|30th September |
Indonesia's Islamic Defender Front in violent threats against gay film festival
Based on article
Members of the Islamic Defender Front donned masks and threatened to set fire to a venue at the Q! Film Festival in the Indonesian capitol city if screenings continued.
The protesters called the international film festival blasphemy and chanted
homophobic war cries. Despite the protests, the festival celebrates its ninth installment with the Jakarta event, opening last week.
The fest shoots to raise awareness and tolerance of gay issues. We're still going to go on, John Badalu,
the festival's co-founder and this year's director, told Jakarta Post. Unfortunately, though, some of last night's showings ground to a halt.
Despite permanently ending Q! fest screenings at the French cultural center and the Japan Foundation,
screenings at the police-guarded Goethe Institute German Cultural Centre shall continue, the center's program assistant told The Guardian.
|11th September |
PinkNews.co.uk blocked for under 18s on mobile phones
article from pinknews.co.uk
PinkNews.co.uk readers have complained that their mobile phone providers block access to gay websites – with five of the major companies implicated.
Last week, PinkNews revealed that T-Mobile blocks gay news, travel and support websites which
contain no offensive content, including PinkNews.co.uk.
Since then, Virgin Mobile, 3, O2 and Vodafone have also been flagged by readers as blocking gay websites. Some readers have reported that websites such as Stonewall.org.uk, which offers
advice on issues such as homophobic bullying, are also blocked.
The two issues are the blocking of all gay content (including adult content) for those who can prove they are over 18, and the blocking of gay websites which contain no adult content
for those under 18.
Sixteen-year-old reader Harriet Bettany told us: I'm with Virgin Mobile and am unable to access most LGBT-related websites. Amongst those I can't access are the Queer Youth Network and Gay Youth Corner, sites meant for under
18s.Other sites I visit frequently and can't access on my mobile are After Ellen and The Lesbian and Gay Foundation, I can however get onto PinkNews.co.uk. I'm 16 and don't see why I should have to lie about my age to access perfectly innocent sites.
An O2 spokeswoman said that contract customers over the age of 18 could view PinkNews.co.uk on their phones but admitted that those under the age of 18 cannot.
The owners of PinkNews.co.uk are considering whether there are grounds for a
legal case. Company secretary and solicitor to PinkNews.co.uk, Richard Cohen, said: This might be a breach of the Equality Act and it is damaging to gay young people who need to access information about their sexuality. Clearly, they are not going to
call up a customer services advisor to complain.
|3rd September |
Anti-gay, anti-AIDS protection, anti-adult entertainment catholic whinges that Britain is anti-catholic
A leading catholic has blamed abortion and gay rights for turning Britain into a selfish, hedonistic wasteland which has become the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death .
Edmund Adamus, director of pastoral affairs at the
diocese of Westminster and an adviser to Archbishop Vincent Nichols, said Parliament had turned Britain into a country which is more culturally anti-Catholic than nations where Christians are violently persecuted such as Saudi Arabia, China and Pakistan.
His comments, made with only weeks to go before Pope Benedict XVI's historic state visit to Britain, will cause embarrassment between organisers of the visit and government officials, because they reveal how some members of the Church's hierarchy
believe that the pontiff is travelling to a hostile and anti-Catholic country.
In an interview with Zenit, a Catholic news agency, Adamus railed against five decades of equality legislation and the availability of abortion services in modern
Britain: Whether we like it or not, as British citizens and residents of this country – and whether we are even prepared as Catholics to accept this reality and all it implies – the fact is that historically, and continuing right now, Britain, and in
particular London, has been and is the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death. Our laws and lawmakers for over 50 years have been the most permissively anti-life and progressively anti-family and marriage, in essence one of the most anti-Catholic
landscapes, culturally speaking – more than even those places where Catholics suffer open persecution.
The expression culture of death was first coined by John Paul II and is frequently used by Catholic traditionalists as a catch-all
phrase covering the practice of abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment.
In the same interview, he spoke at length about marriage and the role of men and women, pleading with Catholics to exhibit counter-cultural signals against the
selfish, hedonistic wasteland that is the objectification of women for sexual gratification. Britain in particular, with its ever-increasing commercialisation of sex, not to mention its permissive laws advancing the 'gay' agenda, is such a wasteland.
Adamus's comments, however, drew widespread criticism from gay rights groups and secularists. Peter Tatchell, a leading figure behind the Protest the Pope coalition, said: The suggestion that gay equality laws make Britain a moral wasteland is
insulting but not unexpected. The Pope supports legal discrimination against gay people. He says we are not entitled to equal human rights. [But] to claim that Britain is the centre of a culture of death is absurd. We are a world leader in scientific
research to develop new medical treatments to save lives and we make a significant contribution to helping combat hunger and poverty in developing countries.
|1st September |
Manchester Council seeks a ban on Christian Voice anti-gay protesters
article from menmedia.co.uk
Christian protesters who picketed the Manchester Pride parade could be banned from the streets during next year's event.
