Gay News

 2012: July-Sept



  Kyrgyzstan Recommends...

I am Gay and a Muslim, a documentary by Chris Belloni


Link Here 30th September 2012

i am gay and muslim I Am Gay and Muslim is a 2012 Netherlands/Morocco documentary biography by Chris Belloni.
With Rayan Rayan. See IMDb .

A Kyrgyzstan court has banned a documentary on gay Muslims from being shown in the country.

The film, I am Gay and a Muslim, was submitted as part of the One World International Documentary Film Festival currently underway in the capital city of Bishkek.

It reportedly tells the story of gay rights in the Islamic world through the lens of ordinary Moroccans.

Before the court ban, the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security appealed to chief Mufti Rakhmatulla Egemberdiev, who believes the film presents Islam in bad form, using people who have nothing to do with religion in general as examples .

A Bishkek court also ruled the film Innocence of Muslims was extremist and banned its screening.

 

  Rivers of Prejudice...

Uganda charges British producer over gay stage play


Link Here 14th September 2012  full story: Gay censorship in Uganda...Media ensors take action against gay productions

river and mountain The authorities in Uganda have charged a British theatre producer, David Cecil, for staging a play about the condition of gay people in the country.

He appeared in court accused of disobeying lawful orders , because the play The River and the Mountain by Beau Hopkins was performed without authorisation. Cecil was denied bail.

The play, with the main character being a gay businessman killed by his own employees,  was performed at two theatres in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, last month.

Update: Hearing

5th December 2012. See  article from  indexoncensorship.org

Only days before the play was set to open in August, Cecil received a letter from the country's Media Council, the body tasked with regulation of media. It stated the play was to be suspended pending an official content review. Cecil and his company, under legal advice, interpreted this as a request rather than an order. Initially, the play was to run at the National Theatre, open to the general public but Cecil decided to move the production to private venues and eight performances were seen by an invited audience. Cecil was arrested after the short run, and branded a gay rights activist by an angry media.

Cecil's second hearing is taking place tomorrow. There, it will be decided if the prosecution have enough evidence to take the case to court. Cecil's legal team will argue that there were no references to any parts of the constitution or penal code in the letter from the Media Council. It did not refer to any legal consequences if they should choose to perform the play. Furthermore, Cecil says the Media Council is supposed to be an advisory body, it holds no executive authority over individuals' rights to express themselves.

A petition calling for the charges against Cecil to be dropped has been signed by more than 2,500 people, including Mike Leigh, Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig and Simon Callow. The petition was organised by Index on Censorship and David Lan, the artistic director of the Young Vic.

 

  Righting Wrongs...

Home Office to expunge consensual gay sex from criminal records currently used to unjustifiably ban gays from working with children


Link Here 11th September 2012  full story: Vetting Workers...UK vets all adults to work with kids

Home Offie logo The Home Office will, from 1 October, begin the process of correcting an anomaly in the criminal records system which has for decades seen gay men unfairly stigmatised.

Anyone with a historic conviction, caution, warning or reprimand for consensual gay sex, that meets the conditions laid down in the new Protection of Freedoms Act, will be encouraged to come forward and apply to have these records deleted or disregarded.

Until now, people wishing to volunteer or work in roles that require criminal records checks have been discouraged from doing so, for fear of having to disclose offences which have long since been decriminalised.

These changes mean that, after a successful application, this information no longer needs to be disclosed on a criminal records certificate and those individuals who may have been inhibited from volunteering or seeking new work will now find that inhibition removed.

The change was made under the Protection of Freedoms Act, which received royal assent on 1 May 2012. The Home Office is working closely with the Courts and Tribunals Service, and the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Ministry of Defence to run the application process. A dedicated team of caseworkers will consider each case and make recommendations to the Home Secretary who will have the final decision.

Successful applicants will have their records updated so the offence will no longer appear on a criminal records certificate or be referred to in any future court proceedings.

Update: Now in force

2nd October 2012. See  article from  homeoffice.gov.uk

From 1st October anyone with a historic conviction for certain decriminalised consensual sex offences can apply to have these records deleted.

Until now, people wishing to work in roles that require background checks have been discouraged from doing so for fear of having to disclose offences which have long since been decriminalised.

The change was made in the Protection of Freedoms Act, which received royal assent on 1 May 2012.

The process

You can apply on the Home Website by filling out the following online form.

The Home Office will then work with the Courts, Tribunals Service and Association of Chief Police Officers. A dedicated team of caseworkers will consider each case and make recommendations to the Home Secretary who will have the final decision.

