An EastEnders episode that showed a gay couple apparently naked in bed has sparked an audience backlash.
At least 125 viewers complained that a scene featuring the characters Christian Clarke and Syed Masood was inappropriate for the show's pre-watershed slot.
The pair were lying in bed together, with no tops on, and bedclothes pulled up to their chests. The two characters, who are trying to adopt and are planning a civil ceremony, also shared a brief kiss.
They were seen joking about getting matching rings and not changing their names when they tie the knot. Syed was seen with his arm draped around his partner as they cuddled up in bed in the short scene.
Some viewers said the broadcast made for uncomfortable viewing and was guilty of confusing their kids .
In a statement, the BBC said it approached the portrayal of gay relationships in exactly the same way as it did heterosexual scenes and the scenes were suitable for pre-watershed viewing. It said it could not discriminate by
treating gay characters differently to other people shown in the programme.
A months-long campaign by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Hispanic Media Coalition to protest the Liberman Broadcasting talk show Jose Luis Sin Censura has picked up steam, with one major TV station
agreeing to drop the program from its line-up.
The organizations said that two advertisers, AT&T and Time Warner Cable, had withdrawn advertising from the show, which is produced in Burbank and runs on Liberman's Spanish-language Estrella TV network.
In addition, Miami station WSVN-TV Channel 7, owned by Sunbeam Television, dropped the show from one of its digital channels.
One of the network's most popular daytime programs, Jose Luis Sin Censura has been described as an extreme version of a raunchy Spanish-language Jerry Springer, complete with flying fists and hair-pulling brawls between guests and an
occasional audience member. The audience at times chants anti-gay slurs at show participants.
There are young people watching this program. It is this kind of content that gives teenagers, and even adults, the green light to use this language and act violently against gay and transgender people, GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said
in an interview. It is our hope that other advertisers and fair-minded broadcasters who are worried about these depictions will not support or air this show.
A Christian psychotherapist who tried to convert a gay man who wanted to become heterosexual has been found guilty of professional misconduct.
Lesley Pilkington was criticised by the professional body for counsellors after an undercover journalist posing as a patient secretly recorded her during a therapy session at her home.
Despite finding that Pilkington's client, Patrick Strudwick, deliberately misled her , the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) ruled that she had breached the profession's ethical code.
She now faces being struck off the association's widely recognised professional register and is considering an appeal.
Pilkington practises reparative therapy , a controversial method which holds that homosexual orientation can be theraputically changed in clients who are motivated.
Strudwick met Pilkington in 2009 at a largely Christian conference on therapy of homosexuality. He told her he said he was unhappy with his gay lifestyle and that he wanted treatment for his same-sex attraction. Strudwick then attended
Pilkington's private practice and recorded a session on a tape machine strapped to his stomach.
The disciplinary panel described Pilkington as reckless , disrespectful , dogmatic and unprofessional and ruled that her treatment of him constituted professional malpractice .
The Australian Sex Party has expressed dismay and disgust at the new low of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), who have forced the removal of a safe-sex public health campaign targeted at the gay community in Brisbane. The Party has asked the
Advertising Standards Bureau to intervene and will also refer the issue to the House of Reps Committee on Outdoor Advertising.
The ACL complained that the ad depicted 'two men in the act of foreplay'. The ad actually depicts two men fully clothed, said Sex Party Queensland Coordinator, Rory Killen. Innumerable similar ads cover the city depicting heterosexual
couples. Only unashamed homophobia could lead someone to single these ads out as offensive.
The Rip & Roll ads form part of a Queensland Association for Healthy Communities campaign to promote awareness about safe-sex in the gay community. 2010 was a record year for HIV diagnoses, with more persons diagnosed with the STI
since records began. 65% of diagnoses were from the gay community.
The Christian Lobby's attack against QAHC and the ads is supposedly prompted by a concern for the welfare of children, continued Killen: I'm concerned about the welfare of young people growing up without adequate awareness of safe
sexual practices, if ads like these can't be displayed.
The posters were displayed on bus shelters around Brisbane by the advertising company Adshel. Similar billboards are also displayed by Goa who is not removing the material.
I question why Adshel caved so quickly and pulled the ads. I think it's quite appropriate that the City Council and State Government clarify to Adshel that these ads are acceptable on bus shelters, that the ads be replaced, and that additional
funding and priority is given to the QAHC campaign to repair the damage that has been done to public health and community safety.
