One of Canada's largest gay sex shops is questioning Canada Post's requirement that any admail with even a hint of sexuality be placed in an
opaque envelope marked adult material — even if the mail is addressed and solicited.
Priape's director of marketing and planning says the postal agency's new policy requiring warning labels on already opaque envelopes is causing concern throughout the gay store's customer base.
It's hard on business, says Daniel St-Louis: We guarantee discretion and envelopes that don't contain anything but a return address.
Priape distributes four catalogues a year to customers who have asked to be placed on its mailing list. St Louis says Priape never had any problems sending the catalogues — which are addressed, solicited and placed in inconspicuous envelopes — as
bulk mail through Canada Post. Until last January. That's when he noticed some catalogues that had been returned to the store had been stamped with a warning: adult material.
The warning stamp stems from a court challenge to Canada Post's Non-Mailable Matter policy in 2006. BC's Sex Party challenged the policy after the postal agency refused to deliver one of its political pamphlets containing images of potentially
erotic art, including a photo of a doorknob in the shape of a penis.
Canada Post's revised policy, implemented in July 2008, now states that all admail containing images or representations of nudity that are suggestive of sexual activity, images or representations of sexual intercourse, and text that describes
sexual acts in a way that is more than purely technical must be enclosed in an opaque envelope marked adult material.
We have received complaints from our costumers, St-Louis says. For certain people [the warning label] carried problems. The policy is prejudicial to our business activities, he says.
A spokesperson for Canada Post says she suspects the warning labels are a safety precaution. If you send it to a family and the children open the parcel, now that could be a problem, she suggests.
The Canadian government has decided to censor those who take the piss out of its environmental policy.
It a move worthy of a humourless autocratic regime. The country shut down two comedy sites and took down 4500 other websites in the process.
Mike Landreville from Environment Canada in an email to the German Internet Service Provider (ISP) Serverloft claimed that the two websites, enviro-canada.ca and ec-gc.ca , are directly connected to a hoax which misleads people into
believing that the Government of Canada will take certain actions in relation to environmental matters. Landreville demanded that ISPs purge any further attempts concerning other environment-related domains from their servers.
Apparently Serverloft was so spooked it turned off a whole block of IP addresses, knocking out more than 4500 websites that had nothing to do with the parody sites or the activists who created them.
The hoax was clearly a joke to get attention to the issue of Climate Change. It was run by the Climate Debt Agents of Action Aid, and The Yes Men. They used press releases and fake websites to announce that Canada would adopt science-based emission
targets - reducing emissions by 40% over 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
A Perth sex club has vowed to go down swinging - by holding three more raunchy events before it is forced to shut.
Burswood Swingers Club, where couples meet and swap partners for thrills, has been embroiled with Victoria Park Council in a two-year battle for survival.
The council says the club has been operating illegally because the building has approval for use only as a workshop/factory.
Councillors have agreed to engage lawyers to close the club, after a fact-finding mission under police escort found the premises, in Claude St, were being used for sex parties.
The club's website claims it is the biggest in Perth, complete with a dance floor and stripper's pole.
There is also a large heated spa, dark room, massage room and two private rooms downstairs, ideal for couple-swapping, the website says.
Our swingers club is the ideal place to explore your fantasies and sexual desires. If you are looking for couple swapping, bi-girls, bi-guys, group sex, or simply just looking for friends we are the place to be.
It accepts donations of up to $125 for single males, $60 for couples and $10 for single females.
The Burswood Swingers Club manager said yesterday the venue would close in a few weeks unless it could resolve the situation with the council.
The manager, who does not want to be named, said he planned to hold a number of parties before the shutdown, including a New Year's Eve bash. He claimed the club had actually helped to clean up the area, rather than bring it into disrepute: It's
industrial with quite a few vacant buildings in the street, he said. It's an area prone to anti-social behaviour in the nature of groups of youth congregating and drinking. There has been all sorts of things in the street prior to us moving in.
But, because we've got people coming and going and because we run a tight rein on things the street is now very safe.
He said the club had been responsible for only three complaints in the two years it had been open and they were from competitors, not residents.
A new flier distributed by the Westboro Baptist Church invites its supporters to protest gay icon and equality advocate Lady Gaga, in St.
Louis Missouri, the first week on January.
According to the Bible homosexuality is an abomination and she has to shut her filthy mouth and stop promoting it, says attorney and Westboro member Shirley Phelps-Roper, reports Radar Online.
Surreal statements from the event listing on Westboro Baptist's web calendar include:
Lady Gaga has no qualms about displaying her filth for all the world to see, using the platform given to her by God to teach rebellion against Him. She loudly and proudly proclaims her fornication
and sexual relations with women, saying that she wants to free and liberate her young fans. Gag! She glories in her shame, encourages everyone she can get her hands on to do the same....Like the many whores who came before her, Lady of the night
Gaga thinks she can change God by teaching you to hate Him and liberating you from His standards. ....
And to all those that would follow the example of this treacherous tart.... this warning from God: ....I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall
ye eat. And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. Lev. 26:27-30. Catch that? Because you won't obey, God will cause you to eat your children,
He'll cast your dead bodies on those of your idols, and He'll abhor you. Obeying God is your only recourse at this hour. But because you heed the words of stupid rebels like Lady Gaga INSTEAD of the God who created you, this generation is doomed.
Gaga has been an avid supporter of gay rights, famously appearing at the Marriage Equality March in Washington, D.C. in October.
Uganda will soften its proposed anti-gay legislation, but the government denied on that it was bowing to an outcry in the West over a
controversial bill that could have seen homosexuals put to death.
Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo told Reuters that the revised law would now probably limit the maximum penalty for offenders to life in prison rather than execution.
