Burundi Hub

News: Australia, Sarah Palin, Terence Koh, Baltimore Firefighters


Gay couples stage mock weddings across Australia: "In the largest protest, about 2,000 people, many in bridal veils, marched on the Labour Party's national policy-making conference in Sydney, chanting 'gay, straight, black or white, marriage is a civil right.' Similar rallies and mock weddings were held in the southern capital of Melbourne and the Queensland city of Brisbane."



Obama "Joker" posters turning up around L.A.


Jessica Simpson wants to know if "asks" is a word.

vUS. Commerce Dept. will report same-sex couples in the 2010 census.


Todd and Sarah Palin to divorce: affairs on both sides. Denials.


August Provost murder probe to remain open despite suspect's suicide.


James Kirchick: Don't trust Obama on gay marriage. "Even if Obama does in fact believe in marriage equality, he hasn't done -- and is unlikely to do -- much to forward the cause. And apart from some toothless sniping from a handful of gay activists and donors, he seems to be getting away with it."


Giraffe and goat love one another.


Music industry unraveling at "utterly breathtaking" speed. Here's a fascinating chart.


Broadway performer Nick Adams to make solo cabaret debut at Birdland on August 17.


Giorgio Armani performs his annual Speedo promenade.



Baltimore police officers Jeffrey Chaney and John Kowalczyk are making things better for LGBT folks in Baltimore.


Gay Pride marked in Stockholm, Sweden and Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Air Force One flyover: Scenes from inside a PR disaster.


Human Rights Watch urges Burundi to reverse new law making homosexuality illegal: "The government needs to listen to these voices to understand the harm it is doing to Burundians with its state-sanctioned discrimination. The government should rescind this law and instead work to promote equality and understanding."


Madonna shares her spiritual awakening with the world, or at least Israel, where she's to have a concert.



Artist Terence Koh and his partner Garrick Gott "marry" in East Hampton, NY, honeymoon in Tahiti. Koh: I designed the dress myself. It was my mom’s dress, and I just went and bought $50 of tulle. Then Jen Brill, Stella Schnabel, and Kathy Grayson—they were the bestest bridesmaids—helped me sew it on last minute. It felt like a floating snowball."


Senator Chris Dodd diagnosed with prostate cancer.


Jake Gyllenhaal hits the Elton John concert in Philly.


Pope Benedict to perform on record label founded by gay man: "The label said listeners would be 'shocked' by his 'incredible voice'. The album, which features the Pope using five different languages, will be released on 30 November."


Male model fix: Kyle Ledeboer.


One in ten people highly attractive to mosquitoes: "'People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface attract mosquitoes,' ]professor Jerry] Butler tells WebMD. That doesn't necessarily mean that mosquitoes prey on people with higher overall levels of cholesterol, Butler explains. These people simply may be more efficient at processing cholesterol, the byproducts of which remain on the skin's surface. Mosquitoes also target people who produce excess amounts of certain acids, such as uric acid, explains entomologist John Edman, PhD, spokesman for the Entomological Society of America. These substances can trigger mosquitoes' sense of smell, luring them to land on unsuspecting victims."

News: Clueless, Bea Arthur, Minnesota, Gavin Newsom, Bullycide

 roadFounder of Provincetown AIDS Support Group and early care provider Alice Foley dies: "In her isolated little town at the Cape's end, Foley, then Provincetown's director of public health, treated AIDS patients before the disease even had a name. Back in the early 1980s, representatives from the Centers for Disease Control would visit Provincetown and meet with Foley to try to identify the mysterious 'gay cancer,' said Foley's close friend Bill Dougal."

Priests  roadEpiscopal priest to marry partner of 50 years in Connecticut.

 roadAmber alert: Tom Cruise spawn tries to make a break for it.

 roadMary Beth Maxwell named to top post at Labor Department.

 roadMarriage equality in Iowa stirs Minnesota.

 roadRights groups slam Burundi government for criminalizing homosexuality: "They called on President Pierre Nkurunziza to go back on his promulgation of the parliamentary bill, which was not officially announced though confirmed Saturday by an aide. The groups, including international heavyweights Human Rights Watch, said that under the new criminal code promulgated by Nkurunziza on April 22, 'same-sex sexual conduct becomes illegal for the first time in Burundi's history.' According to the law, 'whoever has sexual relations with a person of the same sex is punished by a prison sentence of three months to two years and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 (CFA) francs, or one of these penalties,' a joint statement said."

 roadBetty White and Rue McClanahan remember Bea Arthur.

 roadAs if: Amy Heckerling and Alicia Silverstone planning sequel to Clueless?

Goshen  roadCrowd rallies in Goshen, New York for marriage equality: "The rally at Goshen's Harriman Square park highlighted the evolution of gay-marriage proponents. The event was organized mostly by young, heterosexual advocates, but the crowd was comprised of older gay couples, many of whom had been together for more than a decade. Many of those couples said they used to be afraid to speak up."

 roadMale model fix: Sam Way.

 roadTIME: Church vs church on same-sex marriage?

 roadGeorgia DA exploring criminal charges against school in "bullycide" death of 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera: "Really what we're trying to get an understanding on what the law is and what the facts are, and see how the two merge and how any kind of criminal activity can be put together from the two -- and right now I can't answer that until we look into it a little bit more."

 roadJake Gyllenhaal has a business lunch, remains hot while doing so.

