Category: Quickie Link

The news items published under this category are as follows.
Mar 31, 2008# Quickie Link: Media Frenzy at Warsaw Airport for Arrival of Gay American Couple
Equal Marriage (Poland) - Gay Americans Brendan Fay and Tom Moulton found a media frenzy when they arrived at Warsaw airport yesterday for a three-day visit. The couple, who were married in Canada, hit the international headlines when their wedding image was used in Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s televised prime-time address to scare the Polish people against supporting the Lisbon Treaty, arrived to Warsaw for a three-day visit. The trip is sponsored by TVN Television. Their first day in Poland was an opportunity to meet with Polish Gay rights leaders Tomasz Szypula and Greg Czarnecki from the Campaign Against Homophobia (Kampania Przeciw Homofobii – KPH) as well as other members of the LGBT community.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Mar 27, 2008# Quickie Link: Scott Long's Troubling Style of Advocacy
General News (USA) - As the head of the LGBT desk at the Human Rights Watch (HRW), Scott Long bears critical responsibilities for investigating human rights abuses and advocating greater freedoms for our community worldwide. That is estimable work, by any measure. One occupational hazard, however, of taking on a highly specialized charge on matters of such delicacy involving repressive and dangerous regimes is undoubtedly a compounding sense of proprietorship, a fatigued feeling that others "shouldn't mess with my turf, they should stay out of my bailiwick." On matters related to anti-Gay repression in Iran, dating back almost three years, Long seems to have fallen into that trap, indeed to have fallen quite far.
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Mar 26, 2008# Quickie Link: First Hate Crime Punishment in Croatia
Arrests (Croatia) - Josip Situm, 25, was detained by police for carrying the homemade bombs. He was charged soon after with planning to hurl the cocktails at the crowd. Although he denied the charges, insisting he decided after he arrived at the parade not to throw the bombs, Situm admitted that he disapproves of homosexuality because he is Roman Catholic. On 28 February, Situm became the first person in Croatia found guilty of a hate crime. He was convicted of endangering lives and property at the Pride parade and sentenced to 14 months in prison and psychiatric treatment. Situm’s conviction was a major victory for Croatia’s LGBT community, for whom street violence is nothing new.
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Mar 25, 2008# Quickie Link: Call to Reform Asylum System to Protect Lesbian, Gay Refugees
Int. Solidarity (UK) - The British Government is currently failing Gay refugees, Peter Tatchell told a rally in Whitehall, outside the Prime Minister’s official residence 10 Downing Street. Over 120 protesters braved hail and rain on Saturday to demand that Gay Iranian asylum seeker, Mehdi Kazemi, be granted refuge in the UK. They also urged asylum for the Iranian Lesbian refugee, Pegah Emambakhsh, and an estimated 12 other Gay Iranians who are at risk of deportation back to Tehran. There were calls for a “fundamental reform” of the way the Home Office treats LGBTI asylum applicants. “The British government had ordered Mr Kazemi to be deported back to Iran,” said protest speaker Peter Tatchell, spokesperson for the LGBTI human rights group OutRage!.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

