How did the German capital become Europe's sex tourism mecca for gays and straights alike? A tour of underground clubs, dark rooms, bathhouses.
To gain entry to the erotic club called Insomnia on Alt-Tempelhof Street, you ring the bell and hope the door opens. After you pass the test and shed any extraneous clothing in the locker room, you enter a square space that is painted red. And
there you find people dancing, nice music and a laser-light show. Most of the men are dressed. Most of the women are a bit scantily clad. On Sundays, mass orgies are held here, and the price of admission varies: 80 euros for a man, 40 for a
couple and no charge for women. But for the regular Saturday bash, admission is 17 euros across the board.
Things seem a little dull, but when I go to order a drink at the bar, I notice that a man's head is planted between the legs of the panty-less girl beside me. Massive curtains hide several dark spaces, where there are beds and a Jacuzzi for naked
bathing, plus showers for before and after.
On the other side is a corridor with pictures of naked women lit with ultraviolet light and huge sculptures of female genitalia. In the corridor, a woman in a leather suit with her breasts exposed lies in a hammock. Her legs are held by
chains and someone is performing a sex act on her before a curious audience of five men and two women. A middle-aged midget goes up to the upper level, holding two leather leashes attached to the neck of a tall and slender young woman who walks
ahead of him. Entry into this level is restricted to couples.
Kitkat is Insomnia's kinkier and more famous cousin. Sitting at the entrance to this club is Kirstin, who runs the place with her husband Thur. She oversees the selection process. Anyone who shows up in simple jeans and a T-shirt will remain
There are two dance floors, both with oppressively loud techno music. A few young women are dancing in just their panties and bras. A naked couple is making out on the couch. Here, too, you find a big age range: a couple of Russian youths in army
trousers and berets, shirtless, alongside 60-somethings sitting naked on armchairs. Some are playing with themselves, one is asleep. A man in a leather dress puts his hand on the crotch of a woman in high stiletto heels, who is kissing another
man. On the walls are neon-hued paintings of men with enlarged penises and of naked women.
At Kitkat you can do anything, as long as it's consensual. It's the sex community center, says Dr. Gadi Taub, 46, a senior lecturer in communications and p ublic policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Good-looking men and women, ugly men and women, gays, straights, old people, young people - it's wonderfully democratic. You go in there for the first time and you think you're dreaming. They don't need bouncers to toss people out because
people respect one another, in keeping with the rules of the place: You can try anything and touch anyone - it's the local parallel to 'What's going on?' - but if he moves away from you, you don't go after him.
At 3 A.M., I head over to Berghain, the city's most famous techno club. Top DJs, music that's a feast for the ears, thumping bass that really gets inside you. But it's just as famous for the long line at the entrance, the tough selection, and the
fact that what happens on the dance floor, in the bathrooms and in the dark rooms is just as exciting as the music. In one room on the first floor, aside from the amazing sound, everything is more intense - especially at peak hours when it fills
with gay men engaged in solo, couple or group sex and it's hard to move around without bumping into a bare chest or buttock. On the ground floor you can also find straight couples fucking. Not everyone bothers to hide; right on the dance floor
there are couples and threesomes going at it in advanced stages.
For the last decade or so, the Berghain has been operating out of a power station located on the edge of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg quarter. The proprietors are also the owners of Lab.Oratory and at certain parties during the year (for New
Year's and Easter ), the connecting door between the two spaces is opened. Then the last days of Pompeii are likely to pale in comparison. But my German friend still isn't that impressed.
That's the difference between locals and tourists, he says. The locals are used to it all, the tourists are keen to go back home with a souvenir. Some buy a postcard, others tell everyone how they saw people fucking at the Berghain
Another story that repeats and confirms that freedom of speech has been overruled by police and political correctness. And in cases of conflicting views, the police resolve issues by siding with those that shout loudest.
Religious people feel that they have a god given right to berate gays and promote historic nonsense that is insulting to gay people
Someone is inevitably easily offended by the insults.
The police immediately take sides with complainants, regardless of other considerations such as human rights, tolerance and people just trying to get by.
The police ignore the parliamentary legislation that was intended to arbitrate in exactly this conflict of interest.
Instead, police fall back on the corrupted and abused 'Public Order Act' that now criminalises minor insult.
Religious people are left feeling aggrieved, due to the bullying police and authorities, for the insults that could easily just have been left ignored.
Police tell cafe owner: Stop showing Bible DVDs, or we will have to arrest you
Jamie Murray was warned by two police officers to stop playing DVDs of the New Testament in his cafe following a complaint from a customer that it was inciting hatred against homosexuals.