Successful applicants will have their records updated so the offence will no longer appear on a criminal records certificate or be referred to in any future court proceedings.

 

  James Franco's Cruising...

Re-imagining of lost scenes from William Friedkin's Cruising set to include real gay sex


Link Here 4th September 2012

Cruising DVD Actor James Franco is set to produce and star in a film based on acclaimed director William Friedkin's Cruising , a controversial thriller about an undercover cop investing the serial murders of gay men in 1980's New York.

The film starred Al Pacino as an emotionally unstable cop sent to infiltrate the city's gay BDSM underground in an attempt to find the homicidal maniac killing homosexual men and discarding their body parts in the Hudson River.

The film received an X-rating from the MPAA for its graphic content. Friedkin was forced to cut 40-minutes from the film to score an R-rating. The edited footage was later lost by Warner Bros.

Franco, who was unable to secure the rights to remake the film, has now tapped gay filmmaker Travis Mathews to direct James Franco's Cruising , a re-imagining of the movie's lost scenes that, according to Mathews, will include actual, non-simulated gay sex scenes. Mathews told IndieWire.com:

He knew he wanted real gay sex in it. His people went looking for a filmmaker who had filmed real gay sex, and I suspect someone who would complement his vision.

James Franco's Cruising is set for a 2013 release.

 

  The New Normal...

Utah TV station continues an old normal dislike of gay programming


Link Here 28th August 2012

the new normal NBC Utah affiliate KSL-TV has pulled the upcoming Ryan Murphy sitcom The New Normal from its fall lineup, calling the series as inappropriate on several dimensions.

The show, which follows a mother who serves as a surrogate for a Los Angeles-based gay couple, stars Ellen Barkin. It's booked for 9:30 pm slot But Utah's KSL-TV doesn't want anything to do with it during family viewing-time.

Herndon Graddick president of the perennial whingers of GLAAD said:

Same-sex families are a beloved part of American television thanks to shows like Modern Family , Glee and Grey's Anatomy . While audiences, critics and advertisers have all supported LGBT stories, KSL is demonstrating how deeply out of touch it is with the rest of the country.

KSL-TV is part of Deseret Management Corporation, the for-profit operating company of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 

 Update: A Century of Repression...

Russia's top court upholds 100 year ban on Moscow gay pride marches


Link Here 28th August 2012  full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights

Moscow Moscow's top court has upheld a ban on gay pride marches in the Russian capital for the next 100 years.

Earlier Russia's best-known gay rights campaigner, Nikolay Alexeyev, had gone to court hoping to overturn the city council's ban on gay parades. He had asked for the right to stage such parades for the next 100 years.

He said he would now go back to the European Court in Strasbourg to push for a recognition that Moscow's ban on gay pride marches - past, present and future - was unjust.

The Moscow city government claims that the gay parade would risk causing public disorder and that most Muscovites do not support such an event.

In September, the Council of Europe will examine Russia's response to a previous European Court ruling on the gay rights issue, Russian media report.

 

 Update: On Stomping Grounds...

Anti-gay Russians attempt to sue Madonna for supporting gay rights


Link Here 20th August 2012  full story: Lady GaGa...Winding up the nutters with sex and religion

Give It Me Madonna Russian activists have claimed that they were offended by Madonna's support for gay rights during a recent concert in St. Petersburg, where there is a legal ban on promoting homosexuality to young people.

Madonna performs during her concert in St. Petersburg on the day Russian activists say she promoted gay rights in front of children as young as 12 The star performing at the concert in St. Petersburg earlier this month. The complaint against her is said to include a video taken at the concert showing Madonna stomping on an Orthodox cross

It was reported that Alexander Pochuyev, a lawyer representing the nine activists, had filed the suit on Friday, against Madonna, the organizer of her concert, and the hall where it was held, asking for damages totaling 333 million rubles, or nearly $10.5 million.

 

  Miserable Dominion...

Saudi objects to proposed top level domains about sex and religion


Link Here 15th August 2012

Saudi flag The Saudi Arabian government is objecting to a number of proposed new Internet top level domains, including .gay, .bar, .baby and .islam.

The country claims that the .gay domain would promote homosexuality and would be offensive to many societies and cultures.   Saudi's internet censor spouted: Many societies and cultures consider homosexuality to be contrary to their culture, morality or religion.

Saudi Arabia's Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) filed objections to 31 domain extensions with anything having to do with sex, gambling, drinking and religion, primarily on cultural and religious grounds.

