homophobic letter to a magazine for GPs, saying gay people needed the stick of law to put them on the right path the General Medical Council heard.
Dr Muhammad Siddiq was working as a GP at the Walsall Teaching Primary Care Trust when he wrote the letter to Pulse in July last year.
A GMC fitness to practise panel, in Manchester, heard Dr Siddiq's letter read: There is punishment and fine if you throw rubbish or filth on the streets, the gays are worse than the ordinary careless citizen, they are causing the spread of
illness and they are the root cause of many sexually-transmitted diseases.
They need neither sympathy nor help, what they need is the stick of law to put them on the right path.
Dr Muhammad Siddiq wrote gay people needed the stick of law to put them on the right path and were the root cause of many sexually transmitted diseases in a letter to Pulse magazine last July, the General Medical Council heard.
The fitness to practise panel also heard Dr Siddiq refused to accept the findings of an assessment in April last year into his ability to perform minor surgery and had continued to perform circumcisions at the Luqman Medical Centre, in Walsall,
despite being advised not to.
Andrew Popat, chairing the GMC hearing, said: Dr Siddiq's actions were found to be inappropriate, not in the best interests of his patients, and in relation to the letter to Pulse, liable to undermine public confidence in the medical
profession and liable to bring the profession into disrepute.
The ruling took place in Dr Siddiq's absence as he dismissed his barrister last week and left the GMC claiming he could not receive a fair trial.
His medical registration has been suspended for 12 months.
The police are deciding whether to investigate whether a joke broadcast on last week's Have I Got News For You was homophobic.
However, the BBC said the gag was designed to show up the persecution of homosexuals in Iran.
One viewer complained following the comment, which came amid a discussion over a failed Iranian bid to create to the world's biggest ostrich sandwich.
Host Alexander Armstrong said: On the plus side they do still hold the record for hanging homosexuals.
And guest Skinner joked that homosexuals are often ostracised.
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed: A member of the public has made a complaint regarding comments made in the programme. The complaint is currently being reviewed.
But the BBC said: The presenter never intended for this comment to be homophobic - quite the opposite. Viewers are more than familiar with HIGNFY use of satire - in this instance aimed at the Iranian regime and not the Iranian gay community.
Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell said: I interpreted it as an anti-Iran joke, exposing and mocking Iran's murderous homophobic regime. It was parody and satire, I think, not an endorsement of executions.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar has dropped a gay kissing scene between actors Samir Soni and Anil Kumar from his forthcoming film Fashion before it went to the censor board. He, however, plans to restore it on DVD. What a beautifully-shot
scene of intimacy it is between Samir and Anil. You forget their gender. They're just two people in love expressing their feelings, Bhandarkar told IANS.
I took it out before taking it to the censor board. I thought portraying a homosexual couple was bold enough. The kiss would have been too much. But now I'm planning to restore it on the DVD, the director said.
I think we need to get over our prudery about these things. And archaic laws are only making things worse for gay people. They're either hiding or defiantly flaunting their homosexuality in their clothes and body language, Samir said.
Sweden's Court of Appeal has rejected a kennel owner's request to appeal a sexual orientation discrimination case he lost after he refused to sell a dog to a customer because she was in a lesbian relationship.
During a phone call to the kennel owner enquiring about a puppy advertised for sale, the lesbian woman mentioned her partner. The owner then refused to sell the puppy to her.
In her explanation for denying the woman her puppy, The Local reported: the kennel owner made reference to earlier contacts she'd had with transvestite couples, saying she'd read that transvestites are connected to animal pornography.
Sweden's Ombudsman Against Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation took the case to court. The kennel owner must now pay 20,000 kronor (£1,608) in damages.
Testing the government's logic justifying ban on homosexuality, Delhi High Court asked it to table evidence that AIDS had spread in countries
where homosexuality has been decriminalised.
The judges also pulled up the Centre for relying on religious texts to justify the prohibition on consensual sex between adults of same sex: We won't be first country to decriminalise in case we do. Show us AIDS has spread where homosexuality
has been decriminalised. Place some authentic study like one backed by UN .
The court's remarks came when the solicitor general P P Malhotra cited an article condemning gay sex which was religious in nature and in which racial profiling had been done to arrive at conclusions. We should not accept religious literature
instead of scientific report. In a secular country how can a government rely on a report which says that certain races contribute more to homosexuality?, the bench remarked, adding: These are not scientific reports. This is a propaganda.
Your arguments should be based on scientific reports. Show us scientific reports which justify criminalisation of such acts.
More than 150 people who complained after two gay men kissed on BBC soap EastEnders have been told by the corporation that they treat gay and straight relationships in the same way.
Christian Clarke (John Partridge) and his new boyfriend Lee Thompson (Carl Ferguson) kissed on bench in Albert Square's gardens during Tuesday night's episode.
They were spotted by Christian character Dot Cotton (June Brown) who commented: the Lord's not the only one with eyes.
In response to 145 complaints, some about the fact that the kiss had been shown before the watershed, the BBC said: EastEnders aims to reflect real life, and this means including and telling stories about characters from many different
backgrounds, faiths, religions and sexualities. We approach our portrayal of homosexual relationships in the same way as we do heterosexual relationships. In this instance, Christian is enjoying the first flush of romance and we've shown him
being affectionate with his new boyfriend in the same way any couple would. We also aim to ensure that depictions of affection or sexuality between couples are suitable for pre-watershed viewing. We believe that the general tone and
content of EastEnders is now widely recognised, meaning that parents can make an informed decision as to whether they want their children to watch.
The Fast food chain McDonald's will no longer be the subject of a boycott by the nutters of the American Family Association.
In May, the AFA called for a boycott of McDonald's because it joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. But the group, according to a press release, lifted that boycott after McDonald's said it won't renew its membership with the
NGLCC when it expires in December -- and that its vice president, Richard Ellis, has resigned from the NGLCC board.
McDonald's in an e-mail said diversity and inclusion are integral components of our brand and our heritage. We continue to have strong employee networks throughout our company and will continue to align our brand with individuals and
organizations that share our belief in supporting our people and the communities we serve.
The Bishop of London
is in a high huff,
Because I joked about
tattooing a puff;
A Church of England vicar could face disciplinary action for saying gay men should have "sodomy" warnings tattooed on their bodies.
The Rev Peter Mullen, who is a parish priest and rector in the City of London, made the remarks on his jokey blog, which has since been removed from the web under an agreement with diocesan officials.
Mullen wrote it was time for religious believers to recommend the discouragement of homosexual practices in the style of cigarette packet warnings: Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan
sodomy can seriously damage your health and their chins with fellatio kills.
In a previous posting Mullen anticipated an agreeable carnage at the start of the annual Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca: They usually manage to stampede and slaughter quite a few hundred of their co-religionists. Just imagine for
a moment what a field day the BBC and the leftwing press in England would have if anything even remotely as bad as that happened in Vatican Square at Christmas or Easter.
Mullen criticised the lack of jokes about Islam in the media, remarking that adherents certainly lend themselves to ridicule: sticking their arses in the air five times a day. How about a few little choruses, 'Randy Muslims when they die/Find
70 virgins in the sky'?
In a statement referring to the tattoo blog, the Right Rev Richard Chartres, bishop of London, condemned Mullen's opinions. While clergy are entitled to their own personal views, [...BUT...] we recognise that the content of this
text is highly offensive and is in no way reflective of the views of the diocese of London.
Chartres was said to be taking the matter seriously, although his office stated it was not in a position to edit blogs written by an individual, however much they might disapprove of the sentiments expressed. A spokesman for the diocese said it
was possible that Mullen could be disciplined on the grounds of engaging in conduct unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of the clergy.
Despite the bishop's rebuke, Mullen played down the posts, which he described as "light-hearted jokes: I wrote some satirical things on my blog and anybody with an ounce of sense of humour or any understanding of the tradition of
English satire would immediately assume that they're light-hearted jokes. I certainly have nothing against homosexuals.
Another jokey poem by Peter Mullen will do little to help him sooth his relationship with his bishop:
Gay wedding at St Bartholomew's EC1
The Bishop of London is in a high huff
Because Dr Dudley has married a puff;
And not just one puff – he's married another:
Two priests, two puffs and either to other.
“It isn't a wedding, for that's not allowed;
They've just come together and promised and vowed
To shack up and snug up, to have and to hold:
Ooh aren't we radical! Ooh aren't we bold!”
Now here's a most queer and most wonderful thing:
He's given his hand, he's offered his ring;
And each to the other forever will bend,
After their troll in the coach up West End.
Not a flash wedding, no pics in Hello!
Just a honeymoon cottage, convenient so.
Of such Dr Dudley a goldmine has found,
From shaven-head puftas the nuptial pink pound.
The new Church of England embraces diversity,
A fresh modulation on ancient perversity:
“I'm C of E and PC so don't think it odd of me
To offer a licence and blessing for sodomy.”
The Northern Echo editor, Peter Barron, has defended his decision to go on running columns by Mullen, who he calls our most outspoken columnist . On his blog he told readers : I do not always share Peter Mullen's views. But I regard him
as a high quality, thought-provoking writer.
Uganda's controversial ethics and integrity minister who last month called for the wearing of miniskirts to be made illegal said he believed civilisation was being threatened by gays.
Who is going to occupy Uganda 20 years from now if we all become homosexuals. We know that homosexuals don't reproduce, James Nsaba Buturo told a press conference.
There is now a globalisation of homosexuality and people in Uganda are attempting to take advantage of the globalisation. It is an attempt to end civilisation. It is that serious.
Buturo, a devout nutter of the Church of Uganda called for anti-gay legislation to be enacted. The government needed to act quickly to provide legal cover for for a more aggressive campaign to eradicate homosexuality, he said.
Gay sex is immoral and a reflection of a perverse mind and its decriminalisation would lead to moral degradation of society, the Centre told the Delhi High Court.
Homosexuality is a social vice and the state has the power to contain it, the government contended: It (decriminalising homosexuality) may create breach of peace. If it is allowed then evils of AIDS and HIV would further spread and harm
the people. It would lead to big health hazard. It would degrade moral values of society .
The Centre's stand assumes significance in view of the contradictory stand taken by two of its ministries, with the Home Ministry opposing decriminalisation of such acts while the Health Ministry favouring the scrapping of penal provisions which
provide a punishment of upto life sentence for homosexual acts.
The government said it is crucial to hold such unnatural behaviour as a criminal offence and its deletion would lead to moral degradation in society.
The improved security situation in Iraq is not benefiting all Iraqis, especially not those who are gay. Islamist death squads are engaged in a homophobic killing spree with the active encouragement of leading Muslim clerics, such as
Moqtada al-Sadr, as Newsweek recently revealed.
One of these clerics, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a fatwa urging the killing of lesbians and gays in the most severe way possible.
The short film, Queer Fear – Gay Life, Gay Death in Iraq , produced by David Grey for Village Film, documents the tragic fates of a several individual gay Iraqis. It is a truly poignant and moving documentary about the terrorisation and
murder of Iraqi lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Since this film was made, the killings have continued and, many say, got worse. For gay Iraqis there is little evidence of the transition to democracy. They don't experience any newfound respect for human rights. Life for them is even worse than
under the tyrant Saddam Hussein.
Porter Airlines operates out of the Toronto Island airport and offers free internet access in its passenger lounge. However passengers using the computers are unable to access sites with queer content, including Xtra.ca, or to search for sites
using phrases like "gay Pride."
Brad Cicero, Porter's manager of communications and public affairs, claims the censorship is unintentional. Cicero says Porter is using the parental controls that come built into its Mac computers.
Cicero says he's heard complaints about people unable to access social networking sites or daily newspapers. He says Porter wants to institute a system it can control itself, although he couldn't specify what settings would be used.
Nart Villeneuve, a research fellow at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab — which has done work with Chinese bloggers and dissidents on how to avoid internet censorship — says parental controls often automatically censor gay sites: Gay and
lesbian is often classified as pornography even when there's zero porn on the site. There's often a lifestyle category that's a euphemism for gay and lesbian. These filtering products often have a very conservative bias. It's quite common in
companies or where there's semi-public access.
In 96 hours, the Indian government might finally say it will scrap a 148-year-old law which criminalizes gay sex.
It has taken eight long years and much debate for India to get to the stage of even thinking seriously about decriminalizing homosexuality. If Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code were repealed, it would be a giant leap forward for AIDS
prevention in a country with one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world.
Gay rights activists say the delay in repealing the law is criminal. On Thursday, the government will argue its case in the Delhi High Court.
