An Open Letter to Robert Gates: The Boy Scouts Need to Accept Gay Adults

The fight against homophobia continues……..

Related:

First openly gay Eagle Scout’s future unclear

With a policy that bans gay adults, Pascal Tessier’s future with the Boy Scouts is anything but certain as he turns 18.

msnbc originals (Aug/05/14)

Exclusive video: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/first-openly-gay-eagle-scout-ages-out-of-boy-scouts-315433539681?cid=sm_m_main_1_20140806_29239386

Gay Eagle Scout Shares His Story

Former Eagle Scout Says New Gay Policy Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Scouts For Equality: Eagle Scout With Lesbian Parents Pushes Boy Scouts To Drop Ban on Gay Members

 

 

Scouts for Equality

Scouts for Equality

Goaty’s News items about Gay Scouts

TIME

I was just 4 years old when I went on my first camping trip with my older brother and his Cub Scouts pack. After that, I was hooked.

Scouting has been a constant part of my life since then. The Boy Scouts taught me everything from how to survive in the woods to the morals and values that shaped the person I am today. For that, and for the good times and friends I made through Scouting, I will always be grateful.

But today I have to say “goodbye.”

Today is my 18th birthday, a milestone on my path to becoming an adult and the day I am no longer eligible to be a Boy Scout because I am gay. Despite the Boy Scouts’ historic decision last year to open its ranks to gay youth, the Scouts still ban gay adults. And as of today, that means me.

In his…

View original post 377 more words

Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni signs anti-gay bill that toughens strict legislation against homosexuals – 240214 1325z

A Kenyan gay man wears a mask to preserve his anonymity as he protests against anti-gay moves in Uganda outside the Uganda High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya on 10 February The new law makes it a crime not to report gay people and bans the promotion of homosexuality

“Uganda’s president has signed into law a bill toughening penalties for gay people and criminalising those who do not report them.

A government spokesman said President Yoweri Museveni wanted to assert Uganda’s “independence in the face of Western pressure”.

US President Barack Obama has cautioned the bill would be a backward step.

Mr Museveni had previously agreed to put the bill on hold pending US scientific advice.

Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda.

In December a gay rights campaigner spoke of her fears about the legislation

The new law punishes first-time offenders with 14 years in jail, and allows life imprisonment as the penalty for acts of “aggravated homosexuality”.

Homosexuality is just bad behaviour, that should not be allowed in our society – MP David Bahati

It also makes it a crime not to report gay people – in effect making it impossible to live as openly gay.

It criminalises the “promotion” and even the mere “recognition” of homosexual relations “through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any other non-governmental organisation inside or outside the country”.

Lesbians are covered by the bill for the first time.

Gay activists say they will challenge the new laws in court.

The bill originally proposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts, but that was later removed amid international criticism.

‘Very scared’

According to the Associated Press news agency, government officials clapped after Mr Museveni signed the bill at a press conference at State House.

Yoweri Musveni - 30 January 2014 President Museveni had been apprehensive about signing the bill, but he could not convince his party otherwise

The BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga in Uganda says it is rare for the president to assent to bills so publicly.

But the anti-gay bill has become so controversial that the media were invited to witness its signing, she says.

I didn’t even go to work today [Monday]. I’m locked up in the house

Ugandan gay rights activist

Earlier government spokesman spokesman Ofwono Opondo told Reuters news agency Mr Museveni wanted “to demonstrate Uganda’s independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation”.

The sponsor of the bill, MP David Bahati, insisted homosexuality was a “behaviour that can be learned and can be unlearned”.

“Homosexuality is just bad behaviour, that should not be allowed in our society,” he told the BBC’s Newsday programme.

But a gay rights activist in Uganda told the programme that he was “very scared” about the new bill.

“I didn’t even go to work today [Monday]. I’m locked up in the house.

“And I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I’m talking to all my activists on the phone. And it’s the same, they are all locked up in their houses. They can’t move out. They are watching their back to see what happens.”

Our correspondent says although Mr Museveni had been apprehensive about signing the bill, he could not convince his party, religious groups and many of his citizens that it was not needed.

The signing of the bill is an apparent U-turn from a recent pledge to hold off, pending advice from the US.

In a statement, Mr Museveni had said: “I… encourage the US government to help us by working with our scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual.

“When that is proved, we can review this legislation.”

President Obama described it as “more than an affront, and a danger to, Uganda’s gay community. It will be a step backwards for all Ugandans.”

He warned it could “complicate” Washington’s relations with Uganda, which receives a reported $400m (Ł240m) in annual aid from the US.

In South Africa, former archbishop Desmond Tutu said he was disheartened by President Museveni’s apparent change of stance.” – BBC News

Credit all images: BBC News

Map showing gay rights in Africa

 

Related Stories

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Kyrgyzstan: Police abuse & torture gay & bisexual men says HRW – 020214 2243z

Kyrgyzstan: Police Abuse & Extortion of Gay Men
Threats, Detention, Beatings, Sexual Attacks
January 29, 2014

“(Bishkek) Police in Kyrgyzstan have extorted, threatened, arbitrarily detained, beaten, and sexually abused gay and bisexual men, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Although consensual sex between men was decriminalized in Kyrgyzstan in 1998, police target gay and bisexual men for violence and extortion, Human Rights Watch found.

 

The 65-page report, They Told Us We Deserved This: Police Violence against Gay and Bisexual Men in Kyrgyzstan, found that gay and bisexual men have been subjected to a range of abuses at the hands of police in Kyrgyzstan, including physical, sexual, and psychological violence; arbitrary detention; and extortion under the threat of violence or of exposing victims sexual orientation to friends and family. The report is based on detailed interviews with 40 gay and bisexual men in four regions of Kyrgyzstan. The government should condemn and thoroughly investigate reports of abuse and establish a confidential complaint mechanism for all cases of abuse by police officers.

Gay and bisexual men in Kyrgyzstan already live in fear due to widespread homophobic attitudes, and the police are making a nightmarish situation even worse, said Anna Kirey, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. Kyrgyzstan authorities at the very top levels need to call a halt to this police abuse and make sure that gay and bisexual men have the protection they need.

Violence, blackmail, and extortion by police, and a lack of accountability for these crimes are all too common in Kyrgyzstan. But those who belong to minority groups are particularly vulnerable. Gay and bisexual men are easy targets for abuse because of the populations deep social conservatism.

