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04/19/2007


EU Denounces Albanian Official for Saying Gay Pride Participants Should Be Beaten

The European Union condemned statements made last week by Albania's deputy defence minister and leader of the royalist party, Ekrem Spahiu over plans by LGBT rights activists to hold their first Gay Pride march in the country on May 17.

SpahiuSaid Spahiu: "My only commentary on this gay parade is that they should be beaten with truncheons."

The EU delegation in Tirana responded with a statement: “The European Union strongly condemns any discriminatory rhetoric as well as any incitement to hatred or violence."

AFP adds: "Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha said he backed the planned parade in Tirana as 'Albania is a country where all freedoms are guaranteed.' On Sunday Albanian Muslim and Catholic organisations voiced strong opposition to the parade, insisting that gay rights events threatened society."


News: Albania, Ewan McGregor, Rapid City, Lost, Turkey

 roadAlbanians protest after Big Brother contestant declares he's gay: "On 11 March demonstrators on the streets of Lezhë protested, 'Lezha is clean – we have no homosexuals' and demanded Klodi’s removal from the Big Brother house."

Christianity  roadChristianity mapped.

 roadPrince Harry shows some leg for wounded war vets.

 roadMichael Crawford on the take-away from last week's activism explosion from GetEQUAL: "GBT groups from Human Rights Campaign and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to state advocacy groups and GetEQUAL have a real opportunity to better coordinate their organizational tactics and missions. We have similar goals and little time for the usual community drama and in-fighting. Nothing would please the anti-gay right more than for the LGBT movement to split into warring camps over differences in strategy."

 roadGLAAD throws a special reception for the cast of Glee.

 roadShia LaBeouf and his sweaty beard run the L.A. Marathon.

 roadMass gay wedding in D.C. fizzles.

 roadDeans of Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale send letter to Senate Armed Services Committee urging repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": "In recommending that Congress repeal the policy, the deans’ letter claims that it 'directly obstructs our efforts, preventing some of our best and brightest from serving their country in the Armed Forces.' The letter also describes the policy's effects as 'marginalization, exclusion, and denigration,' states that 'discharging gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members merely because of their sexual orientation is never justified,' and contends that military readiness 'is enhanced, not compromised, by ending discrimination that prevents the military from drawing on the broadest pool of talent.'" PDF of letter here.

Pimental  roadMale model fix: Daniel Pimental.

 roadBuilding Bridges: Equality Across America conference to be held in northern California.

 roadInterview with Scott Withers, openly gay Democratic candidate for Congress in Michigan.

 roadScientists: Acne drug targets HIV.

 roadJude Law cleans up nice for the Laurence Olivier Awards.

 roadEwan McGregor signs on to Madonna-directed film about Wallis Simpson.

 roadACLU wants Rapid City, South Dakota to pay $800,000 to Jene Newsome for outing her to the U.S. Air Force, who then discharged her under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": "In addition to financial compensation for Newsome's lost wages and benefits, the ACLU wants an apology to Newsome for the disclosure of her private information to the Air Force; a police department policy regarding privacy and prohibiting officers from releasing information to the Air Force with specific reference to any information about a person's sexual orientation, and a written reprimand for the officers involved."

Dgrussia  roadDolce and Gabbana cover Russian GQ.

 roadUpper Midwest LGBT Foundation meets with Senator Al Franken (D-MN): "Senator Franken highlighted his long-term and unwavering support of LGBT communities. He shared his work to repeal 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell', his support of the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) among other things."

 roadTina Fey doppelganger has all the answers to Lost.

 roadTurkish gays hold tomato protest against Turkish Family Affairs minister Aliye Selma Kavaf, who said last week that homosexuality is a disease and gays should be treated: "In the statement it released at the protest, Lambda countered that it believes that it is not homosexuality but homophobia, transphobia and discrimination more generally that are disease in need of treatment. Lamdaistanbul has also announced that it has nominated the minister Kavaf for its annual 'Hormone Tomatoes Homophobia Award.' The theme of the Hormone Tomatoes Award also carried over to Lamba protest. Participants threw rotten, genetically modified tomatoes at Kavaf in effigy."


