Gay News

 2011: Oct-Dec



24th December   

No Pride in Christianity...


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Tesco drops plan to sponsor Pride London seemingly after pressure from the Christian Institute
Link Here
sermon on the mount

And above all else, love your neighbour...
Unless he is gay of course!

Tesco is rethinking its decision to support gay pride festivals.

Earlier this year Tesco dropped its support for Cancer Research's Race for Life and announced shortly after that it would become a headline sponsor of Britain's largest gay festival, Pride London .

The move prompted a storm of nutter 'outrage' from homophobic religious groups.

But now the supermarket giant has indicated that it will no longer sponsor gay pride events, and will instead look for other ways to support its gay staff support group, Out at Tesco .

In an email to those who have complained, Tesco insisted that its support for London Pride implies no moral, philosophical or political stance . It added that most of its charitable and community support is focused on delivering practical benefits, rather than on funding awareness-raising events. We will therefore discuss with Out at Tesco how we can support them in future years in ways that will not include sponsoring events.

Last week The Christian Institute revealed that one of Tesco's executives had branded Christians who oppose the redefinition of marriage as evil .

Nick Lansley, head of Research and Development at Tesco.com, said in a personal capacity:

I'm also campaigning against evil Christians (that's not all Christians, just bad ones) who think that gay people should not lead happy lives and get married to their same-sex partners.

In response Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said:

Mr Lansley is entitled to his opinions, and Christians are entitled to choose not to shop at Tesco.

The Christian Institute provided supporters with the email address of Tesco's CEO and a link to their Facebook page, instructing readers: If you won't be shopping at Tesco this Christmas, tell them so .

Update: Denied

7th January 2012. See  article from  internationalsupermarketnews.com

Tesco has courted a lot of controversy over its initial decision to sponsor London's Gay Pride festival, and they caused even more when a conservative Christian group reported that the supermarket giant had withdrawn its support. Now, International Supermarket News can reveal that the retailer has distanced itself from allegations that it has given in to conservative Christian groups and will no longer support London Pride.

Contrary to recent rumours, a spokesman for the retailer said that it was fully committed to sponsoring this year's festival, but did add that it would consider alternative projects in future years.

Offsite: Christian Voice rejoice at a poor christmas for Tesco

19th January 2012. See  article from  christianvoice.org.uk

christian voice logo Christian Voice write on their website:

Tesco has recorded a disastrous Christmas after announcing in early November a 30,000 donation to next year's divisive, depraved London Gay Pride . Sales in the UK were down 2.3 per cent on last year at Tesco's busiest time of the year. Tesco shares slumped almost 14%.

The news follows a Christian Voice campaign of prayer for confusion in the Tesco boardroom, backed up by emails to directors complaining at the Gay Pride decision and leafleting at Tesco stores. Just before Christmas a panic-stricken Tesco announced that the 2012 Gay Pride donation would be its last. Hours later, in the face of a homosexual backlash, it had to clarify that gays and lesbians were really important and promise that it would support its homosexual contact group Out at Tesco in other ways in 2013, which only made matters worse.

Analysts are blaming Tesco's Big Price Drop idea for the store's failure, which has led to them issuing a profit's warning. Natalie Berg, of consultant Planet Retail, said: Tesco has taken its eye off the ball. It has focused too much just on the price of food. We now all expect high-quality food and everyone is claiming to be the cheapest -- consumers are much more wary.

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said:

Our prayer -- which we said 'will humble proud Tesco -- centred on a desire that the Tesco board would rescind the decision, which has not happened yet. Indeed their announcement on 23rd December made matters worse.

We also prayed for confusion in the Tesco boardroom. As the 'Big Price Drop was launched in September, it seems that Almighty God, who operates outside space and time, was well ahead of us, anticipating our prayers, and seeing by our actions that our prayers were serious.

 

11th December   

Update: Discrimination vs Discrimination...