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 19, 2008# Quickie Link: Deportation of Gays to Iran Raised in UK Parliament
Int. Solidarity (UK) - The British Government is coming under pressure from members of both houses of Parliament, mainly Liberal Democrats, to “come clean” about policies on who are deported to Iran – especially Gay men and women. At lunchtime at Prime Minister’s Question in the House of Commons, Greg Mulholland, the Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West, raised the matter, complaining about refugees being deported to Iran.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay 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 18, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay and Grey in Berlin's New Old People's Home
General News (Germany) - A fluffy yellow bedspread is severely tucked around the hospital-style bed, there's a wheelchair-accessible shower and a token pot plant. At first glance, the Asta Nielsen Haus in Berlin looks like the average old people's home. But this is a pioneering facility - the first in Europe to cater exclusively for Gays and Lesbians. The idea of a Gay-only project for elderly people was first mooted at a "Gay and Grey" congress in Cologne in 1995. It reflects fears among Germany's first openly Gay generation about what will happen when they are too frail to care for themselves. "At the moment, most Gay and Lesbian residents keep themselves hidden. Imagine one Gay person in a home of 100 people. It can be lonely and isolating," says Christian Hamm, who is on the board of the organisation behind the care-home plan. Hamm and his associates are now drawing up plans for an assisted-care retirement centre for Gay people in another Berlin district.
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Mar 17, 2008# Quickie Link: Complicity in Iran's Anti-Gay Jihad
Int. Solidarity (UK) - The British government announced Thursday that it was ending efforts to deport Mehdi Kazemi, a 19-year-old Iranian who has been studying in Britain – a move that should be applauded by human rights activists everywhere. Had he been forced to return to Iran, Kazemi would almost certainly have been executed there. Roger Roberts, one of eight members of the House of Lords who petitioned British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to allow Kazemi to stay in Britain, declared: “There is no doubt that he will be persecuted and possibly face state-sanctioned murder if he is forced to return.”
# Note: Read more on FrontPageMagazine

Mar 17, 2008# Quickie Link: Nazi Persecution of Gays is Explored in Exhibit
History (USA) - A traveling exhibit from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum uses photographs, documents, and artwork to chronicle the Nazis' arrests and persecution of tens of thousands of Gay men from 1933 to 1945. The exhibit, on display through the end of the month at the University of Rhode Island, gives voice to what its curator describes as "one of the lesser-known stories of the Nazi era." The exhibit begins just before the Nazis rose to power, when an estimated 1.2 million Gay men lived in Germany and a Gay culture flourished in nightclubs and cafes. But after Adolf Hitler took power, the Nazis began closing Gay clubs, and in 1934 the Gestapo asked local police departments to compile lists of men believed to be Gay. A law known as Paragraph 175 that had previously prohibited "unnatural indecency" between men was reworked to dramatically expand the range of illegal behaviors. By 1938, even a perceived wayward glance or touch could be interpreted as criminal by the courts.
# Note: Read more on Boston.com

Mar 15, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Refugees Have Difficulty Proving They're Gay
Int. Solidarity (Canada) - The Canadian Refugee Board needs to establish clearer guidelines on sexual orientation to help adjudicators avoid stereotyping Gay and Lesbian refugees who have little proof they are Gay, say legal experts. Last week MP Thomas Mulcair exploded at hecklers in the Commons and later shed tears at a news conference after Immigration Minister Diane Finley refused to allow Canada's latest Gay refugee claimant Kulenthiran Amirthalingam stay in the country on compassionate grounds. He later told the Montreal Gazette that he had seen a disturbing video depicting the kind of brutal punishment Gay men receive in Malaysia, including strapping a naked man until raw flesh was exposed. Amirthalingam, who is now back in Malaysia where he spent time in jail for being Gay, was declared not credible by the one-adjudicator panel. He joined a growing list of refugee claimants who have been rejected because they can't prove they are Gay.
# Note: Read more on Canada.com

Mar 12, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Teenager Is Facing Gallows as His Asylum Bid Is Rejected
Int. Solidarity (Netherlands) - A Gay Iranian teenager faces deportation from Britain and execution in his home country after a Dutch court refused to hear his asylum claim. Mehdi Kazemi, 19, will be forced to return to Britain, where his asylum application was rejected last year. He is then expected to be removed to Iran where his boyfriend was hanged two years ago for 'sodomy.' The ruling will put the Home Office under renewed pressure to reassess his case - or face the possibility of sending a young man to his death. The department’s own guidance concedes that Iran executes homosexuals but rejects the claim that there is a systematic repression of Gay men and Lesbians.
# Note: Read more on Times Online

