Archive for the ‘Gay Marriage’ Category

Homophobia in Russia: Eurovision Protest 2009

An opponent of the rights of LGBT people wants to close the gap between Russian and International laws.

Sent by Nicolas Alexeyev.

A Member of the Federation Council of Russia – the Upper-Chamber of the Parliament – Vasily Likhachev, known for his sharp rejection of the civil rights of sexual minorities, was appointed Deputy Minister of Justice.

As reported Gazeta.ru on February 27, the main point in his agenda will be to close the gap between the Russian and the International laws.

But when it comes to LGBT rights the new Deputy Minister of Justice is well known for a series of homophobic remarks.

Just two days before his appointment, Mr Likhachev publicly justified the denial by the Ministry of Justice to register ‘Marriage Equality Russia’, a gay group advocating for same-sex marriage:

“The steps taken by the representatives of the gay community, contradict with the general state of morality of the Russian society because it is not our culture and our form of relations”

In 2006, Mr Likhachev called to use any way to stop the process of family rights of same-sex couple “Already in 7 countries of the European Union, homosexuals are allowed to adopt children. The number of countries where same-sex marriages are permitted continues to grow, that’s why in questions concerning gays, there shouldn’t be maximum permissiveness otherwise, we will go too far and the development of the world will go in the wrong direction”

He further defended the ban of a gay pride in Moscow, arguing that “Minority affects the interests of the majority. City authorities are absolutely right that they did not follow the interest of sexual minorities. There could not be any other discussion here”

A similar position that Mr Likhachev repeated a year later in 2007: The society should not abide by the desires of sexual minorities because homosexuals touch the interest of the majority of the people of traditional orientation,

“The respect of human rights must not violate the moral and ethic. And if such a violation occurs, the authorities must apply the relevant laws to prevent it”

Commenting about the appointment of Mr Likhachev, Nikolai Baev, a co-organizer of Moscow Pride said:

“The new Deputy Minister of Justice does not consider the rights of homosexuals to depend on the constitution or the law of this country,

“Moral, ethic and the interest of the majority of the population is sufficient in his eyes to discriminate against us” said Nikolai Baev.

Gay activist further expressed concerns about the future of registering LGBT groups as non-profit organization in the country.

“The Ministry of Justice denied so far to register any NGO which would officially advocate for the rights of gays and lesbians, but, with the appointment of Mr Likhachev we doubt the trend will reverse”

“The only solution is to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights but this process takes years” ended Nikolai Baev.

GayRussia.Ru
http://www.gayrussia.ru/en/news/detail.php?ID=15226

Russia denied registering a Gay Group campaigning for Marriage Equality

Sent by Nicolas Alexeyev

The Russian Ministry of Justice turned down the application of a group of gay and lesbian activists to register the first All Russia NGO dedicated to support the campaign for Same-Sex Marriage.

“Your organization cannot be registered on the basis that its aims contradict the law on NGOs and provisions of the family code which define marriage as a union between a man and a woman“ says the letter received by the board of the organization.

The board said today that “we asked today the Russian justice to reverse this illegal decision, and we will go all the way up the European Court of Human Rights if necessary”

‘Marriage Equality Russia’ is backed by a group of Moscow and St Petersburg LGBT groups as well as individuals, also heterosexuals.

The campaign is already running since last May when the group helped a lesbian couple to register their union in Moscow. After getting a denial from the Civil Registrar, the couple entered into Marriage last October in Toronto.

The couple is about to introduce an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights after the Russian justice twice upheld the denial.

One of the spouses, Irina Fedotova (Fet), a board member of ‘Marriage Equality Russia’ said about her participation in the organization:

“This campaign is not only about my marriage with Irina. We want to bring our contribution to help opening the way to marriage to other gays and lesbians and not only in Russia”.

Nikolai Alekseev, spokesman for ‘Marriage Equality Russia’ said:

“Russia is a country where you cannot hold a march in the streets if you openly advertize it as gay, and this is the same with registering an openly gay organization”

“We could probably succeed in registering a NGO and remain discreet on its aim or organize a march without applying it as a gay march, but there is simply no sense in staying in the closet. Only the fight for visibility gets you in the media and help with time to make more people open about us.”

