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Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill Passes Parliamentary Committee: Report

UgandasignAnti-gay Ugandan lawmakers are really moving fast on the so-called "kill the gays" bill.

MetroWeekly reports that the bill passed a Parliamentary commitee today, sending it to the next level of votes. Though the call for gay people to be executed has been removed from the hideously hateful measure, there bill still includes a life imprisonment request. 

According to Uganda’s NTV network – as tweeted by Frank Mugisha (@frankmugisha), director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) – an unnamed member of the committee confirmed that a penalty of life imprisonment has remained in the bill in place of execution.

While sexual relations between members of the same sex are already illegal in Uganda, if the bill becomes law it will be among the world’s harshest against gay people. NTV reports that the bill should receive floor debate next week.

Religious leaders in Uganda have been putting intense pressure on politicians to pass the long-lingering law there and asked this week for Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to get the bill made into law as a "Christmas gift".

Posted Nov. 23,2012 at 5:03 PM EST by in Discrimination, News, Uganda | Permalink | Comments (38)

News: Walmart Madness, Morsi, Pot Plant, 'Downton'

1NewsIcon Egyptians are protesting across the country after President Mohamed Morsi elevated himself to the top of the governmental chain in a "constitutional coup" to take care of "weevils" he claims are corrupting the nation. Opponent and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei said "Morsi today usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh. A major blow to the revolution that could have dire consequences."

MikeRowe1NewsIcon Discovery pulled the plug on Dirty Jobs, leaving dreamy host Mike Rowe in a lurch.

1NewsIcon British radio host Rubina Nasir has been fined for saying gay people are "evil" and deserve to be beaten. "What should be done if they do [practice homosexuality]? If there are two such persons among you, that do this evil, the shameful act, what do you have to do? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture," she said, citing the Quran as her source.

1NewsIcon Argentine politician Gabriela Cerruti is being called a "drug pusher" after posting a picture of a pot plant on her Twitter as a means of starting a conversation about decriminalizing marijuana. The pot plant was a gift from gay activist Alex Freyrem.

1NewsIcon Bad lesson: "On Monday, 62 per cent of Alberta school boards voted against adopting a sexual minorities policy at the Alberta School Boards Association conference. Both the Calgary Catholic School District and the Calgary Board of Education voted against, and they were joined by 37 other school boards."

On Monday, 62 per cent of Alberta school boards voted against adopting a sexual minorities policy at the Alberta School Boards Association conference.

Both the Calgary Catholic School District and the Calgary Board of Education voted against, and they were joined by 37 other school boards.

The view of many in the majority, according to various officials, is that individual groups shouldn’t be singled out, and that school board policies cover all variety of discrimination and harassment.

Read more:

On Monday, 62 per cent of Alberta school boards voted against adopting a sexual minorities policy at the Alberta School Boards Association conference.

Both the Calgary Catholic School District and the Calgary Board of Education voted against, and they were joined by 37 other school boards.

The view of many in the majority, according to various officials, is that individual groups shouldn’t be singled out, and that school board policies cover all variety of discrimination and harassment.

Read more:

1NewsIcon After a tumultuous few weeks (to say the least), Chevy Chase is leaving NBC's Community.

Far-from-the-tree_original1NewsIcon Gay author Andrew Solomon discussed his new book, Far from the Tree, a rumination on the varied effects of biological differences of all kind, including homosexuality and deafness, with NPR: "I had felt very lonely, in some ways, in dealing with being gay, and then all of a sudden I discovered that I had something in common with all of these other people. And I felt all of them seemed to be lonely in their particular identities, and I thought, I wonder whether I can possibly describe what it was like to have to go through my experience and what our experiences have in common.

1NewsIcon Now that they were finally able to return to Sandy-ravaged Fire Island, residents vow to rebuild.

1NewsIcon California Gov. Jerry Brown made history by appointing Jim Hume as the state's first openly gay appellate justice.

1NewsIcon Another burning, itching question for the GOP: "Are Republican immigration reform opponents losing clout?"

1NewsIcon The Republican Party's conservatism is too single-minded for many Latino voters.

1NewsIcon John Waters say save The Roxie.

1NewsIcon "The Beautiful Ones."

1NewsIcon Want to be punched in the face for 25% off? Go to any number of Walmart locations, where riots, would-be shootings and other bedlam have been happening since Black Friday began this morning.

Dowager21NewsIcon The Dowager Countess will spit wit for at least one more season: Downton Abbey has been renewed for a fourth go-round.

1NewsIcon The Obama campaign's couture collaboration with fashion big-wigs paid off: "While President Barack Obama's re-election campaign took heat for launching a high-fashion clothing line as a fundraising tool earlier this year, it turns out the move may not have been such a far-fetched idea. The Obama team's campaign manager, Jim Messina, recently said the line ultimately brought in 'just north of $40 million' –a notable chunk of the more than $644 million raised by the campaign."

