Gay News

 2011: Jan-March



31st March   

Struggle with India...

Indian state bans book suggesting that Gandhi had a gay tryst
Link Here

Great Soul Mahatma Gandhi Struggle A book on Mahatma Gandhi has been banned by the government in his native state of Gujarat.

The book by Joseph Lelyveld contains evidence that India's independence hero had a homosexual relationship. Early reviews in the US and UK suggest that Gandhi was depicted as sometimes racist and that he had an intimate relationship with a German man named Hermann Kallenbach.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that its contents were perverse and defamed the icon of non-violence . Modi accused the author of displaying a perverted mentality in writing the book, which he said had hurt the sentiments of masses of people: This publication defames the Mahatma and there is rising anger not only in Gujarat but in the entire country.

Gujarat's state assembly voted unanimously  to ban Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India , even though it has not yet been released in India.

Lelyveld has denied writing that Gandhi was a bisexual, saying his work had been taken out of context.

 

28th March   

Updated: Brief Real Sex...

BBFC passes a little more real gay sex at 18
Link Here

Boys film Pacific Rim DVD Boys on Film 6: Pacific Rim is a 2011 release compilation of gay shorts

Passed 18 uncut for:

The BBFC commented:

  • Contains brief strong real sex and one use of very strong language

Promotional material from UK Amazon :

Boys On Film goes down under to bring a fresh batch of funny and touching tales courtesy of our Aussie and Kiwi cousins, while from the USA and Hawaii to Singapore via Korea several more stories of men falling in love round out the collection.

Rising stars Xavier Samuel and Callan McAuliffe put their own twist on traditional coming out fables in Craig Boreham s second contribution to the Boys On Film library, Drowning and the Berlin Film Festival Crystal Bear winner, Franswa Sharl.

 

24th March   

Updated: Born This 'Outrageous' Way...

Lady GaGa's new gay anthem gets censored in Malaysia
Link Here  full story: Lady GaGa...Winding up the nutters with sex and religion

Born This Way Lady GaGa's song Born This Way - which celebrates people who live alternative lifestyles, and includes the line no matter gay, straight, or bi/ Lesbian, transgendered life /I'm on the right track baby - has been removed by a number of radio stations after officials deemed it inappropriate for Malaysia.

A spokesperson for the country's Amp Radio said: The particular lyrics in Born This Way may be considered as offensive when viewed against Malaysia's social and religious observances. The issue of being gay, lesbian or bisexual is still considered as a 'taboo' by general Malaysians.

Lady Gaga said she picked the track as the lead single from her second album because of its strong message, adding she hoped it could become an anthem for her generation.

Elton John has said: That was the gay anthem. This is the new gay anthem.

Update: GaGa Protest

24th March 2011. See  article from  musicrooms.net

Lady GaGa has called for her fans in Malaysia to protest about her pro-gay lyrics being banned in their country. She said that she specifically put pro-gay lyrics on the song because she disagrees with exactly the type of censoring happening to her song:

You must do everything you can if you want to be liberated by your society. You must not stop, you must protest- peacefully. I don't believe in violence. I don't believe in negativity. There is no reason to be derogatory. You just need to keep fighting for what you believe in.

 

23rd March   

Update: Apple Pickle...

Apple chooses gay rights over christian anti-gay nonsense and free speech
Link Here  full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

exodus app Ever since Apple set themselves up to be moral censors then there was a danger of being caught up in moral conflicts. The latest example perhaps shows where conflicts can arise that simply would not occur in an uncensored system.

Exodus International claims to be the world's largest Christian ministry dealing with homosexual issues. It has a website featuring lots of anti-gay sentiment that surely reinforces the general religious perception that being gay is a sin. However, it does not call for anything in the way of violence, nor is it threatening, nor is it likely to fall under any gay hatred legislation.

But as soon as it branches out from its tolerated and legal website into the world of Apple apps, it opens itself up for censorship, just because a moral censor has previously established a private moral test.

The LGBT rights group Truth Wins Out has established a petition on Change.org:

Exodus International, the notorious ex-gay organization, has just released an iPhone app that, according to its website, is designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders. The Exodus website further boasts that its app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it contains no objectionable content.

No objectionable content? We beg to differ. Exodus' message is hateful and bigoted. They claim to offer freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ and use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients. They endorse the use of so-called reparative therapy to change the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of therapy has been rejected by every major professional medical organization including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association. But reparative therapy isn't just bad medicine -- it's also very damaging to the self-esteem and mental health of its victims.

...

Apple doesn't allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store, yet it gives the green light to an app targeting vulnerable LGBT youth with the message that their sexual orientation is a sin that will make your heart sick and a counterfeit. This is a double standard that has the potential for devastating consequences.

Apple needs to be told, loud and clear, that this is unacceptable. Stand with Truth Wins Out -- demand that the iTunes store stop supporting homophobia and remove the Exodus app.

Currently the petition has attracted about 26,000 signatures.

There's no such measure of support levels for Exodus International but surely being a major example of a US christian group suggests that it has massive support too.