Kyrgyzstan police target gay and bisexual men in parks, gay clubs, hotel rooms, and on dating websites. Human Rights Watch documented cases of severe physical violence against gay and bisexual men including punching, kicking, and beating with gun butts, batons, empty beer bottles, or other objects. Several gay men also reported sexual violence by police officers including rape, group rape, and attempts to put a stick, a hammer, or an electric shock device in the persons anus, as well as gratuitous touching during a search, or being forced to undress in front of police.

Fathullo F. (not his real name), 32, told Human Rights Watch that in May 2012 he went to what he thought was a date with another man. When he arrived at the meeting place, police officers grabbed and handcuffed him. They took him to a police station, where they beat him to force him to write a confession and to give them contact information for his employer and his family. He said the officers threatened to initiate a criminal sodomy case against him unless he gave them money and contact information of other gay men, and that he suspected they wanted to target these other men for extortion.

The officers told me that people like me do not deserve to be on face of the earth, Fathullo told Human Rights Watch. I asked them to let me sit down because I was tired. They said that I didnt deserve to use their chair and spat on me. They said that I didnt deserve to live, and threatened to destroy me if I didnt give them 10,000 soms [US$214].

In another case, Demetra D., 32, from Bishkek told Human Rights Watch that in four separate incidents between 2004 and 2011, police officers took him into custody and raped him, attempted to rape him, or allowed other detainees to rape him.

Only two of the 40 men Human Rights Watch interviewed had filed complaints with the police. Neither case led to anyone being held accountable for the abuse. The others said they did not file complaints for fear of retaliation or of having information about their sexual orientation sent to their families or employers. Human Rights Watch has not been able to find a single case in which a police officer has been held accountable for the arbitrary detention, extortion, torture, or ill-treatment of a gay or bisexual man.

The government of Kyrgyzstan has taken a number of measures to stop torture and ill-treatment in detention facilities, but have no mechanism to file complaints about police abuse for people who are not incarcerated. The government should establish an independent mechanism to which any victim of police abuse, including gay and bisexual men, can turn without fear of their privacy being violated.

Police officers in Kyrgyzstan know that they can beat, rape, and otherwise torment gay men and extort money from them without suffering any consequences, Kirey said. Nobody should live in fear because of whom they love. Kyrgyzstans authorities need to put a stop to police abuse of gay men.

Selected testimonies

It was the worst thing for me when they threatened to tell my family. I have brothers who are very religious. One word and this would be death [for me]. I wrote what the police told me to write. I was scared that they would tell my family. I wrote my name and address. I didnt know what to do. They let me go after I said that I could give them 3,000 soms (US$60). They threatened me and then let me go [get the money]. I had to lie to my mom to get this money. I went back to the station and gave the money to the police. I asked for my statement, and they handed it to me and insisted I tear it up in their presence. Isroil I. (not his real name), a victim of police abuse and extortion

The police said, Are you a faggot? Why do you come here? Then they pointed a gun at me and showed their IDs. One of them hit me in the temple and I fell on their car. They threw me in the car and drove around for some time. They said they would drown me in a canal if I didnt give them US$600. In the car they hit me in the head with the handle of the gun. Then took me to the police station, kicked me some more, and said that they would call my mom and tell her about the kinds of clubs I visit. Maksim Bratukhin, head of the Bishkek-based LGBT rights group Pathfinder, who said that several police officers detained and beat him, and threatened him with death after he left a gay nightclub in Bishkek in April 2008.” – HRW

What Kyrgyzstan should do
Condemn violence and extortion by the police of gay and bisexual men.
Hold to account police officers engaged in such abuses.
Ensure that all victims have access to an independent and confidential complaints mechanism.
What others should do
Make LGBT rights issues an integral part of bilateral and multilateral dialogues with the Kyrgyz government. Support LGBT rights and torture prevention through relevant assistance programs, including police reform and training.” – HRW

Russia: Winter Olympics 2014 – No gay people in Sochi says mayor – 270114 1430z

BBC

Sochi 2014: No gay people in city, says mayor

Sochi winter olympics

The mayor of Sochi, host of the Winter Olympics, has said there are no gay people in the city.

Anatoly Pakhomov said homosexuals were welcome at the Games – as long as they “respect Russian law” and “don’t impose their habits on others”.

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov said there were several gay bars in Sochi.

In June 2013, Russia passed a law banning the promotion of “non-traditional” sexuality to under-18s – widely seen as an attack on gay rights.

The controversial new law made providing information on homosexuality to under-18s a crime, punishable by a fine.

Critics say its loose interpretation effectively stops gay rights protests in Russia.

“As far as I know there are several gay clubs in Sochi… how do they survive? Why they are not bankrupt? ”

Boris Nemtsov Opposition leader

Anatoly Pakhomov, a member of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, told Panorama that gay people would be welcome at the Games.

“Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who respects the laws of the Russian Federation and doesn’t impose their habits on others”, he said.

But when asked whether gay people had to hide their sexuality in Sochi, the Mayor said: “No, we just say that it is your business, it’s your life. But it’s not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city.”

When challenged, the mayor admitted that he was not certain there were no gay people in Sochi: “I am not sure, but I don’t bloody know them.”

BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney visited a gay bar in Sochi the night before he interviewed the mayor.

Most people did not want to be filmed and those that did were cautious about what they said.

Drag queen Madame Zhu-Zha said there was a gay community in the city and in other areas of Russia.

“There are very many clubs for gay people in Moscow – in Sochi we have two gay clubs as well. In some places there’s serious prejudice against gay people. In other places it’s not as bad.”

The Sochi 2014 organising committee told BBC Panorama it was working hard to ensure the Games will be remembered for their diversity.

Boris Nemtsov, former Deputy Prime Minister and now a leader of the opposition, said the mayor’s claim was laughable.

“As far as I know there are several gay clubs in Sochi.

“How do they survive? Why they are not bankrupt?”

Last week, President Vladimir Putin said homosexuals would be welcome in Sochi for the Olympics but said, “just leave the children alone”.

“We don’t have a ban on non-traditional sexual relations,” he said. “We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and paedophilia.”

Panorama: Putin’s Games, BBC One, Monday 27 January at 20:30 GMT and then available in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.

(Video credit:  özgür demirt Published on Jan 27, 2014)

===========================

Russian PM Medvedev on gay rights

(Video credit: Impartial News Center Published on Jan 26, 2014)

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviews Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

‘Welcome’ but warned – Russia’s Putin cautions gay visitors to Sochi

(Video credit: euronews (in English) Published on Jan 18, 2014)

“Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has reiterated earlier statements that gay visitors are welcome at the Games.

