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04/19/2007


French Anti-Gay Hashtag Prompts Lawsuit Against Twitter

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An anti-gay hashtag, roughly translated to "#GaysMust[Die/Disappear]Because", made its way to the top "trend" in France over the weekend. According to the entity behind the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, or IDAHO, almost 10,000 tweets were posted using the fiercely homophobic hashtag, approximately 900 of which called directly for gay people to be murdered.

Such strong, troublesome, and widespread language has prompted IDAHO to file complaints in both France and California, calling for a removal of those and future offensive tweets. The group has also announced that it plans to file a second suit, which will call for the release of the user information of offending accounts to French authorities and ensure the proper investigation of the country's new anti-hate speech law. Alexandre Marcel of IDAHO told France's The Local that:

"This is a completely blatant call for the death and murder of gay people. It is totally unacceptable...Could you imagine being a 17 or 18-year-old gay person logging on to Twitter ... and seeing messages that call for you to be killed?" 

Trolling trollsAccording to the English and French language editions of the Huffington Post, the above-named hashtag also gave way to many others like it shortly thereafter, including "#SiMonFilsEstGay (If My Son Is Gay), #TeamHomophobe and, most recently, #BrulonsLesGaysSurDu (Burn Gays On The)." Luckily, Twitter has already complied with requests similar to the ones filed by IDAHO, although the company has yet to comment on this most recent set of complaints. French LGBT rights advocates have also launched a counteroffensive campign on the microblogging site, flooding these and similar hashtags with as many pro-LGBT remarks as possible. 

Twitter, has a company, has repeatedly expressed a desire to encourage free speech with the fewest amount of interruptions possible. The company has adopted policies prohibiting "violent threats" as well as "targeted harassment", but not explicitly any form of hate speech. It is not yet clear if Twitter has complied with previous requests due to violation of their own policies, or due to some other sort of legal obligation. Thus far, Twitter has yet to take any similar action against the anti-gay hate speech being tweeted in the United States


French Nurse Rents Out Breasts for Gay Men with Babies

A French nurse is charging  €100 per day for access to her breast milk and targeting gay men with children, The Local reports:

FranceA 29-year-old nurse describing herself as a “mother in full health” has caused a stir in France by posting a classified ad online, putting her own breasts up for rent to feed newborn babies.

What’s more, the unorthodox entrepreneur appears to be specifically targeting gay men, who are now allowed to adopt children after France's divisive gay marriage bill was voted in earlier this year.

The ad by “cecelia232” on the French website e-loue.com is entitled “Breast rental – breast-feeding – Boulogne”, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Paris where ‘Cecelia’ lives.

“I am a young mother in full health, a trained nurse, 29 years old, and I’m renting out my breasts to feed young babies. In one day I can offer you up to a dozen feeds for your baby,” the post continues.

“Gay men in couples are not able to breastfeed their babies…Breastfeeding allows babies to be in good health. Basically, breast milk gives them complete nutrition,” she adds.

“Contact me through the site. Don’t bother if you’re not serious,” Cecelia concludes.

Cecelia232 also allows clients to book blocks of time online via a web calendar.


Photographer Captures The Lives Of Transgender Parisians In 1950's Black-And-White Collection

Transparis

Christer Strömholm, a Swedish photographer living in Paris in the late 1950's, befriended and photographed the transgender communities of the place Pigalle and place Blanche neighborhoods, providing us with a glimpse at life on the margins.  

Transparis2Buzzfeed reports:

A little-known Swedish photographer, Christer Strömholm, visited Paris to experiment with a new style of night-time street photography. He immersed himself in the red-light district of Place Blanche where he beautifully captured through his lens the wide variety of young trans women struggling to make a living.

In 1983, Strömholm published his book, Les Amies de Place Blanche, with the photographs from his visit.

Inside he wrote a powerful introduction:

“This is a book about insecurity. A portrayal of those living a different life in the big city of Paris, of people who endured the roughness of the streets.”

“This is a book about humiliation, about the smell of whores and night life in cafés.”

“This is a book about the quest for self-identity, about the right to live, about the right to own and control one’s own body.”