Saudi has objected to domains including .porn, .sexy, .adult, .hot, .sex, .dating and .virgin laughably claiming that:

pornography undermines gender equality and threatens public morals.

The country is more sensibly objecting to .islam because the applicant is a private company that cannot represent the whole or even a majority of the worldwide Muslim community. It argues that all religious communities should have a say in any approval of any related domain extensions, or they should be banned altogether.

The suffixes are some of the 1,930 top-level domain names currently being considered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization in charge of managing Internet naming standards.  ICANN opened up the application process to the public, charging $185,000 for each nomination, and announced the list of candidates in June. So far, the group has received 6,185 comments from individuals, organizations, companies and governments, including 166 from the Saudi Arabian government

The public can submit objections until September 26.

 

  Holy Pots and Kettles...

Vatican rejects ambassador over his novel with a gay sex scene


Link Here 7th August 2012

Clandestination Kiril Maritchkov The Vatican has been accused of rejecting Bulgaria's new choice of ambassador because he wrote a novel containing a gay sex scene.

Kiril Maritchkov, a lawyer who speaks Italian, and is married to an Italian woman, would appear to be an ideal choice for Sofia's representative at the Vatican.

However, Bulgarian newspapers and the Italian press are reporting that an explicit encounter between a young Eastern European male prostitute and a Roman in  Maritchkov's popular novel, Clandestination , has upset officials at the Holy See, despite the Catholic church's less-than-spotless record on sexual transgression.

It was reported that Archbishop Janusz Bolonek, the Pope's representative in Sofia, highlighted the 'offending' part of the novel.

Reports in Sofia suggest the government there has dug its heels in and has refused to offer an alternative candidate for the role of ambassador.

Clandestination tells the story of Ivan, a young man fleeing the social and economic upheaval in one of Russia's satellite states following the break-up of the Soviet Union. Arriving in Rome, the illegal immigrant he finds that things in the West aren't all they were cracked up to be, and finds hardship, petty crime and poverty. Ivan eventually prostitutes himself for EUR50. The end sees the troubled young man enter a church, fall to his knees and pray for forgiveness.

 

  Negative Ukraine...

Ukraine lawmakers propose bill to ban positive depiction of gays


Link Here 4th August 2012  full story: Anti-Gay Law in Ukraine...Ukraine legislates against gay information

Ukraine flag If a group of Ukrainian lawmakers get their way, TV shows and movies sympathetically portraying homosexuals such as Brokeback Mountain will be banned. So will gay pride parades.

The recently introduced bill, supported by the president's representative in parliament, would impose prison terms of up to five years and unspecified fines for spreading propaganda of homosexuality , defined as positive public depiction of gays in public.

It has sparked an outcry from rights organizations in Ukraine and beyond, who condemn the bill as a throwback to Soviet times when homosexuality was a criminal offense. They also warn that harassing the gay community could lead to a spike in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ukraine, by driving gays further underground.

Although homosexuality was decriminalized in Ukraine and neighboring Russia after the fall of communism, animosity toward gays remains high across the former Soviet sphere. The hostility toward homosexuals raises concern wider questions about tolerance in Ukraine and whether the country is truly capable of embracing Western values as strives to join the European Union.

No date has been set for a vote on the bill in parliament, but the lawmakers hopeit will be considered in September before a parliamentary election in October.

 

 Update: No Pride in St Petersburg...

Gay Equality organisation will take the anti-gay authorities of St Petersburg to the European Court of Human Rights


Link Here 15th July 2012  full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights

European court buildingsAn organization of St. Petersburg gay rights activists has filed a complaint against the city's authorities with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, local media has reporte.

The Ravnopravie ('Equality') organization has appealed to the Strasbourg court to rule against the city's ban of a gay pride parade in June 2011 and described the authorities' actions as disguised discrimination.

Despite the ban, a small group of gay rights activists staged an unsanctioned rally on June 25, 2011 and 14 of them were detained and convicted of administrative violations.

The Ravnopravie organization also intends to appeal against the authorities' decision to revoke their permission to hold a gay pride rally planned for July 7, 2012.

St. Petersburg's Legislative Assembly passed a law penalizing the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors in late February. It came into effect on March 11. The so-called Gay Propaganda law imposes fines of up to $16,000 on individuals and up to $160,000 on legal entities for the promotion of homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender practices among minors. The new legislation outlaws Gay Pride events.