At a meeting with a group of young Sochi volunteers, Putin said, “We are not banning anything. We are not rounding up anyone. We have no criminal punishment for such relations, unlike many other countries.”

The Russian President, however, was also keen to stress the country’s ban on promoting homosexuality amongst minors.

“So one can feel relaxed and at ease, but please leave children in peace,” Putin continued.” – Euronews

Putin on anti gay law – BBC News

(Video credit: TvProgramss 21 January 2014)

Should athetes boycott Sochi?

Team GB Refuses Sochi Boycott

(Video credit: TheNetFrancesco Published on Aug 9, 2013)

Stephen Fry: Gay solidarity needed at Russian winter Olympics

(Video credit:  The Telegraph)

Peter Tatchell on the petition to boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia

(Video credit: Kasia Madera Published on Aug 9, 2013)

Gay Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell talks about the petition to boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia because of new anti-gay laws.

This is the incident back in 2007 to which Peter Tatchell refers….

(Video credit: thx1138mindlock Uploaded on Feb 22, 2010 Moscow, 2007)

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell visciously punched in the face, kicked then arrested. Homophobic assailant walks free.

Richard Fairbrass (Bi-Sexual) punched in the face.

30 members of European Parliament also arrested.

Should the world boycott the Sochi Olympics in defense of gay rights?- Russia Today

(Video credit: Newsnation6 Published on Aug 9, 2013)

British actor Steven Fry has sparked a fierce debate, asking the International Olympic Committee to move the upcoming Winter Games from Sochi to Vancouver. He even compared Russia’s treatment of homosexuals to Nazi Germany. Was he right?

The subject of Fry’s ire is a controversial law passed in June, which forbids the “promotion of non-traditional relations among minors.” The terms “non-traditional” and “promotion” are open to wide interpretation, with many gay activists in Russia calling the law a potential blanket ban on any manifestations. They also say that police have idly stood by as attacks on homosexuals multiplied on the back of the new legislation.

While the first Olympic boycott dates back to 1936, when over 20 countries withdrew in protest against Nazism, the phenomenon reached its peak in the 1970s and 80s — when four Olympic Games in a row had absentees. The 1980 Moscow Games and the 1984 Los Angeles Games saw rival Socialist and Western blocks withdraw en-masse.

In recent weeks, the International Olympic Committee has negotiated with Russia’s Olympic organizers, saying that it received “assurances” that the law would be suspended for the duration of the Games. Russian officials have produced conflicting statements in response, and the situation remains uncertain.” – Russia Today

Gays face hatred attacks in Russia

(Video credit: CNN NEWS INTERNATIONAL)

The terrifying reality of life under Russia’s anti-gay laws

(Video credit: Journeyman Pictures)

Trial nearly over for opponent of Zambian anti-gay law

76 CRIMES

AIDS activist Paul Kasonkomona is scheduled to learn on Feb. 20 whether a judge will dismiss charges that were brought against him after he appeared on Zambian TV last April and said that the country should repeal its law against same-sex activity because the law hampers the fight against AIDS.

He was arrested immediately after that appearance on local Muvi TV, and was faced with the charge that his appeal for reform was a form of “soliciting for immoral purposes in a public place.”

Kasonkomona and other activists say that anti-gay laws lead to increased levels of HIV and AIDS by making LGBT people fearful of acknowledging their sexual orientation, even to a doctor.

Kasonkomona was arrested April 7 and released on bail on April 11.  Court proceedings against him have in in process since May. On Feb. 20, a judge in Lusaka Magistrates Court is scheduled to make a…

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Cameroon: Christmas attack on LGBT rights/AIDS office

76 CRIMES

Under threat, landlord tells LGBT-friendly AIDS fighters to leave

Three days before Christmas, anti-gay vandals destroyed the office of CAMEF, an organization that fights for human rights and against AIDS among LGBT people and sex workers in Limbe in coastal Cameroon.

Leaders of CAMEF (Cameroon Association for Empowerment Outreach Programs) said they were “still in shock’ after finding the office burglarized by anti-LGBT vandals who left behind threatening messages stating “Go away, pede [fag], go away” and “Another warning: Go away”:

Our office door was pushed through by the persons that have been threatening us with … hateful signs and messages. They broke the main door’s handle and pushed it through.

The computer of CAMEF’s secretary was thrown on the floor. A digital camera and the laptop computers of the executive director and the sexual health and prevention coordinator were stolen. Files and documents were strewn on the floor. Tables…

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Festive greetings from Goaty (Goaty’s News) – 251213 1542z

Greetings at this festive time….

File:Robin in the snow 3 (4250400943).jpg

(Photo: wikimedia/Uploaded by Magnus Manske) DON’T FORGET TO FEED THE BIRDS!

Taking this opportunity to wish my followers here on WordPress (174), on Facebook (121) and Twitter (827) a very happy festive holiday and a wonderful New Year.

Goaty’s News is non-commercial, makes no profit and exists only to provide a service.

Please note that due to a combination of off-line commitments and times of poor health I cannot always provide the service to you I would wish. However, at such times do remember that you can still view the RSS feeds at the left and right of the page.

Also, Goaty’s News on Twitter & Facebook is always more up to date than WordPress

I don’t say it often enough, but thank you so much for following, reblogging & retweeting Goaty’s News. I do hope it has been some help to you.

Goaty’s News can be contacted by email at:
goatysnews@yandex.com

Goaty

PS: Please remember all volunteers (RNLI Lifeboats, Coastguard, Mountain Rescue, Lowland Rescue, Search & Rescue and others) and the Emergency Services out in cold, often horrendous, weather whilst many of us enjoy the comforts of home. Also, do remember those who are homeless at this time.

Dozens out on bail after Iran raid on ‘homosexuals,’ ‘satanists’

76 CRIMES

A court in Iran has released “dozens of people” on bail after their arrest Oct. 8 on charges related to “homosexuality and satanism,” according to an LGBT rights organization in Iran.

Earlier “at least 17” arrests were reported in the incident, which occurred in Kermanshah, an Iranian village near the border with Iraq.

6Rang expressed deep concern about implications of the arrests for the safety of LGBT people in Iran:

6Rang is deeply worried about the well-being and fate of individuals in Iran who belong to the LGBT community. They are at high risk of long-term detention, psychological and physical torture, and death.

