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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Bad News Round up.


Yes, it's sadly time for another bad news round up where we remember that homophobia and transphobia are happening and are happening constantly. As ever, I don't pretend to have covered even a fraction of all the incidents that have plagued us - even if I did see them all, which no-one can, I'd never be able to compile them. But gathering so many together in oen place reminds

And it brings it home. I think all of us and GBLT people particularly can get very innured to hate speech. Every day there's another celebrity on twitter, every day another preacher saying something so vile it should never have left his mouth. But it happens over and over again and the hate speech is deemed acceptable in our society.

Well, I bring it together - the words and the consequences and the costs so we can see just how exteme these people are, just how common these people are and just what damage these people do.

Because it matters. Because we matter. And because this shit is not ok. Even if we see it every day. Even if we've been trained to endure it, even if society tells us it's accdeptable. This is not ok.



 
Religion

As Rowan Williams is planning on stepping down, the Anglican church is looking for a new Archbishop of Canterbury.  The body that advises on who to include contains raging homophobic bigot and ex-gay advocate, Glynn Harrison. So the Anglican church is sticking to its bigotry then. Speaking of the Archbishop of Canterbury – Archbishop Sentamu, tipped to be the next Archbigot, is still a homophobe.

In London, hate group Anglican Mainstream tried to produce mockeries of Stonewall’s iconic “some people are gay, get over it” signs to encourage ex-gay torture and have them pasted on the side of buses

The Church of Ireland tried to court a lot of good PR by saying they were going to acknowledge the pain Christian homophobia had caused and reach out to gay people. But when the synod met they decided to drop all that and go for good old bigotry instead – marriage is for straight folks, gay people not due equality, our love not the same as their precious love. Same old same old – don’t even pretend to be inclusive if this is the best you can do, bigots.


In Maryland, the Mormon church is pushing to try and repeal the marriage equality law – because cutting people’s rights and treating us as lesser people is the “moral” thing to do.

Religious leaders in the US are also very very annoyed at international GBLT policy – especially that nasty nasty push to decriminalise being gay. These people are pushing against our right to exist, literally.

In Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain is also leading a charge to desperately push back our rights and fight against laws recognising us as full people. Because destroying gay families is so damn vital to these people.

In Moldova we have more Christian love as a proposed anti-discrimination bill to protect GBLT people is being fought against by the Orthodox church

Iranian Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli thinks that not only are gay people like pigs and dogs but that politicians who don’t want us strung up are not better as well.

The Catholic church is always eager to add to the hatred. With Catholic schools in the UK pressuring 11 year old children to sign the anti-marriage equality petition. In Italy, Catholic group Militia Cristi is losing its shit over gay-themed film “good as you.” (Definitely a radical message! Uppity gays be annoying the Catholics again. The Catholic church is also busy in Colorado, cutting more charity co-operation with an immigrant righstroup because it dares to acknowledge gay people as, y’know, people. Obviously helping people is far less important than hatred to the Catholic church. The US conference of Catholic Bishops is also trying to play the martyr card because everyone’s not all happy about their bigotry. They’re also appropriating just about every civil rights leader their ever was But the Vatican is encouraging religions to come together – yes, Christians, Jews and Muslims should all come together in hatred for gay people. Doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

Pastor Sean Harris advocates beating gay kids straight. And Pastor Charles Worley pushes to have gay people put in concentration camps. His congregation fully support him. In a classic display of integrity, Bishop Mckinney continues to defend NOM and it’s bigotry while pointedly not addressing the vile tactics of the hate group. In Minneapolis, a preacher is suing for the right to scream abuse at GBLT people. Because Christian freedom of speech demands we be victimised and submit to victimisation. And a Vicar in Denmark refuses to a bury a woman – because she’s a lesbian. Oh the Christian love, we’re drowning in it. After NAACP finally supported marriage equality, Pastor Timothy Johnson lost his shit – and was followed (predictably) by Alveda King adding her own bigotry in between reciting her entire family tree.


Hate Speech

So it’s the anniversary of the Titanic sinking which had a lot of people doing many silly things – including a convoluted metaphor where the US is the Titanic and gay people? We’re the iceberg of course. Yes these people aren’t even trying to make sense any more

Speaking of silly things – there was a scandal with numerous US (straight) secret service personnel in Colombia were enjoying the services of (female) prostitutes. Whose fault is this? According to Tony Perkins, it was the fault of gay folks, of course!

