Topic: Politics

The new items published under this topic are as follows.
Oct 01, 2011# News: Belgrade Pride banned: Members of the European Parliament express deep regret
Politics (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.
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May 19, 2008# News: European Parliament Will Discuss a New EU Anti-Discrimination Directive
Politics (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.
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May 13, 2008# News: Police in Moldova Watches As Homophobic Mob Assaults Gay Demonstrators
Politics (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”.
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Apr 10, 2008# News: Barroso Urged to Keep His Word On Equal Rights
Politics (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.
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Mar 20, 2008# Quickie Link: Two EU Cities Refuse to Sign Gay Rights Appeal
Politics (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

Mar 18, 2008# Quickie Link: Polish President Uses Gay Wedding Video to Scare Poles of EU
Politics (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

Mar 10, 2008# Quickie Link: US Politician Says Gays Are More Dangerous Than Terrorists
Politics (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

Mar 05, 2008# Quickie Link: Activists Picket HRC Dinner
Politics (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

Mar 02, 2008# News: 'Apolytical' Gay Flash-Mob in Moscow
Politics (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.
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Feb 20, 2008# Quickie Link: Knesset Member Blames Gays for Earthquake
Politics (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

Feb 15, 2008# Quickie Link: Senegal Police Fire Tear Gas at Homophobic Mob
Politics (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

Feb 14, 2008# Moscow Gay Pride Ban Appealed to the European Human Rights Court
Politics (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>

Feb 11, 2008# Quickie Link: The Former Cop Who Wants to Run London
Politics (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

Feb 06, 2008# Quickie Link: Watchdog Condemns 'Gay Ad'
Politics (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

Jan 31, 2008# Quickie Link: Oregon Gay Couples Protest Delay In Partner Law
Politics (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.
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Jan 30, 2008# Quickie Link: Larry Kramer: Cannot Support any of the Candidates
Politics (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

Jan 30, 2008# Quickie Link: Let Gays March
Politics (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.
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Jan 29, 2008# Quickie Link: MK Zeev: Gay 'Plague' Could Destroy Israel
Politics (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

Jan 28, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Issues Neglected in Presidential Rat Race
Politics (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

Jan 27, 2008# Quickie Link: Anti-Bashing Rally in Sydney
Politics (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

Jan 26, 2008# Quickie Link: What Would Dr. Martin King Say Today?
Politics (USA) - Homosexuality was in the closet in King’s day so it’s hard to know for certain. There are, however, a few clues as to what his personal views might have been. Perhaps the most relevant is that his widow, Coretta Scott King, often said that he clearly was supportive of Gay rights. The most famous Gay person among King’s advisors was Bayard Rustin. He was a consummate organizer and the driving force behind the 1963 march on Washington. He was also openly Gay and had once been jailed on a ‘‘morals’’ charge, which meant that he had been accused of having a male lover. Against tremendous pressure, King stood by him to the very end.
# Note: Read more on South of Boston

Jan 21, 2008# Quickie Link: Turkey: Transsexuals Take to the Stage to Defend their Rights
Politics (Turkey) - A unique play in an Ankara theatre ended with a standing ovation this week as the little-known actors -- Transsexuals and Gays raising their voice against discrimination -- fought back their tears on stage. Their play, "Pink And Grey," put the spotlight on the plight of Transsexuals in mainly Muslim Turkey, in the latest initiative of a fledgling but increasingly vocal movement for rights by a community long ostracized and often harassed. Activists say police abuse declined in recent years as the Gay and Transgender movement became organised and Turkey's bid to join the European Union made human rights a priority issue. "Before, the police used violence -- now they only fine us," said Buse Kilickaya, the head of Pembe Hayat, or Pink Life, a newly-founded association that advocates transgender rights and sponsored "Pink and Grey."
# Note: Read more on AFP

Jan 20, 2008# Quickie Link: Peter Tatchell: An Interview
Politics (UK) - Peter Tatchell is Britain hardest, smartest Gay rights warrior – the man we set on the homophobes when we’ve had enough. In his time, he has hijacked the Archbishop of Canterbury’s pulpit, performed a citizens’ arrest on homo-cidal Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, and – just this year – been beaten unconscious by the Russian police. It seems that for him, suffering anywhere is an issue. He is the human rights movement made flesh. So to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of his Gay rights campaigning, Attitude trudged down to the Tatch’s tiny council flat, which is buried on a concrete council estate in Lambeth. The sacrifices he has made to fight for us are immediately clear. His front door is marked with a ‘Warning: this property is guarded 24 hours a day by the police sign’ after a string of homophobic hate attacks and death threats. His windows are covered with steel bars.
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Jan 18, 2008# News: Mike Huckabee's Comments On Homosexuality Embarrassing
Politics (USA) - Mike Huckabee was condemned by 'Truth Wins Out' for comments to BeliefNet that compared homosexuality to bestiality. Huckabee showed a lack of character, by pandering to the lowest common denominator in his quest to win the South Carolina primary, according to 'Truth Wins Out'.
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Jan 16, 2008# Quickie Link: Amnesty Condemns Iran's Practice of Death By Stoning
Politics (Iran) - Amnesty International has issued a highly critical report highlighting the despicable practice of execution by stoning carried out by the Iranian regime. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been in the headlines for its controversial nuclear weapons programme and state sponsorship of international terrorism. While the report focuses on the practice of stoning, Amnesty International has taken the Iranian regime to task for a wide range of human rights abuses including hanging people for being Gay and torturing children.
# Note: Read more on News Blaze