6Rang calls on the international community– including concerned citizens, world officials, and human rights activists and organizations– to help spread widespread awareness on LGBT-related issues in order to prevent the persecution and deaths of members of the LGBT community in Iran.

The news of the arrests…

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19 who are in prison for being gay, 41 more awaiting trial

76 CRIMES

(This is the latest update of a list that is often revised — again and again — as new information is received.)

Worldwide, at least 19 people are currently in prison for violating laws that punish those who are born gay, lesbian or bisexual. In addition, at least 41 other people are awaiting trial on charges related to  homosexuality.

The prison sentences that have been imposed range up to five years, at the lower end of punishments that are on the books in the 76-plus countries where homosexuality is currently illegal.

Listing 60 people is probably an extreme understatement of the number of people who are behind bars or awaiting trial on anti-homosexuality charges, but finding out about specific cases is difficult, especially in countries without a free press.

The lists below provide a narrow window into just one of many types of injustice affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender…

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Anti-gay threats, attacks disrupt AIDS fight in Sierra Leone

76 CRIMES

DEATH THREATS, ATTACK, AND THEN ESCAPE

Until they had to flee the country to save their lives, George Freeman, Denzil Kargbo and Ephraim Bernard Wilson worked to halt the spread of AIDS in Sierra Leone.

They worked for years to educate LGBT people in Sierra Leone about the dangers of HIV / AIDS, but they had to stop that work when newspapers published their pictures and labeled them as homosexuals.  Freeman was ambushed in his car by men on motorbikes who tried to kill him.

They fled to safety in Spain and still want to continue fighting AIDS in Sierra Leone. But they can only do that from Spain by consulting with colleagues who have not been outed by the press, and perhaps through video conferences.

This is their story.

Freeman, age 26; Kargbo, 25; and Wilson, 24, are officers of the non-profit organization Pride Equality, which was founded in…

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Russian Investigators Search Gay Activist’s Apartments

Russian (Translated by Google)

 

Поиск Следователи России гей-активист Николай Алексеев Туристические апартаменты

МОСКВА, 27 августа (РИА Новости) Следователи искали квартиры, принадлежащие выдающегося русского активиста ЛГБТ Николай Алексеев во вторник, против которого возбуждено уголовное дело было начато по его замечания Twitter решению старших законодателей.

Следователи Следственного комитета России посетил Алексеев по месту его жительства, чтобы провести обыск санкционирован судом,” неназванный представитель комитета сказал во вторник. Алексеева ранее сообщила о поиск с помощью Twitter.

Глава комитета детских вопросов в нижней палате России парламента, Елена Мизулина и ее первый заместитель Ольга Баталина ранее жаловались в офис генерального прокурора России о том, что Алексеев были размещены оскорбительные замечания о них на Twitter, в комментарии по поводу недавнего введения Россией озапрет на гей-пропаганды” для несовершеннолетних.

Мизулина рассказала газете Известия прокуроры просили возбудить уголовное дело по обвинению в “оскорблении представителя власти.” Это преступление наказывается штрафом в размере до 40 000 рублей (более $ 1200) или общественные работы.

Ее заместителем Баталина сказала, что она не считала она была обижайтесь, но стремится защитить всех законодателей от дальнейших оскорблений.

Президент России Владимир Путин подписал закон 30 июня законопроект, запрещающий пропаганду гомосексуализма к несовершеннолетним.

В соответствии с этим законом, продвижение однополые отношения к детям наказывается штрафом в размере от 4000 до 5000 рублей ($ 122 – $ 153) для физических лиц, от 40000 до 50000 рублей ($ 1,223-1,530) для должностных лиц и 800 тысяч до 1 млн рублей ($ 24 460 $ 30 570) для юридических лиц.

Споры вокруг установлены законом, особенно за рубежом, что вызвало призывы некоторых иностранных активистов к бойкоту зимней Олимпиады 2014 года, которая должна состояться в России город Сочи. “- РИА Новости

 

Peterson Ssendi

http://en.ria.ru

Nikolai Alexeyev
 

MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti) – Investigators have searched apartments belonging to prominent Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alexeyev Tuesday, against whom a criminal case has been launched over his Twitter remarks addressing senior lawmakers.

“Investigators from Russia’s Investigative Committee have visited Alekseyev at his place of residence to carry out a search sanctioned by a court,” an unnamed Committee representative said Tuesday.  Alekseyev had previously reported the search via Twitter.

 

The head of the children’s issues committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, Yelena Mizulina, and her first deputy Olga Batalina had previously complained to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office that Alexeyev had posted offensive remarks about them on Twitter, in comments about Russia’s recent introduction of a ban on “gay propaganda” to minors.

Mizulina told Izvestia newspaper prosecutors were requested to launch a criminal case on charges of “insulting…

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Germany: War crimes probe into 40 more Nazi Auschwitz guards – 280813 0950z

Photo: DPA

Probe into 40 more Nazi Auschwitz guards

   Published: 27 Aug 2013 15:20 CET

German investigators into Nazi war crimes will send the files of more than 40 former Auschwitz death camp personnel to state prosecutors from next month, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Most of the suspects are aged in their nineties and they live in across Germany including in the former communist East, chief investigator Kurt Schrimm told newspaper the Tageszeitung.

The list of alleged guards at the concentration and extermination camp in what was Nazi-occupied Poland initially contained 50 names, but some of them have since died.

“These accused have so far not been informed that they are now in the crosshairs of justice”, said Schrimm, senior prosecutor at the Central Office for Resolving National Socialist Crimes.

More than 6,000 SS personnel served at Auschwitz, where about 1.1 million Jews, Roma and Sinti and members of other persecuted groups died in gas chambers or of forced labour, sickness and starvation.

For over 60 years German courts only prosecuted Nazi war criminals if evidence showed they had personally committed atrocities, but since a 2011 landmark case all former camp guards can be tried.

In that year a Munich court sentenced John Demjanjuk to five years in prison for complicity in the extermination of more than 28,000 Jews at the Sobibor camp, where he had served as a guard.

The investigative office, set up in 1958, has carried out more than 7,000 probes but has no powers to charge suspects itself. Instead it sends case files to regional prosecutors who then decide whether to pursue suspects, who must also be judged fit to stand trial by the courts.

