Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category
It’s Not the Homosexual Who is Perverse But the Situation in Which He Lives
1970, 16mm on video, color, sound, 67 min
Saturday, September 26, 7:30 pm
Post screening discussion with Filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim and Film Scholar-Historian Ger Zielinski
Pre-screening introduction by MIX NYC Executive Director Stephen Kent Jusick
Co-presented with UnionDocs
322 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
L to Lorimer Street / G to Metropolitan Ave
J to Hewes Street
Part of Rosa von Praunheim Weekend at Union Docs. The filmmaker will join Ger Zielinski following the Saturday screening for an in-person discussion about “It’s Not the Homosexual Who is Perverse….”
In German with English subtitles. A radically critical denunciation of homosexuals who are content to fit into a gay stereotype of social superficiality and political passivity in the face of blatant discrimination, this film caused a furor in Germany. It also led to the foundation of the modern German gay liberation movement. The appearance of this film was crucial to the founding of the new German gay movement. Over 50 political gay groups sprang up in the wake of his film’s showing in the cities and towns of Germany.
Filmmaker and gay-rights activist Rosa von Praunheim is one of the leading figures in gay and lesbian cinema and New German Cinema, although his deliberately controversial techniques, designed to challenge audiences, have sometimes caused him to be criticized by both gay and anti-gay supporters.
Ger Zielinski, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, where he is working on 1970s and 80s NYC queer minor cinemas and their scenes. He also spends months of the year as a researcher in the Institut für Europäische Ethnologie at Humboldt Universität in Berlin. He was an experimental film curator with the nomadic Pleasure Dome in Toronto for many years and continues to program independently.
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Organizers convinced that it will not be possible to ban the event.
Next year’s Moscow Pride is set to be staged on May 16 – the same day as the Eurovision song contest finals.
Yesterday, Eurovision officials announced that next year’s event would be staged at Moscow’s Olympiyskiy stadium.
And organisers of Moscow Gay Pride confirmed last night their intent to conduct the gay parade on the day on of the Eurovision final in Russian capital.
“We will conduct the gay pride on the day of the Eurovision final on 16 May 2009,” Nikolai Alekseev told the Interfax news agency “As usual we will notify Moscow authorities about the conduct of the event.”
He suggested that “that the public event of the fourth Moscow Pride” could be staged on one of the central streets of Moscow.
Moscow won the right to stage Eurovision next year when Dima Bilan won this year’s contest in Belgrade in May.
“We hope that the many gays and lesbians who usually attend Eurovision finals from different countries will join our Pride,” he told UK Gay News this morning.
He also said that, apart from the gay march, the organisers are planning to hold an international conference dedicated to the International Day Against Homophobia which is being marked around the world on 17 May.
The invitations to take part in the conference will be sent to the Mayors of Paris, London and Berlin as well as many European politicians.
“Russia must show that it is part of the civilized world, of the European family, that it is tolerant and that it is possible to conduct public actions of sexual minorities in Moscow,” Mr. Alekseev said.
In the next few weeks an organizing committee for the forth Moscow Pride will be formed and will include record number of people.
Pride organisers will be getting in contact with the European Broadcasting Union, the organisers of Eurovision song contest, to discuss issues concerning the security of gays and lesbians in the Russian capital.
The song contest, with its ‘camp’ acts, has become an iconic event in the gay European calendar – and the event is starting to gain popularity within the LGBT community in the USA, the world largest television market.
Bigoted clerics stir up anti-gay witch-hunts in Africa
London – 2 July 2008
“This breakaway Anglican faction is fundamentalist, homophobic and sexist. It opposes equal rights for women and gay people, and is allied with hardline church leaders whose bigoted teachings are fuelling anti-gay witch-hunts in many countries.”
The condemnation comes from human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who yesterday (1 July) picketed a meeting at All Soul’s Church in London of the newly-formed Anglican fundamentalist sect, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FOCA). Mr Tatchell was joined by his OutRage! African colleague Brett Lock and gay Christian and Ugandan gay rights activist, Kizza Musinguzi.
When they tried to enter the church, they were violently ejected. Mr Tatchell was punched in the chest by a church steward.
Photos of the protest are here:
“Archbishop Peter Akinola is backing the state-sponsored persecution of lesbians and gays in Nigeria. He is orchestrating a wicked victimisation campaign against the Nigerian gay Christian leader, Davis Mac-Iyalla, Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria,” added Mr Tatchell.
