Gay News

 2007

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28th December   

Censorial MPs Don't Like being Censored...

And for once oppose censorship
Link Here

CCFON logo A group of nutter MPs has tabled an amendment designed to ensure that homophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.

Devout Roman Catholics Ann Widdecombe and Jim Dobbin are among the MPs attempting to amend the government's proposal to make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence.

Christian Concern for our Nation, a pressure group which attempts to stand up against a tide of unChristian legal and political changes in the United Kingdom, is urging its supporters to pressure MPs into supporting the new amendment.

Stonewall, the gay equality organisation, have been giving evidence to parliament's  scrutinising committee about the sort of incitement to homophobic murder and hatred that goes unchallenged. Chief executive Ben Summerskill quoted extensively from the homophobic lyrics of dancehall star Beenie Man and others to demonstrate the nature of their comments about gay men and lesbians.

Summerskill rejected concerns that a law banning incitement to religious hatred would be used to silence the voices of religious people who regard homosexuality as a sin: We are crystal clear that people are perfectly entitled to express their religious views. We are also crystal clear that the temperate expression of religious views should not be covered by the legislation. One might also want to look at the context in which any expression is made that people should be killed or put to death because they are homosexual.

The homophobic incitement provisions were later passed by the whole committee, and none of the Tory MPs voted against them.

The new amendment from Christian MPs reads:

Nothing in this part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion of, criticism of or expressions of antipathy towards, conduct relating to a particular sexual orientation, or urging persons of a particular sexual orientation to refrain from or modify conduct relating to that orientation.

Among the MPs asking for the right to show antipathy towards their gay constituents are: Lib Dems Colin Breed (South East Cornwall) and Alan Beith (Berwick Upon Tweed); Conservatives Philip Hollobone (Kettering) and Ann Widdecombe (Maidstone and the Weald); and Labour MPs David Taylor (North West Leicestershire) and Jim Dobbin (Heywood and Middleton).

 

26th December   

Update: Brighton Music Censors...

Brighton council on dodgy grounds for music censorship
Link Here  full story: Brighton Music Censors...Licensing rules to restrict bands and their lyrics

Get Rich poster Brighton council is trying to ban anti-gay music in clubs yet is loaning CDs from its libraries of artists who have penned homophobic lyrics.

Pubs and clubs which play or allow artists to perform songs inciting homophobic acts face having their licence taken away in Brighton and Hove.

But it has emerged that work by Buju Banton, who recorded a song called Boom Bye Bye which advocates the shooting of gay men, and an album of songs by rapper Eminem, which includes homophobic lyrics, are available for loan at Brighton and Hove City Council libraries.

The CDs were initially withdrawn yesterday after The Argus contacted the council but tonight a spokesman for the authority said: We've not banned any acts from nightclubs and it's not our role to provide artistic taste police in our cultural facilities either.

The council last week voted to tackle so-called "murder music" with a new section to its licensing policy. Although the new council policy cannot legally ban any form of music, it was specifically designed to discourage murder music acts and allows licences to be reviewed if performances include incitement to violence.

The council spokesman said: A small section in the council's new licensing policy is aimed at preventing crime and antisocial behaviour in licensed premises. There is no ban or censorship on any particular artist or song and this section of the policy is not there to prevent people being offended - its sole purpose is to prevent crime and disorder.

This is a separate issue to the library service, which also does not aim to censor material which is legally available to the public. The library service sets out to maintain a balanced stock of material, offering a wide range of materials reflecting a broad spectrum of views and opinions. The Eminem Marshall Mathers LP was released over seven years ago, the lyrics are controversial and the CD is labelled with an explicit content warning."

 

19th December   

Update: Faggot Back on Christmas Menu...

BBFC relent on censorship of Pogue's song
Link Here

Fairy Tale of New York single BBC Radio 1 has bowed to mounting pressure to play the uncensored version of Fairytale of New York after a flood of complaints from listeners and the mother of the singer Kirsty MacColl.

Andy Parfitt, the station controller, admitted that the decision to bleep the word “faggot” from the iconic Christmas song had been “wrong” and said the uncut version would from now on be broadcast. He backed down, saying that the singers did not use the word with any “negative intent”.

The station’s head of music, George Ergatoudis, had ordered the word to be removed from the single, which is in the running to be this year’s Christmas number one, for fear of upsetting homosexuals.

MacColl’s mother, Jean, had dismissed the move as “pathetic and ridiculous”, saying that some of the world’s most famous writers used bawdy language: Shane has written the most beautiful song and these characters live, they really live, and you have such sympathy for them.

Radio 1 listeners also inundated the station’s website with complaints about the decision. Even gay rights campaigners had criticised the decision as “misguided”.

Andrew Gilliver, spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, said: I have spent hours ringing around and trawling the internet and I can’t find anyone in the gay community who is offended by this song, in fact it is well loved.

 

19th December   

Archbishop of Intolerance...

Latvian cardinal calls for anti-gay prime minister nominations
Link Here

Quetzalcoatl A Roman Catholic Cardinal has suggested that gay people should be banned from political office.

Latvia's Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis resigned last week and the Archbishop of Riga Janis Pujats warned new candidates not to support LGBT related issues.

He asked that all candidates running for the post of Prime Minister state whether they intended to defend the Latvian nation against the invasion of homosexuality in public life. Anyone who is not a stern advocate of the people's moral values, must neither run nor be nominated for prime minister, he said, urging candidates to give a public answer on the issue, as he said people were entitled to it.

 

18th December   

Christmas Puddings...

The BBC bleep 'faggot' from Pogues song
Link Here

Fairy Tale of New York single Fairytale of New York , by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl, has been re-released for the festive period and is a contender for the coveted Christmas number one slot.

It tells the story of two lovers who trade insults on Christmas Eve and one verse ends with the memorable line: You scumbag, you maggot you cheap lousy faggot, Happy Christmas your arse I pray God It's our last.

Radio 1 bosses have bleeped out the word faggot from the song, for fear it will offend homosexuals, but have provoked the ire of one of their own leading DJs as well as listeners.

The decision was criticised as "ridiculous" by Chris Moyles, the Radio 1 DJ, who is leading a campaign to make the 1987 song the Christmas number one.

The BBC said: This is not a blanket ban but a station by station decision.

 

18th December   

Offsite: Customarily Targeting Gays...

Canadian Customs impound shipments to gay book shops
Link Here  full story: Canadian Customs...Taking a particular interest in banning gay material

Little Sister's book shop Despite gay marriage and other actions, Canadian customs officers have been quietly but systematically blocking U.S.-made erotica. Their actions have had the effect of severely limiting free speech. Lest you think this is only about curtailing the masturbatory options of law-abiding Canadians and wreaking havoc on the profit margin of of the sex-industry, it is, in fact, a broad assault on civil liberties that should worry people on both sides of the extensive border.

Bound only by vague, randomly implemented policies and consumed with targeting material created to engage, educate and, yes, titillate the local LGBT community, the Canadian customs service (a.k.a. the Canadian Border Services Agency, or CBSA) regularly impounds whole shipments to adult bookstores. Despite a landmark 2000 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, the CBSA continues to seize material which it deems obscene.

Read the full article

 

16th December   

Toyota, Greek God of Litigation...

Toyota harangue porn star named Lexus
Link Here

Tony Lexus film Toyota's US attorney has sent a cease-and-desist letter to EBoys Studio, based in Switzerland, telling the company to "immediately and permanently cease all use of the name Lexus" in its gay-themed adult films, including DVDs, and the EboysStudio.com Web site, or face legal action.

EBoys president Daniel Grangier, quoted by the GayWired news service, says the performer chose to be called "Lexus" because it is "the name of a Greek god," not because of the cars. Grangier said his company's own attorney is "now in negotiation with Toyota's legal team" and will resist demands for a worldwide recall of two films starring the controversially named actor.

Comment: Porsche Lynn

16th December 2007

Thanks to Alan

Fascinating! I wonder whether they've also considered clapping a writ on the American film star called Lexus Locklear. What about Porsche Lynn?

Moving away from silly stage names, m'learned friends ought to be able to sue a few vintage erotica sites over images of Alana Ford. I'm sure that Spanish and Latin American pornographers must engage the servces of ladies called Mercedes. And no doubt some "AV idols" serving as bukkake targets are surnamed Honda or Suzuki.....

 

9th December   

No Longer Moralising...

Nicaragua legalises gay sex
Link Here

Nicaragua flag Nicaragua’s sodomy ban is history. A rewrite of the nation’s Penal Code, which takes effect in March, simply left the ban out. We are not wanting to moralize, explained José Pallaís, president of the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Issues Committee. The state should not be regulating conduct or giving moral indicators of how citizens should behave.