There have been a lot of discussions in government ... regarding the proposed law, but we now think a life sentence could be better because it gives room for offenders to be rehabilitated, he said in an interview: Killing them might not be
Stephen Green, the director of campaign group Christian Voice, has spoken out in support of the death penalty for homosexuals.
His comments come almost a month after Uganda proposed a law that would make gay sex punishable by a life sentence or even death.
In a statement that will outrage human rights groups, Stephen Green claimed:
Gay people who have sex knowing they are HIV positive should be given the death penalty because they have committed murder ;
Capital punishment is acceptable because it is ordained by God in the Bible;
Britain's laws promote perversion because they do not make homosexuality a criminal offence.
Green said: As a Christian I agree with the death penalty and I don't see why infecting someone with HIV should be treated in any other way than if you killed someone with a knife. It is extraordinary to think it is OK to infect someone else with HIV
and get away with it.
Green's organisation is urging other Christians to support the Ugandan people in their determination to rid their nation of foreign homosexual proselytisation . It claims gay westerners are travelling to the country to convert Ugandans.
Green added: This law is an understandable reaction to the pressure from human rights activists and homosexuals who are coming to the country as sex tourists.
Lithuanian lawmakers revised a controversial law on that banned the promotion of homosexuality, but gay rights campaigners warned the move
did nothing to assuage their concerns.
In a 58-4 vote, with 25 abstentions, parliament approved amendments to legislation that sparked criticism from rights groups in Lithuania and abroad when it was passed in July.
The original law, which had been due to come into force in March 2010, barred the public dissemination of information favourable to homosexuality, claiming it could harm the mental health and physical, intellectual and moral development of minors.
The legislation -- which also covered bisexuality, polygamy, images of heterosexual intercourse, death and severe injury, the paranormal, foul language and bad eating habits -- did not specifically define public dissemination nor set down a punishment.
The changes give the law a less-specific remit, banning information encouraging the sexual abuse of minors, sexual relations between minors and other sexual relations.
The homophobic clauses have been removed. The law is in line with European standards, her spokesman Linas Balsys told AFP Tuesday.
But Vladimir Simonko, head of the Lithuanian Gay League, said problems remained with the legislation and alleged it had been crafted by a bunch of Bible-bashers.
A state court in New Mexico has upheld a ruling against Jon and Elaine Huguenin. As owners of Elane Photography, they declined to photograph a
same-sex commitment ceremony in 2006 and were sued.
The court ruled the owners had violated a non-discrimination law.
Jordan Lorence, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), said it exposes the threat such laws pose to religious liberty: The court showed very little respect for that and said that this was no different than a caterer serving food and
was liable to this same-sex couple.
Lorence points out New Mexico hasn't legalized same-sex unions. So, these couples are going through these ceremonies that have no legal significance to them. They're using these non-discrimination laws like 'blasphemy' laws, and they're going
on witch hunts to root out the heretics and punish them.
Mystiques Hotel & Restaurant, the former New County Hotel in Southgate Street, has welcomed its first guests.
According to the club's Facebook page, the venue is aimed at those with alternative sexual lifestyles . The club is offering both gay nights and swingers' nights.
A spokesman for Gloucester City Council confirmed the opening. He said: Mystique has opened. They have a drink, entertainment and late night refreshment license.
An application to create a lifestyle hotel on the site – with fantasy rooms and an adult-themed restaurant – was rejected by Gloucester City Council earlier this year. However, the company behind those plans, Mystique, has now opened the private members
club at the hotel, believing planning permission is not a legal requirement for the project.
Gloucester city councillor Gordon Taylor (Con. Abbey), voted against the plans to turn the building into a sex hotel. He said the club was in the wrong place, adding: We are trying to redevelop that area and there are a lot of families walking by and
we don't want a sex venue there. It is the sort of establishment that should be down Eastgate Street. I'm really disappointed that they have managed to get around the decision we made to turn it down. There may be a law change coming in within the next
12 months where there might be some scope to challenge it again.
Secular and libertarian groups have welcomed the Court of Appeal ruling that a council did not discriminate against a Christian registrar who
refused to perform civil partnerships.
Lillian Ladele claimed that she could not officiate the ceremonies for gay couples because of her strict Christian beliefs.
She argued that Islington council's disciplinary action was discriminatory but the Court of Appeal ruled against her in the latest round of the case.
Gay organisation Stonewall said it was pleased the court had upheld the right of lesbian and gay people to receive public services from public servants .
Civil rights group Liberty had supported council in the case and described it as a common sense judgement .
Corinna Ferguson, Liberty's legal officer who specialises in religious freedom cases, said: Freedom of conscience is incredibly precious but other people have rights and freedoms too. Employers can't be expected to promote equal treatment under the
law if they must also accommodate discrimination on the part of their employees.
Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, said the ruling was important and definitive . He said: It establishes, we hope definitively, that because a person has strong religious views, it does not give them the
right to discriminate against and deny services to others of whom they disapprove.
Parliament has decided that gay people are entitled to civil partnerships and that their right to such a service be protected in law, so there should therefore be no opt-outs on any grounds, religious or otherwise, for public servants from performing
these ceremonies. Christian conscience should not be a blanket licence to discriminate against others.
Ladele and the Christian Institute, which is supporting her, were refused leave to appeal at the Supreme Court. However, they plan to go to the Supreme Court directly to attempt to overturn the ruling.
Lillian Ladele's situation does not raise legal points of general public importance , according to the highest court in the land.
She is now considering whether to try to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights, as she believes it shows that the right to religious conscience has been trampled by the rights of homosexuals.
With James Dobson retiring it is clear that the nutter group, Focus on the Family, is adrift and searching for
a new mission. It may have found one in its blistering attack on the play Santa Claus is Coming Out.