Safe sex advocates claimed a victory over Australia's Christian lobby when their HIV campaign posters featuring two men hugging were reinstated at bus stops after an intense online backlash.
The ads were withdrawn by billboard company Adshel after it received a string of complaints, but the company later reversed this decision, saying it had unwittingly been targeted by the Australian Christian Lobby. This has led us to review our
decision to remove the campaign and we will therefore reinstate the campaign with immediate effect, Adshel chief executive Steve McCarthy said in a statement.
Healthy Communities executive director Paul Martin said that Australians were generally supportive of gay rights, and that he had been heartened by the public backlash against the decision to remove the posters.
By late Wednesday some 40,897 people had joined a Facebook page called Homophobia -- NOT HERE created by one of the men featured in the posters, and protesters had held an afternoon rally outside Adshel's Brisbane office.
A Muslim fanatic who posted threatening and homophobic stickers declaring London's East End a gay free zone has been fined just £ 100.
District Judge Coleman said: I think you used these stickers deliberately to offend and distress people, you certainly succeeded in doing that
Mohammed Hasnath, posted stickers warning gays that homosexuality was wrong and that Allah is severe in punishment .
The stickers showed a rainbow flag with a black line through it stating Gay free zone .
They caused outrage among the community, with one Jewish resident said it reminded him of Nazi signs his mother had faced in the 30s declaring an area a Jew free zone . Others said it made them fearful for their safety.
Hasnath admitted putting up a handful of the notes. The court heard that Hasnath is also on bail for allegedly defacing a women's fashion advertising board.
Moscow police have detained three prominent foreign gay rights leaders and a number of local activists after religious extremists attacked them.
The gay group had planned to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall.
A group of ultra-Orthodox Christians attacked the protesters, who were waving rainbow flags and some carrying signs reading Russia is not Iran , and preparing to stage the unauthourised demonstration.
Police moved in and wrestled both activists and members of the religious group to the ground before leading them off in handcuffs to waiting security vans.
Those detained included French gay rights activist Louis-Georges Tin and the US's Dan Choi and Andy Thayer. British gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said that the police tried to lead him away as well but that he had managed to break free.
A Moscow police representative told Moscow Echo radio that 34 activists had been detained within the first minutes of the rally.
Tatchell claimed to have seen three police buses packed with people who looked like skinheads and neo-Nazis parked outside the Moscow mayor's office: Our suspicion is that they were police officers in civilian clothes. We suspect that a
sizeable portion of the neo-Nazis were actually undercover police officers .
Update: Church thanks Russian state for beating up gay pride participants
Thanks to National Secular Society
25th May 2011. From minivannews.com
The Russian Orthodox Church is grateful to the Moscow city authorities and law enforcers for preventing a gay parade attempted in the city last Saturday.
Responding to questions from Interfax-Religion on Monday, head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said the authorities quite politely prevented an instance of propaganda of homosexuality
which could have been witnessed by children and teenagers who crowded the two venues of the action.
He expressed hope that in the future the authorities of Russia and Moscow in similar cases will listen to the voice of their own people, the majority of whom do not accept the propaganda of homosexuality, instead of foreign pressure that was
exerted before the action and continues now.
The clergyman said that on the basis of an absolutely clear moral choice of the people Russia can restrict any propaganda actions. I am deeply convinced of that. International organizations and especially the governments of countries
with whom we have different histories and different social systems should realize that, Father Vsevolod said.
He added that he found the beatings on Saturday 'regrettable'.
Moreover, he admitted that he had never heard of the Orthodox Brotherhood blamed for the beatings. It is the first time that I have heard about such an organization. I wonder whether it was set up for provocative purposes, Father Vsevolod
The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards is fighting to try and prevent LA Zombie from being shown the Out Takes film festival.
It was given an R18 rating by the Classification Office, with the warning it includes horror, violence, sex scenes and content that may disturb .
The Secretary of Internal Affairs has granted the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards (SPCS) leave to apply for a review of the decision, which will happen on 3 June, three days before the film is due to show at the Auckland leg of
Out Takes at Rialto in Newmarket.
Out Takes says SPCS has also applied for an interim restriction order that would block it from screening LA Zombie, despite the fact the decision to give it an R18 rating is going to be reviewed anyway.