We are not making a code of the Catholic Church here,
he said. We are making a democratic code under modern principles and principles of legality.

Old Penal Code Article 204 stated: Anyone who induces, promotes, propagandizes or practices in scandalous form sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex commits the crime of sodomy [and] will incur a penalty of one to three years in prison.

At least three nations in Central or South America continue to ban gay sex — Belize, Guyana and Panama — along with several Caribbean islands, including Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

 

5th December   

Brighton Ear Muffs...

Brighton council ban homophobic songs from pubs and clubs
Link Here  full story: Brighton Music Censors...Licensing rules to restrict bands and their lyrics

Get Rich poster Homophobic rap music has been banned in Brighton in case it offends the city's large gay population.

Music venues in the city have been ordered not to play certain tracks by artists such as Eminem and 50 Cent.

If pubs and clubs flout the ban, they can be stripped of their licence and closed down.

All music - whether played live or from a recording - that "incites hatred towards minorities" on religious, racial or sexuality grounds is affected.

The move follows an outcry last year over a scheduled performance by the notorious Jamaican artist Buju Banton.

Brighton and Hove's head of licensing, Dee Simson, said: We have a good record on equality and we felt it was important to include this in the licensing policy.

But Trevor Madison, production co-ordinator at Concorde 2, said: Who knows where these things are going?



29th November    Age Old Discrimination ...
   
Nutters predictably oppose NI equalisation of age of consent
GlyniGay rights campaigners have clashed with Belfast's Rape Crisis Centre over plans to lower the age of sexual consent to 16. The British government has published proposals to bring Northern Ireland's legal process, under which it is illegal for 16-year-olds to have sex, into line with the rest of the UK.

The centre has joined a loose nutter alliance with the Catholic church, evangelical Protestant churches and Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party to oppose the proposed change from 17 to 16. Ranged against them are organisations representing the gay community.

Gay and Lesbian Youth Northern Ireland (Glyni) said it was 'illogical' to argue that there was a huge gap between someone at 17 and another at 16. Along with the Rainbow Project, a charity supporting gays, Glyni has welcomed the introduction of the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2007, reducing the age of consent to 16.

Liam Larmour, Glyni's spokesman, said both organisations were concerned that young people were being criminalised in the eyes of the law. To many young people, having sex at 16 is no different than having sex at 17, and is their choice of what to do with their own bodies. After all, you can get married at 16 with parental consent, you can smoke, choose your GP and buy your own fireworks, and for the moment can leave school too, he said.

Whitehall faces an uphill struggle to create parity in the age of consent law across the UK. The DUP has vowed to resist any changes, though Northern Ireland Office Minister Paul Goggins does have reserve powers to impose reforms.

Goggins will also face fierce resistance from the Catholic church and most Protestant churches. At the next monthly conference of the Irish Catholic bishops, a statement will be issued denouncing the lowering of the age of consent and pledging a broad-based campaign against the change.

 

26th November    Staging Repression ...
   
St Louis police halt stage performance
Making Porn posterThe curtain went down on Ronnie Larsen's play, Making Porn, only shortly after it opened over the March 11 weekend at SPOT, 4146 Manchester Street.

According to a press release by SPOT owner Thomas Long, St. Louis police halted the show during its second performance on Saturday night. The show is a comedy about the pornographic industry that does contain on-stage nudity, Long said in the release. That nudity allegedly broke the ordinance, according the city. It is unclear whether the nudity in Making Porn or its gay-themed subject matter was the catalyst for this action compared to other shows.

Long pointed out that Making Porn was being produced at SPOT by a California-based production company who had leased the space for a three-week run. The show has been produced in numerous other cities in the United States and internationally.

 

17th November    Contradictions ...
   
Jumping on the bandwagon of telling other people what to do
A Jihad for Love bannerWestern documentary makers should think twice about making films about Islam because they do not understand the issues as well as their Muslim counterparts, a leading Muslim film-maker has said.

Parvez Sharma, whose documentary about what it means to be gay and Muslim had its European premiere at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival recently, said Western non-Muslim film makers were jumping on the "Islamic bandwagon": Post 11 September, [Islam] is suddenly very hot , and he cited the "plane-loads" of documentary makers who flew from New York to Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

For many documentary film-makers there's very little understanding of the complexities. Everyone has been jumping on the Islamic bandwagon. Very few of those films do justice [to Islam]. They suffer from a lack of comprehension. There's this need to cash in on the Islamic theme.

Sharma, whose documentary, A Jihad For Love includes emotional interviews with gay Muslims from around the world, torn between their homosexuality and their faith, said there was a "paucity" of Muslim film-makers and called on Islamic documentary producers to make their own voices heard to combat Islamaphobia. His Jihad, filmed over six years, reveals the often shocking treatment meted out to homosexuals in Islamic states such as Iran, where one of the men featured was flogged for attending a gay party, and in Egypt, where another interviewee was thrown into prison, where he was raped, then fled to France.

For Sharma, a gay Muslim from the north of India who now lives in the US, making the film was an intensely personal experience. It was very important for me as a Muslim film-maker not to deal with Islam as a problematic monolith, which is how many people in the west see Islam, he said.

 

13th November    Death Penalty for Iranian Gays ...
   
Even though there aren't any
Iran hangingHomosexuals deserve to be executed or tortured and possibly both, an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference.

Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality after a spate of reports that gay youths were being hanged.

President Ahmadinejad, questioned by students in New York two months ago about the executions, dodged the issue by suggesting that there were no gays in his country.

Britain regularly challenges Iran about its gay hangings, stonings and executions of adulterers and perceived moral criminals, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) papers show.

The latest row involves a woman hanged this June in the town of Gorgan after becoming pregnant by her brother. He was absolved after expressing his remorse. Britain said that this demonstrated the unequal treatment of men and women in law and breached Iran’s pledge to restrict the death penalty to the most serious crimes.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the FCO released papers to The Times about the death penalty being used in Iran for homosexuality, adultery and sex outside marriage.

Minutes taken by an official describe a meeting between British and Iranian MPs at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a peace body, in May. When the Britons raised the hangings of Asqari and Marhouni, the leader of the Iranian delegation, Yahyavi, a member of his parliament’s energy committee, was unflinching. He explained that according to Islam gays and lesbianism were not permitted , the record states. He said that if homosexual activity is in private there is no problem, but those in overt activity should be executed [he initially said tortured but changed it to executed]. He argued that homosexuality is against human nature and that humans are here to reproduce. Homosexuals do not reproduce.

 

13th November    Unnatural Carnal Knowledge ...
   
Gay Briton screwed by backward Ghana
Ghana flagA Briton has been remanded in custody in Ghana for having sex with another man, the Foreign Office confirmed yesterday.

The man appeared at Accra circuit court charged with "unnatural carnal knowledge" and possession of obscene pictures. Gay sex is outlawed in the west African country.

The photographer was arrested at an airport when police searching him for drugs found a CD with images of him having sexual intercourse with a 19-year-old Ghanaian.

The man has pleaded guilty to "unnatural carnal knowledge". He has been given the option of a six-month jail term or a fine of about £320, according to a Foreign Office spokesman. He was remanded in custody after he was unable to pay a £2,500 bail surety for the charge of possessing obscene images, which he denies.

The Foreign Office said the high commission in Accra was giving the man consular support.

 

8th November    Forgiving Unforgiving Christians ...
   
Swedish forum admin freed after jail for anti-gay incitement
Bible Temple logoA Christian website editor who was sentenced to two months in prison for inciting hatred against homosexuals has been cleared by the Supreme Court in Sweden.

Leif Liljeström, who had already had his sentence cut to one month by the Court of Appeal, was cleared after the court ruled that he may not have been aware that anti-gay comments posted by visitors to his website, Bibeltemplet or The Bible Temple, consituted incitement to hatred.

Liljeström said: I actually had a feeling that it would turn out like this. I did what Christians do and asked God. I then got a feeling that it was going to work out well.

Liljeström told the court that he had thought long and hard about removing the offending posts before eventually allowing them to remain on the site where they could serve to generate further discussion.

One of the more extreme comments was posted by a visitor to a discussion forum thread entitled "Sodomy". The commenter stated that men who cannot summon up the energy to abstain from intercourse with other men should be sentenced to death and hanged from posts in the town square. Although he did not remove it, Leifström did in fact criticise this statement and several others on the site's discussion forum.

According to the first court to hear the case, Stenungsund District Court, as website administrator he was guilty of incitement against a group of people for statements he himself had written, and for crime against the law on electronic bulletin boards for guest-messages which he neglected to delete.

 

2nd November    Bigot of the Year ...
   