Mar 11, 2008# Quickie Link: Homophobic Abuse Endemic in Schools
Youth (UK) - Homophobic abuse is endemic in schools, with "Gay" now the most common put-down by pupils in the classroom, teachers say. A "conspiracy of silence" in schools and colleges means homophobia is now seen as so normal that some teachers believe they risk disrupting classes - and making themselves a target of abuse - if they challenge students' behaviour. More than 70% of teachers have heard put-downs in their school or college that refer to sexuality, according to a survey of 268 teachers by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. In particular, teachers report that pupils routinely use the term "Gay" in a pejorative manner. Nearly two-thirds of teachers and lecturers have heard homophobic language on a regular basis. A quarter encountered it several times a week and about 16% of them daily. Boys are significantly more likely to talk about sexuality in a bullying way, but half of teachers have seen girls do the same and nearly 12% said they had seen similar behaviour in the staffroom.
# Note: Read more on Guardian

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 08, 2008# Quickie Link: A Deadly Clash of Emotions Before Oxnard Shooting
Crime (USA) - For teens living in a shelter for abused and neglected children, school can provide a daily dose of normalcy, a place to fit in, a chance to be just another kid. It didn't turn out that way for Lawrence King. The anti-Gay taunts and slurs that Larry endured from his male peers apparently had been constant, as routine for him as math lessons and recess bells. The stinging words were isolating. His friends say the verbal cruelty persisted for months, and grew worse after the slightly built Larry pushed back by "flirting" with some of his mockers.
# Note: Read more on LA Times

Mar 07, 2008# Quickie Link: Last Refugee Bid Refused to Malaysian Gay
Int. Solidarity (Canada) - A Gay man from Malaysia who is to be deported Thursday after being refused refugee status is pleading with the federal government to intervene and let him stay in Canada. Kulenthiran Amirthalingan made a last-ditch appeal to Immigration Minister Diane Finley, asking her to stay the March 6 deportation order to his native Malaysia. He fears persecution because he is Gay. Amirthalingan moved to Montreal in 2003 and applied for refugee status in Canada on humanitarian grounds, arguing his life was in danger because his homosexuality made him a target of Malaysian police who detained him for five days, and abused him, physically and sexually. Amirthalingan lost his refugee status case because the judge was not convinced he was Gay. He filed for a humanitarian appeal and a pre-removal risk assessment, which were both rejected by the Quebec Immigration Board.
# Note: Read more on CBC

Mar 06, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Marriage Discussed at Council of Europe
Equal Marriage (Europe) - A Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) hearing on the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships will take place in Paris tomorrow. The 47-member Council of Europe predates the European Union. It promotes and protects democracy, educational and sporting co-operation and created the European Court of Human Rights. The hearing will involve representatives of the International Lesbian and Gay Association ILGA Europe as well as parliamentarians and academics. It will also focus on freedom of assembly and expression for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people in the Council member states.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Mar 05, 2008# Quickie Link: Iowa GOP Fails In Bid To Advance Anti-Gay Amendment
Equal Marriage (USA) - Iowa Republicans frustrated with the majority Democrats refusal to hold a vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban Gay marriage have failed in their last ditch effort to advance the measure. House Minority Leader Christopher Rants attempted on Tuesday to use a procedural motion to move the amendment out of committee where it has been stonewalled and onto the floor of the House for a full vote. On a 50-to-46 vote along party lines Democrats rejected the motion. That means the issue remains in committee where it will likely die by the end of the week. Republicans have been pushing the proposed amendment since last year when Polk County Judge Robert Hanson struck down a state law limiting marriage to straight couples. To amend the Iowa Constitution simple majorities are needed in both the House and Senate in two consecutive general assemblies and then it must be approved by a simple majority of voters in the following general election.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

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 04, 2008# Quickie Link: Recent Legal Victories of Gay Groups in Nepal
General News (Nepal) - Nepal was recently witness to a victory of sorts for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Inter-sex (LGBTI) communities. It was an undeniably historic day on 21 December 2007, when the Supreme Court of Nepal, in response to a petition filed by a coalition of local LGBTI-rights groups, ordered the government to fulfil its contractual responsibility to LGBTI individuals by amending existing legislation or formulate new laws that would permit this community to better exercise its civil and human rights. This was certainly an atypical victory for Nepal’s LGBTI movement. In the aftermath, questions are now surfacing about how ideas and identities travel across the transnational landscape, and what social contexts make these transmissions more successful in certain places and times. These questions are especially pertinent when compared to neighbouring India, the imagined custodian of Southasian democracy.
# Note: Read more on HIMAL