Though it has been sending mixed messages, activists say they take heart from the health minister's recent statement that the law needs changing. Speaking at the international conference on AIDS in Mexico City last month, Anbumani Ramadoss had
said, Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises men who have sex with men, must go.
Angelino Alfano, the Italian Minister of Justice, said he had refused a request by the public prosecutor in Rome for permission to charge the comedienne and satirist Sabina Guzzanti with insulting Pope Benedict.
Ms Guzzanti had said during a left wing rally in Rome in July that because of the Church's stand on homosexuality the Pope would go to Hell, where he would be tormented by very active poofter devils.
Under the 1929 Lateran Treaty between Italy and the Vatican, an offence to the pontiff carries the same weight as an offence to the Italian head of state, with a penalty of up to five years in prison. However prosecution requires the go ahead
from the Justice Ministry.
Alfano said he had decided not to proceed with a prosecution knowing the depth of the Pope's capacity for forgiveness . Speaking at the Catholic University in Milan the minister said that as a Roman Catholic himself he had been saddened
and shamed by Ms Guzzanti's remarks. However she had accepted full responsibility for them, and he saw no point in adding further fire to the flames.
Italian politicians of right and left, comedians and even some priests yesterday deplored a move by prosecutors in Rome to put a satirist on trial for contempt of the Pope.
Sabina Guzzanti, known for her take-offs of the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, risks being jailed for up to five years. The prosecutors recommended to the justice ministry that she be indicted because of a speech she made to a leftwing rally
Referring to the attitude to gay people of the Catholic church and Pope Benedict, Guzzanti said: In 20 years Ratzinger will be dead and will end up in hell, tormented by queer demons - not passive ones, but very active ones.
The 1929 Lateran treaty that created the Vatican city state describes the Pope as a sacred and inviolable person . It makes insulting him an offence in Italy on a par with contempt for Italy's president, punishable by between one and five
years in jail. Indictment, however, requires an endorsement from the justice minister.
The minister, Angelino Alfano, has not yet replied to the prosecutors' request.
Father Bartolomeo Sorge, editor of a Jesuit monthly, condemned the attempted prosecution: I am sure the Pope has forgiven those gratuitous offences.
As for Guzzanti, she said she felt honoured .
Comment: Holy Revenge
13th September 2008. Thanks to Alan
What I suspect is happening is that Berlusconi is out to get Sabina G because of what she said about him, especially her comments in the same speech about him and Mara Carfagna. Making the Pope the wounded party seeks to disguise that.
Berkusconi may be overreaching himself. Some members of his own party think so, notably Senator Guzzanti, who's, errr, Sabina's dad. (One of the funnier bits in her film Viva Zapatero! was the bit where some minister effectively said to
her, Sabina Guzzanti, I'll tell your dad about you.
Indicentally, some people call Berlusconi the neo-Duce. To give the real one his due, he wasn't an interfering busybody seeking to ban prostitution (as per the other Italian story). I've got a copy of the authorised price list of an official
knocking shop ("casa di tolleranza") dating from the Fifteenth Year of the Fascist Era (1938).
Several US radio stations have banned Adele's single Chasing Pavements , claiming that it is a gay anthem, reports the Daily Mail.
Speaking at the Nationwide Mercury Music awards, Adele denied that the song was about homosexuality, saying that her inspiration came from an ex-boyfriend: Some weirdo on the Net wrote that 'Chasing Pavements' was about being gay, which isn't
true at all . Because of that some radio stations in the States wouldn't play it.
The soul singer added that her ex was a boy who went bad, but he's good now... we've made up.
Love your neighbour... BUT ...only if he shares your faith
A Pretoria High Court judge has ordered the Dutch Reformed Church at Moreleta Park to unconditionally apologise to a music teacher it fired because he is in a gay relationship.
Johan Strydom has won his discrimination case against the DRC
According to the report, South African Judge Dion Basson found that the congregation had unfairly discriminated against Johan Strydom when they fired him from their arts academy in 2005.
He said the constitutionally-protected right to equality outweighed the church's right to religious freedom. The judge ordered the church to pay Strydom almost R87 000 (£6,000) for the impairment of his dignity, emotional and psychological
suffering and loss of earnings.
New rules allow UK religious schools to discriminate.
A coalition of organisations, clergy, academics and teachers has been formed to push for a change to new rules that allow faith schools to discriminate.
Accord has been established by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the Christian think-tank Ekklesia, the British Humanist Association and a range of others to build a new consensus for fairness and equality in schooling and schools
They are calling on Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, to stop publicly-funded faith schools from discriminating against students and teachers on the grounds of their beliefs.
New rules came into force yesterday that make it legal for voluntary controlled schools to reserve the headship for those of one belief only, and for voluntary aided schools to discriminate against non-teaching staff on the basis of their
Bosnia's LGBT community is planning its first gay pride festival this month in Sarajevo but it has come under fire from Muslims, angry that the event will take place during the holy month of Ramadan.
Opposition to gay pride has been fuelled by the Islamic magazine Saff. Columnist Ezher Beganovic has called for the government to cancel the festival. Calling the four day event a festival of homosexuality that is an affront to Islam,
Beganovic warned in a column that if pride went ahead it would prompt an angry reaction from believers.
Pride organizers say they did not intend to offend Muslims, but that the date was set a year ago. It coincided with Ramadan unintentionally, Q Association leader Svetlana Djurkovic told the Reuters news service.
She added that conservative Muslims would have been offended no matter when the festival was held.
The Golden Generation, British Theatre 1945-1968
British Library, August 27-November 30.
A two-day conference on the subject, on September 8-9, will include speakers Harold Pinter, Peter Nichols and Alan Plater.
For playwrights the 1950s was a decade of breaking boundaries and chipping away at taboos, reflecting society as it was and not as a few thought it should be. But for the censors it was a nightmare and they could barely keep up. While the US was
in the grip of its McCarthyite obsession with communism, British censors saw greater danger in homosexuality.
A new exhibition at the British Library, explores the variety and vision of writers, actors and directors between the war and the abolition of theatre censorship in 1968. And what emerges is an almost relentless turf war.
Letters, reports and photographs - most of which have not been seen publicly - show how theatre was at the frontline as society's moral guardians fought against permissiveness.
The lord chamberlain was responsible for theatre censorship and by 1958 he conceded changes had to be made. In a secret memorandum to his team of people who read play scripts, he wrote: For some time the subject of homosexuality has been so
widely debated, written about, that it is no longer justifiable to continue the strict exclusion of this subject from the stage.
Serious and sincere references would be allowed with exceptions including: We would not pass a play that was violently pro-homosexual. We would not allow 'funny' innuendo or jokes on the subject. We will not allow embraces between males
of practical demonstrations of love. And on language: We will allow the word 'pansy', but not the word 'bugger'.
A priest of Westminster, the leading diocese of the Catholic Church of England and Wales, has written that promiscuity, whether homosexual or heterosexual, can lead to dire spiritual consequences, in addition to the dangers to physical
Promiscuity, as well as homosexuality and pornography, says 73 year-old Father Jeremy Davies, is a form of sexual perversion and can lead to demonic possession. Offering what may be an explanation for the explosion of homosexuality in recent
years, Fr. Davies said, Among the causes of homosexuality is a contagious demonic factor.
Fr. Davies continues: Even heterosexual promiscuity is a perversion; and intercourse, which belongs in the sanctuary of married love, can become a pathway not only for disease but also for evil spirits.
He also said that Satan is responsible for having blinded most secular humanists to the dehumanising effects of contraception and abortion and IVF, of homosexual 'marriages', of human cloning and the vivisection of human embryos in scientific
research. Extreme secular humanism, atheist scientism , is comparable to rational satanism and these are leading Europe into a dangerous state of apostasy: Only by a genuine personal decision for Christ and the Church can
someone separate himself from it.
Fr. Davies' comments come in conjunction with the publication of his new book, entitled, Exorcism: Understanding Exorcism in Scripture and Practice published earlier this year by the Catholic Truth Society (CTS).
Fr. Davies also warns in his book against so-called New Age and occult practices, as well as trendy exercise and spiritual healing regimens derived from eastern religions.
With its irresistibly catchy, upbeat tune, Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl has become the undisputed song of the summer, rocketing to No1 last week.
The singer’s parents have launched a ferocious attack on their daughter, and branded the controversial lyric of her song – about two girls kissing – shameful and disgusting.
Katy’s parents, both evangelical Christian preachers, say they are deeply ashamed of the star for promoting a sin.
And her mother, Mary Hudson, declared: I hate the song. It clearly promotes homosexuality and its message is shameful and disgusting.
Katy knows how I feel. We are a very outspoken family and she knows how disappointed her father and I are. I can’t even listen to that song. The first time I heard it I was in total shock. When it comes on the radio I bow my head and
Her father Keith Hudson calls himself a ‘prophet/evangelist’ and claims to be used by the Holy Spirit to heal people. He travels America and Europe trying to ‘save people’.
A fundamentalist organisation run by a former police officer turned preacher has reportedly been disbanded.
The Christian Congress for Traditional Values, founded in 2005, was instrumental in organising anti-gay demonstrations outside Parliament opposing the Sexual Orientation Regulations.
A CCTV campaign in January, which took the form of a mobile poster, Gay Aim: Abolish the Family, breached Advertising Standards Authority code.
The closure of CCTV was sparked when its founder, former Met officer Michael Reid, was caught having an affair with the choir mistress of his church in Brentwood. In April, founding member and preacher of family values Bishop Reid stepped down
after he admitted to an eight year extra-marital relationship with his church's music director, Sheila Graziano.
Reid is known for his far-right views, such as gays are "filthy perverts" and Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists are variously described in videoed sermons as "vile" and "foul heathens."
The CCTV used to describe itself as an alliance of Christians from a wide spectrum of professional and working backgrounds who have pledged to campaign against the declared intention of BBC executives to push back the boundaries' of taste and
Lonely housewives and discriminating gay men will be sad to know that Playgirl magazine has decided to cease publishing in print. The glossy, soft-porn magazine will publish its last print issue in November before converting to an online-only
The revamped Playgirl.com website will feature more videos and pictorials and less editorial content, according to Nicole Caldwell, the magazine’s editor-in-chief.
Playgirl Magazine debuted as the women’s alternative to soft-porn men’s magazines in 1973. Although originally designed with the feminist in mind, the magazine quickly grew a gay male fan base as well.
Playgirl features pictorials of nude and seminude men in erotic poses, accompanied by articles on sex, lifestyle topics and celebrities. Although marketed to women, Playgirl estimated in 2003 that gay men made up to 50% of the magazine’s
readership, according to a report by Multichannel News. The magazine has been published in numerous languages over the years, featuring international editions in Germany, France, Australia, Great Britain and the Netherlands.
Chinese police raided a gay bath house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province and seized about 40 gay men on suspicion of prostitution.
The 24-hour bath house in a basement at Baochun Road is the first gay venue to be raided by Hangzhou police.
Photos of young men in shorts were pasted at the entrance to the venue, which had a bathroom, a lobby and 10 single rooms. A sign at the gate warned visitors that the premises were for men's leisure only.
More than 30 police officers raided the house. Two men were caught having sex with each other on the scene, and were seized with other patrons. Both were punished for involvement in prostitution, police said.
Each guest could enjoy himself at the bath house after paying an entry fee of 30 yuan (US$4.38). They could seek partners among other visitors or pay another 198 yuan for a male sex worker.
The bath house was reported to host 40 to 50 guests every night. Some gays from other cities would seek partners here during their trips to Hangzhou. Police have suspended its operations.
Four transvestites arrested in a raid on a beauty pageant have appealed a one-week jail sentence imposed by a Malaysian Islamic court for dressing as women.
Islamic officials last week detained 16 transvestites competing in the "Miss Universe Asia 2008" contest at a beach resort hotel in the northeastern state of Kelantan, which is ruled by the fundamentalist PAS party.
Mohamad Abdul Aziz, chief assistant director of enforcement in the state, told AFP that four transvestites were found guilty by the Islamic Sharia court: Four of them were charged in the Sharia court Sunday for wearing female outfits. The
court found them guilty and imposed a seven-day jail sentence and a fine of 1,000 ringgit (310 dollars).
But they appealed against the jail sentence and the court freed them on bail. Mohamad said one transvestite was released because he wore a Malay traditional outfit. The other 11 who were wearing evening gowns will be charged on
August 24. They are also on bail .
Mohamad said the beauty contest attracted many participants because the first prize was a trip to Indonesia's island resort of Bali. He said it was the first time that authorities had made such a mass arrest in the state
In 1913 a law was passed in Massachusetts to prevent interracial couples from other parts of the US marrying in the state.