Bishop of Hereford dishonoured by the Stonewall Awards

Bishop of HerefordThe Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, the 104th Bishop of Hereford, was named bigot of the year at the Stonewall Awards. An employment tribunal in Cardiff in April heard how youth worker John Reaney was left feeling humiliated after a two-hour interview during which the bishop grilled him about a previous gay relationship. The tribunal decided Reaney had been a victim of unfair dismissal and awarded damages against the Church of England.

The Guardian was named publication of the year. The judges, including comedian Matt Lucas, sports presenter Clare Balding and disc jockey Paul Gambaccini, said the paper had consistently provided a wealth of positive coverage of lesbian and gay issues , and praised it as one of Fleet Street's strongest advocates for equality.

Alan Johnson and Angela Eagle were named politicians of the year. Johnson was recognised for fighting to include adoption agencies in regulations banning discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. Ms Eagle, described by Stonewall as the only openly lesbian MP, was honoured for keeping the government on the right path on gay issues.

Antony Grey, former secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, was made "hero of the year" for spearheading the campaign that led to the first partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967. Other awards went to writer Val McDermid, Hollyoaks , the Channel 4 series, singer Dan Gillespie Sells, and the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard.

 

2nd November    Legislator of the Year ...
   
Award winning anti gay politician inevitably caught out

Richard CurtisA Republican state legislator who repeatedly voted against gay rights measures resigned his seat Wednesday amid revelations he reportedly had sex with a man he met at an adult video store while in Spokane.

In a written statement, Richard Curtis who represents the 18th district in the state House of Representatives, said that while he believes he's done a lot of good during his time in the Legislature, events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people. I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused. This has been damaging to my family, and I don't want to subject them to any additional pain that might result from carrying out this matter under the scrutiny that comes with holding public office.

Curtis also declared, I am not gay.

In police reports, however, Curtis said the man he had sex with in a Spokane hotel room extorted him. The other man contends Curtis reneged on a promise to pay $1,000 for sex.

Curtis was among state GOP lawmakers in Spokane Oct. 24-26 for a retreat to discuss the upcoming legislative session. He went to the Hollywood Erotic Boutique and met Cody Castagna of Medical Lake, Wash., who accompanied him to the hotel, according to police documents released Tuesday. According to those documents, the two arrived at the hotel around 3:30 a.m. and had sex, after which Curtis fell asleep.

Curtis has alleged that Castagna took his wallet and later offered to return it for $1,000. Curtis said he only had $200 and left an envelope with the money at the hotel desk, according to the documents, which also said Castagna allegedly called Curtis and demanded an additional $800 and threatened to expose Curtis.

There have been no arrests in the case. A decision about possible criminal charges in the alleged extortion case was weeks away. Elected to the Washington state House of Representatives in 2004, he voted in 2005 and 2006 against a bill that granted civil rights protections to gays and lesbians, and in 2007 voted against a bill that created domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Both measures eventually passed the Democratic-controlled state Legislature and are now state law.

 

18th October    Rapping Homophobic Law ...
   
Singapore celebrities rap to support law changes

Singapore flagSingaporean celebrities are rapping for repeal of a law that makes gay sex a criminal offence.

The celebrities appear in a video posted on the YouTube website in support of a Singaporean legislator's push to repeal a law making gay sex a criminal offence, activists said recently.

Repeal it! the celebrities urge in the video which ends with the words: It's not just a gay thing. It's about equality.

Member of Parliament Siew Kum Hong will present a petition on October 22 to coincide with debate on the most extensive amendments to the city-state's penal code in 22 years. The petition urges abolishing part of the penal code that makes sexual acts between males a crime punishable by up to two years in jail.

The petition will raise the level of debate, said Johnson Ong, a spokesman for the campaign to repeal the law: As to the actual repeal ... we really don't know, adding he did not know how many people have signed the petition.

It is not clear how much weight the petition will carry, but dissent is rarely voiced publicly in Singapore.

Gay rights activists say authorities have not laid criminal charges in recent years, and gay-friendly establishments are popular with both locals and foreigners.

 

18th October  Update:  Morally Homophobic ...
   
Singapore maintains ban on gay sex

Singapore flagA group of Singaporeans submitted a petition to decriminalize gay sex to Parliament on Monday, saying a government proposal to legalize oral and anal sex for heterosexual adults only was unjust.

The petition, signed by 2,341 people in three days, was presented to lawmakers as part of a debate on the most extensive revision of the city-state's penal code in 23 years.

Under the proposed legislative changes, oral and anal sex between consenting heterosexual adults would no longer be considered an offense. But Section 377a, which deals with the same acts between men, would remain in force with a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

Ho Peng Kee, senior minister of state for law and home affairs, said the nation was keeping the ban on gay sex because it was what the majority of Singaporeans desired: Public feedback on this issue has been emotional, divided, and strongly expressed, with the majority calling for its retention. Singaporeans are still a largely conservative society — the majority find homosexual behavior offensive and unacceptable.

Ho said authorities would continue to not actively enforce the provision banning gay sex. He said the law has been used in instances when minors were exploited and abused or when male adults committed the offense in public.

But Siew Kum Hong, the lawmaker who presented the petition to Parliament, said it was not the objective of criminal law to reflect the morality of the majority.

Stuart Koe, an AIDS activist and one of the petitioners, said keeping the ban without actively enforcing it risked bringing disrepute to the law.

 

15th October    Promotion of Homophobic Standards ...
   
New Zealand nutters spout unacceptable bollox

Bill HastingsNew Zealand's chief censor Bill Hastings is again under fire from nutters who say his decisions are seriously clouded by a 'gay agenda' and years of watching porn.

The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards' executive director David Lane believes all hard-core pornography should be banned under New Zealand's censorship laws which guard against 'degrading, dehumanising or demeaning' content.

[Hastings] makes it very clear that being gay is a very significant part of his being, of how he addresses and perceives the world, Lane told this weekend's NZ Herald Canvass magazine.

Clearly, this does influence the way he assesses what's in the public good… When it comes to watching videos with scene of gay sex, he would have to be looking at that in perhaps a different way to a person who holds to a heterosexual understanding of marriage or fidelity to their spouse, concluded Lane.

In response, Hastings points out that banning everything with explicit content is against the principle of freedom of expression, which is a foundation of democracy: I'm not a moral guardian. I just apply the law… I couldn't do my job if I was on some pro-gay crusade. Those claims are always based on really hurtful stereotypes, which are totally ridiculous and false.

 

15th October    Nutter Man vs GI Jonn y...
   
Nutters whinge at safe sex viral video

Gi Jonny Website imageParent and media nutter groups have branded a BBC HIV awareness video disgusting and degrading. The video, created by BBC Learning with the help of sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, is part of an interactive online campaign aimed at 16-to-24 year olds.

The video, starring action heroes GI Jonny and Captain Bareback, features explicit references to sexual acts, along with the need for safe sex.

Mediawatch-UK spokesman David Turtle told Metro the video degraded women and encouraged casual sex: There is no hint of a loving relationship in this film. It is highly irresponsible of the BBC .

National Parent Teachers Association Margaret Morrissey said the video was a waste of money: I think the BBC needs to have a long hard look at itself if it thinks this is the best education it can provide for our teenagers with licence payers' money. .

Terrence Higgins Trust spokeswoman Genevieve Clark told Metro: It's clear that we need new ways of getting those safer sex messages out to young people and we know that light-hearted virals like this can be really effective at getting more serious messages across.

 

9th October    Inciting More Laws
   
Straw proposes to make it a crime to incite hatred over sexual orientation

Jack StrawThe Government is to make it a crime to incite hatred because of a person’s sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, Jack Straw announced last night. The offence will carry a maximum sentence of seven years.

Straw, the Justice Secretary, outlined the plans to MPs but the details of the measure are yet to be finalised. He will insert a clause to create the offence when the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, which had its second reading last night, reaches committee stage.

Under the proposal it would be considered a crime to incite hatred against homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and heterosexual people.

Prosecutions will be brought only with the agreement of the Attorney-General. The new crime will cover people using threatening words or written material, or recording visual images or sounds that incite hatred because of sexual orientation.

Evangelical Christian groups was concerned that people who said gay sex was wrong could end up in jail. Colin Hart, director of the conservative evangelical Christian Institute, said: In a democratic society people must be free to express their beliefs without fear of censure. A homophobic hatred law would be used by those with an axe to grind against Christians to silence them. There have already been high-profile cases of the police interfering with free speech and religious liberty regarding sexual ethics. People shouldn’t face prison for expressing their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, said: If such an amendment is put forward, it is likely to be in the form of the existing incitement against racial hatred law. The type of actions targeted would not only be violently homophobic words, but would no doubt cover any criticism of practising homosexuality, homosexual acts and lifestyles.

Leading gay rights campaigners insisted that the proposed offence would not lead to the prosecution of people expressing religious views. It will not apply to those who temperately express religious views, a leading campaigner said.

