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70,000 Attend Taiwan Pride 2014 - VIDEO

Taiwan Pride 2014

An estimated 70,000 people attended the LGBT Pride Parade in Taiwan on October 25th, reports Global Voices.

The number of people taking part was one of the largest since the parade was first held in 2003, making Taiwan Pride the biggest in Asia.

With this year’s theme ‘Walk in Queers’ Shoes,’ the event featured voices from marginalized LGBT groups including physically disabled people, HIV-positive people and sex workers.

A marriage equality bill was presented by the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights in 2012. Although the proposed law passed the first reading in October 2013, the legislative process was suspended following a massive mobilization of opponents.

Gay rights activists this month began pushing legislators to resume implementation of the legislation. A public hearing for the bill was held on October 16.

Taiwan Pride 2014 Logo

Watch a video for Taiwan Pride 2014, AFTER THE JUMP...

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A Look at Serbia's Gay Community and the Violent, Anti-LGBT Forces Working Against Them: VIDEO

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Serbia's embattled gay community, which last month held its first pride parade in four years (government officials had cancelled subsequent parades citing security risks), is the subject of a new Vice News report featuring both parade-goers and the country's right-wing, religious-led efforts to try and stop September's parade from happening.

The arguments made by anti-LGBT protesters featured in the video would honestly be laughable if they weren't so disturbing. One protester claims the government is allowing the parade to happen "so that the American porn industry can film their porn films on all of our main squares" while another says the government has "reduced our wages and pensions" in order to pay for the parade. Interspersed between these absurd claims are clips showing the anti-gay mob chanting "kill, kill kill the fa**ots." Unsettling stuff to be sure. 

The country's resilient LGBT community didn't let the hate stop them this year, but the video makes it clear there is much work to be done in terms of educating the public about LGBT issues and eliminating homophobia.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Activists Plan 'Big Consensual Kiss-In' At UK Supermarket Following Harassment Of Kissing Lesbian Couple

Sainsburys_lewes_road1_sAnnabelle Paige, a university student in Brighton, UK, was told to stop kissing her girlfriend by a security guard at a Sainsbury's supermarket recently. Though the supermarket has since issued an apology, activists are incensed about the threatening "stop-or-leave" words of the guard. They are now planning a "Big Consensual Kiss-In" to support the couple, to be held this Wednesday at 6pm.

Pink News reports:

University of Sussex student Annabelle Paige said she gave her girlfriend a light kiss while in a Brighton branch of the superstore recently when a security guard approached and told them to either stop kissing or leave.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson has since apologised, saying: “This should never have happened – it is clear that Miss Paige and her partner were not behaving inappropriately and we are very sorry that they were treated in this way.”

Sainsbury's is also donating £100 to charity, but the kiss-in planners think this a meager sum given the store's earnings and a less-than-great history with LGBT issues. In April the store was criticized for covering up Attitude and GT magazines while leaving the bared skin on the cover of FHM exposed. The kiss-in Facebook event notes:

“Their profits for the year to March 15 were £898m. Doesn’t sound like they are serious about tackling homophobia, does it?

"[We want ]to show Sainsbury’s we won’t accept homophobia in our society, and that we demand they do more!”

“If you have nobody to kiss we’ll find you someone or something,” the group notes.

Sounds fun (and for a good cause); best of luck to the 1,200 confirmed Brighton kissers on a successful and fruitful kiss-in!


Gay North Carolina Couple Weds After First Being Denied Based On Magistrate's Religious Beliefs

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On Monday, Randy Jackson and Eddie Locklear of Elizabeth City, North Carolina attempted to make their partnership official after thirty-one years. The state's same-sex marriage ban, Amendment One, had been struck down and their request should have been respected. However, once at the courthouse they were turned away by a magistrate who claimed he could (or would) not marry them based on his religious beliefs. It was a disheartening turn of events, to be sure, and one that will likely have to be negotiated a great deal in certain states. Jackson and Locklear's story, at least, has a happy ending.

The Virginian Pilot reports:

Today, the couple finally tied the knot at the Pasquotank County courthouse.

A different magistrate, Lee Custis, presided over their civil wedding today, saying he was religious, but he had to follow the law.

He improvised slightly when he asked them if they would take each other's hand in marriage.