1NewsIcon Remember when Paris Hilton met Dame Judi Dench? 2006 was a wild, wild year.

Posted Nov. 23,2012 at 3:38 PM EST by in Barack Obama, California, Egypt, Film and TV, Immigration, Jerry Brown, John Waters, News, Religion, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (26)

NBC Blocked Chelsea Clinton's Marriage Equality Ad

Chelseatraining1Increasingly worried about the blurry lines between stoic, non-partisan NBC News and their liberal, definitely partisan cousin MSNBC, executives at the peacock network have been trying to clearly delineate the two sides, and it appears they want to keep special correspondent Chelsea Clinton in the neutral camp.

BuzzFeed reports that executives behind-the-scenes put the kibosh on a pro-gay marriage ad in which Clinton starred:

NBC News blocked backers of a key marriage equality measure in Washington State from using a video featuring Chelsea Clinton urging voters to support a state-wide referendum on gay marriage, BuzzFeed has learned.

Clinton, a vocal proponent of marriage equality, cut the video for a group supporting the Washington state measure, as well as a second video for another group. But NBC, for which Clinton works as a "special correspondent" since last November, "scuttled" the campaign, sources familiar with the ads said.


In the video, a third source said that Clinton described her belief that everyone should have the freedom to marry, detailed the importance of the upcoming votes, and stated that success in the states voting on marriage would send a message to rest of the country.

NBC did not respond to the story before it went to virtual press. As for Clinton, she'll soon have to decide whether she wants to continue pursuing journalistic endeavors, endeavors which were coolly received, and what would most likely be a vibrant career in the political sector.

Posted Nov. 23,2012 at 2:23 PM EST by in Chelsea Clinton, Gay Marriage, NBC, News | Permalink | Comments (20)

The OXD Mirror: New Music for 11.23.12



The OXD Mirror is a weekly music column brought to you by the boys of OCCUPY THE DISCO (OXD), a New York City based movement created by three music lovers, Ru Bhatt, Josh Appelbaum, and Tadeu Magalhães, who want to share their love for disco, house and dance music with the world.


Youngblood Hawke: 'We Come Running (RAC Mix)'

Sometimes the best musical formula comes from an organic meeting of minds between friends, which is how the L.A.-based band Youngblood Hawke came about.  Two former members of Iglu and Hartly continued working together after thge band disbanded and eventually 3 other friends joined on over time to form this highly-buzzworthy band.  Their first self-titled EP was just released featuring the first single, the standout track 'We Come Running.'  The band pulls out all of the stops on this freshman effort, including childrens’ choirs, upbeat guitars and addictive dance beats reminiscent of MGMTRAC (Remix Artist Collective) puts a nice spin on the song, playing up the dramatic pauses and the kids chorus in the background.


Good Night Keaton: 'Next to Mexico (Mighty Mouse Remix)'

Aaron Shanahan got his start with the critically-acclaimed electronic band Miami Horror, playing drums for the band for the past four years.  Amidst recording and touring, he realized his passion for dance music and production, and created his own side project, Good Night Keaton.  Though he’s been busy with making mixtapes and remixing other artists' work, 'Next to Mexico' is his second original track release.  Acclaimed DJ and producer Mighty Mouse adds a more uptempo pacing to the song, giving the once breezy song a harder, club-ready feel.


Sam Sparro: 'Shades of Grey (Plastic Plates Remix)'

I’ve been a big fan of openly gay artist Sam Sparro since his 2008 self-titled album, which many know from the massive hit 'Black and Gold.'  The Australian-born, L.A.-bred singer has a talent for creating dreamy and moody songs that showcase his soulful voice.  He released Return to Paradise this past year after teasing us with his first single 'Happiness' some months back.  Though ‘Shades of Grey’ is one of the more morose tracks from the new album, Felix Bloxsom, also known as Plastic Plates, has remixed the track with slick beats to make it dancefloor-ready.  Bloxsom has a knack for turning slower tracks like Adele’s 'Set Fire To The Rain' and Sia’s 'Cloud' into sophisticated unique dance songs, and he succeeds again with Sparro's 'Shades of Grey.'  Interestingly enough, Sparro and Bloxsom went to the same primary school and their grandfathers both played in a jazz band together; Bloxsom also supported Sparro's last tour on the drums. 

The boys of OXD are excited to see Sparro live in New York City on Friday November 30th along with one of our favorite disco acts, Jessica 6.  Come join us next week at Webster Hall – details can be found here.













Faith Evans: 'Love Like This (Behling + Simpson Edit)'

Many of you are probably familiar with Faith Evans' 1998 hit 'Love Like This,' a decidedly 70’s Disco and R&B era inspired song that came out in a time where it was still not a favored genre to reference.  The track samples 'Chic Cheer' by American disco group Chic. The video even featured Evans on roller skates breezing around a roller rink, showing the world her renewed positive outlook after the recent loss of her ex, Notorious B.I.G.  The genius of this song, even over 10 years after its release, was not lost on DJ and production duo Behling & Simpson.  Known for their love of the slow dance beat, they’ve infused their fresh take into this song and made it relevant again in 2012.  Don’t be surprised if you hear this one out.


