20 Sep 2009
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18 Sep 2009
8 Sep 2009
An Old Bailey judge said Neil Lewington, 43, from Reading, must serve at least six years in jail. He was a member of the National Front. Witnesses said that he told them he wanted the Ku Klux Klan brought back. The court heard Lewington had an "unhealthy interest" in the London nail bomber David Copeland, America's Unabomber and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Evidence was also given that he planned to target Asian families with tennis ball shrapnel bombs that he had made in his bedroom.
He was convicted in July of having explosives with intent to endanger life and preparing for acts of terrorism after being arrested by chance at Lowestoft, Suffolk, for abusing a train conductor. He was found to be carrying bomb parts.
7 Sep 2009
This year, Paata and Juris from Ilga-Europe delivered speeches just before the march.
6 Sep 2009
Encouraging people to campaign against one particular political party is well out of order in my opinion, especially when an inducement is offered. Hilariously, in the About Us section of the LGF website it states:
Diversity: We believe we should be accepting of others and celebrate people’s difference.
Fairness: We believe everybody should be treated with dignity and respect.
The worst part is that this is exactly the kind of thing that is alienating certain LGBT people and driving them right into the arms of the BNP. They feel that the narrowly-focused Canal Street ‘community’ in Manchester isn’t for them. "
- £4000 (0.3%) Donor Supporters Scheme - via receipt of monthly donations
- £102, 000 (8%) Events, donations and corporate sponsorship - from charity challenges, corporate sponsorship and other donations.
- £965k (77%) Charities Activities Income - for goods and services provided for the benefit of the LGF’s beneficiaries.£241k (16%) Fees and other sales - advertising in OutNorthWest, room hire, counselling and training.
They do receive some support from the NHS for the health services that thy provide. The G7 website states in the year ending 2008, £623,103 of its income came from several NHS Primary Care Trusts and that his represented around 55% of its total income of £1,122, 280 for that financial year.
The LGF annual report states their expenditure for 2008 / 2009 was:
- £46k (3.5%) Research - Expenditure on our research projects.
- £25k (2%) Governance - General running costs to meet constitutional and
- £138k (10.4%) Generating Funds - This is the cost of raising voluntary income and costs associated with our other generated income.
- £596k (45%) Services - Expenditure on our services including health,
therapeutic and advice services, plus our condom and lube scheme.
- £23k (1.7%) Grants Paid - Support to smaller LGB groups in the
- £492k (37.2%) Information - Expenditure on our magazine, website,
resources and other types of information giving..
So why then does G7 have nothing else to with his time then to try and bring down the LGF. First he blogs about two employment tribunal rulings against them quoting Pink News for further information. This is all well and good and bad employment practices need to be exposed. I, as a trade unionist, do not believe that anyone should be discriminated against or unfairly dismissed and it is even more concerning when such practices take place n an organisation which s supposed to value diversity. However, the LGF have paid their price.
G7 then continues on his blog to outline the funding crisis that LGF is facing. He states that they are owed money by advertisers and that they have cut down the number of publications of their magazine. The LGF state themselves that they can no longer rely on the same level of public funding. None of this is hardly a revelation. We are in a recession, where money is tight for businesses and they probably pay their bills for advertising at the last minute if at all. Public funding of charities is being scaled down as funding of public services is being cut. As a public service worker being offered a 1% pay increase and with colleagues in local government and the national health service facing redundancy due to funding cuts, then inevitably there will also be cuts in donations to the community and voluntary sector.
And if G7 has not had enough with having a go at LGF, read more here what he says about the LGF playing politics with public funding. This s because the LGF urged LGBT voters to use their vote n the Euro elections and ran an article in their magazine OutNorthWest where all parties standing for election were invited to say why LGBT voters should vote for them. They also published on their website an article exposing the homophobia of the BNP and an interview with Searchlight. I have more to say about this here.
Amendment to the Penal Code (registered under number XIP-668(2))
Inclusion of the new Article 310¹ . Promotion of homosexual relations in the public places
1. A person promoting homosexual relations in public places is committing a
2. Legal person is also responsible for this criminal offence.
Amendment to Administrative Code (registered under number XIP-667(2)
Inclusion of the new 214³º article
Article 214³º. Promotion of homosexual relations or financing of promotion in public places.
Promotion of homosexual relations or financing of promotion in public places is to be fined by fine from one to five thousand litas.