The right wing organization is in a tizzy over this comedy that poses the serious question: What if Santa Claus were actually gay?
Unfortunately, Focus on the Family provides the answer by exploiting this issue for political gain and distorting the essence of the production. The Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network (GLSEN) will also benefit from a charity performance of Santa Claus is Coming Out
, giving Focus on the Family further reason to misrepresent the play.
In a story headlined GLSEN Fundraiser Sexualizes Santa , the group claims that the comedy, perverts the innocence of Christmas and sexualizes the longtime, child-revered icon of Santa Claus. The group went on to claim that the goal of Santa
Claus is Coming Out is to, desensitize kids and attack parents' God-given rights to protect their innocence.
The charges leveled against Santa Is Coming Out are ludicrous, if not libelous. In an interview with Instinct Magazine, Playwright Jeffrey Solomon rebutted Focus on the Family's bogus charges.
We have not marketed this play with sex, said Solomon. The play is not about sex. The play simply asks a hypothetical question: 'How would the world react, if Mrs. Claus were revealed to be a beard, and that Santa Claus was actually a gay man?'
The very mention or the image of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people is not automatically sexual, unless you are viewing them with sex-tinted glasses.
Isn't it time that Focus on the Family take its huge budget of more that $125 million and help real families stay together? Has this group done anything substantive to address the divorce rate in America? Has it stopped child or spousal abuse? Has this
wealthy organization increased living wages so families can afford to stay together?
Nope. Instead it wastes precious time and money on petty, media-friendly pet issues that play well to frothing fundamentalists who get worked into a lather and then donate what little money they have left over from their paychecks.
I applaud Jeffrey Solomon and director Joe Brancato for producing a play that will make people think, which is a heck of a lot more than Focus on the Family is asking of its followers.
Lithuania's parliament (the Seimas) should eliminate all discriminatory and repressive language in a new law designed to censor
information available to children, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to a key lawmaker. It called on the Seimas to repeal an amendment forbidding public information encouraging homosexual and bisexual relations.
The letter to the chairman of the Standing Committee on Education, Science and Culture of the Seimas, Valentinas Stundys, addressed ongoing efforts by the parliament to revise the controversial law and make it consistent with Lithuania's human rights
commitments. The law has been a subject of intense debate through much of 2009.
Depriving young people of information they need to decide about their lives and protect their health is a regressive move, said Boris Dittrich, advocacy director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Rights program at Human Rights
Watch. Instead of protecting children, Lithuania is condemning them to ignorance, danger, and fear.
The Seimas first passed the Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information on June 16, 2009. Then President Valdas Adamkus vetoed the law, but parliament overruled the veto. The current president who took
office in July, Dalia Grybauskaite., established a presidential committee to review the text of the law. This committee proposed amendments to delete all discriminatory language from the text of the law.
However, while the Seimas was discussing these amendments, one member introduced the new amendment, forbidding public information which encourages homosexual and bisexual relations, as well as polygamy. A majority of the Seimas voted in favor of
this amendment. The Standing Committee on Education, Science and Culture must now propose a final text of the law to the full parliament.
A Canadian judge last week exonerated a former pastor who was charged of committing a hate crime for sending a letter to
a local newspaper criticizing homosexuality. Related
Judge E.C. Wilson overturned a 2008 ruling by the Alberta Human Rights Commission that ordered former Alberta pastor Stephen Boissoin to stop all public criticisms of homosexuality and to pay the plaintiff $5,000 in damages, according to The Canadian
Wilson ruled on Friday that the 2002 letter, which carried the headline Homosexual agenda wicked, was not a hate crime but is permissible under freedom of speech.
The decision of Justice Earl Wilson of the Court of Queen's Bench in Boissoin v. Lund will have a significant long term positive impact on religious freedom in Canada, wrote Gerald Chipeur , Boissoin's attorney, in a summary analysis of the
judgment, according to LifeSiteNews.com. Chipeur commented that the definition of what qualifies as hate speech was made clearer through the ruling. He also said the judge took away the tools of censorship and protected freedom of expression.
In 2002, Boissoin sent a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate newspaper criticizing the pro-gay rights curriculum in the province's education system. From kindergarten class on our children, your grandchildren are being strategically
targeted, psychologically abused and brainwashed by homosexual and pro-homosexual educators, Pastor Stephen Boissoin wrote.
The letter caught the attention of a human rights activist who filed a complaint against the pastor for hate-mongering. The activist supported his case by pointing to a homosexual who was beaten up two weeks after the letter was published as
evidence that such speech can incite violence. While the decision did not strike down Alberta's 'hate speech' laws, it significantly limited the application of such laws, Chipeur said.
But plaintiff Darren Lund responded to the ruling saying, I really think this is a step backwards for our province, in an e-mail to The Canadian Press: In my view, the judge's ruling sets such strict standards for hate speech that this section
is rendered all but unenforceable.
Gay couples are furious after being banned from studio recordings of Top Gear
They are prevented from joining the TV audience under a bizarre rule that stipulates bookings must be 50% male and 50% female .
But the policy was slammed as discrimination . Simon Reeves who was turned down when he and his partner applied for tickets to the BBC2 show, said: I couldn't believe it. Top Gear is the blokiest show on telly but we weren't allowed unless we
took a couple of female friends. It seems unfair that a married heterosexual couple are the 'ideal' applicants but same sex couples have no chance whatsoever.
All applications to attend the five-hour recording in an aircraft hangar in Dunsfold, Surrey, must be for groups of up to four, made up equally of males and females. The website which handles the allocation says : Each booking requires equal
amounts of men to women, so please ensure that you have a 50/50 split of guys and gals in your party.
A BBC spokeswoman said same sex couples were welcome. The 50/50 split was simply to avoid the entire audience being made up of men . Viewers don't want to just look at a load of ugly men, she explained.