Government declines to support gay discriminators claiming religious discrimination
Link Here  full story: Religious Gay Discrimination...Hotelier denies double room to gays

George Carey George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury has slammed the government for refusing to support a group of Christians fighting for what they perceive as their right to continue discriminating against gays.

Four individuals who have been disciplined at work or lost their jobs after refusing to remove crosses or to conform to gay rights laws are attempting to overturn the decisions of British courts and tribunal via a legal case at the European Court of Human Rights.

They had hoped for support from Ministers after a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, appealed to Prime Minister David Cameron on their behalf.

But the Government told the European Court of Human Rights that it backed the British judges and does not accept that the Christians have themselves suffered religious discrimination in being sacked for discriminating against gays.

To the dismay of Lord Carey, the Government even said that wearing a cross or a crucifix was not a generally recognised Christian practice. Lord Carey said:

I am very disappointed for the individuals concerned who have simply followed their conscience. Such is the result of a liberal establishment that has become deeply illiberal.

Christian lawyers claim the rights of the four to express their anti-gay beliefs at work should be protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, which allows individuals to manifest their faith in public.

But the Government, in 40 pages of legal arguments drawn up by the Foreign Office, said they were not protected because neither wearing a cross nor following their conscience at work was a core requirement of their faith. The Government said: The UK is entitled to conclude . . . that other than in limited prescribed circumstances, religious belief does not justify discriminating on grounds of sexual orientation.

 

2nd December   

Nigerian Humanity Scam...

Nigeria passes law banning gay sex and marriage with penalties of up to 14 years in jail
Link Here

Nigeria flag The Nigerian senate has passed a bill which prohibits same-sex marriages and introduces extreme prison sentences for people involved in homosexuality, the Nigerian Tribune reported.

Under the new bill, anybody convicted of homosexuality risks a jail term of up to 14 years in prison. In addition, anyone who witnesses, aids or abets a same-sex union faces up to 10 years in prison. The law further prohibits the public show of amorous relationship directly or indirectly and empowers state high courts to prosecute offenders.

The Senate added that only marriages contracted between a man and a woman either under Islamic law, customary law or the Marriage Act is valid.

 

25th November   

Updated: Legalising Gay Discrimination...

Amnesty protest against St Petersburg's far reaching ban on gay events and information
Link Here

amnesty international logo Amnesty International has urged authorities in Russia's second largest city not to enact a homophobic bill, saying it would threaten freedom of expression and fuel discrimination against the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.

The bill, which St. Petersburg's city assembly passed nearly unanimously on the first of three readings, effectively bans public events by LGBTI people and organizations under the pretext of protecting minors.

If enacted, the law would allow authorities to impose fines of up to the equivalent of US$1,600 for public actions aimed at propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality, and transgenderism among minors.

This bill is a thinly veiled attempt to legalize discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in Russia's second-biggest city, said Nicola Duckworth, Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme Director: The notion that LGBTI rights activists are somehow converting Russia's youth through 'propaganda' would be laughable, if the potential effects of this new law weren't so dangerous and wide-reaching.

Local LGBTI rights activists have blasted the law, saying it will provide legal cover for banning any of their actions, including the distribution of information leaflets or even actions against homophobia.

Update: Postponed until the heat is off

25th November 2011. See  article from  ontopmag.com

Lawmakers in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, have postponed a debate on a bill that would outlaw gay propaganda.

The bill, which won overwhelming approval by lawmakers during its first reading last week, would criminalize public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors. Offenders face a fine of up to $1,600 under the bill proposed by the dominant United Russia party.

The bill's author, Vilatly Milonov, said talks broke down after lawmakers failed to agree on the bill's legal definitions and fines imposed: We have decided to double-check all legal definitions related to this bill, Milonov told reporters.

Gay rights activist have condemned the bill. It theoretically allows the ban of anything anywhere where kids could be present, Nikolai Alekseev (also spelled Alexeyev), Russia's top gay rights activist, told The Associated Press. The bill would become the main legal reason to deny any public actions by the LGBT community.