“Knocking at each door in secret and quietly explain what is homosexuality is not going to take us anywhere in a country of 141 million”

Last October, a group of UN experts found that discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation is “systematic”.

Marriage Equality Russia

Logo of the organization available on line at: www.marriageequality.ru/en
Photos and videos of All Russia’s marriage campaign available on www.marriageequality.ru/en

Malawi ‘gay marriage’ trial on 15 January

Defendants refused bail, face gay sex charges

Human rights defender arrested on false porn charges

London – 5 January 2009

http://www.petertatchell.net/international/malawi-gay-marriage-trial-on-15-january.html

A Malawian court yesterday refused bail to two men who celebrated their engagement to be married in a traditional African ceremony, which they held late last year.

Giving his ruling at a court in the city of Blantyre on Monday 4 January, judge Nyakwawa Usiwa-Usiwa claimed Steven Monjeza (26) and Tiwonge Chimbalanga (20) were at risk of mob violence and would be safer in custody – a claim rejected by the defendants and their lawyers.

In Malawi, even people accused of serious crimes like violent robbery and assault usually get bail.

The same day the police arrested a worker from the human rights group CEDEP, which assisted the detained men and secured them legal representation.

“Steven and Tiwonge are the first same-sex couple to begin the process of getting married in Malawi,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage! in London, who has been liaising with human rights defenders inside Malawi to support the detained men.

“The two men have been returned to Chichiri Prison pending their trial on charges of homosexuality, scheduled for Friday 15 January in Blantyre,” added Mr Tatchell.

“They face a maximum sentence of 14 years jail, under Malawi’s anti-gay law, section 153 of the penal code, which was originally imposed on the country by the British colonisers during the nineteenth century.

“Both men deny the charges and will challenge the prosecution on the grounds that it is illegal under the equal rights and non-discrimination clauses of the Malawian constitution.

“Tiwonge and Steven are quite fearful and dejected. They were jeered in court and have been disowned by their families. Conditions in Chichiri jail are appalling. They say they have been beaten in prison and they are now threatened with forced intimate medical examinations to determine whether they have had sex.

“Visitors have taken them food and clothing and given them some money. They encouraged them to stand firm and reassured them that they have support inside Malawi and worldwide. This has lifted their spirits.

“Steven and Tiwonge now have a good legal team, including Mauya Msuku, Felix Tandwe and Noel Supedi.

“They also have the support of the Malawian human rights group, the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), which works to defend the welfare of marginalised communities, including prisoners, sex workers and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“Ominously, the administrator of CEDEP was arrested on 4 January on trumped up charges that the group’s safer sex HIV education materials are pornographic. His arrest is almost certainly in retaliation for CEDEP’s public support for Tiwonge and Steven. There are concerns that the Executive Director of CEDEP, Gift Trapence, may now also face arrest by the police.

“This prosecution is illegal. It is contrary to section 20 of the Malawi constitution, which outlaws all discrimination and it violates the equal treatment provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which Malawi has signed and pledged to uphold.

“Malawi’s anti-gay laws were not devised by Malawians. They were devised in London in the nineteenth century and imposed on the people of Malawi by the British colonisers and their army of occupation. Before the British came and conquered Malawi, there were no laws against homosexuality. These laws are a foreign imposition. They are not African laws,” said Mr Tatchell.

See details of the Malawian constitution and African human rights law below.

Donate to the Malawi Defence Campaign:

To make a donation to support the jailed men, post a cheque payable to “OutRage!” to OutRage!, PO Box 17816, London SW14 8WT. Enclose a note giving your name and address and stating that your donation is for the Malawi Defence Campaign. OutRage! will pass all money donated to Tiwonge and Steven’s defence team in Malawi. Thank you.