Murray was left shocked after he was questioned for nearly an hour by the officers, who arrived unannounced at the premises. He said he had turned off the Bible DVD after an aggressive inquisition during which he thought he was going to be
arrested and frog-marched out of the cafe like a criminal .
The Salt and Light cafe in Blackpool has for years repeatedly played the entire 26-hour-long Watchword Bible , a 15-DVD set produced in America in which a narrator reads the whole of the New Testament, on a small flatscreen TV on the back
wall. The sound is turned down but the words flash on to the screen against a series of images.
Murray said he had been given no indication of who had complained or which verses of the New Testament had caused the offence, but he guessed it may have been a reaction to the Book Of Romans that had been playing the week before. The Book takes
the form of a letter from the apostle Paul to the people of Rome, in which he rails against all manner of godlessness.
In verses 26-28 of Chapter One he says:
God let them follow their own evil desires. Women no longer wanted to have sex in a natural way, and they did things with each other that were not natural.
Men behaved in the same way. They stopped wanting to have sex with women and had strong desires for sex with other men. They did shameful things with each other, and what has happened to them is punishment for their foolish
Lancashire Police said they had received a complaint from a female customer who was deeply offended by the words she had seen on the screen. A spokesman said they were duty bound to respond to the complaint and had concluded the
cafe could be in breach of Section 29E of the Public Order Act.
A preacher has appeared in court after shouting in the street at two gay men and telling them that they would rot in hell.
Street preacher Michael Overd was apparently spreading the word of the lord in Taunton when he saw couple Craig Manning and Craig Nicholl approach. Overd is alleged to have told the couple that homosexuality is a sin and that they were evil people
and would burn in hell.'
Overd is charged with two counts of a public order offences. He is on unconditional bail and is due to go to trial on February 9 2012.
A magistrate has sent the organizers of a gay party, which was raided by police, into custody even as there was an eruption of public anger at the highhanded cop action.
The owner of Spanish Villa where the party was held-and another organizer were arrested and booked under the Bombay Prohibition Act for supposedly disturbing public order and serving liquor without a permit.
Apart from the organizers, the Oshiwara police charged 136 attendee for supposed indecent behaviour.
The police action stirred outrage across the city, particularly within the LGBT community. Gay activist Ashok Row Kavi said the police case should be tested in a court. It was apparently a private party in a private space. Noise pollution
apart, the police have no right to talk of indecent behaviour. This moral policing has to stop. First they rendered bar girls jobless, then they raised the drinking age to 25, and now they intrude into private parties. Is this a police state?
Gay activists petition PayPal to close accounts of anti-gay religious groups
All very commendable, BUT, if PayPal banned every account that offended somebody's morality, then there wouldn't be very much left in the way of internet payments
Gay activists have launched a petition aimed at asking PayPal, an online payment service, to stop handling donations made to a group of organizations that promote traditional family values, and which are battling the gay agenda.
The group All Out is 'demanding' that PayPal immediately suspend the online accounts of 10 mostly Christian organizations it calls anti-LGBT extremist groups.
PayPal officially states that its users 'may not use the PayPal service for activities that ... promote hate, violence, racial intolerance,' begins the petition, but PayPal has become a favorite payment service for anti-LGBT extremists all over
the world. PayPal must act immediately to shut down their accounts and ban all sites that promote anti-LGBT hate.
Among the groups All Out has targeted for elimination from PayPal's client list are: Abiding Truth Ministries; Truth in Action Ministries; Last Days Watchman; Faithful Word Baptist Church; the Family Research Institute; Americans for Truth About
Homosexuality; and the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property.
Thus far, claims All Out, its effort has garnered nearly 37,000 signatures in support of its campaign.
In response to the demands, PayPal said through a spokesman that while the company bans groups and individuals who promote hate and violence:
We also take into account the rights of free speech and freedom of religion. Balancing these conflicting rights is often difficult, and so we assess possible infringements objectively against our Acceptable Use Policy.
Nonetheless, as reported by LifeSiteNews.com, PayPal quickly followed up on the homosexual petition drive by contacting several of the organizations in question, asking them to explain the presence of the PayPal donation button on their websites
and how they were using the donations they received through the site.
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), an organization representing the interests of Christian broadcasters and ministries, has released a report showing that social media websites are actively censoring Christian viewpoints.
According to an NRB press release, the group's study examined the practices of Apple and its iTunes App Store, Google, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, as well as Internet service providers AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, The findings, said
the NRB's senior vice president and general counsel, Craig Parshall, were ominous.