Jan 12, 2008# Quickie Link: Russian Gay Activists Win a Court Case
Politics (Russia) - The 13 Gay activists arrested in a Moscow polling station on December 2 during the Russian state Dumas election for “protest voting”, were acquitted today by a judge. The 13, including Moscow Gay Pride organisers Nikolai Alekseev, Nikolai Baev and Alexey Davydov, were among more that two dozen activists who went to vote in polling station 165, where the homophobic mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov votes, to protest against the whole electoral process and homophobic position of all political parties. Court observed that activists did not have any agitation materials with them, they did not demand anything from the authorities by using placards. Court concluded that there was no picketing held in the meaning of Russian law on public meetings which means that persons detained did not conduct an illegal public gathering.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Jan 10, 2008# Quickie Link: Gibraltar Gays Get Tough with Chief Minister Caruana
Politics (Gibraltar) - Equality Rights Group GGR has taken the issues of Gibraltar’s unequal age of consent and discriminatory sexual offences legislation to the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe. This is the highest possible level of the European body responsible for overseeing Human Rights. GGR chairman Felix Alvarez said today that the question which has been tabled directs itself to the United Kingdom’s responsibility regarding the Gibraltar Government’s failure to respect human rights standards not only in regard of unequal age of consent but across criminal offences such as ‘buggery’ and ‘gross indecency’ which exclusively criminalise Gay men.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Dec 27, 2007# Quickie Link: Obama Camp Woos Gays
Politics (USA) - Gay supporters of Barack Obama's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination began voter outreach in the Castro last weekend in an effort to drum up support in advance of the state's February 5 primary. Obama, who trails Senator Hillary Clinton in several recent statewide polls, nonetheless has been closing the gap, and is in a tight race with Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire, where voters soon will cast ballots in the caucuses and primary, respectively. Obama came under heavy criticism from many in the LGBT community because McClurkin has proclaimed himself "cured" of homosexuality and now rails against it. In an essay that Obama wrote for members of the National Gay Newspaper Guild, he discussed the McClurkin episode and reiterated his support of the LGBT community.
# Note: Read more opn BayAreaReporter

Dec 15, 2007# Quickie Link: Peter Tatchell's 40 Years of Campaigning
Politics (UK) - Peter Tatchell celebrated his fortieth year of campaigning on 10th December, Human Rights Day. The Australian-born activist began campaigning for human rights, democracy and global justice in 1967, aged 15. Now, at 55, his eyes still have the vividness and energy of a teenager, and he has no intention to retire, because, he says, there is still much work to do. Speaking in his home in South London, surrounded by hundreds of documents on human rights issues, books and magazines about LGBT rights, and satirical posters of religious leaders, he talks about his long career and his many experiences.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Dec 12, 2007# Quickie Link: Dumbfounded and Dumb
Politics (USA) - Perhaps, if the largest newspaper in Little Rock were called the Arkansas Republican-Gazette instead of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Mike "Huck-a-Bible" might have bothered to read the news. America was shocked to learn that the rising GOP political star was blissfully unaware of the National Intelligence Estimate that found Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003. This debacle was followed by news of an Associated Press questionnaire Huckabee completed in his failed 1992 U.S. Senate bid, where he called for the quarantine of AIDS patients and referred to homosexuality as "an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle" that could "pose a dangerous public health risk."
# Note: Read more on Wayne Besen

Dec 07, 2007# Quickie Link: Brazil's President Announces First Gay Rights Confab
Politics (Brazil) - Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced last week that he will convene the first-ever national LGBT conference in South America's largest country. The conference, which will have the theme "Human Rights and Public Politics: The Way to Guarantee Citizenship to Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals," will take place next May 9-11 and include 18 private organizations and 16 government agencies. "There are countries with more advanced legislation and policies, but this will be the first time that a federal government convenes a complete conference," said Brazilian gay rights activist Julian Rodrigues.
# Note: Read more on Gay News Watch

Dec 06, 2007# Quickie Link: Botswana Gays Threaten Suit Against Govt
Politics (Botswana) - Attorney Duma Boko, has slapped the Attorney General, Athaliah Molokomme with a notice of intention to sue the department of civil and national registration following its decision not to register the society of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals (LEGABIBO). Through a letter two months ago, it was revealed that the registrar of societies dismissed an application seeking to register the organisation. The letter further revealed that the rejected application was made by the Botswana Network On Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) on behalf of LEGABIBO and filed with the registrar of societies on September 27 last year. LEGABIBO stated that the organisation's objective is 'to integrate a legal, ethical and human rights dimension into the sexual, reproductive and health rights without discrimination'.
# Note: Read more on AllAfrica

Dec 06, 2007# Quickie Link: ALP Call to Unite on Gay Reforms
Politics (Australia) - Attorney-General Robert McClelland hopes to reach a consensus with the Liberal Opposition on removing discrimination against Gays and Lesbians from all commonwealth legislation. And he will meet his ACT counterpart, Simon Corbell, tomorrow to discuss the Gay civil union laws being promised by the ACT Government, and will ask the territory for co-operation in developing a national standard on civil partnerships. Mr McClelland said he wanted to reach a bipartisan position on removing all discrimination against Gays, after Liberal leader Brendan Nelson indicated he wished to change his party's position on the issue.
# Note: Read more on Australian News