Perhaps Exodus is justified in its concern that Apple is in danger of failing to meet the diverse needs of their customer base by denying them access to all viewpoints regarding sexuality.

Update: Apple chooses gay rights over christian anti-gay nonsense and free speech

23rd March 2011.  See  article from  guardian.co.uk

Apple logo

  Taking a bite out of
freedom of speech?

Apple appears to have pulled an iPhone and iPad app promising freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus after coming under fire from gay rights activists.

More than 146,000 people signed a petition calling on Apple to remove the so-called gay cure app backed by Exodus International, a Christian group that describes itself as the world's largest worldwide ministry to those struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction.

The app has been on sale since February 15 but was last night no longer available. Apple has yet to comment on the furore that the app sparked.

 

21st March   

GLAAD to Contribute to WWE hype...

Gay campaigners take the bait over trivial US wrestling hype generating insult
Link Here

john cena The World Wrestling Entertainment organization certainly provides some fun entertainment even if it does little to resemble the actual sport of wrestling.

As part of the entertainment in one of the WWE's weekly broadcasts, someone thought it would make a great storyline to have wrestler John Cena and the Rock have a feud. The Rock is also known as Dwayne Johnson.

In earlier times, he was a WWE champion before he launched a movie career. In the past few weeks, he's resurfaced in the WWE, when viewers were told he would be the guest host for next month's WrestleMania show.

As part of the 'feud', Cena and Johnson exchanged diatribes. At one point, Cena chided Johnson for playing a fairy -- the literal kind -- in one of his movies. Just don't go racing to Witch Mountain, Rock, 'cause your mountain is Brokeback, Cena said.

Cena, or the guys who wrote his rap for the storyline, was trying to say that Johnson isn't really a tough guy because he's gay.

Of course, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation would have no truck with such talk. The organization protested, and WWE honchos couldn't cave in quickly enough. They issued this apology:

WWE takes this issue very seriously, and has already spoken with our talent about these incidents. We are taking steps and working with GLAAD to ensure that our fans know that WWE is against bullying or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We strongly value our fans in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and apologize to them for these incidents.

And of course the story was picked up for the US press, resulting in lots of free publicity for a throw away diatribe of publicity seeking and meaningless minor insult. As if anyone took a single word of WWE hype seriously.

 

19th March   

Update: Morality in a Bottle...

Malaysia's first gay film pleases only the morality censors
Link Here

dal botol Boy meets boy. Boy falls in love with boy. Boy has a sex-change procedure in a misguided attempt to please his lover. Boy regrets his decision, moves back to hometown and falls in love with a girl.

The plot of ...Dalam Botol ( ...In a Bottle ), Malaysia's first feature film with gay lead characters, is causing a stir in the Muslim-majority country, where consensual sodomy is illegal and depictions of homosexuality in pop culture are taboo.

The film opens next Thursday and will screen in 52 cinemas. It has already provoked the ire of religious organisations. The youth wing leader of the conservative Pan-Malaysian Islamic party (PAS) called it a shocking attempt to promote gay culture.

The film has found little resonance with the country's handful of gay activists, who have joined the religious authorities in criticising the film, although for very different reasons.

Malaysia's film censorship rules require gay and transgendered characters to regret their actions and learn from supposed mistakes, guidelines to which ...Dalam Botol had to conform in order to receive screening permission.

Alex who blogs anonymously about gay issues said that while the film's groundbreaking depiction of gay characters could be seen as a sign of progress, he worried it would reinforce stereotypes in Malaysian culture: The ending is very negative. Having the main character regret being gay and falling in love with a woman is not going to help our image problem here.

This is not the Brokeback Mountain of Malaysia. It presents LGBT people as depressed and confused, said Yuki Choe, a transsexual activist in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian society is trying to shame us. But whether we like it or not, this is a Muslim country, and it's difficult to be open about your sexuality here.

 

18th March   

Updated: Infected by the Tangle of Political Correctness...

Even politically correct bureaucrats can't work out the rules to the game of easy offence
Link Here

EHRC logo The Government's equality agency has said sorry for a remark that implied Christian moral values are like an infection that could harm children.

The taxpayer-funded Equality and Human Rights Commission had warned that children could be infected by the moral views of Christian foster parents who oppose homosexual behaviour.

The remark was published in legal paperwork prepared by Karon Monaghan QC for a court case involving a Christian couple struggling to be approved as foster parents.

But now the Commission has issued an apology. It also attempted to distance itself from the suggestion that sexual orientation rights take precedence over religious rights.

The remarks related to a court case involving Eunice and Owen Johns, who say they have been effectively blocked by Derby City Council from fostering because of their Christian beliefs about homosexual behaviour.

A statement was published yesterday on the Equality Commission's website. It reads:

Earlier this week the case of Johns v Derby City Council, in which the Commission had intervened, attracted some attention.

Unfortunately a mistake within our legal submission led to an inference that we did not intend and which was misconstrued as suggesting that the Commission equates Christian moral views with an infection.