A relationship counsellor who refused to offer sex therapy to gay couples has lost his unfair dismissal appeal.
Gary MacFarlane was sacked by marriage guidance service Relate after he said he could not do anything to promote gay sex.
He alleged Relate had refused to accommodate his Christian beliefs.
The service's chief executive Claire Tyler said: The appeal judgement validates Relate's commitment to equality of access to our services. Relate's trusted service, both in Avon and across the country, relies on making sure that all members of
society, regardless of their gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation or relationship status, are able to access respectful and professional counselling and sex therapy.
Relate is committed to supporting all religious beliefs working within Relate. However, our primary consideration is to our clients who often need complex advice and assistance. We cannot allow anything to damage our clients, or to undermine the
principle of trust that underpins our work.
MacFarlane, a former church elder, was appealing on the grounds of religious discrimination at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Bristol.
The tribunal, chaired by employment judge Toomer, dismissed MacFarlane's claims of harassment.
Britain and Canada have protested over a proposed law that would result in gays in Uganda being imprisoned for life or even executed.
Gordon Brown followed Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, in telling Uganda that the legislation was unacceptable. Brown made his views plain in a breakfast conversation with President Museveni of Uganda on the margins of the Commonwealth
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 is going through Uganda's Parliament after receiving its first reading last month. According to Clause 2 of the Bill, a person who is convicted of gay sex is liable to life imprisonment. But if that person is also HIV
positive the penalty — under the heading aggravated homosexuality — is death.
The Bill has not been endorsed by the Ugandan government but it has allowed it to proceed, and some top officials are said to have praised it.
A Canadian government spokesman said: If adopted, a Bill further criminalising homosexuality would constitute a significant step backwards for the protection of human rights in Uganda.
The Bill proposes a three-year prison sentence for anyone who is aware of evidence of homosexuality and fails to report it to the police within 24 hours. And it would impose a sentence of up to seven years for anyone who defends the rights of gays and
Addressing the Commonwealth People's Forum, Stephen Lewis, the former UN envoy on Aids in Africa, said that the Bill made a mockery of Commonwealth principles. Nothing is as stark, punitive and redolent of hate as the Bill in Uganda.
The government responded strongly to international criticism over the proposed anti-gay law, saying the process would continue uninterrupted. Speaker Edward Sekandi told Daily Monitor that it was necessary to do whatever we can to stop homosexual
liaisons in Uganda.
For Ahmet Yildiz, a stocky and affable 26-year-old, the choice to live openly as a gay man proved deadly.
Prosecutors say his own father hunted him down, traveling more than 600 miles from his hometown to shoot his son in an old neighborhood of Istanbul. Ahmet Yildiz was shot outside his apartment building.
Yildiz was killed 16 months ago, the victim of what sociologists say is the first gay honor killing in Turkey to surface publicly. He was shot five times as he left his apartment to buy ice cream. A witness said dozens of neighbors watched the killing
from their windows, but refused to come forward. His body remained unclaimed by his family, a grievous fate under Muslim custom.
His father, Yahya Yildiz, whose trial in absentia began in September, is on the run and believed to be hiding in northern Iraq.
The case, which has caused a bout of national soul-searching, has underlined the tensions between the secular modern Turkey of cross-dressing pop stars and a more traditionalist Turkey, in which conservative Islam increasingly holds sway.
Ahmet Kaya, Ahmet Yildiz's cousin, said Yildiz was the only son of a deeply religious and wealthy Kurdish family from Sanliurfa, in the predominantly Kurdish southeast.
Kaya said Yildiz was tutoring fellow students so he could make extra money to live independently. But by coming out as gay in a patriarchal tribal family, he had become the ultimate affront to both religious and filial honor, even with parents who adored
Ahmet's father had warned him to return to their village and to see a doctor and imam in order to cure him of his homosexuality and get married, but Ahmet refused. Ahmet loved his family more than anything else and he was tortured about
disappointing them. But in the end, he decided to be who he was.
That clash of values permeates Turkish society. While Turkey's aspiration to join the European Union is pushing the Muslim-inspired government to accept and even promote civil liberties for women and homosexuals, some traditionalists remain ill at ease
with a permissive attitude toward sexuality and gender roles.
Ms. Darama, a religious Muslim who wears a gold satin head scarf, said she was the only one among her neighbors willing to testify: The police and local religious officials are trying to protect the killer because they think homosexuality is a sin,
she said. But in Islam killing is an even bigger sin, and no one but Allah has the right to decide between life and death. Ahmet was a nice, gentle boy and he didn't deserve to die.
The Tamil film Renigunta which was to be releases on Nov 27 has been refused a censor certificate by the Regional Censor Board in Chennai for showing violent and gruesome scenes enacted by children in graphic detail.
The film as per sources in the industry has now been referred to the Revising Committee in Mumbai. The subject of Renigunta shows children turning into contract killers.
The film is directed by Panneerselvam and produced by Mahendra Kumar Jain.
American Idol star Adam Lambert's performance at Sunday's American Music Awards has prompted more than 1,500 complaints by viewers.
During the closing act, the openly gay singer simulated sex on stage with a back-up dancer and kissed a male musician on the mouth.
Lambert told US network CNN that the kiss was in the moment .
ABC said the number of complaints was moderate .
Lambert, who performed his debut single For Your Entertainment , said that if people had been upset by his performance that it is a form of discrimination and it's too bad . He added: I had fun, my dancers had fun, the audience that was
in the Nokia [Theatre] had fun. Anybody else who was watching it and enjoying it, thank you for being entertained.
The Parents Television Council (PTC), a media pressure group which campaigns against indecent content on US television, posted a statement on its website calling the show tasteless and vulgar . President Timothy Winter said members
were outraged . He added: They just can't believe the nature of the content, the explicit nature, and how much graphic content there was.