One Million Moms is losing its shit again. And again.  Which follows similar losing of shit in the past. How many times do your dramatic boycotts have to fail before you stop trying this? At this stage I think we may want them to keep going – because the amount of advertising their outrage grants these companies means more PR firms will encourage gay themed adverts simply because it will provoke One Million Moms to lose their shit.


A DJ in Ohio, responding to a man who has a lesbian daughter, said that she should be raped to cure her. I really wish I was making that up – it’s almost amazing how much these people try to get away with – and how much they do get away with.

In Monroeville, capital of Liberia, flyers are being handed out calling for vigilante action to torture and kill gay people. Which is, sadly, pretty much on par with the government’s policy.

In Germany, football fans decided to spice up the game by waving homophobic signs. Can’t even go watch sports without the bigots slapping you down.


After introducing gay characters into Mass Effect 3 (which are awesome by the way), EA is being inundated by outraged homophobes

In San Francisco, a group calling itself the Straight Liberation Movement has been posting fliers

And we have our usual crop of celebrities and hate speech. American Football player Roddy White, baseball player Reggie Williams who doesn’t get why there’s soooo many of us, footballer Leon Knight just doesn’t understand why slurs offend us and NBA player Dominique Jones takes their bigotry to Facebook. Bollywood star Kamaal Rashid Khan assures us he would shoot his child if they were gay. Boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao is joining the homophobes taking advantage of Obama’s pro-marriage equality announcement to spout hatred. And Comedian Colin Quinn lost his mind on Twitter.

The Massachusetts Tea Party is, unsurprisingly, made up of homophobic arseholes.



State

The European Parliament has just passed and GBLT rights amendment. Don’t expect miracles but it will help. Guess who didn’t vote for it? That’s right, not one single Tory MEP voted for this bill.

Of course, while they don’t care about protecting our rights, Tory MPs are speaking up against them – with Lincoln MP Karl McCartney saying marriage equality will lead to child marriage. Yes a paedophilia comparison from the Tories, why am I not shocked. Tory MP, Craig Whittaker went for a comparison to polygamy instead . Tory Chief Whip, Patrick McLughlin has reassured the homophobes that we aren’t REALLY going to have a vote on marriage equality. Northern Ireland Secretary, Tory MP Owen Paterson adds his own homophobia as does Dr. Offord, Tory MP who must also feel infertile straight people can’t marry.

Unsurprisingly, UKIP is also a grossly homophobic party that indulges in extreme hate speech. When political parties don’t kick out people like this, it tells you a lot about them

In the US, unknown to many, it is still legal to discriminate against GBLT jurors. Only straight people get to be “peers” it seems. And there’s any wonder why the legal system is no friend to GBLT people? Maybe Dharun Ravi would have got more than 30 damn days. In Virginia a judge’s nomination is being blocked because…. Yes, he’s gay! Wow and they wonder why we don’t trust the justice system


But even they are better than Mississippi state rep Andy Gipson who thinks “diseased” gay people should be put to death.

The Obama administration has refused to move forward an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against GBLT people. Partial support of GBLT equality is not sufficient, this order has precedent and there can be no reason except prejudice to oppose it. No wonder the press secretary had such a bad time explaining it. It was, however, certainly loved by the hate groups

In Gambia, police have arrested 15 men for being gay.  Being gay carries a sentence of 14 years imprisonment in Gambia, part of the GBLT genocide. 2 women and a man have also been arrested for being gay, also in Gambia. And, of course, President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh is resolute in continuing to be a homophobe and his country remaining part of the genocide.



Israel has rejected equal rights for GBLT families. Even when no religion is involved.

In Venezuela, foreign minister Nicolas Maduro attacks his opposition using anti-gay slurs


Hungary is also pushing to have it’s own set of laws banning public promotion of homosexuality – i.e. no being gay in public, no saying nice things about us and general enforcement of the closet. Budapest has also refused permission to hold the annual pride march as well.

A meeting of the G8 nations also included a nice gesture of affirming GBLT rights. Of course, Russia rejected even that hollow gesture



As does cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo in Zimbabwe. Do I need to say that these opinions are genocidal?

In Dubai, a Scottish man has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for kissing another man. But we don’t need to worry about the World Cup, right? I’m sure all the Dubai defenders will be flocking to completely gloss over the homophobia, as per usual.



In Malaysia, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that they will be funding ex-gay counsellors. Because the country doesn’t have anything better to spend its money on than persecuting and demonising gay people.


Media


The Telegraph, in classic right wing style, is blaming homophobia on the battle for gay rights. See, if we’d all shut up and hide and stop getting uppity, we wouldn’t have a problem

In Malayasia, programming featuring GBLT characters has been banned – starting with the state run media. Because if they can’t see us we don’t exist?

