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Canadian Councillor's Campaign Signs Vandalized, Sprayed 'Homophobe'

Jeff earle

A candidate for a seat on the city council in Brockville, Ontario, has had five election campaign posters defaced, one of them with the word “homophobe” in black spray paint, reports The Recorder. 1297620912487_ORIGINAL

Jeff Earle, a council veteran of 23 years, is convinced the “homophobe” charge stems from a vote last February preventing debate on a motion to fly the rainbow flag behind city hall during the Winter Olympics.

A unanimous vote was required to get the motion to the floor. Earle, the only councillor to oppose hearing the motion, says he blocked the vote because of a desire to keep politics out of the Olympics.

 

Earle, who says the vandalism should be treated as a hate crime, resents being tarred as a homophobe because of that vote:

“I treat it as a hate crime. For them to label that, I find it a little offensive. That vote was not about whether you support individuals.”

City police are currently investigating.

In June, Ontario elected its first female and lesbian premier Kathleen Wynne.

[sign photo via Ronald Zajac/The Recorder and Times]


Documentary 'To Russia With Love' Looks at LGBT Rights In Russia In The Lead Up To Sochi Olympics: VIDEO

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To Russia With Love, a new documentary from EPIX narrated by Jane Lynch, takes a closer look at what life is like for LGBT people in Russia and at the convergence of sports, human rights and activism that took place during the Sochi Olympics earlier this year. As the film's synopsis notes, "LGBT athletes and activists [had to] choose whether to risk their own safety by speaking out against Russia's anti-gay laws." The doc follows out figure skater and commentator Johnny Weir and official US Olympic delegate Billie Jean King as they come to Sochi and meet a 17-year-old gay Russian named Vlad who details the tragic truths of the hardships faced by LGBT people in one of the world's most virulently anti-gay nations. The film also features Jason Collins, Stephen Fry, Greg Louganis, Blake Skjellerup and Mark Tewksbury.

Watch young Vlad talk about his experience of Russia's hatred for the LGBT community, along with his meeting Weir and King along with a trailer for the documentary, AFTER THE JUMP...

The documentary will debut on EPIX on October 29 at 8 PM. 

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IOC Adds Anti-Discrimination Clause to Olympic Host City Contract

RussiaFollowing the international backlash against the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) handling of the human rights crisis in Russia specifically as it pertained to the nation's hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympiad in Sochi, the IOC announced today it would add a new non-discrimination clause to its host city contract that would uphold Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter which states, "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement."

From LGBT activist group All Out: 

Rings“This is a significant step in ensuring the protection of both citizens and athletes around the world and sends a clear message to future host cities that human rights violations, including those against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, will not be tolerated,” said Andre Banks, co-founder and executive director of All Out...

According to IOC Sports Director, Christopher Dubi, the new clause will include “the prohibition of any form of discrimination, using the wording of Fundamental Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter." This clause will ensure that future host cities must abide by international human rights standards in order to host the games, including the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and athletes...

In a letter from [omitted] Dubi, the IOC stated that the changes to the host city contract “are the result of the experience gained by the IOC in previous editions of the Olympic Games." He explained that the changes are aimed at “addressing certain potential concerns for candidate cities and future host cities, in the spirit of good faith and cooperation, and taking into consideration certain comments made by the candidate cities.“


Tom Daley Dressed Up, Stripped Down for 2015: VIDEO

Daley

Tom Daley offered viewers of his YouTube channel a preview of his 2015 calendar today and most folks will be looking forward to whatever month he's previewing above.

The British Olympian diver also recently shared some clips of a recent trip to Los Angeles in which he's seen frolicking along Hollywood Boulevard and playing in a friend's pool with his GoPro - though there's no Dustin Lance Black to be found in either of them.

Check them out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ian Thorpe Comes Out: 'I'm Not Straight' — VIDEO

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As anticipated, Australian Olympian swimmer Ian Thorpe told Michael Parkinson "I'm not straight" in an interview broadcast last night on Australia's 'ten' network.

Said Thorpe:

"I've thought about this for a long time. I'm not straight. Um, and this is only something that only very recently - we're talking in the last two weeks - I've felt comfortable telling the closest people around me. Exactly that."

Watch the interview clip and a news clip of Australian reaction, AFTER THE JUMP...

Thorpe added more to his statement, The Guardian reports:

"I'm comfortable saying I'm a gay man," Thorpe said. "And I don't want people to feel the same way I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay."

As Thorpe spoke – and his name trended on Twitter – the comments from the Australian public were overwhelmingly supportive. The gay community and the sporting world welcomed his decision and said it would help young gay people and gay athletes to feel supported.

"I was concerned about the reaction from my family, my friends," Thorpe said. "I'm pleased to say that in telling them, and especially my parents, they told me that they love me and they support me. And for young people out there, know that that's usually what the answer is."

Read the full interview transcript HERE.

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Australian Olympian Swimmer Ian Thorpe Comes Out as Gay

Thorpe

Australian Olympian swimmer Ian Thorpe comes out of the closet in an interview airing tonight on Australian TV, the Daily Telegraph reports:

After years of personal struggle, Olympic hero Ian Thorpe has bravely revealed he is gay.

The 31-year-old confirms his sexuality for the first time Sunday in an exclusive interview on Channel 10, telling all to veteran British interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson.

It’s understood the interview, which Parkinson has described as one of the best he has ever conducted, includes a full admission from Thorpe that he is gay despite having dated women in the past.

In the emotional sit-down shot last month, Thorpe also details the years of depression he has battled while denying his sexuality from the world. Part of that concealment included his own autobiography This Is Me, published in 2012, in which Thorpe wrote that he found questions about his sexuality hurtful.

Thorpe's sexual orientation has been the focus of the media for more than a decade, since the 2000 Olympics. Staying in the closet in the public eye for so long has to be incredibly damaging. Hopefully he's found some peace.

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