Mar 03, 2008# Quickie Link: Poll: Iowa Supports Civil Unions But No Gay Marriage
Equal Marriage (USA) - The majority of Iowa voters support restricting marriage to heterosexual couples but at the same time are divided on a constitutional amendment to put that in place, and most believe Gay couples should have the right to have civil unions a new poll shows. The survey, by the Des Moines Register, found that 62 percent of prospective voters believe marriage should be available only to heterosexual pairs. But when asked if the state constitution should be amended to block Gay marriage 48 percent said yes while 47 percent said no. Five percent had no opinion. Last year Polk County Judge Robert Hanson struck down a state law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. Hanson ruled that a state law allowing marriage only between a man and woman violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Mar 02, 2008# Quickie Link: Civil Unions Mulled In Illinois
Equal Marriage (USA) - Legislation that would create civil unions in Illinois has been introduced in the state Senate. The bill, filed by Sen. David Koehler (D) would include both same and opposite-sex couples. It is similar to legislation filed last year in the House by Rep. Greg Harris (D). That version has been approved by committee but has not been scheduled for a vote by the full House. Koehler acknowledges that the legislation is bound to encounter opposition from 'social conservative' groups and Republicans. The legislation would also recognize same sex marriages and civil unions from other states as civil unions in Illinois. Civil unions currently are legal in New Jersey, Vermont and Connecticut. Same-sex marriage is available only in Massachusetts, although legislation has been filed in Maryland and next week the California Supreme Court will consider Gay marriages.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Mar 01, 2008# Quickie Link: March Confronts Hate Crime
General News (Australia) - Simply attending last night's Mardi Gras extravaganza was the hardest thing Craig Gee has ever had to do. Then agreeing to march with his partner, Shane Brennen, on the second row of the world-famous parade took his anxiety to another level. But above all was the courage needed just to step back onto Oxford Street for the first time since being savagely bashed at the popular strip in a Gay-hate attack three months ago. The assault left the 27-year-old with a fractured jaw, an eye socket smashed in three places and a broken right leg. He has since suffered nightmares, blurred vision and headaches and has been afraid to go anywhere alone. The animosity then reached fever pitch when Mardi Gras arrived and Gay Sydney endeavoured to show off the best of itself to the outside world, with the number of incidents further doubling. As part of the response, revellers were last night asked to hold hands in symbolic defiance. Partygoers were also advised to travel to and from venues in groups or by taxi if alone, and either to cover their costumes or get changed after they arrived so as not to risk being targeted.
# Note: Read more on Sydney Morning Herald

Mar 01, 2008# Quickie Link: Australia's Gay Mardi Gras Turns 30
General News (Australia) - Up to 300,000 people lined Sydney's streets to watch the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Saturday as the largest Gay pride march in the Asia Pacific region marked its 30th anniversary. For the first time, serving military personnel were among the 10,000 costumed participants sashaying through the city's Oxford Street Gay district, showing how much attitudes have changed since the first event in 1978. That march, staged at a time when male homosexuality was still illegal in New South Wales state, was a demand for Gay rights that ended with more than 50 arrests as police and protesters clashed.
# Note: Read more on AFP