Viceroy: 'While We're In Love (feat. Ghost Beach)'

Producer Viceroy seems to be having fun qith his own brand of poolside ready nu-disco music and remixes. Tadeu featured his remix of DCup's 'I'm Corrupt' on 10/5’s OXD Mirror and we’ve kept a close eye on him ever since.  His latest single, featuring New York City duo Ghost Beach, infuses their synth-heavy 80's sound with his masterful production.  The result is a hard-hitting dance track with lots of juicy peaks and plateaus.


New Navy: 'Regular Town'

New Navy have an interesting rap sheet – they started out playing dark indie tunes, then collaborated with the likes of Tiësto and ultimately signed to the Future Classic record label, home of Flight Facilities and Anna Lunoe.  A summer trip to Bali shifted the Aussie band's direction to a more tropical and laidback vibe.  Perhaps the single cover might give that away, but that direction is strongly felt in their latest catchy pop tune 'Regular Town'.


The Presets: 'Promises (Lifelike Remix)'

Though they've been around for nearly 10 years, The Presets are really lighting up the music world with their latest album Pacifica.  The band is one of the few like Cut Copy that survived the life and death of electro-pop music, with a sound evolving and becoming more sophisticated with each album.  The third single from the album, 'Promises', has gotten the remix treatment from quite a few producers, including Plastic Plates, whose remix for Sam Sparro is featured earlier in this post.  French electronic producer Lifelike, who has worked with artists like Chromeo, Empire Of The Sun and A-Trak, mixes in a layer of richness and complexity to the already lush track. This is the second re-work Lifelike provides to the Aussie duo, following their now classic version for 'This Boy's in Love,' released in 2008. 


This week's post was written and curated by Josh Appelbaum.

For more information on OXD, check out our website and accompanying blog at, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: @OccupyTheDisco.

Posted Nov. 23,2012 at 1:10 PM EST by in Josh Appelbaum, Music, Music Recommendations, Occupy the Disco, Sam Sparro | Permalink | Comments (4)

DOMA Impacts Gay X-Men, Too


Immigration enforcement doesn't care if X-Man Northstar save American lives for a living; he's a Canadian citizen and his recent marriage to American Kyle Jinadu does nothing to change that fact. That's thanks to DOMA, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

And as you see in the screenshot above (click to expand), those immigration officials come knocking in the latest issue of Marvel's Astonishing X-Men. Northstar happens to be out fighting villains when they call, but no doubt this fictional ICE will make another appearance in months to come. Unless our real world heroes can use their powers to finally overturn the discriminatory law, of course.

Posted Nov. 23,2012 at 12:14 PM EST by in Comic Books, DOMA, News, X-Men | Permalink | Comments (13)

HRC Calls On Faith Community To Fight Uganda's 'Kill The Gays' Bill

Rs-hangthemThe Ugandan situation is changing by the hour. Yesterday Andy reported that lawmakers there are looking to vote on a bill that would impose even harsher penalties on gay people and their allies. That vote could come as early as today but almost definitely before Christmas.

Well, the BBC now reports that the law's call for execution of gays and lesbians has been removed, but that anti-gay leaders are still pushing for extraordinarily harsh and brutal punishments:

The bill, tabled by MP David Bahati, proposes longer jail terms for homosexual acts, including a life sentence in certain circumstances.

In its original form, those convicted of "aggravated homosexuality" - defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a "serial offender" - faced the death penalty.

Such offenses would now be punished with life imprisonment, it is understood.

The original bill also prohibited the "promotion" of gay rights and called for the punishment of anyone who "funds or sponsors homosexuality" or "abets homosexuality".

Mr Bahati has previously said that the death penalty provision would be dropped but this has not been confirmed until now.

Some are suggesting that this "removal" of the death penalty may just be a PR cover and that the actual bill's language may obscure the truth. Time will tell what happens there.

Here in the United States, HRC is asking religious organizations and leaders, particularly Evangelical conservatives who have encouraged homophobia in Uganda, to reach across the pond and ask their Ugandan peers to fight for what's decent and right, like not jailing people for being born gay.

"American faith leaders know that calling for the death penalty - or even calling for imprisonment of - an entire community is not in line with Christian values," HRC President Chad Griffin said in a press release today. "American Christian faith leaders with ties to Uganda, like Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes, must reach out to their influential Ugandan friends to ensure that the human rights of Ugandans are not put up to a vote."

Posted Nov. 23,2012 at 11:00 AM EST by in Discrimination, News, Religion, Uganda | Permalink | Comments (19)


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