(Serbia) - The Serbian LGBT pride march Parada Ponosa, due to take place on Sunday in the capital, was banned today by the National Security Council. The Council announced it would forbid the pride march, as well as three far-right counter-protests that were planned tomorrow and Sunday. Read more...
(EU) - Tomorrow the members of the European Parliament will debate and vote on a resolution “Progress made in equal opportunities and non-discrimination in the EU”. The resolution is based on a report produced by Elisabeth Lynne, MEP, and adopted by the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs on 17 April 2008. The draft resolution clearly urges the European Commission to stay committed to the Commission’s work plan for 2008 and to come out with a proposal for one ‘horizontal’ anti-discrimination directive covering all grounds of discrimination, including sexual orientation. Read more...
(Moldova) - On Sunday, participants in the 7th Moldovan Pride were precluded from marching peacefully in support of anti-discrimination legislation and tolerance in the centre of Chisinau. Police did not guarantee the right to freedom of assembly. Large aggressive coordinated groups, including extremist religious groups, members of the neo-fascist movement “New Right”, and legionnaires blocked the bus with participants, forced the door, violently hit the windows, and attempted to remove the engine, while shouting “lets get them out and beat them up”. Read more...
(EU) - Within the next couple of months, the fate of an EU directive protecting against discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, sexual orientation and religion/belief in all areas of life will be decided by the European Commission and the European Council. At the moment, there are signs that this directive will not include sexual orientation, age and religion/belief. ILGA-Europe is calling on everyone to join its campaign to ensure that a comprehensive new EU anti-discrimination directive which protects against discrimination on all grounds and in all areas of life is proposed and adopted. Read more...
(EU) - The Mayors of Riga in Latvia and Tallinn in Estonia have declined to take part in a campaign affirming freedom of assembly and expression for LGBT people in Europe. The Europe branch of the International Gay and Lesbian Association wanted the leaders of those cities to join 19 others in Europe and declare their support for their initiative. The Mayors of Paris, Nicosia, Amsterdam, Winterthur, London, Stockholm, Cologne, Barcelona, Venice, Vienna, Bologna, Manchester, Copenhagen, Budapest, Ljubljana, Zürich, Berlin, Dublin and Luxembourg have all pledged their support.
Note: Read more on Pink News
(Poland) - A Gay man from the United States on Tuesday voiced outrage against Poland's President Lech Kaczynski for publicly using a video of his marriage to bash the EU's proposed charter of rights. Kaczynski used a prime-time televised address Monday to argue the EU's proposed Charter of Fundamental Rights, linked to the bloc's crucial reforming Lisbon Treaty, could allow homosexual marriage in Poland, a devoutly Catholic country. A video of the couple's marriage in Toronto, Canada was broadcast nationwide to illustrate Kaczynski's presidential address.
Note: Read more on AFP
(USA) - Oklahoma House representative Sally Kern is under fire after an audio recording was leaked of her comparing gays to terrorists and telling fellow Republicans the "homosexual agenda is destroying this nation." The recording and accompanying YouTube video have sparked outrage from many, but Kern defends her words, telling the press: "What I'm saying, I believe in." The YouTube video posted this weekend by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund featured Kern speaking out against gays to a group of Republicans who had invited her to express her views about homosexuality. In the speech, given privately to a group of about 50 Republicans, Kern says homosexuality, "according to God's word, that is not the right kind of lifestyle. It has deadly consequences for those people involved in it." Although she claims she is "not Gay-bashing," Kern continues by saying Gays "have more suicides… there's more illness, their life spans are shorter… studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades."
Note: Read more on Gay Wired
(USA) - Some 50 activists, including members of the Radical Homosexual Agenda, picketed the Human Rights Campaign's annual Midtown Manhattan dinner Feb. 23, Gay City News reported. They were upset over HRC's support for a version of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act that omits protections for transgender people. The bill has passed the House of Representatives and awaits action in the Senate. The dinner also apparently was boycotted by every GLB elected official in New York City and many other prominent Democratic officials, GCN said. Many of the protesters carried pink signs in the shape of a hand flipping off HRC while others banged on drums. They chanted: "What do we want? Liberation. ***** that assimilation."
Note: Read more on Pride Source
(Russia) - Russian Gay group "LGBT Rights" reports that it organized a flash-mob on February 23 (the 'Army Day' celebrated in the Russian Federation.) The participants marched through the Arbat street, waving rainbow flags and shouting 'Woman is a soldier, too! Equality knows no borders!' along with patriotic slogans. The action was apparently an attempt to confront the 'ordinary Russians' with homosexuality and transport a positive message to the fellow citizens without provoking a hostile response. Read more...
(Israel) - The recent earthquake that was felt across Israel was the result of the "homosexual activity practiced in the country", Knesset Member Shlomo Benizri said Wednesday. During a special Knesset session on Israel's preparedness for the possibility of another earthquake hitting the region, the Shas member said "the Gemara refers to earthquakes as disasters, but you are searching only for the practical solutions how to prevent and repair. "But I no of another way to prevent earthquakes; the Gemara mentions a number of causes of earthquakes, one of which is homosexuality, which the Knesset legitimizes," Benizri said. Last month fellow Shas member Nissim Ze'ev stirred controversy when he referred to the local Gay movement as a "plague that could destroy Jewish Israel," adding that it should be treated "just as the Health Ministry dealt with the bird flu epidemic."