 

10th October  Update:  Ban on Gay Hatred Incites Religious Hatred
   
Preaching gay abomination = incitement of hatred

Jack StrawNutters could face up to seven years in jail for simply preaching from the Bible under Government plans to criminalise incitement of homosexual hatred.

Jack Straw announced proposals similar to the controversial incitement of religious hatred laws to target those who stir up hostility based on sexual orientation.

Religious groups warned it could lead to preachers being prosecuted for emotionally expressing their firmly-held beliefs and will restrict freedom of speech.

They said gay rights were being given priority over Christian values and that believers felt under threat.

Ministers insisted any new law is aimed at extremists, and that people would not be prosecuted merely for expressing an opinion.

But sources admitted it would be up to police and the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether charges should be brought in any individual case.

Colin Hart, director of The Christian Institute, said: In a democratic society people must be free to express their beliefs without fear of censure from the state. A homophobic hatred law would be used by those with an axe to grind against Christians to silence them. People shouldn’t face prison for expressing their sincerely-held religious beliefs.

An Institute spokesman added: The criminal law will extend to the pulpit and we could have vicars standing before a court trying to defend themselves.

Massoud Shadjareh of the Islamic Human Rights Commission said: If someone is reading the Bible and calls homosexuality an abomination, is that going to be incitement? There are similar passages in the Koran and the Talmud.

I was against the incitement to religious hatred legislation. Either you water it down until it becomes pointless or you have a situation where you deprive people the right to have access to freedom of speech.

 

12th October  Update:  Incitement of Biblical Proportion
   
Incitement law won't protect gay people

Jack StrawThe government's proposed law against homophobic hate speech is unworkable and disingenuous.

Unless the government has it in mind to ban the Bible, the new law announced by the government this week proposing to outlaw homophobic hate speech will be ineffective.

The major source of homophobic hatred in our society is from religious groups. Almost every single anti-gay group in Britain is religious. These groups hide behind their 'holy' texts, and unless the law has the backbone and resolve to ban these texts and to prosecute the priests, imams and rabbis who quote them, it is wasting its time trying to clamp down on anti-gay hate-speech.

The proposed law will bring itself into disrepute and serve only to trivialise homophobic violence if it were only ever used against dim-witted Big Brother contestants and drunk Oxford students, while ignoring religious leaders - the most guilty.

 

5th October

    Saudi Barbarism ...

 
 

7000 lashes for gay sex

From Herald Sun see full article

Saudi public floggingTwo men in Saudi Arabia have been sentenced to 7000 lashes each after being convicted of sodomy and have received their first round of punishment in public, a newspaper said today.

The men, who were not identified, were meted out an unspecified number of lashes in public in the the southwestern city of Al-Bahah on Tuesday evening, the Al-Okaz daily reported.

They were then returned to prison where they are to be held until the full punishment is completed, the newspaper added, without saying how many sessions this would involve.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Saudi Arabia, which metes out strict punishment based on sharia, or Islamic law.

 

3rd October

    Nutter with an Illness ...

 
  Alexi II of Moscow

Russian Patriarch claims that being gay is an illness

Based on an article from the Telegraph see full article

Homosexuals are like kleptomaniacs and have an illness, the head of Russia's Orthodox Church has spouted.

Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia told MPs at the Council of Europe that civilisation was threatened by a split between Christian morality and human rights, which were being used to excuse declining moral standards.

We can see it in a new generation of rights that contradict morality, and in how human rights are used to justify immoral behaviour, he told a meeting of the council's Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg.

He said that sinners could be accepted despite their sins, but ignoring the moral teachings of the Bible threatened Europe's standing in the world.

But the patriarch insisted that no state power should interfere with an individual's personal life. After all, being moral or immoral is a matter of free personal choice.

 

1st October

    Australia 'Bans' Gay Videos ...

 
 


Out logoVideo store investigation reveals that niche videos are effectively banned due to small customer base

From The Age see full article

A small Melbourne video store, Out Video, drew the attention of the federal Attorney-General's Department for selling and renting imported titles that have not been classified in Australia.

Bureaucrats may be doing their job, but by acting against a small niche video shop, they have inadvertently exposed critical flaws in our film classification laws.

Out Video markets films primarily directed at the gay and lesbian community. Many are produced overseas and never achieve general or selected release in Australia. And because of the prohibitively high cost of classification, they never get classified.

As a result of the Attorney-General's intervention, Out Video says nearly half their stock will have to be shelved permanently.

This highlights two major flaws in Australia's classification regime:

1. The regime has not adapted to a marketplace that allows media to be accessed through more than just domestic broadcasters and distributors. Consumers demand access to an increasingly wide selection of entertainment from overseas, and they can get it through the internet.

2. Our classification laws are not designed to accommodate small markets. Instead, the classification processes are optimised for large, general-release films. The system simply doesn't lend itself to small-run films, and the law unfairly harms businesses trying to service niche markets.

The targeting of Out Video by the A-G's Department should give it and the OFLC impetus to review the classification laws. With a vibrant and diverse international entertainment sector, these laws should not blanket-ban content. Such a policy makes a mockery of the liberal legal principle that all things should be legal unless there is a reason to make them illegal.

Many of the films these niche providers import have already been classified in the UK, US and Canada. So one possible solution is to recognise comparable classifications from other media-exporting countries.

But a preferable outcome would be the elimination of mandatory classification. If consumers demanded classification to guide their decisions, then distributors would have a commercial incentive to seek it.

 

30th September

    What'll it be Sir, the Cut or the Chop? ...

 
  Iran flag

Stark choices for Iranian gay men

From 365 Gay see full article

While Iran criminalizes homosexuality with the penalty death, it at the same provides sex reassignment surgery for transsexuals.

The Guardian's Tehran correspondent, reports that 25 years ago, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution, passed a fatwa, or religious proclamation saying that transsexuality was a medical condition that could be corrected through surgery. Since then the government authorized thousands of reassignment surgeries the Guardian reports.

While President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad drew jeers and laughter Monday declaring there were no homosexuals in Iran (story) his government has been providing about $5,000 towards the cost of sex reassignment surgery and additional money for hormone therapy.

Quoting government statistics the Guardian reports that Iran carries out more gender change operations than any country in the world besides Thailand. The paper said that some unofficial estimates put the number of transsexuals in Iran at up to 150,000.

The paper quotes Maryam Khatoon Molkara, the leader of an Iranian organizations for transpeople as saying some of those receiving sex changes are gays who have the procedure to avoid being arrested for homosexuality.

 

28th September

    Beer and Bellyaching ...

 
 


Folsom Street Fair posterGay Last Supper advert winds up christian nutters

Based on an article from CNS News see full article

Organizers of San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair have portrayed Christ and his disciples with  gay theme in the event's promotional advertisement, and the nutter group, Concerned Women for America (CWA), is complaining about the hypocrisy of it.

The bread and wine representing Christ's broken body and lifegiving blood are replaced with sadomasochistic sex toys in this twisted version of Da Vinci's The Last Supper , CWA said on its Web site.

Gay activists disingenuously call Christians 'haters' and 'homophobes' but then lash out in this hateful manner toward the very people they accuse, said said Matt Barber, CWA's policy director for cultural issues.

CWA is calling on California politicians to publicly condemn this unprovoked attack against Christ and His followers: We further challenge the media to cover this affront to Christianity with the same vigor as recent stories about cartoon depictions of Mohammed and other items offensive to the Muslim community.

The Folsom Street Fair describes itself as "the world's largest leather event" . We hope to see the fairgrounds filled with people in their most outrageous leather/rubber/fetish attire enjoying the worlds largest and best loved Leather fair, the Web site says.

Based on an article from CNS News see full article

The leader of the Catholic League on Thursday urged more than 200 religious organizations to join his group in refusing to buy products from the Miller Brewing Company because of the company's sponsorship of the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco this weekend.

Never have we experienced greater corporate arrogance than in this dispute with the Miller Brewing Company, said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League: This all started when we learned that Miller was sponsoring an event that featured an obscene ad thrashing the Last Supper. After being pressured, Miller offered a lame statement of regret and said it was pulling its logo from the ad.

Donohue called the Folsom Street Fair an incredibly outrageous and palpably anti-Christian event.

Miller Brewing told Cybercast News Service that although it has supported the Folsom Street Fair for several years, we take exception to the poster the organizing committee developed this year. We understand some individuals may find the imagery offensive, and we have asked the organizers to remove our logo from the poster effective immediately.

To top it off, when we informed them that some of the money being raised at this festival was being funneled to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

The Catholic League president described the Sisters as "an anti-Catholic group" that is holding a mock Last Supper dinner. The group is not an actual church order but is instead a group of homosexuals who dress as nuns and use names such as "Sister Hysterectoria" while taking part in events that promulgate universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt.

