MOTHER RUSSIA (by LeanandMean)
MOTHER RUSSIA (by LeanandMean)
While I am no fan of the Harper government, Baird’s statement is dead on.
The whole article is a worthy read.
"As I try to get to sleep, I can’t help reflecting on the utterly unselfconscious contradiction between Georgy and Yuri’s open celebration of masculinity and manifest enjoyment of male intimacy, and their virulent homophobia. "
Pavel Lebedev was detained after unfurling the flag
A Russian gay protester was detained today for revealing a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay.
Pavel Lebedev, of Voronezh, which is 560 miles north of Sochi, unfurled the rainbow flag as the torch passed through his hometown.
The Sochi Winter Olympics will begin on 7 February and have already caused an international outcry as Russian President Vladimir Putin in June signed a bill into law banning the “promotion of non-traditional relationships” to minors.
Photos were uploaded by Lebedev’s friends of him unfurling the flag before being detained by security staff. He was wrestled to the snowy ground and held there until police arrived.
Speaking to the AP, Lebedev said he was still in the police station being questioned.
He said: ”Hosting the games here contradicts the basic principles of the Olympics, which is to cultivate tolerance.”
Limits have been set by Russian authorities on protests allowed to take place during the Sochi games.
Putin originally signed a decree banning all demonstrations, but later said protests would be allowed in authorised protest zones.
Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia (Part 1/5) (by VICE)
"When Russian President Vladimir Putin banned gay "propaganda" in June last year, Russia’s LGBT community went from being a stigmatized fringe group to full-blown enemies of the state. Homophobia becoming legislation means it’s now not only accepted in Russia but actively encouraged, which has led to a depressing rise in homophobic attacks and murders.
The main aim of the law, which essentially bans any public display of homosexuality, is to prevent minors from getting the impression that being gay is normal. Which means that, if you’re young and gay in Putin’s Russia, you’re ostracized and cut off from any kind of legal support network.
In part 1 we get a ride with Artem, a young driver for Moscow’s gay taxi service “Our Taxi”, meet Nikita, a 17-year-old activist who has been labeled a “propagandist” because of his LGBT rights YouTube channel, and Yulia, a young lesbian who started LGBT self defense classes after her favorite gay bar in Moscow was attacked by about 20 armed men in October 2012.
Continue to part 2/5 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jWAty…
The letter in full
On June 30th 2013, President Putin signed into Russian law a nationwide ban on the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors”. This inhibits the freedom of local and foreign Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people to speak openly about their sexuality and prohibits Gay Pride celebrations. Scientist Harold Kroto (HK) and actor Ian McKellen (IMcK), who have been friends since schooldays have formulated this open letter to Mr Putin and the People of Russia and garnered support for its sentiment from 27 Nobel Laureates. The letter is written to indicate that many senior members of the international scientific community show solidarity with politicians, artists, sports people and many others who have already expressed their abhorrence for the Russian Government’s actions against its gay citizens.
In my case (HK) I have had numerous invitations to Russia over the years and have much enjoyed the tremendous friendship of Russian scientists, whenever I have visited. I accepted an invitation some time ago to go to Russia in 2014 before this issue arose and although I have considered seriously cancelling my visit I have decided to go and while in Russia make my grave concerns clear at appropriate moments by pointing out that I shall not consider any further invitations unless this law is repealed or moves to repeal it are taken and in addition a serious effort is made by the Russian Government to ensure the safety of the Russian LGBT community. In my case (IMcK) I have been warned by the UK Foreign Office that in Russia I could not speak openly about my sexuality, at least in the hearing of anyone under the age of 18. I have therefore felt that I had to turn down invitations to attend Russian film festivals.
Protest is never easy but we hope that by expressing opposition to the new legislation it might be possible to encourage the Russian State to embrace the 21st Century humanitarian, political and inclusive democratic principles which Mikhail Gorbachev worked so hard to achieve. We are encouraged that our serious concerns may be considered by the pardons of imprisoned political activists which have recently been announced.
Harold Kroto (Nobel Chemistry 1996), Ian McKellen (aka Henry V/Gandalf), Mairead Maguire (Nobel Peace 1976), Eric Cornell (Nobel Physics 2001), Sheldon Glashow (Nobel Physics 1979), Brian Josephson (Nobel Physics 1973), Martin Perl (Nobel Physics 1995), Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry 1981), Gerhard Ertl (Chemistry 2007), Susumu Tonegawa (Physiology/Medicine 1987), Tony Leggett (Nobel Physics 2003), Dudley Herschbach (Nobel Chemistry 1986), Paul Nurse (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 2001), Robert Curl (Nobel Chemistry 1996), Martin Chalfie (Nobel Chemistry 2008), Richard Roberts (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 1993), John Polanyi (Nobel Chemistry 1986), Edmond Fischer (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 1992), Timothy Hunt (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 2001), Jack Szostak (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 2009), John Coetzee (Nobel Literature 2003), Eric Wieschaus (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 1995), Leon Lederman (Nobel Physics 1988), Peter Agre (Nobel Chemistry 2003), John Sulston (Nobel Physiology/Medicine 2002), Herta Müller (Nobel Literature 2009), Brian Schmidt (Nobel Physics 2011), Thomas Steitz (Nobel Chemistry 2009).
