Gay News

 2016: April-June



 Updated: Homophobic and proud...

Istanbul bans gay pride march


Link Here 27th June 2016
istanbul council logoRather confirming exactly how far away Turkey is from being able to join Europe, the authorities have banned a gay pride march planned for June 26th in Istanbul.

The ban, which was angrily denounced by the Istanbul pride organisers, came after ultra-nationalist and conservative groups said they would not allow degenerates to hold such events on Turkish soil.

The Istanbul governor's office said that anyone taking part in the parade in defiance of the authorities risks facing intervention by the security forces.

Until 2015, the gay pride march had been  held on 12 occasions largely without incident, growing into the largest such event in a Muslim country with thousands taking part in a celebration of diversity. Last year, however, the parade was banned by the governorship hours before the event. Soon after, it was shut down through police intervention for the first time in its 13-year history.

The organisers of the march, in a statement on their Facebook page, denounced Friday's ban as a flagrant violation of the constitution and the law .

Update: Uneuropean policing

27th June 2016. See  article from telegraph.co.uk

Turkish riot police in Istanbul on Sunday fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters defying a ban on the city's Gay Pride parade.

Two or three hundred young protesters turned out despite the ban on the parade, which rights activists have been staging in Istanbul for the last 12 years.

 

  Miserable Singapore...

Theatre censors force the removal of a brief gay kiss in Les Miserables


Link Here 13th June 2016
Miserables 25th Anniversary DVD A brief kiss between two male actors in the musical Les Miserables in Singapore has been censored from the show. The scene involved a brief peck on the lips during the song Beggars at the Feast.

After being told it violated its General rating, the producers decided to remove the kiss, the theatre censors at the Media Development Authority (MDA) said. The censors explained:

The inclusion of the same-sex kiss was not highlighted in the script when it was submitted to MDA for classification. The performance was thus given a 'General' rating, MDA said. MDA will take action against this breach of licensing conditions.

Gay discrimination seems to be falling rapidly down the PC pecking order and gay related content suddenly seems up for censorship throughout the world.

 

  Censorship Gems...

Sweden censors dialogue of lesbian relationship in a children's TV cartoon


Link Here 12th June 2016
gems in love video Gay issues seem to be slipping down the political correctness pecking order, perhaps with gay discrimination dropping below religious discrimination. Even Sweden is now censoring gay relationships on TV, perhaps to avoid 'offending' their newly arrived refugees.

Swedish authorities have just been caught censoring a brewing lesbian romance between two main characters in an episode of popular Cartoon Network show Steven Universe.

Steven Universe, which premiered in 2013 in the US on Cartoon Network, revolves around the fictional Beach City where a boy called Steven hangs out with his friends, who are Crystal Gems who can fuse to create more powerful characters. In particular Ruby and Sapphire are both female gems and are very much in love with one another.

The Swedish-dubbed version of the show's episode Hit the Diamond about a baseball match has been censored to mute some of the romantic dialogue between Ruby and Sapphire. Eg removing the lines:

Ruby: Just look at the ball -- Titter på bollen (Just look at the ball)

Sapphire: I'm trying, but all I wanna look at is you -- Jag försöker, jag har problem med koncentrationen ( I'm trying, I have problems with concentration)

Ruby: Do not worry, you can look at me when you're running for home -- Ingen fara, fokusera på segern när du springer runt (No worries, focus on victory when you run)

The censored conversation prompted an angry reaction. A 1300 signature petition saw the dubbing as:

An active choice to censor the relationship that Ruby and Sapphire have?¦

This happens in 2016 in Sweden, a country that is known worldwide for being progressive in its views and accepting of LGBTQ+ people.

If the two female characters are in love in the original show, there is no reason that we in Sweden would change this relationship.

The authors demanded that Cartoon Network issues a written promise never to censor Ruby and Sapphire's relationship in their translation or otherwise, as well as to stop mistranslating occasions when these two female characters show love for each other.

Cartoon Network confirmed that the censorship was a local intervention and is not attributable to the US branch.

 

  #Censors...

Instagram censors content tagged with lesbian and gay terms


Link Here 27th May 2016
instagram logoInstagram is blocking lesbian, gay and bisexual content, by censoring images collated under a range of gay hashtags.

The blocked tags include #lesbian, #gays, #lesbians, #bi. Some other hashtags such as #gay, are not.

When attempting to browse certain hashtags, users are shown a select few images, along with the following message:

Recent posts from #lesbian are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram's community guidelines.

A spokescensor for Instagram told HuffPost UK that these hashtags have been restricted to a top posts setting, which is reserved for hashtags that contain a large amount of violating content .

When a hashtag is censored in this way, Instagram removes the most recent section and only display 33 top posts , which have been approved by moderators. This will remain the case until the hashtags are no longer used to post violating content .

Users can still post images using the hashtag, but the images just won't collate on the page.

 

  Germany has become more sensitive about gay issues...

German railways bans poster for gay exhibition in Berlin


Link Here 11th May 2016
gay exhibition advertPosters for a gay history museum in Germany have been banned at railway stations due to supposed sexism.

