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Jaime Parada Hoyl, First Out Gay Man Elected to Public Office in Chile, Sworn In: VIDEO

Hoyl

Jaime Parada Hoyl, spokesperson for the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH), won a seat on the municipal council in Providencia, one of the capital Santiago's wealthy and most conservative districts, on October 28. He was sworn in yesterday.

Watch hiw swearing in, AFTER THE JUMP...

Parada described long-time Providencia Mayor Cristián Labbé, whom he defeated, as a "recalcitrant fascist" during the election, the Washington Blade reported in November:

“We did not just present ourselves as gay in the election,” he said when asked about his historic election. “We put forth a platform that had a lot to do with a political agenda, and that is why our campaign had an impact. It had a lot to do with sexual diversity and discrimination in general. It was not something we would have been able to imagine with the setbacks of a few years ago. And with this opportunity we can communicate the contrary.”

Continue reading "Jaime Parada Hoyl, First Out Gay Man Elected to Public Office in Chile, Sworn In: VIDEO" »


Chilean President Signs Hate Crime Bill into Law Three Months After Gay Man's Brutal Death at Hands of Neo-Nazis

A little more than three months after the death of Daniel Zamudio, who was beaten, stabbed, burned, and branded with a Swastika by a gang of neo-Nazis in March and died days later in a hospital, Chile's President Sebastian Pinera signed a hate crimes bill into law which had languished in the country's legislature for seven years, the AP reports:

Daniel_zamudio"Without a doubt, Daniel's death was painful but it was not in vain," Pinera said at a press conference joined by Zamudio's parents.

"His passing not only unified wills to finally approve this anti-discrimination law but it also helped us examine our conscience and ask ourselves: have we ever discriminated someone? ... After his death we'll think twice, thrice or four times before we fall prey to that behavior."

Four suspects, some with criminal records for attacks on homosexuals, have been jailed in Zamudio's killing. Prosecutors are seeking murder charges.

Said Gay Liberation and Integration Movement President Rolando Jimenez to the AP: "This law is a giant leap toward creating tools that can prevent and punish discrimination. There's still a lot to be done and we need the institutions to enforce it."


Chilean Singer And Activist Alex Anwandter's Music Video Is Inspired By 'Paris Is Burning:' VIDEO

Anwandter

Chilean pop-star Alex Anwandter's album Rebeldes hits U.S. shores later this month and to celebrate journalist Andrés Duque sat down with the singer to chat about his career, advocating for LGBT rights following Daniel Zamudio's murder and how legendary drag ball documentary Paris is Burning inspired the video for his single, "¿Como puedes vivir contigo mismo?"

Says Anwandter of the 1990 flick:

[I] thought a tribute to the Livingston film would also allow me to further introduce something that practically doesn't yet exist in my country: Strong role models or icons that represent sexual diversity in mainstream media or pop culture.

In a way, I wasn't doing a tribute to the documentary in itself but rather to the original impact I believe it had back in the day: The validation of the lives of people who were being marginalized or discriminated against.

As for Zamudio, the 24-year old whose murder earlier this year galvanized Chileans, Anwandter remarked, "His death was very shocking to me because I knew him and also because I kept thinking it could have been a friend of mine or anyone who was dear to me.

It was also incredibly intense to me when his brothers told me how much my music had meant to him and how they played my songs to him while he was dying and urged me to keep on speaking on behalf of people like Daniel. It's something that in a really tragic way makes me think that my job actually matters and that I should never stop fighting again discrimination.

Read the rest of the interview HERE and watch the video for "¿Como puedes vivir contigo mismo?" AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Chilean Singer And Activist Alex Anwandter's Music Video Is Inspired By 'Paris Is Burning:' VIDEO" »


U.S. Embassies In Latin America Get Down With Gay Pride

ElSalvadorSecretary of State Hillary Clinton has made no secret of her commitment to LGBT rights around the world. "Gay rights are human rights," she has said on a number of occasions. Apparently her State Department colleagues in Latin America agree.

Only a few weeks after it was reported that the U.S. Embassy in Kenya was celebrating pride, Andrés Duque reports that half-a-dozen U.S. satellites in the Latin America took part in their own pride events.

For example, Anne Andrew, the U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, held a "roundtable" on LGBT rights there, while the U.S. Ambassador to Honduras, Lisa Kubiske, sent out a tweet reiterating the States' engagement on LGBT issues. "The US Government supports the Honduran LGBT community in their fight for equality and respect," she wrote.

Officials in Chile, Panama, El Salvador and Ecuador also sent representatives to pride parades or held their own events, including a high heel race to erode traditional gender norms in Ecuador. As you can see in the photo above, the participants were in it to win it.