Thankfully, the archaic marriage law – a reminder of America’s disgraceful racist past - fell into disuse. But it was then discovered that the law could be invoked to prevent gay and lesbian couples from most other states from
marrying in Massachusetts.
So the House of Representatives did the right thing and voted, by a huge majority, to scrap it.
The Catholic Church, of course, is outraged.
The move has drawn condemnation from opponents of same-sex marriage, including Cardinal Sean P O’Malley of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and the state’s three other Catholic bishops.
O’Malley and the bishops want the 1913 law kept on the books for constitutional, religious, and cultural reasons. They said eliminating the law would infringe on the rights of other states to set their own marriage laws.
Scrapping of the law will clear the way for out-of-state couples to marry in Massachusetts, making it the second state to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry regardless of their place of residence.
Said Representative Byron Rushing, a Boston Democrat: I’m glad we finally did it. [It was] a question of fairness and … a question of equality. Relationships like this are still condemned by religious bigots of all stripes
A set of proposals approved by Bahrain's parliament targeting homosexual activity in the country should be implemented, according to a politician in the Gulf state.
Brotherhood MP Shaikh Mohammed Khalid Mohammed wants the government to begin a number of initiatives designed to rid the country of gay people.
In April parliament demanded that the Interior Ministry stop granting any residence permits to foreign homosexuals.
In Bahrain homosexuality remains a crime, and the government has periodically deported expatriates living in the nation because of their sexual orientation.
The country only held its first elections in 2002, and since then politicians have mainly addressed themselves to "moral" issues such as banning female mannequins from shop windows and tackling the widespread problem of
Ministers have called for homosexuals to be 'rooted out' of hair salons and massage parlours:
The proposals will see teachers on the look out for homosexual tendencies in children and 'punishing them accordingly.'
Homosexuality has been considered illegal in Bahrain since 1956 when, as part of the British Empire, it was given the Indian Penal Code. Homosexuals can be given up to 10 years in prison though this is rarely put into practice.
The organization Hazteoir.org filed a complaint with Spain's Attorney General against the organizers of a July 5 “gay pride” parade for inciting religious hatred.
The gay pride parade, which took place in Madrid, is renowned not only for its graphic and supposedly violent displays of homosexual sex, but also for its unsurprising aggression against the Catholic faith. Many participants dress up in clerical
or religious garb combined with sexual objects, and others carry signs that mock the Pope, the bishops and Catholics in general.
According to Hazteoir.org, participants also denigrated Catholic images and symbols, which would have been denounced had the target of the attacks been any other religious or social group.
We are filing this complaint in order to ensure that in Spain you can no longer get off scot-free offending the Church, the symbols and the beliefs of the majority of Spanish society, the organization's president, Ignacio Arsuaga said. He
explained that the complaint filed with the Attorney General shows that the parade was not a case of freedom of speech but actually promoted hatred and discrimination against Catholics.
Residents of the Greek island of Lesbos have lost their legal bid to ban the use of the word lesbian to describe gay women.
The group had argued that the word insulted their identity.
Lesbos was the birthplace in 7BC of Sappho, whose love poems inspired the term lesbian.
An Athens court said the word did not define the identity of the residents of the island, and so it could be used validly by gay groups in Greece and abroad.
The ruling also ordered the three plaintiffs to pay court expenses.
Vassilis Chirdaris, lawyer for the Gay and Lesbian Union of Greece, said: This is a good decision for lesbians everywhere. A court in Athens could not stop people around the world from using it. It was ridiculous. Chirdaris said the
plaintiffs are free to appeal against the decision in a higher court.
A UK television advertisement been withdrawal after a gay rights group called it offensive.
The Associated Press is reporting that Mars is pulling a Snickers television ad that offended gay groups.
The commercial features 80's star Mr. T in an armoured truck shooting snickers bars and ridiculing a gay stereotyped jogger.
During the advert, Mr T, who played B.A. Baracus in the 1980s series The A-Team, pulls up in a large truck next to a speed walker and shouts: "Speed walking. I pity you fool. You are a disgrace to the man race. It's time to run like a real
He then fires Snickers bars at the man until he breaks into a sprint.
Mars says the ad was meant to be funny. But gay rights group Human Rights Campaign failed to find the humour: These kinds of ads perpetuate the notion that the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is a group of second class
citizens and that violence against GLBT people is not only acceptable, but humorous.
Nike said it will drop ads for its Hyperdunk basketball shoes that critics said played off some viewers' homophobia.
Nike spokesman Bob Applegate told The Oregonian that three separate print, poster and billboard ads would be removed as expeditiously as possible. The ads were titled That Ain't Right, Isn't That Cute, and Punks Jump Up .
One ad showed a basketball player dunking over another. The crotch of the player dunking was planted firmly in the other player's face. The ad sported a large tagline: That Ain't Right.
Nike stood by the ads earlier this week, saying the ads were based purely upon a common insight from within the game of basketball - the athletic feat of dunking on the opposition, and is not intended to be offensive.
The homophobic lyrics of several Jamaican reggae musicians has moved the German government to consider blacklisting them and restrict their sales and distribution.
The CDs by Elephant Man and T.O.K. could be put on the Index of Harmful Materials , which, while it would not censor the materials in Germany, would severely limit their advertising and marketing.
The Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons will decide over the next several months if the music will be included on the index, the government said in its response to a parliamentary inquiry.
Volker Beck, the leader of the Green Party parliamentary group, called on large Internet music sellers to already begin removing the CDs in question from their sales inventory: Those in Jamaica who invoke hatred should not earn money with
their music in Germany .
Homosexual acts are punishable by law in Jamaica and many musicians from the Caribbean island are accused of promoting violence against gays and lesbians. In its travel advisory on Jamaica, the German foreign ministry reports that homosexuals are
often the targets of assault.
Christian Voice nutter, Stephen Green, has been noted arguing a particularly reprehensible line of reasoning. You don't get much lower than this.
From the Guardian:
On Sunday evening, a lone campaigner stood outside St Mary's church, Putney. Stephen Green, a haggard and unshaven figure, obsessed and weighed down by the wickedness of modern Britain, handed out leaflets warning of the
consequences of same-sex love, while announcing to anyone who would listen: Homosexuality and sexual immorality is all on a continuum with paedophilia, bestiality, adultery, child-sacrifice. You are saying it is all OK.
Love your neighbour...
...unless of course he's gay
Public servants should not be allowed to discriminate on the grounds of their beliefs, Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott said today.
She has tabled a motion in the Commons, urging a change in the law.
Last week Lillian Ladele, a marriage registrar, claimed that she was discriminated against because of her religion when she refused to conduct civil partnership ceremonies while employed by Islington council.
An employment tribunal agreed. Her victory could set a precedent that will allow people with strong religious convictions to opt out of the provision of services to gays, lesbians and bisexuals.
Islington Council has decided it will appeal against the employment tribunal ruling.
It emerged earlier this week that Ms Ladele is an unmarried single mother. She told the Mail that she gave birth to an illegitimate son when she was 20. I would never claim to be perfect, she said.
The revelation has led to accusations that she was not properly cross-examined at the tribunal about the nature of her religious faith.
Love your neighbour...
...unless of course he's gay
A Christian registrar who refused to carry out gay 'weddings' has won a landmark legal battle.
Lillian Ladele was threatened with the sack and thrown before the lions after asking to be excused from conducting civil partnerships for same-sex couples because of her religious beliefs.
But a tribunal agreed that her faith had been ridden roughshod over by equalities-targeted Islington Council, which had sought to trump one set of rights with another.
The groundbreaking decision could lead to firms facing 'conscience claims' from staff who say their own beliefs prevent them carrying out part of their job.
The ruling found that Liberal Democrat-run Islington Council in North London cared too much about the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community. It also found that the council – which gave Miss Ladele an ultimatum to
choose between her beliefs and her £31,000-a-year job – showed no respect for her rights as a Christian.
Compensation will be decided in September. There is no limit to the amount that can be awarded for religious discrimination.
Last night employment lawyer Lisa Mayhew, of Jones Day, said: It is a bit of a wake-up call for employers. They need to think about whether their instructions and the tasks expected of staff might cause people with religious beliefs more
problems than others. It does not have to be religion – this could apply across the spectrum in terms of race, gender or sexual orientation.
Comment: Divorced from Christian Teaching
Thanks to Alan
Nice to be proved right a few years late! When the legislation banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and religion was introduced, I was earning my living through expertise in the field of employment relations, and I said at
the time that we would have to see what happened when the two inevitably clashed, given that homosexual relations are a taboo for most religions.
The baffling thing about this case is that Ms Ladele's scruples only kick in about homosexual civil partnerships. OK, the Old Testament and Saint Paul have quite a bit to say about the evils of sodomy, but registry offices have long been the
venue of choice for people defying the instructions of the late, great JC himself, by putting away their wives and taking another.
Troy King is the Attorney General of Alabama and has been the focus of a sex scandal.
Within the last couple of week she was caught by his wife Paige in bed with a male aide and was subsequently thrown out of the couple's house.
Of course, King is best known to AVN readers as the current defendant in retailer Sherri Williams' fight to legalize the sale of "obscene devices" - adult novelties whose purpose is sexual stimulation - in the Eleventh Circuit Court of
But AVN have also discovered inevitable anti-gay rhetoric peppered throughout his career where he has stated:
"The existence of the Gay-Lesbian Alliance on this campus is an affront to the state of Alabama, its citizenry, this university and its students".
"Currently, AIDS is the most behavior-oriented disease known to mankind. If this nation's current purveyors of perversion would refrain from committing sodomy, they would unquestioningly be spared the ravages of the disease."
"It is indeed sad that America has fallen to the point where she will condone any type of deviant, immoral activity in which a group desires to participate."
"I often hear the argument that homosexuals who live together create a loving, caring family environment, perhaps an environment which is even superior to that which can be provided by a heterosexual couple. In this day of rampant
decadence, many homosexuals would mislead society into believing that three men, an armadillo and a house plant create a functional family."
But while rumors that Gov. Bob Riley will ask for King's resignation in the wake of the bedroom discovery are unconfirmed, the announcement that King was named to be state campaign chairman of presidential candidate John McCain's Leadership Team
in Alabama has been removed from McCain's Website, and King's hopes to succeed Riley as governor in 2010 appear to be over as well.
A gay man is suing two heavyweight Christian publishers, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain and mental instability.
Bradley LaShawn Fowler of Michegan, is seeking $60 million from Zondervan, based in Cascade Township, and $10 million from Nashville-based Thomas Nelson Publishing.
Fowler filed the suit in federal court against Zondervan on July 7, the same day U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr. refused to appoint an attorney to represent him in his case against Thomas Nelson.
The Court has some very genuine concerns about the nature and efficacy of these claims, the judge wrote.
Fowler alleges Zondervan's Bibles referring to homosexuality as a sin have made him an outcast from his family and contributed to physical discomfort and periods of demoralization, chaos and bewilderment.
The intent of the publisher was to design a religious, sacred document to reflect an individual opinion or a group's conclusion to cause me or anyone who is a homosexual to endure verbal abuse, discrimination, episodes of hate, and physical
violence ... including murder, Fowler wrote.
Fowler's suit claims Zondervan's text revisions from a 1980s version of the Bible included, and then deleted, a reference to homosexuality in 1 Corinthians without informing the public of the changes. The other suit, against Thomas Nelson and its
New King James Bible, mirrors the allegations made against Zondervan.
Gay Times in its May issue carried an article on the subject gay porn with a chilling story about a gay male participant in one barebacking (penetrative sex without condoms) DVD, who alleges that he was infected with HIV after unprotected anal
sex with another participant, and he himself claims to have never had unprotected sex in his own private life. ICreme, the producer, has withdrawn the offending DVD from sale, and has also curtailed production of any further bareback erotic
Gay Times own Millivres Prowler Group, which may also be about to decide to cease further distribution of bareback erotic DVDs from its Prowler sex shops. The above incident, also reported on Newsnight, a BBC Current Affairs programme, has made
them think twice about selling the DVDs, and they're talking with another UK gay sex shop chain, Clone Zone, about withdrawing their on-sale bareback DVDs from sale.
Insofar as censorship policy debates go, the BBFC notes that it isn't against the law to have unprotected anal or vaginal sex in Britain, and any state prohibitions would mean the emergence of a substantial black market. At present, the Prowler
sex shops estimate that one-third of all gay erotic DVDs sold are bareback.
Police have arrested 45 people in Hungary after fights broke out at a gay rights march in central Budapest.
Riot police used water canons and tear gas to prevent activists from right-wing groups attacking marchers, Eva Tafferner, a police spokeswoman, said.