The NRB found that among the major players in new media, only Twitter had shied away from Christian opinions.
One of the most conspicuous examples of censorship the NRB found was that targeting viewpoints that challenged the notion that homosexuality is a normal and healthy lifestyle.
As reported by The New American, over the past year Apple has bowed to pressure from homosexual activists to pull two iPhone apps, one by Exodus International, a group that helps individuals leave the homosexual lifestyle, and another that
included the text of a Christian document entitled the Manhattan Declaration, which among other things, makes a strong declaration of the sanctity of life, the scriptural view of traditional marriage, and the importance of religious liberty. The NRB study found that of the 425,000 or so apps available through Apple's iTunes App Store, only these two were taken down solely because of the viewpoints they expressed on homosexuality.
Among the other findings of the NRB study, part of its John Milton Project for Religious Free Speech:
Facebook has indicated that it will delete all instances of content that it considers to be anti-homosexual.
The Google for Non-Profits web tool includes a policy that excludes churches, ministries, and other faith groups that consider religion or sexual orientation in their hiring practices.
While virtually all major new media platforms ban what is generally referred to as hate speech, what that definition generally boils down to is unacceptable viewpoints on such issues as homosexuality.
Three men were executed by hanging in Iran for forbidden acts against religion, according to AFP.
Iranian news agency ISNA reported that the men were put to death for acts against sharia, based on the articles 108 and 110 of the Iranian Islamic penal code. Articles 108 and 110 of the penal code are part of the chapter covering the
punishment of sodomy.
The administration of Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has rejected MP David Bahati's anti-gay bill.
Bahati's controversial bill would increase the penalties for being gay in a nation where it is already a crime. The measure, first introduced in 2009, proposed putting repeat offenders to death under certain circumstances. It also would have
criminalized discussion of homosexuality and penalized a person who knowingly rents to a gay or lesbian person.
Lawmakers closed their legislative session in May without voting on the measure, but a defiant Bahati insisted he would re-introduce his bill in February. But Uganda's Cabinet have decided to drop the measure.
Bahati said: The future of this country's children will be determined by the people's representatives in Parliament.
The European Court are set to hear appeals from 4 people who feel they were discriminated against after being penalised for bringing their christian beleifs to the work place.
One aspect of their case has provoked a bit of a moral debate about whether religious rights trump gay rights. Part of the case is that christians feel that they have the right to discriminate against gays.
The UK equality quango, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) initially said that it would support the christians at European Court but after further deliberations decided to withdraw that support. However the EHRC may still contribute
to the case on non-gay issues (such as being able to wear christian jewelry at workplaces where all jewelry is banned).
A conservative American religious group, The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), has been given leave to intervene in the appeal at the European Court of Human Rights.
The ADF was founded in 1994 by a group of conservative Christian leaders and opposes abortion, same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples.
According to ADF, Jan Carnogursky, a former prime minister of Slovakia and co-founder of the Christian Democratic Movement, has also been granted permission to intervene in the cases.
The National Secular Society has also been granted leave to intervene, as has the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
UK Christians also reacted with a mixture of disappointment and alarm after the equality quango appeared to backtrack on its pledge to support Christians this week.
Organisations like the Evangelical Alliance and CARE were delighted when EHRC announced in July that it would support Christians, claiming that up until then, it had failed to do enough to help Christians when cases of discrimination had arisen.
In the face of the latest U-turn, however, both organisations have expressed their deep disappointment and concern.
The Evangelical Alliance accused EHRC of using the original July statement as a means to justify its existence in the face of criticism that it had done very little for religious people.
As previously reported, the European Court of Human Rights gave leave to the NSS to intervene in four cases as an amicus curiae (friend of the court). In all four cases, applicants to the Court cited the dismissal of four UK employment cases
as evidence that the UK had failed to enforce the European Convention on Human Rights. The
NSS Intervention [pdf] is now published.
We felt that if the four employees were successful as applicants, Human Rights law would be seriously undermined with religion being a trump card or the top of a hierarchy which should not exist. The applicants are being assisted by the Christian
We were motivated to intervene because we were convinced that the outcome of the case was likely to have a profound effect on the future of Human Rights in theUK, and probably also in Europe. Another intervener, coming from a rather different
perspective, the (American) Alliance Defense Fund goes even further. It considers it is stand[ing] in defense of religious freedom in the United Kingdom in cases that --- if they are decided the wrong way --- could have a negative impact on
your religious liberty here in the United States .
Christian Voice suggested loads of Blble references to justify the following bilge but presumable the most basic 'love your neighbour' isn't amongst them.