These amendments were under consideration at the Committee on Legal Affairs who were accepting suggestions for further amendments until August 23. LGBT Activists, MEPS, the European Parliament LGBT Inter-group, LGBT Organisations all wrote expressing their concerns to the chair of the Committee Mr. Stasys Sedbaras sending copies to the Lithuanian national equality body - Ombudsperson for Equal Opportunities Ms Ausrine Burneikiene. She has a duty and full powers to protect from sexual orientation discrimination at the national level.
This was despite campaigning by MEP’s, the European Parliament LGBT Intergroup, Ilga-Europe, IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation), Lithuanian Gay League, other organisations and a veto on the law on 26 June 2009,by Valdas Adamkus, the former President of the Republic of Lithuania. On, 14 July, the Lithuanian Parliament once more adopted the Law on the Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information which means that President Adamkus’ veto was rejected.
In an interview, to the newspaper Verslo žinios, current President Dalia Grybauskaitė commented that “In my opinion, this law contains homophobic provisions. There cannot be any ‘higher’ reason which would aim to overshadow fundamental human rights. I promise that I will never sign any law which will contradict fundamental human rights.” Despite the fact she criticised this law and said she will never sign a law which breached fundamental human rights, she is obliged by the country’s constitution to sign this law. (Source: www.delfi.lt)
During the campaign, Michael Cashman, MEP said "It is my duty as an elected member of the European Parliament to act strongly against grave attempts to diminish human rights of EU citizens". Cashman, who is President of the Intergroup continued “This new law is a spit in the face of the European values. To limit freedom of expression based on homophobia is a clear breach of EU’s fundamental rights and principles.”
5 Sep 2009
Police are now inspecting CCTV footage to see if they can identify the perpetrators.
BUDAPEST, Sept 5, 2009
And there was not a protester in sight, thanks to a massive security operation in the Hungarian capital. Last month, neo-Nazi groups had promised to disrupt the gay parade.
In a front-page campaign, Il Giornale, editor Vittorio Feltri, claimed Buffo was gay and had been involved in a scandal involving an alleged male lover in 2004.
According to the newspaper owned by the Berlusconi family, Buffo paid a fine for allegedly harassing a woman over the telephone who it claimed was the life of his male lover. Buffo has admitted being fined in the case but denied he was sexually involved with the man.
Buffo has rebutted the claims but resigned to 'protect his family'. He has been backed by the Vatican, which issued an immediate statement supporting him.
Berlusconi is currently suing at least two Italian and two foreign newspapers for their coverage of the scandals surrounding him
26th August: Naples - a couple of gay man are assaulted and verbally abused by a group of men in the street of the city center.
1st September - Two petrol bombs explode in the Gay Street, in San Giovanni in Lateranom Rome. A man is injured.
The government continues to promote the legitimisation of the traditional heterosexual family . They still have not enacted any law to protect LGBT people and to recognize our rights. Italy needs laws and education policy to promote awareness, non-discrimination, inclusiveness.
Activists in India are sending out an appeal to to boycott HSBC Bank. They are asking people to hit back where it hurts the bank most - deny them the privilege to handle your money.
Here is what you can do:
>Close your savings and current accounts with the HSBC bank and move it to another bank that knows how to respect LGBTI persons
>If you have taken loans from HSBC, renegotiate these loans with another bank and move it to them.
>Return your HSBC Credit cards
>Do not let HSBC manage your assets or your investment portfolio.
Please spread this request to all your LGBTI networks and groups, and to all supporters.
Amongst speakers were Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe, Parvez Sharma, Muslim gay filmmaker who is currently touring the world with his debut film ‘A Jihad for Love’ , a documentary which shows that homosexuality and Islam can and do co-exist, Ritt Bjeerregaard, the social democrat elected Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Cleve Jones, Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN Special rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Suk Hong, an actor from South Korea who lost his livelihood when he came out and Lawrence M Mute, Commissioner with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
Thomas Hammarberg said that transgender people should have their human rights fully respected which was in recognition of the launch of the issue paper 'Human Rights and gender identity'.
Georgina Beyer was reported has giving a memorable speech. Her career from drag queen performer, dancer and sex worker to the first out Transgender elected Mayor and then MP in New Zealand under Helen Clarke’s Government is very inspiring. I have heard her speak and she is the sort of speaker that can rally people around.
Kemone Brown who works as a volunteer research co-ordinator for Women for Women in Jamaica was also another featured speaker who is always inspirational. She told the conference about the climate of being lgbt in Jamaica and how unsafe it could be. However, Kemone is not willing to stand back and fights for better living conditions and anti-discrimination for lgbt people in Jamaica and across the Caribbean. She also advocates amongst youth on HIV and Aids promoting safer sex.