At least 10 people were injured in the violence.
Hundreds of activists threw petrol bombs and bottles at the gay rights demonstrators in an attempt to break up the annual march. Police seized petrol bombs from a group of six people waiting for demonstrators in an uninhabited flat along the
route of the march. Eggs, firecrackers and cobblestones were also thrown at the about 450 marchers and police.
A police car carrying Katalin Levai, a European parliament member and human rights activist, was attacked by anti-gay demonstrators. A stone was slammed through the window of the car but she was unhurt.
Levai said: This is outrageous and shameful that some 20 years after the change of regime, this is what we have ... such intolerance.
The BBFC – no longer hamstrung by “blasphemy” concerns now that this “crime” has been abolished in the UK – has approved, without cuts, a hardcore pornographic film called Passio . It has been given an R18 rating.
Featuring Danny Fox as a homosexual Jesus, Passio: Domini Nostri Secundum Matthaeum is a no-holes-barred attempt by director Matthias Von Fistenberg to replicate the “sexing up” of icons like Jesus, which he said took place at the
start of the Renaissance.
Budapest police are bracing for more clashes as nationalist groups plan to disrupt this weekend's Gay Pride Parade, calling it a provocation against Hungarian culture.
The march, part of the city's weeklong Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Festival, will pass through the heart of the capital. Laszlo
Toroczkai, who heads nationalist youth group 64 Counties, is calling on Hungarians to stop it: What we're against is men walking around in pink miniskirts, half naked, kissing each other and desecrating the Bible on the street. Hungarian
children don't need to see that. [much better the kids see violence?]
Toroczkai and fellow protest organizer Gyorgy Budahazy were among the leaders of anti-government demonstrations in September 2006 that turned into Hungary's worst street violence in 50 years.
Authorities first banned the parade, saying it would block traffic, then reversed the decision after Mayor Gabor Demszky and other politicians protested.
A right-wing and outspokenly homophobic group in the United States organised a campaign against an advert that was only shown in the UK.
The ad, which featured a kiss between two men, was targeted by what gay equality group Stonewall called an organised campaign here in Britain.
It has emerged that a similar tactic was used by the American Family Association. Heinz's corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh was deluged with complaints from some of the estimated 3.5 million fundamentalist Christians in the AFA.
We suggest you forward this to all your family and friends letting them know of the push for homosexual marriage by Heinz, the AFA said in an email to supporters, reports The Guardian: This ad is currently running in England, but no
doubt can be expected in the US soon.
Heinz UK had already decided to pull the advert from British TV before the AFA became involved, a decision that has led everyone from gay groups to MPs to condemn them.
The UK's advertising regulator has decided not to investigate Heinz's "male kiss" TV ad, despite 215 complaints from viewers that it was offensive and inappropriate to see two men kissing.
The ASA council considered that while some viewers may have personal objections to any portrayal of same sex kissing there was nothing in the content of the advertisement what would constitute a breach of the advertising code, said a
spokesman for the ASA.
The Heinz TV ad carried an "ex-kids" restriction, meaning it cannot be shown in or around children's programming, because Heinz Deli Mayo falls foul of Ofcom's TV ad restrictions relating to junk food products.
A spokesman for Heinz said that despite the ad being cleared of breaching the advertising code the company had no plans to put the Heinz Deli Mayo TV commercial back on air.
Christian leaders have gathered in Denver in opposition to an anti-Christian censorship law that could open the door to censoring the Bible.
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed the state bill, SB 200, which aims at silencing all publications that discriminate against homosexuality.
Section 8 of Senate Bill 200 is a wide open door for any judge to censor anything that condemns homosexuality, including Scripture, Colorado State Rep. Kevin Lundberg said.
I do believe that the Bible is banned, under the plain language of this new statute, Steve Crampton, general counsel of the pro-family Liberty Counsel, said, indicating he believes that day is already here.
Section 8 reads, No person, being the owner. agent, or employee of any place of public accommodation. shall publish. distribute, give away. except as provided in this section, any communication. book, pamphlet, writing. or advertisement of any
kind. intended or calculated to discriminate. against. sexual orientation, marital status (which) is unwelcome.
MPs are calling for an advert showing two men kissing to be reinstated after it was pulled following complaints. More than two decades after the first gay kiss on teatime TV, a kiss is clearly not always just a kiss.
Twenty-one years after Britain's first gay kiss on primetime TV prompted condemnation from MPs, a show of intimacy between two men clearly still has the capacity to shock television audiences.
Heinz has withdrawn an advert for its Deli Mayo brand one week into a five-week schedule. It depicts a man with a New York accent and dressed like a chef, making sandwiches in a homely British family kitchen. After a schoolboy and girl - who
refer to the wise-cracking chef as "Mum" - dash through to pick up their sandwiches, their harried father appears, seemingly late for work. The father says a fleeting goodbye but is summoned back by the chef for a more intimate farewell
- a brief kiss.
A spokeswoman for the ASA says it's still assessing whether to investigate, but added that homosexuality in itself is not a breach of the code and complaints in the past about adverts showing same-sex kissing had not prompted any action.
Yet one organisation failing to see the funny side is the American Family Association, which issued an action alert to members over the advert urging them to register their disapproval with the firm's US headquarters.
But the withdrawal of the advert has prompted some MPs to insist it be reinstated, while gay rights group Stonewall is leading a campaign to boycott Heinz.
Some people could be offended by seeing a mixed race couple but the real issue is whether it's proportionate to withdraw an advert on that basis, says chief executive Ben Summerskill: No nine or 10-year-old child is going to be outraged
by two men kissing unless someone tells that child to be upset.
A public service announcement showing a kiss between two men which was banned was finally aired on Croatian television this week.
The video Protect Every Kiss which was produced by a German film academy in an anti-violence campaign, was aired by Croatian Television (HTV) editor Aleksandar Stankovic.
The video was first offered by the Queer Association, but was rejected by HTV because the television deemed that it showed an explicit kiss between two men.
The HTV council did promise to the Croatian gay association, however, that all sides will be heard in a program focusing on violence against homosexuals.
The topic of the show in which the video was aired dealt with homosexuality, the rights of gays, the Church, and political messages coming from the altar.
Stankovic's guest Ivica Šola said that he is against all censorship as it leads nowhere. Speaking of the position of the Catholic Church in the contemporary world, he said that Catholicism is the only societal prejudice that is
The ASA said viewers had complained that the Heinz scene depicting two men giving each other a quick kiss goodbye was "offensive", "inappropriate" and "unsuitable to be seen by children".
Viewers? Bigots more like. There is nothing wrong with homosexual expressions of affection. They would not moan if it was a heterosexual display of affection would they? As to it being unsuitable for children this is simply hate in caring form.
There are gay children, we do not want to deal with it but there are, and positive depictions of same sex relationships such as this are a great help all round.
Cuba's first gay pride parade was abruptly cancelled moments before it was to begin.
The unofficial march, organised with Florida's Unity Coalition, was not sanctioned by Cuba's National Centre for Sex Education, which is headed by Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro.
Activist Mario Jose Delgado said two organisers who were to deliver a set of demands to the Justice Ministry were detained.
The president of the Cuban League Against Aids and the president of the Foundation LGTB Reinaldo Arenas in Memoriam have been arrested, Delgado said: They were to be here with our written demands but now we cannot carry out our
Religious police in Saudi Arabia have detained more than 20 men after a raid on a property in the coastal town of Qatif.
Newspaper Al-Medina reports that quantities of alcohol were seized at a gathering of young men and that many more were initially arrested on homosexuality charges but later released. 21 remain in custody.
In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is illegal under sharia, or Islamic Law. The maximum sentence it carries is the death penalty and this is most commonly performed by public beheading.
With strict laws restricting unmarried opposite-sex couples, however, and public displays of affection accepted between men, some Westerners have suggested that sharia encourages homosexuality.
Israel's Supreme Court refused Monday to issue an injunction barring gays from holding a pride march in Jerusalem this Thursday.
The ultra-right National Jewish Front and the city of Jerusalem filed separate briefs with the high court asking to have the parade cancelled.
The National Jewish Front in its brief called the parade a "a provocation". The brief filed by the city said it feared civil unrest.
During a hearing Monday Justice Ayala Procaccia said there must be a balance : between the desires of the gay and lesbian community to march, and the feelings of the city's residents. It is important that such parades become a matter of
routine instead of causing a commotion every year.
In rejecting both applications to halt the parade the justices said they took into consideration the parade route, its expected duration and an undertaking by Jerusalem Open House, the parade organizer that the march would not be provocative in
Gay rights supporters have been urged to boycott Heinz products, after the company dropped a mayonnaise advertisement that showed two men kissing.
Campaigners insisted that Heinz had capitulated to a concerted homophobic campaign and that they would be urging supporters to boycott the company's products.
The corporation decided to withdraw the light-hearted Deli Mayo commercial within days of its launch because it was "listening to its consumers".
The Advertising Standards Authority said yesterday that it had received 202 objections from viewers, a high number in such a short time. A spokesman for the ASA said it has yet to decide whether to investigate if the commercial breached its
rules, adding: Homosexuality in itself is not a breach but they could look at it from the point of view of taste and decency.
The commercial also caused controversy in the US where the notoriously reactionary Fox News host Bill O'Reilly complained: I just want mayonnaise, I don't want guys kissing.
Last night Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of the gay rights group Stonewall, urged its supporters to stop buying Heinz products. We're shocked that an innocuous ad should have been withdrawn in this way.
Our phones have not stopped ringing with supporters who are deeply upset. I think people are a surprised they have responded so swiftly to what appears, on the face of it, to be organised complaints, a campaign by people who are determined to
be outraged whenever there is any reference to homosexuality, however light hearted.
It's been only five years since the U.S. Supreme Court decriminalized consensual sodomy between adults, but apparently, police in West Raleigh, North Carolina, haven't yet been made aware of the ruling.
It all started when Nelson Sloan called 911 in the early morning hours of May 24, claiming he'd been attacked in his apartment by Ryan Flynn. After investigation, the cops charged Flynn with simple assault for biting Sloan – and with threatening
to disembowel Sloan and show him his (Sloan's) innards.
But they also charged both men with committing an "infamous crime against nature" – North Carolina's legal term for sodomy.
This looks like a case of a consensual act that may have gotten out of hand, police Capt. T.D. Hardy said: The law is still on the books. Our detectives got involved in it last night and decided this was the best thing to do. What the
D.A.'s office will do with it, I don't know.
The good news is, Wake County prosecutors dropped the sodomy charges against both men a week later, with Assistant District Attorney Adam Moyers concluding that the blowjobs and/or anal sex between the men were consensual and private.
The bad news is, Sloan still had to pay $450 to a bail bondsman to get released from jail, and though he's asked for a refund, it's unlikely that he'll get it.
The further bad news is, though many North Carolina district attorneys have stopped prosecuting the sodomy law, State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird has tried for years to rescind the statute. I press it every year," Kinnaird said shortly after
the arrests: It would be politically difficult, but that doesn't matter. It's unconstitutional.
A mayonnaise advert showing two men kissing has been withdrawn after it led to more than 200 complaints.
Heinz confirmed last night that it had withdrawn the television commercial for its Deli Mayo following 'consumer feedback'.
Nigel Dickie, of Heinz UK, said: We recognise that some consumers raised concerns over the content of the ad and this prompted our decision to withdraw it. The advertisement, part of a short-run campaign, was intended to be humorous and we
apologise to anyone who felt offended.
The advertising watchdog has yet to confirm if it will investigate the Heinz commercial, one of the most complained about commercials this year.
Viewers said it was 'offensive', 'inappropriate' and 'unsuitable to be seen by children', while some parents were angry that they had been forced to explain same-sex relationships to their youngsters who asked them about the ad.
The commercial shows a family scene with a young boy and girl getting ready to go to school. They refer to a man making sandwiches in the kitchen as 'mum'. He is dressed like a delicatessen worker and has a New York accent. Their father enters
the kitchen, grabs a sandwich and says to the man: See you tonight, love. The 'mum' then shouts back Hey, ain't you forgetting something, before the two men kiss.
It finishes with the slogan: Heinz Deli Mayo – Mayo with a New York Deli flavour.'
Budapest police (BRFK) has withdrawn its ban on this year's Gay Pride parade.
The parade, scheduled for July 5, had been banned by BRFK chief Gabor Toth, who said it would block major city routes.
Some 15 gay organizations signed a protest petition against Toth's decision, saying that the parade planned to follow the same route as in earlier years and it would not cause such a significant obstruction as to justify the ban.