READ MORE: Nazi hunters offer cash in last push for justice bureaucracy

AFP/tsb

Related:

Holocaust News (Goaty’s News)

German Jew Who Tracked Down the Kommandant of Auschwitz

 

UK: Peter Tatchell to be guest of honour at first ever Totnes Gay Pride (Sat, Sept 14) – 090813 1940z

By , on Wednesday, July 24, 2013

“Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will be the guest of honour at the first ever Totnes Pride event, which will bring south Devon’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender community (LGBT) together with their friends and families for a full day and night of celebration in the town.

Devon-based LGBT organisation Proud2Be is laying on a whole host of events in the town on Saturday, September 14 in what will be the UK’s largest rural Pride event.

(Photo: crewmagazine.com) Peter Tatchell

The day kicks off at 11.30am at Totnes Civic Hall, where visitors can take part in a panel debate, workshops and talks from some leading LGBT figures from across the country, including Peter and Elly Barnes, who topped the Independent newspaper’s Pink List, the rundown of the 250 most influential people in the LGBT community.

Then the fun really kicks off at the spectacular Totnes Pride After Party from 8pm at the South Devon Arts Centre. A huge night of entertainment, dance and music features the UK’s top Burlesque group Kinky & Quirky, live music from Sound of the Sirens and Rebecca Maze, and top DJs.

Entry to the daytime events at Totnes Civic Hall is just £1 for adults, 50p for 11-18 year olds, and is free to those under 11s. Tickets to the Totnes Pride After Party are £12.50 and available from the South Devon Arts Box Office on 0844 888 0435 or online at www.southdevonarts.co.uk.

Mr Tatchell said Proud2Be’s founder Mat and Jon Price had created something really special.

“I am proud to support Proud2Be Totnes Pride 2013,” said Peter. “I’ll be there and I hope you will join me for a fabulous celebration. LGBT community makes an important, positive contribution to Totnes and Devon. Proud2Be Totnes Pride is the recognition that LGBT people are part of south Devon. We’re here, we’re queer and we love Totnes.

“There have long been LGBT Pride events in big cities like London and Bristol, but it is really important that Pride celebrations also happen in smaller towns and cities too. LGBT people are often invisible in more rural parts of the country. Their input into local communities is frequently overlooked.

“It is important to keep campaigning for LGBT acceptance and human rights in Devon and all across the UK. The battle for marriage equality is almost won but not quite. We are still campaigning for equal love rights. Our efforts are part of a worldwide movement for LGBT equality. We are part of an unstoppable global trend.”

Totnes-based Proud2Be was launched two years when gay identical twin brothers, Mat and Jon Price sat in front of their web cam and recorded a short video. In the video they explained how they are both proud to be gay.

“In truth we had been ashamed to be gay before that moment,” said Mat. “After years of messages from our school, church, the media and certain members of our family, that being gay was wrong, we had internalised those messages and started to believe them. When a friend asked us if we were proud to be gay we both said no. But that was the catalyst for our change in attitude and three years later the Proud2Be Project was born.

“Our mission is to encourage and support all lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans (LGBT) people to be proud of who they are.”

Since its launch, Proud2Be has grown hugely and now holds monthly get togethers and other events across Totnes. The organisation has also received the backing of some famous names among the LGBT community including Stephen Fry, and the twins also host there own radio show on local community station Soundart.

“Totnes Pride is going to be a wonderful day for Totnes and south Devon,” said Jon. “It will be a day when the LGBT community, as well as our friends and families, can celebrate and show everyone they’re proud of who they are. We’re delighted to have the support of so many people and organisations and just can’t wait for the day itself to come.

“We’ll have some great talks, debates and events for all ages during the day at the Civic Hall, and then we’ll really let our hair down with a huge party at the South Devon Arts Centre. It’s going to be spectacular. (from a press release) ” – peoplesrepublicofsouthdevon

VIDEO: Click if you’re glad to be gay – Stephen Fry backs Westcountry pride campaign

Exeter Express and Echo Monday, July 29, 2013

“Comedian Stephen Fry has backed a gay pride campaign based in Devon with a video message which has now gone viral.

The actor and author recorded a YouTube clip in support for the Totnes campaign Proud2Be LGBT, which has received 60,000 hits in two days.

  1. fry

    fry

He candidly tells the world how he really feels about being gay, encouraging anyone unsure of their sexuality to follow their hearts and their “glands”

“It seems funny to me to have to say that I’m proud to be gay but goodness I am…and I won’t ever apologise for being born the way I was and feeling the way I do,” he adds.

The campaign was launched two years when gay identical twin brothers, Mat and Jon Price sat in front of their web cam and recorded a short video explaining their pride. “In truth we had been ashamed to be gay before that moment,” said Mat.

“After years of messages from our school, church, the media and certain members of our family, that being gay was wrong, we had internalised those messages and started to believe them.

“When a friend asked us if we were proud to be gay we both said no. But that was the catalyst for our change in attitude and three years later the Proud2Be Project was born.” – thisisexeter.co.uk

“Proud2Be Project is set to launch it’s first rural pride event in Totnes, Devon for all local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their friends, family members and supporters.

The yearly event will be held at The Civic Centre on Saturday 14th September at 11.30am and will include a live panel debate, live music, food & drinks, workshops & stalls for local community organisations and the Devon & Cornwall Police.

Sgt. Ryan Doyle from the Devon Diverse Communities Team said: “Devon and Cornwall Police are proud to support Totnes Pride as part of our commitment to the LGB&T communities in the area. We would also like to congratulate Mat and Jon Price and the Totnes Pride team for organising the day and hope that this can be established as a successful annual event”

Founded and directed by identical twin brothers Mat and Jon Price, Proud2Be has already been put forward for a Princes Trust award and a National Diversity award.

The whole thing started as the gay brothers sat in front of their web cam and told the world they are proud to be gay.

Since then a number of high profile figures have come forward and recorded similar messages, including Peter Tatchell, Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans MP, Michael Cashman MEP and of course the wonderful Stephen Fry.

Through the project, Mat and Jon will not only host the yearly pride event and run the campaign but also facilitate social groups and residentials.

With a strong and positive vision driving the project the founders said: “As gay children growing up in a small rural village we both know how isolating it can feel to be LGBT identified and have little access to those of the same community. We felt it was time to bring Pride into rural areas where LGBT people are at most risk of feeling isolated and invisible”.

The Proud2Be Project invites everyone to attend. Whether LGB or T or their friend, family member or supporter.