Council chiefs are 'outraged' that around 20 placard-waving demonstrators – many from the conservative pressure group
Christian Voice – were allowed to disrupt the event.
They gathered outside the John Rylands Library on Deansgate as more than 100 floats – celebrating Greater Manchester's gay, lesbian, bisexual and trangender communities – went past.
Members of the protest were filmed shouting
sinful and wicked at people taking part in Saturday's parade.
The group was largely drowned out by the whistle-blowing crowd of thousands – and Lord of the Rings actor Sir Ian McKellen gave them an ironic wave as he led the
procession. But town hall bosses believe the protesters overstepped the mark.
They now plan to work with police to see whether anti-hate laws can be used to ban similar scenes at Pride next summer.
Pat Karney, the council's city centre
spokesman, said such protests had no place in Manchester. He said: I will be meeting organisers and police to make sure that next year people are not subject to these vile, hate-filled rantings. This is 2010, not 1950, and young gay men and women
should not be subjected to this hatred. We have a proud history in Manchester of freedom of speech but there is no place for this. I am a Christian and I believe that these people are a terrible advert for Christianity. There are things we can do using
hate laws to make sure they do not come back.
Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said: It is a very sad day for this country when the authorities want to clamp down on the teachings of the Gospel. This is a major assault
on freedom of speech.
|20th August |
Whinges at Danish art using Duplo to depict gay sex
article from cphpost.dk
Employees at Roskilde Town Hall are in uproar over a picture showing two Duplo figures having gay sex and want the work removed from the building.
Administrators at the town hall have received at least three internal complaints over the
piece by artist Svend Ahnstrøm, which depicts the characters Kurt and Anders smiling as they enjoy themselves in a public park.
Ahnstrøm's exhibition is being displayed in the building by the local art association, and in addition to the gay sex
piece, features Duplo depictions of Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.
But Henrik Kolind, spokeman for Roskilde Council, said the administration would not take the picture down because it is the art association that determines which works
are displayed: We have freedom of expression in Denmark, and the association asked for my approval of the exhibition and got i t.
As for Ahnstrøm himself, he said he did not expect the works to cause such controversy. He added that he did
not think the same objections would be voiced if the piece featured a man and a woman having sex: It's hard to believe that something like this can offend people in today's Denmark .
|7th August |
Cross dressers flogged in Sudan
Based on article from
A group of young Muslim men have been publicly flogged in Sudan after they were convicted of wearing women's clothes and make-up.
The court said the 19 men had broken Sudan's strict public morality codes.
Police arrested them at a party
where they were found dancing in a womanly fashion , the judge said.
The men were not represented in court and said nothing in their defence, some hid their faces from the hundreds of people who watched as they were lashed.
sentence of 30 lashes was carried out as soon as the court in Omdurman, near Khartoum, gave its ruling. They must also pay fines of as much as 1,000 Sudanese pounds ($400, £252).
One lawyer, who did not want to be named, told Reuters news agency
the men had not received a fair trial: These people did not get a chance for justice, public opinion and the media prejudged them and lawyers were too scared to come and defend them.
Newspapers had called the party a same sex wedding
|6th August |
Ban on gay marriage in California declared unconstitutional
Based on article from
A US federal judge has overturned California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
The judge found it unconstitutionally discriminated against same-sex couples who sought to wed.
The state measure, known as Proposition 8, was passed by
voters in 2008. It banned same-sex marriage, although the state offered same-sex civil unions. The measure was passed in a ballot referendum by a vote of 52% to 48%.
Backers of the ban intend to appeal against the judge's ruling. The case is
likely to reach the US Supreme Court.
The ruling does not immediately allow California same-sex couples to marry, as US District Judge Vaughn Walker has delayed final entry of his judgement so he can hear arguments on whether to stay the ruling,
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger quickly welcomed the judgement: For the hundreds of thousands of Californians in gay and lesbian households who are managing their day-to-day lives, this decision
affirms the full legal protections and safeguards I believe everyone deserves. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for all to consider our history of leading the way to the future, and our growing reputation of treating all people and their
relationships with equal respect and dignity.
In his ruling, Judge Walker permanently forbade enforcement of the same-sex marriage ban. Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and
lesbians for denial of a marriage licence. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest
in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
|2nd August |
Gay parade in Jerusalem winds up the nutters
article from www1.voanews.com
It was homosexual rights vs. religion last week in Jerusalem as some 3,000 Israelis joined a gay pride parade, marching with colorful balloons and dancing in the streets.
The march infuriated Orthodox Jews. Yonatan Gher, one of the parade
organizers, said: The reason the march takes place in Jerusalem is not to upset anyone . We're here because we're Jerusalemites. This is our city as much as anybody else's.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews held counter-demonstrations, carrying
signs that read: Sick perverts, get out of Jerusalem. Many agree with this man who says that the Bible describes homosexuality as an abomination.