This oversight was caused by a drafting error in our submissions to the court. This should have been picked up in our internal clearance process for the legal documentation and does not represent the position of the Commission in any way.

Furthermore, the Commission entirely rejects any view (as reported in the media) that rights in relation to sexual orientation 'take precedence' over religious rights.

The Commission has written to Mr and Mrs Johns to apologise.

Update: Outcome: Gender trumps religion

1st March 2011. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

A Christian couple opposed to homosexuality have lost a court battle over their right to become foster carers.

Eunice and Owen Johns said the city council did not want them to look after children because of their traditional views. They claim they were doomed not to be approved due to their opinions.  Eunice Johns said: All we were not willing to do was to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing

The Pentecostal Christian couple had applied to Derby City Council to be respite carers. They withdrew their application after a social worker expressed concerns when they said they could not tell a child a homosexual lifestyle was acceptable.

At the High Court, they asked judges to rule that their faith should not be a bar to them becoming carers, and the law should protect their Christian values.

But Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation should take precedence over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds. They said that if children were placed with carers who objected to homosexuality and same-sex relationships, there may well be a conflict with the local authority's duty to 'safeguard and promote the welfare' of looked-after children .

Update: Religion makes no appeal

18th March 2011. Based on article from christianconcern.com by Paul Diamond, Barrister to the Johns

Should we protect Children from being infected with Christianity?

So argued the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the case of Johns v Derby using the word infected ; an argument implicitly accepted by the Court who held that the views of Christian foster carers on sexual morality could be inimical to the welfare of children in care. The Commission has now said it was an error to have used this term but did not retract this statement when I raised it in court.

It is a very pertinent question to ask especially in light of the fact that I have reluctantly advised the Johns not to appeal; such an appeal would normally be expected but now, in my opinion, futile - a waste of resources. The Courts are so set against religious freedom for Christians that an appeal is likely to only make matters worse.

 

12th March   

Update: From Victors to Villains...

Gay couple end legal action to extort more damages from hoteliers
Link Here  full story: Religious Gay Discrimination...Hotelier denies double room to gays

EHRC logo A gay couple who successfully sued the Christian owners of a hotel who refused them a bed are withdrawing a claim for more compensation.

Taxpayer-funded lawyers for the gay couple, Steven Preddy and Martyn Hallthen, submitted documents to the Court of Appeal claiming the religious beliefs of Mr and Mrs Bull should have been disregarded, calling for the damages to be increased.

But the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is representing Preddy and Hall said the cross appeal was an error of judgment by its legal team and was being withdrawn: I would like to confirm that public money will not be spent funding a claim for increased damages in this case.

Christian Institute spokesman Mike Judge said: We are pleased that the Commission has seen sense and withdrawn their demand for a stiffer penalty against Mr and Mrs Bull. However, this U-turn has come only after negative publicity.

 

11th March   

Tempest in a Teapot...

Kansas opts not to repeal unenforceable prohibition on gay sex
Link Here

Kansas state seal An unenforceable, unconstitutional law that makes gay and lesbian sex a criminal act will remain on the books in Kansas for the time being.

A Republican and a Democrat on Kansas' House Judiciary Committee removed the provision addressing gay sex from a clean-up bill, claiming it was unnecessary. It's a tempest in a teapot, Rep. Lance Kinzer told the Topeka Capital-Journal: I don't think it would make any difference. The statute is unenforceable.

Gay rights activists were outraged and are planning a March on the Capitol building on March 17. The endorsement of an unconstitutional statute that's used to threaten and discriminate against law-abiding Kansas citizens is an outrage, Kansas Equality Coalition chairman Thomas Wittsaid.

 

1st March   

Not Glad to See Jose Luis...

GLAAD complain about the Jose Luis Sin Censura US TV show stirring up anti-gay audience reactions
Link Here  full story: Jose Luis Sin Censura...Spanish language US channel winds up nutters

Jose Luis Sin Censura Caliente Gay campaigners of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) have filed an FCC complaint against the Spanish-language television talk show Jose Luis Sin Censura ( Jose Luis Uncensored ).

The show is produced by the California-based Liberman Broadcasting and airs in Los Angeles on KRCA, channel 62.

The groups claimed in a statement that the show routinely features indecent, profane, and obscene material, offensive language, nudity, and on-air verbal and physical attacks against women as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people .

The show often prompts guests and audience members to engage in verbal and even physical attacks, especially against people perceived to be LGBT. Many episodes showed the audience standing and shouting anti-gay epithets and profanity at guests, the groups said.

It is extremely disturbing to see a show like José Luis Sin Censura air this violent language with impunity and without any regard for the safety of our community, GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said: At a time when LGBT youth and adults face harassment and violence, it is unacceptable for media to fuel such a climate of intolerance about our community.

GLAAD has also launched an online petition against the show.

 

1st March   

Faulty Religion...

US webhosts take down christian website blaming gays for the New Zealand earthquake
Link Here

bluehost logo A US web hosting provider BlueHost has taken down a US-based Christian website that blamed the recent New Zealand earthquake on gays and lesbians.

