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London College Theater Head Suspended After Rant On 'Gayism,' Racism and Elton John: AUDIO

Walcott

Dr. Mark Walcott — the head of the dance and drama department in Newham College of East London — was recently suspended after a colleague secretly recorded and published Walcott's 50-minute staff-meeting rant about "gayism."

During the rant, Walcott compared gay professors to members of the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis,  saying that each hopes to indoctrinate young students into their ranks.

Here's some other highlights from his cray-cray rant:

He is heard on the recording saying: “I’ll give the name of someone I’d never have run a school: Elton John. His gayism is so liberal. 

He added later: “I don’t like him. His sexuality, his gayism is over-burdensome.”

“And gay people’s objectives is not just to have lots of gay sex but also to increase the gay community, to make the gay community more accepted…"

In another section he says: “I see nothing wrong with the Klu Klux Klan. 

“They are fighting for their country. 

“They’re fighting for their country, they’re fighting for their right. 

“They are a culture, they’ve got a creed, they’ve got a nation and other people have come from other countries have come there and changed that made it difficult for them to continue with the way they want to progress and evolve.

“So it’s out of fear if you went to Jamaica and you tried to breed out the Jamaicans…so that our people started to become afraid and our reggae music was starting to sound like rock and our Jamaican (people were) starting to look like Chinese people, we would kill people. I understand the fear.”

The college has declined comment pending an external investigation. However, they have suspended Walcott and said that they "do not support any discrimination against, or unfair treatment of, staff or learners in any context." The college recently appeared in the top 100 workplaces ranked by the UK LGBT-organization Stonewall.

However, UK-based human rights activist Peter Tatchell thinks the college has much more to answer for:

"The college says it is setting up an investigation. This is not good enough, given its past failing to address these issues. There needs to be a completely independent inquiry by an external body that has no links to the college. The accusations involve much more than a homophobic rant and collusion with homophobia. They also involve allegations of racism, nepotism and cover-up. Complaints were made against the college in 2012 and they appear to have been sat on."

You can hear Walcott's insane rant for yourself AFTER THE JUMP

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On the Queen's Lack of Pro-Gay Speech

The Guardian's Patrick Strudwick puts the kibosh on the Mail on Sunday's weekend headline that started a snowball of proclamations (here, included) that Queen Elizabeth II was coming out for gay rights:

QueengayrightsFighting for gay rights? The Queen won't even mention them. She dare not speak our name – that is, if you believe she is even referring to gay people; if you buy the newspaper's inference that "other grounds" denotes an "implicit support of gay rights".

Let us assume it does mean that, and that Stonewall's assumption is correct. How does keeping ma'am about a minority help? Jesus never mentioned homosexuality – has that dissuaded many of his followers that "love thy neighbour" does not in fact mean: "as long as his partner's not called Steve"?

No, to refrain from specification is to collude with silence, the Grand Pause that keeps lesbians and gay men invisible, suffocating in marriages of inconvenience or trapped in police cells...

...The Mail on Sunday's splash is to be applauded, given its apparent heralding of a more liberal stance for the paper, an intriguing contrast to the Daily Mail. But this charter isn't a fight for gay rights, it's a vague whisper muffled by the screams of gay people awaiting the noose.

If only the alleged intention were expressed explicitly, unequivocally. Most Commonwealth nations, injected by our colonial laws and Old Testament homophobia in the first place, need it. Desperately.

Longtime activist Peter Tatchell agrees:

TatchellShe's made no such explicit commitment and not used any such words.

Indeed, in her 61 years on the throne, the Queen has never publicly uttered the words lesbian or gay. She is a patron of hundreds of charities but none of them are gay ones. Not once has she visited or supported a gay charity.

For the last four years, I've been pressing Buckingham Palace over the Queen's failure to acknowledge the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people - and got nowhere.

Not surprisingly, the Commonwealth Charter does not include any specific rejection of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This was vetoed by the homophobic majority of member states. They blocked its inclusion.

This makes the Queen's charter signing even less of a big deal. It is certainly not the breakthrough for LGBT rights that some people are claiming.

Nevertheless, it is true that some Commonwealth Secretariat officials interpret the charter wording that rejects discrimination on 'other grounds' as including a rejection of anti-gay discrimination. It is claimed that this catch-all phrase was inserted to circumvent the objections of homophobic Commonwealth countries. Possibly.


England and Wales to Allow Gay Couples to Hold Civil Partnership Ceremonies in Churches

Gay couples will soon be allowed to hold civil partnership ceremonies in churches, in England and Wales, the BBC reports:

FeatherstoneEqualities Minister Lynne Featherstone (pictured) said no religious group would be forced to host them, but those who wished to could apply by the end of the year.

The Church of England said it has "no intention" of blessing gay couples.

Previously, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said the change was "long overdue".

The announcement was made in a written response to a consultation. Ms Featherstone, a Liberal Democrat MP, said: "The government is advancing equality for LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) people and ensuring freedom of religion for people of all faiths. "No religious group will be forced to host a civil partnership registration, but for those who wish to do so this is an important step forward."