"Do you take this man to be your partner?" Custis asked.

After the short ceremony, both men were left emotional and amazed.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Jackson said. “It’s hard to put it in words. I didn’t think I’d live to see this.”

Congratulations to Randy and Eddie!

In related news, Joe Jervis over at Joe. My. God. has called out the Virginian Pilot on a shoddy poll asking, "Should magistrates be allowed to refuse to perform same-sex marriages based on religious grounds?" The poll, according to Joe, was up, then deleted, then back again with the "no" votes erased; the current standings are 94% yes, 6% no, and the paper tweeted at Joe saying that "All votes were deleted" when the poll malfunctioned. Poorly designed polling system, or a purposeful skew of data? What do you think?

Photo credit: Jeff Hampton of The Virginian Pilot.


Take A Look Inside 'Wonderkid,' A Short Film Aimed At Tackling Homophobia In Sport: VIDEO

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"Wonderkid," a short film in the works from director Rhys Chapman and co-writers Chapman and Terence Corless aims to tackle a substantial and pressing global issue: homophobia in professional sports. The focus of their film is football (as in soccer) and one unnamed player struggling with his sexual identity and other issues, on and off the field. Chapman has already received a great deal of support in the U.K., and Ian McKellen even did the voice-over work for the film's Kickstarter campaign video, but they need more help in order to produce a worthwhile film product.

Their Kickstarter page reads:

We want to challenge the way people think about homophobia, not only in football, but in their everyday lives. Director Rhys Chapman co-wrote the script with writer Terence Corless, producing a story tackling a subject matter that has sorely lacked widespread attention. WONDERKID provides an insight into the trauma caused by homophobia, and challenges preconceptions about what it is to be ‘masculine’. 

At the heart of this project is the desire to change people’s minds about what is and what is not acceptable behaviour towards fellow human beings. It is about the basic human right for everyone to love and pursue a relationship, regardless of gender, race, creed or anything else. Most importantly, it is a story about wanting to be happy with who you are, which is something we can all relate to.

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In his director's video, Chapman expresses an interest in tackling the issue of homophobia through film: "I feel that film is the ultimate artistic expression. You can create an entire reality that, for all intents and purposes, is real to anyone watching." Although film does offer this advantage, anyone would be hard-pressed to deny the reality of homophobia as a rampant issue in sports. Chapman is dealing with that reality by partnering with Galop, an anti-violence and hate crime charity, to spread the word on the film and its importance.

Football is an institution in British society, and as such as it is imperative to challenge the anti-LGBT attitudes prevalent in this sport and its fanbase. Together, Galop and WONDERKID will work towards stamping out homophobia in football.” Galop Press Release

This is a film with great aspirations and, working with Galop, we intend to use it as an educational tool; holding screenings of the film to start the conversation with young people who have, or may come to, experience the issues dealt with in WONDERKID.

Chapman, Corless, and crew are seeking £25,000 in funding to cover equipment, production, editing, and distribution costs, and many more details can be found at their Kickstarter campaign page. This is an important project that has the potential to impact people in a big way. Congratulations to the whole team for the support they have received, and good luck in taking the film even further!

Watch the "Wonderkid" promo video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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MPAA Accused Of Homophobia Over 'Pride' R Rating - VIDEO

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US censors have been accused of homophobia over the rating of new British movie Pride, a culture-clash comedy-drama that tells the true story of lesbian and gay activists who supported workers during the 1984 National Union of Mineworkers strike, reports Digital Spy.

The movie - which contains one scene in which two men kiss at a Bronksi Beat concert - has been rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America, judging it unsuitable for 17-year-olds unless accompanied by an adult.

Activist Peter Thatchell said that the decision is “outrageous, knee-jerk homophobia”:

"There's no significant sex or violence in Pride to justify strong ratings. The American classification board seems to automatically view any film with even the mildest gay content as unfit for people under 17."

This isn't the first time the MPAA has faced backlash for slapping an adult rating on a film with LGBT content either. This year's Love is Strange starring Alfred Molina and John Lithgow was also given an R-rating despite its lack of explicit sex scenes or violence. 

Read Towleroad’s review of Pride and watch a trailer, AFTER THE JUMP

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