LEbanon Hub




Lebanon: Gay Oasis in the Middle East?

Beirut

For those of you who have been to both, is Beirut "the Provincetown of the Middle East" as the NYT proclaims?

"While homosexual activity (technically, sexual relations that officials deem “unnatural”) is illegal in Lebanon, as in most of the Arab world, Beirut’s vitality as a Mediterranean capital of night life has fueled a flourishing gay scene — albeit one where men can be nervous about public displays of affection and where security guards at clubs can intercede if the good times turn too frisky on the dance floor. But even more than the partying, Beirut represents a different Middle East for some gay and lesbian Arabs: the only place in the region where they can openly enjoy a social life denied them at home."

In February, a series of gay rights rallies, the first-ever in Lebanon, began in Beirut. Watch footage from them, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lebanon: Gay Oasis in the Middle East?" »


News: Centipede, T.R. Knight, Bears, Anthony Woods, Romania

RoadFire Island swim to benefit NYC's Stonewall foundation: open water swim from Sayville to Fire Island Pines.

Trknight RoadT.R. Knight discusses why he left Grey's Anatomy: "My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about my character George]."

RoadA Centipede may get custody of Michael Jackson's children.

RoadAnalysis and clips from Obama's primetime health care press conference.

RoadIt's A Bear's Life: magazine makes move to web TV.

RoadFort Worth police officer in Rainbow Lounge raid's troubled past: "Ricks was disciplined on multiple occasions in 2006, including following his arrest for punching a bus driver in New Braunfels. The assault charge in that case was later dropped, but the incident raised serious concerns among Ricks' supervisors."

RoadLifetime to run All-Star challenge featuring eight former designers in conjunction with debut of new season of Project Runway. Here's who's participating.

RoadYouTube removes musician Calvin Harris' own video from his YouTube page over copyright infringement.

RoadSan Jose, California's Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center in danger of closing, needs $50,000.

Anthonywoods RoadGay Iraq war veteran Anthony Woods, who is running for Ellen Tauscher's seat in Congress, gets an endorsement form HRC and The Victory Fund: "Woods, who is openly gay, was awarded the Bronze Star for his two tours in Iraq before being discharged from the Army because of his sexual orientation.  He graduated from West Point and earned his masters degree at Harvard University."

RoadMayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, NJ and a state assemblyman arrested in broad corruption and international money-laundering probe.

RoadDC resident organizes fundraisers in support of Helem, a non-profit LGBT organization in Lebanon that is aiding LGBT Iraqi refugees.

RoadThe Australian Senate is doing an inquiry into marriage equality and want submissions from people affected by it.

RoadHong Kong hotel launches all-male floor.

Robertson RoadPat Robertson on the Episcopal Church: "They have lost their way. They were taken over by this controversy having to do with same-sex marriage and the ordination of homosexual bishops. Once they got into that morass and lost their way from scriptural teaching, they didn't have much denomination left... And there will be no tears in my life if the Episcopal Church of America just quietly goes out of business."

RoadTwilighters arrive at Comic-Con.

RoadSamuel M. Steward, remembered.

RoadRomania bans same-sex marriage. U.S. anti-gay group Alliance Defense Fund claims influence: "Alliance Defense Fund played a prominent role in assisting supporters in the Romanian parliament. 'Through Peter Costea, who is one of our allied attorneys and the head of Alliance for Romanian Families, who's been doing excellent work in Romania, got these provisions enacted in the law,' Kiska points out, 'and we're just happy to see in Europe these types of protections being afforded to marriage.' Kiska concludes that Romania has a strong history of supporting traditional marriage, as do most European nations. Romania's new civil code will take effect January 1, 2010.


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.

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 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.'"

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 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.


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