“The Archisbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, has stirred up prejudice against gay Ugandans in a society where anti-gay hatred and violence is rife. In 2006, he excommunicated a heterosexual bishop, Christopher Senyonjo, because he defended gay people against persecution.
“Jesus Christ is recorded in The Bible as condemning many sins but he never once condemned homosexuality. The anti-gay campaign of the breakaway Anglican leaders is a perversion of Christ’s gospel of love and compassion. These splitters are Old Testament fundamentalists, not true followers of Jesus Christ,” concluded Mr Tatchell.
Kizza Musinguzi is a gay member of the Anglican Church of Uganda. He has witnessed first hand the homophobic campaign by his church leaders. Mr Musinguzi was jailed and tortured in Uganda because of his gay rights activism. He is currently seeking asylum in the UK.
“The church is supposed to be all-loving. It is not acceptable that it has one set of rights for straight Christians and a lesser set of rights for gay Christians,” said Mr Musinguzi.
“When Archbishop Orombi takes a stand against gay people, he signals to the population that it is okay to discriminate against gay people. He supports Uganda’s vicious anti-gay laws, which stipulate life imprisonment for consenting same-sex relationships. Orombi is encouraging prejudice and hatred. His victimisation of Bishop Senyonjo is cruel and vindictive.
“Gay people in Uganda face imprisonment, torture and mob violence. Many are driven out their communities and left destitute. The government excludes gay people from its HIV programmes, leaving them to die without medication. The Church of Uganda is exacerbating this homophobia, neglect and persecution,” said Mr Musinguzi.
The closing of Lambda would be a devastating blow for the European LGBT emancipation movement.
A leading gay rights organisation has been ordered to dissolve itself by a court in Turkey.
A department of the Istanbul Governor’s office responsible for non-governmental organisations alleged that the group, Lambda Istanbul, violates Turkish laws on morality.
They claimed that Lambda violates both the Penal Code, as an association in violation of “law and morals,” and Article 41 of the Turkish constitution, which is concerned with “the peace and welfare of the family.”
Lambda Istanbul was founded in 1993 and registered as an association in May 2006.
The city government of Isatabnul claimed that the association’s statute was immoral and although the prosecutor initually rejected the claims citing freedom of association.
The city government then appeal to court and there have been a number of hearings, the most recent today in the Beyoglu 3rd Civil Court of First Instance.
The group said in a statement: “The way we see this process is that LGBT organizations that currently exist either in practice or as registered entities in Turkey are trying to be pushed out of the legal domain.
“Instead of accepting their existence and protecting their basic rights, the state authorities choose to condemn LGBT people, by depriving them of their right to association.”
Lambda Istanbul will appeal the decision at the Court of Appeal. They are the first gay rights group to be closed by any member or candidate member of the European Union.
Human Rights Watch said in a statement:
“A Beyoglu court today ordered the dissolution of Lambda Istanbul in the ongoing case brought against them.
“An HRW representative was at the court and witnessed the hearing.”
“Lambda will take the case to the Court of Appeal (Yargitay) but it represents sustained, prolonged, and legally indefensible harassment of a human rights organisation.”
Lambda Istanbul aims to “support all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to adopt equality as a value”.
It has actively lobbied for legal protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Government officials have made similar legal moves to shut down other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organisations in Turkey but failed.
Kaos GL, based in Ankara, faced a demand for closure from Ankara’s deputy governor, Selahattin Ekmenoglu, in 2005. The closure petition was dismissed by prosecutors.
The chairman of Dutch gay rights group COC, Frank van Dalen, says that closing Lambda Istanbul would be against non-discriminatory guidelines issued by the European Union and against the universal right to free speech.
Turkey is a candidate country for EU membership, but concerns about human rights are one factor frustrating negotiations.
The closing of Lambda would be a devastating blow for the European LGBT emancipation movement, according to COC.
Mr Van Dalen has called on the Dutch government to not support Turkey’s application for EU membership until “basic human rights are fully respected by Turkey.”
Gay refugees face prejudice across the world
15th April 2008 18:20
Biplob Hossain, a gay refugee from Bangladesh who is seeking asylum in Australia, and Joaquin Ramirez, facing deportation to El Salvador, have highlighted the plight of gay men who flee their countries to escape persecution.
Mr Hossain, 25, moved to Australia on a student visa when he was 19.
He applied for asylum on the basis that he would suffer persecution in Bangladesh. He was placed in a detention centre for 29 months.