The US-based ChristchurchQuake.Net claims the quake was the vengeful act of God, punishing homosexuals for their lifestyles and actions. They wrote:

Do we really want to tempt fate and risk another quake? The morning of the Christchurch earthquake was the opening of 'Gay Ski Week'. The highlight of the week was a party featuring two of NZ's ugliest and butchest lesbians as the main event in Queenstown. Squadrons of imports were to have been brought in for the week --- from Sydney's now booming gay and lesbian area around Oxford St, between the CBD and Kings Cross.

Thousands of angry Internet users emailed and sent complaint letters to BlueHost regarding the website, which was then taken down.

 

1st March   

Preaching on the Slide into Depravity...

Anti-gay campaigning preacher arrested for playground obscenity
Link Here

grant storms An anti-gay pastor who has staged protests against New Orleans' Southern Decadence Festival, calling the predominantly gay event perversion, has been arrested for allegedly masturbating in a park adjacent to a children's playground.

The Rev. Grant Storms was arrested for obscenity after two witnesses told police they saw him touching himself while watching children on the playground.

Storms claims he was urinating in a bottle on his lunch break: I had my hands in my pants, but I was not exposed.

A self-proclaimed Christian patriot, Storms is especially known for arming followers with bullhorns, Bibles and picket signs to protest Southern Decadence, an annual three-day gay festival.

In 2003, Storms grabbed national attention with his failed attempts to shut down what Southern Decadence organizer Chuck Robinson called a peaceful festival that celebrates gay and alternative lifestyles. Storms called the event nasty and depraved.

 

25th February   

Update: New Mayor...Old Intolerance...

Gay parades still banned in Moscow
Link Here

  Russia flag Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said that gay parades in Moscow are still inadmissible, ruining hopes of the Russian gay community for holding sanctioned sexual minority events.

Sobyanin told the Ekho Moskvy radio station that he doubts any gay parades will be held in the Russian capital: Moscow does not need this at all and I am not a supporter [of gay parades].

Requests to hold gay pride marches, described by ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov as satanic, have been rejected by the Moscow authorities for years.

 

21st February   

Mixed Blessings...

Gay-only hotels to be investigated for discrimination
Link Here

EHRC logo The Equality and Human Rights Commission is examining whether gay-only guesthouses breach new laws designed to prevent people being treated unfairly in the provision of goods or services.

Last month, Christian owners of a guesthouse in Cornwall became the first to be found guilty of discrimination under equality laws after they refused to let a homosexual couple stay in a double room, in a legal action supported by the EHRC.

Now, the watchdog says it must establish an objective balance by considering if gays-only accommodation also defies the legislation.

John Bellamy who runs a homosexual hotel in Bournemouth for men only, said that the new legislation could result in the closure of exclusively gay guesthouses. While he said he welcomed the new equality laws for tackling discrimination, he added that it had come at a price . I knew we'd get this as the new legislation is a double-edged sword, said Bellamy, who runs Hamilton Hall, which advertises that clothing is optional at the hotel. We've been campaigning for this law for years so that everyone is equal, but it could spell the end of gay-only resorts.

 

13th February   

No Pooftas...

Village nutters wound up by sandwich board whimsy
Link Here

bruces no pooftasjpg Mike Saqui has been livening up his New Forest hotel by writing fun, comical messages on a sandwich board outside his building.

But the latest in the series caused nutter 'uproar' in his village with a sign saying: Poofters welcome here .

Mike Saqui, owner of The Penny Farthing Hotel, meant the sign to be a pointed reference to the case where a Cornish B&B owner refused to let in gay couples.

Chairman councillor Mark Rolle told the parish council meeting this week that he had been offended by the slogans. He said: There have been some amusing signs occasionally. But last weekend I found one that incensed me. The realms of decency were overstepped - we could be branded a village of bigots.

However, other councillors disagreed. Leonard Cornell said: It's not offensive, it's a fact. On its website it is listed as gay friendly.

Saqui said:

This is a just a storm in a teacup and the parish council has overreacted. I've been writing fun, comical messages on the A-board for the last 10 years and no harm is meant by them. We have a small minded parish council who have their knickers in a twist and I just want to get on running a business. This is the political correctness culture gone mad. The latest message is not homophobic, we welcome gays, lesbians or whoever.

After we did receive a complaint and I took the board in - and then I received complaints from people saying 'don't let the naysayers win.

I can't believe the police were sent round to have a word either, it's a ridiculous waste of their time. A few bad apples on the parish council will not stop me writing my messages.

 

12th February   

Update: Supreme Test...

India's legalisation of gay sex to be tested in the Supreme Court
Link Here  full story: Gay Freedom in India...India considers the legality of gay sex

India Supreme Court The Supreme Court has said it would start the process to test the constitutional validity of Delhi High Court's decision to decriminalize same gender consensual sex between adults on April 19.

This is in response to over a dozen petitions and applications challenging the HC's July 2, 2009 verdict, which said police could not arrest adult members of the LGBT community under Section 377 of IPC.