Dec 04, 2007# Quickie Link: Phila. Scouts Ignore Deadline to Renounce Gay Ban
Politics (USA) - The Philadelphia chapter of the Boy Scouts of America ignored today's deadline, set by City Solicitor Romulo L. Diaz Jr., to publicly renounce its membership ban against people who are Gay or atheists if the organization wishes to remain in its landmark headquarters on city-owned land. The scouts have been on notice for seven months that they will be evicted on May 31 if they do not drop the policies.
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Dec 02, 2007# News: Russian Gay Activists Arrested at Polling Station
Politics (Russia) - Nikolai Alekseev and 12 fellow Gays and Lesbians have been arrested this morning at 10am in Moscow while they attempted to vote at the "District Electoral Commission N° 165". They came to the place at 9.30 am. Yuri Luzhkov, mayor of Moscow who banned the last 2 gays prides, was planning to vote in the same place later in the day. Representatives of reported that the police ‘suddenly broke into the place and took all the activists who were quietly voting.’ However, reported that Nikolai Alekseev was arrested when he wrote ‘No to homophobes, no to Luzhkov’ on his ballot paper and started to demonstrate the bulletin to journalists. In Putin’s ‘guided democracy,’ spoiling the ballot papers is a silent form of protest by many: opposition leader Garry Kasparov has been reported writing ‘Another Russia’ over his ballot paper.
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Nov 29, 2007# Quickie Link: Lithuanian authorities use security to ban gay events
Politics New rules passed by the city council in Vilnius will effectively outlaw gay marches and other events, according to Lithuanian gay rights advocates.

Amendments to the public order and cleanliness regulations mean that the police or a special commission will be able to ban any event where they think a riot might occur.

The Lithuanian Gay League is attempting to appeal this decision in court.
# Note: Read more at Pink News

Nov 26, 2007# Quickie Link: Poland Rejects New Human Rights Charter
Politics (Poland) - Gay activists in Poland have spoken of their dismay that the country's newly-elected government are to continue the policy of opposition to the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. Before coming to power earlier this month Donald Tusk had signalled he would sign up to the charter, which broadly mirrors the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. Former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski of the Law and Justice party had claimed that Poland was "culturally different" from their EU partners, especially when it came to the rights of LGBT people and the use of the death penalty, and refused to sign up.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Nov 25, 2007# News: Ugandan Gays Refused Space to Speak at CHOGM
Politics (Uganda) - East African Gay people came in peace to CHOGM to speak and were met by violent police officers. Ugandan and Kenyan Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) speakers scheduled to give their addresses at the CHOGM Speaker’s Corner in Uganda today left after facing violence from the police and waiting for seven hours to be given entrance to the People’s Space. The People’s Space was designed „to provide opportunities to share in the diversity and richness of the Commonwealth people” and was specifically designated as a space open to all people. It was intended to give people „renewed energy to facilitate social change with a clear sense of building the future together.” The discrimination and violence carried out by police at the People’s Space today is an affront to basic human rights in Uganda.
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Nov 24, 2007# Quickie Link: Uganda: Gay, Clergy Clash At People's Space
Politics (Uganda) - People advocating for the rights of homosexuals and those against the practice are using the People's Space at Hotel Africana in Kampala to air out their views. Drama ensued on Thursday when the Catholic and Anglican clergymen, who were condemning Gays, sat next to pro-Gay people who were watching a film on homosexuality. The film, which attracted several youth, showcased the various countries which have embraced Gays, particularly Egypt. As homosexuals and lesbians gave testimonies on how they were attracted to each other in the movie, the clergy were addressing a press conference to express their disappointment at Commonwealth member-states that were advocating for Gay rights.
# Note: Read more on New Vision

Nov 24, 2007# Quickie Link: Homophobic Howard Gov't Defeated In Australia
Politics (Australia) - Prime Minister John Howard's Liberal government suffered a crushing defeat to the opposition Labor Party led by Kevin Rudd on Saturday. Howard's ouster ended 11 years leading Australia with most Australian's seeing him as "yesterday's man". The vote ends longstanding disagreements between Howard's Liberals and Australia's Gay community over recognizing same-sex relationships. How much more Gay friendly a Labor government will be has yet to be determined. Rudd is opposed to same-sex marriage, but on the campaign trail said that if Labor formed the next government it would implement most of the recommendations of the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. The Greens, with its openly Gay leader Bob Brown, was the only party to support Gay marriage, but failed to win any seats in Parliament.
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Nov 23, 2007# Quickie Link: Respect Gay Rights - People’s Forum in Uganda
Politics (Uganda) - The Commonwealth People’s Forum has proposed that the rights of minorities, including Gays and Lesbians, be recognised. In the memorandum issued yesterday at the end of the five-day event held at Hotel Africana in Kampala, the members also advocated for the recognition of rights of persons with disabilities and refugees. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and many African countries. The chairman of the Peoples’ Forum, Warren Nyamugasira, handed the memorandum to Glenda Morean, the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago to the UK, for submission to the Commonwealth summit (CHOGM). Queen Elizabeth II will open the meeting at the Serena Hotel today. The next CHOGM will take place at the Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.
# Note: Read more on New Vision

Nov 21, 2007# Quickie Link: HRC Raises Red Flag on Wal-Mart Policies
Politics (USA) - HRC is giving Wal-Mart (WMT) a red "do not buy" rating in its new consumer guide, bestowing a lump of coal on the retail giant just in time for the holiday shopping season. Citing Wal-Mart's refusal to offer domestic partner benefits to its Gay and Lesbian workers, the HRC said Tuesday that the USA's biggest private employer has "more work to do in furthering equality." It advised Gays and their supporters to shop elsewhere. Wal-Mart rated a red 40 on a scale of 100, down from a yellow 65 in 2006. It was among 54 companies that scored 45 or lower in HRC's 2008 Corporate Equality index, which assigns ratings to 519 large companies. Also in the red: Toys R Us, RadioShack (RSH) and AutoZone (AZO).
# Note: Read more on USA Today