 

17th November   

Truly Homophobic...

Two Malaysian states push for laws to imprison muslim gays
Link Here  full story: Gay Rights in Malaysia...Campaigning for gay rights

Malacca flagTwo Malaysian states are considering passing laws that could punish gay Muslims and gay rights supporters with prison sentences, a regional minister told AFP.

Homosexuality is against Islam. So that's why we don't want to follow this activity promoted by Western countries, Mohamad Ali Rustam, chief minister of southern Malacca state said: People are talking about human rights, but this is not right... It's our duty (to stop it) but we cannot take action because there is no law.

State Islamic authorities were considering drafting a new law that could charge in Islamic courts those who engaged in homosexual activities and free sex activities , the minister said, without elaborating further.

The politician is a member of Prime Minister Najib Razak's ruling United Malays National Organisation party.

Eastern Pahang state has also reportedly proposed a similar law .

 

6th November   

A Funny Voice...

Stephen Green disappointed not to have won Bigot of the Year
Link Here

christian voice logo Christian Voice humourously blogged about Stonewall's Bigot of the Year Award:

The respected journalist Melanie Phillips has been congratulated by Christian Voice on her award of Bigot of the Year by the Stonewall homosexual lobby group. But we have accused Stonewall of cowardice for not inviting any of those shortlisted to their awards dinner last night.

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, was also shortlisted for the award for his comments about Elton John's designer baby and for championing the right of African nations to keep sodomy as a criminal offence.

The others shortlisted on the Stonewall website were the Rt Rev Arthur Roche, Scottish Section 28 campaigner Sir Brian Souter and Bill Walker MSP. Not one of those shortlisted was actually invited to the awards ceremony and dinner, an omission described as a grave discourtesy by Christian Voice.

Stephen Green said today:

It was a great honour to be shortlisted for Stonewall's 'Bigot of the Year award and I am disappointed not to have won. I really must put more effort into opposing the gay rights lobby before next year's event. All the same, I congratulate Melanie Phillips for her winning position of standing up for the right of children not to be abused by Stonewall-devised homosexual imagery in sex education.

Yesterday I described Stonewall's failure to invite those shortlisted for such an important award as a grave discourtesy. I expressed disappointment that a group which has, as I put it, "such lofty ideals as the promotion of buggery and gross indecency" should be so lacking in the fundamentals of social intercourse.

 

6th November   

Not So Odd...

Odd Future banned from New Zealand music festival after complaints about homophobic lyrics
Link Here

12 Odd Future Songs Explicit If Odd future is booked to perform at a festival, it's inevitable that there will be some form of public outcry.

The LA-based crew has now been pulled from the lineup in New Zealand's Big Day Out festival due to objections from locals who are offended by the crew's homophobic lyrics.

Resident and activist Calum Bennachie penned a lengthy letter to the Auckland City Council, urging them to remove the group from the show. He wrote:

People like Beenie Man and groups like Odd Future that promote hatred and discrimination against groups encourage violence against those groups. If it is acceptable to say something similar to Gays are a cancer on society that deserves to be eliminated?, then what group would be next?

 

5th November   

Bigot of the Year...

Stonewall 'honour' Melanie Phillips with award
Link Here

daily mail melanies phillips Stonewall have announced their Awards for 2011. And amongst them:

Bigot of the Year

An individual who has gone out of their way to harm, hurt or snub lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the last year.

Melanie Phillips -- Long infamous for her bigoted views on just about everything from the NHS to Barack Obama to gay rights, this year Phillips really outdid herself by comparing gay people to animals, writing that Britain is in the grip of a Government-backed drive to promote the gay agenda and claiming that gay people risk becoming the new McCarthyites simply because they want to stay at a bed and breakfast.

Other contenders who lost out were Scottish entrepreneur and Section 28 backer Brian Souter, who was knighted this year; Christian Voice leader Stephen Green and the Rt Rev Arthur Roche, a previous nominee who campaigned for adoption agencies to be allowed to bar gay people.

