Dan Choi Hub




Government to Put Dan Choi on Trial in August

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(image chris geidner/twitter)

The government will put Dan Choi on trial in August for chaining himself to the White House last November in protest of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" because Choi refuses to accept a plea deal.

Jane Hamsher at FireDogLake was in the courtroom yesterday:

...Today [Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela ]George faced an equally skeptical Judge Alan Kay, who had little patience for George’s assertions that she did not know until today that Choi was refusing the government’s deal, and was thus unprepared to proceed.  At the the previous hearing, George spent considerable time complaining that Choi was not accepting the government’s deal and removing his name from the settlement documents.

Choi is represented by Kurland and Christopher R. Lynn, who came prepared to argue their case today.  Although Judge Kay said repeatedly he thought it would take a half day for the trial, George said she expected it to take two days, as she was prepared to call multiple witnesses.  She also told Choi’s attorneys that there was no way he could have failed to hear the order to disperse issued by the park service “unless he’s hard of hearing.”


Gay Rights Activists Attacked During Rally In Moscow

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Dan Choi was one of the many gay activists attacked by an anti-gay ultra-Orthodox group during a small peaceful gay rights rally in Moscow today. 

The AFP reports:

"'We have come here to prevent this event from happening,' Orthodox group member Leonid Simonovich-Nikshich said as scuffles raged around him. 'God burned down Sodom and Gomorrah and he will burn down Moscow too if we let things like this happen,' he told AFP. Members of the religious group wore black robes and brandished Christian Orthodox cross. An AFP correspondent saw one man rip up a picture of Elton John -- the openly gay icon of the global gay and lesbian community."

"The small group of rights activists were mostly composed of young people who chanted 'Russia without homophobia' and wore shirts with signs such as 'I love her.' Police had cordoned off the area in advance to thwart activists' plans to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier."

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Reports are 18 gay rights activists and 14 anti-gay demonstraters were arrested. Other than Choi, other gay rights leaders arrested today were Peter Tatchell and Louis-George Tin. Russian activist Nikolai Alexeyev was not present at the demonstration. Choi live-tweeted his arrest and revealed on the site that detained foreigners have been released from jail. He's asking for a translation of the charges against him.

Watch mobile phone video of Choi talking about his arrest while he is in the back of a paddy wagon, AFTER THE JUMP.

UK Gay News has a rundown of events from the parade.

Gay Russia has a slideshow of photos from the rally. A slide show of images also accompany this article from the AP.

Watch a few dramatic videos of the rally, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Gay Rights Activists Attacked During Rally In Moscow " »


Dan Choi Speaks from Moscow Gay Pride - 'I am Here in Russia, Solidarity with Our Brothers and Sisters'

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As I mentioned yesterday, activist Dan Choi has joined others in Russia for this weekend's Gay Pride activities, which have been banned by authorities. Activists plan to go ahead with them in defiance.

Says Choi in the following clip:

"I am here in Russia, solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are fighting for the basic right to express their identity. Here, it's on such a basic fundamental level of living a life of truth and integrity. I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with them. This is a different kind of battlefield than all the battlefields I've seen."

Moscow Police insisted today they would enforce the ban and cut short any "unlawful actions."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

More Moscow Gay Pride news...
Fireworks Already Starting in Moscow Over Banned Gay Pride as Activists Arrive [tr]
Watch: Russian Activist Alexeyev Storms Off TV Show During Homophobic Debate [tr]

Continue reading "Dan Choi Speaks from Moscow Gay Pride - 'I am Here in Russia, Solidarity with Our Brothers and Sisters'" »


Fireworks Already Starting in Moscow Over Banned Gay Pride as Activists Arrive to Lead it in Defiance

Last week I mentioned that Moscow officials had banned Gay Pride once again, citing security risks. Activists aren't having it. Andy Thayer, of Chicago's Gay Liberation Network, and Dan Choi have joined Russian activist Nikolai Alexeyev in Moscow for what promise to be some fireworks in defiance of the ban. Activist Louis-Georges Tim and Brit Peter Tatchell are also there. Gay Pride is scheduled for this weekend.

Alexeyev Apparently the fireworks have begun.

Pam Spaulding got a report from Choi on some TV action that went down earlier today.

Dan reports that he, along with about 20 activists from the U.S. and Europe attended Russia's version of Meet the Press. Russian LGBT rights activist, lawyer and journalist Nikolay Alexeyev debated their version of Maggie Gallagher, and the opposition (anti-gay) side was stacked with government officials and a "sexologist" demonizing LGBTs.

Choi According to Dan, the first two segments were very contentious; at the end of the second segment it became so heated that Alexeyev stormed off of the set (photo, above right, of Alexeyev after walking out) -- actually damaging part of the set -- and refused to come back for the third segment.

Instead, Alexeyev and all of the pro-LGBT attendees left the set and audience. This program aired live, so I'm sure clips will surface. Dan will have a report later; they are also planning direct action in protest of the cancellation of Pride by homophobic officials and it's likely there will be arrests.

UK Gay News is running a blog dedicated to Gay Pride in Moscow, and is keeping up with events there.

Said Alexeyev: "Next 48 hours will shape the future of Moscow Pride and LGBT community in Russia in general - and I am not joking."

Mckellen Actor Ian McKellen has also released a message in support of the activists:

“The Mayor of Moscow is a coward.Rather than face the fact that Muscovite gays and lesbians should be valued on a par with their straight peers, he panders to the right wing.  He throws them some red meat, some gays, to gnaw on.  In the 1980s, Mrs Thatcher once did the same in the United Kingdom but she was eventually defeated totally by the efforts of gay people, their families and friends, who joined together to fight injustice. I send my heart-felt support for your bravery in marching on 28 May in the land of Tchaikovsky, Diaghilev and Nureyev."

LGBT Asylum News reports:

Far-right and Orthodox Church forces are planning a counter demonstration - approved by authorities - and already held one at the site last Saturday, delayed by rain, which one of the demonstrators blamed on the [Moscow Mayor] “Sobyanin lesbians.”

“We will drive them off!” Yury Ageshchev, coordinator of the Orthodox Brotherhood of the Russian Orthodox Church told Russian newspaper Kommersant.

“True, last year we had some issues with the police and there were arrests, but this time we will not give up. It’s going to get hot,” he threatened.

The office of the police chief has said "everything is ready to prevent [the gays] marching - and arrest them."

More to come, I'm sure...


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #883

LT. DAN CHOI: Talks about Osama bin Laden's death, from Ground Zero.

BARNEY FRANK: Osama bin Laden capture strengthens case for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

GAY EDUCATORS: AC360 looks at coming out at the head of the classroom.

GLENN BECK: I've watched Glee "in stunned horror".

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


Watch: Activists Hold DOMA Rally in the Castro

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Activists including Lt. Dan Choi gathered yesterday to celebrate in SF's Castro district following news that the Obama administration would stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Activists Hold DOMA Rally in the Castro" »


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