1187 posts categorized "International"

August 28, 2015

Pope Francis gives blessing to author of gay children's book

Another charming gesture by Pope Francis. That is fine as far as it goes; but I am a policy man, and pastoral gestures are not enough. He will be in D.C. three weeks from now as part of his visit to the United States. The closest I expect to get is when he visits St. Matthew's Cathedral, which is three blocks south of my apartment. I wish him well, and certainly consider him a vast improvement over his predecessor. But I am now 59. I was 23 when I first was in D.C. during a papal visit in 1979. I long ago stopped waiting for what my friend Craig calls Holy Mother the Church, Inc. to reform itself. I send my best wishes to those who made a different choice and continue to push for change from within the community of the faithful.

August 24, 2015

Hollande presents train attack heroes with Legion of Honor

Vive la France!

August 23, 2015

Islamic State blows up ancient temple at Syria’s Palmyra ruins

These barbarians need to be exterminated before they destroy every intiquity in the Mideast. Astonishing that anyone is willing to embrace any faith or worship any God that demands of them such atrocities.

An old path through new rubble

Bush advisor Vin Weber will lobby for anti-gay Ugandan government

Giant panda at National Zoo gives birth to healthy twin cubs

There are now five giant pandas at the National Zoo. Panda Cams here.

Americans who stopped a train attack in Europe were boyhood friends

More here on the focus this attack puts on the vulnerability of U.S. rail.

August 21, 2015

I may get stoned to death for gay sex, says Saudi man outed in Ashley Madison leak

Jeb and Jindal on dropping babies

In a long-ago Doonesbury cartoon, Joanie Caucus says to her dying friend after he and his doctor trade some gallows humor, "How can you joke about this?" He replies, "How can you not?"

Rep. Nadler supports Iran Nuclear accord, condemns troubling rhetoric

Thank you, Congressman.

August 20, 2015

Not lesbian enough?

Panti Bliss, Ireland's accidental activist

August 19, 2015

FTSE 100 companies not doing enough to promote their LGBT diversity claims

Islamic State beheads leading Syrian antiquities director


State Department fights for rights of gay envoys

Book ban in Venice ignites a gay rights battle

August 18, 2015

Police Units Blame Each Other For Security Failures At Jerusalem Pride

Decriminalizing the sex trade

Thanks to Councilmember Grosso.

GLAA discusses the issue in our latest policy brief.

The recent Washington Post commentary misses a key point. Keeping commercial sex on the black market makes sex workers less safe. Legalization does not solve everything, but it would help with that. Regulation and inspection are also needed. And of course alternatives are crucial, otherwise consent is illusory. Consent implies choices, which are all too often absent for (say) trans women of color who were driven into sex work because of transphobia and discrimination.

The arrests currently being boasted of by MPD generate criminal records, which only make it harder for the sex workers to get better and safer work. Imperfect solutions may still improve things for the marginalized populations that are most at risk. Equating all sex work with human trafficking is false and counterproductive. Disapproval of commercial sex does not make it the same as kidnapping and slavery. If we cannot make these distinctions, we are doing no favors to the ladies on the stroll who are there to avoid starvation and who are kept there by public policy.

August 15, 2015

Israel's Threat from Within

(Photo by Sebastian Scheiner / Associated Press)

My latest column for Bay Windows looks at how home-grown fanaticism is isolating the Jewish state. Here is an excerpt:

A pair of recent atrocities by Israeli terrorists (which is what they must be called) underscores the futility of diverting attention from the country's oppression of Palestinians by emphasizing its pro-gay policies.

The fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Shira Banki at Jerusalem Pride, and the firebombing death of Palestinian Sa'ad Dawabshe and his baby son, Ali Dawabshe, in a West Bank village, point to increased Israeli fanaticism. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appropriately denounced the attacks, but that is small comfort coming from a man who has done so much to stoke the extremism that led to the crimes.

The deluge of threats against Israeli President Reuven Rivlin after he condemned the violence demonstrates that vigils for the victims are not enough. The present situation disturbingly echoes the one 21 ago when a right-wing extremist killed Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as he left a peace rally. At the time, Netanyahu eloquently said that bullets would not be allowed to determine the course of government, but in fact they did.

Israel is isolating itself more and more, including from American Jews, and failing to address internal threats for which it has planted the seeds. Netanyahu's pledge in March never to return occupied land was not just an election ploy. Israel continues to build new West Bank settlements while knocking down Palestinians' houses and cutting down their olive groves. In light of this, expressions of horror are unconvincing.

Read the whole thing here.

Kerry raises American flag over our embassy in Havana

Secretary of State John Kerry opens our embassy in Cuba. Below, openly gay Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco reads his poem "Matters of the Sea," written for the occasion. Bravo to President Obama for making this happen. 54 years of a failed policy are long enough.

August 11, 2015

Australia government debate exposes deep rift over #marriageequality

Stabber who killed teen at Jerusalem Pride admitted to psychiatric ward

Kenyan pastor and his partner marry, have to flee

Hundreds attend Ugandan Pride parade

August 07, 2015

Obama Allies Blast Schumer, Talk of New Leader

I am with these critics. Schemer's action in opposing this crucial peacemaking deal cannot be rewarded.

August 06, 2015

Schumer opposes Iran nuclear deal


Uganda Gay Pride will go on despite hostility

The horror of Hiroshima, 70 years later

Kerry visits Malaysia, raises opposition leader’s sodomy conviction

Anwar Ibrahim's conviction on a trumped-up sodomy charge was one of the grimmer signs of the lack of democracy in Malaysia. Having loved someone from Malaysia who was heartbroken over it, I thank Secretary of State Kerry for having raised the matter. But as long as gay love is demonized, corrupt rulers will exploit it.

August 05, 2015

Obama speaks on Iran nuclear deal at American University

Out of the park. Thank you, Mr. President.

First-ever #Jamaica Pride celebration takes place without violence

August 04, 2015

Swiss bishop says Bible 'unambiguously' calls for executing homosexuals

Actually, the Bible calls for blood on lots of different heads. The bishop wouldn't be cherry picking, would he?

Dear @Pontifex, if this guy still has a job when you visit the USA next month, spare me the nicey-nice shtick. I am going against popular sentiment when I express my suspicion that your tolerant talk is mostly just window dressing; but I would love to be proven wrong.

An Israeli court is holding a man accused of leading extremists

A commendable sentiment, but hard to enforce amid an occupation accompanied by illegal settlements that amount to a slow annexation of the occupied territory.

August 03, 2015

Flamboyantly dressed military vet vows to beat up gays at Russian Pride rally

Work it, honey.

Mayor of Jamaican capital to speak at Pride event

Gambian men charged under anti-gay law acquitted

Teen Jerusalem Pride Marcher Dies From Stabbing

Grim news. It is not enough for Mr. Netanyahu to condemn such violence. He must stop creating the climate that leads to it.

Vietnam Pride

Stockholm Pride in 15 pictures

Despite the world's terrors, gay folk still celebrate their lives and loves. So this morning I want to share glimpses from a few Pride festivals. This one's from Sweden.

Several LGBTI rights protesters arrested in St Petersburg

(Hat tip: Peter Tatchell)