OutRage! – 0208 240 0222 and outrage@blueyonder.co.uk

Further information:

Gift Trapence, Executive Director of CEDP

directorcedep@yahoo.co

Peter Tatchell, OutRage!

peter@petertatchell.net

Constitution of Malawi – Article 20:

1. Discrimination of persons in any form is prohibited and all persons are…guaranteed equal and effective protection against discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, nationality, ethnic or social origin, disability, property, birth or other status.
http://www.icrc.org/IHL-NAT.NSF/162d151af444ded44125673e00508141/4953f2286ef1f7c2c1257129003696f4/$FILE/Constitution%20Malawi%20-%20EN.pdf

The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights – Articles 2, 3 and 4:

Article 2

Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status.

Article 3

1. Every individual shall be equal before the law. 2. Every individual shall be entitled to equal protection of the law.

Article 4

Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.
http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/z1afchar.htm

ENDS

www.petertatchell.net

Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko, Russian Lesbian Couple Just Married in Toronto by GayRussia.Ru.

The couple intends to start a legal battle to have their union recognized in Russia.

Despite all obsticles and legal restrictions in Russia, a lesbian couple entered into same-sex marriage in Toronto yesterday. Numerous media and local activists were present at the ceremony during which Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko exchanged woes.

The wedding was held by Harvey Brownstone, a well-known openly gay judge at the family court of northern Toronto. The newly wed couple received their marriage certificate which they intend to use upon their return to Russia to have their Canadian marriage also recognized in their home country.

The couple together with their lawyer and organiser of Moscow Gay Pride Nikolai Alekseev as well as local activists hosted a press conference at the Toronto City Hall before the ceremony during which Canadian gay activists spoke about their struggle for marriage equality stressing the importance of supporting similar movements in other countries, including Russia. They compared the fight for same sex marriage in Russia with a similar campaign which started in Canada two decades ago.

After the press conference, Toronto Mayor David Miller congratulated Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko and thanked the couple for having chosen Toronto for their marriage. Later he wrote in his Twitter blog: “Just met Irena and Irena from russia here to get married; then going home to fight for human rights. Well done women, well done”.

Mayor Miller commented: “They’re so happy you can feel their happiness. And what a great statement from our city that we can lead the world in human rights and that people will come to Toronto to seek equal treatment and respect and joy and love”.

On Friday night dozens of people attended the wedding reception which was held in a restaurant of the gay village of Toronto. During the party, the audience watched pictures of the couple’s attempt to register their marriage in Moscow last May, as well as a video footage of this year’s Slavic Gay Pride in Moscow.

Nikolai Alekseev said on Friday: “We are delighted with the warm welcome in this wonderful country and in this stunning city of Toronto. Even though it is not my marriage, this is a day I will hardly forget. We are grateful to the Canadian LGBT organization EGALE for helping us in organizing the wedding of our Irinas in Toronto”.

Organizer of the Moscow gay Pride stressed: “Many in Russia, including in the LGBT community, think that same sex marriage is impossible but the fight for marriage equality in Russia today is an investment in a democratic and free future of the country. We know that we will get it one day and this is the reason why we have to start now”.

“I salute the courage of Irina and Irina who are showing today that there are no barriers to love. They give a great message of hope”.

Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko explained during a press conference after the registration of their marriage, that they intend to fight to have their marriage recognized in Russia. They stressed that “This is only the beginning of a long journey of recognition of family rights for same-sex couples in Russia.”

The couple explained that “We get a lot of mails and messages of congratulations from gays and lesbians in Russia who also want to have their union recognized but most of them are not able to fight for their rights. We are confident that our struggle will soon benefit to them”.

On Saturday, Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko will celebrate their union in Niagara Falls – a place famous with honeymooners.

On May 12, the Tverskoi Registry Office refused to register the marriage of Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko arguing that under the Family Code a marriage can only be registered between a man and a woman. A judge of the Tverskoi district court upheld the refusal on October 6. The couple appealed the decision and further announced that they are ready to take their case up to the European Court of Human Rights.

GayRussia.Ru

More photos of the wedding:
Photos from the ceremony presided by Judge Harvey Brownstone:
Photos with the Mayor of Toronto David Miller who congratulated the girls in his Twitter:
Video report from Toronto Sun:
Video report from City TV:

portugalgaymariage

Photo Francisco Leong : AFP

Fight for free abortion and gay marriage in Portugal by Lars Torstensson

The struggle for the right to free abortion started after the dictatorship had been overthrown in 1974. After the election of 1995, a majority of MP:s voted in fabour of legalization. But the Social Democratic Prime Minister, Antonio Guterres, listened to the protests from the Catholic Church, and announced a referendum. The church mobilized, and managed to win the referendum by on percent.