Accordingly, Miller leaves us with no options, Donohue said. We are calling on more than 200 Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu organizations to join with us in a nationwide boycott of Miller beer.

 

20th October  Update:  Folsom Support ...
   
Enjoy a Miller Beer and wind up the nutters

  Folsom Street Fair poster

Folsom Street Events (FSE) Board of Directors has issued a statement addressing protests by various religious groups of the organization's flagship event, the Folsom Street Fair, which was held on Sept. 30 in San Francisco.

The FSE also has asked its supporters to contact Miller Brewing Company, a vendor and fair sponsor, and encourage the beer company not to “cave in” to pressure from right-wing groups to stop its participation in the fair.

FSE said: We have worked successfully with this company for many years, and they have been very supportive. This is no longer an issue of our poster image, but it is an issue of free speech and freedom of expression. We think it's important for Miller to hear from you — the people who enjoy the Fair. Please contact Miller spokesman Julian Green at green.julian@mbco.com to let them know how much you appreciate their support.

FSE named the Catholic League as chief among the groups that are protesting the street fair, which is one of the largest outdoor events held annually in California. The event is the culmination of Gay Leather Pride week in San Francisco.

We can no longer stand by while Folsom Street Fair remains under attack. The Catholic League insists upon provoking its followers, resulting in emails and phone calls threatening us with everything from ill-will to bodily harm, FSE Board of Directors' President Andy Copper said.

We understand that The Catholic League believes it is doing ‘the right thing’ but they are attacking our San Francisco values of community, diversity, education and freedom of self expression. If they do not share in our values or do not understand them, that’s fine; but they have never opened up a dialogue with us. They have only stood in judgment, making threats. We can no longer remain silent on the issue, Copper said.

Today, the Catholic League posted another statement, declaring that it will petition rabbis and Muslim imams in the Milwaukee area, to support the boycott of Miller Brewing Company.

Last week we sent some photos of the Miller-sponsored Folsom Street Fair to all the pastors of the 166 Protestant churches in Milwaukee. Today we are blanketing all the synagogues and mosques in Milwaukee; we are asking rabbis and imams for their assistance in protesting Miller’s anti-religion agenda. Next week we will target another segment of the Milwaukee community, the League said.

Our anti-Miller PR campaign and boycott of Miller beer will continue on a weekly basis until such time that the Miller Brewing Company issues a statement reassuring Americans that it will never again promote an anti-religious event.

 

23rd September

    Asylum from the Home Office . ..

 
   
Home Office logo

UK Government doesn't recognise gay persecution in Iraq 

From Gay Republic see full article

Two Iraqi Gays have been granted asylum in the UK, in a court ruling overturning a previous decision of British authorities to deport them. The two men have survived attempted assassinations by Shia Islamist death squads in Iraq and were seeking refuge in United Kingdom, but their initial applications for asylum had been turned down by the Home Office, despite compelling evidence of anti-Gay persecution and threats to kill them.

With the support of the Gay human rights groups OutRage! and Iraqi LGBT both men appealed against the refusal of asylum and won.

Ibaa’s and Haider’s successful appeals show that Gay people who have suffered persecution can win asylum, despite all the obstacles placed in their way by the Home Office, said Peter Tatchell of the Gay human rights group OutRage!, which advised and supported the two men.

It is very depressing to think that without a huge support network and lots of hard work to get corroborating evidence from Iraq, both these men would have probably lost their appeals and been deported. The whole asylum system is rigged and biased against genuine refugees – especially Gay ones. It is designed to fail as many applicants as possible, in order to meet the government target to cut asylum numbers, said Tatchell.

The reasons moving the Home Office initially to deny asylum to Ibaa in 2006 included the often repeated claim that it does not recognise homophobic persecution as a legitimate and valid grounds for asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention:

You claim that you would be persecuted if you were to return to Iraq because you are a homosexual. However, homosexuality in Iraq does not form a social group within the terms of the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, wrote the Home Office in their official letter of refusal to Ibaa, dated 30 June 2006.

The murder of Gays is encouraged by Iraq’s leading Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said Tatchell: In 2005, he issued a fatwa ordering the execution of Gay Iraqis in the worst, most severe way possible. His followers in the Islamist militias are now systematically targeting lesbian and Gay people for extra-judicial execution. Two militias are doing most of the killing. They are the armed wings of major parties in the Bush and Brown-backed Iraqi government.

 

22nd September

    Singapore No Fun for Gays . ..

 
   

Singapore flagAnal sex prohibition repealed for heterosexuals only

From Gay 365 see full article

Legislation has been introduced in the Singapore Parliament to repeal laws banning sodomy but the bill would specifically limit it to heterosexuals.

The new legislation is the first overhaul of the penal code in nearly a quarter century. It removes a section of the law making carnal intercourse against the order of nature a crime.

But it maintains a similar law, dating back to British imperial rule, forbidding sex of any kind between males. Under the law "gross indecency" between two men can lead to two years in jail.

Police have not laid a charge for a number of years, but LGBT rights groups in the city state have been actively lobbying for its repeal.

In April, Lee Kuan Yew, the man regarded as the father of Singapore, called for the decriminalization of gay sex laws: If in fact it is true, and I have asked doctors this, that you are genetically born a homosexual — because that's the nature of the genetic random transmission of genes — you can't help it. So why should we criminalize it, Lee, who served as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990 and is the father of current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, told a youth rally.

Update: Survey

22nd September

A study onducted by Nanyang Technological University's School of Communication and Information found that 69% of the 1000 respondents "generally held negative attitudes," towards homosexuality,  23% had positive attitudes and the remainder were neutral.

The government told parliament recently that public feedback made it clear that the majority of people want the prohibition on gay sex to remain.

 

21st September

    Bishop Gets Arsey ...

 
 


Collage by Ivo HendriksOffended by Ibiza art exhibition

From News.com.au see full article

The Roman Catholic bishop of Ibiza has demanded that a collage depicting the late Pope John Paul II being sodomised be removed from an exhibit held at a former church.

The work is one of three collages by Ivo Hendriks that are part of a showcase of art by 15 Dutch artists with ties to Ibiza made over the last 50 years that opened on September 7 and is due to run until the end of the month. The other two collages also depict religious figures in homosexual positions.

Bishop Vicente Juan Segura said the works "offended Catholic sentiment'' and he called for their: immediate and urgent withdrawal. He threatened to take the issue to court if his demand was not met. The bishop claims that Ibiza town hall had violated the terms of the 1997 agreement which allows it to use church buildings since it had not informed the church of the contents of the exhibit as required.

Ibiza's town hall, which approved the exhibition, said it would not remove the works. Ibiza has never and will never exercise any form of censorship of artistic expression,' the town's councillor for culture, Sandra Mayans, was quoted as saying.

 

15th September

    Insane Comments ...

 
   

Nigeria flagUnchristian Nigerian bishop

From Pink News see full article

The Anglican Bishop of Uyo, Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama, this month condemned the activities of homosexuals and lesbians, and described those engaged in them as "insane people''.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, Orama said: Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God's purpose for man.

It is scaring that any one should be involved in a thing like that and I want to say that they will not escape the wrath of God. He said that the practice, which has worsened over the years, was unbiblical and against God's purpose for creating man.

 

9th September

    Gangs of Persecutors ...

 
   

Turkey flagArrest Turkey gay rights group

From Planet Out see full article

Eighteen members of an LGBT rights group in Bursa, Turkey, remain in custody since their arrest last week on racketeering and prostitution charges, and their lawyer has not been given access to their files.

The activists are members of the Rainbow Solidarity and Cultural Association, one of only four Turkish gay rights groups with government permission to operate. Homosexuality has been legal in Turkey since the 1850s, but activists are often harassed and gay people find it difficult to live openly in the secular Muslim state.

The arrest of association president Oyku Erven and 17 others was on charges of forming a gang to commit crimes, being an associate with a gang and inciting prostitution .

Bursa officials, who unsuccessfully fought to have the group banned last year, are continuing their investigation.

The activists' attorney, Ayse Batumlu, told the press that she had not been granted access to the court files, which remained classified Tuesday.

In 2006, Bursa's deputy governor fought to have the group shut down as a menace to public morals. Prosecutors then refused to do so, pointing out that being gay is not illegal in Turkey.

 

7th September

    2257 Reasons to Worry ...

 
   

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force logoThe impact of 2257 regulations on social networking sites

From X Biz see full article

The National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce has voiced concerns about the potential impact of 2257 regulations on social networking sites like Manhunt.com or AdultFriendFinders.com, where users post explicit photos of themselves online.

In a statement posted on OutInAmerica.com, the NGLTF gives a brief overview of 2257 regs and raises the prospect of social networking sites being required to keep records of users personal information and copies of photo identification.