Read Duque's excellent article HERE.


NEWS: Nazis, Mega Millions, Nick Cage, John Cage, God, Surveys, Science

T26_RTR2QRC4-1

Road Armed neo-Nazis patroling Sanford, FL:

Neo-Nazis are currently conducting heavily armed patrols in and around Sanford, Florida and are "prepared" for violence in the case of a race riot. The patrols are to protect "white citizens in the area who are concerned for their safety" in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting last month, says Commander Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement. "We are not advocating any type of violence or attacks on anybody, but we are prepared for it," he says. "We are not the type of white people who are going to be walked all over."

Because nothing diffuses racial tension like gun-toting racial separatists patrolling an already on-edge community.

Road Some pro-equality activists don't like what other pro-equality activists do with their money.

Road A survey for your mothers. (HT: Joe.My.God.)

CageCage Road Only dubiously witty, but unexpectedly fun: Nicholas Cage does John Cage.

Road Apparently, Los Angeles isn't superficial, New York drives aren't that bad, and Miami isn't full of fit people.

Road PinkIsTheNewBlog has a pic of Zac Efron's bum.

Road Andrew Sullivan on America's bad religion:

"When I go and see young people, their image of Christianity these days is one of judgment, intolerance and to some extent bigotry and politics," Sullivan said. "They associate it with one political party in this country, because of the fusion of evangelical and ultra-orthodox Catholics with the Republican Party. They don't see it as the message of Jesus, they don't see it any more as a message of love and forgiveness. They see it as a bunch of people trying to control their lives through political mechanisms.

Road Gallup probes American religiosity:

... it’s no surprise that all of the “top” ten [religious] states are in the south save Utah and Oklahoma, which, as Abbie Smith will attest, may as well be in the south. It’s also no surprise that the least religious states are in New England, with the proportion of “very religious” being 23% in New Hampshire and Vermont, 25% in Maine, and 28% in Massachusetts ...

What did surprise me was the 32% of Americans who see themselves as “nonreligious" ... Since roughly 10% of Americans don’t believe in God, and only about 1.5% go so far as to describe themselves as “atheists” or “agnostics,” I wonder how many of these 32% of “nonreligious” Americans are secret atheists who just don’t like the label, or are unwilling to confess to an interviewer that—horrors!—they don’t believe in God.

Road Teen sells kidney for Apple products:

He received 220,000 yuan ($35,000) for the transplant, gave the student 22,000 yuan ($3,500) and shared the remaining money with the other defendants and several medical staff involved in the operation, Xinhua said.

When the student returned home, he was asked how he could afford a new iPhone and an iPad and he told his mother that he sold one of his kidneys

Road High up in Chile's Atacama desert -- at almost 17,000 feet above sea level, where heads ache, noses bleed, and "dizziness overcomes the researchers toiling in the shadow of the Licancabur volcano" -- scientists are turning Chile into one of the world's elite destinations for astronomical research. But for how long? From the Times:

At the same time, the financial crisis in rich industrialized countries has raised concerns that funding for some ambitious astronomy projects could face constraints. In the United States, a Congressional panel last year proposed killing NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope before a compromise spending plan saved the project.

“It would be very sad for humankind if we were so spiritually decadent to forgo the pleasures of consciousness and of knowledge,” said Mr. Mosterín, reflecting on the funding choices political leaders need to make. “These things make human beings a very interesting animal indeed.”


Chile Passes Gay Discrimination Protections Following Daniel Zamudio's Death

6a00d8341c730253ef016764509406970b-800wiSeven years after first being proposed, and only a week after gay man Daniel Zamudio died from injuries sustained during an attack by four neo-Nazis, Chile's House yesterday passed anti-discrimination legislation that includes gay people.

The nation's Senate, the Washington Post reports, approved the bill last November. President Sebastian Pinera, a supporter of the law, will sign the legislation after a few more wrinkles are worked out.

The Post provides some more details:

The House of Deputies approved the law in a close 58-56 vote, seven years after it was first proposed. The Senate passed the law in November. Some passages remain to be finalized in a commission of senators and House lawmakers.

After Zamudio died last week, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights called for Chile to pass new laws against hate crimes and discrimination.

Some Protestant churches had opposed the anti-discrimination law, saying it could be a first step toward gay marriage, which Chile forbids and which is not explicitly included in the measure. The Roman Catholic Church also expressed some concerns about the law.

The law describes as illegal discrimination “any distinction, exclusion or restriction that lacks reasonable justification, committed by agents of the state or individuals, and that causes the deprivation, disturbance or threatens the legitimate exercise of fundamental rights.”

It's too bad it took Zamudio's brutal beating to finally get this law moving again, but at least his death was not in vain.


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