Nov 19, 2007# News: 4th Equality March in Poznan
Politics (Poland) - This year’s traditional Equality March in Poznan took place on 17 November. The march started at Adam Mickiewicz Square in the center of Poznan. Right before the march the organizers received the Grizzly Award 2006 "for pioneering efforts for homo culture and solidarity in the face of exceptionally ferocious homophobia and for carrying out the successful festival in the face of threats and shadows of last year's violence". The award was handed over by Bill Schiller, the president of International Les Gay Cultural Network.
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Nov 18, 2007# Quickie Link: Govt. Minister Slams Gays, Praises Watchmen
Politics (Latvia) - A Latvian government minister and the owner of a widely-circulated newspaper have both praised the work of the New Generation Church and Watchmen on the Walls in the campaign against Gay men and women. They were both speaking at the Watchmen on the Walls conference which concluded today. Praising the conference was the Latvian government’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Einars Shlessers. “We now stand at the precipice,” Mr. Shlessers said tpld delegates. “We must decide what to do and what will determine our future and the future of our countries.” He went on to praise the New Generation Church, saying it was “very good” that the church was holding such a conference.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Nov 17, 2007# Quickie Link: Pennsylvania Court Tosses Gay Hate Law
Politics (US) - Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has urged the legislature to immediately approve "appropriate legislation" reinstating the state's hate crime protections for Gays after the Commonwealth Court in a split decision ruled the measure illegal on a technicality. In a 4-1 ruling the court said that the law, passed in 2002, was invalid because it had been tacked onto another nonrelated bill.
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Nov 17, 2007# Quickie Link: Brian Paddick: 'Why I Want to Be Mayor'
Politics (UK) - Mr Paddick, the former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and Britain's most senior openly Gay copper, is undoubtedly the fittest of the three mayoral candidates. Mr Paddick became London's most famous policeman when he pioneered a softly-softly approach to cannabis on the streets of Brixton - people were prosecuted for dealing crack cocaine but not for smoking dope. Mr Paddick is in a long-term relationship now but he said that he struggled for years to come to terms with the idea of being Gay. He was married for five years in the 1980s. "I knew before I was married that I was Gay, but my wife didn't know," he said. "It was a genuine attempt by me to enter honestly into a marriage where I felt that I could overcome my sexuality. Life's a lot easier if you're straight."
# Note: Read more on Telegraph

Nov 16, 2007# Quickie Link: Nicaragua to Decriminalise Gay Sex
Politics (Nicaragua) - Consensual Gay sex will no longer be a criminal offence in Nicaragua under a new civil code due to come into effect on March 2008. The surprise news was announced earlier this week by the Nicaraguan National Assembly, reports La Prensa. Under old legislation passed in 1992, "anyone who induces, promotes, propagandises or practices sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex commits the crime of sodomy and shall incur one to three years' imprisonment." Nicaragua's new code removes all reference to this, reflecting changing social mores in a country which Amnesty International targeted this year for contradicting numerous provisions in international human rights law.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Nov 15, 2007# Quickie Link: Supreme Court Rules Ban on Riga Gay Pride 2006 Was Unlawful
Politics (Latvia) - The Senate of the Supreme Court of Latvia has today upheld the April ruling of a lower court that the ban on Riga Gay Pride in 2006 by the city authorities was unlawful. On April 12 this year, the Regional Administrative Court ruled the ban unlawful, but Riga City Council appealed the decision. A spokesperson for Mozaika, the country’s LGBT group, said that it was fortunate that the City Council appealed the Administrative Court decision and went to the Supreme Court.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Nov 14, 2007# Quickie Link: At UAE Campus, Gay Rights Not a Given
Politics (UAR) - NYU's plans for a campus in the United Arab Emirates call for building a mini-NYU in the gulf state. On the self-contained campus, located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, NYU public safety officers would enforce order, NYU professors would teach classes in English and degrees would be stamped with NYU's name. But students who step off campus would find one sharp difference between NYU in Abu Dhabi and NYU in New York: In Abu Dhabi, homosexual acts are illegal. Now, a month after administrators announced plans for the university's first full-fledged satellite campus, some students have raised questions about the partnership, saying it is at odds with NYU's support for rights for lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender students.
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Nov 13, 2007# Quickie Link: Lib Dems Choose Paddick as Candidate for London Mayor
Politics (UK) - Brian Paddick, the former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, today pledged to bring about a "dramatic" effect on crime and disorder if elected as London mayor. Paddick, 49, was the highest-ranking openly Gay officer in the Metropolitan police before he retired in May. A London-born Oxford graduate who worked his way up through the ranks, he was a sergeant on the front line in the Brixton riots of 1981 and returned to the area when he became the Met's commander in Lambeth in 2000. His critics dubbed him "Commander Crackpot" after he ordered officers in Brixton not to arrest or charge people found in possession of cannabis - three years before the government downgraded the drug from class B to class C.
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Nov 10, 2007# Quickie Link: Anti-Gay Nigeria Loses Out on 2014 Games
Politics (UK) - Glasgow will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games - Scotland's largest city beat a bid from the Nigerian city of Abuja by 47 votes to 24 at a meeting of the Games voting nations in Sri Lanka. Gay activists in Nigeria had questioned whether that country should be allowed to host the Games because of its "systematic persecution of Lesbian and Gay Nigerians." In August a delegation led by Davis Mac-Iyalla, founder and leader of the Gay Christian group, Changing Attitude Nigeria, met with the chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in London to put their case.
# Note: Read more on Gay NZ