Begbie  roadTrainspotting actor Carlyle says his character in the film, Begbie, was gay.

 roadCasting complete for new Tony Kushner play.

 roadBoston: Latin King gang member who killed his gay lover convicted of murder, sentenced to life in prison without parole.

 roadGavin Drop: Sacramento gay bar creates Gavin Newsom cocktail.

 roadSan Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who last week announced he was running for governor of California, wants the U.S. Census to count same-sex couples who say they are married: "When we go out and do the Census, people are going to be asked if they are married and same-sex couples will say, 'Yes.' And when the Census people analyze the data and go back to their computers they'll say, 'No.' The gay and lesbian community will not be counted unless we also fight for that change."

News: Israel, Barack Obama, Pet Shop Boys, Harry Connick Jr.

 roadTime magazine: Is it time to end marriage?

Bubbles  roadLady GaGa breaks out the bubbly in San Diego.

 roadGay Israeli couple offered "maternity leave" for first time: "Yonatan Gher, director of Jerusalem's nonprofit Open House Pride and Tolerance organization, has received institute approval of a 64-day leave from work on the occasion of the birth of his biological son, born of a surrogate mother in India. His partner of seven years commenced formal adoption procedures, so that the child will be formally recognized as his as well."

 roadHarry Connick Jr. lets it all hang out.

 roadOur Towleroad correspondents Josh & Josh make the NYT and show how time can be well-spent during a recession.

 roadSanta Clara County, California sees "surge" in anti-gay hate crimes: "Anti-gay incidents accounted for more than half of hate-crime cases last year — 56 percent — a big jump from only 15 percent in 2007. There were 14 anti-gay cases out of 25 hate-crime cases in 2008, compared with only 3 out of 20 in 2007."

 roadThe Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles are a bunch of Proud Marys.

Rbar roadHard times shutter gay nightclub R-Bar in Vallejo, California.

 roadBurundi restores bid to criminalize homosexuality: "Senators last month voted through a draft criminal code law that abolished the death penalty but they rejected an amendment that would make homosexuality punishable by a jail sentence of up to two years. The lower house National Assembly reinstated that clause to the draft on Friday."

 roadNBC's Kings warps the Biblical tale of Jonathan and David in an anti-gay way.

 roadTimes are bad but likely worse for the homeless, runaway, and at-risk LGBTQ youth that go to the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit 11,000 times a year. We hear that the center is facing some hard times right now (as many people are) but if you're looking for somewhere you might direct your philanthropy you might want to find out more about it.

 roadWanda Sykes wants to send Rush Limbaugh's big ass to Guantanamo Bay.

 roadMatt Damon takes on rugby role in new film.

Quinn  roadWhite House gives New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn an easy out from the city's anti-gay St. Patty's Day parade: "Quinn is one of the very few New York electeds who has been invited to President Barack Obama’s White House Saint Patrick’s Day party."

 roadSarah Palin's war on wildlife continues.

 roadThe Rochester cops that are suing the city of Rochester over the gay bashing incident don't want city lawyers to defend them, obviously.

 roadThe Guardian's Music Weekly Extra talks to the Pet Shop Boys. And the BBC spends five minutes with the pair.

 roadRyan Gosling offers two looks in new photo shoot: cute puppy and scary doll.

 roadPost-Wright: Obama's circle of 5 pastors. "All are men, two of them white and three black — including the Rev. Otis Moss Jr., a graying lion of the civil rights movement. Two, the entrepreneurial dynamos Bishop T. D. Jakes and the Rev. Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, also served as occasional spiritual advisers to President George W. Bush. Another, the Rev. Jim Wallis, leans left on some issues, like military intervention and poverty programs, but opposes abortion. None of these pastors are affiliated with the religious right, though several are quite conservative theologically. One of them, the Rev. Joel C. Hunter, the pastor of a conservative megachurch in Florida, was branded a turncoat by some leaders of the Christian right when he began to speak out on the need to stop global warming."

20,000 March in Burundi, Demand Homosexuality be Criminalized


In the largest demonstration since President Pierre Nkurunziza came to power in 2005, according to AFP, 10,000 to 20,000 Burundians took to the streets in Bujumbura to demand that the government criminalize homosexuality:

Nkurunziza "On February 17, senators voted through a draft criminal code law that abolished the death penalty, but rejected an amendment that outlawed homosexuality. Parliament's lower chamber had adopted the amendments in November that sought to penalise homosexuality by up to two years in jail. The senate's version is to be returned to the lower house for adoption but if it fails to be passed, the two chambers have to form a commission to harmonise the bill before the president approves it. The country's main opposition party criticised the protests as 'a huge manipulation of the people, a demagogic move,' its spokesman Pancrace Cimpaye told AFP."

Gay activists and critics called the march a propaganda move by the 'born again' Nkurunziza who is seeking re-election next year.

Said Jeremie Ngendakumana, the ruling party's chairman: "The CNDD-FDD is protesting today to support the (view of the) majority of Burundians that homosexuality should be punished by law. Homosexuality is a sin. It is a culture which has been imported to sully our morals and is practiced by immoral people. If we love our country, if we love our culture, we must ban this practice which will draw only misfortune for us."


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