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04/19/2007


Canada Threatens to Cut Ties with Uganda Over Anti-Gay Bill: VIDEO

Canada_uganda

Canada has threatened to cut ties with Uganda over the anti-gay bill, which penalizes anyone who aids or abets a known homosexual, and punishes homosexuality with life imprisonment. Uganda's President Museveni told lawmakers over the weekend that he planned to sign the bill.

President Obama condemned the bill and warned that it would "complicate our valued relationship" with the country. Ugandan officials subsequently accused Obama of "blackmail" for the warnings.

The WSJ reports that it may strain relations with other countries as well, including Canada, which has expressed its displeasure:

Alintuma Nsambu, Uganda's envoy to Canada, said in an interview Wednesday that he had been summoned by the Canadian Foreign Ministry to explain why Canada shouldn't sever diplomatic ties with Uganda over the antigay bill. He said he had communicated Canada's concerns to the Ugandan government. The Canadian consulate in Kampala didn't immediately respond to calls and emails seeking to confirm the meeting.

Watch an NTV Uganda report on the Canadian statement, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Canada Threatens to Cut Ties with Uganda Over Anti-Gay Bill: VIDEO" »


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and His Brother are Offended People Think They're Homophobic: VIDEO

Nation_ford

On the second edition of FORD NATION, the online talk show of City Councillor Doug Ford and his brother, crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, the mayor discusses the recent controversy in which he tried to have the Gay Pride flag taken down from City Hall.

The flag was raised next to the Canadian flag in support of LGBT Russians during the Sochi games, as it was at many offices across Canada.

Ford takes offense to a letter from a woman accusing him of being anti-gay:

"I am not homophobic. I'll go to anyone's house, anyone's place to help them out. I take offense when people say that to me. This is Canada. Our Canadian flag should be up there, not the Pride flag."

Doug Ford adds:

"You know how many gay friends we have? People that have worked on our campaign? You may want to try to bully us into things...I think it's good for tourism. But don't try to put a gun to anyone's head that disagrees with you. It doesn't mean that they hate gays....It's just a bunch of bullying, a bunch of bullies coming after you. The gay community feels like they've been bullied and rightfully so because a lot of times they have, Rob. But don't come back and try to bully the people that don't show up and call them homophobic."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and His Brother are Offended People Think They're Homophobic: VIDEO" »


Pride Flags Raised All Across Canada for LGBTs in Russia

Canadian Gay Pride

Cities all across Canada are flying the rainbow Pride flag from government buildings to show support for LGBT athletes for the Olympics and to protest the anti-gay laws and abuses enacted by the Russian government. Though there is widespread support, there are a few dissenters in the mix. As we pointed out the other day, crackhead Toronto Mayor Rob Ford ordered the flag taken down, a decision that was overturned after a meeting with city councillors.

Then there was a constituent in Ottawa, Twitter handle "Awe Some, @Awesomely11", who called Mayor Jim Watson's decision to fly the flag "a stupid waste of time" and that by doing so Watson lost his vote. Watson's response to the disgruntled constituent was right on:

Jim Watson tweet


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Orders Gay Pride Flag Removed from City Hall, Then Changes Mind

Crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has asked the city manager to take down a Gay Pride flag that was raised at City Hall in solidarity with LGBT athletes at the Sochi Olympics, BlogTO and the AP report:

FordBlog TO:

"This is about the Olympics, this is about being patriotic to your country," Ford said. "This is not about sexual preference." The mayor says he wants it replaced with a Canadian flag.

The rainbow flag was installed on the courtesy flagpole outside City Hall with the help of Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly. The pole is reserved for flags that promote "activities such as fund-raising drives, multi-cultural events and national or independence days," according to the city website.

Kelly called the Pride flag "a statement that we're not afraid to stand up for the rights and privileges that are being abused in other parts of the world."

UPDATE:

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he does not support having the rainbow flag flying at city hall during the Sochi Games, and initially ordered to have it taken down. But after meetings with other councillors, Ford has reportedly agreed to let the flag fly.


Newfoundland and Labrador Communities To Raise Gay Pride Flags During Olympics

Travel-bug-gay-pride-flags

St. John's, the capital of the Newfoundland and Labrador province in Canada, is leading the way in an effort to show support for LGBT Russians and athletes during the Sochi Olympics beginning on Friday. At the behest of Josh Eddy, the publisher of LGBT publication The Outpost, St. John's mayor Dennis O'Keefe and the town council unanimously voted to fly a rainbow pride flag over the city hall. Now Eddy's efforts are catching fire in other towns around the province.

CBC News reports:

"Flying the rainbow flag during the Olympics is really a sign of support for people in other countries, in this case in particular in Russia, the people who have been denied their liberties as individuals, and people who are being persecuted because of their sexual orientation," O'Keefe said.

"This is something we're very proud to be a part of, because it reinforces our position that all people in society have a right to realize their potential."

The flag is being raised this Friday, February 7th, the day of the Olympics' opening ceremonies. Smaller flags are also being sold at local store the Travel Bug (above image) for fifty-percent off when customers assure owner Peg Norman that they will display them throughout the games.

"The Olympics hold themselves up as this model of perfection, but at the same time they're quite willing, obviously, to stomp on basic human rights of the gay and lesbian community around the world, and they seriously need to look at their role," [Norman] said.

"It's unfortunate for the athletes that have worked so hard to get to this level, but you also can't ignore the fact that there are basic human rights that we are talking about."

According to Eddy, town councils in Gander, Corner Brook, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Mount Pearl have also shown interest in flying rainbow flags. Eddy, overwhelmed by the support, also wanted to assure people that the protest has little to do with the Olympics themselves, but rather the spotlight placed on Russia and its anti-gay propaganda laws. His is not a message of opposition, but of solidarity. 

"It's not against Olympics. It's not against Russians. It's something in support of people who are going through struggles that we went through for years."

Photo via CBC News.


Russian Tradition Wears the Rainbow with Gay Pride Nesting Dolls

Pride matryoshka dolls

Toronto artist Brahm Finkelstein wanted to find a way to bring awareness to the LGBT human rights abuses that are going on in Russia. Then, he came up with a subversive idea for perhaps the perfect representation of gay pride and Russia: he teamed up with Italian artist Danilo Santino and crafted Pride Dolls.

The Pride Dolls are iconic Russian matryoshka dolls, or "nesting dolls", done up in each of the six colors of the Pride flag and six different portraits of gay and lesbian characters, with the drag queen as the largest, swathed in the entire rainbow. Naturally.

Finkelstein hopes that his dolls will raise awareness and predicts that he'll have a second line soon. The proceeds from the dolls will go to the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA), the creator of the OutGames.


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