The Proud2Be Project is looking for volunteers to help out on the day. To find out how to get involved and to learn more about Totnes Pride or other Proud2Be services head to http://proud2beproject.org/ or email info@proud2beproject.org” – mag.bent.com

WATCH #Proud2Be founders Mat & Jon Price talk about #TotnesPride and more on @BBCSpotlight (link)

‘Poor Must Learn to go Without’, Says err…Rupert Ponsonby, 7th Baron de Mauley

Scriptonite Daily

UPmeme

Conservative Environment Minister Lord De Mauley has today called on the poor to reconsider their buying habits and resist the temptation to spend more money on the latest electronic gadgets, clothes and food that they will not eat” in efforts to recapture the spirit of “make, do and mend”.  In a week that has echoed with unchecked privilege, this takes the biscuit.

Make, Do and Mend?

 UP2

The current Environment Minister, Rupert Ponsonby, 7th Baron De Mauley was educated at Eton, the fees for which are currently more than £30,000 a year (more than the average UK wage). He went on to marry the daughter of Lord Fanshawe of Richmond (former Tory MP and peer), Lucinda.  He is a hereditary peer and succeeded his uncle, the 6th Baron De Mauley.  He is the proud owner of myriad farmland and property in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. It…

View original post 1,624 more words

Russia: Neo-Nazi group allegedly torturing gay youths, using social network to find them – 030813 1340z

(Scroll down for Russian translation)

(Прокрутите вниз для русский перевод)

Russian neo-Nazis torture gay teenager they tricked into meeting them as part of online scam

  • Neo-Nazis appear to be filming themselves bullying and torturing gay men
  • Infamous former skin head believed to be behind the campaign
  • One 15-year-old boy is filmed being taunted by group of homophobic men

By Jaymi Mccann

|

“A Russian neo-Nazi group is allegedly torturing homosexual youths by using a social network to find them.

The campaigns, called Occupy Pedophilyaj and Ocuppy Gerontilyaj, have been launched by former skinhead Maxim Martsinkevich, according to an LGBT rights group.

The Spectrum Human Rights Alliance (SHRA) alleges that the group claims to identify and report paedophiles but instead use it to target teenager who reply to same-sex personal adverts.

Scroll down for video

This picture reportedly shows a Russian neo-Nazi group attacking a gay man who they found online

This Facebook picture reportedly shows a Russian neo-Nazi group that attacks gay teenage boys who they find online

 

This video appears to show masked youths accosting a nervous teenage boy, asking if he has come to meet 'Uncle Dima'

This video appears to show masked youths accosting a nervous teenage boy in Moscow, asking if he has come to meet ‘Uncle Dima’

Putin's Crackdown on LGBT Teens in Russia

The boy admits that he is there to meet a man for sex to the men gathered around him in the video

Adverts are posted on the Russian equivalent to Facebook, VK.com, reports The Huffington post.

The group allegedly agrees to meet the boy for a date, but then films him being bullied and tortured.

SHRA writes on their website: These self-proclaimed ‘crime fighters’ perform their actions under the broad day light, often outside and clearly visible to general public that indifferently passes by or even commend them.

Video recordings of bullying and tortures are freely distributed on the Internet in order to out LGBT teens to their respective schools, parents and friends. Many victims were driven to suicides, the rest are deeply traumatized.

Putin's Crackdown on LGBT Teens in Russia

Under duress, the 15-year-old tells them his personal details

It is believed that the homophobic group found the teenager through social network VK.com

It is believed that the homophobic group found the teenager through Russian social network VK.com by looking through the same-sex adverts

The LGBT group has pointed to a video on YouTube allegedly showing a group of masked youths interrogating a nervous looking 15-year-old in a housing estate.

During the video, according to atranslation by The Huffington Post, the group asks him if he is there to meet Uncle Dima.

The boy admits that he is there to have sex, he admits his sexual preferences and gives all of his details.

He tells the group who he is, where he is from, what school he goes to and his age.

At the end of the video, one member of the group urinates into a bottle and attempts to pour it over his head, and another kicks him. Then it cuts out.

Russian online newspaper Lenta met with some people who have joined the Occupy Pedofilyaj campaign earlier this month.

One member allegedly said: We do not like homosexuals. If it was up to me, I’d kill them but the government doesn’t allow that.

The boy apppeard to be interrogated while being pursued around a housing compound

The boy apppeard to be interrogated while being pursued around a housing compound

The group of men recorded the incident on camera as they bullied the gay teenager

The group of men recorded the incident on camera as they bullied the gay teenager

The threatening group of men appeared to surround the boy as they taunted him

The threatening group surrounded the boy as they taunted him and attempted to spray him with urine before the video cuts out

He then said that all gay men are paedophiles, adding that they should not be allowed in society.

Earlier this month Vladimir Putin signed into law the homosexual propaganda bill, making it illegal to share information with minors that may make encourage the idea that homosexual relationships are socially equivalent to a heterosexual couple.

Just last month a 23-year-old gay man was tortured to death in the Russian city of Volgograd. Continue reading

Russian LGBT group delighted, nearly overwhelmed by support

Russian (Translated by Google)

Русский (перевод Google)

Русская ЛГБТ-сеть почти завален объема писем и других сообщений от сторонников, которые хотят, чтобы помочь им блокировать новые запрет России на неопределенных “гей пропаганды”.

29 июля сети выдается этим заявлением, выражая свое восхищение, с просьбой Сторонники терпения, и настоятельно призывая дальнейших действий:

Мы продолжаем получать письма и вопросы от вас, который замечательно и показывает, насколько глубоко вы полны решимости, чтобы помочь нам и всей России ЛГБТ-сообщества в трудные времена. К сожалению, у нас много работы, чтобы сделать, и поэтому мы не можем ответить на каждый отдельно.
Войти в Стокгольме протеста против закона России в “гей-пропаганды. (Фото любезно предоставлено Facebook)

Войти в Стокгольме протеста против закона России в “гей-пропаганды. (Фото любезно предоставлено Facebook)

Большинство писем касаются способов, в которых отдельные лица или группы активных граждан могли бы помочь нам. Здесь перечислены некоторые примеры из-за рубежа, что делать – пожалуйста, сделать еще больше событий и предавать их гласности! Выезд Последние сообщения на другие здесь на нашем профиле, там регулярно публикуются новые инициативы, событий и фотографий.