Feb 28, 2008# Quickie Link: Obama Courts Gay Vote
General News (USA) - Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama appealed for support Thursday from the LGBT community but maintained his opposition to same-sex marriage, preferring instead civil unions. In what his campaign called an open letter to the Gay community Obama touted his support for passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act and an inclusive ENDA. "In the U.S. Senate, I have co-sponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees," the letter said. "And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Feb 28, 2008# Quickie Link: Another Iranian Tragedy
Int. Solidarity (UK) - The scheduled February 26 extradition of Mehdi Kazemi, a 19-year-old Gay Iranian student, from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, from where he will almost definitely be deported to his homeland, has been put off pending a Dutch court hearing on March 3. Kazemi fears that he could be executed by Tehran's theocracy, which in 2006 executed the lad who had been his lover. Homosexuality remains a capital crime in Iran. Kazemi fled to the Netherlands after the UK government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown ordered his deportation. It was only a last-minute legal appeal that postponed his return to Britain.
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Feb 27, 2008# Quickie Link: NL Princess to Attend Gay Meeting and Discuss Prejudice
General News (Netherlands) - In an announcement described by LGBT activists as "historically significant," a spokesman for the Dutch Royal Family has confirmed that the country's future Queen will attend a Gay rights conference. Argentinean-born Princess Maxima, the wife of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, will meet delegates from Holland's major cities at the event and speak out against the exclusion of Gay people. A royal spokesman said: "The Princess is in favour of equal rights of all groups in the Netherlands."
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Feb 27, 2008# Quickie Link: School Apologises to Gay Teacher
General News (UK) - A school governing body yesterday apologised, unreservedly, for the homophobic comments made by a head teacher which forced a young Gay teacher to resign from his job at an inner city school in London. In his first term at the school in 2006, the teacher said that his head teacher had told him to stop “banging on” about Gay issues when he dealt with homophobic issues in the classroom and told him that he wasn't “the only one in the village”. The teacher complained that his head teacher had stated that “there was no homophobia at the school until you came,” that he inflamed older students by the way he walked in the corridors that he “did not walk that way at interview” and referred to him as “Gay Dave”.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Feb 27, 2008# Quickie Link: Boycott Jamaica
Int. Solidarity (Jamaica) - Gay bashing in Jamaica is so prevalent that in 2006 Time Magazine wrote an article about the island headlined, "The Most Homophobic Place On Earth?" The New York Times this week showed that the anti-Gay climate has only worsened, with the island caught in a downward spiral of outright psychosis. It is time to hand an ultimatum to Jamaica's public officials: Stop allowing rampant abuse of Gay people or your economy will be crippled. The Times story is downright chilling. It details how last month five Gay men were having a dinner party when a mob appeared at the front door - kicking it in and attacking the men. While screaming homophobic epithets, between 15-20 thugs beat the victims senseless with sticks and cut them with machetes. One man is still missing, but police found blood at the mouth of a deep hole near the yard. This was not an isolated incident.
# Note: Read more on PageOneQ

Feb 26, 2008# Quickie Link: Brazilian Gays Demand Apology For Persecution of Gays in Cuba
Int. Solidarity (Brazil) - Grupo Gay da Bahia, the oldest homosexual non-governmental organization in Latin America, demands that the dictator Fidel Castro, before his death, recognizes and asks for forgiveness for the grave errors of the Cuban revolution responsible for the demoralization, persecution, imprisonment in concentration camps, forced labor, torture, deportation, and death of thousands of Gays, Transvestites and Lesbians in Cuba. The unfortunate resolution approved during The First Cuban National Congress on Education and Culture of 1971 decreed that “homosexual deviations represent a anti-social pathology, making it inadmissible in any way their manifestations, or propagation, establishing as preventive measure the shunning of recognizable homosexual artists and intellectuals from interaction with the [Cuban] youth," barring Gays, Lesbians, and Transvestites from representing Cuba artistically in festivals abroad.
# Note: Read more on Vidas Alternativa

Feb 26, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Activists Meet the Governing Party in Malta
General News (Malta) - The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) this evening presented a petition, backed by 1,084 signatures, to the Nationalist Party asking for formal recognition of the rights of same sex couples; the inclusion of an article in the Criminal Code regarding homophobic and transphobic violence, and a clear strategy addressing homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools. The petition also seeks legal protection against discrimination in the delivery of goods and services expressly referring to the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; the formal extension of the remit of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality to cater for the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; and the inclusion of gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for transgender persons as part of the public health services.
# Note: Read more on Times of Malta

