Belarus Hub

Gay Rights March and Rally Banned in Belarus; Activists Say They'll Proceed Anyway


Activists say they'll proceed anyway after officials in Minsk, Belarus banned two upcoming gay rights events, Radio Free Europe reports:

Authorities blamed their decision not to allow a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) march planned for December 11 and a gay-rights rally planned for December 12 on "technical" and timing problems.

The GayBelarus national youth civic association condemned the ban, saying that the unwillingness by authorities to discuss different formats and times for the events "constitutes deliberate contempt of civil and political rights and freedoms."

Belarus activists held their first LGBT rally ever back in 2011 but at the time were ordered by authorities not to display the rainbow flag. They got around that order by using the rainbow in other elements of their signage (above).

In 2010, riot police put a violent end to an LGBT rights rally.

Germany Fires Back at Belarussian President Lukashenko After Attack on Gay Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle

Over the weekend Brandon reported on the latest homophobic remarks from Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus. Lukashenko attacked German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's sexuality after a European Union censure during which Westerwelle referred to Lukashenko as a dictator.

LukashenkoSaid Lukashenko: "Better to be a dictator than gay."

Now, Germany is firing back, Reuters reports:

Said Foreign Office spokesman Andreas Peschke: "Unfortunately, these comments speak for themselves. They say a lot about the mind-set of the person making them."

Added German government spokesman Steffen Seibert: "Unfortunately (Lukaschenko's comment) shows very clearly the position that the Belarussian president takes in relation to basic rights. It's interesting to find out this way that Mr Lukashenko too now classes himself as a dictator...That by the way is a view that the federal government reached some time ago and on which the Belarussian president delivers proof almost daily"

It is not the first time Lukashenko has directed anti-gay ire at Westerwelle. Last year, he told reporters he dislikes "faggots" as he confirmed to them that he told Westerwelle that he needed "to live a normal life."

Belarus Strongman Lukashenko: A Childish Dictator Prone To Schoolyard Taunts

Screen Shot 2012-03-04 at 1.40.41 PM copyThe formerly Cummunist Belorussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko has always been a uniquely childish presence on the world stage -- he is, for example, the only European leader who enjoys being called "daddy" by his subjects -- but never moreso than this weekend. Responding to a recent EU censure, in which Lukashenko was referred to as a "dictator" by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Lukashenko told a crowd gathered at a ski event in Minsk: "Better a dictator than gay."

It wasn't the first time Lukashenko had gone after Westerwelle. From Raw Story:

Lukashenko last year said he had once told Westerwelle, who is openly gay, during a meeting that “he must lead a normal life”.

He later apologised for his remarks but added that he “did not like gays.”

The 57-year-old former collective farm boss — once identified as Europe’s last dictator by Washington — has left his ex-Soviet nation in growing diplomatic isolation over his nearly 18-year rule.

Recent months have seen a withdrawal of Belarussian representatives from EU states and European ambassadors booted from Minsk, the Belarussian capital, in protest over EU sanctions against the formerly Soviet "republic."


Watch: Trailer For Belarus' First Gay-Themed Movie


A reader just sent along the trailer for the first Belarusian flick to address same-sex love.

Though it's a bit hard to tell the actual plot of this Max Anatskaya-directed flick, the imagery is breathtaking and Alexander Maas' ethereal yet hopeful music fits what one can assume is a tale of two young couples - one gay, one straight - in love. That's what young love sounds like, right?

Though legal in Belarus, same-sex relationships are still largely taboo there - the nation's president last year told gay German foreign minister Guido Westerweile to "turn straight" - and this movie will, one hopes, shed some light on the fact that love is the same regardless of gender.

If anyone can translate the title - "Каханне без межаў" - that would be greatly appreciated.

In the meantime, watch the trailer and remember the blissful early days of mutual affection, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Trailer For Belarus' First Gay-Themed Movie" »

East Bloc Love: Documentary Depicts Oppression of Gays in Belarus


Yesterday I posted an item about the President of Belarus instructing the German foreign minister Guido Westerweile to turn straight. Lukashenko's statement is indicative about how gays are seen in that country. 

Minsk Here's a trailer for a new documentary, East Bloc Love, which follows LGBT activists in that country.

Write the filmmakers: "Young Sergey is an openly gay activist in Belarus and has endured violence from police and skinheads. When his boyfriend is shot on the border he begins his fight for gay equality. Preparing for a defiant stand on the streets of the nation's capital Minsk, Sergey and a few brave activists brace to show their PRIDE against the last dictatorship in Europe."

Also, last May I posted an item about the Pride march depicted in this trailer. It ended violently, with several dozen arrests.


Continue reading "East Bloc Love: Documentary Depicts Oppression of Gays in Belarus" »

News: Robert Pattinson, Belarus, Mary Bonauto, Iowa, Moby

Road Iowa poll: Voters ambivalent on same-sex marriage.

RoadJamaican gay bar raided by police: "Around 20 officers kicked in doors, shouted anti-gay slurs, beat and pistol-whipped patrons, and made everyone leave, J-FLAG said. As the customers fled, patrons of nearby straight clubs pelted them with bottles and rocks, J-FLAG said."

Lukashenko RoadBelarus President told gay German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle to turn straight: "Lukashenko recently acknowledged the incident, telling reporters that he dislikes 'faggots' and confirming he told Westerwelle 'it is necessary to live a normal life.'"

RoadCalvin Klein and Nick Gruber head to the beach in Miami.

RoadKing's Speech director responds to the news that he shot his movie on the same set as the UK gay porn film Snookered: "It was the right set for me and it was the right set for them."

RoadBanksy caught on camera in Santa Monica?

RoadWatch: Katy Perry's surprise performance with PS22 on Oprah.

RoadObama's DOMA shift puts GLAD lawyer Mary Bonauto in spotlight: "For more than 20 years, Bonauto, now 49, has been a fixture of the Massachusetts gay rights crusade. Her work on behalf of the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders has garnered her a reputation as the region’s most influential gay rights lawyer."

Activists RoadActivists pack confrontational Anoka-Hennepin school board meeting in Minnesota over district's treatment of gays.

RoadAnti-gay hate group MassResistance and Carl Paladino rabbi Yehuda Levin revive campaign against William Finn musical Falsettos.

RoadFirst look: Britney Spears in V magazine.

RoadGay Danish porn star Carsten Andersson tries for pop music career.

RoadScholar: The earliest gay rights movement started in 19th century Germany. "According to Beachy, modern conceptions of homosexuality began, ironically, with an anti-sodomy law. When the German empire was unified in 1871, the Imperial Criminal Code included a law prohibiting sexual penetration of one man by another. Questions about what types of activity should fall under the law spurred a sustained public inquiry into the nature of same-sex eroticism and sexuality in general."

RoadElton John's kid and Neil Patrick Harris' kids have play dates.

Pattinson RoadPattinson dons alligator for Vanity Fair.

RoadDesign god Jonathan Ive leaving Apple?

RoadStudy: Half of men may be infected with HPV. "HPV infection is best known as the primary cause of cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in women worldwide. But various strains of HPV also cause anal, penile, head and neck cancers. Vaccinating men and boys would prevent some of these cancers."

RoadRep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) beats Jeopardy super-computer Watson.

RoadMoby:Major music labels should just die.

RoadVIDEO: In cruel display, Panama footballer kicks live mascot owl on field. Owl dies, athlete may get jail time.

RoadONION: Gay hordes drag helpless citizens from marriages After Obama drops DOMA. "It was just awful—they smashed through our living room window, one of them said 'I've had my eye on you, Roger,' and then they dragged my husband off kicking and screaming."


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