But after several trials against doctors and nurses who had helped pregnant women to get abortion, a new referendum was announced in 2005. It was won by the abortion advocators by around 60 percent! Now, Portugal has almost the same abortion rights as most European countries.

This spring, Portugal enters an election movement – the election will take place in the autumn – and gay marriage will be a big issue. The Catholic Church mobilises again. But no referendum will be arranged. “The Spanish experience shows that it will quickly become an undramatic question, once the decision has been taken,” says Pedro Silva Pereira, minister of coordination in the Portuguese government.

Duarte Vilar, who leads an organization for family planning, says: “it takes patience and knowledge, not alarm campaigns and negative campaigns, to be able to win against the Catholic Church.”

Henrik Brors reports this in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter yesterday.

The pictures of the article show four gay and lesbian activists, “José” and “Manuel” and “Ana” and “Maria”, acting a wedding ceremoni outside the Lissabon Parliament, in order to make MP:s vote yes to such weddings.

http://www.dn.se/fordjupning/europa2009/homoaktenskap-nasta-strid-1.829462

From 13 o’clock today, you can chat with Duarte Vilar about women’s rights and sexual equality here:

http://81.92.65.176/chatt3

Lars Torstensson

gaymarocco2.jpg

Morocco: Protect Rights to Privacy and Fair Trial
Petition Calls for Repeal of Repressive Law

(New York, February 26, 2008-)
The Moroccan government should protect the rights to privacy and a fair trial, Human Rights Watch and the Moroccan Human Rights Association said today. Human Rights Watch and the Moroccan Human Rights Association called on the government to repeal a law that provides prison terms for consensual homosexual acts, and launched a petition demanding that the government repeal article 489 of the penal code. They also demanded the release of the six men currently imprisoned under this article.
“This trial shows how an unjust law can be used to violate the basic right to privacy and fuel social prejudice.”
Joe Stork, director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division.

Police arrested the men in November 2007, after a video was circulated on the internet showing a private party in Ksar el-Kbir, a town between Rabat and Tangiers. The prosecution produced no evidence at trial that the defendants had violated Article 489, which provides prison terms for persons who commit lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.� The men all denied the charges. On December 10, after demonstrators marched through the town demanding that the men be punished, a court in Ksar el-Kbir sentenced them to between four and 10 months in prison. A Tangiers appeal court on January 15 upheld their conviction but reduced their sentences slightly.

This trial shows how an unjust law can be used to violate the basic right to privacy and fuel social prejudice, said Joe Stork, director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division.

The Moroccan Human Rights Association and Human Rights Watch invite people from anywhere in the world to sign the petition by emailing petitionmaroc@hrw.org with their name and country of origin, or by visiting:
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2008/02/15/morocc18076.htm
The petition will eventually be presented to the Moroccan government but names will not otherwise be made public.

When a trial is as unfair as this one, people should protest to the authorities, added Khadija Ryadi, president of the Moroccan Human Rights Association. Beliefs may differ, but everyone shares the desire for justice�

Ksar el-Kbir Case Prompts Moroccan Association for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch to Launch Petition for Fair Trials and Privacy

L’affaire de Ksar el- Kébir incite L’Association Marocaine des Droits Humains et Human Rights Watch à lancer une pétition pour le respect du droit a un procès équitable et le droit à la vie privée

More informations in French:
Maroc : Protéger le droit au respect de la vie privée et à un procès équitable

See also: Solidarité Internationale LGBT (SI-LGBT)

