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Documentary 'Golf Alpha Yankee' Exposes Extreme Anti-Gay Laws In Iran: WATCH

Golf alpha yankee

The documentary Golf Alpha Yankee exposes extremely harsh anti-gay laws in Iran.

Homosexuality in Iran is legally punishable with imprisonment, torture and execution.

Golf Alpha Yankee "provides an intimate immersion into the world of LGBT people from Iran, who were forced to flee their home country, and are now waiting in limbo in conservative Turkey as asylum seekers with the United Nations. They hope to receive resettlement in the west, where they may one day be free to love without penalty."

A Kickstarter campaign has been set up to fund the post-production costs of the documentary

Watch the trailer for Golf Alpha Yankee, AFTER THE JUMP...

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News: Russia, Aurora Borealis, Gay Pride In The Muslim World, Gay Marriage

RoadRussia's anti-gay law one year out: "Only a few people were fined throughout the year and this might not seem to be much of a problem," Lokshina said. "But the fines are not what this law is about. This law is not only contrary to Russia's international obligations but has also contributed to anti-gay violence and to creating a hostile environment for LGBT people in the country. It has contributed to stigmatizing LGBT individuals as unnatural, perverse and as acceptable targets."

Space RoadAmazing vine of aurora borealis from space

RoadMisterbnb: an Airbnb for gay men

RoadInstagram removes pictures of gay newlyweds kissing then restores it, apologizing for the error. 

Road'Community' makes move to Yahoo! for sixth season.

RoadIstanbul, Turkey saw strong turnout at its LGBT Pride celebration over the weekend, making it perhaps the biggest such event in a predominantly Muslim country. 

RoadRobin Williams enters rehab to help maintain sobriety.

RoadMeanwhile, Shia LaBeouf reportedly has entered rehab for other reasons

RoadKevin Kline plays Errol Flynn in 'The Last of Robin Hood.'

RoadMichael Egan, who brought suit against Bryan Singer and three Hollywood execs alleging sexual abuse, dropped his suit against Broadway producer Gary Goddard.  

RoadCreate your own gay marriage ruling

RoadDaniel Radcliffe and golden retriever make cute couple

RoadWhitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina lashes out at Angela Bassett for not casting her to play her mother in Lifetime biopic that marks Bassett's directorial debut. 

Glas RoadBradley Cooper and Michael Fassbender hang out at Glastonbury Music Festival.

RoadTaschen publishes (work unfriendly) book "My Buddy" chronicling close, often homo-erotic relations between soldiers in World War II.

RoadJoan Rivers officiates surprise gay wedding at book signing

RoadJustin Bieber up to his shirtless selfie antics again.

RoadSwedish soccer coach Pia Sundhage talks about being out in sports: "If I’m gay is of no interest because I’m a coach and my private life doesn’t matter," she says. "If people ask me about it, I answer 'Yes I’m gay' and that’s how it is. I’ve never come across any trouble for it as a coach in the United States or anywhere. It was tough when I was twenty-years-old in Sweden, but even then I didn’t care. This is me. Take it or leave it."


Turkish Police Force 'Weeded Out' Gay Officer

Turkish PoliceIn 2009 in Istanbul, security forces raided the home of a police officer responding to a tip that he was in possession of illegal pornography. None was uncovered, but some evidence was found that suggested that the officer was gay.

After the resulting internal investigation, he was fired from his job for “[Committing] disgraceful and shameful acts that conflict with the quality of a public servant.” The officer filed suit to be returned to his duties, and his case went through several appeals over the years The 8th Administrative Court in Istanbul dismissed the case, but a judge for the Council of State determined his behavior fell within the scope of private life, which is protected by the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. 

However, the 12th Chamber of Council of State unanimously ruled to decline the officer’s request for a stay of execution to stop his dismissal. The Interior Ministry, who fired the officer, wrote an opinion letter on the matter still standing by their original action, stating (bolding mine): 

There is no doubt that practicising [sic] public duty through civil servants who have lost the required reputation would shake the individuals’ trust in the administration and lead to undesirable developments in the relationship between people and the administration. The law takes precautions to prevent such a danger and stipulates the weeding out of these kinds of public servants from the administrative organs through their dismissal.


Turkey Plans to Segregate Gay Inmates, Angering Rights Groups

LGBT rights groups in Turkey are alarmed at government plans to create separate prisons for inmates who declare themselves gay, AFP reports:

TurkeyJustice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced at the weekend that plans were underway to construct separate prisons for openly gay inmates in a bid to "protect convicts" with different sexual orientations.

"Convicts who stated that they are gay will not mix with other convicts in the communal area or during social activities in the new prison facilities," Bozdag said in a written answer to a parliamentary question.

Rights groups say it will lead to profiling:

"This is a medieval-age practice. This kind of segregation is nothing but a punishment" said Murat Koylu, a spokesman for the Ankara-based gay rights group Kaos GL.

