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04/19/2007


Photos Of Gay Couples Kissing In Churches Gets NYC Show After Vatican Disapproval

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When Rome’s Galleria L'Opera tried to artist Gonzalo Orquin’s photographs of gay, lesbian and straight couples kissing in Rome’s Catholic churches, the Vatican threatened legal action and had the showing stopped (the opera cited “security reasons”).

But it looks like those photos will still get a showing in Manhattan’s Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art on April 30.

The New York Daily News reports:

The photos were taken without permission from the churches involved. A Vatican spokesman claimed the photos could “harm the religious sentiment of the faithful.”

Another exhibition from Orquin — this time showing a woman dressed like a priest — was later vandalized.

But in New York, Orquin’s work is receiving a warm welcome. It will be featured in the SoHo-based museum’s window gallery and will be visible to passersby on the street.

Leslie-Lohman Museum Director Hunter O’Hanian said of Orquin’s church photos, “These were very beautiful, simple portraits of same-sex couples in a space that they held sacred and important to them. I hope visitors [who see them] leave with a wonderful feeling of compassion and humanity.”


Court Recognizes Gay Couple as Married for First Time in Italy

Chigiotti

An Italian court today recognized a gay couple as married for the first time in Italy, AFP reports:

The court in Grosseto in Tuscany ordered the city council to list the couple, who had their wedding in New York in 2012, as married in a ruling that was immediately hailed by gay rights campaigners as historic.

“This is an unprecedented case in our country,” Sergio Lo Giudice, a senator for the Democratic Party and a former head of the watchdog Arcigay, told reporters...

...Grosseto judge Claudio Boccini ruled that there was "no reference to gender" in the city council register of married couples and the couple in question should therefore be included.

Fabrizio Marrazzo, a spokesman for Gay Center, called for a response from Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Joseph Chigiotti and Stefano Bucci, the couple petitioning the court, were married in New York in 2012 but had been denied registration in Italy following their marriage.

(image source)


Willem Dafoe Portrays Gay Italian Director Pier Pasolini: PHOTO, VIDEO

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The twitter account of the Criterion Collection recently shared two images of Willem DaFoe portraying the influential Italian poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini from director Abel Ferrara’s upcoming film Pasolini.

Pasolini’s body of political and artistic work made him a much celebrated and controversial figure in his native homeland. During the student revolts of the 60s and 70s, he empathized with the policemen, stating that the students were “anthropologically middle-class” and thus too over-priveleged to understand the manipulated plight of the poorer (and thus truly proletariat) policemen. Though Pasolini was openly gay for his entire career, homosexuality and queer themes do not dominate his work. Rather, his artwork also depicted Italian life in a gritty, unflattering neorealistic style that denounced the homogeneic effects of consumerism and unflinchingly depicted sex as an unromantic and sometimes torturous ordeal.

Homosexual themes found their way into three of his films:

“in Teorema (1968), where Terence Stamp's mysterious God-like visitor seduces the son and father of an upper-middle-class family; passingly in Arabian Nights (1974), in an idyll between a king and a commoner that ends in death; and, most darkly of all, in Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom (1975), his infamous rendition of the Marquis de Sade's compendium of sexual horrors.”

In 1963 Pasolini met "the great love of his life," a boy 26 years his younger named Ninetto Davoli. Though their sexual relationship only lasted a few years, the two men lived together for a long while as companions and Davoli appeared in six of Pasolini’s films. In 1975, the director was murdered by being run over several times by his own car. Initially, a young hustler confessed to the crime, but recanted his story 29 years later, saying that he confessed under the duress of the real murderers who had killed Pasolini for being a “dirty communist.”

Dafoe also played gay detective Paul Smecker in the 1999 film Boondock Saints. We discussed how he crafted the role during his red carpet appearance at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival.

See his interview and another picture of him as Pasolini AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Willem Dafoe Portrays Gay Italian Director Pier Pasolini: PHOTO, VIDEO" »


IOC Defends Removal of Italian LGBT Activist Vladimir Luxuria from Sochi Olympic Village

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Yesterday Towleroad reported that transgender former Italian MP and activist Vladimir Luxuria and her companions Pio and Amedeo, a duo who star in the Italian television program called Reservoir Dogs and call themselves the Hyenas, were removed from the Sochi Olympic village near the hockey arena.

Luxuria reported that they were hustled away and dumped in the countryside. Her spectator pass was also confiscated:

"I was very, very afraid this time because the first time they said, 'It's OK for the first time, don't do it again for the second time.' So, this time I was a little bit afraid," Luxuria said. "But they just left me outside, in the country, there, outside and that's it."

The International Olympic Committee is defending the actions of Sochi authorities, the AP reports:

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Tuesday that "what happened yesterday is still a little bit unclear," but said Luxuria had set out to demonstrate at the stadium.

"I know her stated aim to demonstrate in the venue and I believe after a couple of hours when she finally got to the venue I think she was escorted from there peacefully, not detained," Adams said.

He said Olympic Park and the venues are not the right place for demonstrations, and added: "We would ask anyone to make their case somewhere else."

Luxuria was wearing a rainbow outfit and shouting 'Gay is okay' in both Russian and English when she was apprehended.

According to Italian media reports, Luxuria and the two men were asked to leave the country and were to be escorted to the airport this morning at 11:30 am by the Russia Foreign Ministry.


Former Italian MP Vladimir Luxuria After Release from Sochi Jail: PHOTO

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A photo posted to the Facebook of Pio and Amedeo, a comedy duo who star in the Italian television program Reservoir Dogs, showed Vladimir Luxuria, who was detained by Sochi police yesterday for carrying a "Gay is OK" banner, after her release, with the caption, "everything is ok... good night #freeluxuria".


Former Italian MP Vladimir Luxuria Arrested in Sochi for Holding 'Gay is OK' Banner

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Vladimir Luxuria, the former Italian MP and the first transgender person to hold that office, has been arrested in Sochi after displaying a banner reading 'Gay is OK', according to Italian media reports.

Luxuria was taken into custody, according to Italian LGBT activist Irma Battaglia of the 'Gay Project', and the attitude of the agents has been "brutal and aggressive".

Luxuria tweeted a photo earlier in the day as she held a rainbow fan. She wrote: "I'm in Sochi! Greetings with the colors of the rainbow, in the face of Putin!"

UPDATE: Luxuria was released in the early hours of Monday, Reuters reports:

Luxuria said she had been protesting against a law signed by President Vladimir Putin last year banning the spread of "gay propaganda" among minors. Critics say it discriminates against gays and that it has fuelled violence against homosexuals.

"I think it is important ...(to have) the opportunity to talk internationally about these things because otherwise these things happen in Russia and nobody knows, nobody cares," Luxuria said after stepping off the stage at a gay cabaret bar in Sochi.

"They think: 'Well, it's not in our country, it's far away, it's in Russia, who cares?'"

She said she had been treated with respect while in detention but was told by the police that she could not promote pro-gay slogans in public.

The police declined immediate comment and the Russian organizers of the Games said the police had no formal record of her detention. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said: "We hope that the Games will not be used as a platform for demonstrations."

Note: Reports use differing pronouns when referring to Luxuria, who has stated in the past that she does not consider herself male nor female. The Italian foreign minister uses the pronoun 'she' which we will use here as it appears to be the predominant mode of identification in varying reports.


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