Published on the Christian Voice blog:
Reject Cameron's Cultural Imperialism
David Cameron has pledged to use foreign aid as a lever for pressuring Africa to accept gay rights and legalise sodomy.
The Prime Minister's comments were made on 22 June as he hosted his second Downing Street reception for the perverted axe-grinders who call themselves the LGBT community , including one man known for staging
The Prime Minister said that a spin-off benefit' of giving foreign aid is that it allows the Government to have a say in what happens in the world's poorest countries. He said: We have got the ability to speak to African
leaders, African governments, about this issue that I know concerns everyone here tonight. And it concerns me.
During the course of the evening Mr. Cameron spoke with pride of the Government's accomplishment on homosexual issues but emphasized that they have a long way still to go in addressing the societal problem of homophobia.
The only thing worse than Mr. Cameron devising wicked plans for this country, however, is that he intends to export his schemes to Africa. Locked in a colonial timewarp, he thinks the white man knows far better than those
he regards as ignorant black savages.
Pray that he is brought to his knees in repentance for his behaviour and that this will be the last of such meetings held at 10 Downing Street.
Apple has removed its iTunes store from the Christan Values Network (CVN.org) after more than 22,000 people were angered by CVN's funding of anti-gay, anti-women organizations like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council and
called on Apple to take action.
The action follows Microsoft's similar decision to leave CVN two weeks ago, prompted by another customer-driven campaign on Change.org. Several other companies have also removed their online stores since then, including REI, Macy's, Delta
Airlines, BBC America, and Wells Fargo.
Started by Ben Crowther, the campaign picked up significant momentum after 13,000 signed another petition. Crowther said:
From the beginning, I knew that once this issue was brought to Apple's attention, they would not want to be a part of CVN because it funds anti-gay hate groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. Apple
is a fair-minded business. I'm glad this petition helped make Apple aware of this issue, and I am thrilled that they removed iTunes from CVN.
Lithuania's Parliament has banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in advertising.
The move was a turnaround from earlier drafts of the same bill, which banned homosexual topics in advertising.
The new language says that advertising and audiovisual commercial communications must not publish information that humiliates human dignity, discriminating or encouraging discrimination based on ... sexual orientation.
The Lithuanian Gay League credited MP Valentinas Stundys and Deputy Speaker Algis Caplikas with engineering the about-face.
Presumably the UK authorities have decided to prosecute someone for the possession of consensual gay anal fisting.
A website has been set up to highlight an upcoming case:
We know what is offensive and illegal, and images of consensual sex are neither! Don't be told what should and shouldn't be in your spank bank!
Currently there is a crime under the offensive publications act [Criminal Justice & Immigration Act 2008] which impacts us all.
It is about the act that came in force in 2009 The law makes it an offence punishable by up to three years in prison for someone to possess what it calls extreme images . An extreme image is defined as one
which portrays in a realistic way any of: . An act which threatens a person's life . An act which results in or is likely to result in serious injury to a person's anus, breasts or genitals and the image... . Is grossly offensive, disgusting or
otherwise of an obscene character . Has been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.
Unfortunately many of the terms used in the Act are vague and open to interpretation. So until some unfortunate people end up in court and a jury decides, it is difficult to give absolutely definitive advice on what the Act
means and how it will be enforced.
Our friend Sleazy Michael is the unfortunate who is being the test case for this. This impacts any of us who partake of pornography that involves any images that could be interpreted as Offensive, disgusting or obscene
by the definition above. This includes images of consensual fisting!
Trial starts on the 1st of August at Southwark Crown Court.
If you can come along and show that we queers, know what is offensive or illegal, and images of consensual sex are neither!
Please be respectful of the court (no need to piss off the judge) and come and show support. Please- no banners or chanting outside or inside court, we want to show our support without jeopardising the chances of a fair
Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall has spent the past year working on an epic opera starring 300 schoolchildren.
Two weeks ago I received the worrying news that the main primary school involved was threatening to pull nearly 300 children from the production. They had problems with the libretto, and requested a list of changes. Pee-pee
and the use of stupid as an insult were objected to. The composer and I worked with the school and Opera North to reach a version that would work for everyone.
But by last week, we had reached an impasse. The opera's main character is a gay, retired painter, and in one scene he is the victim of taunting. At the school's request, I agreed to tone down the violence of the language in
this scene, but not the character's straightforward defence of his sexuality. Word came back from Opera North that, unless I removed the lines I'm queer and I prefer a lad to a lass , the whole project was in jeopardy. (It was by
now far too late to replace 300 schoolchildren.)
