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2011: July-Sept

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29th September   

Don't Tell Mama...

Berlin is the fun capital of Europe
Link Here

How did the German capital become Europe's sex tourism mecca for gays and straights alike? A tour of underground clubs, dark rooms, bathhouses.

Insomnia

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

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 outside.

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.

Berghain

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 club.

...Read the full article

 

23rd September   

Out of Line...

Study shows that religious views on homosexuality are unacceptable to social media sites
Link Here

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.

 

9th September   

Dangerous Country...

Three men hanged for gay sex in Iran
Link Here

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.

 

21st August   

Save Africa from Nutters...

Christian Voice opposes David Cameron's call for gay legalisation in Africa
Link Here

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 pornographic events.

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.

 

30th July   

Unacceptable Values...

Christian Values Network loses Microsoft and Apple support over funding of anti gay campaigns
Link Here
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.

 

25th July   

Update: Gay Switch...

Lithuanian advertising law undergoes attitudinal change
Link Here
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.

 

18th July   

Diary: Call to Protest...

Consensual fisting becomes the subject of a Dangerous Pictures prosecution
Link Here
Full story: Obscenity in the UK...Gay fisting, urolagnia and BDSM found not obscene by jury

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 trial.

 

15th July   

Updated: Queer Times...

School pulls out of opera after demands to ungay the main character
Link Here
 
 

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.)

...Read the full article

Update: Suitably Censored

15th July 2011. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

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.

 

11th July   

An Unnatural Whinge...

New Zealand ASA dismisses complaint about negative gay comment advertising period drama
Link Here

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.

 

10th July   

Nutters with a Small 'i'...

Nutter organisation gets first candidate to sign their pledge against porn
Link Here

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

 

7th July   

GLAAD to be Nutters...

WWE wrestlers to receive 'training' from gay group after CM Punk lambasts hecklers as 'homos'
Link Here

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.

 

4th July   

House of Boys...

Gay drama with real sex and an 18 rating
Link Here

House of Boys is a 2009 Luxembourg/Germany gay drama by Jean-Claude Schlim. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2011 Peccadillo R2 DVD at UK Amazon for release on 22nd August 2011

The BBFC commented:

  • Contains brief strong real sex

Summary Review: Well worth watching

Well worth watching gay drama set in the 80's. Two teenage boys meet, both after having just left home, in an Amsterdam gay club. One ends up sick with AIDS.

Stephen Fry plays a sympathetic doctor who can do little to help.

There's a few short porno scenes, some nice music and good direction.

 

4th July   

Abominable Preachers...

Nutters protest at participants at the London Pride parade
Link Here

  About all the Bible has to say on the subject...
That lying with both men and women
is an abomination

A group of Christian anti-gay activists protested against the London Pride parade at the Pall Mall.

The nutters displayed yellow placards with verses extracted from the bible and preached at the gay pride marchers.

The two groups exchanged taunts during the confrontation but the police were on hand to avoid any physical confrontation.

The annual event, London Parade aims to highlight the discrimination of the LGBT community and is the largest outdoor event in the UK. Last year over 1 million people attended..

 

2nd July   

Kiss and Make Up...

Facebook censors classic gay kiss and then apologises
Link Here

Inspired by the classic V-J Day in Timesquare photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, a photograph was posted in celebration of New York's passing of the marriage equality bill.

The clever pic was liked by hundreds of Facebook users before being taken down by Facebook. Sharers of the photo received a message from Facebook stating the picture held:

content that is pornographic or contains nudity, or is inappropriately sexual.

After the backlash from their users, Facebook inevitably issued an apology stating:

Upon investigation, we concluded the photo does not violate our guidelines and was removed in error. We apologize for the inconvenience.

 

1st July   

Homophobic Thuggery...

Morality police patrol Brussels and Antwerp
Link Here

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.



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