1146 posts categorized "International"

July 31, 2015

Jewish Extremists Suspected in West Bank Arson That Killed Palestinian Toddler

If you are an American taxpayer, your tax dollars are helping to subsidize the West Bank occupation (now in its 49th year) that perpetuates this.

Interview with #JerusalemPride organizer who witnessed attack

July 30, 2015

Could the Vatican be ready to back civil unions?

I confess I am caring less and less what the Vatican does.

Ultra-Orthodox extremist stabs six at Jerusalem Gay Pride

Awful news from Jerusalem.

July 29, 2015

The View from Kepler-452b

452b_artist_concept_courtesy_NASA_and_JPL-Caltech_by_T_Pyle
An artist’s concept compares Earth, left, to Kepler-452b. (Image by T. Pyle; courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech)

My Blade column this week looks at the Iran nuclear agreement. Here is an excerpt:

High in the night sky over Washington, the bright stars Deneb and Vega mark a star field at the center of a probe unrelated to Benghazi or Hillary's emails or whether Iran will get the Bomb.

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has discovered Kepler-452b, an earth-like planet 1400 light years away. At 6 billion years old, it is 1.5 billion years older than Earth. This raises the question whether any intelligent life there has avoided destroying itself. How might earthlings evolve over a similar time period?

It will be sad but unsurprising if it turns out that Kepler-452b has produced several intelligent life forms in succession, each destroying itself after developing genocidal weapons. Back here, of course, humanity's own ongoing quest of self-annihilation nearly succeeded in the last century. Our latest opportunity is the resolute effort by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American cohorts to foment war with Iran. They are attacking a multilateral accord, reached on July 14 after a two-year effort, designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Read the whole piece here.

July 28, 2015

Jamaica prepares for its first Pride festival

God bless them and good luck to them.

What does Islam say about being gay?

Mustafa Akyol writes in NYT.

This just in: evangelist bigot objects to exporting immorality

Franklin Graham, who profiteered off the charity Samaritan's Purse, thinks people who agree with his noxious views should have a monopoly to talking overseas.

Obama defends the rights of women

"Treating women as second-class citizens is a bad tradition. It holds you back. There’s no excuse for sexual assault or domestic violence. There’s no reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation. There’s no place in civilized society for the early or forced marriage of children. These traditions may date back centuries; they have no place in the 21st century." —President Obama in Kenya: http://go.wh.gov/Ko3xvP

Posted by The White House on Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tell it, Mr. President.

Gay and transgender Catholics seek meeting with @Pontifex in September

Kenyan LGBT advocates meet with Obama

Rainbow welcomes Obama to Ethiopia

The signs are everywhere.

July 24, 2015

Obama: I’ll be ‘blunt’ with Africa leaders about gay rights

As I write this, the president is on his way to Africa. I am glad he intends to speak his mind despite the demands by some bigots in Kenya that he not talk about LGBT rights. The world over, discriminators love to portray themselves as victims the moment anyone calls them on it. Sorry, but Obama giving a speech is not the invasion of Iraq.

July 23, 2015

Anonymous warns RCMP and police in United States

Anonymous issues a warning that it will "name and shame" police who murder with impunity. This is an example of the power of social media.

Kerry raises LGBT rights with Nigerian president

July 20, 2015

Bienvenida, Embajada de Cuba

Cuban_Embassy_by_RJR
(Photo by Rick Rosendall)

I stopped by 2630 16th Street NW this afternoon to see the Cuban flag flying at what is now the Cuban Embassy. Thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership in ending a half-century-plus of a failed American policy. NYT writes that this is just a beginning. The Blade reports.

The Guardian: Open up the royal archives

I have never understood nor sympathized with the fetish for the British royals on the part of some Americans. But in any case, the coziness that existed between Edward VIII and Hitler is well established. The video of the current monarch as a child giving a Nazi salute is embarrassing, but no reasonable person is going to blame a 6-year-old princess for making a gesture at the instigation of her uncle. The archives should be open. There should be more embarrassment over the persistence of a hereditary monarchy, which will probably survive anything because the Brits cling to it to justify inflating their nation’s importance. This is odd, since the imperial heritage that makes them moist with pride includes the Opium War, the Amritsar Massacre, and Boer concentration camps.

July 15, 2015

Gay Men's Chorus of Washington on tour in Cuba

I wish I were there. So proud of these guys.

A joyous chant in Tehran: 'Death to no one!'

Go to 1:57 in this video to see footage of last evening's celebrations in the streets of Tehran over the multilateral nuclear agreement. I posted this on Facebook after seeing it:

I just watched video of young Iranians celebrating in the streets of Tehran. It reminded me of a National Geographic cover 50 years ago featuring a Persian man. Goodness. They were chanting "Death to no one" in Farsi. Big smiles on their faces, their arms wrapped around the MSNBC reporter. Note to Lindsey Graham: damn you. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

Log Cabin cynically attacks Obama over Iran nuclear deal

Gregory Angelo says, “Log Cabin Republicans shares the grave concerns about this deal expressed by our allies in Congress." Really? Your allies? The loudest critics in Congress, who condemned the agreement reflexively without bothering to read it, included Speaker Boehner, the quasi-treasonous Sen. Tom Cotton, and the revolting closet case Sen. Lindsey Graham, whose relentless and reckless warmongering seems driven by a need to prove he is a real man. Fine company you are keeping.