Feb 25, 2008# Quickie Link: Lieutenant Laurel Hester Honored at Oscars
Film (USA) - "Freeheld: The Laurel Hester Story," Cynthia Wade's 38-minute film that chronicled the battle of a 25-year veteran of the Ocean County, New Jersey police, as she was dying of cancer, to transfer her earned pension to her lesbian partner, won the Oscar for Best Short Documentary in Hollywood on February 24. Ocean County freeholders had the legal option to extend those benefits under New Jersey's 2004 domestic partner law, but did not do so until Lieutenant Hester waged her successful struggle on partner Stacie Andree's behalf against their initially adamant refusal. Garden State Equality, the New Jersey LGBT civil rights lobby, celebrated the film's nomination (and victory) at the South Orange Performing Arts Center while the Oscar broadcast was being aired.
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Feb 25, 2008# Quickie Link: Senegalese Gays Flee the Country
General News (Senegal) - Dozens of Senegalese Gays are reported to have fled to the neighbouring countries (The Gambia and Mali) to escape the looming threats on their lives. The Gambia may not be a safe hideout for Gays, considering President Yahya Jammeh's personal hatred of homosexuality. He had earlier threatened to crush any act of homosexuality in the country. Since the publication of a Gay wedding in the outskirts of the capital Dakar in early February, stories on homosexuality have been dominating news in Senegal. The story - backed by photographs - was first published by a local magazine, Icone. Icone's editor has since received several threats for exposing Gays to "social stigma and blackmail." The publication has flared tempers in the predominantly Muslim nation, resulting to arrest and detention of Gay people and all those who graced the wedding, including musicians.
# Note: Read more on Afrol News

Feb 24, 2008# Quickie Link: Jamaica a Dire Place for Gays
General News (Jamaica) - Being gay in Jamaica is not easy. For years, human rights groups have denounced the harassment, beating and even killing of Gays here, to little avail. No official statistic has been compiled on the number of attacks. But a recent string of especially violent, high-profile assaults has brought fresh condemnation to an island otherwise known as an easygoing tourist haven. A couple of weeks back, a local tabloid, The Jamaica Star, ran a screaming headline when a local police officer, disturbed by the attack on the dinner party guests, decided to disclose his sexual orientation to the paper. He said he had been harassed regularly by his colleagues because he is gay. He said the police did not take violence against Gays seriously.
# Note: Read more on Canada.com

Feb 24, 2008# Quickie Link: Ric Weiland Bequeaths $65 Million to LGBT Groups
General News (USA) - Ric Weiland, one of Microsoft's first five employees, has left tens of millions of dollars of his estate to a fund to benefit eleven LGBT charities. The bequest includes multi-million dollar gifts to Seattle's Pride Foundation, Lambda Legal, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The bequest, the largest ever in support of the LGBT movement, will establish a fund at the Pride Foundation in the amount of $65 million. The largest will support the foundation's grantmaking programs, an amount the Seattle Times has reported as $19 million. An additional $46 million in the fund will be distributed to national LGBT charities. The Pride Foundation provides scholarships and grants to LGBT students and organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Weiland, a Seattle resident, was a former board member and volunteer at the organization.
# Note: Read more on PageOneQ

Feb 24, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Refugees Not Always Welcome, Even in Canada
Int. Solidarity (Canada) - Toronto refugee lawyer El-Farouk Khaki recalls an incident in which one of his clients, seeking refugee status in Canada as a Gay man, was told by a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) that if he could be more discreet in his home country of Kenya, he would be just fine. With no appeal division and one-member panels, a great deal of a claimant's chance of being granted refugee status has to do with that single IRB member who hears their case.
# Note: Read more on Extra

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 19, 2008# Quickie Link: AI Senegal Opposes Decriminalization of Homosexuality
Int. Solidarity (Senegal) - The chairman of the national Council of Amnesty Senegal, Samba Guissé, has called on all affiliate groups of the Senegalese chapter of Amnesty International (AI) to oppose any campaign aimed at legalising homosexuality in the country. In a statement issued here, Guissé urged the various groups to dissociate themselves from the position of the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH) calling on the Senegalese authorities to "review the criminal code with a view to to decriminalising homosexual acts". Guissé denies FIDH’s claims that "member organisations (including Amnesty International Senegal) had requested the Senegalese authorities to review the criminal code to abolish the criminalisation of homosexuality".
# Note: Read more on AfriK.com