 

5th November   

Queer Fear...

Malaysian gay festival cancelled after whinges from deputy PM and religious groups
Link Here  full story: Gay Rights in Malaysia...Campaigning for gay rights

queer without fear logoPolice ordered gay rights activists in Malaysia to scrap an annual arts festival aimed at fighting discrimination.

The Sexual Independence festival has been held under low-key circumstances in Kuala Lumpur since 2008, but growing awareness about the event has lead to the usual intolerance from politicians and religious leaders.

This year's five-day festival scheduled to open on 9th November at a private arts center is themed Queer Without Fear . It was to have featured musical performances of queer anthems sung by fierce local singers and drag divas who know what it means to love out loud and proud, organizers said.

But after whinges by the deputy prime minister and plans by several Muslim groups to protest, police ordered that the event to be canceled.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had described the event as inappropriate and a waste of time, according to Bernama.

The festival's sponsors and supporters included the Malaysian chapter of Amnesty International, the country's main grouping of lawyers and other human rights organizations.

 

5th November   

Nutter Lifestyle Statement...

US college inflicts anti-gay morality code on its employees
Link Here

shorter university logoShorter University, a Christian arts college in Rome, Georgia has announced a policy which will require its more than 200 employees to sign a Personal Lifestyle Statement rejecting homosexuality.

The university's president, Don Dowless, made it clear any staffer not signing the agreement faces immediate termination. The policy also requires staffers to reject premarital sex and adultery, prohibits consumption of alcoholic beverages in front of students, or attending university events within six hours of consuming alcohol.

I think that anybody who adheres to a lifestyle that is outside of what the biblical mandate is and of what the board has passed, including the president, would not be allowed to continue here, Dowless said, in an interview with a local television station.

A gay employee who works at Shorter told The GA Voice, We now will live in fear that someone who doesn't like us personally or someone who has had a bad day will report that we've been drinking or that we are suspected of being gay.

 

1st November   

Update: Homeohedonism...

Malaysian muslims may be easily 'corrupted' by Elton John's sexuality
Link Here  full story: Pop Stars in Malaysia...Malaysia not much into the world of pop stars

Greatest Hits 1970 2002 Elton John Members of an Islamic party have called on Malaysia to ban a concert by Elton John, claiming that the gay singer promotes hedonism .

Shahril Azman Abdul Halim Al-Hafiz, an official with the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), said the concert at the Genting Highlands resort on Nov. 22 would corrupt young Muslims because of John's homosexuality: It's not good. In Islam homosexuality is forbidden . What he is doing is hedonism. Hedonism is not good in Islam. Shahril is the chairman of the PAS youth wing of eastern Pahang state.

But the show, part of John's Greatest Hits Tour , is expected to go ahead in the resort.

PAS often protests concert by Western acts, saying the artists promote a promiscuous lifestyle and corrupt youngsters' minds. But despite protest threats, most concerts have gone ahead without incidents.

 

25th October   

Reprehensibly Politically Correct...

Trafford Housing Trust demote manager for private, own time, comments about gay marriage on Facebook
Link Here

trafford housing trust logo Adrian Smith, a Christian, posted in his own time a response to a news story on the Government's plans to allow gay weddings in church. The posting, which was only available to his friends, questioned whether the plans were an equality too far .

He was then found guilty of supposed gross misconduct by the Trafford Housing Trust, a publicly funded housing association, and has been demoted from his £ 35,000 a year managerial post to a more junior £ 21,000 position.

The Trust said the comments, posted on a page which identified the user as a housing association employee, were against equal opportunities policy.

Smith is threatening to take the housing association to court claiming damages equivalent to his lost pay.

Update: Peter Tatchell correctly defends Adrian Smith

1st November 2011. Based on article from  minivannews.com

A leading gay rights campaigner has backed a Christian housing worker demoted for posting comments on Facebook about gay marriage. Political campaigner Peter Tatchell described the Trafford Housing Trust (THT) response as excessive and disproportionate .