After three rejections by the Refugee Review Tribunal and a failed High Court bid, Mr Hossain is hoping for a personal intervention from the Minister for Immigration, Senator Chris Evans.
He was released from Villawood Detention Centre in October 2006, but is not allowed to work or collect social security benefits.
Sandi Logan, a spokesperson for the Immigration Department, told Australian SX News:
“A person’s sexual orientation does not of itself enable that person to be granted asylum.”
“We provide protection for asylum seekers under the UN definition of a refugee, under the Convention 67 protocol, which doesn’t include their sexual orientation or their fears of persecution associated with that orientation.”
Bangladeshi law states that gay sex acts are illegal and will be punished with deportation, fines and life imprisonment.
The national law itself is rarely directly enforced however there have been numerous reports of incidents of vigilantism.
People suspected of homosexuality have also been sentenced to death by a fatwa.
Meanwhile, in Canada, a gay man is facing deportation to his native El Salvador where he claims that three police officers who raped him are now out to kill him.
Joaquin Ramirez, a 39-year-old HIV-positive man said the accused perpetrators have visited his family and threatened to kill him because he infected them with the HIV virus.
Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board doubted Mr Ramirez’s claims, asking why he did not seek legal support in his own country when the incident occurred.
Mr Ramirez told Canadian newspaper The Star:
“How could I go to the same people and ask them to protect me when it’s those people who did this to me?”
Mr Ramirez worked as a volunteer outreach worker with the Young Men’s Christian Association and the Salvadoran Network of People Living with HIV.
He said he was picked on by three drunken officers at a restaurant in 2006 and driven to a plantation field where he was allegedly beaten and raped.
Five months later he claims a stranger called his sister and threatened to kill him for infecting them with the virus.
The refugee didn’t believe Ramirez left El Salvador because of the alleged assault as he had already planned to leave in November 2005.
The two stories come just weeks after the much published case of Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi.
Mr Kazemi came to London in 2005 to study English but later discovered that his boyfriend had been arrested by the Iranian police, charged with sodomy and hanged.
The UK rejected his first asylum plea, but Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has now granted him a temporary reprieve from deportation while she reconsiders his case.
In 76 countries people face jail for having gay sex.
Homosexual acts officially carry the death penalty in several nations including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, northern Nigeria, Sudan, and Yemen.
In many Muslim countries, such as Bahrain, Qatar, Algeria and the Maldives, homosexuality is punished with jail time, fines, or corporal punishment.
In Egypt, openly gay men have been prosecuted under general public morality laws.
Some liberal Muslims, such as the members of the Al-Fatiha Foundation, accept and consider homosexuality as natural pointing out that the Qu’ran speaks out against homosexual lust, and is silent on homosexual love.
However, this position remains highly controversial even amongst liberal movements within Islam, and is considered beyond the pale by mainstream Islam.
The UK is a signatory to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which means that it has a responsibility under international law not to return refugees to a place where they would face persecution.
As some of you already know, the HIV/AIDS hospice run by Blue Diamond Society was shut down because of deep-rooted homophobia.
‘Anti-gay bias evicts dying AIDS patients in Nepal’ (Thaindian News):
I’m sure you all know BDS’s commitment for equal rights for all people including LGBTI. Situation surrounding LGBTI people in Nepal is very difficult and homophobia and human rights violation are still widespread.
Sunil Pant, president of BDS has told me (and several other friends of his) that they can purchase a house and start a hospice again if they have some 100,000 US Dollars. I’ve launched a fund-raising campaign here in Japan for them and I know a few in the UK have personally donated BDS. But, the amount of donations we’ve collected so far is not enough to help BDS at all.
So, I’d like to ask you to help BDS by donating some amount and to circulate this message to your friends who will understand BDS’s grassroots and vital activism for LGBTI in Nepal.
Below is the BDS’s bank account information which I received from Sunil.
Please choose one of them and help BDS.