The X Factor is a popular talent show contest broadcast weekly from late summer until Christmas. A panel of four judges and viewers' votes decide which act wins the prize of a recording contract. The early stages of the series are pre-recorded with the
final stages broadcast live.
During the first live programme, broadcast on Saturday 10 October 2009 from 20:00, the contestant Danyl Johnson ( Danyl ) performed part of the song And I'm telling you I'm not going which was originally composed as a female lead vocal for
the musical Dreamgirls.
The introduction to Danyl's performance included a set of video-taped interviews with Danyl, the judges and one member of the behind the scenes team which supports the performers. These interviews made clear that Danyl was going to perform a song
originally written for a woman
In her critique of Danyl's performance, X-Factor judge Dannii Minogue made the following remarks: Danyl, a fantastic performance, a true X Factor performance turning a girl's song into a guy's song but, if we're to believe everything we read in the
papers, maybe you didn't need to change the gender reference in it?
In response to this another judge, Simon Cowell (the mentor of Danyl), said: What? What did you say? Dannii Minogue then turned to Simon Cowell and repeated what she had just said: I said if we're to believe everything we read in the
papers then he didn't need to change the gender reference in it .
Turning to the audience seated behind her she said: No? Don't believe it? Simon Cowell did not respond immediately to Dannii Minogue's remarks. Instead, Cheryl Cole gave Danyl her critique of his performance after which Simon Cowell then said: I think I'm missing something here? I think I just heard one of the best performances I ever heard in my life…
(turning to Dannii and pointing a pen at her) you can forget playing any of those games with him, I'm not having that, this guy deserves a break. He sung his heart out, give him some credit.
During the following evening's Sunday Results programme, the judges were provided with the opportunity to comment on the previous night's events. Dannii Minogue and Simon Cowell said the following: I just want to say sorry to anyone that I may
have offended last night with my comments. They were only said with humour and Danyl and I had been joking about it before the show…he definitely was not upset by my comments and I just wanted to let everyone know .
Simon Cowell: …I've got to say, I probably over-reacted a bit in the moment. You get very, very protective about your artists. I can say this on behalf of Dannii, she is the last person in the world who would ever do anything offensive like that,
seriously…I spoke to Danyl afterwards, he took it in the spirit, it was fun, there was no offence intended and I think back to the show, it's over.
In total Ofcom received 3,964 complaints about the Saturday night broadcast. In summary, the majority of the complainants were primarily concerned that the remarks made by Dannii Minogue to Danyl were malicious and homophobic and based on newspaper
reports about Danyl's sexuality. Others were concerned that Danyl was publicly embarrassed and humiliated on television. Finally some complainants expressed concerns about the fact that Dannii Minogue seemed to make a reference to a contestant's
sexuality in a family programme broadcast before the watershed.
Ofcom considered Rule 2.3 of the Code: 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…humiliation,
distress…violation of human dignity.
Ofcom Decision: Not in Breach
Ofcom noted that the complaints about Dannii Minogue's remarks on this edition of The X Factor fell into three categories: some complainants were offended by what they said was the homophobic nature of Dannii Minogue's comments; some viewers were
offended on behalf of Danyl; and others were concerned that the subject of Danyl's sexuality was referred to at all on a programme like The X Factor.
Remarks allegedly homophobic and malicious
In considering these complaints under Rule 2.3, Ofcom considered whether in its view any potential offence caused by the broadcast of the remarks was justified by the context.
The X Factor is a competition in which performers voluntarily submit themselves to a critique each week by a panel of judges. This format is well established and often exposes contestants to criticism by the judges, sometimes accompanied by the
audience's response. Ofcom also notes that when participating in the finals of the programme contestants voluntarily share to some extent certain aspects of their life stories with viewers. In Ofcom's view, it was not outside the established nature of
the programme for an X Factor judge to make such a comment as Dannii Minogue's, especially in circumstances where the performer had placed information about his sexuality in the public domain.
In Ofcom's view Dannii Minogue's remark queried whether there was any need for him, as someone who had openly discussed his sexuality, to change the lyrics to the song.
Ofcom did not discern a pejorative or homophobic intent behind her comment. Ofcom did not therefore consider that the degree of offence likely to be caused by the broadcast of the remarks was sufficient to bring into question compliance with the Code.
Viewers offence on behalf of Danyl.
A number of viewers were concerned that the remarks made by Dannii Minogue caused Danyl public embarrassment and humiliation and were unfair to him.
In effect these complaints appeared to have been made on behalf of Danyl. While Ofcom's Code contains rules to protect people participating in programmes from unfair treatment and breaches of privacy (see Sections 7 and 8 of the Code), such complaints
can only be brought by the person affected , i.e. the person or organisation alleged to have been treated unfairly or to have had their privacy infringed. In this case, because Danyl, or someone acting on his behalf, has not made a complaint to
Ofcom, it has no grounds to consider the complaints in relation to Sections 7 and/or 8 of the Code.
However, Rule 2.3 of the Code envisages that offence can be caused to members of the public by the broadcast of humiliating and/or distressing material (or material which violates human dignity), which may arise from the alleged unfairness to, or
infringement of the privacy of, others. Such matters relating to the alleged unfairness to, or infringement of privacy of a third party, can therefore, in some circumstances be considered under Section 2 of the Code without a complaint from the person
involved as required under Section 7 or 8.
In considering Rule 2.3, Ofcom regarded the confirmation by Channel that the remarks by Dannii Minogue were not in any way pre-planned and were completely unscripted, as significant. Any evidence that there had been a concerted attempt by the programme
makers to raise the issue of Danyl's sexuality on the live programme would have concerned Ofcom. It would have revealed a failure to consider the potential offence to viewers that such a discussion could cause. In the event, once the remarks were made,
Ofcom found that Channel, the broadcaster and the programme makers were immediately alert to the potentially offensive nature of the material and took steps to limit the offence.