These sites will have the same record keeping requirements as other adult businesses. For sites like Manhunt and AFF, it is virtually impossible to comply. The regs seriously compromise their business model, Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke told XBIZ.

In July, the Federal Register published amended 2257 regs. Since then, the Department of Justice is required to accept public commentary for a period of time that will end Sept. 10.

The NGLTF is calling for concerned individuals to contact the DOJ by email: The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is involved in this fight because we believe sexual freedom is a fundamental human right and we don't think the government has any place in relations between consenting adults.

These regulations are part of our government's hypocritical and punitive views about sex, sexuality, and reproductive rights. All of this – from abstinence-only sex education programs to the elimination of funding for accurate and explicit HIV prevention programs – fall hardest on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Issues pertaining to how 2257 impact secondary producers, as well as amendments that would include simulated sexual activity under the definition of “explicit” material, are pointed out by the NGLTF as having a chilling affect, not only on the adult entertainment industry but on networking sites, that might be considered secondary producers under 2257.

The NGLTF goes on also to say that while the government claims 2257 is being implemented under the guise of protecting under-age individuals ostensibly being exploited in adult productions, that clearly is not the case: Obviously, none of this has anything to do with child pornography. Instead, it is a blatant attempt to end the ability of consenting adults to use adult social-networking sites to meet other people for sex. Obviously, if these regulations go into effect, they will kill this industry .

Comments may be submitted electronically to the DOJ via Admin.ceos@usdoj.gov or to www.regulations.gov by using the electronic comment form provided on that site. Comments submitted electronically must include “Docket No. CRM 104” in the subject box.

 

1st September

    Hidden Lives ...

 
 


BBC Four logoBBC Four schedules a week of gay programming

Based on an article from LifeSite see full article
see also BBC Four

In conjunction with the beginning of the LBGT History Month in the UK, the BBC has scheduled a week long roster of gay television. The programming was scheduled in the first week of September to also coincide with the 50th anniversary of the release of the Wolfenden Report which legalized homosexuality in Britain in 1957.

The week long extravaganza of gay-themed TV has been officially named the Hidden Lives Series . The programming will range from movies with homosexual themes, to historical documentaries and the personal stories of homosexuals.

The Hidden Lives Series will kick off on Saturday, September 1 with a multi-part history piece giving the story of gay life in Britain since 1918, beginning in the inter-war years. The week of pro-gay programs will continue with a supposedly lighter fare entitled, Andrew and Jeremy Get Married which will follow a homosexual couple in the days leading up to their 'marriage'.

The schedule also includes Gay MPs - Pride and Prejudice in Politics which will investigate the history of homosexuality in the British Houses of Parliament.

Various other full-length films and documentaries will chronicle the lives of several other homosexual men and women in all parts of the world.

Lion Television of Scotland is also participating in the week with Consenting Adults , a 75 minute special documenting the deliberations and publications of the Wolfenden Report.

The Wolfenden Report was authored by the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution. The committee was convened after several prominent British men were convicted of homosexual crimes and a rise in prostitution was reported throughout the country.

In regards to homosexuality, the report recommended that homosexual behavior between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence . The law's function is to preserve public order and decency, to protect the citizen from what is offensive or injurious, and to provide sufficient safeguards against exploitation and corruption of others ... It is not, in our view, the function of the law to intervene in the private life of citizens, or to seek to enforce any particular pattern of behavior.

 

28th August

    Defending the Right to Spout Shite ...

 
 


Christian Voice logoPipex censors quick to pull the plug on Christian Voice

From the Freethinker see full article

One of Britain’s most hate-filled websites, Christian Voice, was temporarily silenced last week following a complaint to Pipex, which hosts the website via a subsidiary company.

The homophobic website, run by Stephen Green, was closed down for four days pending investigations by Pipex into a complaint lodged against it by the Brighton-based gay newspaper, One80News after it had been contacted by a reader, Angie Rowland-Stuart.

She told the paper that she was disgusted by the “spiteful lies” on Green’s website. She said: I do think that Christian Voice has broken the rules of the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) they use. The site should be pulled or become a subject for investigation by the police.

The paper revealed that, following Ms Rowland-Stuart’s complaint, it emerged that Pipex supports the sexual health charity The Terrence Higgins Trust, which is described on Green’s website as a homosexual AIDS charity that promotes homosexual perversion.

In a statement posted on the CV website, Green said: Initially, a Sarah Cooper said Pipex had received a letter of complaint ‘of an official nature’ requesting removal of the website, which suggested some Government involvement. It also spoke of ‘the defamatory material’ on the site without specifying it, so we didn’t have a clue what their problem was.

But now Pipex are speaking of ‘a number’ of individual complaints, which would be consistent with us accidentally ruffling the feathers of some humourless gay activists.


Pipex are under notice of legal action as a result of the down time. A commercial company cannot act as judge and jury unilaterally cutting off valuable web traffic on a whim or because of behind-the-scenes politicking. If they get away with it, every politically incorrect website is at risk.

 

22nd August

    Religions United in Intolerance ...

 
   
Uganda flag

at anti-gay rally in Uganda

From the BBC see full article

Hundreds of Ugandans have taken part an anti-gay rally in the capital to demand the government uphold a ban on gay sex.

The Interfaith Rainbow Coalition Against Homosexuality said the rally at a sports stadium in Kampala showed how much Ugandans deplored homosexuality.

Spokesman Pastor Martin Sempa told the BBC that Uganda was under great external pressure to relax its laws ahead of October's Commonwealth summit.

Sempa said that homosexuals were using the summit to try and shame, force, coerce, intimidate Uganda into changing our laws. We are telling them that Africans find homosexuality reprehensible. Leave us alone.

 

20th August

    A Stones Throw from a Stoning ...

 
   
Preparation for Sharia Stoning

Partner of lesbian sentenced to stoning to be deported to Iran

From UK Gay News see full article

A gay Iranian woman came within minutes of being put onto a non-stop flight to Tehran at Heathrow this evening as the UK Government’s Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) – part of the Home Office – went through the final process of deportation.

It was only the late intervention of the office of Sheffield Central Member of Parliament Richard Caborn, the Minister of Sport, that prevented the deportation.

However, the deportation is only “on hold” until August 27, a spokesperson at Asylum Seeker Support Initiative in Sheffield told UK Gay News.

Pegah Emambakhsh arrived in the UK in 2005 and sought asylum, having fled Iran after her same-sex partner was arrested and subsequently tortured and sentenced to death by stoning.

Her father was also arrested and interrogated about her whereabouts – he was eventually released, but not before he had been tortured himself.

The claim for asylum was rejected by the BIA, despite her appeals. Ms. Emambakhsh was finally arrested in Sheffield last Monday and was taken on Wednesday to Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre.

If returned to Iran, Ms. Emambakhsh faces certain imprisonment and possible execution by stoning. Her ‘crime’ – she was in a lesbian relationship.

The BIA have chosen not to believe that she is in such danger if returned to Iran, even though the UK government are well aware of the terrible situation that gay people face there, the Asylum Seeker Support Initiative said in a statement issued early this morning.

 

28th August

    Update: Compassion in Italy ...

 
   
Preparation for Sharia Stoning

Italy steps in to save lesbian condemned by Britain

From Pink News see full article

A spokesperson for Italian government has confirmed that they will grant asylum to a lesbian woman due to be deported from the UK to Iran.

Pegah Emambakhsh is currently being detained by British officials and she is scheduled for repatriation on Tuesday.

Her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran may lead to her being executed.

Even if she is not sentenced to death, she is likely to be prosecuted and tortured by Iran's religious officials.

Punishment for sexual intercourse among lesbians in Iran is 100 lashes and in case of recidivity, execution.

Italian equal opportunities minister Barbara Pollastrini has Italy's prime minister Romano Prodi's support over granting asylum to Emambakhsh, a ministry spokesman told news website Adnkronos International (AKI).

The Asylum Seeker Support Initiative, who are supporting Emambhaksh's case, said in a statement:

BAI has chosen not to believe that she is in such danger if returned to Iran, even though the UK government are well aware of the terrible situation that gay people face there.

BIA will be committing a serious miscarriage of justice and human rights violation if they insist on Ms Emambhaksh’s deportation.

 

28th August

    Update: Reprieve ...

 
   
Preparation for Sharia Stoning

Appeal granted for Iranian woman to be deported to face stoning

From Pink News see full article

The lesbian woman due to be deported from the UK to her come country of Iran will have her case heard by The Court of Appeal.

Pegah Emambakhsh has been released on bail by British officials. She was scheduled for repatriation last month.

Her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran may lead to her being executed.