INFORMATION ABOUT BDS:
Name of organization: Blue Diamond Society
Address: Shiv Bhakta Marg: 344, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone: +977 1 4443350 Fax: +977 1 4438600
Contact person at organization: Mr. Sunil B Pant (Title: Director)
Name of Bank : Everest Bank Limited
Full street address of bank : EBL, Lazimpat-2,Kathmandu Nepal
Telephone and Fax numbers of bank: 977 1 4443377, 977 1 4443160
Account Name: Blue Diamond Society VII
Name, address and telephone of the bank account holder: Blue Diamond Society,
Lazimpat-2,Khursanitar, Shiva, Bhakta Marga, House No 344
Bank account number: 014 030400 A
SWIFT IBAN number of bank EVBLPAXXX
OR INFORMATION ABOUT OUR LOCAL BANK:
Bank Name: Himalayan Bank Limited,
Bank Address: Tridevi Marg, Thamel
City, State, and Postal Code: Kathmandu
Organization’s bank account name: Blue Diamond Society
Our organization’s bank account number: 001 00211060012
SORT CODE / SWIFT / BIC#: HIMANPKA
INFORMATION ABOUT OUR BANK’S CORRESPONDING US BANK:
Corresponding U.S. Bank’s Name: American Express Bank
Corresponding U.S. Bank’s Address: New York
City, State, and Postal Code: New York
Our bank’s account # with Corresponding U.S. Bank: 723262
9 Digit ABA (American Bank Association) Number: FED ABA
No: 124071889, (Chips No: CP 0159, SWIFT No: AEIBUS33)
GayJapanNews - Azusa Yamashita
Gays Demand China Free AIDS Advocate at Olympic Torch Protest:
A press conference was supposed to be held today at 11 AM at United Nations Plaza by Tibetans living in the US, to demand China end its occupation of their country. I went to it expecting 2 or 3 dozen Tibetans and their supporters would be standing behind a microphone tree, explaining what they hope to accomplish as the Olympic torch passes through town.
What I found when I got there was a full-fledged rally, held in front of a large elevated stage near the north end of the plaza, and perhaps five-hundred protesters waving flags, chanting slogans and handing out flyers.
I hooked up with five other gay men who were there to call for the release of Chinese AIDS advocate Hu Jia, sentenced to three years in jail last week for pro-democracy advocacy, and to add our voices to the “Free Tibet” chorus.
Here are two photos of us posing for the cameras:
I’m proud a handful of us gays were present today, and will be attending other pro-Tibet events today and tomorrow, as the Olympic torch wends its way through San Francisco. And big thanks to the other gays who showed up today in support of our Tibetan friends and incarcerated AIDS advocate Hu Jia.
By Michael Petelis :
Olympic torch ambushed in London
Bus halted, gay activist Tatchell arrested
“Gordon Brown colludes with China’s tyrannical leaders”
London – 6 April 2008
The bus bearing the Olympic torch was today ambushed outside Selfridges department store in Oxford Street, London, by gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
Mr Tatchell ran in front of the bus carrying the Olympic flame. He held up a placard which read: “Free Tibet, Free Hu Jia.” He shouted the same words as he ran along in front of the bus.
The police wrestled Mr Tatchell to the ground, which delayed the bus briefly while he was removed to pavement. After questioning, he was later released without charge.
“Hu Jia was jailed for three and half years last week for campaigning for free speech, Tibetan autonomy, environmental protection, and for the human rights of the rural poor and people with HIV,” said Mr Tatchell.
“He exposed the Chinese government’s cover up of the use of HIV contaminated blood, the lack of support and care for people with HIV, and he challenged social prejudice and discrimination against people with the virus.
“Hi Jia is a truly heroic figure, who has shown immense foresight, determination and bravery. He has kept campaigning, even though he knew it would put him at risk of arrest, torture and imprisonment.
“In jail, Hu Jia is likely to be mistreated, denied medical treatment for his hepatitis B infection and starved of proper food.
For more information about Hu Jia, see here:
“Gordon Brown has shamed himself and Britain by greeting the Olympic torch at Downing Street, at a time when China is shooting dead Tibetan protesters and jailing and torturing hundreds of political prisoners,” added Mr Tatchell.
“It is hypocritical for the Prime Minister to boycott the Zimbabwean regime, but not the dictatorial regime in China. These double standards bring our government into disrepute.
“The UK should not be colluding with a police state like China. Attempts to gently persuade the Beijing leaders to stop their human rights abuses have failed. They are manipulating the Olympics. We must
not allow them to exploit the Beijing games to divert attention from China’s abysmal human rights record.
“All countries that love freedom, democracy and liberty should refuse to host the Olympic torch and boycott the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Athletes should wear Tibetan flags during their events and on the podium when they collect their medals.
“China should be subjected to sporting protests in the same way that apartheid South Africa was subject to sporting protests.
“China is one the world’s most vicious anti-worker regimes. It has poor labour laws. Employees have little protection against abuse. Independent trade unions are banned and their leaders jailed.