Поцелуй-в в Аргентине, ‪ # unbesoporrusia ‬ в Twitter
Видео любви в Канаде, https://www.facebook.com/events/558164114220228/
Флешмобы и акции протеста перед посольствами России, например [Июн 1] в Стокгольме, https://www.facebook.com/events/562072913832152/ (см. фото выше и ниже).

Мы как организация, приветственные письма и видео поддержка направить ЛГБТ в России. Пожалуйста, если вы делаете видео, пожалуйста, попробуйте сделать перевод на русский язык субтитров – если это невозможно, то, пожалуйста, приложите текст на английском языке, так что мы могли бы перевести его. Письма могут быть отправлены в наш офис, и, конечно, письма приветствуются. К сожалению у нас нет ресурсов, чтобы перевести и отправить вперед очень короткие сообщения, так что предпочтительно либо написать больше личных сообщений или написать от имени вашей организации.

Вы также можете дать нам пожертвований. Подробнее банковский перевод, пожалуйста, напишите roosa@lgbtnet.ru.

Оказать давление на политиков, их требовать, чтобы связаться с их русскими коллегами и задают сложные вопросы! Если вы занимаетесь спортом, бегать за нашу свободу и сделать его большим и общественности. Все инициативы и идеи приветствуются – быть творческим! Как нам на Facebook, следовать за нами, распространили информацию о том, что происходит в России.

Спасибо – давайте оставаться на связи!
Стокгольмский протест против России закон “гей пропаганда. (Фото любезно предоставлено Facebook)

Многоязычная протеста у посольства России в Стокгольме стремится положить конец закона в России “гей пропаганда. (Фото любезно предоставлено Facebook)
Статьи по теме

Новый русский ЛГБТ бойкот Цель: Олимпиада спонсоров? (76crimes.com)
ЛГБТ-сети России не призывает не бойкота Олимпийских игр (metroweekly.com)
Международные новости | Латвийская ЛГБТ: не бойкотировать Злые модераторы в сети Водка (thejournalist.ie)
Бойкот против геев России: водка, может быть, слишком Олимпиады (76crimes.com)
Время бойкотировать Россию? (Aotearoawolfing.wordpress.com)
Топлесс целевой посольства России активисты (thelocal.se)
Россия обновление: 4 голландских граждан, арестованных за гей-пропаганды (76crimes.com)

76 CRIMES

The Russian LGBT Network is nearly overwhelmed with the volume of letters and other communications from supporters who want to help them block Russia’s new ban on ill-defined “gay propaganda.”  On July 29, the network issued this statement, expressing its delight, requesting supporters’ patience, and urging continued action:

We keep getting letters and questions from you, which is wonderful and shows how deeply you are committed to helping us and the whole Russian LGBT community in difficult times. Unfortunately, we have a lot of work to do and so we cannot answer to everyone separately.

Most of the letters concern the ways in which an individual person or a group of active citizens could help us. Here are listed some examples from abroad of what to do – please, make even more events and make them public! Check out the Recent Posts by Others here on our profile, there are…

View original post 266 more words

UK Sleepwalking into Fascism: Workhouses for Disabled, The #RacistVan, Racial Profiling

Scriptonite Daily

NB1 

This week has seen a plethora of actions by the UK government, which if adopted by any other country, any compassionate person would consider fascist. Government sponsored vehicles are roaming the streets telling people to dob in suspected illegal immigrants, the UK Border Agency are stopping mostly non-white commuters on the transport networks and requesting they display credentials to prove their right to be here, and disabled people are being carted off to modern day workhouses. Yet in spite of all this, many are still reluctant to face the gut wrenching reality that all is not well in blighty.

Godwin’s Law? Oh Give it Up

 NB2

No doubt someone is already preparing a comment accusing me of Godwin’s Law for making this comparison.  So I’ll take a moment to set out why I am making it, and why it does not conform to the term.

Godwin’s Law was intended…

View original post 2,530 more words

US: Another gay teen, Carlos Vigil, 17, commits suicide because of bullying – 190713 1800z

A gay New Mexico teen reportedly committed suicide after being subjected to intense bullying from his classmates.

“Seventeen-year-old Carlos Vigil posted a note to Twitter before he decided to take his own life. Segments of that note have been cited by the Latin Post, the Daily Mail and Queerty, among other media outlets.

Carlos Vigil

The New York Daily News reports that Vigil, who would have been a senior at Albuquerque’s Valley High School this fall, was taken off of life support at the University of New Mexico Hospital on July 16.

Meanwhile, Carlos’ mother Jacqueline Vigil told local news channel KRQE 13 that her son had been bullied since he was at least 8 years old.

He had this lunchbox, a smiley face lunchbox, and people thought it was the funniest lunchbox ever, and they made fun of him for it, Jacqueline is quoted as saying. They grabbed it on the school bus and just threw it on the floor and broke it. It’s just little things like that.

Carlos’ father Ray Vigil echoed those sentiments to NBC affiliate KOB-TV, noting, “We found out three years ago that he was going through this stuff and we’ve been trying to help him every day since. We realize he’s been going through it every day since he was in the third grade, that’s a long time for a child to hold that within himself.”

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or visit stopbullying.gov. You can also visit The Trevor Project or call them at 866-488-7386.” – huffingtonpost.com

A message his family posted on Twitter:

A message his family posted on Twitter earlier today

Carlos’ Obituary and memorial page: reflectionoflife

Other Reports

Father speaks out about son’s attempted suicide

Posted at: 07/15/2013 10:05 PM | Updated at: 07/15/2013 10:16 PM

By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4


Carlos Vigil

Reporter Notebook: I found it hard writing this story about Carlos Vigil. A friend of Carlos called me early Monday morning to tell me about what happened. Later in the afternoon, Carlos story had spread and the newsroom decided that I should cover what happened for our 10 p.m. newscast.

“Carlos brother and father spoke to us outside of UNM Hospital and in tearful interviews told us about the torment he had been going through.

“We found out three years ago that he was going through this stuff and we’ve been trying to help him every day since,” Carlos’ father, Ray Vigil, said. “We realize he’s been going through it every day since he was in the third grade, that’s a long time for a child to hold that within himself.”

Ray Vigil said his son had been teased for being gay, for having acne, for a having a lazy eye, and for being slightly overweight. Carlos had a difficult time dealing with the constant teasing.

Ironically, even though Carlos was dealing with his internal struggles, he always tried helping other bullying victims. His father said he had just returned from North Carolina where he was lobbying an anti-bullying bill in their state legislature. Carlos also counseled other teens and helped them cope with their bullying.