Fireworks Already Starting in Moscow Over Banned Gay Pride as Activists Arrive to Lead it in Defiance

Last week I mentioned that Moscow officials had banned Gay Pride once again, citing security risks. Activists aren't having it. Andy Thayer, of Chicago's Gay Liberation Network, and Dan Choi have joined Russian activist Nikolai Alexeyev in Moscow for what promise to be some fireworks in defiance of the ban. Activist Louis-Georges Tim and Brit Peter Tatchell are also there. Gay Pride is scheduled for this weekend.

Alexeyev Apparently the fireworks have begun.

Pam Spaulding got a report from Choi on some TV action that went down earlier today.

Dan reports that he, along with about 20 activists from the U.S. and Europe attended Russia's version of Meet the Press. Russian LGBT rights activist, lawyer and journalist Nikolay Alexeyev debated their version of Maggie Gallagher, and the opposition (anti-gay) side was stacked with government officials and a "sexologist" demonizing LGBTs.

Choi According to Dan, the first two segments were very contentious; at the end of the second segment it became so heated that Alexeyev stormed off of the set (photo, above right, of Alexeyev after walking out) -- actually damaging part of the set -- and refused to come back for the third segment.

Instead, Alexeyev and all of the pro-LGBT attendees left the set and audience. This program aired live, so I'm sure clips will surface. Dan will have a report later; they are also planning direct action in protest of the cancellation of Pride by homophobic officials and it's likely there will be arrests.

UK Gay News is running a blog dedicated to Gay Pride in Moscow, and is keeping up with events there.

Said Alexeyev: "Next 48 hours will shape the future of Moscow Pride and LGBT community in Russia in general - and I am not joking."

Mckellen Actor Ian McKellen has also released a message in support of the activists:

“The Mayor of Moscow is a coward.Rather than face the fact that Muscovite gays and lesbians should be valued on a par with their straight peers, he panders to the right wing.  He throws them some red meat, some gays, to gnaw on.  In the 1980s, Mrs Thatcher once did the same in the United Kingdom but she was eventually defeated totally by the efforts of gay people, their families and friends, who joined together to fight injustice. I send my heart-felt support for your bravery in marching on 28 May in the land of Tchaikovsky, Diaghilev and Nureyev."

LGBT Asylum News reports:

Far-right and Orthodox Church forces are planning a counter demonstration - approved by authorities - and already held one at the site last Saturday, delayed by rain, which one of the demonstrators blamed on the [Moscow Mayor] “Sobyanin lesbians.”

“We will drive them off!” Yury Ageshchev, coordinator of the Orthodox Brotherhood of the Russian Orthodox Church told Russian newspaper Kommersant.

“True, last year we had some issues with the police and there were arrests, but this time we will not give up. It’s going to get hot,” he threatened.

The office of the police chief has said "everything is ready to prevent [the gays] marching - and arrest them."

More to come, I'm sure...


Watch: Hundreds Kiss Outside London Pub That Ejected Gay Couple

Kissin
(image the guardian)

Despite the landlord shutting his doors early because of the planned protest, hundreds held a gay kiss-in early this evening in front of the John Snow pub in London's Soho district, protesting the ejection of a gay couple for kissing.

The Guardian reports:

About 300 people attended the scheduled kiss-in, which took place despite the closure of the pub and included Bull, Williams and gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. Just after 7pm mass co-ordinated kissing took place in the street, to whoops of encouragement from a growing crowd. "It's still a victory," said Paul Shetler, a senior director at an IT firm. "They've wound up losing a night's takings because they couldn't have a bunch of men with tongues in each others' mouths."

Encouraged by a large media presence, one attendee tried to pin a rainbow flag to the doorframe of the closed pub, while others stuck flyers depicting men in various states of undress on to the windows.

The BBC posted a news report on the demonstration.

Watch it, and a very brief video of the crowd outside the pub, AFTER THE JUMP...

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East London Gay Pride March Canceled for Fears of Stirring Conflict with Muslim Community

UPDATE: The march has been canceled.

Activists are protesting the announcement of an East End Gay Pride march in London because of concerns that it could increase tension with the area's Muslim community, and because its organizer has been accused of having ties to a far-right anti-Islamist group:

Gayfreezone "The march, to be held on April 2nd, has been organised by six friends as a response to anti-gay stickers plastered around the East End. But opponents say it is an 'emotional reaction' which 'risks antagonising and scapegoating' Muslims. They have also accused organisers of having 'close links' to the English Defence League because some have Facebook friends who appear to be involved in the far-right group."

The stickers, which were plastered around East London in early February, declared the area a "gay-free zone".

OutRage activist Peter Tatchell released a statement saying the group opposed the march:

"OutRage! is not supporting East London Gay Pride, following the revelation of links between some of the organisers and the right-wing English Defence League (EDL). I have also withdrawn my personal support. We fear the march will be exploited and hijacked by the far right to create divisions and stir up intolerance against Muslim people...While defending the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex (LGBTI) people to protest against homophobia and the 'Gay Free Zone' stickers, it would be best if the march was postponed until a later date and organised by a broad-based grassroots and community coalition, untainted by associations with the EDL. Muslim organisations and speakers should be invited to participate in the rescheduled East London Pride."


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