At a time of frequent attacks against minorities, an event like the parade should be supported by all democrats, said Budapest Mayor Gabor Demszky, adding that he would personally join the march.
Calling the ban "unacceptable," member of European Parliament and the governing Socialist Party, Katalin Levai, said the ban would have deprived a significant minority to represent itself.
New Generation, the youth arm of the Alliance of Liberal Democrats (SZDSZ) party, said Toth's attempt to ban the event using traffic difficulties as an excuse was "unacceptable."
The police must not deprive gay people of their fundamental rights for fear of possible incidents triggered by the extreme right, New Generation chairman Andras Lederer said.
The wife of the First Minister of Northern Ireland has caused controversy with her Nutter Christian outlook on life.
Iris Robinson is MP for Strangford. Reacting to news that a man was viciously attacked because he is gay, she suggested that he should consider therapy to "cure" him of his homosexuality.
Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster she condemned the attack on Stephen Scott but added: I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals trying to turn away from what
they are engaged in. And I have met people who have turned around to become heterosexual.
Scott was attacked by a gang of youths in Newtownabbey and suffered head and leg injuries. The police are calling the assault homophobic in nature.
Iris Robinson will not be prosecuted after official complaints were made to the police over her remarks. The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in Northern Ireland confirmed today it was not proceeding with an investigation into the MP's comments.
Robinson said homosexuality is an abomination and that gay people could be cured of their homosexuality by psychotherapy.
Eighty complaints were made to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) accusing the Strangford MP of incitement to hatred.
John O'Doherty, the equality officer for the gay rights Rainbow Project, who was one of the people who made a complaint, described the decision as a complete miscarriage of justice.
Amsterdam is in shock after a serious daylight attack was carried out by a group of Muslim thugs on a man taking part in a fashion show.
According to PinkNews, model Mike Du Pree was taking part in a show to promote tolerance towards gay people when a gang of ten Muslim youths dragged him from the catwalk and beat him.
Du Pree’s nose was broken in what was a clearly homophobic attack.
Fashion show organiser Jennifer Delano said that the atmosphere at the event was tense, and that the violence demonstrated that Amsterdam is no longer a tolerant city.
MPs have raised the incident in Parliament. Party of Freedom MP Martin Bosma said: This shows how strong the Islamic gay bashers feel they are. Even in daylight, in the heart of Amsterdam, they strike. Only the hardest measures could turn this
The Dutch nationality of the gay bashers of Rembrandt Square should immediately be taken from them and they should be expelled from the country today. The Netherlands can show no mercy for these people who damage our society in this way. Either
they will win, or we will win.
A group of MPs, mostly religious, have decided to promote an amendment to the Jerusalem Basic Law that would ban the Gay Pride Parade from taking place in the city.
The lawmakers decided to sign a petition addressed to the chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Menahem Ben Sasson, urging him to advance the bill that was submitted last year, yielding little progress since.
National Religious Party-National Union MP Eliyahu Gabbay, who initiated the amendment, said: It is unacceptable that Ben-Sasson stalls decisions that were made in a democratic procedure. It is an anti-democratic move. Personal considerations
should stay away from the democratic process.
They also decided to protest the parade by holding ten mass demonstrations across the capital on the day it is due to take place.
National Union faction whip MP Uri Ariel said that the majority of Jerusalemites find the Pride Parade intolerable, and it shouldn't take place anywhere. But at least leave Jerusalem alone. The group also decided to ask the police to ban
the parade, saying it would infringe on the public order.
Two Spanish tourists were arrested on in The Gambia, accused of having made "dishonest propositions" to engage into homosexual relationships, yesterday were released without charges and are preparing their return to Spain.
According to confirmed sources from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the release of two Spaniards came hours after several senior members of the Ministry got in contact with their Gambian counterparts.
However, the two Spaniards in The Gambia are still said to be in a dangerous situation. The same sources indicated that the two Spanish tourists yesterday urgently had left the capital of Gambia, Banjul, moving on to neighbouring Senegal
by road instead of waiting for a flight. Today, they are trying to catch a direct flight from Senegal to Spain.
The two Spaniards were arrested on Friday in Kotu, 10 kilometres from Banjul. The tourists were accused of having asked local taxi drivers to led them to places frequented by homosexuals. The drivers at first agreed to the request of the
Spaniards, but later on informed the police who later arrested them at a tourist resort.
Last month, the President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, ordered gays and lesbians to leave the country within 24 hours before he would "cut off the head" of any homosexual caught in the country. Jammeh also threatened to legislate more stringent laws that Iran
President Jammeh further warned owners of hotels and accommodation centres not to give shelter to homosexuals on the grounds that homosexuality should not be tolerated in a country of believers and civilized people. He added government
would not hesitate to close down any hotel or lodge that accommodates homosexuals.
Gay rights activists protested in defiance of a City Hall ban on Sunday, marching in front of the Moscow State Conservatory and unfurling a banner demanding greater rights for gays and lesbians from the window of an apartment on Tverskaya Ulitsa,
just blocks from the Kremlin.
Dozens of activists from Gay Russia, led by organization head Nikolai Alexeyev, held a series of separate protests throughout the city to try to avoid exposing protesters to some of the violence that accompanied the larger gay pride parades in
2006 and 2007.
We wanted to make this pride [day] different from the last two years, Alexeyev said in English. We didn't want to have any more beatings in the street. We just want to show everyone that we are normal people.
City Hall rejected more than 100 requests by the group to hold their annual gay pride parade in May, citing security concerns. Mayor Yury Luzhkov is a fierce opponent of the parade and his office has denied every parade request since 2005, a move
upheld as constitutional by the Moscow City Court in April 2007.
The protests were much more peaceful than in recent years. Despite the lack of violence, the mood on Sunday was hardly festive.
Screaming anti-gay protesters threw garbage and rotten eggs at the apartment on Tverskaya. One woman was detained after lifting a banner that said, Mr. President, stop these sodomites from leading us down to the path to death!
A massive security presence was visible early in the afternoon, as hundreds of regular officers and OMON riot police lined Moscow's main thoroughfare, blocking access to Tverskaya Ploshchad.
We're protecting the children, said a police officer, who refused to give his name. Do you think it's proper for [gays] to come out into the streets like this? Well, I don't.
On May 29th a local Istanbul court issued a legal order to close Lambdaistanbul LGBT Solidarity Association. Lambdaistanbul is currently Turkey’s only known non campus-affiliated association with the mission of defending and establishing the
human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals within Turkey’s legal sphere and society. Turkey’s constitution does not currently guarantee equal rights and recognition for sexual minorities.
The local court’s order followed a warranted search of the Lambda Istanbul Cultural Center earlier in the spring. The center has been described as a refuge where LGBT people can relax, be themselves and be safe. According to a statement
released by Human Rights Watch:
On April 7, between twelve and fifteen men in plain clothes entered the Lambda Istanbul Cultural Center, identifying themselves as members of the Financial and Morality Police; an officer from the City Department of
Associations accompanied them. The police presented a warrant, but members of Lambda Istanbul told Human Rights Watch that they were not allowed to review it thoroughly. Police refused to answer questions about why they were raiding the Center.
The attorney for Lambda Istanbul subsequently found the warrant was issued under article 227 of the Criminal Code, whereby ‘[a]ny person who encourages another person to become a prostitute, or facilitates prostitution, or acts as a go-between
or provides a place for such purpose is punished with imprisonment from two years up to four years, and also a punitive fine up to three thousand days.’
According to a communique received by this observer from Lambdaistanbul, the legal process surrounding the closing will continue in Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals. Lambdaistanbul will be legally able to function while the Supreme Court
formulates its decision.
A gay man who faces the death penalty in Iran has won asylum in the UK after protests prompted the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, to reconsider his case.
Family and supporters of Mehdi Kazemi, now 20, welcomed the decision yesterday not to send him back to Iran where his boyfriend was arrested by the state police and executed for sodomy.
Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey, said: I am delighted by the Home Office decision that my constituent Mehdi Kazemi can now stay in this country. This is great news for a very decent guy.
Kazemi came to London to study in 2005, but in April 2006 discovered his gay partner had been arrested and named him as his boyfriend before his execution. Fearing he might suffer the same fate if he returned, Kazemi decided to seek asylum in
Britain. His claim was refused and he fled to the Netherlands where he also failed to win asylum before returning to Britain last month.
The UK Border Agency said it had decided to allow him asylum, granting him leave to remain for five years. A spokesman for the agency said: We keep cases under review where circumstances have changed and it has been decided that Mr Kazemi
should be granted leave to remain.
The 25 winners of the 2008 European Gay Porn Awards were feted in a gala ceremony at the ufaFabrik International Centre in Berlin. The awards are bestowed based on fan polls.
Sk8erboy Film Productions managing director Christian Felten collected EGPA's La Branlette D'Or - literally, the Golden Wank. The award is given each year to the person gay consumers believe has made a significant contribution to gay porn.
Best Stud Film: Executive Pleasures 1 (MenAtPlay)
Best Extreme Film: Perverts (Wurstfilm)
Best Hunk Film: Berlin Privat 6 (Prick by Cazzo Film)
Best Young Stud Film: Rebel (Bel Ami Entertainment)
Best Black/Latino Film: Matos de Blackos 3 (Citebeur)
Best Twink Film: The Fuck Club (OTB Video)
Best Fetish Film: Fucking Scouts (Sk8erboy Film Production)
Best Bear Film: Out on Parole (AlphaMale Media)
Best Bisexual Film: Bi Sex Party 3: Dream Team (Eromaxx)
La Branlette D'Or: Christian Felten (Actor, Director, Producer)
The Homoactive.com Award for Best New Comer: Paul Valery (Rebel, Bel Ami Entertainment)
Best DVD Cover: Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita (Lucas Entertainment)
Best Solo Performance: Alex (Dating Alex, Sk8erboy Film Production)
The Maleflixxx Gold VOD Award for Top Non-European Studio: Hot House Entertainment
Best Bottom: Ashley Ryder (Borstal Boy, Eurocreme Productions)
Best Duo Performance: Alex & Marc (Sk8erfun, Sk8erboy Film Production)
Best Non-European Film: Communion (Hot House Entertainment)
Best Top: Julian Vincenzo (Executive Pleasures 1, MenAtPlay)
Best Threesome Performance: Steve Cruz, Francois Sagat and Rocky Torrez (H2O, Titan Media)
Best Director: Simon Booth (Borstal Boy, Eurocreme Productions)
Best Cum Shot: Jason Ridge (Communion, Hot House Entertainment)
Best Group Scene: George Basten, John Elliot, Titch Jones, Ashley Ryder, Adam Tremadoc and Mason Wyler (Builder Boy, Eurocreme Productions)
The Maleflixxx Gold VOD Award for Top European Studio: Sk8erboy Film Production
The GayHotMovies.com VOD Award for Best Actor: Francesco D'Macho (Private Low Life, Hot House Entertainment)
A months-long investigation by WSB-TV reporter Jodi Fleischer unearthed the 'news' that some men have sex inside adult movie theaters, and some neighbors of adult theaters consider such activity unseemly.
s May 7 report on Atlanta's the Belvedere Theatre in DeKalb County also riled some gay activists and civil libertarians who accuse the reporter and WSB of engaging in cheap, sensationalistic reporting in order to attract more viewers.
s report featured undercover camera footage of men engaging in sex inside the theater, and the reporter teamed up with the DeKalb Police vice squad to videotape men being arrested during a recent undercover sting.
Fleischer did not mention that every man arrested in her piece was charged with masturbation, leaving the impression that they were engaged in the oral and anal sex depicted in the undercover camera footage.
I think people have done that in adult theaters all around the world for years, said longtime Atlanta gay activist Floyd Taylor, who complained to WSB about the reports.
No one has a constitutional right to engage in public sex, said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia. But the layout of an adult business can determine whether the sexual acts taking place inside are considered public or
private, Seagraves said.
We have argued in the past that if there is a place that is set apart in a building where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and someone walks up on them, they should not be arrested for that, Seagraves said.
The Belvedere is currently closed, although a sign on the front door says that it will re-open soon.
Police in Penang, Malaysia staged a raid on a fitness center, rounding up over a dozen men and arresting them for alleged homosexual activity.
Assistant police commander, Azam Abd Hamids aid that 14 men were arrested at the center and had been detained as an investigation into sexual activity at the fitness center continued: This was the third time the center was raided since last
November. Hamid added that the police would be advocating that the fitness center be shuttered.
The raids have been part of a police effort, dubbed "Operation Rose," which has targeted certain areas of town where gay men and transvestites congregate.