However, it rejected one Suresh Kumar Koushal's plea to include the Army, Navy and IAF as parties. Koushal claimed the armed forces had clarified that they would not legalize same-gender sexual relationship.

To fast-track the hearing and cut out lengthy arguments from counsel on the issue, it asked all parties to file their written submissions within eight weeks.

The court had earlier entertained a host of appeals against the HC verdict but refused to grant interim stay on its operation.

 

10th February   

Screwed by Police...

Mass arrest at gay party in Bahrain
Link Here

Bahrain flag Bahrain police have arrested over 100 young men. Some were allegedly drunk, and others were described as wearing women clothing and make up.

The attorney of Muharraq District, Nauef Yousef Mahmoud said that group was arrested on the charge of conduct against public morals and will be referred to the Bahrain General Attorney.

Al Ayam further claimed that the police are now trying to identify the organizers of the party, and checking if any detainees have a history of debauchery or sodomy .

This is the second gay raid in less than three months, raising the possibility of a change to Bahrain's policy of relative tolerance.

 

1st February   

Update: The Word is Unacceptable...

Religious TV company ends Word TV over discriminatory comments against gays
Link Here

word tv logo Evangelical minister and television personality Charles McVety says he is the victim of political censorship and intends to take legal action after Crossroads Television System permanently cancelled his show this week.

The tension between the reverend and the Christian broadcaster began in December, when the TV censors of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council said Crossroads broke their rules when McVety made disparaging on-air remarks about gays.

A station spokeswoman, meanwhile, denied the cancellation of Word TV was a consequence of bowing to political pressure. Rather, it was based on the show's lack of compliance with the CTS code of ethics, Carolyn Innis said.

In December's ruling, the council said McVety's description of Toronto's gay pride parade as a sex parade, as well as his characterization of gay events as malevolent, insidious and conspiratorial, were in breach of the standards.

His show was initially pulled from the air but the station let him back the following week on condition that the TV company could pre-vet the show. But on Sunday night, any viewers tuning in to see McVety were instead met with a notice alerting them that the show had been cancelled.

 

1st February   

Religious Gay Hatred...

First charges under gay hatred law
Link Here

Crown Prosecution Service Five men have been charged with stirring up gender hatred for handing out leaflets outside a mosque suggesting that gay people should be executed.

It is the first time that anyone has been prosecuted for an offence of inciting hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

The men are accused of handing out a leaflet entitled The Death Penalty? in Derby. The leaflets, which were also pushed through letterboxes, are understood to have called for homosexuals to be executed.

Sue Hemming, a lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: The charges relate to the distribution of a leaflet, 'The Death Penalty?', outside the Jamia Mosque in Derby in July 2010 and through letterboxes during the same month. This is the first-ever prosecution for this offence and it is the result of close working between the Crown Prosecution Service and Derbyshire Police.

The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, is allowing this prosecution to proceed.

 

28th January   

Still Standing...

US stores censor Elton John's happy family snap
Link Here

us weekly elton johnA U.S. supermarket has sparked 'outrage' after it covered with a family shield a magazine showing a picture of Elton John, his husband and their newborn baby.

The Arkansas store deemed the image of the gay couple and their child, on the front of Us Weekly, to be offensive.

Staff say complaints from shoppers prompted them to cover the magazine with an opaque cover as used for pornographic magazines.

The Harps grocery chain store in Mountain Home, Arkansas also wrapped lthe magazine in a protective plastic shield to stop youngsters flicking through it.

Only the very top of the magazine was visible, with the cover reading: Family shield. To protect young Harps shoppers.

The move sparked 'outrage' among representatives from GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). On its blog, a GLAAD spokesman said the shield should never have been put up in the first place , adding: Obviously, someone felt that shoppers should not have to look at this smiling, happy couple and their newborn baby.

And after receiving a plethora of complaints, the store management have now un-censored the magazine.

 

28th January   

Offsite: Lynched...

Gay rights activist outed by Uganda's Rolling Stone newspaper found murdered
Link Here  full story: Rolling Stone Lynch List...Ugandan magazine publishes list of gays

rolling sto gay picsHe was a brave and fiercely committed activist who led the Ugandan struggle for gay rights for more than a decade. David Kato went to jail for his beliefs, and to court, winning his greatest victory three weeks ago against a newspaper that had called for him to be hanged.

But now he appeared to have paid the ultimate price: he had been battered to death with a hammer in his home in Kampala.

As distraught family and friends gathered at the scene, police said they had arrested a man hired to drive for Kato and were pursuing another male suspect seen leaving the house. A police spokesman said the motive appeared to be robbery.

But given the fierce anti-gay campaigns launched in recent years by some religious leaders and journalists, as well as politicians who drafted laws to have gay people locked up for life or even executed, there are inevitable questions as to whether Kato was killed because of his sexuality.

... Read the full article

Update: Murder convicted

17th November 2011. See article from voanews.com

A Ugandan man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of gay rights activist David Kato.

Sidney Nsubuga Enoch admitted to killing Kato with a hammer. But he was only convicted of second-degree murder, having claimed that he acted in self-defense. Enoch told the court Kato was making sexual advances, and that he had no choice but to kill him.