News: Albania, Orthodox Jews, Kansas, Betty White, Airships

 roadMiami Beach police officers assigned to desk duty following allegations of abuse of gay man.

Airships  road Ready to fly from New York to London on a luxury airship?

 roadVideo: Brazilian sportscaster faints on camera.

 roadKansas anti-discrimination bill advances in Senate.

 roadAlbania passes LGBT anti-discrimination law.

 roadMichelangelo Signorile interviewed HRC's Joe Solmonese yesterday on his show: here's the audio. And...Barney Frank.

 roadKe$ha takes her message to the Hollywood sign.

 roadPolice investigate gay bashing on Capitol Hill in Seattle: "As they walked by the skateboarders, one of the men said "hey cutie" because, the report says, "they thought the two suspects were attractive." The skateboarders—described in the report as white males in their late 20s to early 30s—began screaming "Fuck you! Fuckin' faggot. Fuck you in the asshole!" and "you don't fuckin' talk to us like that."

 roadDiscord and conflicting signals in DADT repeal.

Ical  roadTransgender Houstonian Myra Ical's brutal murder still unsolved.

 roadGay Indian Prince puts off trip to Nepal: "The heir apparent of Gujarat’s former Rajpipla kingdom was scheduled to arrive in Kathmandu Friday to attend the First Asian Symposium on Gay and Lesbian Tourism to be hosted by Nepal’s first gay rights organisation, Blue Diamond Society. However, the meet, to have been held at the five-star Everest Hotel on Saturday, has been postponed indefinitely due to the general strike threat issued by the Maoists."

 roadLesbian character arrives on Desperate Housewives with a sloppy kiss.

 roadWhite House preps for two Supreme Court vacancies.

 roadThe Carly Fiorina campaign ad is so much better off to a Pink Floyd remix.

Eyeswideopen  roadEyes Wide Open: Film about "two ultra Orthodox men who chance to fall in love and 'dive into a romance whereas they know there is no real chance to live it' opens in NY.

 roadOscar, cat of death profiled.

 roadNew Yorkers line up for NoH8 shoot.

 roadFacebook group lobbies for Betty White to host SNL.

 roadJake Gyllenhaal pumps.

 roadPat Robertson said to have taken gold mining concession from Liberia in exchange for lobbying the Bush administration: "The revelations came in the midst of [former Liberian President Charles]Taylor's U.N.-backed trial on 11 counts of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during Sierra Leone's 1990s civil war. Taylor is accused of directing a Sierra Leonean rebel group, the United Revolutionary Front, in a campaign aimed at securing access to the country's diamond mines.


Albania PM Berisha: Govt Will Push for Marriage Equality

Berisha

As the U.S. lags, the Mediterranean Republic of Albania is reportedly set to make a push for same-sex marriage for its citizens, perhaps to help it attain membership in the EU:

Albania "Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha announced in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the government would push for a law that recognises homosexual marriages. 'This is an important law against discrimination,' said Berisha, who often stresses the importance of family values. The prime minister said that the law had already been put to parliament and that MPs should treat it seriously because it provides a legal basis against discrimination, bringing the country into line with a framework already approved by the EU, which Albania aspires to join. Although deeply secular, Albania is one of the three countries in Europe with a Muslim majority - with Bosnia and Kosovo - and it is unclear how the government’s decision will be accepted by the public."

According to Javno, Muslim and Catholic leaders have condemned Berisha's proposal as "unholy" and "buffoonery"..."Albanian lawyers predicted a tough road ahead for the new proposal. Berisha surprised even human rights activists who had proposed a draft to avoid discrimination against ethnic minorities and marginalized groups, including homosexuals."


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