Another victory for Blue Diamond Society and all LGBTIs in Nepal.
The judges gave the verdict on 6th February 2008 on the ground that homosexual rights are also Human Rights and article 1, 2 and 4 of bestiality section of the Country Code 2020 and other laws, which the petitioner had taken as grounds for argument, were irrelevant.
Court hearing report on 6th February 2008.
On 18 June 2004, private lawyer Achut Prasad Kharel filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of Nepal demanding a ban on homosexual activities and accused that the group (Blue Diamond Society) was trying to legalize homosexual activities. The petitioner also took the position of some articles of Nepali law such as articles 1, 2 and 4 of the bestiality section of the Mulki Ain 2020 (Country Code), some articles of Marriage Registration Act, marriage section, and article 23 of the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights prohibiting homosexual activities. The Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nepal denied registering the case as per article 15 (2) of Supreme Court Regulation 2049. The Registrar took the position that the personal lives of homosexuals and their personal sexual activities would not be a matter of criminal law. It was argued that the writ petition was not a matter of public interest litigation. The petitioner then challenged the decision of the Registrar for not registering the writ petition. On July 12, 2004, the Supreme Court issued a show cause notice to the defendants to respond to the writ within fifteen days indicating why homosexual activities should not be banned. 1 Nepal Government, Prime Minister and Office of the Council of Ministers 2 Ministry of Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs 3 Ministry of Home Affairs, 4 Chief District Officer (CDO), Kathmandu. The petitioner did not make Blue Diamond Society the defendant but being the group concerned, the Society filed an application for legal litigation saying that the petition had strongly advocated for a ban on homosexual activities and accused the group of trying to make homosexuality legal. BDS argued that the subject was of public interest litigation and requested to be granted permission to be the representative organization. The Nepal Government, Prime Minister and Office of the Council of Ministers responded that the petitioner had not given clear and strong grounds for making their office as defendants and the petitioner had not clearly mentioned the Ministry’s work and activities that have violated the fundamental and legal rights of petitioner. So, the Office said it had not violated any rights of the petitioner and the writ should be quashed. Ministry of Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs responded that the petitioner had not clearly mentioned the Ministry’s work and activities that have violated the fundamental and legal rights of the petitioner. So, the Ministry argued that it had not violated any rights of the petitioner and the writ should be quashed. Ministry of Home Affairs responded that the claims of the petitioner were not justified. The Government of Nepal had not enacted any law to punish homosexuals and the argument where the petitioner had taken article 4 of Bestiality section of the Country Code, does not clearly mention the punishment of homosexual activities. So, the writ petition needed to be dismissed. Chief District Officer (CDO) responded that there was no clear provision in article 4 of the bestiality section to punish homosexual activities or unnatural sex. The writ should be quashed. The court set the time for 6 February 2008 for the final hearing on the petition. After hearing the pleadings of the private lawyer (who was the petitioner, Achut Prasad Kharel), the Division Bench’s Honorable Justices Balram K.C. and Mrs. Gauri Dhakal quashed the writ. The judges gave the verdict on the ground that homosexual rights are also Human Rights and article 1, 2 and 4 of bestiality section of the Country Code 2020 and other laws, which the petitioner had taken as grounds for argument, were irrelevant.
This is another great victory for Blue Diamond Society and all LGBTI Nepalese. We are very proud of our supreme court.
In Solidarity Sunil Babu Pant President Blue Diamond Society
Advocates Hari Phuyal (ICJ), Rup Naranya Shrestha (FWLD), Sapana Pradhan Malla (FWLD), Sharmila Dhakal (BDS), Bhuwan Prasad Nirula (BDS) and Sabin Shrestha (FWLD) represented the Blue Diamond Society (BDS).

vaticanvice72i.jpg

A Short History of Vatican Vice by Aidan Maconachy
Clement VII had sex with page boys.
Benedict IX was into bestiality and bi-sexual orgies.
Boniface VII was described as a “monster” and a criminal…
Benedict XII was a notorious drunkard.
The reign of Innocent VIII was called “The Golden Age of Bastards”.
Leo I was a sadist and torturer.
Julius III sodomized young boys.
Clement VI frequented prostitutes.
Anacletus was into raping nuns.
Paul II enjoyed watching naked men being racked and tortured.
Then of course there is the child sex abuse scandal in current times.
Meanwhile…

- “Gay marriage is eeeeevil!”
- “People in glass house…”
- “Shouldn’t throw stones.”

© Aidan Maconachy





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