In Moscow, gay protesters were arrested. In Kiev, anti-gay protesters were arrested.
(Hat tip: Joel Lawson)
In Moscow, gay protesters were arrested. In Kiev, anti-gay protesters were arrested.
(Hat tip: Joel Lawson)
The above video from San Diego has nothing to do with this.
Now it appears that the hopes of binational gay families like mine are pinned on DOMA being overturned in United States v. Windsor. That does not, however, make me happy with Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, or Barack Obama. (Michael Bedwell, please note.)
Update from Chris Geidner.
On May 17, Kenyan LGBT activists marked the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHO) by marching for their rights. Before I head off to set up GLAA's table at DC Trans Pride, I wanted to share this inspiring video. Bravo to these brave people. The persecution of LGBT people in Kenya and other countries is a reminder that it was not homosexuality but homophobia that was spread by colonialism. And as long as American missionaries of hate use foreign aid to spread their malign influence abroad, those of us who are rightfully ashamed of such exploitation must not forget our brothers and sisters in the Global South.
A top judicial panel cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Brazil on Tuesday, ruling that gay couples could not be denied marriage licenses.
The National Council of Justice, which oversees the Brazilian judicial system and is headed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, said government offices that issue marriage licenses had no standing to reject gay couples.
The Supreme Court "affirmed that the expression of homosexuality and homosexual affection cannot serve as a basis for discriminatory treatment, which has no support in the Constitution," said Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa on the council's website, referring to a 2011 ruling by the top court.
"LGBT rights are human rights. Together we will build a world that is free and equal."
Commander Chris Hadfield performs David Bowie's "Space Oddity" aboard the International Space Station.
This week's prize in mixed messages. These anti-gay protesters keep having to say (in French), "Excuse me, but my eyes are up here." Except they are gagged, so it's especially difficult to comprehend.
(Hat tip: Queerty)
Brian Brown of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage has finally condemned the violence in France over that country's enactment of marriage equality, though he falsely makes it sound as if the violence is on both sides:
It appears that France's socialist government is on the verge of succeeding in their ill-conceived quest to redefine marriage, despite massive grassroots opposition from the citizenry. We urge all French citizens to contact lawmakers to express their strong opposition to this policy. We also call on all citizens to conduct themselves honorably and peacefully. Even though the same-sex marriage policy being foisted on an unwilling public is profoundly unwise and anti-family, no citizen should ever express their disapproval through violent means. We condemn in the strongest possible terms violence by anyone on either side of this debate.
France passes marriage equality; bigots react with violence. Think Progress reports:
The French National Assembly has finalized passage of the marriage equality bill with a vote of 331-225. Technically, New Zealand approved its bill before France, but together the two represent the 13th and 14th countries to legalize recognition of same-sex marriages. The National Assembly originally supported the bill 329-229 and the Senate passed it with a voice vote.
The advancement of same-sex marriage and adoption in France has been very contentious, with opponents promising retaliatory violence for the law’s passage. Indeed, violent hate crimes against gay French citizens have increased in recent weeks. Not only have anti-gay protesters repeatedly clashed with police, injuring journalists and destroying property as they march, but this past week, death threats were sent to lawmakers because of their intention to support marriage equality. In the lead up to today’s vote, the hashtag #IlFautTuerLesHomosexuels, or “Homosexuals must be killed,” has been trending on Twitter. Despite the National Organization for Marriage’s role in the French campaign, they have not acknowledged nor condemned this violence. Additional marches are planned to demand the withdrawal of the bill.
HuffPo reports on the moment when marriage equality was adopted in the New Zealand parliament:
On Wednesday, New Zealand's Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage in a 77 to 44 vote. As lawmakers applauded the final vote, spectators crowded into the public galleries above burst into song, serenading the bill's sponsor, lesbian MP Louisa Wall.
The Associated Press reports the song was "Pokarekare Ana," a love song in the country's indigenous Maori language.
Beautiful. Congrats to Ms. Wall and all who helped her.
New Zealand MP Maurice Williamson, member for Pakuranga, gives one of the funniest and most moving speeches in defense of marriage equality that I can recall. Bravo, sir.
Footage of one of the explosions today at the Boston Marathon. I believe this is on Boylston Street.
In the initial chaos, there have been false reports and conflicting accounts. We know a few things: The Boston Marathon is a major international event that has a history of more than a century. Today is Patriot's Day in Massachusetts in addition to Tax Day. We don't yet know who set off the bombs or why. One report says that a wounded suspect is under observation in a Boston hospital. Another report says the police commissioner says no one is yet in custody. An explosion at the JFK library reportedly turned out to be from a boiler and not to be related. This confusion is to be expected.