An opera by Billy Elliot creator Lee Hall, which was at the centre of a row over a gay character, is to go ahead after Hall removed the word queer . The writer agreed to change the word to gay after a primary school removed 300
children from the community show.
The cancellation sparked accusations of homophobia but Bay Primary school has now said it is happy with the language.
Beached , commissioned by Opera North, will take place, as planned, in Bridlington on 15 July.
The school had complained about the lines: Of course I'm queer/That's why I left here/So if you infer/That I prefer/A lad to a lass/And I'm working class/I'd have to concur.
Hall told BBC News: I agreed to change queer to gay as to me they are synonymous. I would have done this months ago if asked.
The contested lines have now been changed to: Of course I'm gay/That's why I went away/So if you infer/That I prefer/A lad to a lass/And him working class/I'd have to concur.
A complaint about an advertisement for popular period drama Downton Abbey that refers to homosexuality as unnatural, has not been upheld by the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The magazine and newspaper advertisement for the programme showed a picture of a servant and a member of the family he worked for.
Underneath the picture of the two men were the words: Exclusive, servant seeks unnatural relationship .
A complainant claimed that the advert had a clear inference - that a male same sex relationship is unnatural . I believe it is seriously offensive to label the idea of a same sex relationship as unnatural.
The advertising agency DRAFTCB explained that the advertisement was designed to look like the front cover of a gossip magazine from the early 1900s. The headline was not a comment on today's values but a reflection of the attitudes of the period
the programme was set in.
In a majority decision, the ASA said it accepted the argument the description of the relationship was a reflection of the time in which the television series was set, and did not uphold the complaint.
Michele Bachmann is the first Republican candidate to sign a nutter pledge committing her to fighting pornography and arguing homosexuality is curable.
The pledge is the work of Bob Vander Plaats, an Iowa religious right kingmaker who runs an organization called The FAMiLY LEADER. (The lowercase i is meant to emphasize individual submission.) Though Vander Plaats has repeatedly failed in
his attempts to become Iowa's governor, he nevertheless has a strong following among the state's hard-right evangelicals.
Vander Plaats has sworn not to endorse anyone who doesn't sign his pledge, titled The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMiLY.
Signers promise to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and to protect soldiers from intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds, a roundabout attack on gays in the military. There's a commitment to protect women
and children from seduction into promiscuity as well as from porn, although it's unclear what such protection would entail. It also demands the rejection of Sharia Islam which it labels a form of totalitarian control.
The pledge obligates signers to commit to:
Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy --- our next generation of American children --- from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and
prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence
GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is in discussions with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to 'train' commentators and wrestlers, following a minor reference to 'homos' at an event for the 4th of July weekend.
At a live WWE event in Australia, wrestler CM Punk was caught on camera directing a few insults, including 'homos', towards a heckler. The show was not broadcast on TV.
On his Twitter account, the wrestler thanked the TMZ website for airing the video and apologized for what he'd said.
WWE told TMZ:
WWE does not condone this type of language or bias and we reinforce that with our talent who are independent contractors.
As for how this fits in with our ongoing work with WWE, GLAAD provided training to members of WWE's editorial staff and writing team in May, but because this event was not intended to be televised, and it took place during
an unscripted interaction with the audience, none of the people we had already trained were involved. As a result, we are now in discussions with WWE to provide trainings to its on-camera talent, including the wrestlers themselves.
WWE officials also told GLAAD that CM Punk's contract will expire in a few weeks, he will not be immediately renewed, and he will no longer be with WWE as of July 18.
On June 12th, a gay guy was attacked by North African youth in Brussels. The youth beat him and tried to choke him. According to Bruno De Lille (Greens), Secretary of State for equal opportunities in the Brussels Region, most homophobic attackers
come from the Muslim community. He said there are also East-European homophobic attackers.
According to Carim Bouzian, a gay immigrant from Antwerp, gays are reprimanded by the Islamic morality police , a group of older men and radical youth who feel they must 'warn' gays about their erroneous behavior .
It starts off with various curses and Don't you know what the Koran says? You're going to hell! , and if you don't answer right, you risk being punched.
Bouzian says that there's no place in the city which is safe from this morality police. Gay couples who live in immigrant neighborhoods regularly get in their mail an envelope bearing verses from the Koran and containing a dead rat. But they also
patrol the more upscale neighborhoods. A friend of his was attacked in broad daylight in the hip neighborhood of Antwerp South.
Gays are not their only targets. Fons Bastiaenssens of the Antwerp police says that young immigrant girls with a short skirt are also cursed, mostly by older, radical Muslim men.