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Beirut, Lebanon Gay Rights Activists Hold New Rally

 The second major rally in four months has been held by a gay and lesbian activist group in Lebanon, Calcutta News reports:

Beirut "Gay men and women in Lebanon have taken to the streets in a brave effort to show the rainbow flag.  Protesters on Sunday carried banners and unfurled flags at a sit-in for gays and lesbians in Beirut.  The region's only overt gay rights organisation, Helem, which is based in Lebanon, is preparing for a campaign to overturn the law that makes homosexuality illegal. Helem has been responsible for organising the only overt gay rights protests ever to be held in the Arab world. In February, nearly two dozen gays and lesbians waved rainbow flags in a downtown Beirut square, carrying banners demanding homosexual rights.  They were protesting what they said was the beating of two gay men by police.  Helem is now set to challenge Lebanon's Article 534, which prohibits sexual relations that 'contradict the laws of nature.' The region has seen a recent spike in killings of homosexuals, blamed by some on the influence of Islamic extremists."

The AP looks at the gay rights struggle in Lebanon.

The screencap above is from a clip of February's protest, which you can view, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Beirut, Lebanon Gay Rights Activists Hold New Rally" »

News: Frank Kameny, North Dakota, Tom Brady, Playboy, Tony Dungy

 roadIn 1971 pioneering gay rights activist received a letter condemning homosexuality as "sexual perversion" from the White House Office of Personnel Management after protesting the firing of a gay employee there. Last week, Kameny was invited to the swearing in of John Berry, the openly gay man recently confirmed to head that office. How times have changed.

Trendy  roadAretha Franklin thought she had the biggest bow hat of the year.

 roadGay man appointed interim ambassador to India: "Peter Burleigh, a seasoned foreign service officer with deep expertise in South Asian affairs, will serve as America’s top diplomat in India until a permanent ambassador is named."

 roadSan Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom makes swing through South Florida, addresses LGBT community at Miami Beach's Halo Lounge.

 roadIn an unusual defeat, Madonna returns to London.

 roadNorth Dakota House rejects legislation (54-34) banning discrimination in housing, employment and credit based on a person's sexual orientation: "Rep. Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, one of the six sponsors of the bill, noted that 20 other states already have laws barring discrimination against gays and lesbians. In those places, he said, the laws do not grant special rights, privileges or legal immunity for sexual deviants, as some bill opponents have claimed would happen here. 'There is not a person in this chamber that is not related to or friends with someone that would be affected by Senate Bill 2278,' he said. 'That means people we know and love may be evicted, denied services or terminated because they are gay, straight, bisexual or transgendered with no regard or consideration of merit.'"

 roadAshton Kutcher spends more time running around shirtless for his new movie.

Pizza  roadHere comes the gayborhood: Pizza parlor emerges as gay bar in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

 roadHelp: Censorship in focus in Lebanon as a film is banned just days before scheduled release. "In Lebanon, a censoring body of security officers influenced by the Muslim and Christian clergies continues to review all plays and films before they are shown, cutting all scenes that might 'offend public morals.' Although the contentious sex scenes in 'Help' are far from explicit, the film features a threesome of a woman and two men. That may explain the controversy: Homosexual acts are illegal in Lebanon."

 roadNPR on Tony Dungy's invitation to join Obama's advisory council for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Playboy  roadFormer Playboy fashion director Joseph DeAcetis sues magazine: "In a $4 million Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit, Joseph DeAcetis (pictured), 45, says his boss often 'made fun' of him because he was gay and his hair was gray. The suit says editorial director Christopher Napolitano called him and other gay men 'girls.' A Playboy Enterprises spokeswoman, Elizabeth Austin, said the company 'takes these allegations very seriously' and was conducting its 'own investigation.'"

 roadShotgun wedding: Paparazzi fired upon at Tom Brady-Gisele Bundchen nuptials in Costa Rica.

 roadIntegral ice bridge holding Antarctic shelf in place collapses...

 roadJimmy Carter's former Secretary of the Army, Clifford Alexander slams "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and Elaine Donnelly's crusade against its repeal: "Alexander called the officers' statement 'nonsense' and said the officers were 'like lemmings to the sea' and "those who would sign a petition like this without evidence are acting without facts."

 road100 attend same-sex marriage rally at Drew University in New Jersey.

 roadSan Francisco activists to protest executions of gay men in Iraq at 5 pm today, Harvey Milk Plaza.

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #442

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS: Brings a bit of magic to Ellen.

DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL: Rachel Maddow on the reintroduction of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act.

MORRISSEY: Talks to Russell Brand about his Years of Refusal.