 

27th January   

Update: A Good Hiding For Fact Hiding...

European Parliament not impressed by Lithuanian law to ban gay information
Link Here  full story: Gay Censorship in Lithuania...Parliament passes law banning gay info

European Parliament logoThe European Parliament has called on Lithuania's Parliament to reject a proposed law that would punish public promotion of homosexual relations with a fine of up to $3,900.

The Euro Parliament also called on Lithuania to review existing laws that ban gay information from any place where a minor could possibly see it, censor mentions of sexual orientation in advertising, and exclude gay protections from the nation's educational equal-opportunity policy.

Ulrike Lunacek, co-president of the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said: We need to educate people -- including children and youth -- about the different forms of sexuality that have always existed in every culture, everywhere in the world, including in Lithuania. Hiding facts from young people generates fearful attitudes, prejudice and hate, something Europeans stand united against.

 

26th January   

The Perfect Christian Election Candidate...

Gay banning, drink restricting, reformed sex addict, who blames everything on his screwed up childhood...Perfect
Link Here

peter maddenThe new Christian Democrat candidate for the state seat of Sydney has pledged to end the city's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

At a meeting with the press in the lead-up a State Election, self-confessed reformed sex addict Peter Madden said ending the Mardi Gras was one of his main objectives.

Where once it was about rights, it now stands for violence and drunkenness,   Madden said. Adding that it had become the worst day of the year for teenage binge drinking, a major problem facing the city.

Introducing Madden, Christian Democrat leader Fred Nile claimed his personal experience and desire to clean up Kings Cross made him the best candidate for the seat.

Madden said he was molested from the age of nine until 17 by an older female family member. The experience had left him with a seven-year sexual addiction: I was driven by sexual lust and pornography and for a season I visited prostitutes .

He said prostitution was out of control in Sydney and that tolerance, particularly by State Sydney Independent MP and Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the Greens had lead to hyper-tolerance : This in turn leads to anarchy .

 

26th January   

Updated: Unacceptable Discrimination...

Court finds that christian hoteliers were discriminatory in refusing room to gay couple
Link Here

Old BaileyTwo Christian hotel owners have been ordered to pay damages for refusing a bed to a gay couple .

Peter and Hazelmary Bull whinged that Christianity had been pushed to the margins of society, and added: Some people are more equal than others.

They spoke out after a landmark court decision awarded £1,800 each to civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, who were denied a double room under the Bulls' policy of allowing only married couples to share a bed in the hotel that is also their home. Victory:

Judge Andrew Rutherford said that in the past 50 years social attitudes had changed. He concluded that the Bulls discriminate on the basis of marital status : There is no material difference between marriage and a civil partnership. If that is right, then upon what basis do the defendants draw a distinction if it is not on sexual orientation? The only conclusion which can be drawn is that the refusal to allow [the claimants] to occupy the double room which they had booked was because of their sexual orientation and that this is direct discrimination.

His likening of civil partnership to marriage may lead to a long legal battle if the Bulls appeal.

There was a suggestion during the trial that the hoteliers had been set up as part of a campaign against discrimination. But the judge said he could see no evidence of such a sting operation and added that damages would have been greatly reduced if that was so. He said: There was a suggestion in the course of the case, and indeed in some newspaper reports prior to the case, that the defendants were "set up" by the claimants with the assistance of an organisation such as Stonewall. If this were true then, while it would not of itself defeat a discrimination claim, it would very materially affect the issue of damages.

Update: Appeal

26th January 2011. See article from bbc.co.uk

The Christian owners of a Cornwall hotel who unlawfully refused to allow a gay couple a double room have appealed.

The Christian Institute is reportedly funding the appeal.

Update: Appeal decision reserved

15th November 2011. See article from christian.org.uk

The judgment in the appeal case of B&B owners, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, has been reserved and a ruling is not expected to be given for several weeks.

The Bulls are seeking to overturn a ruling by a previous judge who said their policy of restricting double rooms to married couples discriminated against homosexuals.

 

22nd January   

Update: Money for Nothing...

One man and his dog radio censor set to be overruled by Canada's TV censor
Link Here

CRTC censorCanada's TV censor (CRTC) has ordered the country's radio censor (CBSC) to reconsider its ban on the Dire Straits song Money For Nothing .

The TV and radio censor had decided that Money For Nothing should not air on the Canadian airwaves uncut.

The CBSC's decision has elicited a strong public reaction and created uncertainty for private radio stations across the country, the CRTC said in its decision. The TV censor said it has received around 250 letters from Canadians since the CBSC decision, most of which opposed the ruling and have been passed on to the broadcast censor.

The ruling that a British pop song which hasn't aired widely on the radio for a quarter-century, and which questioned MTV's star-making machinery with apparent irony, has struck a chord among Canadians quick to criticize political correctness and the Nanny State.

The CRTC was also apparently forced to respond to the censorship debate after a host of radio stations in the last week defied the CBSC decision and aired the original version of Money For Nothing unedited.

 

22nd January   

Fun in India...