UK 2004 Film Four video version . For TV showing not released on DVD
This decision is particularly notable as it contains explicit real gay sex and also includes an unsimulated golden shower scene (one man urinating in another's mouth)
Previously passed 18 after 1:43s of BBFC cuts for the UK 1994 Pride VHS. The director agrees to the cuts because they are less heavy than the cuts originally required in 1981 (some sight of erections and anal detail was permitted).
The cuts required for the 1981 cinema release were very extensive cuts to explicit sex, explicit anal detail, urolagnia and a scene that could be in breach of the Protection of Children Act. This was to a (genuine) German educational film called
Christian and his Stamp Collector Friend , all about the dangers of speaking to strange men, extracts from which are shown in the film. The director refused to make cuts and withdrew his film from classification.
Review from IMDB: Good Film
I watched this film on Film4 with the customary warnings from the announcers and introduction by Mark Kermode.
Thank god, a person who makes films with good content and not afraid to add in explicit content, as an adult I was glad that I had the choice to watch such a film and not have it cut by the censors.
An excellent film, worth watching. Anybody wanting to learn about the secret lives many gay men have to live to have their sexuality kept secret should watch this film.
Moscow city officials have rejected an application for a gay pride parade to be held in the city center later this month, claiming a risk of public disorder, organizers said.
Gay rights activists had applied to hold a parade called Moscow Gay Parade: Homosexuality in the History of World Culture and Civilization, which they expected would draw more than 5,000 people to a city park near the Kremlin on May 28.
Previous attempts to hold a sanctioned parade have been banned and violently broken up.
Former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, who was fired in September, called gay pride events satanic. His successor Sergei Sobyanin has allowed opposition activists to hold authorized demonstrations, and there were hopes that he would sanction
But on Tuesday, the group led by prominent gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev received a letter from city council saying that Moscow city government considers it is justified in not permitting the announced event to go ahead, organizers
said in a statement, AFP reports.
The letter reportedly said that public gatherings could be banned to keep order, preserve morality or protect the rights and freedoms of others. Moscow authorities said they had received letters from religious and traditional groups threatening
protests if the event was not banned.
Alexeyev told the Associated Press that this was the sixth time authorities had refused the request for a rally, and that activists would go ahead with a peaceful demonstration despite the ban.
Lesbians and gay men were ordered by police to stop dancing during a march to protest homophobia in Hong Kong, a news report said.
Police officers waded in to break up the dance, telling activists they had permission to march but not to dance during Sunday's event, the South China Morning Post reported.
The dance was started by a group of lesbians but police stopped the performance after five minutes and told marchers they needed a temporary places of public entertainment licence if they wanted to dance.
Uganda's anti-gay bill has been deemed out of time for the current sittings of parliament and its proponents are unlikely to be able revive it for some time.
Uganda's reviled anti-gay bill, which mandates the death penalty in some cases, remains in limbo after parliament adjourned without a debate.
Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuk, the parliamentary speaker, ruled there was no time to take up the bill this session. He has adjourned the parliament and set no date for its return.
Helen Kawesa, spokeswoman for parliament, told Associated Press that the anti-gay bill could come back up for debate in the next parliament but would probably take time to get back to the floor. David Bahati, the MP who authored the bill, had
said he would try to move it forward in the next session if it was not voted on this time.
Opponents of the legislation welcomed the setback. Alice Jay, campaign director of the online group Avaaz, said:
The news that the brutal anti-gay law won't be discussed in parliament today is a victory for all Ugandans and people across the world who value human rights. This vile bill is a matter of life and death for gay Ugandans,
and would have seen the execution, imprisonment and persecution of friends of Avaaz, and thousands of others who have committed no crime at all. We must now ensure this heinous bill can never return to parliament again.
Tanzania's Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports has banned the public showing of five local films, because they contravene with Tanzania's supposed cultural norms of human decency.
A statement issued by the Ministry said the Tanzania Film Censorship Board inspected 45 films last month and decided to ban five films namely Mtoto wa Mama, Inye, Inye Plus, Inye Ndembendembe and Inye Gwedegwede. These films are
blamed for plunging the country into cultural and moral decay.
The statement said:
The ministry through the film board has decided to ban films that focus on explicit sex, obscenity and pornography which government consider immoral and a bad influence especially on the youth.
The Mtoto wa Mama film is in grade 'R' which means that it is not supposed to be shown anywhere at any time in the country because the movie is gay themed and features young boys actors in indecent dresses.