It is illegal to be gay in Malaysia, with men arrested for being gay subject to hard time in jail and fines.
Some gay Malaysians react to their plight by seeking asylum abroad in places such as Canada, where gay refugees from a number of countries that criminalize their sexuality have begun to gravitate in recent years.
Trade union groups in the Republic of Ireland have expressed their dismay at a ruling by the European Commission confirming that church schools can sack teachers who are openly gay.
Under the Employment Equality Act religious schools can dismiss homosexual teachers. Section 37 of the Act states that schools that promote certain religious values can take action to prevent an employee from undermining the religious ethos of
The European Commission initially warned that the provision was not compatible with EU anti-discrimination legislation, but has now changed its mind after the Irish government argued that it was a narrow exception to equal treatment.
The Commission accepted that an employee should not undermine the "ethos" of an institution they work for, such as a Roman Catholic school or hospital.
Ethos could also affect teachers who are divorced or co-habit, as there is no clear definition of the terms "undermine" and "ethos."
The Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) group of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, which has 35 members, has called for the Irish law to be changed.
Section 37 casts a long shadow that if we are out in school as gay teachers, then the possibility of dismissal might become a reality, Shelia Crowley, who chairs the group, told the union's conference in March: We feel that if we live
openly as LGB teachers in schools under denominational management, then this could be construed as undermining the religious ethos of an institution. Many of our group cannot afford to take this risk and be open in school about our sexuality.
The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act has completed its 3rd reading in the House of Commons and has received Royal Assent so becomes law.
According to BBC Newsbeat, the Dangerous Pictures clauses will be enacted from January 2009.
John Beyer, Director of Mediawatch UK, and supporter of even stricter measures on pornography Said: It is important for there to be clear divide between what is legal and what is not. People need to know. Contrary to the views expressed by
protesters, he feels the new law provides that clarity on extreme material. But there may be a need for an amnesty, during which the public are able to hand in any material that could be considered a crime to possess. The last thing anybody
would want is for the police to be raiding people's homes.
The maximum penalty for obscene publications has also been raised from 3 years to 5 years in prison.
The Dangerous Pictures clauses went unamended but the Government backed down and allowed a free speech protection to be written into its proposed 'homophobic hatred' clauses.
The decision came after the Government was defeated for a second time in the House of Lords. Peers voted 178 to 164 in favour of the protection.
This marks the end of a lengthy battle to make clear that the new criminal offence should not interfere with free speech or religious liberty.
The amendment says, for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended
to stir up hatred.
Words or behaviour which are threatening and intended to stir up hatred will be caught by the offence, which carries a maximum seven year prison sentence.
Speaking in last night's debate, Lord Waddington said: My understanding is that the Government do not wish to see discussion stifled and people harassed, bullied, interrogated and sometimes arrested for expressing their views. However, if that
is so, it really is time that they did something about it.
Senior judge and 'gay rights' sympathiser, Dame Butler-Sloss, agreed that free speech needed protecting. She said: ...there are religious groups, not only Christians, not only bishops, but many Jews and Muslims, which share strong views that
they gain from the Bible, the Old Testament in particular, or the Koran. Those people are potentially at risk.
She continued: It is those people who will potentially be intimidated; they will certainly be bothered and may go through an extremely unfortunate experience before calmer heads point out that under the new clause, as under older clauses, they
have not committed any offence.
The Government said the issue could be made clear by publishing guidance instead of inserting a free speech protection into the Bill. But Lord Clarke said: If we mean that we are to maintain the principle of free speech, we should make sure
that it is in this Bill and not leave it to the interpretation of guidelines, which would become another lawyers' paradise.
Following the Lords vote, the Government backed down and the measure was passed by a substantial majority in the Commons. The offence will become law with the free speech protection included.
One of Canada'
s largest Christian ministries dedicated to caring for the disabled was fined $23,000 recently by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario for allegedly discriminating against a former homosexual employee.
Connie Heintz claimed discrimination against Christian Horizons after she said she was subjected to a poisoned work environment and pressured into quitting her job after she entered a homosexual relationship – which was in violation of her
work contract back in 2000.
In line with its Christian foundation and principles, the ministry requires that all its employees sign “morality statements” vowing to abstain from immoral behavior, including pornography, pre-marital, extra-marital, and homosexual activity as a
condition of employment.
In a recently made public ruling, Michael Gottheil, the single adjudicator representing the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, ruled against Christian Horizons, ordering the organization to pay Heintz $23,000 in fines plus two years wages and
Gottheil also ordered that the organization abandon its Christian principles barring homosexual behavior and issued mandates that it begin requiring all employees to attend a homosexual oriented human rights training program.
In a statement, Barbara Hall, the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, wrote approvingly of the decision by the tribunal: This decision is important because it sets out that when faith-based and other organizations move
beyond serving the interests of their particular community to serving the general public, the rights of others, including employees, must be respected .
The Moscow mayor's office has said it would not allow gay pride marches to take place on this year's May Day holiday.
The announcement came as a gay rights leader said he planned events throughout May to highlight the repression of sexual minorities in Russia.
The council will act decisively and uncompromisingly to prevent attempts to hold such events because society is overwhelmingly opposed to the gay lifestyle and philosophy, council spokesman Sergei Tsoi was quoted by Interfax.
It is a matter of surprise and indignation that gays plan to carry out unsanctioned gatherings in various parts of Moscow during the Festival of Peace and Work, Tsoi said, referring to May 1, one of the most important Soviet-era holidays.
He said the council was taking into account threats of violence made by radical Orthodox and other anti-gay groups: There could be bloodshed and no one wants that .
Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has been an outspoken opponent of gay pride marches, referring to them once as "Satan's work."
The leader of the pressure group Gay Russia, Nikolai Alexeyev, said the group planned to apply for permission to hold five events a day throughout May in various parts of Moscow. He added that the events would not resemble the flamboyant carnival
atmosphere synonymous with such marches in Western cities: If everyone sees that these people are not nude or wearing make-up... there will be many questions about why this event was banned .
Bahrain's gay community and human rights activists were furious over a parliamentary campaign to stamp out homosexuality.
MPs are demanding the Interior Ministry stop granting residence permits to foreign homosexuals and that it deports any that are already here, as soon as they are detected.
They also called for regular inspections to root out homosexuals at massage parlours, health clubs and hair salons. The MPs also want monitoring in schools and for pupils who veer towards homosexuality.
One gay man, who was once married, said MPs seemed to have a misconception that homosexuals are perverse and dirty. He said some homosexuals had given the gay world a bad image by selling their bodies and preying on young boys: They must
separate respectable gays and those from Thailand and the Philippines who are prostitutes and paedophiles . [Talk of the pot calling the kettle black!]
Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society regional and international relations director Faisal Fulad said that while Bahrain's tradition and religion should be respected, the parliament proposal was illogical and out of date for modern times: In the
modern world it's normal, it's not a disease - many homosexuals are lawyers, doctors and ministers. Punishment never cures society, it should be through education and awareness in the family.
A Thai Embassy spokesman said homosexuality was globally accepted and it was against human rights to discriminate against gays: Everything has to abide by human rights and international law and Bahrain has signed the agreements .
They've been bombed three times, received death threats and stood before the red-robed justices of the Supreme Court of Canada.
No, Jim Deva and Bruce Smyth are not killers or terrorists. The soft-spoken Vancouver men sell books. And in some peoples' eyes, Deva says, that made the gay owners of Little Sister's Book & Art Emporium dangerous.
Only two years after the store opened in 1983, the owners took on a fight that bolstered and exhausted them, lasting until just last year and challenging Canada's censorship laws.
After 23 years of fighting Canada Customs' seizures of books bound for the gay and lesbian bookshop, the partners have put Little Sister's up for sale.
It's time to do something else, Deva says as he plans to get a choir booked for the store's 25th anniversary celebrations: It's probably time to pass on the torch hopefully to some younger, energetic people who are willing to work with our
store. I'm not in a rush. We're going to take our time.
The fight against Customs put the store at the forefront of the battle against censorship in Canada. Among books seized were Jean Genet's Querelle , Quentin Crisp's The Naked Civil Servant , Joe Orton's Prick Up Your Ears ,
The Joy of Gay Sex and The Joy of Lesbian Sex .
I think it's our tenacity. We just wouldn't give up and came back again and again at them from every angle we could figure out.
But after all the court battles, Deva believes Canada Customs has developed a respect for the gay community's literature and imagery: They know that . . . when they make a sort of pronouncement on a book that they may well have to defend that.
We still disagree with the process but it's certainly fairer than it was 20 years ago.
As reported recently, Singapore has adopted a rating system for video games.
While the move seems like a step in the right direction, not everyone is pleased with how the new ratings are to be assigned. People Like Us , which describes itself as a Singapore gay and lesbian group focused on advocacy and public education
notes that that the government's Media Development Authority (MDA) lumps homosexuality with crime in an “Adult Theme” rating category:
People Like Us considers this new rule unjustifiably strict. Children should not have to be kept ignorant about the presence of gay people in society any more than they should be shielded from people of other faiths and ethnicities. The path
to acceptance of gay people is through teaching children about diversity from a young age.
It is pejorative to lump gay sexual orientation with crime and drug use as the MDA's new guidelines do, as if gay orientation is some kind of social threat.
At this year's Istanbul International Film Festival, one of the major attractions is A Jihad for Love , a documentary about a taboo subject: homosexuality in Islamic countries. Homosexuality is strictly banned in most
interpretations of the Koran. This is the first time the film is being screened in a Muslim country.
The ending of A Jihad for Love , was greeted with rapturous applause from a packed audience. The film, which Indian Muslim director Pervez Sharma filmed in 12 countries and took six years to make, is an intimate look at the lives of 12 gay
Muslim men and women.
Much of the material was filmed in secret in Muslim countries that ban homosexuality. But Sharma says the film is as much about the Muslim faith as it is about homosexuality: It shows people, Islam is not a problematic monolith, but that is
lived in very diverse ways, in different countries, that it is living religion. It is the world's fastest growing religion, for a reason, and it certainly enables the discourse about Islam to shift. It takes it away from violence and takes it
towards love, and that is why I called the film A Jihad for Love .
While homosexuality is legal in Muslim-majority Turkey, it remains a taboo subject for many. This member of the audience appreciated that the wall of silence was broken.
The response was not all positive. Several of Turkey's Islamic newspapers condemned the film, calling it an attack on the Islamic faith. According to orthodox interpretations of the Koran, homosexuality is strictly forbidden.
The film and its filmmakers will tour the world for the next couple of years. Screenings are planned in India and Indonesia. The filmmakers hope the Arab world will eventually open its doors and allow A Jihad for Love to be seen.
An Upper Sharia Court in Kaduna, Nigeria has sentenced a lesbian couple, Hajiya Aiâsha and Malama Hauwa to a six-month imprisonment for living contrary to the teachings of the Sharia.
The lesbians had told the court that they had been married for five years.
The Sharia Judge, Mustapha Umar ordered that apart from the 20 lashes given to each of the lesbians at the court premises, they should also spend the next six months in prison with no option of fine for violating the tenets of Islam.
Singapore's censor, the Media Development Authority (MDA) has fined StarHub Cable Vision $10,000 for airing a commercial that depicted lesbian kissing scenes.
The MDA posted a statement on its website about the cable operator's breach of TV advertising guidelines, which disallows advertisements that condone homosexuality.
The commercial, which aired over two days in November on MTV's Mandarin-language channel, was to promote a song by pop singer Olivia Yan.
Her music video from the album Silly Child featured two scenes of herself and Taiwanese actress Pei Lin in a "passionate embrace", as described last November in the Taipei Times: The portrayal of a lesbian in a music video was
supposedly a first for Taiwan.
According to the MDA, in the commercial, romanticised scenes of two girls kissing were shown and it portrayed the relationship as acceptable.
The MDA said it had taken into account the "severity" of the breach and that the commercial was aired on a youth-oriented TV channel.
An Egyptian court has sentenced five men to three years each in prison for "debauchery," the legal euphemism for homosexuality, a human rights group that mounted a defence of the men said.
The verdicts were the second this year of men rounded up in a crackdown on gay men. In February, a court sentenced four men to a year each in jail for debauchery.
Egyptian and international human rights groups have criticized the arrests and convictions. We are disappointed, said Hossam Bahgat, an official with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which defended all nine accused. The
verdicts only create fear.
Ramadan, a lawyer with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said the five men were abused and tortured over the past several months to “extract confessions” from them.
Another three men arrested since the first of the year were freed, Bahgat said.
