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UK Government Urged to Pardon the 49,000 Men and Women Who Were Persecuted Under Anti-gay Laws

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Spurred to action in response to the public's newfound awareness of gay World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, actors and activists are now calling on the British government to pardon the tens of thousands of other British citizens who were persecuted under draconian anti-gay laws of the past. 

In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Turing, who committed suicide after being convicted of "gross indecency" for being gay.

Following a screening of The Imitation Game in London Wednesday, actor Stephen Fry said the pardon was only the start of what should be done to honor Turing. 

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

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"Should Alan Turing have been pardoned just because he was a genius," Fry asked, "when somewhere between 50 to 70 thousand other men were imprisoned, chemically castrated, had their lives ruined or indeed committed suicide because of the laws under which Turing suffered? There is a general feeling that perhaps if he should be pardoned, then perhaps so should all of those men, whose names were ruined in their lifetime, but who still have families." He continued, "It was a nasty, malicious and horrific law and one that allowed so much blackmail and so much misery and so much distress. Turing stands as a figure symbolic to his own age in the way that Oscar Wilde was, who suffered under a more but similar one."

[Benedict] Cumberbatch, meanwhile, emailed THR from the set of the next Sherlock series to offer his full and enthusiastic agreement with Fry's idea. "Alan Turing was not only prosecuted, but quite arguably persuaded to end his own life early, by a society who called him a criminal for simply seeking out the love he deserved, as all human beings do. 60 years later, that same government claimed to ‘forgive’ him by pardoning him. I find this deplorable, because Turing’s actions did not warrant forgiveness — theirs did — and the 49,000 other prosecuted men deserve the same."

HRC president Chad Griffin ran an ad in Friday's New York Times on the campaign to pardon the other 49,000 persecuted gay men and women. You can check out the full ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

There's also a Change.org petition underway for the campaign HERE

Continue reading "UK Government Urged to Pardon the 49,000 Men and Women Who Were Persecuted Under Anti-gay Laws" »


McDonald's Suspends Security Guard After He Tells Gay Men To Stop Kissing in UK Restaurant

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A security guard at a McDonald's in Leicester, England has been suspended after telling two gay man to stop kissing, claiming that the couple would make "people feel uneasy." One of the men, Matthew Dummigan (above), says he felt “insulted” and “belittled” and claims that the kiss he shared with his companion "wasn't even a proper kiss, it was a peck."

Dummigan asked the guard if his "no kissing" rule also applied to straight people. Apparently it didn't. The Leicester Mercury reports:

The 23-year-old said he then asked if it would be "acceptable" if his friend had been female – to which the doorman replied "yes". “He said it was making people feel uneasy.

“It was really upsetting for me.” Matthew, of Leicester city centre, was with four friends at the time. “I tried to confront him about it,” said Matthew. “I told him his attitude wasn’t right. I was really angry and upset.

 “Gay people can get married and divorced, yet they get told off for showing a bit of affection - his attitude was so outdated. One of my friends stuck up for us and he got chucked out,” he added.

The burger chain has suspended the security guard while they investigate and have apologized to Dummigan:

“We are very sorry for Mr Dummigan’s experience when visiting our restaurant. We have taken this complaint very seriously and are conducting a thorough internal investigation and while this is happening have suspended the security guard in question. Our customer care team is in touch with Mr Dummigan.”

The head of the Leicester LGBT Centre has issued a response saying that he's “disgusted but not surprised” about the incident. He added: “Things like this demonstrate that we are nowhere near where we should be when it comes to equality. We are around 25 to 30 years behind."


Scotland Hosts UK's First Pagan Same-Sex Wedding

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The first pagan same-sex wedding in the United Kingdom took place in Edinburgh, Scotland last Sunday, reports LGBTQ Nation.

Scotland pagan weddingTom Lanting and Iain Robertson (both aged 34) have been together for 12 years. Both are Hedge Witches.

They were married in the 16th century cellars of Marlin’s Wynd (right) in Edinburgh's historic Old Town by Pagan Federation (Scotland) Presiding Officer Louise Park.

The ceremony included a number of Pagan traditions: casting a circle; invoking the elements of earth, air, water, fire and spirit; sharing a quaich of mead; handfasting; and jumping the broom.

The Pagan Federation - the largest umbrella group supporting the Pagan community in Scotland - has legally solemnized hundreds of same-sex marriages since 2005.


Stephen Fry's Marriage To Elliot Spencer Draws Homophobic Backlash Over Age Gap

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Last week Stephen Fry, a 57 year old British comedian and television personality, married Elliot Spencer, a fellow comedian known for being 30 years Fry's junior. From the jump neither Fry nor Spencer made much of an effort to conceal the nature of their relationship from the public, and the pair quickly made headlines for their significant age gap.

“This was the week celebrities and politicians from all over the free world linked arms in defence of a Paris magazine’s right to give gratuitous offence to Muslims,” wrote Tom Utley for The Daily Mail. “OK, nobody is going to shoot me. But how many of them, I wonder, would show the same solidarity with a paper that showed similar disrespect for Mr Fry’s nuptial arrangements?”

