AUSTRALIA. Melbourne artists’ work “Taste the Feeling” removed for homophobia? ‘The collage, which includes the faces of right-wing Australian politicians alongside slogans such as “God hates fags” used by the notoriously homophobic Westboro Baptist Church in the US, was removed after a complaint was posted on the gallery’s Facebook page saying that the artwork “spewed homophobic hatred”.’
CHECHNYA. TIME profiles Amin Dzhabrailov, who escaped the “gay purge” in Chechnya and is now speaking out: ‘Though he admitted to being gay, Dzhabrailov says the violence escalated when he refused to name other gay men. The men took out a black box that Dzhabrailov presumed was a lie detector but that turned out to be a machine that delivered electric shocks. They attached wires to his fingers and put water on his body to help the current travel more effectively. “It was so painful, you’re just screaming, that’s all you could do,” he says. Eventually one of the men pulled out a gun, put it into Dzhabrailov’s mouth and threatened to kill him if he didn’t give up names. “At this moment, I myself, died,” he says. As he describes this part of his ordeal, he struggles through tears and an inability to find all the words he wants in English. “I was so lost,” he repeats. “I was so lost.”’
POLAND. Bialystock holds first LGBT Pride parade assaulted by thousands of anti-LGBTQ protesters. “The marchers at the first gay pride parade here in the conservative Polish city of Bialystok expected that they would be met with resistance. But last week when Katarzyna Sztop-Rutkowska saw the angry mob of thousands that awaited the marchers, who numbered only a few hundred, she was shocked. ‘The most aggressive were the football hooligans, but they were joined by normal people — people with families, people with small children, elderly people,’ she said. They blocked her way, first hurling invective, then bricks and stones and fireworks, she said. From the balconies, people threw eggs and rotten vegetables. Even before the march started, there were violent confrontations, and by the time the tear gas cleared and the crowd dispersed, dozens were injured and Poland was left reeling.”
LEBANON. Alt-rock group Mashrou Leila facing controversy after openly gay lead singer Hamed Sinno shared a graphic image of the Virgin Mary with Madonna’s head: ‘The overwhelmingly Christian town’s Maronite archbishop on Monday asked for the gig to be cancelled over the “group’s aims and the content of their songs.”’ AMNESTY INT’L: The show must go on… More HERE.
PALAU. Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr backs same-sex marriage: “Those who are different doesn’t mean that they should be outcast, second class citizens, or that they can’t contribute to the community. So I want to make it clear that I don’t believe in the constitutional amendment that promote discrimination. I want it to be on record that I support the rights of each individual, any Palauan, to be treated equally…Let us treat each other with respect and dignity.”
UNITED KINGDOM. Boris Johnson names gay man as Trade Minister: ‘Burns, a member of the Conservative Party, captured attention in 2012 when he voiced opposition to marriage equality legislation on religious grounds and suggested there was “no clamour for this at all within the gay community,” News Letter reported. The out politician ultimately supported legislation when language was inserted assuring religious institutions would not be forced to host ceremonies.’
CHINA. Gay Chinese go on ‘Rainbow Cruise’ to Vietnam: ‘During the five-day return voyage, they could attend workshops, talks and activities including speed dating on board the cruise ship, and get support and advice on LGBT issues. It was also a place for some, like Yang, to come out. In its third year, the annual event in June was organised by PFLAG China, an NGO based in Guangzhou that supports the LGBT community, their parents and friends. It is held on a cruise ship because it is difficult to find a venue for a mass LGBT event in mainland China, where homosexuality is not openly discussed.’