President Obama is starting to speak as I type this. I am sure he is going to call for people to remain calm and let law enforcement personnel do their jobs. One conservative writer and Fox News contributor already tweeted an outrageous call for reprisals. We cannot allow our own communities to turn into irrational mobs, provoked by unscrupulous and hateful persons exploiting the fog of breaking news. The President just said we must not jump to conclusions. He is right.
If you are a praying person, now would be a good time to pray for the victims of the bombings, and for the first responders and caregivers.
The Guardian reports.
Meanwhile, the Church of England has ruled out blessings for same-sex couples. Because marriage is a sacred institution meant only for one man and one woman, said King Henry VIII whose desire to get out of his first marriage caused him to split from Rome and start his own church. Anglican, please.
No translation is needed to appreciate this moment of victory for marriage equality in Uruguay. Video courtesy Associated Press.
The Blade reports:
Immigration Equality Executive Director Rachel Tiven on Monday said she does not expect same-sex couples will be included in the comprehensive immigration reform bill a bi-partisan group of senators could potentially introduce by the end of the week.
“We are not expecting LGBT families to be included in the Gang of 8 bill,” she told the Washington Blade during a conference call ahead of a rally in support of comprehensive immigration reform on Wednesday that is expected to draw tens of thousands of people to the U.S. Capitol. “That in our minds means that of course the bill is incomplete.”
Tiven will participate with other civil rights leaders (including Wade Henderson of the Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights) in a rally for citizenship on Wednesday, April 10 at 3 pm on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
Congrats to Tshepo Modisane and Thoba Sithole, a gay Zulu couple, on their wedding in South Africa. Thanks to Melanie Nathan for sharing this beautiful video.
I myself am in a long-term binational relationship, but my partner and I have complied with the law and so we do not have this problem. To say the least, the lack of federal recognition for our relationship is a great burden and injustice. We hope the upcoming SCOTUS ruling on DOMA will remedy this problem.
From the Anti-Defamation League, celebrating its centennial year.
President Obama wins applause from an Israeli audience as he points out a two-state solution is essential to Israel's future as a Jewish democracy. And he urges Israelis to organize a grassroots peace movement.
And bravo to the President for brokering today's reconciliation between Israel and Turkey, including a Netanyahu apology for the fatal ship raid in 2010.
Welcome aboard, Hillary.
(I would embed this video, but no embed code is provided.)
As part of a documentary on gay rights Stephen Fry travelled to Russia this week to interview the author of St Petersburg's notorious anti-gay propaganda bill, who told him gay teenagers do not face bullying for their sexuality.
Stephen Fry arrived in Russia on Tuesday to film footage for "Out There", a two-part documentary on the life of gay people around the world.
Here are excerpts from his Twitter feed:
After the white smoke went up in Vatican City and the announcement was made that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was the new pope and had taken the name Francis, the lack of objectivity in much of American media was illustrated when an MSNBC anchor gushed to general agreement, "This is a moment of absolute celebration." A journalist friend asked me, "So when do we suppose the media will get over the euphoria over the election of this new pope long enough to actually examine his record?" I replied, "Some won't. I mean, critical inquiry would offend the faithful and provoke the wrath of Bill Donahue of the Catholic League."
More sober reporters dug up the following 2010 statement made by Bergoglio during his outspoken fight against Argentina's push for marriage equality:
Let's not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God's plan. This is not a mere legislative proposal (that's just it's form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God ... Let's look to St. Joseph, Mary, and the Child to ask fervently that they defend the Argentine family in this moment ... May they support, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church owns a gay sauna, yards from a certain cardinal's front door. I know, he thought it was a chapel.
Daily Mail reports:
In her first public appearance since she had hospital treatment for a stomach bug, the Queen will sign the new Commonwealth Charter and make a speech explaining her passionate commitment to it.
Insiders say her decision to highlight the event is a ‘watershed’ moment – the first time she has clearly signalled her support for gay rights in her 61-year reign. The charter, dubbed a ‘21st Century Commonwealth Magna Carta’ declares: ‘We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.’
The ‘other grounds’ is intended to refer to sexuality – but specific reference to ‘gays and lesbians’ was omitted in deference to Commonwealth countries with draconian anti-gay laws.
Sources close to the Royal Household said she is aware of the implications of the charter’s implicit support of gay rights and commitment to gender equality.