Further, it is the case that The X Factor is a well established programme, watched by millions of people. Contestants, particularly those who perform well and reach the final stages, become well known overnight. Details of their performances and
personalities are analysed both on television and online, in chatrooms and webforums. Contestants can expect to undergo a degree of personal scrutiny which will become increasingly intense the further they progress in the competition.
In this case however Ofcom accepts that, although not obvious to every viewer, details of Danyl's sexuality were sufficiently in the public domain before the remarks were made by Dannii Minogue to justify her references by context. Taking these factors
into account, in the particular circumstances and context of this edition of The X Factor, the comments by Dannii Minogue were justified.
Reference to Danyl's sexuality
Ofcom considered that the remark by Dannii Minogue referred to Danyl Johnson's sexuality only indirectly. In Ofcom's view this reference was not likely to cause widespread offence, be understood by any young children who were watching, or shock viewers
who came across this material unawares.
Xtra.com is reporting that Canada Border Services Agency customs officers have seized three gay-themed films en route to Ottawa's three-day Inside Out gay film festival, which ends on Nov. 22.
No explanation was given for the seizure — which, of course, is exactly what you'd expect to happen in a true democracy. The films are supposed to remain in custody until they're watched in full by some border censor or other.
The three films in question are Adrian Shergold's made-for-TV Clapham Junction , which follows a group of gay men in Clapham, South London, and which has some nudity; Shamim Sarif's I Can't Think Straight , a Middle East-set lesbian love
story starring Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth; and Ella Lemhagen's PG-rated Patrik Age. 1.5 , the story of a gay couple who mistakenly end up adopting a teen thug. All three films have already been screened elsewhere in Canada. All three are Here!
releases, a US-based distributor of gay-themed movies.
In the past, Canadian border officials have been accused of harassing gays, and of arbitrarily confiscating gay literature and movies. Despite the country's reputation of being more liberal than its southern neighbor, its border cops, obsessed
with obscenity, are known as anything but — especially when it comes to homosexuality. In 2000, the Vancouver-based bookstore Little Sister's sued the CBSA, taking the matter all the way to Canada's Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the bookstore.
Clearly, the ruling hasn't prevented the agency from going after other gay-oriented venues.
The British Museum, that prestigious bastion of archaeology and things historical, is to devote a day next month promoting perversion to school children.
On 19th November, the Museum, home to such famous artifacts as the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles, is hosting a whole day programme to advance next February's LGBT History month .
The LGBT History Month website says smugly: The year 2010 will bring us The Equality Act with its greater legislative demands of schools and all public institutions thereby increasing the relevance of LGBT History Month.
According to the website, the day will begin with a morning session in which local school pupils will learn about objects in the Museum with relevant LGBT themes .
The afternoon session is called Exploring Best Practice (or worst, depending on one's point of view). It is for teachers, youth workers and other practitioners and will provide inspiration and practical suggestions as to how your school,
educational institution, pupils, students and service users can share in LGBT History Month . We are told that 12 practioners (sic) of the primary, secondary, and university sectors as well as members of a youth group, a singer who works in
schools, and a Connexions worker will be at hand , who come from all over the country, both urban and rural .
Next, a Teachers surgery from 5 - 6pm will offer a relaxed and informal session for teachers who want to begin LGBT celebrations in their school to come and discuss with teachers who have already had successful results. The panel will consist
of representatives from primary and secondary schools who have tried and tested ideas to help kick start your celebrations for February 2010.
The day will conclude with a Formal pre-launch from 6.15 - 9pm. Highlighting art, history and culture, the evening will be an opportunity for networking, and to hear from prominent speakers including Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Equalities and
Human Rights Commission, Rt. Hon. Ben Bradshaw MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, Michael Cashman MEP and Cllr Keith Moffit, Leader of Camden Council.
Interestingly, Trevor Phillips is on record for his concern that Muslims should be able, even under equalities legislation, to express themselves on the matter of homosexuality. We shall be looking for Phillips to spell that out to the gays and to
extend those provisions to Christians, Jews and indeed anyone who cannot see how sodomy benefits a nation.
We are urging Christians to apply for tickets to any of the events. Make your protest felt inside the event, and when you are thrown out, join us in witnessing and leafleting outside!
With leaflets; outside the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG from 9am to 9pm. Whatever hours you can give to the Lord's work on this day will be valuable time spent. Please let us know when you expect to be there.
Pray that our witness will convict someone of sin and the grace of God, that he or she will turn to Jesus Christ and be saved. Pray that many parents will join this campaign.
The Black Pink Triangle Association in Izmir, Turkey, has become the latest Turkish GLBT organization to face a closure threat from the government.
The Izmir governor's office filed suit against the group, calling it illegal, immoral and anti-family. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 19, 2010.
The prosecutor's demand for closure of our association is clearly a violation of civil rights, the group said in a statement. Establishing an organization is a constitutional right and they want to take that right from us.
A PE teacher whose naked pictures turned up on gay porn sites has resigned from his job.
Sam Handley had been suspended from his job at Harvey Grammar School in Folkstone in Kent since the story first hit the media (and images were circulated on the internet) last month. Handley has now resigned prior to an investigation into his conduct.
In a statement released to local media, the school said:
The school fully accepts Mr Handley's assurances that the events in question took place prior to him being offered and taking employment at the school, and that he has not engaged in anything similar while employed at the school.
On this latest South Park episode, called The F-Word, the kids decide that they will change the meaning of the word fag so that it will be used as a slur against burly, inconsiderate motorcyclists who ride loud Harley-Davidson bikes
instead of against gay people.