Human rights organisation the Peter Tatchell Foundation issued a statement saying it was not a particularly homophobic viewpoint :

Adrian Smith's opposition to churches being compelled to hold gay marriages is shared by much of the population, including many equality and human rights organisations. In a democratic society, he has a right to express his point of view, even if it is misguided and wrong.

Freedom of speech should only be limited or penalised in extreme circumstances, such as when a person incites violence against others. Mr Smith's words did not cross this threshold.

Instead of taking disciplinary action, the Trust should have simply warned Smith about making remarks in forums where he is identified as their employee, added Tatchell: I urge Trafford Housing Trust to revoke his demotion and salary cut.

Update: Token Damages

27th November 2012. See  article from  standard.co.uk

A Christian who was demoted for posting his opposition to gay marriage on Facebook has won a High Court case against his employer for breach of contract.

Adrian Smith lost his managerial job, his pay was cut by 40 per cent and he got a final written warning from Trafford Housing Trust after posting that gay weddings in church were an equality too far .

The comments were not visible to the general public and were posted outside work time, but the trust claimed he broke its code of conduct by expressing religious or political views which might upset co-workers.

However, Mr Justice Briggs found the postings did not amount to misconduct, and that viewed objectively, they were not judgmental, disrespectful or liable to cause upset or offence, and were expressed in moderate language. The judge said:

Mr Smith was taken to task for doing nothing wrong, suspended and subjected to a disciplinary procedure which wrongly found him guilty of gross misconduct. The breach of contract was serious and repudiatory.

However the damages were limited to a very small amount due to the actual financial loss turning out to be small for the period covered by the case.

 

6th October   

Questionable App...

Google pulls Android app: Is my Son Gay?
Link Here

is my son gay app A new smart phone app from France promised to help parents determine their son's sexuality in 20 questions.

It caught the eye of TV commentators who saw the potential for 'outrage'. CBS 2's Sean Hennessey had particularly good fun. Hennessey called and e-mailed Google to see what kind of vetting is done when it comes to selling controversial apps, but the company never responded at the time with a comment.

The Android app claims to be able to assess sexuality via question such as: Does your son like musical comedies, Madonna, or football? Does their son dress well? Is his best friend a girl? Are you divorced?

Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educational Network, called the app ridiculous and horrifying:

The questions in this app are horrendous stereotypes that would be completely laughable if they weren't so dangerou.

The implication, one, is that there is one way to be if you're gay and, two, that there's sort of blame to attach to parents.

Psychologist Alan Hilfer said the app will never replace a heart-to-heart talk.

But now Surrendering to 'widespread' 'outrage', Google has pulled the app from its online store.

 

4th October   

He Bangs...

Honduras nutters seek to ban Ricky Martin
Link Here

Greatest Hits Ricky Martin Ricky Martin's tour to Honduras has angered Catholic and evangelical nutters who have asked the government to bar his entry because he's a gay dad.

Honduras Minister of Interior, Africo Madrid, told local newspaper El Heraldo that the religious leaders have solicited that he deny a visa to Martin in order to protect the moral and ethical principles of our society .

Madrid claims that the religious leaders particularly object to Martin's non-traditional family: His nuclear family is not the type of family that Honduran society, and laws, approve of.

 

1st October   

No Pride in Serbia...

Gay pride parade banned in Belgrade
Link Here

Serbia flag Serbian authorities have banned a gay pride parade planned for Sunday in the capital Belgrade claiming they fear it will end in violence. A number of counter-demonstrations have also been banned.

Last year, several people were injured in clashes between police and far-right groups trying to stop the parade.

Organisers have criticised the ban, saying Serbian authorities have capitulated to extremists. Officials insist it is to protect public safety.

Correspondents say homophobia is widespread in Serbia. Irinej, the head of the influential Serbian Orthodox Church, labelled the planned event a pestilence and a parade of shame .