The promotion of a gay lifestyle in the streets of Jerusalem, which is the holiest
city for the Jewish people, [and] for the other religions - for Muslims, for Christians - it's a provocation said one Orthodox Jewish man.
The march ended up at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, with a memorial service for two Israelis who
were killed in a shooting at a gay club in Tel Aviv last year. Gay rights activists like Gher say religious leaders should learn from that event.
When you keep talking about abomination and about the way the Bible looks at the issue of
homosexuality, there are individuals out there who could turn those words into violence, said Gher.
To prevent violence, about 1,500 Israeli police officers guarded the Gay Pride Parade, which meant about one police officer for every two
participants in the event.
|21st July |
Australian censors ban LA Zombie from Melbourne Film Festival
Based on article from theaustralian.com.au
The Australian film censor has banned a film from screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival, a work described as gay zombie porn .
Festival director Richard Moore received a letter yesterday from the Film Classification Board
director Donald McDonald, stating that L.A. Zombie , the latest offering from Canadian provocateur Bruce LaBruce, could not be screened as it would in his opinion be refused classification.
The festival is not generally required to submit
films for classification, but after reading a synopsis of the plot of L.A. Zombie , which features wound penetration and implied sex with corpses, the Classification Board requested a DVD to watch, and then refused to issue an exemption.
|20th July |
Same sex marriage now lawful in the UK
By Jane Fae
Deconstructing Marital Dogma
Cat Meet Pigeons
Government efforts to prevent same sex couples from marrying are unlawful and have already failed – but so far, officials and Ministers are staying as quiet as they can on the matter, in the hope that nobody will notice.
That is the conclusion of
sexual rights activist and author, Jane Fae, giving her opinion today on the case of Christine Timbrell, a transsexual woman who has been allowed to draw a pension as a woman and to remain married to her female partner.
According to Jane:
Ever since the Government instituted the idea of civil partnerships, they have attempted to hold an absolute line against same sex couples getting married.
To enforce this separation – marriage
for man and woman, civil partnership for man and man or woman and woman – they even included provision in the Gender Re-assignment Act 2004 that force a transgendered individual to divorce before their assigned gender can be recognised.
The significance of the Timbrell case is that the courts had already recognised that prior to 2004, the UK's position in respect of transgender was discriminatory. As a consequence, the courts have now allowed Ms Timbrell to draw a
pension on the basis that she is – and has been since 2000 – a woman, and to remain married to her female partner, Joy.
This position was made absolutely clear by Lord Justice Aikens. Delivering judgment in this case,
he stated that the DWP were wrong to deny her her right to a pension as a woman as from her 60th birthday.
Whilst the Ministry of Justice have claimed that this judgment only applies to pensions, the law does not work
that way. The principle of same-sex marriage has been breached. Government policy on this issue is now in tatters.
|9th July |
UK Supreme Court finds in favour of gay asylum seekers
Based on article from
Five supreme court justices said gay and lesbian asylum seekers should not be expected to exercise discretion in their home countries to avoid persecution. Their ruling met with cheers and applause from campaigners.
Lord Hope, one of the
judges, said that for many years some countries had simply insisted homosexuality did not exist, which avoided the evil of persecution.
However, anti-gay sentiment had dramatically worsened in some places, fanned by the rampant homophobic
teaching that right-wing evangelical Christian churches indulge in throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa and the ultra-conservative interpretation of Islamic law that prevails in Iran .
The gulf was set grow, he said. More and more
gays and lesbians are likely to have to seek protection here as protection is being denied to them by the state in their home countries.
The home secretary, Theresa May, said the ruling was a vindication of the coalition government's decision
to halt the deportation of asylum seekers whose sexual orientation had put them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution: I do not believe it is acceptable to send people home and expect them to hide their sexuality to avoid persecution
. Asylum decisions will be considered under the new rules.
The Liberal Democrat deputy leader, Simon Hughes, said he hoped the ruling would go some way to restoring Britain's reputation as a human rights haven. He appealed to other
countries to follow.
But Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the campaign group Migrationwatch, said the ruling could apply to millions of people around the world . He added: An applicant has now only to show that he or she is homosexual and
intends to return and live openly in one of the many countries where it is illegal, to be granted asylum in the UK. The Home Office said this was unlikely, as each individual had to prove they faced a personal threat of persecution or imprisonment.
|6th July |
Iranian man sentenced to hang for gay relationship
Based on article from
An Iranian youth in Tabriz has been sentenced to death by hanging for the charge of having homosexual relations.
Mohammad Mostafai, attorney for the accused announced that three other people accused in the case were acquitted of the same crime.
According to Iranian law, homosexual relations are against the law and given the death penalty.
Four were accused of having homosexual relations and were sentenced to death in the preliminary court. Mosatafai adds after appealing to the
Supreme Court, three of them were acquitted while Ebrahim Hamidi's death sentence was upheld.