Even if she is not sentenced to death, she is likely to be prosecuted and tortured by Iran's religious officials. Punishment for sexual intercourse among lesbians in Iran is 100 lashes and in case of recidivity, execution.

In an email yesterday the Friends of Pegah Campaign revealed she had been released from custody: There are also other actions that we know are being taken on her behalf, by influential organisations at a high level in the UK, the group wrote: This does not mean that Pegah is out of the woods but she is now in a much more hopeful position.

The Italian government had intervened in Ms Emambakhsh's case by offering her asylum if the UK deported her.

The 40-year-old Iranian sought asylum in 2005. She had escaped from her home country after her partner was arrested, tortured, and subsequently sentenced to death by stoning. Her father was also arrested, interrogated and tortured for information on her whereabouts.

The claim for asylum was rejected by the UK Border and Immigration Agency (BIA), despite her appeals.

 

18th August

    Fighting for Intolerance ...

 
   

cross dressing last supperReligious censors attack "gay Jesus" exhibition

From the National Secular Society
See also gay Jesus images

A fight involving as many as 30 people broke out at a photographic exhibition in the Swedish city of Jonkoping. The controversy surrounds the Ecco Homo exhibit, which portrays Jesus Christ as a gay man. Ecco Homo has long been a source of disagreement among Swedish Christians.

The series of 12 images was exhibited at the nation's leading cathedral in Uppsala with the permission of the archbishop and toured the country. The Local, a Swedish paper, reported that on Sunday a group of young people tried to set fire to a poster at the Jonkoping cultural centre where Ecco Homo was on display.

The paper said the city is a centre for evangelical Christians. Staff intervened and a fight broke out, according to the centre's director, Tony el Zouki: If this is some Christian group, then I really do not understand them. The message of Christianity is that people should understand and love each other.

The previous pope cancelled an audience with the Protestant Archbishop Hammar of Uppsala for supporting the exhibit – which has been touring for ten years – and allowing it to be shown in churches across Sweden.

 

13th August

    Nigeria, Arsehole of Humanity . ..

 
   

Nigeria flag18 men face the death penalty for gay sex

From Africasia see full article

Eighteen men have been arrested in northern Nigeria for alleged sodomy, which carries the death sentence under Bauchi state's Islamic sharia law.

Judge Malam Tanimu ordered the 18 remanded in prison until a further hearing on August 21 following their arrest in a hotel in Bauchi city.

The court on Wednesday heard that the men, who were wearing female clothing, had come to the city from five neighbouring states to celebrate a gay "marriage".

Prosecuting police officer Tadius Boboi said the men's actions had contravened the sharia penal code adopted in Bauchi and other states in Muslim northern Nigeria eight years ago following the end of military rule.

The men have been charged with sodomy and have pleaded not guilty

 

22nd August

    Update: Witnessing Repression . ..

 
   

Nigeria flagCharges downgraded in Nigeria due to lack of witnesses

From Sunday Times, South Africa see full article

A Nigerian judge in an Islamic sharia court has postponed the trial of 18 men arrested for wearing women’s clothing earlier this month.

Presiding judge Tanimu Abubakar put the case back until September 13 after a state prosecutor applied to take it over from police.

Five of the 18 men were released on bail pending the resumption of the case, and the remaining 13, who have not yet satisfied bail conditions including the payment of 20,000 naira (156 dollars, 108 euros), were sent back to prison after appearing in court.

A spokesman for the local sharia police, Muhamad Muhamad Bununu, said the suspects had been charged under the idle persons and vagabonds section of sharia law. Any (male) person who dresses...in the fashion of a woman in a public place or has the reputation of practising sodomy will be liable to a term of one year or 30 lashes .

Actual sodomy, which must be witnessed at close quarters by at least four people and is therefore very difficult to prove, carries sentence of the death penalty. For now we can’t charge the men with sodomy because we have to have witnesses testify, Bununu told AFP.

As the suspects left court, the crowd hurled insults at them and pelted them with stones, some of which hit police and journalists covering the trial. Police fired into the air and used tear gas to restore order.

 

18th September

    Update: Investigating Repression . ..

 
   

Nigeria flagProsecutor returns  case of 18 gay men to police

From Sunday Times, South Africa see full article

The case of 18 Nigerian men on trial in an Islamic sharia court on charges of dressing up as women stalled as the state prosecutor withdrew to let police carry out further investigations.

The men, mostly in their 20s, were arrested during a party at a hotel in northern Bauchi state on Aug. 4. Police said they were wearing women's clothes, which is illegal under the state's sharia penal code.

The offence is punishable by up to a year in prison and 20 lashes by cane.

At a previous hearing on Aug. 21, state prosecutor Aliyu Bin Idris had asked the court to allow him to take over the case from the police. The judge granted the request and adjourned the case to give him time to study the evidence.

But on Thursday, the prosecutor said he was withdrawing from the case to give police more time. They have further investigations to pursue and they can't do that while we are prosecuting, he told Reuters.

Update: Increased Charges

19th September

The trial of 18 Nigerian men accused of dressing up as women resumed on Friday in an Islamic sharia court and police filed new, more serious charges against them.

They were originally charged with "being an idle person or a vagabond", which is punishable by up to a year in prison and 20 lashes of the cane under Bauchi's 2001 sharia code.

But on Friday police added charges of belonging to an unlawful society, committing indecent acts and criminal conspiracy. One court clerk said the men could face up to 10 years in prison.

 

7th August

    Nigeria Not Playing Games . ..

 
   

Nigeria flagHomophobic laws make Nigeria unsuitable for Commonwealth Games

From UK Gay News see full article

It would not be right for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, dubbed as “The Friendly Games”, to be held in Nigeria, given the country’s appalling human rights record, said Davis Mac-Iyalla, founder and leader of the gay Christian group, Changing Attitude Nigeria.

Nigeria’s homophobic oppression is a violation of the Commonwealth Games ethos of equality, humanity, peace, unity, cooperation and understanding, he said in London at the weekend.

Mac-Iyalla was speaking immediately after leading a delegation which met Mike Hooper, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, at the CGF headquarters in Piccadilly, London, last week.

The delegation presented the CGF with an 11-page report setting out why it should reject the bid by the Nigerian city of Abuja to host the 2014 Games. The final decision on which city will host the 2014 Games will be taken in early November.

In many Nigerian states, the maximum penalty for sex between mutually consenting adult men in private is 14 years in prison. In states that have introduced Sharia law, it is death by stoning.

Violence against LGBT people in Nigeria has increased dramatically, in the wake of attacks on gay people by the Anglican Church of Nigeria and attempts by the Nigerian government to introduce sweeping new anti-gay laws

Backed by the Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, the anti-gay bill only failed because it ran out of legislative time when the general election was called earlier this year.

 

2nd August

    Kissing Banned . ..

 
   

Singapore flagGrossly indecent repression in Singapore

From Gay NZ see full article

Singapore's weeklong LGBT Pride celebrations have begun, but police have closed a photo exhibition of gays and lesbians, citing laws around 'gross indecency'.

A video message from Out actor Sir Ian McKellen opened the week, calling the event a platform to make gay voices heard in the tightly-controlled city state.

But, as the pride celebration was getting underway police closed a photography exhibit of gays and lesbians before it was to officially open.

Singapore's censorship board ordered the exhibition closed because it showed photos of gay men and women kissing. The board said that the show violated Singapore law because it promoted "a homosexual lifestyle".

The exhibition, entitled Kissing , was a selection of 80 posed shots of same-sex kissing between fully clothed models.

Under the current law 'gross indecency' between two men can lead to two years in jail.

 

4th August

    Censorship Discussion Censored . ..

 
   

Singapore flagMore bans in Singapore's Gay Pride

From Gay 365 see full article

Censors have refused to allow an LGBT book reading event and an LGBT human rights forum at gay pride celebrations in the conservative city - the second such bans in a week.

The Media Development Authority balked at a book by author Ng Yi-Sheng about a young man's fictional sexual adventures with older men including military officers and government officials.

The authority said that the book went beyond good taste and decency and disparaged public officers. The board said it would allow the book reading to go on but only with a guarantee Ng's book was not included.

Pride organizers cancelled the event.

In addition, police ordered the cancellation of a human rights forum that was to have featured Douglas Sanders, a professor emeritus in law at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and Thailand's Chulalongkorn University.

The forum, titled Sexual Orientation in International Law: The Case of Asia, was deemed contrary to public interest.

Our laws are an expression and reflection of the values of our society; the discourse over a domestic issue such as the laws that govern homosexuality in Singapore must be reserved for Singaporeans ... foreigners should refrain from interfering, the Home Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

 

13th August

    Gays Not Welcome in Singapore . ..