Feb 18, 2008# Quickie Link: Sharia Trial Pending in Nigeria
Arrests (Nigeria) - The trial of eighteen young men in Nigeria charged with dressing in female clothing and attending a Gay wedding may be part of a campaign to reintroduce legislation targeting Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people. Cary Alan Johnson of the Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) was in Nigeria last week to meet the men and their lawyers. He has expressed serious doubts as to whether the men can get a fair trial. All aged between 18 and 21, they were detained by the Islamic "vice squad" at a hotel in Bauchi city, Nigeria in August 2007. Sharia law is enforced in the state and if found guilty of 'sodomy' the men could be executed.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Feb 18, 2008# Quickie Link: Gays to Face New Clamp
Enemy_Voice (Bahrain) - A crackdown on homosexuals could be launched in Bahrain, including tougher immigration checks to stop foreign Gays entering the country. It would include a study to determine how widespread homosexuality is in Bahrain. Parliament's foreign affairs, defence and national security committee has already backed the proposal, which would force the government to carry out the study. He said the study was being carried out despite the fact that the Education Ministry claims there are no homosexuals in schools.
# Note: Read more on Gulf Daily News

Feb 17, 2008# Quickie Link: 1,000 March in Tribute to Slain Oxnard Teen
General News (USA) - About 1,000 people have marched in tribute to an Oxnard teenager who was shot to death in his school computer lab. The peace-and-tolerance march Saturday honored 15-year-old Lawrence King. King was shot in the head on Tuesday at E.O. Green Junior High School and removed from life support two days later. Classmates said King revealed he was Gay this school year and had been teased because he wore makeup, high heels and other 'feminine attire.'
# Note: Read more on SF Gate

Feb 16, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Groups' Observer Status at UN Blocked
Int. Solidarity (UN) - LGBT rights groups from Spain, the Netherlands and Brazil have been refused observer status that allows Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to participate in United Nations business. The UN Committee on NGOs was tied, with Columbia, Dominica, Israel, Peru, Romania, UK and the USA voting yes and Burundi, China, Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia and Sudan voting no. Angola, Guinea, India and Turkey abstained while Cuba was not present. The UK representative on the committee said they were discriminating against LGBT NGO applicants and that it is the right of the community to have their voice heard at the UN. Romania said the NGO Committee "engaged in a blatant act of discrimination today."
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Feb 16, 2008# Quickie Link: US MCC Appeals on Jamaican Government to Stop Violence
Int. Solidarity (USA) - Two weeks after one of their church members became the latest victim in a mob attack in Jamaica, leaders of a South Florida church are calling for a public awareness campaign in the Caribbean nation to encourage a more Gay-friendly environment. The latest incident occurred on Jan. 29. According to local press reports and New York-based Human Rights Watch, a mob broke into a house in the central town of Mandeville and slashed the occupants inside, sending two to the hospital. One was severely injured and the other is missing and feared dead, the advocacy group reported. One of the victims was a member of the Jamaican chapter of the Metropolitan Community Churches, local church leaders said. The assault was the latest in a string of attacks in a country where popular reggae lyrics openly encourage the killing of Gays, and citizens show little tolerance for Gays, despite repeated foreign condemnation.
# Note: Read more on Miami Herald

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# Quickie Link: Gay Boy Shot by a Straight Class-Mate Declared Brain Dead
Crime (USA) - Lawrence King, 15, was shot at a junior high school Tuesday. A classmate faces murder charge. Lawrence King, 15, was declared brain dead by two neurosurgeons about 2 p.m. at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, said Craig Stevens, senior deputy Ventura County medical examiner. King's body remains on a ventilator for possible organ donation, he said. He was shot early Tuesday in a classroom at E.O. Green Junior High School. Bullying in schools has long been a problem. But recent studies show that a student who comes "out" as gay or lesbian is far more likely to suffer abuse than others, said Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network based in New York. A student thought to be gay was five times as likely to be threatened or injured by a weapon, a 2002 California Department of Education study said. Jennings said other studies have found similar results.
# Note: Read more on LA Times