Note: Read more on Y-Net
(Senegal) - Police in Senegal fired tear gas to disperse anti-homosexual demonstrators outside Dakar's main mosque on Friday after the publication of photos from a Gay wedding in the mostly Muslim nation. "We want homosexuals to be wiped out in this country. We will continue to fight for Senegal to become a Muslim nation," said Cheikh Tidiane Ndiaye. Piles of rubbish were set ablaze in several blocks around the mosque and groups of youths shouting "We don't want homosexuals" barricaded roads. The protest was called after police released a group of men held for questioning following the publication of the photos. Local authorities had granted permission for the protest but later changed their minds and ordered police to break it up.
Note: Read more on Reuters
(Russia) - Organisers of Moscow Gay Pride have today sent the case that their human rights were breached when the Mayor of Moscow banned the Pride march last May to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. It is the second application to the Court from Gay Pride organisers in Moscow – a similar case following the 2006 ban is awaiting a hearing. Organisers of Pride claim that the Russian Federation, which signed the European Convention on Human Rights when it joined the Council of Europe following the demise of the Soviet Union, breached their rights enshrined in the European Convention. They are claiming compensation of 36 million roubles (£740,000, €1 million or $1.5 million).
Note: Read more on UK Gay News>
(UK) - Brian Paddick is enjoying running for Mayor of London. The Liberal Democrat candidate may be a distant third in opinion polls, but he has one distinct advantage in this race – lots of people know who he is. The 2008 Mayoral election is already the most exciting contest since the post was established at the turn of the century. Incumbent Ken Livingstone is facing a concerted (some would say co-ordinated) barrage of negative press on everything from cronyism to his alcohol intake.
Note: Pink News
(UK) - An advert for a Christian lobbying group has been criticised by the UK's advertising watchdog for showing a family with the slogan "Gay aim: abolish the family". The group claimed that "the campaigners who sought same-sex marriage did not do so simply to achieve the same domestic situation that was available to heterosexuals but also because they aimed to redefine and abolish the traditional family." CCTV referred to the 1971 Gay Liberation Front Manifesto documents which described the traditional family unit (husband, wife and children) as working against homosexuality, and which stated: "We must aim at the abolition of the family."
Note: Read more on In the News
(USA) - Hundreds of same-sex couples from throughout Oregon braved snowy mountain passes and rainy Portland streets to protest a court ordered delay in implementing the state's domestic partnership law. The law was to have gone into effect on New Year's Day, but on December 28 a federal judge placed on hold on the law (story) until a hearing is held on the constitutionality of the legislation. That hearing will take place on Friday. A conservative group went to court after the Oregon secretary of state's office ruled in October that it had failed to collect enough valid signatures on a referendum to block the law. The Alliance Defense Fund, which opposes the measure, argued that the state's review process was flawed, disenfranchising citizens who had signed petitions.
Note: Read more on 365Gay.com
(USA) - I cannot support any of the candidates thus far running for president because none of them supports me and my people in the ways we need to be supported. This is not just about Gay marriage, which has become a nonspecific red herring for non-specific maybes. (Why do you hate us so that you will not permit us to legally love?) Of course we want Gay marriage, but that is not all we want. We want safety. (We are the only people in America that it is socially and legally acceptable to hate and discriminate against.) We want no more taxation without representation. (When I die, our government gobbles such an unconscionable amount of my estate that my partner will no longer be able to afford the house we both have put so much of our money and energy into.)
Note: Read more on The New Republic
(Israel) - When thousands march and openly declare what society teaches us to hide, they convey a clear message to every Lesbian girl still in the closet and to every homosexual forced to marry a woman: You are not alone; you are part of a community that would support you and safeguard your rights. The demand to prevent the Gay pride parade from taking place in Jerusalem for “religious reasons” is cynical and hypocritical. Who’s next? Will the Ethiopian community be banned from protesting in Jerusalem because the Chief Rabbinate does not recognize them as kosher Jews? Will intermarried couples be banned from protesting in the capital because intermarriage contradicts Jewish law? Will Arab Israelis be banned from marching in Jerusalem to spare the feelings of racists? The Gay pride parade is our way to declare our right to exist and protest in favor of equal rights. Therefore, this year we will hold a Gay pride parade in Haifa as well. This is why the bill to ban the Gay pride parade must be resisted.
Note: Read more on YNetNews.com
(Israel) - Members of Hadash party's "Red-Pink Patrol" hung placards overnight Tuesday on the homes of Knesset members Eli Gabbay (National Union-NR) and Nissim Zeev (Shas) in protest of a proposal banning Gay pride parades in Jerusalem. "In this house lives an MK who is trying to outlaw the citizens' right to march and protest on the streets of Jerusalem," one of the posters read. "This anti-democratic bill is targeting not only the homosexual, lesbian, transgender and bisexual communities, but also human and civil rights in general."
The proposed amendment to Basic Law: Jerusalem, would enable the Jerusalem Municipal Council to ban Gay parades and rallies for considerations of disturbance to public order, offending the public's sensitivities or for religious considerations.
Note: Read more on Y Net News
(USA) - The impromptu debate, over light beers and dirty martinis, was at once mundane and remarkable. Provoked by a reporter, four middle-aged men at a Greenwich Village Gay bar made fiery pitches for the Democratic presidential front-runners. Two backed Senator Barack Obama, one argued for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the fourth made an emotional plea for the cause of John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina. What was notable about the exchange last week was what was not mentioned: the word 'Gay.'
Note: Read more on NY Times
(Australia) - Several hundred people have attended a rally in inner Sydney to express their concern about violent attacks on the Gay and Lesbian community. There have recently been a number of attacks along Oxford Street and other parts of Darlinghurst. Rally organiser Ben Veenkamp welcomed the support of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Councillor Shayne Mallard, but says more needs to be done. "We've heard all these proposition already over the last two years. What we need to see is results," he said.
Note: Read more on ABC