Nov 09, 2007# Quickie Link: Protests Outside Irish Parliament
Politics (Ireland) - Over 200 people turned up at a candlit vigil last night outside the Irish Dáil to protest at the lack of equality for same sex couples in this country. The event was organised by the LGBT section of the Labour Party, who re-introduced a Civil Unions Bill in the Dáil last week. The Labour Bill, which sought to introduce a form of civil partnership for same sex couples that provided equal rights and responsibilities to married couples, was voted down by 66 votes to 59 followiing an argument that it was unconstitutional. Instead the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Brian Lenehan set a deadline of March 31st for the heads of the Government’s own Bill to be introduced.
# Note: Read more on GCN

Nov 08, 2007# Quickie Link: Moscow City Court Confirms Gay Pride Pickets Ban Lawful
Politics (Russia) - An appeal by the organisers of this year’s Moscow Gay Pride was dismissed today. The Moscow City Court threw out the appeal, ruling that the decision of the lower Taganski district court that the ban by Moscow authorities on pickets as part of May’s Moscow Pride was lawful. Two pickets in support for tolerance and respect of the rights and freedoms of homosexual people in Russia were offered by the organisers of the Gay pride as an alternative to the march on the same day which was banned by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
# Note: Read more on Gay Russia

Nov 08, 2007# Quickie Link: What Does Victory Mean? -- by Paul Schindler
Politics (USA) - The United States House of Representatives, in a 235 -184 vote in the early evening of November 7, passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which provides federal protection barring workplace bias against Gays and Lesbians. The vote marked the first time that either house of Congress has approved a Gay rights measure, and came 32 years after the first Gay civil rights measure, more comprehensive than ENDA, was introduced by the late Bella Abzug, then a congresswoman from Manhattan's West Side. Despite the historic nature of Wednesday's vote, the victory is likely not to calm the deep divisions that emerged within the LGBT community in the preceding six weeks. Many will judge the win Pyrrhic, at best, perhaps even a setback in the longer term.
# Note: Read more on GayCityNews

Nov 07, 2007# Quickie Link: Grenada Debates the Gay Cruise Stop Over
Politics (Grenada) - Claims that Grenada is on the itinerary for all Gay cruises in December 2007 and early 2008 have caused major stir within the past week. Many have commented on the issue and it has sparked a number of debates across the country. While many have expressed concern and in some instances disgust at the idea that at least four all-Gay cruises are scheduled for Grenada, some believe what’s important is "not their sexual orientation but their behaviour while in the street." The Tourism Minister says her government and the laws of the land do not support Gay activities; and it is a matter of "where the line is drawn" since Gays cannot be stopped from entering the country. “As a government our policy is that we do not support it, but are we going to put a barrier that says in any port of entry that if somebody is Gay they should be debarred from coming to this country.. This is my question, what does the Grenadian community want of us.”
# Note: Read more on CBN

Nov 06, 2007# Quickie Link: HRC Shifts, Actively Pushing Barney Frank's ENDA
Politics (USA) - Breaking its month-long posture of nuanced neutrality, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) today endorsed the revised version of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act that provides protections for US Gays and Lesbians but does not include language barring bias based on gender identity and expression. The group's new position was announced in tandem with a number of leading civil rights and labor organizations outside of the LGBT community. In a mid-day interview with Gay City News, Joe Solmonese, HRC's executive director, said the group shifted its position in the wake of action Monday evening by the House Rules Committee to move the measure forward for a floor vote, now scheduled for Wednesday.
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Nov 05, 2007# Quickie Link: Company says it protects against 'risk'
Politics (Thailand) - Gay activists have launched a protest against American International Assurance for unfair discrimination based on sexual preference. AIA executives said the company had no explicit policies against homosexual clients, but reserved the right to consider applications based on risk factors related to ''personal lifestyle''. Natee Teerarojjanapong, the president of the Gay Political Group of Thailand, said his application to purchase life insurance from AIA, the country's largest insurer, had been rejected solely because of his sexual orientation. He said this was a clear violation of Section 30 of the 2007 constitution, which outlaws discrimination on the basis of race, language, sex or health.
# Note: Read more on Bangkokpost