"Instead of creating public areas where people from all sexual orientations can live together, the government has once again chosen to ostracise homosexuals," he said.

"This will lead to the profiling of gay prisoners, as well as their families and the prison itself. How will the government be able to protect those prisoners who are not openly gay?"

The ministry counts a total of 79 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) prisoners in Turkey -- but the number is thought to be much higher since most homosexuals hide their sexual identities while imprisoned.


Turkey Bans Twitter: Here's Why

Turkey

BY JACOB RESNECK / GlobalPost

It's hard not to see this as having to do with the audio files Twitter users are passing around involving the prime minister and a corruption investigation.

ErdoganISTANBUL — Turkey has blocked Twitter hours after the prime minister vowed he’d “eradicate” the popular social media site.

A controversial new internet law passed last month allows the country’s telecommunications authority to order content removed within hours without a court order.

On Thursday night, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed Twitter wasn’t complying with the new law, and told a rally of thousands that he’d bring the site down.

The press advisory of the Prime Ministry later in the night clarified Erdogan's statement, arguing that Twitter officials currently "ignore" some court rulings in Turkey, which order the social media platform to "remove some links" as per the complaints filed by Turkish citizens.

"[In Erdogan's speech] it is stated that as long as Twitter fails to change its attitude of ignoring court rulings and not doing what is necessary according to the law, technically, there might be no remedy but to block access in order to relieve our citizens," the statement said.

Reaction to the move — which came around midnight Friday local time — was swift. Major newspapers posted instructions offering simple technical workarounds to access the site.

“This is certainly a step backwards in terms of openness, transparency and the democratization process of Turkey,” said Yaman Akdeniz, a law professor at Bilgi University in Istanbul. “Restrictions on political speech and discourse of this scale is unacceptable in any country including in Turkey.”

Twitter representatives confirmed reports that the site had been disrupted.

“We're looking into this now,” said Twitter spokesman Nu Wexler. The company’s official account offered Turkish cell phone subscribers ways to send tweets via text message.

The cause of the ban is most certainly political as Turkey prepares for March 30 local elections, seen as a key test of power for the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party, now in its 11th year of rule.

Anonymous users have been posting links to YouTube of audio recordings purporting to be wiretaps that expose rampant corruption within Erdogan's inner circle.

This follows a corruption scandal that erupted Dec. 17 that implicated three cabinet ministers as well as businessmen with close ties to the prime minister’s closest associates.

The government has responded to the accusations with mass purges of the police and judiciary as well as by ordering evidence destroyed. Erdogan has said the accusations are part of a plot hatched by a former ideological ally, Fethullah Gulen — a Pennsylvania-based Islamic cleric — whom he accuses of conspiring to bring down his government.

Twitter“It was just a matter of moment for Prime Minister Erdogan and his men to decide to ban Twitter,” said Erkan Saka, an outspoken blogger and communications lecturer at Bilgi University in Istanbul. “Twitter remains the main channel for freedom of expression and dissemination of corruption file leaks.” 

Cyber law experts say the ban on Twitter is reminiscent of the YouTube ban that lasted for 18 months from 2008-2010.

“Certainly this is politically motivated just prior to the local elections,” Akdeniz said. “I suspect the decisions were issued prior to the PM's speech but they were only executed subsequent to his speech.”

Some of the alleged leaked wiretaps appeared to record Erdogan himself instructing media companies to censor coverage of last spring’s Gezi Park protests. Such censorship — during the protests CNN Türk famously showed a documentary on penguins in Antarctica in place of the news — is another reason why Twitter has been an important tool for Turkish citizens to share information, unrestricted, in real time. Several media companies during Erdogan’s tenure as prime minister have been fined or taken over by companies close to the government.

The recently passed internet law was panned by press freedom groups, including the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, which warned it would have a chilling effect on free speech. The Turkish government claimed that the law was meant to protect children and the privacy of individuals.

Right now, the warnings from CPJ and other press freedom groups are looking prescient.

“CPJ urges the Turkish government to immediately unblock Twitter, and to respect the press freedom and free expression rights of its citizens,” said Geoffrey King, the group's internet advocacy coordinator, late Thursday.


Thanksgiving PSA - Turkeys Are Badass: VIDEO

Badass turkeys

As you and your family prepare to carve into a 20lb bird this Thanksgiving, Buzzfeed wants you to remember that turkeys are badasses.

In a short video presentation they will inform you of interesting facts like that t-rexes and velociraptors also have wishbones, the bird is known as the "fire chicken" in China, and that wild turkeys can fly up to 55 miles per hour.

You can watch the video and learn all about the awesomeness of Benjamin Franklin's favorite bird AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Thanksgiving PSA - Turkeys Are Badass: VIDEO" »


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