Gay magazines find a successful niche in India
Link Here

fun magaziWhen the first editions of gay magazine Fun arrived at his stand in New Delhi, Ram Naresh displayed it discreetly to avoid giving offence -- but customers have ensured every month is a sell-out.

The glossy publication, launched in July, combines pictures of young models posing in underwear with articles on what to wear on a swingers' date, explicit sexual problems, and the latest cars and gadgets.

We consistently run out of copies, said Naresh. I will have to order more as there's enough of an audience for magazines like these.

Gay sex was legalised in 2009 and there are now at least eight print and online magazines aimed at lesbians and gays in India.

These include Jiah (Heart), an Internet publication started last year. Jiah , which is staffed by volunteers, steers clear of nude photograph spreads and bedroom fantasies in favour of poetry and gay-friendly travel guides.

 

18th January   

Christian Counsellor Under Gay Duress...

Why shouldn't people try to change their sexuality if they want to?
Link Here

christian concern logoOn 20th January, a Christian counsellor will be summoned before a Professional Conduct Panel for giving therapy to a homosexual man who pretended to be a Christian wishing to stop practising homosexuality.

Lesley Pilkington, a counsellor with over 20 years of experience, is defending herself against a formal complaint by Patrick Strudwick, a gay journalist who secretly recorded two therapy sessions with her by strapping a recording device under his clothing. Strudwick published an account of the sessions in The Independent and has since received the award of journalist of the year by the gay-rights organisation Stonewall.

The journalist met Lesley at a Christian conference and told Lesley that he wanted to leave his homosexual lifestyle and wanted help to change. Lesley confirmed that she would be happy to meet with him but only within a Christian counselling context. Shortly after the conference, and still acting undercover, the journalist contacted Lesley and said that he thought they were on the same wavelength and asked to meet with her.

Throughout the two therapy sessions, Patrick repeatedly told Lesley that he wanted to leave his homosexual lifestyle, that it had become meaningless to him and that he wanted to change.

However, after the sessions, he lodged a complaint to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy alleging that Lesley had failed to respect the fixed nature of his homosexuality.

Those offering counselling for men and women wanting to change their homosexual behaviour have been increasingly targeted by the gay lobbies who do not accept that people can change their behaviour.

However, in 2006, the gay rights activist Peter Tatchell wrote in the Guardian: Much as I would love to go along with the fashionable "born gay" consensus (it would be very politically convenient), I can't. The evidence does not support the idea that sexuality is a fixed biological given.

Lesley is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

 

16th January   

Update: Money for Nothing...

One man and his dog censorship with no accountability and no appeal
Link Here

cbsc logoThe Canadian music censor is being defiant after a wave of criticism over its decision to ban the nation-wide broadcast of an uncut Dire Straits song containing the word faggot.

Ronald Cohen, the national chair of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), told QMI Agency he sees nothing wrong with the fact one person was able to stop every private radio station across Canada from playing the popular 1985 song Money for Nothing.

The number of complaints is irrelevant, Cohen claimed: Everybody is on our back about it (but) I think it was absolutely the right decision. This was a word that has no place today on the airwaves.

Cohen is unconcerned that the public was shut out from CBSC's deliberations and sees no problems with the fact that neither broadcasters nor Canadians have any avenues to appeal the decision. If there was an appeal process, it would be cumbersome, he said.

Dire Straits' keyboardist Guy Fletcher joined a chorus of fans on his website calling the ruling outrageous and the council's decision hilarious for having missed the point of the band's song about homophobia. What a waste of paper, he wrote of the decision.

The .British Caledonia Civil Liberties Association's David Eby called the CBSC's decision very patronizing and suggested the federal broadcast censor, the CRTC, should take over its functions to ensure some public oversight: It is difficult for us to understand how this private body can have such a profound influence on what Canadians see and hear without any accountability .

The CBSC has been the private broadcasters' self-regulator since 1990, when they decided they didn't want the federal regulator to oversee their content. Although neither body has the power to levy fines or stop the broadcast of any songs (even those banned), the CRTC can revoke television or radio licences or refuse to renew them when they are about to lapse.

 

15th January   

Updated: Money for Nothing and Offence for Free...

Dire Straits' original Money for Nothing banned from Canadian Radio
Link Here

Brothers Arms Dire Straits The Dire Straits song, Money For Nothing, has been banned from Canadian radio because it is deemed homophobic.

The song, written almost 30 years ago, uses the word faggot in the verse:

The little faggot with the earring and the makeup.
Yeah buddy, that's his own hair.
That little faggot got his own jet airplane.
That little faggot he's a millionaire

The Canadian Broadcasts Standards Council has ruled that any radio station wishing to play the song must edit or bleep out the offending word, which appears three times.

In its ruling the Standards Council said that even if entirely or marginally acceptable in earlier days, [the word 'faggot'] no longer so. The societal values at issue a quarter century later have shifted and the broadcast of the song in 2010 must reflect those values, rather than those of 1985 .

Later versions of Money For Nothing replace the word faggot with mother , which the Standards Council said the radio station should have played instead.