...

“These are images of women—biologically born as men—that we call ‘transsexuals.’ As for me, I call them ‘my friends of place Blanche.’ This friendship started here, in the early 60s and it still continues.”

New attention has been brought to Strömholm's subjects as the photos have been released in a new version of the 1983 book, this time with stories and essays to accompany them.  

The complete collection of photographs can be found here.

Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed (Source:  © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU  /  via: messynessychic.com)


Are Marriage Equality Victories Making 'Life Worse' For Gay People In Developing Countries?

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 4.21.39 PMWhile the notion of expanding LGBT rights leading to potentially negative side effects seems like something pulled exclusively from right wing talking points, a global equal rights campaign group has warned that marriage equality advances in countries like the US, UK, and France have inadvertently led to a 'perverse' worsening of LGBT freedoms in developing countries.

Alistair Stewart, the assistant director of the Kaleidoscope Trust (a UK based charity run by House of Commons Speaker John Bercow) says that working to uphold LGBT rights internationally has grown more difficult as 'our opponents are increasingly moving their resources (and their rhetoric and their hate) to more fertile grounds in developing countries.'

Says Stewart:

The achievement of equal marriage, parenting and adoption rights and full legal protection can actually impede the struggles in other parts of the world where the battles for LGBT people are about the most fundamental of human rights. 76 countries continue to criminalize 'homosexual conduct', punishable with prison sentences and hard labour. In five countries the death penalty still applies.

Because they are losing ground in the West, our opponents are increasingly moving their resources (and their rhetoric and their hate) to more fertile grounds in developing countries. American Evangelical Churches are abandoning the fight against equality at home, in favour of supporting homophobic laws abroad. Why fight a losing battle against social liberalism in America or Europe, where you are increasingly ignored and ridiculed, when in Uganda, Belize or Nigeria you are welcomed with open arms. In this perverse way the successes of the LGBT movement in the North, and in particular in the United States, have acted to worsen conditions in the South.

...

As the champagne corks are popped in London and Paris, and we notch up yet more victories for LGBT people in the West, countless setbacks, reversals and outrages occur elsewhere. The Ugandan parliament continues to flirt with introducing the death penalty and imprisoning parents for not turning in their own gay children to the authorities. This week in Cameroon a prominent gay activist was tortured and beaten to death.

And in Russia, President Putin signed a law that bans the so-called 'propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,' with Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Hungary attempting to implement similar restrictions.

Stewart goes on to say that LGBT persons and allies should remember that "in many places, there is far more at stake than embossed invitations or a gift register."

Indeed, as we celebrate the successes at home, we should never forget that the struggle for equality and basic human rights continues elsewhere.

Complacency, like silence, equals death. 


Eiffel Tower Celebrates Marriage Equality on Bastille Day: VIDEO

Eiffeltower

The Eiffel Tower was bathed in rainbow colors during yesterday's Bastille Day celebration in Paris to mark the legalization of same-sex marriage in France this year.

Check out a gorgeous video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Eiffel Tower Celebrates Marriage Equality on Bastille Day: VIDEO" »


Homoerotic French Homophobes Storm Beach In Protest - VIDEO

Hommen in Montpellier

You may recognize the marriage equality protest group "Hommen" as the young men who parade around in public wearing white masks and words scrawled across their half-naked bodies. This time, they've taken to the beach in Montpellier, apparently to draw some sort of parallel to the D-Day invasion in Normandy. Except for the fact that there only appear to be five of them (six if you count the cameraman)...in a single inflatable raft.

The video, posted by the YouTube account "Tony Montpellier", begins by displaying a quote from Sun Tzu, which, roughly translated from French, means "the art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting". It then shows footage of the young men "storming" the beach, accompanied by an epic orchestral score, before unfurling a banner that reads "Free Nicolas" and lighting a few flares. The "Nicolas" in question was an anti-gay protester, who caused a stir last month when he was arrested outside of a television studio and subsequently sent to jail. 

Watch the video, via Joe.My.God. (and try not to giggle) AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Homoerotic French Homophobes Storm Beach In Protest - VIDEO" »


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