LEBANON: Holds its first gay rights protest. (via queerty)

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

News: Oprah, Lebanon, Bruno, Guatemala, Boy George, Cheney

road.jpg SPOUSES ONLY: Lesbian couple stopped, questioned while shopping at consignment store. "They started an online protest, and now the organizers of the biannual Kids Exchange sales say they will change a decade-old policy."

Cheneyroad.jpg Veil lifted on Cheney's former evil lair.

road.jpg Jeremy Piven throws tantrum at photo shoot, rips off shirt: "This isn’t my first time on the merry-go-round. You want mediocre? I can give you mediocre."

road.jpg Gay men beaten by Lebanese Army after they were discovered “engaged in lovemaking, in the lobby of an uninhabited building.”

road.jpg Police seek two in Minneapolis for hate crime beating of lesbian: "According to police, Kristen Boyne, 32, was walking to the Rainbow Foods grocery store at 11 p.m. Thursday when she was accosted by two men at Lake Street and Dupont Avenue. Sgt. William Palmer said the men beat her until she lost consciousness. Boyne, who told police she is a lesbian, suffered head injuries and was taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center, where she was treated and later released."

road.jpg Carol Adair, spouse of U.S. poet laureate Kay Ryan, dies of cancer.

road.jpg Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich considered Oprah for Senate seat.

Jakeroad.jpg The Prince of Persia's mane is shorn.

road.jpg Sacha Baron-Cohen's Bruno pic pushed to July.

road.jpg REPORT: At least 20,000 same-sex couples raising children in Israel.

road.jpg GUATEMALA: HIV prevention non-governmental agency OASIS direcctor Jose Lopez charged in attack on transgender woman? Blabbeando: "The charges...seem ludicrous considering his long-standing efforts as an advocate for transgender folk. At least one human rights organization is calling for an international response demanding an impartial review of the charges brought against him...In a news brief, La Hora reports that the Guatemalan Public Ministry released an arrest warrant against López for 'his alleged participation in the attack against a transgender on July 4th in Zone 1.' According to Telediaro 3, the Public Ministry alleges that López was among a group of people who beat up a transgender woman so badly that her arms almost had to be amputated. López says it's a government vendetta: All three papers report that López surrendered yesterday and defended himself before the media as he made his way into the courthouse."

Georgeodowdroad.jpg Boy George moved from prison cell for being too popular: "Inmates lined up for his autograph and guards were caught being "too kind" by bumming him cigarettes. Boy George
had his own personal guard because his cell was a hotbed for starry-eyed murders and rapists wanting to hang with the former Culture Club singer. 'It's ironic that he was worried about getting beaten up in Pentonville but all that happened was people showered him with so much attention and kindness that they had to move him anyway,' a prison source said."

road.jpg Top Dems support investigations of torture and criminal acts by Bush.

road.jpg Simon Baker from behind (nsfw).

road.jpg Gay author Steven Gaines smacks down South Beach: "I didn't feel old in the Hamptons. But on South Beach, it seems everybody is 21. Everybody wanted to have dinner at 10. And I'm no stranger to drugs. I'm a gay man who grew up in New York City. But I never saw people so dependent on drugs as part of the culture."

road.jpg Congrats to Josh Helmin, TowleroadTV correspondent and one half of Josh & Josh are Rich and Famous, who just had his first fiction piece published in the collection Fool for Love.

News: Ian Somerhalder, Frog, Marcel Marceau, Todd Oldham

road.jpg Deaths: Legendary mime Marcel Marceau dies at 84. Stage actress and Bewitched star Alice Ghostley dies at 81.

Transparentfrogroad.jpg Scientists develop see-through frog.

road.jpg Fort Lauderdale debate over gay rights and Mayor Jim Naugle dividing South Florida's black community: "Despite the support that many black ministers showed for Naugle, the local NAACP took a public stand against the mayor, calling his crusade a 'hate campaign.'...'I'm not here to condone or condemn gay sex,' Marsha Ellison, head of the Broward NAACP, told The Miami Herald. 'This is a hate campaign against gays launched by the mayor.' She said the branch's position -- adopted after a unanimous vote of its 22-member executive committee as well as branch members -- echoes the national NAACP's position. 'Anytime any group is discriminated against it becomes a civil rights issue,' she said."

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road.jpg Your chance to have dinner and drinks with Michael Biserta, the New York firefighter renowned for his big hose.

road.jpg Suburban Chicago teenage girl sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to write letters of apology for distributing anti-gay fliers with a friend outside Crystal Lake South High School: "Police arrested the two girls May 11 after they had distributed about 40 fliers in a student parking lot at the high school, 1200 S. McHenry Ave. The fliers had a photograph of two male students kissing and included inflammatory words."

road.jpg Todd Oldham named creative director at Old Navy.