One listener had complained that the song was extremely offensive to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, the Vancouver Sun reports.

Update: Edited in the UK

15th January 2011. Thanks to DarkAngel on the Melon Farmers Forum

I'm not sure about other UK radio stations, but both commercial radio stations in Peterborough, Connect FM and Heart (formerly Hereward) have been playing an edited version of the song for a number of years now, which totally omits that particular verse.

Update: Classic Rock Protest

15th January 2011. See article from radio-info.com

cirk logoNewcap programmer Steve Jones said that Canada's Broadcast Standards Council went too far in banning the original 1985 Grammy-winning version of Money For Nothing.

He said: If you listen to the context of the terms, you will realize it is an artistic portrayal of a bigoted person looking at the riches and excesses of the music industry. (The lyric goes That little faggot with the earring and the makeup/Yeah, buddy, that's his own hair/That little faggot's got a jet airplane/That little faggot, he's a millionaire.)

K97 added that LGBT supporter Elton John has performed the song as written.

So on 14th January, the radio station CIRK and Newcap sisters Q104 and K-Rock protested about the dangers of censorship . They looped the unedited version of Money For Nothing for a whole hour.

They've also invited representatives from the gay community to participate.

 

10th January   

Ordering a MacCensor Takeaway...

GayNZ object to having their website blocked in MacDonald's
Link Here

gaynz logoMcDonald's has caused controversy in the GLBT community after blocking access to gay-related websites for Wellington customers using its free WiFi service.

GayNZ.com says it has received numerous complaints from the community that sites they frequent cannot be accessed.

The complaints say GayNZ.com has been blocked, as has The Agender site for transgender people; Rainbow Youth, an advice site for young people is also blocked. familyplanning.co.nz was also unavailable.

McDonald's have sent an email response to GayNZ.com, after the website contacted them for comment:

We're a family restaurant chain, and as part of offering this new Free WiFi service, our policy is that viewed content must be of a family friendly nature, i.e.- suitable for a child to view.

Because of this, access to a number of websites is blocked, including access to gaynz.com gambling, tobacco and adult mature content websites.

We stress that all the content of allowable sites must meet family friendly criteria. By this we mean a child cannot access a website where they can click on any content, link or third party advertisement and access sexually explicit content and images.

You will also appreciate that there are inevitably teething problems with the introduction of a new service and getting our filtering process right is one such issue.

McDonald's say they are prepared to review GayNZ.com and other websites customers feel are unfairly blocked.

Offsite Comments: Follow up

11th January 2010.

See NZers bite back over WiFi censorship story from gaynz.com

Update: Block removed

21st January 2010.

See article from mcv.gaynewsnetwork.com.au

McDonalds gay block has been removed from stores

Last week the fast-food company caved to public pressure and began unblocking gay sites, but stood firm on GayNZ.com because it claimed third-party advertising wasn't family friendly.

 

9th January   

No Place for Gays in Turkey...

Court closes gay Rainbow Association
Link Here

Turkey flagA Turkish court in Bursa has closed the Rainbow LGBT Association. The case was opened two years ago upon the complaint of the Bursa Governorship. 

The Rainbow is the Association for the Development of Protection, Solidarity and Cultural Activities for Transvestites, Transsexuals, Gays and Lesbians. The Association President Özen commented, This is a deplorable decision, but our struggle will not cease .

The Bursa Governorship had filed a criminal complaint about the LGBT organization because of alleged prostitution . It was now learned that the Bursa court brought the case to an end after a two-year trial period with the decision to ban the association.

Rainbow Association President Öykü Evren Özen said in the final hearing, No illegal activities of any kind have been carried out within the association. I reject all charges . Özen was facing imprisonment of up to three years under charges of opposing the Law on Associations but was eventually acquitted.

In a press release subsequent to the hearing, Özen said that they were sorry about the decision and that they would file an appeal against it. He added that the association would remain open during the period of appeal. If the decision should be upheld, we will open a new association. Our struggle will never cease , he indicated.

Several trials have been opened against LGBT associations such as LambdaIstanbul, the Black Pink Triangle and other organizations in various cities with the demand to close the organizations down.

 

8th January   

Update: Lynch Bait...

Uganda's Rolling Stone newspaper to pay damages over anti-gay incitement
Link Here  full story: Rolling Stone Lynch List...Ugandan magazine publishes list of gays

rolling sto gay picsA group of Ugandans identified as homosexual in a newspaper article headlined Hang Them have won damages and a court injunction ordering the paper not to repeat the exercise, human rights groups have said.

A high court judge ruled that the story in the Rolling Stone newspaper, which printed addresses and photographs of some of the 100 people it named as Uganda's top homos , violated their constitutional rights to privacy and safety. The court awarded the three plaintiffs in whose names the case was launched just over £400 each in damages, the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Uganda said in a statement.

The front page of Rolling Stone claimed that the country's homosexual community aimed to recruit 1,000,000 children by 2012 , and that parents face heart-breaks [sic] as homos raids schools . Inside, a headline read: Hang them; They are after our kids!!