Berlin's Schwules Museum, which is dedicated to LGBT history in the city, had launched a poster campaign for its Homosexualit_ies exhibit.. The ad features an androgynous model, shown bare-chested with a body builder's physique but wearing lipstick.

Deutsche Bahn AG has now banned the poster from being shown in railway stations, although it was previously happy with the poster hen first used in 2015.

According to the Museum, the Deutsche Bahn's ad unit Media & Buch decreed that that the poster fails to meet the guidelines of the German Council of Advertisement (Deutscher Werberat) because it is sexualized and sexist . A statement from the Museum added:

Confronted with this somewhat contradictory behavior, the Deutsche Bahn replied that the poster must have accidently 'slipped through' in 2015, and that the German public has meanwhile become more sensitive about 'sexism'.

 

 Updated: Contradicting religious beliefs...

Jordan bans for Lebanese rock band for its gay associations


Link Here 2nd May 2016
mashrou leila A Lebanese rock band, Mashrou' Leila, says it has been banned in Jordan because its music supports religious and sexual freedom.  Mashrou' Leila was to play in the Roman amphitheatre in Amman on Friday, but the concert was cancelled on Tuesday.

Mashrou' Leila's lead singer is openly gay and the band tackles taboos that few other Arab musicians have explored.

In a post on its Facebook page, Mashrou' Leila announced that it would not be able to play at Amman's amphitheatre this week as scheduled, citing the organisers as saying:

the performance would have been at odds with what the ministry of tourism viewed as the 'authenticity' of the site.

Informally, the story is much more problematic. We have been unofficially informed that the reason behind this sudden change of heart, few days before the concert day, is the intervention of some authorities.

Our understanding is that said authorities have pressured certain political figures and triggered a chain of events that ultimately ended with our authorisation being withdrawn.

We also have been unofficially informed that we will never be allowed to play again anywhere in Jordan due to our political and religious beliefs and endorsement of gender equality and sexual freedom.

Amman governor Khalid Abu Zeid told the Associated Press that the group had been banned because its songs contradicted religious beliefs, and not because its music went against the amphitheatre's historic ambience.

Update: Unbanned but too late in the day to organise the show

2nd May 2016. See  article from christiandaily.com  

The Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila (Leila's Project) was reportedly banned last week, April 26, from performing at the Roman Theater in the Jordan's capital, Amman. However, after a massive online backlash from fans of the band in Jordan and in the Middle East, Jordan authorities decided to reverse the order and permit the band to perform two days later.

Unfortunately, the band was still unable to perform for their fans in Jordan as it is difficult to bring the concert with such a huge production back to Jordan, as indicated in an official statement in the band's Facebook page.

We believe this wouldn't have been possible without the strong reactions from people who believe in freedom of expression and artistic and cultural freedoms, and who stepped up to defend the pluralism and diversity of Jordanian society. This gives us hope and confidence for Jordan to host diverse cultural and artistic events in the future.

 

 Update: Ultimate censorship of gay magazine...

More murderous censorship by religious extremists in Bangladesh


Link Here 27th April 2016  full story: Blasphemy in Bangladesh...Penalising disbelief
roopbaan magazineXulhaz Mannan, a top gay rights activist and editor of Roopbaan, the country's only LGBT magazine, was hacked to death together with another man associated with the publication, Tanay Mojumdar.

The two men were killed two days after a university teacher was hacked to death by suspected Islamist militants. So-called Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility -- but the Bangladeshi government claimed there is no IS presence in the country.

BBC Bengali Service editor Sabir Mustafa said staff at Roopbaan , a magazine and activist group for the LGBT community that had not been condemned by the government and received some support from foreign embassies, had been careful to protect their identities but had not believed their lives were at risk.

Suspected extremists in Bangladesh are gaining a sense of security that they can carry out killings with impunity, he says.

Meanwhile Bangladesh's best known blogger said he had received a death threat on Sunday. Imran Sarker, who led major protests by secular activists in 2013 against Islamist leaders, said he had received a phone call warning that he would be killed very soon .

 

  Why is the UK government trying to ban images of anal sex?...

Jane Fae asks why anal sex has been highlighted in the latest government consultation on internet porn censorship


Link Here 14th April 2016
gay star news logo

 

  Gnawing away at anti-gay legislation...

xHamster refuses to serve free porn to viewers in North Carolina as a protest against new laws


Link Here 12th April 2016
xhamster logoXHamster.com, a popular porn website, is refusing to stream to any IP address in North Carolina because of the state's recently passed anti-gay laws.

Users with a North Carolina IP address are just seeing a black screen on their computer. XHamster.com spokesman, Mike Kulich, said the website believes in equality for everyone:

We have spent the last 50 years fighting for equality for everyone and these laws are discriminatory which XHamster.com does not tolerate. Judging by the stats of what you North Carolinians watch, we feel this punishment is a severe one. We will not standby and pump revenue into a system that promotes this type of garbage. We respect all sexualities and embrace them.

North Carolina passed House Bill 2 on March 23 which effectively prevents cities and counties in the state from passing rules that protect LGBT rights.

The new law establishes a statewide nondiscrimination ordinance that explicitly supersedes any local nondiscrimination measures. The statewide protections cover race, religion, color, national origin and biological sex, but explicitly excludes sexual orientation or gender identity from the list.