Detainedroad.jpg Israeli man detained in Lebanon on suspicions of murder and espionage tells authorities he is gay: "The events leading to Sharon's arrest last Thursday began when authorities in Beirut questioned a Lebanese security agent in connection with the shooting death of the man's roommate, according to a report in the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar. The agent claimed to have been with a German friend at a Beirut hotel at the time of the killing. When authorities questioned the German friend, they discovered he was an Israeli who spoke Arabic and who had repeatedly visited Lebanon, the report said. Sharon denied allegations he was spying for Israel, the reports said. He told police he visited Lebanon for tourism and that he was a homosexual who had relationships with Lebanese men, according to the reports."

Somerhalderroad.jpg Former model Ian Somerhalder returns to the runway.

road.jpg PlanetOut seeks entries for short film awards: "Winners will be announced in January 2008 at PlanetOut's annual event during the Sundance Film Festival, and the Grand Prize Winner and four runners-up will be screened at a special ceremony and program in Miami as part of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival on Sunday, April 27, 2008. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize and will be exhibited on and, along with the runners up, who will each receive cash prizes ranging from $1,500 to $500...Judges will consist of film and TV executives from companies such as Bravo, Logo, and Sony Pictures Classics, and representatives from PlanetOut Inc. and MGLFF."

road.jpg Rufus Wainwright wraps up his Judy tour with performance at the Hollywood Bowl: "The most striking costume change of all came during the encore's first song, 'Get Happy,' when Rufus pranced out in full Judy drag: fedora, diamond earrings, red lipstick, double-breasted tuxedo jacket, seamed black stockings, and high heels. The audience subsequently went crazy."

News: Amy Sedaris, Iraq Filibuster, Val Kilmer, Spice Girl Fakes

road.jpg Campaign filings show that embattled actor Isaiah Washington contributed $2,300 to the presidential campaign of Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

Fakespiceroad.jpg Fake Spice: When the Spice Girls reunite this Christmas, so will their impostors.

road.jpg The South Pacific Games are coming up next month and a controversial memo sent out by Team Samoa banning gay sex during the games and asking athletes "not to embarrass themselves" because homosexual activities are against the law of God was a mistake, says Samoa National Olympic Committee president and organising committee chairman, Tapasu Leung Wai: "[Wai] has ordered that the rules be changed. Mr Leung Wai told Radio Australia Sport's Tanya O'Shea the instructions were a draft, were not endorsed by the SASANOC and should not have been released to the press. 'I regret that it appeared that gay people were being singled out in the draft instructions,' he said. 'Team managers agreed yesterday that the reference be deleted.'"

road.jpg AfterElton looks at Chuck Panozzo, Rob Halford, Doug Pinnick, Michael Stipe, Morrissey, Bob Mould, Joe Jackson, Neil Tennant, and other musicians who straddle the closet.

road.jpg Made in Brazil has coverage of the tragic plane crash in Brazil. At least 200 confirmed dead.

road.jpg Think Progress liveblogged the Iraq filibuster last night.

road.jpg Is Val Kilmer bulking up for a movie role, or just plain hungry?

Naroad.jpg Finding a home after leaving home, gay Native Americans reclaim tradition in New York City: "Mr. Pruden and Mr. VanWanseele are regulars at the meetings of a group called the NorthEast Two-Spirit Society, which are usually held at the American Indian Community House in Lower Manhattan or at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in Greenwich Village. The name of the Two-Spirit Society is meant to convey the idea that a gay Indian has both masculine and feminine qualities along with traditional cultural values, Mr. VanWanseele said. The group has only about 15 members, but it works to raise enough money to pay for community outreach projects and cultural offerings, like classes focusing on traditional American Indian dance. The group also maintains a Web site,, that has recorded more than 60,000 hits since 2005, Mr. VanWanseele said."

road.jpg Britain's version of Wife Swap planning to switch a lesbian mom with a homophobic farmer: "The farmer is very prejudiced, and initially he’s horrified living with the lesbian. His wife is none too happy either. But it’s interesting to see what happens . . . it’s not what you’d expect."

Jerri_blankroad.jpg Strangers with Candy's Jerri Blank may come to Springfield for the 500th episode of The Simpsons.

road.jpg Rose's Turn, a piano bar that has been open in Greenwich Village for 17 years, will shut its doors on Sunday. Owner: It's time to move on. There just isn't much demand for this type of establishment anymore."

road.jpg NPR looks at the thriving gay community in Lebanon.

road.jpg Family of South Carolina gay bashing murder victim Sean William Kennedy presents plaque and thanks the nurses who comforted them. Mother: "When I was about ready to collapse at his bedside they were right by me. There were tears that we shed together. The kindness and compassion and love that the nurses and staff showed us was greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten. I will never forget them for that."


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