The children's casual and frequent use of the word, which was broadcast unbleeped, offends adults and several gay characters on the show. But after the town learns the etymology of the word faggot (which began use as a derisive term for old women)
and gains the approval of a dictionary official, their new meaning for the word is accepted.
But the episode did not sit easy with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, an advocacy group that monitors issues of gender identity and sexual orientation in the media. In a news release issued on Thursday night, the group asks for Comedy
Central and the South Park staff to apologize for what it calls a slur-filled episode.
In a statement, GLAAD officials said they recognized that the episode was attempting to use edgy humor to provide commentary on current issues. They added: Yet despite what the South Park writers may believe, the definition of the F-word
remains one that is harmful and derogatory to the LGBT community.
The statement says that the epithet remains a hateful slur that is often part of the harassment, bullying and violence that gay people, and gay youth in particular, experience on a daily basis in this country. It is an epithet that has real
consequences for real people's lives.
After witnessing a gay pride march, 'committed' Christian Pauline Howe wrote to the council to complain that the event had been allowed to go ahead.
But instead of a simple acknowledgement, she received a letter warning her she might be guilty of a hate crime and that the matter had been passed to police.
Two officers later turned up at the frightened woman's home and lectured her about her choice of words before telling her she would not be prosecuted.
Howe, 67, whose husband Peter is understood to be a Baptist minister, spoke of her shock at the visit and accused police of wasting resources on her case rather than fighting crime: I've never been in any kind of trouble before so I was
stunned to have two police officers knocking at my door. Their presence in my home made me feel threatened. It was a very unpleasant experience. The officers told me that my letter was thought to be an intention of hate but I was expressing views
as a Christian.
Howe's case has been taken up by the Christian Institute, which is looking into potential breaches of freedom of speech and religious rights under the Human Rights Act, either by Norwich City Council or Norfolk Police.
And homosexual equality pressure group Stonewall has branded the authorities' response disproportionate .
Her letter to the council described the gay pride march as a public display of indecency that was offensive to God . She wrote: It is shameful that this small but vociferous lobby should be allowed such a display unwarranted by
the minimal number of homosexuals.
The letter went on to describe homosexuals as sodomites , said homosexuality had contributed to the downfall of every empire and added that gay sex was a major cause of sexually transmitted infections .
She received a response from the council's deputy chief executive, Bridget Buttinger, who said it was the local authority's duty... to eliminate discrimination of all kinds . The content of your letter has been assessed as potentially
being hate related because of the views you expressed towards people of a certain sexual orientation. Your details and details of the contents of your letter have been recorded as such and passed to the police.
Plans to transform a Gloucester hotel into a sex club are to go ahead - despite having had planning
permission denied last month.
The proposals will see the New County Hotel in Southgate Street become Club Mystique.
The club will offer both gay nights and swingers' nights, and will include themed playrooms on the first floor. The ground floor of the hotel will become a restaurant specialising in vegetarian food.
Planning permission for the project was denied controversially at Gloucester City Council's planning committee last month. Councillors voted against the plans, claiming the hotel was not suitable for a city centre location.
However, the company behind the plans has taken legal advice on the matter, and say they are now pressing ahead with the transformation. A spokesman for Mystique's said; We have taken legal advice, and as it turns out, we did not require any
planning consent for change of use and it was a complete waste of time causing unnecessary delays.
Councillor Mary Smith (Labour), had slammed the decision to deny planning permission to the club, saying she felt the committee had voted on moral grounds rather than on planning grounds. She said: If that is the law, fine, we will keep a close
eye on the hotel and I am sure it will not prove as problematical as some have suggested it will be.
A Ugandan MP has proposed creating an offence of aggravated homosexuality to be punishable by death.
Ruling party MP David Bahati wants the death penalty for those having gay sex with disabled people, under-18s or when the accused is HIV-positive.
Homosexual acts are already illegal, but the Anti-Homosexuality Bill proposes new offences and urges the toughening of existing penalties.
Gay activists have long alleged persecution in Uganda and existing laws already allow large fines and life imprisonment for some homosexual acts.
Members of parliament are overwhelmingly supporting this bill because homosexuality is illegal John Otekat Emile Independent MP Bahati's bill proposes widening the definition of homosexual acts and wants to fine or imprison anyone found to be
promoting homosexuality. The bill states that its provisions are intended to protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex .
John Otekat Emile, an independent MP, said he believed the bill had a 99% chance of being passed. Members of parliament are overwhelmingly supporting this bill because homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and we have that clearly in the
penal code, he told the BBC.
Any person in authority aware of an offence under the new law who did not report it to the authorities could face three years' imprisonment, including anyone who exercises religious, political, economic or social authority . So a
pastor who found out that someone in his congregation or community was gay or lesbian would be required to betray that person to possible imprisonment or death, or risk his own freedom. The bill would not only destroy LGBT people but also
undermine others' integrity and humanity.
The law would apply not only within Uganda but also to Ugandans abroad. Some commentators believe it is being used to divert attention from ongoing social problems and intensify repression in the run-up to the next elections.
Dannii Minogue has apologised for a quip about a finalist's sexuality live on X Factor as fans called for her to be fired.
The judge sparked 'outrage' with a comment about contestant Danyl Johnson. The teacher had finished a version of Whitney Houston's I Am Telling You when Dannii referred to reports that Danyl is bisexual.
Talking about the lyrics, she said: No need to change the gender references, if we're to believe everything we read in the press.
The comment on Saturday's show 'stunned' Johnson and 'incensed' Simon Cowell.
Thousands of fans logged on to the X Factor forum to vent their 'anger' while a survey showed more than 80% of fans wanted her kicked off the show.