117 human-rights organizations from 41 countries sent a letter to the Egyptian Health Ministry and a government-sponsored doctors' union condemning the crackdown and participation of medical personnel in carrying out anal examinations meant to
determine whether the suspects had engaged in sex. Doctors must put patients first, not join a witch-hunt driven by prejudice, Joe Amon, director of the HIV/AIDS program at Human Rights Watch, said in a news release.
Homosexuality is not a crime in Egypt, though it's covered under "debauchery," which is defined as having sex for money or with a number of partners over an extended period of time.
Remember the Christian Congress for Traditional Values (CCTV). They have appeared several times on Melon Farmers for being holier than thou. For example:
The CCTV advert showed a man, woman, boy and girl with the statement Gay aim: abolish the family .
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints against the ad, ruling that it could be inflammatory. The poster broke advertising rules on social responsibility, decency, matters of opinion and truthfulness, the ASA said: We
considered the statement and the way it appeared was likely to cause offence both to the mainstream gay community and supporters of equality .
The ASA added that it was also likely to be seen as controversial and possibly inflammatory by a significant number of people who saw the poster in an untargeted medium. We concluded that the poster was likely to cause serious or widespread
offence and might lead to anti-social behaviour.
Now Christian Congress for Traditional Values was established by Bishop Michael Reid who was the head of Peniel Church.
And guess what, Reid has been pursuing his own aim of family abolition by undertaking a long time extra-marital affair.
He has now resigned saying: It is with great sorrow and regret that I have resigned from the church board and have stepped down from official duties. I confess that I have sinned by committing adultery. I recognize that I have failed in my
duties and acted in a way that harmed the Church. I take full responsibility for my actions and so I resigned. I apologize to my wife and family and all of you whose trust I have betrayed and ask for your forgiveness and prayers.
The website of Christian Congress for Traditional Values has been replaced by a statement of apology
A Wollongong sex-on-premises venue for gays, bisexuals, swingers and straight-identifying men has closed after less than a month of business.
The Men's Social Club proprietor, Allan Denis, blames the Illawarra Mercury newspaper for the negative publicity generated by an article that featured a photograph of the premises.
Denis told Evolution Online he was forced to close the club after a significant drop in clientele and an avalanche of homophobic threats.
Denis says he had specified the 'discreet' nature of the venue in advertisements with the Mercury, but fears his clientele's anonymity became compromised by the photograph's publication: The ad was very specific, it said [that we provide a]
'discreet', safe, secure environment. Discreet's not just a word, it's a way of life. I figured that because I was a client of them, they would respect that. You take that away, you ruin the club, and that's exactly what they did - even though I
was paying them to run this ad for about four months.
The day after the article went to print, Denis claims the club received over a hundred phone threats, calling him and his staff 'fucking faggots' who will 'burn in hell.' Young passers-by heckled and threw eggs at the venue. Such actions
persisted until Denis closed the venue on February 29.
Denis says only two patrons returned the day after the article went to print, with four on the weekend, as compared to the average of 40 patrons per day in the prior weeks.
The venue had been approved as a 'sex-on-premises establishment' under Wollongong City Council's 'Sex Industry Development Control Plan' devised September 2005. The plan specifies that an establishment earns an income by charging fees for patrons
to use designated areas to have casual sex with one another. The plan also specifies the importance of discretion for patrons.
Community reaction may be put down to an 'aesthetic of disgust' surrounding sex venues, according to Penny Crofts, senior lecturer in Law at the University of Technology Sydney. In her conference paper at a 2006 University of Melbourne
conference, 'Visual Contamination: Disgust and the regulation of brothels', Crofts addressed the stigmas associated with brothels, which are applicable to all sex venues. Crofts says brothels trigger disgust by reminding people of sex outside of
love, the 'perceived immorality' of the practices, and the threat of corrupting children.
Two primary schools have withdrawn storybooks about same sex relationships after objections from Muslim parents.
One story, titled King & King , is a fairytale about a prince who turns down three princesses before marrying one of their brothers. Another named And Tango Makes Three features two male penguins who fall in love at a New York
Bristol City Council said the two schools had been using the books to ensure they complied with gay rights laws which came into force last April. They were intended to help prevent homophobic bullying, it said.
But the council has since removed the books from Easton Primary School and Bannerman Road Community School, both in Bristol.
The decision was made to enable the schools to "operate safely" after parents voiced their concerns at meetings. Around 40 are said to have gathered at Easton to speak to staff and another 50 at Bannerman Road.
Members of the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society said parents were upset at the lack of consultation over the use of the materials. Farooq Siddique, community development officer for the society and a governor at Bannerman Road, said there were
also concerns about whether the stories were appropriate for young children.
He added: In Islam homosexual relationships are not acceptable, as they are not in Christianity and many other religions but the main issue is that they didn't bother to consult with parents.
A spokesman for Bristol City Council said the council had "temporarily withdrawn" the use of the materials in question and was liaising with various groups to ensure that the topic can be addressed in an inclusive manner in the
Ragga star Bounty Killer has had two of his three UK concerts cancelled following a campaign by gay rights group Outrage.
The concerts in Bradford and Birmingham have been axed, causing the star to lose thousands of pounds in performance fees, because the lyrics of his songs are considered homophobic.
In Germany, Bounty Killer's performance in Essen was also cancelled and further concert dates in the country are now in doubt.
It is part of a Europe-wide campaign by the group to halt his Deadly Alliance tour of the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland.
Bounty Killer has come under attack by the group for his refusal to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act in which artistes agree to not perform songs that encourage or glorify violence.
Coordinator of Outrage, Peter Tatchell, expressed his delight that the concerts have been scrapped: Bounty Killer bragged that he was invincible. He vowed his concerts would go ahead and boasted that no gays could stop him. Look who's crying
now . There must be zero tolerance of singers like Bounty Killer who advocate the murder of other human beings.
Despite the shows being cancelled, a concert at the Stratford Rex in east London went ahead recently.
Meanwhile pressure is mounting on the UK Government to reverse its decision to deport a gay Syrian teenager from Scotland to his homeland, where he faces almost certain imprisonment and torture.
Scotland on Sunday revealed last week that 19-year-old Jojo Jako Yakob was being held in Polmont Young Offenders' Institution awaiting deportation, despite evidence he had been tortured almost to death in Syria, where homosexuality is illegal.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, a Nationalist MSP for the Lothians, has lodged a parliamentary motion in support of our campaign to let Yakob stay in the country. It has already been supported by several MSPs.
Pete Wishart MP, the SNP's home affairs spokesman, has taken up the case at Westminster and has vowed to make representations to the Home Office.
He said: After Mr Yakob's terrible ordeal in Syria, it is unacceptable that the Home Office would consider sending him back. There is a very real risk that he would suffer further ill treatment or even possibly death. He has sought asylum in
Scotland and I will make an immediate representation to the Home Office in an effort to overturn their ruling before his final hearing in May.
Yakob has appealed against the Home Office deportation order and has instructed top Scottish QC Mungo Bovey to fight his case. Yakob will appear before a full immigration hearing in Glasgow on May 7, when his fate will be determined.
Jojo fled his homeland two years ago after surviving a harrowing ordeal at the hands of Syrian police and prison guards, when he was arrested for distributing anti-government leaflets. Following his transfer from police interrogation, prison
guards soon discovered that Jojo, a member of the repressed Kurdish minority in the Arab state, was homosexual. He then suffered horrific beatings and was assaulted so badly that he fell into a coma.
Dutch council officials will permit gay sex in public areas but fine dog owners who let their pets off the leash in Amsterdam's Vondelpark.
Paul van Grieken, an Alderman in the Oud-Zuid district of the city, has startled many Amsterdammers, despite their famously liberal attitudes, with plans to allow public sex as part of this summer's new rules of conduct for the country's
Why should we try to impose something that is actually impossible to impose, which also causes little bother for others and for a certain group actually means much pleasure?, he said.
The park's rose garden has become famous as a trysting spot for gay men looking for uncomplicated sexual encounters. Mr van Grieken stresses that tolerance to "cruising" gays, aimed at protecting homosexuals from violence, will have
"strict rules attached".
Thus, condoms must always be cleared away, it must never take place in the neighbourhood of children's playgrounds and the sex must be restricted to the evening and night-time, he said.
The new park rules have the blessing of the Dutch police, who have urged all Dutch parks to follow Amsterdam's lead.
The American Family Association has ended its two-year boycott of Ford over the automaker's advertising on Web sites and in publications geared toward the gay community.
The conservative group confirmed today that Ford has met all of the conditions presented by the group in fall 2005, shortly before a boycott began in March 2006 over Ford's practice of offering benefits to same-sex couples and its marketing
efforts in the gay community.
The AFA singled out Ford as the company [that] has done the most to affirm and promote the homosexual lifestyle, according to an early post on the group's Web site, boycottford.com, which is now inoperative. Ford representatives, dealers
and AFA leaders were in discussions for several months prior to the boycott.
Some Ford dealers, particularly in the South, have said that the boycott impacted their sales.
AFA chairman Donald E. Wildmon declined an interview request, but said in a statement that the original agreement between the AFA and Ford contained four conditions.
Ford would have to cease all advertising on gay Web sites and throughout gay media outlets, including magazines, television and radio, in the U.S.
Ford would not be able to renew current promotions or create future incentives that give cash donations to gay organizations based on the purchase of a vehicle.
Ford would be prohibited from making corporate donations to gay organizations that engage in political or social campaigns to promote civil unions or same-sex marriage.
Ford would have to stop giving cash and vehicle donations or endorsements to gay social activities such as "gay pride" parades.
One of Scotland's most senior Catholics has launched an attack on the gay lobby in Scotland, claiming there is a huge and well-orchestrated conspiracy against Christian values.
The Rt Rev Nutter Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell said gay rights organisations aligned themselves with minority groups, such as Holocaust survivors, to project an image of a group of people under persecution.
He warned that the gay lobby which he labelled the opposition â€“ had mounted a giant conspiracy to shape public policy.
Last night his views were attacked by gay rights groups, which branded them unChristian and deeply out of step with the views of ordinary Scots.
In the fourth of the Gonzaga Lectures held at St Aloysius' College in Glasgow, Bishop Devine said: The homosexual lobby has been extremely effective in aligning itself with minority groups. It is ever-present at the service each year for the
Holocaust memorial, as if to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution. We neglect the gay movement at our peril. I want to ask you if you are able to see the giant conspiracy that's taking place before our eyes, even
if we didn't see it at the time. I take it you're beginning to see that there is a huge and well-orchestrated conspiracy taking place, which the Catholic community missed.
He said prominence had been given to the supreme moral values of liberty and equality replacing truth and goodness as supreme moral values. It was bound to result in state-sponsored morality at war with Christian values. We must
resist being corrupted by secularism.
The gay Iranian teenager who's partner was executed in Iran for being gay is to be allowed to stay in Britain because his case is now so notorious that it would be dangerous to deport him to Tehran.
Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, granted Mehdi Kazemi a temporary reprieve yesterday as she announced that his case would be reconsidered when he returns from the Netherlands [where he lost his case to claim asylum there]. In reality, the case
of Kazemi has now received so much publicity in Europe that if he were sent back to Iran, there would be a real risk of him facing persecution.
Smith intervened after receiving representations from MPs and peers alarmed that Kazemi, 19, could face execution if returned to his homeland. In a statement, Smith said: Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the
light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr Kazemi’s case should be reconsidered on his return to the UK from the Netherlands.
More than 60 peers had signed a letter to the Home Secretary urging the Government to halt the deportation.
Borg Palm, Kazemi’s solicitor in the Netherlands, welcomed the news but said that it would give his client a future only if he was granted asylum: He is very much afraid of being allowed to stay in Britain but without being granted official
permission. That would then put him in a no man’s land. He would be very unhappy in the long term.
A relative of Kazemi, who lives in London but asked not to be named, told The Times that the teenager would be relieved: It has been a long time coming and a very long struggle,. What I do not understand is why the Government got itself into
this mess in the first place. It should always have recognised that gay people are killed for being themselves in Iran.
The BBC news programme Newsnight has reported that three porn films have been withdrawn from sale after the programme revealed that some performers are becoming infected with HIV.
Two of the DVD titles show eight young men having sex with each other "in various combinations" without using condoms. Four of them were diagnosed as HIV positive shortly after filming.
One of the men told Newsnight that he was distressed that footage which he believed showed him becoming infected had been put on sale.
Ceri Evans, Senior Sexual Health Adviser at West London Centre for Sexual Health, told the BBC: I think that there is a possibility of something being called condom fatigue. We have been talking about condoms so long that people are bored or
think they know it all. Education in schools is not what it could be, for anybody, for heterosexual but particularly if you are gay.