Rasha Moumeh, Human Rights Watch spoke about her work on issues of sexual and gender justice in the Lebanon. She also spoke about the situation in Palestine, Middle East and North Africa.
There were a number of workshops including on the reading down of 377 in the Delhi High Court which also touched on Commonwealth countries in general, LGBT Human Rights and the European Union, Working with European Trade Unions for LGBT Human Rights and Unions and LGBT Organisations working together for LGBT rights.
The International Business Equality Index was launched at the Conference with BT being named as the world’s most lgbt friendly business.
- 2 countries’ constitutions refers to sexual orientation in their anti-discrimination provisions
- 13 countries and 1 territory bans sexual orientation in employment
- 25 countries and 5 territories ban sexual orientation discrimination in employment, access to good and services
- 15 countries refer to sexual orientation in hate speech/crime legislation
- 5 countries allow same-sex partners to marry
- 13 countries and 2 territories allow same-sex partners to register their partnerships
- 13 countries recognise cohabitation of same-sex partners
- 9 countries entitle same-sex partners to apply for joint adoption
- 11 countries allow second partners adoption
- 10 countries provide fertility treatment for lesbian couples
Areas of discrimination and inequality:
- 2 countries and 3 territories still have unequal age consent for consenting sexual acts between adult men
- 1 territory still criminalises consenting sexual acts between adult men
- 8 countries banned LGBT public events during the last 10 years
LGBT activists in India say that if these reports are true, it is probably one of the best thing that can happen in the supreme court, and in our long march to decriminalisation but that we should be prepared for surprises.
The High Court of Delhi ruled in Naz Foundation (India) Trust v. Government of NCT Delhi and Others that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is unconstitutional. The judgment, handed down on July 2, 2009, reinterprets the law that criminalized same sex relations and carried a penalty from 10 years to life in prison and a fine. This law will no longer apply to consensual sexual acts of adults because it violates Articles 21 (protection of life and personal liberty), 14 (equality before law) and 15 (prohibition of discrimination) of the Indian Constitution.
The law was introduced in the 1860s during British colonial rule to criminalize non-procreative sex, specifically sex between men, Section 377 has been used by police and other individuals to entrap, harass and blackmail those with non-conforming sexual orientations and gender identities and human rights defenders. This law has encouraged sexual and physical abuse of gay men and transgender people in police custody. Although the law is silent on lesbianism, it has facilitated an environment where family violence against lesbians and bisexual women occurs, leading to women’s injury, death, and suicide.
Whilst the judgment is limited to Delhi, it is widely anticipated by LGBT activists in India that similar challenges will be brought in other cities, hoping courts will favorably reference the Delhi decision. The Delhi High Court, along with the Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras) High Courts, usually leads other High Courts in India when it comes to legal trends.
The decision was welcomed by International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and Amnesty International.
4 Sep 2009
So after all the ups and downs, finally the march went ahead. Just under 600 people took part in Baltic Pride. It was the first time that it had been jointly organized by lgbt organizations representing Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. The anti-gay protesters came out in force but it was very well policed and there were no reported arrests. The area around Vērmaņdārzs Park in the city centre was the focal point for the march and the celebration area was sealed-off by police. Security was tight for those who wanted to take part and gain entry to the park. The protestors gathered outside the park in cordoned-off areas. There were placards and posters with hate messages and the protestors called for LGBT people to be exterminated in gas chambers.
One anti-gay activist Liga Dimitere, wife of Kaspars Dimiters, who is a well-known Latvian religious figure, was allowed into the secure area. She then walked backwards at the start of the parade. Dressed in a long black dress and wearing a white scarf, she carried a heavy wooden cross around her neck, She called on the Mothers of the Baltic States to wear white scarves and come to the march and “save the souls of their children from the sodomites, which are going to celebrate the “victory day” of their morbid pride. The government of my country allowed it and resigned from preventing our children from this unchastity”. She did not shout but every now and then would stop, so the Pride marches just down and then rose up at intervals to give a Mexican wave effect. Towards the end of the march, she threw herself to the ground and her husband knelt at her side praying. The pride marchers just walked passed her.
Taking part in the march were people from around 15 different countries, in addition to the three Baltic States. They came from as far apart as the Faroe Islands to Turkey, arranged by Amnesty International. Ilga-Europe, Pride London, which is ‘twinned’ with Riga Pride. A section of the march was also holding placards which said marching for those who can’t which was very significant.
Richard Moon, the UK ambassador invited guests to the UK embassy for tea and biscuits. He used the opportunity to present Mozaika with the FCO LGBT toolkit which had been translated into the three Baltic languages.