One fan said: Forget the Strictly row, Dannii is the one that needs to be sacked. She was live on air and set an extremely awful example to our children.
Many said they had complained to media watchdog Ofcom.
Dannii said on her Twitter blog she meant no offence and said she was happy to apologise publicly. In a statement, she said: I want to clear up exactly what happened on Saturday night's X Factor show and post my sincere apologies to
anyone who took offence. It was meant to be a humorous moment about the fact he had an opportunity to have fun with his song. An openly bi-sexual guy singing a song that is lyrically a girl's song. Danyl and I were joking about the very same thing
in rehearsals on Friday, so it carried on to the show. I'd like to apologise to anyone that was offended by my comments, it was never my intention.
Danyl said he was not offended: We're completely cool about it and chatted after the show. I wasn't upse t.
The TV censor Ofcom has now received almost 3,885 complaints from members of the public about The X Factor judge Dannii Minogue's comment about contestant Danyl Johnson's sexuality on Saturday night.
Johnson changed the lyrics of Jennifer Hudson's song I'm Telling You , in which the lyrics refer to a male, so that the song from the point of view of a man singing to a woman. Minogue subsequently made a joke with Johnson, who has
been the subject of tabloid stories suggesting he is bisexual, saying that there was no need to switch the gender reference in that song .
The regulator has not yet decided whether it will launch a formal investigation into whether Minogue's comment represented a breach of its broadcasting code.
A long-debated bill to broaden US federal hate-crime law to cover violence against gays has been approved by the Democratic-controlled
House in what would be the first major expansion of the law in more than 40 years.
The measure, which is expected to go before the Senate within days, had faced a veto threat from President George W. Bush, but enjoys President Obama's support.
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said: As the president said back in April, the hate-crimes bill takes on an important civil rights issue to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance, while also protecting our freedom of
speech and association, he said.
The measure passed by a vote of 281 to 146.
The hate-crime legislation would expand the law to cover acts of violence motivated by a victim's sexual orientation, gender, disability or gender identity. Existing federal law defines hate crimes as those motivated by bias based on religion,
race, national origin or color.
The measure also would give federal authorities more leeway to help state and local law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting hate crimes. It also makes grants available to states and communities to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles
and to train law enforcement officers in investigating, prosecuting and preventing hate crimes.
The bill also creates a new federal crime for attacking members of the military because of their service.
A number of Republicans assailed the measure as thought crimes legislation, contending that it could lead to the prosecution of a pastor delivering sermons against homosexuality if one of his church members committed a hate crime. They have
hinted at a constitutional challenge.
Congress should protect all Americans equally and not provide special protections to a few politically favored groups, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said in a statement. It violates the principle of equal
justice under the law and also threatens to infringe on the free speech rights of the American people.
The bill's supporters, however, say that they added language to the measure to protect freedom of religious expression.
The weekly independent newspaper, Al Balagh Al Gadid , has been banned after reporting that three prominent Egyptian actors were
caught in a prostitution network for homosexuals.
In a story published last week, the paper reported that the actors were questioned by police for being part of a homosexuals' network, which was allegedly discovered last month at the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel in Cairo.
While police sources denied the story, the newspaper said the actors were investigated by authorities before they bribed officers and the hotel management to disregard the whole incident and keep it quiet. The actors were outraged by the report,
saying the newspaper's story was groundless. They filed lawsuits against the publication's chief editor, executive chief editor and one of its reporters.
In a statement, the Egyptian Higher Council for Journalism said it decided to ban the broadsheet after considering the reports forwarded to the general prosecutor by the actors, who stressed that Al Balagh Al Gadid was aiming to damage their
Most public figures in Egypt want to avoid being connected to homosexuality, which could damage their popularity among Muslim fans.
Turkey's two largest gay and lesbian Internet communities, hadigayri.com and gabile.com, have been shut down by the Telecommunication Directorate, or TI.B.
The Web sites have more than 200,000 members combined. According to its administrators and members, the sites do not contain any pornographic or criminal content. The directorate blocked the sites without providing any information to the owners or
issuing a demand to take down certain content, site mangers said, calling the action unlawful and arbitrary.
The judiciary previously refused the demand to close down Lambda I.stanbul and Kaos GL, the city's two main gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organizations. Site managers said the new decision came after previous attempts to close down the
online networks of members of these organizations.
Dutch religious schools will be able to continue refusing to employ homosexual teachers, despite home affairs ministry plans to amend
The government is to scrap a clause which bans discrimination against people simply on the grounds of sex, race, sexual orientation or nationality because it is confusing , home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst told MPs.
And schools will still be able to refuse to employ gay teachers who practise homosexuality because it conflicts with their religious beliefs.
Gay rights groups said they are very disappointed at the decision. There is a real chance that certain schools will feel their anti-gay stand is now legitimate, Wouter Neerings, of the COC lobby group told Nos tv.
A 14-year-old boy and a 43-year-old man have had their convictions for shouting homophobic abuse at former Portsmouth and England
defender Sol Campbell overturned.
Ian Trow and the 14-year-old, who cannot be named, were found guilty of shouting abuse at the player during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth at Fratton Park on 28 September last year.
Trow was fined £500 and banned from attending football matches for three years. The teenage boy was also banned from football matches for three years, and fined £400 costs with an additional £15 to go to a victim surcharge fund.
But the convictions have been overturned after the pair launched a successful appeal.
The appeal judge said it was not possible to determine whether Trow or the teenager were personally responsible for shouting abusive words, according to the Milton Keynes Citizen.
Judge Richard Price said: We can hear the crowd, we can hear the words 'gay boy'. We can't be sure those words came from Mr Trow's mouth. We can't be sure those words came from the boy's mouth.
He overturned the convictions and quashed both sentences.