Feb 14, 2008# Quickie Link: Uganda Boycotts Anglican Meeting
Religion (Uganda) - The Anglican Church in Uganda is to boycott the Lambeth Conference, a meeting of the world's Anglican bishops held once every 10 years. The move is in protest at invitations being sent to bishops who condone "active homosexuality." The extent of the boycott was unclear but a significant number of bishops would be absent, said BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott. They object to bishops with a liberal approach to homosexuality from the American wing of the communion being invited. The Ugandan Church cited the American Church's ordination of Gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003 and continued blessing of same-sex relationships as reasons for the boycott.
# Note: Read more on BBC

Feb 13, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Couples to Stage St Valentine's Day Protest
Equal Marriage (USA) - Getting married has been a goal for long-time partners Robin Tyler and Diane Olson for each of the past six Valentine's Days, and this year will be no different. They'll be turned away, of course, since their home state of California doesn't allow same-sex marriages, but Tyler hardly seems heartbroken by that inevitability. "It's all about raising awareness," says the Los Angeles-based activist, comedienne and producer. Similar demonstrations will be happening all over California tomorrow, from Alameda County to Yolo County, according to Marriage Equality USA, all in the hopes of raising awareness about the six cases challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Feb 13, 2008# Quickie Link: US Judge Rules Against Student Wearing Anti-Gay T-Shirt
General News (USA) - An US federal judge ruled – again – that Poway school officials did not violate the free speech rights of a student whom they pulled from class for wearing a T-shirt with an anti-Gay slogan. The decision Tuesday by U.S. District Judge John Houston is the latest win for school officials in a long-running legal battle with students Tyler Chase Harper and his sister, Kelsie. Tyler Harper sued the Poway Unified School District in 2004 alleging his freedom of speech and religion rights were violated when he was pulled out of class earlier that year. The self-described Christian wore a shirt during the school “Day of Silence,” which is intended to promote tolerance of Gays and Lesbians. The shirt said “I Will Not Accept What God Has Condemned” on one side and “Homosexuality is Shameful, Romans 1:27” on the other. Harper was removed from class, but not otherwise disciplined. His suit was aimed at a school district policy aimed at eliminating “hate behavior” that offended students in certain minority groups based on race, gender or sexual preference.
# Note: Read more on Sign On SanDiego

Feb 12, 2008# Quickie Link: Gay Rights Leader Attacked in Brazil
Crime (Brazil) - The President of Sao Paulo's Gay Pride Association was hospitalised after he was attacked at their offices yesterday. Alexandre Peixe dos Santos was gagged, hooded and beaten by an unknown number of attackers. The association organises one of the largest Gay rights parades in the world. Last year three million revellers packed the streets of the Brazilian city in what officials have called the largest party in the world. Mr Peixe dos Santos was beaten unconscious in the attack and called police when he regained consciousness. In September LGBT activists in Brazil spoke about the high levels of homophobia in their society in the wake of the brutal sexual assault and murder of a Gay teenager who was attacked in a street near a bar where he had just won the local "Miss Gay" competition.
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Feb 12, 2008# Quickie Link: Arizona Mulls Gay Marriage Ban - Again
Equal Marriage (USA) - Republican lawmakers on Monday proposed asking voters in November to amend the Arizona Constitution to ban same-sex marriage in the state, which was the first to turn down such a measure. The proposal was backed by 16 of 30 state senators, and an identical proposal was introduced in the House. Both chambers would have to approve the measure in a vote for it to be included on the ballot. Under the amendment, "only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." The proposal comes after Arizona voters narrowly rejected a similar measure in November 2006. The previous measure included the same definition but also contained wording that was interpreted as prohibiting government recognition of civil unions or domestic partnerships. Seven other states approved amendments that day.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com


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