The notion that nothing should be done until and unless everything can be done is just as foolish coming from Log Cabin as it was coming from the leftists in 2009 who demanded a single, comprehensive LGBT equality bill immediately--which showed no understanding for the structure and politics of Congress with its multiple committees and power centers, or the different degrees of ripeness of different efforts; nor did it show respect for the many hard-working activists who labor year-in and year-out laying the groundwork for progress. Just "Give us everything right now!" like a baby screaming in a high chair. To suggest that a complex and difficult multilateral nuclear agreement should be halted unless every other concern is simultaneously resolved is sabotage, not serious advocacy.

President Obama is far and away the most pro-gay president in American history. By contrast, his Republican predecessor in 2004 endorsed the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment. On May 9, 2012, after Obama publicly endorsed marriage equality, Log Cabin could not pause from its petty partisan sniping for an hour to celebrate the historic breakthrough of the President of the United States taking such a step. Instead, demonstrating that LGBT equality always comes second for Log Cabin, they belittled the president and boasted of how former Vice President Cheney was ahead of him--despite Cheney and his gay daughter having worked to re-elect President Bush after his call for us to be written out of the Constitution. At least Ken Mehlman has apologized for his role in that, and worked on pro-gay Supreme Court briefs.

Notwithstanding Mehlman's efforts, the GOP remains overwhelmingly homophobic. Instead of throwing stones in its glass house, Log Cabin should be working harder to get its so-called allies in Congress to support pro-LGBT measures here at home, and should be battling the virulent bigotry coming from its party's clown car of presidential candidates. And instead of insulting our intelligence with its pinkwashing stance beside the cynical and extreme Bibi Netanyahu, it should demand that he replace his ambassador to Washington with a serious diplomat.

Finally, I would like to note that the fictional Uncle Tom, while no Nat Turner, sacrificed his own life to help a slave girl escape to freedom. While I sympathize with others who criticize Log Cabin, there is no need to insult Uncle Tom by comparing him to moral cowards.

July 14, 2015

Rugby love

Merkel says don't call it marriage

We have been at this as a front-burner issue for more than two decades, Chancellor. We're calling it marriage.

Iran nuclear agreement reached

Finally a nuclear agreement with Iran. Israel PM Bibi Netanyahu and his friends in the GOP are angry and scornful. What is their alternative? War. Facile talk of another reckless war is all they've got. I am so eager to hear from freshman ignoramus Sen. Tom Cotton. Not. Bibi could not do more harm to the long-term interests of Israel if he were its sworn enemy. Good for the nations involved in this multilateral agreement, including the U.S.

July 11, 2015

The flap on sanctuary cities

A related controversy here.

Love and courage in Beijing

July 10, 2015

Gay Men's Chorus of Washington goes to Cuba

Have a great trip, guys.

July 09, 2015

Obama Will Not Hesitate to Bring Up LGBT Rights in Antigay Kenya

It is not a big surprise that President Obama will not cave to pressure to be silent on LGBT rights when he visits Kenya.

July 08, 2015

A warning that won't be heeded

Chris Johnson reports at the Blade. If Obama is denounced by Kenyans, will the Birthers' heads please explode?

July 06, 2015

A champion's kiss

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Gay Star News ‏@gaystarnews 8 hours ago
The first thing Abby Wambach did after winning the World Cup was to kiss her wife http://bit.ly/1ex9Oge

Telemundo's Andres Cantor on Carli Lloyd's third goal

The legendary Telemundo announcer gives the definitive call of Carly Lloyd's goal scored from the midfield line in yesterday's World Cup final against Japan.

July 03, 2015

Mexican laborer responds to Trump's racism

A construction worker lets Donald Trump have it. Here is real decency and honesty and character. The keys to the city are safe with him. It is hard to fathom how someone as dreadful as Trump can get so far while slandering others. I already like and trust and admire the guy in this video, as I never would the attention whore Trump.

July 01, 2015

Clinton emails: ‘We should emphasize LGBT human rights’

DHS unveils new guidelines to protect trans detainees

Six arrested during protest against detention of LGBT immigrants

June 30, 2015

U.S. officials take part in global Pride events

BTW, congrats to Michael Lavers on being named the Blade's new International Editor.

Mozambique legalizes gay sex

Some good news from Africa.

June 25, 2015

Next up at OED: Cisracial?

Kyrgyzstan's anti-gay bill, even worse than Russia's, will become law

June 22, 2015

Meanwhile, near Red Square

Feel free to send us your Wilde-style quips.

June 16, 2015

New Ways addresses pope’s message of ‘complementarity’

O-POPE-FRANCIS-facebook
(Photo by Associated Press)

Francis DeBernardo at New Ways Ministry writes:

Pope Francis supported heterosexual complementarity in a speech on Sunday given to 25,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square for a pastoral conference for the Diocese of Rome.

Though he did not mention lesbian and gay couples, the timing of the speech seemed significant to some since it came a day after tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of the Eternal City to celebrate LGBT Pride and to call for marriage equality in Italy....

It has become part of Francis’ rhetorical style not to criticize lesbian and gay couples directly, but to indirectly cast judgement on them by effusively praising heterosexual complementarity. Yet, his remarks cast aspersions on more than lesbian and gay couples. In praising heterosexual complementarity as the preferred norm for marriage and child-rearing, he is also sending harmful messages to those in heterosexual marriages where abuse occurs, as well as to single-parent families.

Francis’ remark that gender differences are “an integral part of being human” ignores the fact that decades of scientific and social scientific research has shown that what people consider “natural” gender differences are actually the result of cultural biases and stereotypes.

As GayChristian101 points out, the idea of complementarity comes from Plato, who included same-sex couples.