 
   

Singapore flagPicnic and fun run banned

From Gay 365 see full article

The crackdown on LGBT pride in Singapore continued with a government ban on gay events held in public parks. Police told pride organizers they had revoked a permit to hold a picnic and fun run at a park saying politics were not welcome in green spaces.

It was never meant to be political, and this testifies to the paranoia of the government, Alex Au, an organizer, told the Associated Press: They automatically assume that anything gay is a political challenge to them. It speaks volumes about the political climate in Singapore.

 

17h July

    Pope Pantyhose . ..

 
   

Pope in pantyhoseNutters claim blasphemy and art exhibition is cancelled

Based on an article from Art Forum see full article
Spotted by MediawatchWatch

Vado Retro —an exhibition with 150 works about art and homosexuality, from Da Goeden to Pierre et Gilles—has been cancelled at Milan's Palazzo della Ragione.

The exhibition was already installed when protests were voiced about a "blasphemous" sculpture of the Pope made by the Milan artist Paolo Schmidlin. The sculpture—titled Miss Kitty —features a likeness of the Pope dressed in pantyhose. Another piece showed the Italian Premier Roman Prodi’s spokesman talking to a transvestite.

The Miss Kitty exhibit prompted the Catholic Anti-Defamation League to complain: It is a vulgar offence against Christ’s Vicar and the feelings of the Roman Catholics.

To calm critics, Vittorio Sgarbi, the city's councilperson for culture who is responsible for the exhibition, had already announced that visitors under the age of eighteen would not be allowed to visit the exhibition. But the measure was not enough. The opening was delayed after Miss Kitty and two other works were taken out the exhibition. That measure was also insufficient, at least for Milan mayor Letizia Moratti, who requested that another twelve works be removed from the show, due to their pornographic and pedophilic nature. Sgarbi refused—a refusal that led to the cancellation of the exhibition.

Vado Retro will be shown in its entirety in Naples.

 

17th July

    Lady Boy Bashing ...

 

Nepal flagA police pastime in Nepal

From Gulf Times see full article

On the day Nepal's MPs and rights activists were to interact with the gay community and discuss the inclusion of their rights in a new constitution, the police assaulted and stripped five young men in a park here because they were carrying condoms.

Five men, whose ages are between 19 and 25, were sitting in Ratna Park (Saturday) evening when they were accosted by four policemen led by a sub-inspector, said Sunil Pant, president of Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal's only gay rights organisation: Though the men were metis (transgenders who prefer to dress as women), they were not in drag but dressed in jeans and T-shirts. However, the policemen made them strip naked and searched their bags. When they found condoms in the bags, they first abused the men, accused them of being sex workers and began beating them up with batons, he added.

The incident came on the day BDS, with the help of the Dutch government, was scheduled to hold a meeting between metis and politicians from Nepal's leading parties as well as human rights activists.

Policemen regularly harass and assault gays, organisations refuse them jobs and their families disown them. The Maoist guerrillas, who are now in the government, are anti-gay, terming the community perverts and an aberration.

Saturday's assault coincided with the Nepal visit of two officials of the New York-based Human Rights Watch. This year, for the first time, the HRW is compiling a report on the state of gay rights in Nepal and the plight of the community. HRW's Scott Long, who spoke with some of the victims: We also spoke to the police and they admitted that they make a regular practice of beating up metis. It's a major human rights issue.

Long also said that the police attitude that carrying condoms was illegal and tantamount to prostitution was a threat to the health of everyone in Nepal.

 

5th June

    Mud Bath ...

 
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Israeli government challenged over gay tourism

From The Times see full article

The Israeli Government has been brought to the brink of collapse by a string of criminal investigations, sex scandals and a failed war in Lebanon.

Next week it will face its most unusual challenge yet: a vote of no confidence over a controversial advertising campaign aimed at bringing gay tourists to the Holy Land.

Dozens of MPs have vowed to bring down the Government over the campaign, saying that it offends Israeli religious sensibilities. Published on the front page of Yedioth Ahronoth, the largest-circulation Israeli daily, the adverts feature affectionate gay couples at some of the most famous tourist sites.

One shows two young men in kippahs about to kiss near Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Another shows a gay couple embracing on a camel. Another features a group of men smeared in mud and poised to take a dip in the Dead Sea.

This is a delusional campaign for a minority with a normative defect, said Eli Yishai, Deputy Prime Minister, who is a member of the ultra-religious Shas Party.

 

16th June

    Update: Israel Losing Pride? ...

 
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Events & protests may soon be banned for religious reasons

From The Times see full article

Israel’s parliament passed a preliminary Bill aimed at banning events in Jerusalem such as Gay Pride parades, despite the opposition of Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister.

Drafted by MPs from Jewish religious parties, the Bill would allow Jerusalem’s municipality, led by Uri Lupolyansky, the ultra-Orthodox Mayor, to ban protests and parades that would hurt public order, public feelings or for religious reasons . It now goes to a Knesset committee to be drafted formally.

The police force, which can ban public gatherings, has approved the Gay Pride parade on June 21.

 

1st June

    Russian Thugs ...

 
   

Russia flagViolent anti-gay protesters unchallenged by police

From The Guardian see full article

Riot police used violence to break up a gay rights demonstration in Moscow yesterday and arrested several European parliamentarians in what critics say is the latest violation of human rights in Russia.

A group of gay rights activists came under attack from neo-Nazi thugs when they tried to present a petition asking Moscow's mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, to lift a ban on a Gay Pride parade. He has previously dubbed gay rallies "satanic". Witnesses said riot police watched as far-right skinheads chanting "death to homosexuals" beat up several activists.

The police failed to arrest the skinheads but detained several of the Europeans - including the German MP Volker Beck, a member of the Green party, and the radical Italian MEP Marco Capatto. Riot police threw Capatto into a police van. "Why don't you protect us?" he shouted.

It was absolutely shocking, the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told the Guardian yesterday. The police stood there while people knocked me to the ground and kicked me. Four or five neo-Nazis attacked me. The police watched. At a certain point the police then arrested me and let my neo-Nazi attackers walk free.

Religious orthodox protesters and skinheads hurled eggs and stones - injuring Tatchell in the eye. They also attacked Richard Fairbrass, the gay singer from the pop group Right Said Fred.

The activists had tried to deliver a petition signed by 50 MEPs calling on Moscow's mayor to respect freedom of assembly, but 30 of them were arrested and they did not make it to his city hall office. Mr Beck was later released. Three Russian gay rights campaigners were kept in custody and charged with disobeying police.

Neo-Nazi thugs and an orthodox priest attacked the activists when they were freed several hours after their arrest, witnesses said. "This is terrible but I am not scared," a Russian named Alexey said, blood streaming from his face. "This is a pretty scary place, a pretty scary country if you are gay. But we won't give up until they allow us our rights."

Russia decriminalised homosexuality in 1993, but the gay community is still widely reviled. Last year Mr Luzhkov refused to allow a Gay Pride rally to take place.

 

28th May

    Offensive Revelations ...

 
   

Revelation TVOfcom find offensive language on Revelation TV

From Ofcom see report [pdf]

Revelation TV is a religious channel that often features live phone-in programmes and discussions which from time to time deal with controversial and topical issues. Ofcom received seven complaints from viewers who alleged that some presenters and contributors during some editions of the programmes World in Focus and R Mornings used offensive language when discussing homosexuals, homosexual behaviour and immigrants.

In an edition of the programme World in Focus a panel of three contributors criticised the newly implemented Equality Act and, in particular, the associated Sexual Orientation Regulations, which they alleged would force schools to teach children about homosexuality as part of the national curriculum. Three viewers complained that the discussion was wholly against the new Regulations, with no balance or opposing points of view were given, and that some of the remarks were disparaging and offensive to the gay community.

Four other viewers complained of offensive comments made by Howard Conder, the owner and presenter of Revelation TV, and some of his guests concerning homosexuality and also immigrants in various other programmes.

Ofcom asked Revelation TV to comment with regard to the following Rules in the Broadcasting Code (“the Code”): 2.3 (generally accepted standards) and 5.5 (due impartiality on matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy).

Decision

Ofcom understands that the issue of homosexuality is a contentious one both within and outside religious communities, and that a number of opposing views are held. The expression of such sincerely-held and controversial views may give rise to the potential for offence.

It is therefore important that, where there is the potential for offence, broadcasters must comply with Rule 2.3 of the Code which states that: “…in applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context. Such material may include but is not limited to, offensive language…discriminatory language…on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation”.

The issue of the treatment of homosexuality (in relation to the Equality Act and the Sexual Orientation Regulations) was a matter of political controversy and/or matter relating to current public policy at the time it was discussed on Revelation TV. Due impartiality was therefore required. The discussions of the topic on the channel however did not include any representation at all of alternative views. The content therefore breached Rule 5.5.

Breach of Rules 2.3 and 5.5

 


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