So Her Majesty avoids mentioning gays explicitly for fear of offending anti-gay Commonwealth countries. Sorry, but that's not good enough. If you're serious about including us, leave no doubt. Risk the consequences of explicit inclusion. That's kind of the point, innit?
The man who twice attempted a citizen's arrest of Robert Mugabe takes on Prime Minister Cameron's austerity policies and invokes the dreaded name of John Maynard Keynes. Peter Tatchell proposes his own alternatives to cutting the British welfare state and says, "The poor in our society are bearing the brunt of an economic crisis that they did not create." Listening to his engaging presentation makes me sorry he isn't in the House of Commons. (Note: Peter's voices comes through much more clearly than the introducer's.)
He may have freed Poland, but that country's first democratically elected president, now in retirement, is sticking to his conservative Catholic views. ABC News reports.
I can't help remembering something Eleanor Holmes Norton quoted to me: "Progress follows the hearse."
HRC reports on the latest news of hate mongering in Uganda.
Just a fragment. If the entire asteroid had hit, the results would have been cataclysmic. The video above has no sound. The video below has audio.
Openly gay undocumented journalist Jose Antonio Vargas offers eloquent testimony at Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration.
Lightning struck the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City on Monday, the day Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will step down from the papal chair on February 28. If you want to ascribe this to an angry God, it's your guess as to whether He or She is angry that Benedict is stepping down, or angry that he is waiting two weeks. Or maybe God is tired of Renaissance architecture. Or maybe the Almighty nodded off and hurled a lightning bolt by accident. In any case, it's a pretty picture.
Chilling. Your legacy, Holiness?
Pope Benedict XVI, AKA @Pontifex, AKA Emperor Palpatine, AKA Joseph Ratzinger, has announced the first voluntary papal abdication in 596 years, claiming failing health. NYT reports. Dave Weigel reports at Slate.
Could the Catholic Church's decades of facilitating and covering up child rape by priests, in which Ratzinger is personally implicated as the coverer-up-in-chief, have played a role in this? Stay tuned.
Laurel Ramseyer at Pam's House Blend has an interesting article refuting the old anti-gay claim that gay marriage would lead to polygamy:
Not a single country that has legalized civil marriage for same-sex couples has gone on to legalize polygamous marriage. Countries that have legalized civil marriage for same-sex couples are Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.
On the contrary, there is a great deal of overlap between countries that criminalize homosexuality or same-sex marriage and countries that have legalized polygamous marriage.
One equal marriage country, South Africa, does recognize polygamous marriages under customary law. However, this recognition is a result of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act of 1998, a law passed eight years before same-sex couples could marry in South Africa.
Gay Catholic Andrew Sullivan has written another powerful, moving indictment of the Roman Catholic Church's betrayal of children and of justice as he reviews Mea Maxima Culpa, the documentary by Alex Gibney that debuted the other night on HBO. Andrew writes:
It is both an inspiring testament to faith and truth – as well as a devastating indictment of pride, power, and lies. The former come from four boys who attended St John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee in the 1970s. The latter comes from the Vatican and everyone in its power structure then and ever since....
Gibney finds Father Lawrence Murphy confessing to raping over 200 boys over a long period of time. He raped them in their dorm rooms; he raped them in the confessional, using the small window as a glory hole and granting absolution based on rape or masturbation. The detail I cannot quite recover from is that he picked out for abuse those deaf boys who had parents who could not use sign language – so that even if the boys had the courage to say what had happened to them, their parents would not understand. It’s things like that that simply chill you, haunt you, force you to confront the pre-meditated, profound assault on human souls that the Catholic Church, from the Pope on down, enabled, perpetuated, and lied about for so long – and still hasn’t been held fully accountable for....
Here is another clip from the debate in the Commons yesterday, featuring Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy giving an impassioned speech for marriage equality.
Conservative MP Nick Herbert, himself in a long-term gay relationship, argues strongly for marriage equality in Tuesday's debate in the House of Commons. (Other gay MPs speaking in favour were Mike Freer and Margot James.) After a full day's debate, the bill passed by a wide margin of 400 to 175. Prime Minister David Cameron supported the bill, but allowed his Tory MPs to vote their consciences. Scanning the roll call of the yeas and nays, amid more famous names like actress and MP Glenda Jackson who voted in favor, it is worth noting that the Labour MPs voting in the affirmative included the Muslim members.
The news report below features longtime human rights activist Peter Tatchell, who says, "We have moved mountains." Congrats to him and to all who made this historic advance possible.
Meanwhile, across the herring pond, conservative members of Congress still dismiss calls to protect the rights of binational gay couples.