Nov 05, 2007# Quickie Link: Obama's Mistake Raises Questions on Gay Commitment
Politics (USA) - Not surprisingly, at the Oct. 28 gospel show, a fired-up McClurkin told a cheering audience, "I don't speak against the homosexual. I tell you that God delivered me from homosexuality." Afterward, Obama continued trying to distance himself from McClurkin's views. But the reality is that he gave McClurkin a stage, a microphone, an audience and national media attention. And Obama inadvertently ended up reinforcing two myths unfortunately believed by many religious African-Americans -- that Gays are white and being Gay is sinful. Rod McCullom, a popular black gay writer and longtime Obama fan, said the fiasco makes him wonder how hard Obama would push for gay equality as president. "He folded like a deck of cards. If he is going to fold on the campaign trail, why would we not think he'd fold in the Oval Office?"
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Nov 02, 2007# Quickie Link: Gospel Preacher's Anti-Gay 'Rant' at Obama Concert
Politics (USA) - The controversy over what Mother Jones magazine called Senator Barack Obama's "pander-to-black-hatred tour" featuring homophobic "ex-Gay" preacher-singer Donnie McClurkin continued this past week. An Obama gospel concert was held on Sunday, October 28, in Columbia, South Carolina as the final stage in what the presidential candidate billed as a "Forty Days of Faith and Family" tour of the Palmetto State. A September poll conducted by Winthrop University and ETV showed that 74 percent of South Carolina African Americans believe homosexuality is "unacceptable."
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Nov 01, 2007# Quickie Link: Uganda's Government Prepares Extermination of Gays
Politics (Uganda) - Members of Ugandan Parliament have asked the government to use the Chogm summit to speak out against homosexuality. In a separate interview, Kawempe South MP, Ssebuliba Mutumba said, "We call for seriousness on the part of the government to check homosexuality because it's illegal and a taboo." He said action was needed urgently because gays were increasingly becoming visible and this may lead to "a morally corrupted society."The Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, told Daily Monitor that a new law would be tabled soon. "As soon as Parliament resumes, we shall table a tough law. The government is doing everything possible to stamp out homosexuality."
# Note: Read more on Monitor

Oct 30, 2007# News: Results of the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2007
Politics (Lithuania) - Delegates of ILGA-Europe annual conference experience first-hand discrimination and resistance in Vilnius, but are united and determined to work together for Europe of equality and respect. Over the weekend, almost 200 delegates from all over Europe gathered in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius for the 11th ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference. While the public event to display rainbow flag during the conference was banned by the Mayor of Vilnius and there was a demonstration against the conference, the delegates are determined to fight prejudice, discrimination and injustice.
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Oct 28, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay, Lesbian Rights Meeting Held in Uganda
Politics (Uganda) - A Uganda chapter of International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) has been launched in Uganda following a successful meeting attended by over 100 gay men and women, transgender people, human rights activists and other supporters. “Never before has there been such a far reaching well organised and professional gay public debate in this country,” said Pastor Kiyimba Yususf Brown who is the country coordinator for IDAHO. Among the organisations which were represented were “Open Door Counselling Ministries, Spectrum-Uganda, Queer Youth Uganda, Ice Breakers, Uganda Youth Health, Breaking the Silence and MUSLA”. Among the participants who addressed the conference was East Africa ILGA representative, Sam Ganafa.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Oct 27, 2007# Quickie Link: Freshman Democrats Kill Transgender Amendment
Politics (USA) - Reps. Tim Walz (Minn.) and Ron Klein (Fla.), leaders of the class of freshman Democrats, carried a message to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday that their fellow first-term lawmakers did not want to vote on an amendment extending civil rights to Transgender employees. House Education and Labor panel Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.), whose committee passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, said he told the freshman lawmakers at their Wednesday breakfast with Pelosi that the amendment did not have the votes to pass and would not be brought to the House floor. In addition, Miller told the freshmen he recognized that the amendment "exposed the first-term lawmakers to political attacks from conservatives and liberals alike", said two sources who attended the breakfast.
# Note: Read more on The Hill

Oct 25, 2007# Quickie Link: After Uproar, Obama Adds Gay Pastor to Campaign Event
Politics (USA) - In response to an uproar from Gay activists, Democrat Barack Obama's presidential campaign on Thursday added a Gay minister to the lineup for its weekend gospel tour. Gay activists had criticized Obama's "Embrace the Change" tour in South Carolina because the performers included homophobic gospel singer Donnie McClurkin. Obama's campaign invited Rev. Andy Sidden, a South Carolina pastor who is openly Gay, to appear on Sunday in Columbia.
# Note: Read more on PagePneQ

Oct 25, 2007# Quickie Link: Obama's Anti-Gay Gamble -- By Doug Ireland
Politics (USA) - Senator Barack Obama has enrolled a trio of notorious anti-Gay bigots to campaign for him in the South - and when a blogosphere firestorm erupted over the move, Obama compounded his betrayal of the Gay community by refusing to dump the homohaters. This past weekend, the Illinois Democratic senator's presidential campaign announced a three-day, gospel music campaign tour through South Carolina it billed as "Embrace the Courage" featuring four singers - Reverend Donnie McClurkin, Mary Mary (a sister act duo), and Reverend Hezekiah Walker, all prominent in the gospel world. McClurkin, an evangelical minister and a Grammy Award-winner, has told the Washington Post that he's in "a war" against what he calls "the curse of homosexuality." Moreover, McClurkin is the poster boy for the African-American "ex-Gay" movement. He claims that he became homosexual after having been molested by relatives when he was eight and 13, but was "cured" by religion.
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Oct 24, 2007# Quickie Link: D.C. Gay Groups Buck Trend on ENDA
Politics (USA) - The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club and the Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance - Washington’s two most influential local Gay political groups - broke ranks with many of their fellow GLBT groups in states throughout the country by declining to ask Congress to vote against an employment non-discrimination bill that does not include protection for transgender persons. Leaders of more than 300 US Gay rights organizations have signed a statement asking Congress not to support any version of ENDA that doesn’t include trans protections. Officials with some of the groups, including Jon Hoadley, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, said they have yet to decide whether to specifically ask members of Congress to vote against a non-trans inclusive ENDA if it reaches the House floor next week, as expected.
# Note: Read more on Washington Blade