“To make way for new cities, millions of rural people have been forced off their land with little or no compensation. China is free market state capitalism at its worst. The gap between the rich and poor is
one of the widest of any country on earth.
“The idea that China is any longer a communist state is laughable. The Communist Party has become a new ruling class and a route to personal advancement, corruption and wealth aggrandisement.
“The Beijing leaders are new emperors who ride roughshod over their own people. They have almost total power and they abuse it to oppress and exploit the Chinese nation, in ways that are often similar to the old feudal and colonial powers of the nineteenth century,” said Mr Tatchell.
Peter Tatchell 020 7403 1790
Conservative MEP John Bowis made the following powerful speech in the European Parliament in favour of the successful resolution supporting Mehdi and Pegah Emambakhsh.
Bruxelles: The European Parliament has approved with 60 votes (46 in favour, 2 against and 12 abstentions) an urgent resolution on the case of Seyed Mehdi Kazemi – the 19-year-old Iranian gay – member of EveryOne Group – who is about to be extradited from Holland to the United Kingdom. He risked immediate deportation from London to Teheran, where the death sentence awaits him because of his homosexuality.
Full text of the European Parliament’s Resolution on Mehdi Kazemi’s case:
The European Parliament,
– having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and in particular to Article 3 thereof, which prohibits the removal, expulsion or extradition of persons to countries where there is a serious risk that they would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
– having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and in particular to Articles 18 and 19 thereof on the right to asylum and on protection in the event of removal, expulsion or extradition respectively,
– having regard to the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the Status of Refugees,
– having regard to Council Directive 2004/83/EC on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted (Qualifications Directive) and to Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 on the criteria and mechanisms to determine the Member State responsible for assessing asylum applications (Dublin Regulation), as well as to other EU asylum instruments,
– having regard to the letter of 10 September 2007 from its President to the UK Prime Minister on the case of Pegah Emambakhsh, an Iranian lesbian who risked being sent back to Iran after her request for asylum was turned down,
– having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas Mehdi Kazemi, a 19-year-old gay Iranian citizen, requested asylum in the United Kingdom and had his application turned down; whereas, fearing deportation, he fled to the Netherlands, where he applied for asylum; whereas Dutch authorities, after examining his request, have decided to send him back to the UK,
B. whereas UK authorities are now left with the final decision on his asylum application and possible deportation to Iran,
C. whereas Iranian authorities routinely detain, torture and execute persons, notably homosexuals; whereas Mehdi’s partner has already been executed, while his father has threatened him with death,
D. whereas in the similar case of Pegah Emambakhsh the UK authorities decided, after international pressure, not to deport her back to Iran, but whereas it is still not clear what her fate will be,
E. whereas the UK Prime Minister’s spokesperson, while not commenting on the case of Mehdi Kazemi, gave general assurances as to the conformity of UK asylum procedures with international commitments and to the possibility of appealing against asylum decisions to an independent judge, as well as to the fact that the authorities would not remove anyone who would be at risk on his or her return,
F. whereas more attention should be devoted to the proper application of EU asylum law in Member States as regards sexual orientation,
1. Expresses its serious concern regarding the fate of Mehdi Kazemi;
2. Asks for the proper and full application of the Qualifications Directive, which recognises persecution for sexual orientation as a ground for granting asylum and requires Member States to consider the individual case and the situation in the country of origin, including laws and regulations and the manner in which they are applied;
3. Believes that the EU and its Member States cannot apply European and national laws and procedures in a way which results in the expulsion of persons to a third country where they would risk persecution, torture and death, as this would amount to a violation of European and international human rights obligations;
4. Appeals to the Member states involved to find a common solution to ensure that Mehdi Kazemi is granted asylum or protection on EU soil and not sent back to Iran, where he would be executed, thus ensuring that Article 3 of the ECHR is fully respected by all European authorities and notably, in this case, by the UK; asks the Commission and the Council to fully cooperate with the Member States on this case;
5. Asks EU institutions and Member States to take action to prevent similar situations, in the future, through cooperation and EU guidelines to find solutions in similar cases; asks the Commission to monitor and evaluate the application of EU asylum law in Member States, and in particular as regards sexual orientation, and to report to the European Parliament; underlines the fact that the Commission has announced, for 2008, amendments to the Dublin Regulation and the Qualifications Directive which will address the issues raised in this resolution;
6. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Member States, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and Mehdi Kazemi.