In Utley’s piece, he openly admits to having reservations about Fry and Spencer’s relationship. Primary among his concerns is the couple’s significant age differential, and the implicit disparity between the men in terms of their ability to make long-lasting decisions involving their romantic lives.

To their credit, Fry’s account of his newlywed status to Spencer is anything but difficult. The couple have purportedly received the blessings of the Clooneys, J.K Rowling, and David Cameron. As Utley’s piece goes on, however, the more homophobic elements of his argument begin to surface.

“I entreat you not to misunderstand me, “ he begins. “It would break my heart if any son of mine felt I was such a bigot that he couldn’t tell me he was gay, or thought that I’d love him any the less for it. I’d also like it on record that I came round long ago to civil partnerships, and I’m a little ashamed of my initial opposition to them.”

“But as I understand marriage, it’s an institution for child-rearing and mutual support between the sexes, which means the real thing can only be between a man and a woman….I strongly suspect, too, that some of my other objections to the Fry-Spencer match will have occurred to many, if not most, parents of 27-year-olds.”


'Cucumber' Star Freddie Fox Won't Say If He's Gay or Straight: 'Some Time in My Life I Might Fall in Love with a Man'

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Actor Freddie Fox, the star of Russell T. Davies' upcoming gay drama Cucumber, was reluctant to define his sexuality in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, saying "I’ve had girlfriends, but I wouldn’t wish to say ’I am this or I am that’, because at some time in my life I might fall in love with a man."

Freddie  fox“I hope that I am the type of person who would fall in love with another person, as opposed to a sex. Most of my life to date has been as a straight man, but who knows what will happen next?

“It sounds evasive, but I don’t think you can necessarily say you’re one thing or another until you’re 100 years old and you’ve done it all.”

Fox, 25, who said he has played a host of character on screen for which “sexuality is the watchword”, added there was still a stigma about the concept of bisexuality.

“A lot of people will hear that and think it means, ’Well, he’s gay and just excusing it’, or ’He’s been with his girlfriend for a really long time and just wants to change things’,” he said.

“It’s often seen as an excuse that you’re going through a phase of one thing or another. Whereas in fact I would strongly suggest that’s probably not the case for a lot of people.

“Appreciation of both sexes is actually not new; it’s incredibly old it’s Roman, it’s Greek, and it is something people can do throughout an entire lifetime, having hugely meaningful relationships, no matter what sex they are.”

Cucumber, which premieres on UK's Channel 4 this Thursday, looks at gay life across different generations and stars Vincent Franklin as a 46-year old man going through a relationship break-up and Fox as the young object of his desires.

Check out a new trailer for Cucumber, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Cucumber' Star Freddie Fox Won't Say If He's Gay or Straight: 'Some Time in My Life I Might Fall in Love with a Man' " »


Singer Alexander O'Neal Quits Celebrity Big Brother After Calling Perez Hilton A 'Silly-Ass Faggot' - VIDEO

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Soul singer Alexander O'Neal has walked away from Celebrity Big Brother UK after receiving a formal warning by producers on Saturday for directing an anti-gay slur at gossip blogger and fellow housemate Perez Hilton during an ongoing feud. 

The Daily Record reports:

Tension had been brewing between the pair since early in the morning, when Hilton woke O'Neal with his persistent coughing.

"What the f*** are you coming up here coughing all around me for?" O'Neal yelled.

Later he confided in housemates: "That's what he wants. He's blowing kisses at me ... He wants me to kick his ass."

As the other celebrities in the Big Brother house urged Hilton to keep his distance, he instead followed O'Neal into the lounge room and stared at him silently.

"I know what you want, but you're not going to get it. I know exactly what you want. And in America, you know what you'd get, don't you? You want that now, but you're not going to get it. You're taunting me. You're coming over here, you're following me, you're bothering me," O'Neal said.

"You're not going to say one word. You're just going to sit there with that silly-ass f***** look on your face."

Housemates reacted immediately, with one responding: "No no no no no no no!"

"He called me the F-word, which is incredibly offensive," Hilton said, recoiling.

The Daily Mail adds Hilton went into the Diary Room shortly afterwards to tell Big Brother he wanted to go home because he feared for his safety and was hungry. 

Hilton'Hello Big Brother,' he announced. 'So before I go to bed, I want to reiterate that I would really like to go home. I feel very strongly and calmly about this.

'I don't want to be in the house anymore for my own safety. Before I came into the house, I said that the two most important things to me were safety and food. I do not want to fear for my safety and I do not want to go hungry - but now I am.

O'Neal reportedly attempted to make amends with Hilton before his exit but was ignored. Later in the episode, Big Brother announced O'Neal's departure to the rest of the house by revealing a farewell message from O'Neal that read: "To all my housemates, I have had a great experience with you guys and I have mad love for almost all of you."

Watch it go down, AFTER THE JUMP...

Last year, former heavyweight champion boxer Evander Holyfield was reprimanded by Celebrity Big Brother producers for saying being gay is akin to being "handicapped" and "is a choice." Holyfield later apologized. 

Continue reading "Singer Alexander O'Neal Quits Celebrity Big Brother After Calling Perez Hilton A 'Silly-Ass Faggot' - VIDEO" »


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