Oct 23, 2007# Quickie Link: Poland's New Government Will Adopt EU Rights Charter
Politics (Poland) - Poland's incoming pro-business government will adopt the EU charter of fundamental rights, which Warsaw's ousted conservatives bitterly opposed during reform treaty talks, a top party official said Sunday. "It will be a modernising government, and very actively involved in the EU. So it will change Poland's stance on the treaty and thus will adhere to the charter of fundamental rights," Jacek Saryusz-Wolski told AFP. Previously, Poland rejected parts of the charter arguing that deeply Catholic "Poland's point of view culturally is different from the majority of other European countries," notably in its stance on Gay rights.
# Note: Read more on EU Business

Oct 23, 2007# News: Singer Donnie McClurkin's Divisive Rhetoric Defies Obama's Pledge
Politics (USA) - Truth Wins Out called on the democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama to immediately distance his campaign from "ex-Gay" preacher and gospel singer Donnie McClurkin. Obama is scheduled to tour South Carolina with the controversial singer, even though McClurkin's mean-spirited rhetoric runs counter to the senator's conciliatory efforts, says TWO.
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Oct 22, 2007# Quickie Link: Singapore Lawmakers Debate Anti-Gay Sodomy Law
Politics (Singapore) - Singapore politicians engaged in a heated debate on homosexuality Monday as the city state's Parliament considered a sweeping revision of the penal code that fails to remove homosexual sodomy as a criminal offense. Siew Kum Hong introduced a petition signed by 2,341 people calling for repeal of the law, that dates back to British colonial times. The names were gathered online in just three days the lawmaker told Parliament. "In times past and in other countries, public morality has been used to justify slavery, discrimination against racial and religious minorities and discrimination against women," Siew said. "Let us not perpetuate or repeat the mistakes of others in the past." But the government showed no sign it was ready to do away with the law.
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Oct 21, 2007# Quickie Link: New Israeli Constitution Likely to Hurt Minority Rights
Politics (Israel) - The constitution currently being drafted by a Knesset committee is not likely to safeguard the rights of homosexuals and other minority groups, the Chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee MK Menachem Ben-Sasson told the Israel Bar Association. Ben-Sasson's surprising comments were made in response to a query by the association's chairman, Amos Van-Amden, who is Gay. Ben-Sasson confirmed that in order to reach a political compromise which would allow the ratification of a constitution, it would in fact have to come at the expense of minority rights, such as those of the Gay community.
# Note: Read more on Haaretz

Oct 21, 2007# News: Gibraltar Govt Lacks Consensual Good Faith
Politics (Gibraltar) - Gibraltar's Gay and human rights organisation Equality Rights Group GGR stated today: "Following last week's announcement by Michael Cashman MEP, the Gibraltar Government's recent statement following Downing Street's agreement to intervene on the age of consent issue in Gibraltar is a sad case of psychological denial and desperate face-saving." It was reacting to a press statement by the Rock's Government repudiating a report published by the group last week regarding announcements that Gordon Brown had determined to take action on the age of consent in Gibraltar (16 for heterosexuals and 18 for Gay men).
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Oct 21, 2007# Quickie Link: Poland's "Terrible Twins" Fear the Verdict of Angry Youth
Politics (Poland) - After weeks of campaigning that have seen the Kaczynskis' Law and Justice party (PiS) in the lead, the latest polls suggest that the their rivals in the Civic Platform will win the elections today. If the polls are right, the party of Donald Tusk, enjoying an impressive resurgence in recent days, will oust Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leaving Lech, his identical twin, to continue as President in cohabitation with a hostile government. Most young Poles are expected to back the Civic Platform.
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Oct 20, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay Policemen in Chile May Press Lawsuit
Politics (Chile) - Gay rights leader Rolando Jimenez refused Thursday to rule out legal action against the Santiago police force in connection with allegations, first disclosed last week, that two Gay Carabineros police officers were forced from their jobs because of their sexual orientation. Jimenez told The Santiago Times that the Gay right group he leads, MOVILH, has already spoken with police officials about reinstating Rivas and Salgado, and that more talks are on the horizon. Still, he would not discount a possible lawsuit. Jimenez’s statements come one day after two the gay police officers - Victor Rivas and Armando Salgado - testified to the Chamber of Deputies’ Human Rights Commission about the alleged case of discrimination.
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Oct 19, 2007# Quickie Link: Lessons From the ENDA Mess -- By Doug Ireland
Politics (USA) - Regardless of whether or not Congress, in the days ahead, passes an Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that protects all LGBT people, there are lessons to be drawn from the controversy that has been roiling our community for weeks now. Let's briefly recall the facts. Late this summer, the Human Rights Campaign cut a backroom deal with the Democratic House leadership to strip from the original ENDA bill introduced in April any protection of the transgendered or of those who present their gender identity differently from the heterosexual norm. Disgust and revulsion at this betrayal of the most vulnerable among us swiftly became widespread - and within days, a broad coalition of national, state, and local LGBT organizations, called ENDA United, had sprung up to oppose the version of ENDA that failed to protect gender identity and expression and the transgendered.
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Oct 18, 2007# Quickie Link: Turkish Authorities Try to Close Gay Group
Politics (Turkey) - An attempt by the Governor's Office of Istanbul to close down Lambda Istanbul, an LGBT group, has raised questions about human rights in Turkey. A department responsible for non-governmental organisations alleges that the group violates Turkish laws on morality. The Governor had asked in early 2007 that the group be shut down. In July local prosecutors rejected the complaint but the Governor's Office then took the case to a higher court which heard the case in July 2007 and ordered a second hearing on 18 October.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Oct 17, 2007# Quickie Link: Turkish Authorities Try to Close Gay Group
Politics (Turkey) - An attempt by the Governor's Office of Istanbul to close down Lambda Istanbul, an LGBT group, has raised questions about human rights in Turkey. A department responsible for non-governmental organisations alleges that the group violates Turkish laws on morality. The Governor had asked in early 2007 that the group be shut down. In July local prosecutors rejected the complaint but the Governor's Office then took the case to a higher court which heard the case in July 2007 and ordered a second hearing which begins tomorrow.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Oct 15, 2007# Quickie Link: Ex-PQ Leader Boisclair Quitting Politics
Politics (Canada) - Former Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair will announce his departure from politics on Monday, according to Quebec media reports. A career politician, first getting elected at age 23, Boisclair had been a cabinet minister in the PQ governments of Lucien Bouchard and Bernard Landry. The openly Gay Boisclair raised questions about his judgment and maturity when he appeared in a parody of "Brokeback Mountain" featuring actors wearing the masks of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President George Bush. Many hardline sovereigntists saw him as being too soft on the Qubeck sovereignty agenda.
# Note: Read more on CTV