Carlos always wanted to help other people, but perhaps his father said it best when he told us, “Carlos wanted to be accepted by all, when he only needed to be accepted by himself.”

Carlos’ organs will be donated. Carlos wanted it that way so that he could continue helping people, even in death.

Carlos wrote a note on his Twitter account before he took his own life. His mother requested we not share it and, as a newsroom, we decided to honor her wishes.

We have been asked to share some information with our viewers:

There is a memorial fund set up for Carlos at U.S New Mexico Federal Credit Union, account number 6082606.

Warning Signs for Suicide

Up to 90% of people show risk factors or warning signs, such as:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Change in appetite or weight
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Speaking and/or moving with unusual speed or slowness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Decrease in sexual drive
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach or guilt
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, slowed thinking or indecisiveness
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, or wishes to be dead

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The New Mexico SuicidePreventionCoalition provide free training to teach people the warning signs for suicide, and how to intervene. You can find more information on their website at www.nmsuicideprevention.org or call them at 505-401-9382. ” - KOB Eyewitness News 4

Reaction

(Video credit: US Freedom Club)

Published on Jul 16, 2013

CarlosVigil, 17 commits suicide because of bullying
‘The kids in school are right, I am a loser, a freak and a fag and in no way is that acceptable’: Heartbreaking online letter bullied teen wrote before he killed himself
Carlos Vigil, 17, put the letter up on Twitter on Saturday afternoon
His father rushed home as soon as he found out but it was too late

Related:

Bullying Study: It Does Get Better For GayTeens
*
Think Homophobic Bullying is a Joke? It’sDeadly.
*
Gay Disabled Teen onFire
*
Canada: Four teens attack gay 13yr old boy in Chatham hate crime 1905131615z
*
LGBT: 1 in 4 young gay people assaulted in England, 47% threatened or intimidated New research 0411121840Z
[G: I try not to comment on the news, but. Too many have lost their lives due to homophobic bullying, either by their own hand or anothers. An environment where casual homophobia & gay bullying is accepted as the norm can soon become fertile ground for hate crime.]

Glimmer of legal hope for LGBTs in Russia

Russian (Google translation)

Проблеск надежды на правовую ЛГБТ в России
Опубликовано 13 июля 2013 года Колин Стюарт
Прямо протестующего Даниил Грачев арестован в Санкт-Петербурге, Россия, в течение гордости протеста. (Фото любезно предоставлено Рейтер через SDGLN.com)

Прямо протестующего Даниил Грачев арестован в Санкт-Петербурге, Россия, в течение гордости протеста. (Фото любезно предоставлено Рейтер через SDGLN.com)

Русская ЛГБТ-сети сообщил, что областной суд решил, что последние Gay Pride деятельности в Санкт-Петербурге 29 июня были законными, несмотря на город и национальные законы, направленные против “гей-пропаганды”:

Хотя полиция утверждала, сбор был “несанкционированным”, 10 июля судья Дзержинского районного суда – одно из судов, рассматривающих дела с более чем 50 активистов, арестованных 29 июня – отверг это требование, заявив, что городские власти были проинформированы о мероприятии заранее и не вынес решение против этого, поэтому они не могли объявить его несанкционированного впоследствии. Это означало, что, по закону, арестов не было “твердой основе”.

Игорь Кочетков, председатель Русской ЛГБТ-сети, говорит, что:

“С этим решением суд фактически подтвердил правильность нашей оценки, учитывая ранее, о событиях 29-го июня. Вместо того, чтобы выполнять свои обязанности по защите прав граждан на свободу собраний и сдерживание агрессивного поведения националистов, полиция разогнала встречи, таким образом, становятся сами нарушители закона. С подобными действиями, полиция поощряет деятельность крайне правых групп крыла, которое все больше и больше напоминают фашистские войска СС 30-х годов в прошлом веке “.

В разгар гей парада, городской чиновник сказал организаторам, что совещание должно быть прекращено, потому что они получили жалобы от некоторых граждан. Сразу же после этого, более 50 активистов были арестованы ОМОНом, вынуждены в автобусы и доставлены в различные отделения полиции.

76 CRIMES

The Russian LGBT Network reported that a regional court has decided that recent Gay Pride activities in Saint Petersburg on June 29 were legal, despite city and national laws against “gay propaganda”:

Although police claimed the gathering was “unauthorized,” on July 10 the judges in the Dzerzhinsk regional court — one of the courts dealing with more than 50 activists arrested on June 29 — rejected that claim, stating that city officials had been informed about the event in advance and had not issued a decision against it, so they could not declare it unauthorized afterwards. That meant that, legally, the arrests didn’t have “a solid basis.”

Igor Kochetkov, chairperson of the Russian LGBT Network, says that:

“With this decision, the court actually confirmed the correctness of our assessment, given earlier, of the events of the 29th of June. Instead of fulfilling their duty to protect the rights of the…

View original post 138 more words

Identity Crisis: Changing Legal Documents No Easy Task for Transgender Individuals

Health & Family

Cecilia Gentili couldn’t stand the looks on their faces. The looks waiting room patients would give her when a nurse called a man’s name and she stood up instead. The looks nurses would give her when they said they were looking for someone else. The looks she’d get at the bank when she tried to open an account.

“They made you feel like less than a person,” Gentili says.

Gentili is a transgender woman, and in person, with shoulder-length blond hair, she is the woman she always knew she was. On paper, however, it was another story. For years, Gentili’s legal name and documents didn’t match her identity, and navigating that discrepancy became a daily struggle. For transgender people — those who don’t identify with the sex are born with — any time they have to show ID can turn into moment of awkwardness, humiliation or, in some cases, discrimination:…

View original post 1,174 more words

“I am not Haram!” or the Challenges Muslim Gays Confront

Gender and Representation 2013

We also sent Lut : He said to his people : “Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.” Qur’an 7:80-81

In the post-modern era, when the issue of homosexuality is less of a taboo than say 50-60 years ago, homosexual people are still facing persecution, judgements and condemnation around the world. The degree of the persecution varies for different regions, countries and religions. The one religion that has had the most rigid stance on homosexuality is Islam. Being a Muslim myself it is hard to admit the fact that the level of tolerance seems to be much lower in Muslim-majority countries. Whether or not Islam prohibits homosexuality and the position of the Qur’an is a complex matter which can be discussed in a lengthy…

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