Inye, Inye Plus, Inye Ndembendembe and Inye Gwedegwede are in the same grade as they are comedy movies, which insult women with huge figures, suggesting that their movements arouse sexual temptations.
Ikea has been accused of exploiting offensive Mafia cultural stereotypes in an advertisement to promote a new kitchen range.
The advertisement, shown on television and the internet, and titled Very Good Fellas , features gangster-like figures who speak with Sicilian and Neapolitan accents as they dispose of a suspiciously large and heavy black bag of refuse.
It turns out that the apparent Mafiosi are simply a group of ecologically conscious friends gathering for dinner, whose conduct bears out the slogan: Behaving well in an Ikea kitchen comes more naturally.
The advertising sparked widespread indignation among people in the south of Italy who claim they are being stereotyped.
Fabrizio Concas, Ikea Marketing Manager, said he was surprised by the reaction and wanted to apologise to all southerners who have felt offended by our advertisement .
A top Italian official has called an Ikea advertisement with two gay men holding hands in bad taste .
I find it serious and in bad taste that a Swedish multinational comes to Italy to tell Italians what they should think, Secretary of State for family policy Carlo Giovanardi said in a television interview.
The Swedish furniture giant's advertisement shows two men with a shopping bag, holding hands, and the words: We are open to all families .
I think that many clients of Ikea will not find this pleasant, claimed Giovanardi. While Ikea was free to address itself to whom it pleases, the term family as used in the advertisement is in direct opposition to our constitution which
says that family is founded on a marriage , he added.
Gay rights activist Aurelio Mancuso said Giovanardi's statements were dangerous and aggressive and risk fueling the climate of homophobia that drives violence and insults against gays, lesbians and transsexuals.
Malaysian authorities have sent 66 Muslim schoolboys identified by teachers as effeminate to a four-day 're-education' camp where they will receive counselling on masculine behaviour to discourage them from being gay.
Gay rights advocates decried the measure as a symptom of widespread homophobia in Malaysia where gay sex is illegal.
The boys, between 13 and 17, have reported for what was officially being called a self- development course after their teachers in Terengganu state identified them as students who displayed effeminate mannerisms, said Razali Daud, the
state's education director. They will undergo religious and motivational classes as well as physical guidance.
The camp is meant to guide them back to the right path in life before they reach a point of no return , Razali added.
The gay zombie porn flick that caused so much grief in Australia has been included in the line-up for New Zealand's Out Takes 2011 event.
LA Zombie follows an alien zombie who roams the streets of Los Angeles in search of dead bodies and gay sex, an activity that reveals a gift of shagging the deceased back to life. The work by Canadian provocateur Bruce LaBruce has
full-frontal nude scenes and zombies with prosthetic cucumber-shaped penises. Starring French porn star Francois Sagat, it features wound penetration and implied sex with corpses.
The film was supposed to screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia last August, but was banned by the Australian Film 'Classification' Board.
At the time the festival's director Richard Moore told The Age that LaBruce's blend of sex and violence can be confronting, but I would argue that within the context of the festival, it is nonsensical and patronising to not allow people to
decide what they want to see.
LA Zombie had its UK premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London in October and it was reported by The Yorker that at least one-third of the audience walked out stupefied .
The film is to screen at Auckland's Rialto Cinemas on Monday 6 June and Wellington's Paramount Theatre on Friday 10 June. The Out Takes programme warns that almost all of the movie's content may offend those of delicate disposition.
North Wales Mardi Gras
15-17th April 2011
Mona Showground, Anglesey
Christian Voice are kindly being suitably 'outraged' so as to publicise the event:
Christian Voice is planning a prophetic evangelistic witness to reach the lost souls going to the Anglesey homosexual Mardi Gras. It is the first event of its kind in North Wales and we aim to oppose the shameful promotion
of sodomy on the Island and preach the Gospel of salvation.
We shall give out leaflets explaining the sinfulness of homosexual activity, our responsibility to keep the laws of God, how the blood which Jesus Christ shed on the Cross brings forgiveness for sins, and that his
Resurrection on the first Easter Sunday means a new beginning and a new life.
A little more balance from the organisers who write:
This is the first festival of its kind to happen on a large scale in North Wales. The response so far has been phenomenal, it's going to be a huge event The Largest Gay event ever in the history of the North Wales gay