Oct 14, 2007# Quickie Link: Pelosi / HRC ENDA 'Bargain' - The Inside Story
Politics (USA) - At a late afternoon meeting on October 12 in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, representatives of the Democratic leadership informed key LGBT advocates that it planned to move forward with a vote on a revised version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) covering sexual orientation but not gender identity and expression. But in what was intended as a concession to leading LGBT organizations who have waged an uphill struggle for more than two weeks to salvage the fully inclusive version of the bill introduced earlier this year, Pelosi pledged to allow a floor vote on that original formulation once advocates indicate they have the votes to secure passage. It is not at all certain that Pelosi's bargain will be widely accepted.
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Oct 13, 2007# Quickie Link: Thousands March in Taipei for Gay Rights
Politics (Taiwan) - Thousands from Taiwan's Gay and Lesbian community marched through the streets of Taipei Saturday demanding more rights for homosexuals. The parade took a carnival-like mood with marchers waving rainbow flags, colourful balloons and signs. "We have to make our voices and demands heard so that the government will do more to promote Gay rights," said Way Chao, a 22-year-old serviceman from southern Kaohsiung. In a symbol of unity, participants will raise coloured placards to form a giant rainbow flag later Saturday in a bustling business district in Taipei, organisers said.
# Note: Read more on AFP

Oct 12, 2007# Quickie Link: Latvian 'Human Rights' Top Politician Is a Bigott
Politics (Latvia) - Never let it be said that the movers and shakers in the Council of Europe (CoE) lack guts. This week, Andreas Gross, rapporteur of the Judicial and Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), was in Latvia and invited the Latvian Parliamentary Social Affairs and Human Rights Committee to lunch. Well, not quite all of the committee. Excluded was chairperson Janis Smits, whose homophobic outbursts are legendary. Parliamentarian Smits closely allies himself with Alexey Ledyaev who heads the worldwide New Generation Church, a particularly homophobic so-called “Christian” church with its world headquarters in Riga.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Oct 12, 2007# Quickie Link: Alexeyev Discusses Struggle for GLBT Rights in Russia
Politics (Russia) - When Russian gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev looks back on the last few years, he can be brutally honest. “If I knew in 2005, (that) it would have taken so long, I don’t know if I would have started,” he said last week. Alexeyev spoke Oct. 3 about the frustrating struggle GLBTs have been waging for equality in Russia at a talk sponsored by the Gay Liberation Movement at Berger Cultural Center in Edgewater. When homosexuality was decriminalized in 1993, according to Alexeyev, the Russian Gay community was not quite ready for what would come next. “To reach decriminalization was the final goal. No one was thinking about anything else,” he added.
# Note: Read more on Chicago Free Press

Oct 11, 2007# Quickie Link: Russian Court: 'Satanic Gatherings' Was Not Insult
Politics (Russia) - Moscow City Court has today dismissed the appeal of Moscow Gay Pride organisers Nikolai Alekseev and Nikolai Baev against the decision of Tverskoi district court which considered their claim against Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s statement earlier this year that Gay parades are “satanic gatherings”. In January, the Moscow Mayor said during his speech at the opening of the XV Christmas readings in Kremlin that “last year there was unprecedented pressure on Moscow in order to conduct a Gay parade here, which can only be called a satanic gathering. We did not allow this parade and will not allow in the future”. Moscow’s Tverskoi district court judge Natalya Makarova who considered the case in first instance on April 20 said in her decision that Moscow Mayor did not use the names of Nikolai Alekseev and Nikolai Baev in his speech and did not characterise their actions.
# Note: Read more on Gay Russia

Oct 10, 2007# Quickie Link: Ahmadinejad Says Comments About Gays Were Misunderstood
Politics (Iran) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when asked if there were gay people in his country, Ahmadinejad said, through an interpreter: "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country. We don't have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it." Ahmadinejad's media adviser, Mohammad Kalhor, told Reuters that Ahmadinejad was simply misunderstood by Western media. "What Ahmadinejad said was not a political answer," Kalhor told Reuters. "He said that, compared to American society, we don't have many homosexuals." Kalhor told Reuters that Ahmadinejad did not intend to imply that there are no homosexuals in Iran. Rather, he said, the president wanted to say that homosexuality is not as common as it is in the West because of cultural and religious differences. Homosexuality is punishable by death in the Islamic Republic.
# Note: Read more on FOX News

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