Gay Rights Hub




Gay Briton Speaks About His Prison Sentence In Morocco: VIDEO

Ray Cole released from Morocco

About two weeks ago we told you about Ray Cole, a 69-year-old Briton from Kent, who had gone missing in Marrakesh, Morocco, only for his family to discover that he and his partner, Jamal Jam Wad Nass, had been imprisoned on charges of homosexuality, which is illegal in the country. Though sentenced to four months, Cole has been released after 19 days and compared the experience to being in a concentration camp, calling it "hell on earth" and was genuinely frightened that he would "disappear into the system."

In a new video at The Guardian, Cole expands further on his experience:

The stench from the toilet, you would not believe; it will live with me forever[...]There's screaming and banging on the bars and banging on the doors. There's no peace there whatsoever 24-hours a day[...]I was worried that they'd hurt Jamal. I was fairly confident they wouldn't hurt me as a European, but I really was worried about him because they don't have any compunction about beating up their own.

Predictably, the plainclothes officers that arrested Ray and Jamal used their religion as justification for the arrest and their hateful actions. Jamal remains in prison, and Ray is working to get asylum for his partner and bring him to the UK.

The unembeddable video can be seen at The Guardian.


Argentina Grants Asylum To Russian Man Subjected To Harassment Based On Sexual Orientation

ArgentinaFor the first time, a person has been granted asylum by the Argentinian government after suffering harassment based on sexual orientation. 'Gene,' the gay Russian man who fled to the South American country, has been given the "condition of refugee" according to the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (FALGBT), who 'Gene' contacted for help two years ago. 

NVO News reports:

Argentina’s National Refugee Commission accepted the petition after acknowledging in a report the harassment suffered by the 28-year-old man and the lack of government protection for sexual minorities in Russia...

We hope that starting with this first case, Argentina will be positioned as a refugee destination,” FALGBT president Esteban Paulon, who took Gene’s case to the government commission, told EFE.

We are sending our well wishes to 'Gene' and our thanks to Argentina and FALGBT.


NYC Cardinal Timothy Dolan Discusses The Scrapped Pro-Gay Language from Vatican's Family Synod Report: VIDEO

Dolan

NYC Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan spoke to George Stephanopoulos today about the Vatican's watered down final document for its synod on the family - a report that scrapped language that seemed to indicate a dramatic new tone in the church's response to homosexuality, divorce, and contraception. 

Dolan, ever the bigoted firebrand, praised the African church leaders in attendance who were vocal about their opposition to any doctrine revisions that could be interpreted as pro-gay.

"There was a pretty good, vivid conversation especially with the African bishops, who I love more than ever, who obviously come from cultures and societies that I admire that have a very strong definition of marriage as man and woman with children and are kind of afraid of attempts to water that down. One of the fears that they would have would be what we would call same-sex marraige. So they were pastorally sensitive about a document giving any indication that the Church might be open to any change at all in the definition of marriage. So there was a good debate, a good conversation that went on."

Pope francisDolan also reiterated his belief that Pope Francis is trying to take the "middle road" on issues facing the church: 

"Once again, you got overwhelming agreement on things - first of all on the definition of marriage given to us by God and faithfully handed on by the church: one man, one woman, lifelong, life-giving, faithful, bringing about new life and children. Enthusiastic response to that. And then the other side was how can we embrace and never alienate those who are unable to live up to that noble ideal. And as usual, Pope Francis is saying we've got to keep both those values in mind. "

Dolan has a lot of work to do to live up to the call to embrace and not alienate gays, however. Despite his claim that he's not "anti-anybody," Dolan has equated same-sex marriage to incestdenied LGBT Catholics entry to mass, and insisted LGBT individuals are entitled to friendship, not marriage - among a laundry list of other incendiary remarks.  

Watch Dolan's interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYC Cardinal Timothy Dolan Discusses The Scrapped Pro-Gay Language from Vatican's Family Synod Report: VIDEO" »


Executive Producer Of Film About LGBT Kenyans Arrested: VIDEO

GeorgeGachara

"Stuff can go wrong, but we love our country. I am not afraid to go back home...I want to go back home." When George Gachara said these words, he was convinced that he was doing the right thing by documenting the lives of LGBT Kenyans in the film Stories Of Our Lives. The movie, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, is banned in Kenya based on the Films and Stage Plays Act, which Gachara was arrested for violating. Surely we can agree that the film tells an important story of an underrepresented group in the east African nation; the governing body apparently disagrees.

Daily Xtra reports:

Gachara was in Toronto recently for the film’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. He and others involved in its making and promotion, who until then had been anonymous, made the daring decision to reveal their names at TIFF, in a show of solidarity with the Kenyan LGBT community...

On Oct 14, Daily Xtra talked via Skype to Jim Chuchu, the director of Stories of our Lives and a co-founder of NEST, about the ban on the film. Hours later, Gachara was arrested.

According to Nest’s Facebook site, Gachara has been released on bail pending a hearing on Oct 17.

Gachara, and the filmmakers' brave actions, are in our thoughts. Most recently, the Kenyan Republican Liberty Party drafted a "stone the gays" bill in connection with "aggravated homosexuality," a continuation of anti-gay legislation already in effect there. Hopefully Gachara and the other filmmakers will not face condemnation for the movie, which was critically-acclaimed by news outlets like Indiewire:

Thankfully, this isn’t a movie about “Africa’s homophobia problem” that we’ve seen before. This is a beautiful little film about love, about humanity, about one of the many facets of what it means to be African.

Watch an interview with Gachara, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Executive Producer Of Film About LGBT Kenyans Arrested: VIDEO" »


Evan Wolfson and Brian Brown Face Off On Gay Marriage and the Growing Public Support for Equality: VIDEO

Brown_wolfson

During an hour-long call-in on CSPAN this weekend, Freedom to Marry president Evan Wolfson faced off against NOM's Brian Brown in a discussion about the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision earlier this month, the growing public support for LGBT equality, and Brown's anti-gay activism abroad (which was detailed in HRC's new "Export of Hate" report).

Watch the debate, AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t joe.my.god]

Continue reading "Evan Wolfson and Brian Brown Face Off On Gay Marriage and the Growing Public Support for Equality: VIDEO" »


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!


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