In the name of free speech (yeah you’re doing it wrong) MNSBC frequently includes anti-gay hate groups on its shows. In the name of hiding the fact they’re homophobic arsehats, they’ve banned an advert criticising them for giving a platform for hate groups.




Youth

In Britain, a publicly funded Jewish school is peddling “gay cures” to the students. Because traumatising and torturing kids is moral, y’know.

The University of Nebraska believes exposing students to a virulently homophobic coach who is campaigning against the humanity of ay people is a great idea.

Despite being a successful den leader for a year, lesbian mother Jennifer Tyrell was kicked out of the boyscouts because… yes, she’s a lesbian. There’s a message to send to all those kids – especially her own kids. Naturally the bigots believe this is necessary to “protect the children.”

In Michigan a Catholic school invited a gay alumni to deliver the year’s key note address. Until they realised he was gay – then he was quickly cut. There’s a great message for those kids.

In Canada, Catholic schools continue to balk at the idea of GSAs. Because, y’know, support for gay kids that may help and encourage them is just too sinfully awful.

In Moscow, a 16 year old gay boy was sent to a rehabilitation clinic by his father – designed for drug addicts. He was taken and held against his will and kept so heavily drugged he couldn’t remember his own friends’ names

In Saudi Arabia, “tomboys” and gay people have been banned from schools and universities. Like they didn’t face enough demonization in Saudi Arabia

Unfortunately we also have a large number of teachers who shouldn’t be allowed near kids, especially GBLT ones. In California, a high school principle decided to kick a gay student from a pageant because he mentioned he wanted to get married some day. How dare you have hopes and dreams and consider yourself a real person, kid! In Kansas, a teacher compares being gay to being a murderer. Another teacher filmed a gay student dancing with a trans student at prom in order to openly mock them in class. In Tennessee, school board member Van Shaver completely loses his shit over a pro-gay article in the student news paper actually trying to deny the gay student a chance to graduate



In Indiana, a gay student has been expelled for carrying a stun gun – as a last ditch resort to try and protect himself from constant, ignored, homophobic bullying. The same youth was then attacked and beaten in a shopping mall

But that’s ok, because Louisiana law makers tell us that gay kids don’t actually get bullied. No, really – that’s their excuse for not including GBLT protections.

While there are many reasons to be suspicious of the Invisible Children group, the timing of their events also points to repeated attempts to pull people away from the Day of Silence



Discrimination

In the UK, haters often try to pretend that Civil Partnerships and Marriage the same. They’re not – and it’s never more glaring than the feed difference. For a religious building to apply for a license to hold civil partnerships they often have to pay 12 times more than they do to apply for a license to hold weddings.



Academic Paediatrics has exposed some gross homophobia in the medical profession and healthcare that very often doesn’t come to light

In Pennsylvania, family discounts only apply to straight families – gay couples and their children shouldn’t get above themselves. But the homophobes are “pro-family” right?


In North Carolina a woman comes out as a lesbian and the next day she’s fired. Of course, it’s not illegal in North Carolina to sack someone for being gay

So in Miami Beach there are a number of sex shops and strip clubs. Technically they’re illegal because they sell booze and have nekkedness in the same place (yeah doesn’t make much sense to me anyway – but US prudery rarely does – Land of the Free, established by Puritans and all) but the law remains unenforced for a long long time. Until one of them becomes a gay strip club then guess which law is enforced?




Violence

In the South West of England, yet another survey has, unsurprisingly, revealed that most GBLT people live in fear of abuse and that two thirds have suffered abuse and not reported it to the police.


In Nottinghamshire, 2 men beat a gay man for being gay. Then one of them bit the police officer arresting him. What is it with the homophobic biting? Puts a whole new spin on rabid homophobes


Many gay rights marches held for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia have been marred with violence. Including in Georgia with far right groups and Ukraine where the march was cancelled because the police refused to protect the marchers – and gay activist Svyatoslav Shereme was brutally beaten (truly sick picture of said beating at the link. That photographer just WATCHED)



In Belgium a gay man has been murdered and the murderer may be the first test of their hate crime laws






There have also been bomb threats against the HRC and other GBLT rights organisations








At Illinois state university gay student was attacked by 5 or 6 men shouting anti-gay slurs police have refused to call it a hate crime.

In San Francisco police are looking for 3 men who attacked 2 gay men in separate events. And are thought to be involved in previous attacks as well

In Armenia, a pub owned by a Lesbian was attacked and vandalised.