An Iranian lesbian who fled to Britain after her girlfriend was arrested and sentenced to death faces being forcibly returned after losing the latest round in her battle to be granted asylum.
The case of Pegah Emambakhsh, 40, comes a day after The Independent reported on the growing public outcry over the plight of a gay Iranian teenager who fears he will be executed if he is deported to Iran.
Both cases have provoked international protests against Britain and led to calls for an immediate moratorium on the deportation of gay and lesbian asylum-seekers who fear they will be persecuted in Iran.
More than 60 MEPs have signed a petition asking Gordon Brown to reverse the decision on Mehdi Kazemi, 19, who escaped to the Netherlands after the Home Office refused him asylum last year. His case is still before Dutch judges who will decide
this month whether he should return to Britain where he faces deportation to a country which has already executed his boyfriend.
A gay teenager who sought sanctuary in Britain when his boyfriend was executed by the Iranian authorities now faces the same fate after losing his legal battle for asylum.
Mehdi Kazemi, 19, came to London to study English in 2004 but later discovered that his boyfriend had been arrested by the Iranian police, charged with sodomy and hanged.
In a telephone conversation with his father in Tehran, Kazemi was told that before the execution in April 2006, his boyfriend had been questioned about sexual relations he had with other men and under interrogation had named Kazemi as his
Fearing for his own life if he returned to Iran, Kazemi claimed asylum in Britain. But late in 2007 his case was refused. Terror-stricken at the prospect of deportation the young Iranian made a desperate attempt to evade deportation and fled
Britain for Holland where he is now being detained amid a growing outcry from campaigners.
He appeared before a Dutch court yesterday to plead with the authorities not to return him to Britain where he is almost certain to be sent back to Iran.
In a letter to the British Government, Kazemi has told the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith: I wish to inform the Secretary of State that I did not come to the UK to claim asylum. I came here to study and return to my country. But in the past few
months my situation back home has changed. The Iranian authorities have found out that I am a homosexual and they are looking for me. If I return to Iran I will be arrested and executed like my former boyfriend.
Kazemi's future will now be decided by a Dutch appeal court, which will rule whether to grant him permission to apply for asylum in Holland, which offers special protection to gay Iranians, or whether he will be deported to Britain. His case has
attracted support from leading gay rights groups across Europe who are campaigning to allow him to live in Britain.
Peter Tatchell, of the gay rights campaign group Outrage, described the Government's policy as outrageous and shameful. If Mehdi is sent back to Iran he will be at risk of execution because of his homosexuality. This is a flagrant violation of
Britain's obligations under the refugee convention.
It is just the latest example of the Government putting the aims of cutting asylum numbers before the merits of individual cases. The whole world knows that Iran hangs young, gay men and uses a particularly barbaric method of slow strangulation.
In a bid to fulfil its target to cut asylum numbers the Government is prepared to send this young man to his possible death. It is a heartless, cruel mercenary anti-refugee policy.
The Home Office's own guidance issued to immigration officers concedes that Iran executes homosexual men but, unaccountably, rejects the claim that there is a systematic repression of gay men and lesbians.
A Nigerian court has sentenced a man to 18 months in jail after he admitted he dressed up as a woman.
Uche Ndubuisi was arrested loitering around Lagos international airport. He pleaded guilty after women's clothes and makeup that belonged to him were brought in evidence.
The BBC's Umar Elleman in Lagos says at the time of his arrest last week police said he was trying to extort money from travellers.
Lagos is not a sharia state, but has recently seen police arrest women for wearing revealing clothes. Cross dressing in Nigeria is linked by authorities to homosexuality, which is illegal in the country.
Another 18 men face charges of vagrancy and indecent behaviour in the sharia-run northern state of Bauchi after they were arrested in a hotel allegedly dressed as women.
An Israeli MP has blamed a spate of recent earthquakes in the Middle East on gays.
Six earthquakes have struck Israel and neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan in recent months, with two coming last week alone.
Shlomo Benizri, of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas party, suggested that the tremors could be stopped through the simple expedient of repealing various liberalising laws on homosexuality that have been passed by the Israeli parliament, or Knesset,
in recent years.
Since decriminalising homosexuality in 1988, Israel has passed several laws on the subject, including decisions to recognise same-sex marriages carried out abroad, and granting inheritance rights and other benefits held by married couples to gay
partnerships. Last Sunday, to the outrage of the religious Right, the country's attorney general, Meni Mazuz, ruled that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children.
In what Mr Benizri clearly believes is no coincidence, the first of last week's quakes hit the country just two days later.
Why do earthquakes happen? One of the reasons is the things to which the Knesset gives legitimacy, to sodomy, Benizri said during a parliamentary debate on earthquake preparedness.
Stopping passing legislation on how to encourage homosexual activity in the state of Israel, which anyway brings about earthquakes, would represent a cost-effective method of preventing future earthquakes, he continued.
God says you shake your genitals where you are not supposed to and I will shake my world in order to wake you up, he added.
The gay population is on the rise in Bahrain, according to lawmakers, who have been demanding of the government to take action in this regard.
The lawmakers warned of the negative effects of the increase in the number of gays on the social stability in Bahrain.
They called through a proposal tabled by five MPs and approved by the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security to find mechanisms to tackle the issue at the earliest.
Bahrain has witnessed lately increase in the number of homosexual Bahrainis and non-Bahrainis, especially Thai and Pilipino expatriates who are working in gents salons, MP Mohammed Khalid said.
The government, through the Minister of Interior Lt-Gen. Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa denied the MPs' accusations and said: Individual cases do exist in Bahrain and they are dealt with according to the laws and regulations, but we
cannot consider them as an issue that should be tackled. The minister said that authorities have been deporting expatriates who violate the kingdom's laws and religious values.
The trial of 18 men accused of dressing up as women has started in a Sharia court in northern Nigeria. The 18 are charged with indecent dressing and vagrancy.
The men were arrested last year in a hotel room in the city of Bauchi. The men were originally accused of sodomy, which could lead to the death penalty under Sharia, but the charges were reduced.
Prosecutors read out a letter from New York based Human Rights Watch calling for the court to respect the men's right to "free association". The letter said the Nigerian government had signed up to two conventions that enshrined the
right to free association and freedom from harassment.
Prosecutor Yusuf Adamu said HRW was "grossly misinformed" about the case and invited a representative of the organisation to attend the trial. He said that: Under Sharia law a man must dress like a man and woman must dress like a
But prosecutors have asked the court to write a response to HRW which could now delay the case. The case was adjourned until further notice by the judge.
A poster claiming that gay people want to abolish the family has been criticised by the advertising regulator.
The Christian Congress for Traditional Values (CCTV) advert showed a man, woman, boy and girl with the statement Gay aim: abolish the family .
A complainant had said the advert did not accurately represent gay people's views and was offensive.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the organisation could not stand up the claim that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The ASA upheld complaints against the ad, ruling that it could be inflammatory. The poster broke advertising rules on social responsibility, decency, matters of opinion and truthfulness, the ASA said: We considered the statement and the way it
appeared was likely to cause offence both to the mainstream gay community and supporters of equality .
The ASA added that it was also likely to be seen as controversial and possibly inflammatory by a significant number of people who saw the poster in an untargeted medium. We concluded that the poster was likely to cause serious or widespread
offence and might lead to anti-social behaviour.
The CCTV, which describes itself on its website as an alliance of Christians but not a church organisation, was instructed to make sure future campaigns would not be offensive.
The group defended the poster, citing gay organisations' manifesto documents from the 1970s which described the traditional family unit as working against homosexuality.
While pornography can be dehumanising and exploitative, it can also be educative, liberating, empowering, fulfilling and immensely socially beneficial. It all depends on how it is made, who makes it, what it depicts and why it is being used.
The puritanical rightwing feminist claim that porn is always anti-women is simplistic, untrue, insensitive, uncaring and, dare l say it, sometimes misogynistic and homophobic. Using sexually explicit imagery can be egalitarian, health promoting,
emotionally fulfilling and life saving.
Legislation in this area is likely to throw up more problems than solutions. Even in the case of depictions of sexual violence and degradation, much of it involves consensual SM fantasy and role-play, where two or more adults commit sexual acts
with mutual agreement and where no one experiences any lasting physical harm.
Criminalising such behaviour violates the right to privacy, individual liberty and personal autonomy. To deny mutually consenting adults the right to personal private space, and the right to make decisions about their own bodies, has more than a
whiff of authoritarianism.
Australian nutters have condemned a play shortly to open in Sydney depicting Jesus as a gay man who is seduced by Judas. The play also features Jesus conducting a gay marriage between two apostles.
The play, named Corpus Christi , is due to open next month as part of the city's annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
A senior Sydney churchman called the play historical nonsense. It is deliberately, not innocently, offensive and they're obviously having a laugh about it, Robert Forsyth, Anglican bishop of South Sydney, was quoted saying.
The play's director Leigh Rowney, who claims to be a Christian, accepted the play would offend some Christians but said he was keen to provoke debate about Christianity.
Playwright Terrence McNally, who is gay, received death threats when the work was performed in the United States, the Sun-Herald reported.
A lesbian sex scene in an Egyptian film has outraged religious scholars, who are telling people not to watch the 'sinful' movie.
An Islamic Studies professor at Cairo University wants the Egyptian authorities to prosecute the director and both actresses involved in the scene.
Dr Abdel-Sabour Shahin believes the film, Hina Maysara (Until Further Notice), promotes homosexuality and debauchery and destroys morality in society.
Muslim teachers at Al-Azhar University have also slammed the film and support Shahin's indignation. One professor at the University, Elwi Amin, claimed there was no lesbianism in Egypt. He also said that watching scenes of a sexual nature,
whether homosexual or heterosexual, was a sin: Many people in Egypt do not even know what the word 'lesbianism' means. This is the influence of immoral Western culture which controls the media,
Director Khaled Youssef asked people to watch the film before they made up their minds: I will not respond to those who criticise without even watching the movie. Lots of people accuse me of apostasy and immorality based on seeing the film
Although Egyptian law does not explicitly forbid homosexuality, the practice is considered taboo in what is a conservative and mostly Muslim country. The Egyptian government has been known for arresting homosexuals on the grounds of offences
against public morals and sensitivities or violating the teachings of religion and propagating depraved ideas and moral depravity.
A marriage registrar has sparked a major legal challenge to the acceptance of gay weddings by refusing to carry out the ceremonies.
The woman, a devout Christian, is taking action against Islington Council, saying the civil partnership ceremonies she has been asked to perform are against her religious beliefs.
More than 300 gay couples a year have been tying the knot in the North London borough since the ceremony became legal in 2005 – but the unnamed registrar has refused to take any part in them.
Her stance has escalated into a full-scale dispute with her employers, who she is now taking to an employment tribunal, in the first case of its kind.
Last night Islington Council, which is now Lib Dem-dominated, confirmed the tribunal was pending and said: A claim has been made to an employment tribunal which Islington Council is defending robustly. The council does not intend to comment
Religious MPs have submitted an amendment to enable religions to continue preaching against homosexuality:
Nothing in this part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion of, criticism of or expressions of antipathy towards, conduct relating to a particular sexual orientation, or urging persons
of a particular sexual orientation to refrain from or modify conduct relating to that orientation.
Pink News reports that the amendment is almost certain to be defeated as the homophobic incitement proposal has gained cross-party support.
In an interview with PinkNews.co.uk published today, the Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice David Heath said: We (the party) have been convinced for some time that there is, first of all a reservoir of extreme prejudice against gay people.
Secondly, prejudice is one thing, having it manifest itself as attacks, in one form or another, is something that we should be very concerned about. I am convinced by the evidence that there is a real problem. That's why, as far as I'm concerned,
the case is proven for having something of this kind. Anyone who is expressing themselves in a reasonable way, even if what they're saying is wholly abhorrent to most right thinking people, will not be get caught under this law, unless what
they're saying is an incitement to hatred against a whole class of people.
Stonewall Chief executive Ben Summerskill rejected concerns that a law banning incitement to religious hatred would be used to silence the voices of religious people who regard homosexuality as a sin: We are crystal clear that people are
perfectly entitled to express their religious views. We are also crystal clear that the temperate expression of religious views should not be covered by the legislation.
Justice minister Maria Eagle has also confirmed that Christians will continue to have the right to express their homophobic views: If you are a preacher and on Sunday morning you tell your sermon of your beliefs and the beliefs of your
denomination about gay people then that's different to going and standing outside a gay club and using threatening words and behaviour . The intent is the key. That is very clearly unacceptable and that's where we are pitching the offence.