I hope this trend of sending LGBTQ delegats continues.
By Trinh Theresa Do, CBC News Posted: Dec 18, 2013 7:07 PM ET Last Updated: Dec 18, 2013 7:07 PM ET
Vancouver is using its influence as the last Winter Olympics host by sending an official city delegation to Sochi to advocate for gay rights with the International Olympic Committee and the Paralympic Committee.
The city delegation will be headed by openly gay deputy mayor Tim Stevenson and is expected to arrive in Sochi at the beginning of February 2014.
Vancouver city council passed a motion Wednesday morning confirming that deputy mayor Stevenson will represent the city in place of Mayor Gregor Robertson.
The Canadian federal government has not yet announced its formal delegation and has only confirmed that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not be attending.
The Vancouver delegation is urging the IOC to demonstrate their full support for human rights by directing all future host cities to endorse community-led Pride Houses as part of their bids, as well as updating its Olympic charter to explicitly include a non-discrimination clause with regards to LGBTQ persons and sexual and gender identity.
The Paralympic Committee has already included that provision in its constitution, which states that part of its mission is to “promote sports for athletes with disabilities without discrimination for political, religious, economic, disability, racial, gender or sexual orientation reasons.”
Stevenson doesn’t think it’s a huge problem to align the two charters.
“It’s pretty straightforward,” he told Evan Solomon on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics. “Just look over there and bring them over to your charter and you’ve got it.”
The Vancouver delegation also wants the IOC and IPC to protect LGBTQ athletes, coaches, officials, spectators and their allies during the 2014 Olympic Games.
The Canadian Olympic Committee is not explicitly commenting on Vancouver’s lobbying efforts, instead merely repeating earlier statements that it opposes discrimination of any kind.
In a statement sent to CBC News, the COC said its main focus is the preparation and performance of its athletes.
“The IOC has stated it continues to work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media and it has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games.”
What can only be described as an army of 100 violent anti-gay thugs literally ripped the roof off Central Station, Moscow’s top gay club, on Saturday, just before the popular 1990′s band Army of Lovers was to perform. Equipment was reportedly also stolen. (via Army Of 100 Violent Anti-Gay Thugs Rip Roof Off Top Moscow Gay Club — Cops Ignore Attack | The New Civil Rights Movement)
"In the night of November, 23 a well-known Moscow gay club “Central Station” was again under attack. Unknown malefactors sprayed some harmful gas inside the club among about 500 attendees. Several people sought medical attention but refused to go to a hospital.
The club staff immediately turned on a smoke removal machine which eliminated the gas from the premises in a couple of minutes, LifeNews reports.
“Today is the fourth provocation against the club arranged by unknown persons. We believe that they are connected with the building owner”, says Andrey Leschinsky, the club general director. “They are spaying the gas inside the club premises, thereby trying to express their extremist views against LGBT community, which likes to visit our club”.
Andrey Leschinsky stressed that that in addition to gas attacks there were other indidents against the club. About a week ago, unknown visitors threatened the club and even shot a gun.
The club’s management filed a complaint to the police to deal with the incident and prevent such extreme actions against the LGBT community.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Sixty-seven people were arrested Saturday at an LGBT event in St. Petersburg, Russia, as anti-gay protesters clashed with LGBT rights advocates, a police official told LGBTQ Nation.
The event, to mark yesterday’s National Coming Out Day, an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as LGBT, was scheduled by organizers to be held in the city’s downtown at the Field of Mars (Marsovo Pole) war memorial.
According to police, about 200 conservative and religious activists — which included Russian Orthodox church protesters and members of Russian nationalist organizations — were pre-staged in the area surrounding the Field of Mars and prevented the LGBT activists from approaching the memorial.
The clash between the two groups erupted as the anti-gay forces, singing religious songs and shouting anti-gay slurs, attempted to prevent the LGBT activists from unfurling Pride flags and posters containing LGBT-affirming slogans and messages.
Russian Riot police broke up the fighting, arresting 15 LGBT activists and 52 anti-gay protesters.
The Field of Mars is an area where demonstrations are allowed without special sanctions.
The St. Petersburg city government had sanctioned the rally despite the Russian government’s June passage of a contentious law outlawing gay “propaganda.”
While the law’s proponents argue it is aimed at protecting children, critics say the legislation is part of a much wider crackdown on Russia’s LGBT community, and claim it has led to increasing pressure and threats of violence from homophobic vigilantes.
A similar June protest in St. Petersburg resulted in 50 arrests and numerous LGBT activists being beaten by anti-gay protesters.
Approximately 30 people had a peaceful protest during the Olympic torch ceremony in Athens.
The group stood on the steps of the Acropolis Museum during a Olympic torch ceremony. The flame was on its way to the Panathenaic Stadium, where it was officially handed to the organizers of the Winter Games in Sochi.
The activists held rainbow flags and signs that said ‘Love is not propaganda’ and ‘Homophobia is NOT in the spirit of the Olympics.’
The event was sponsored by Colour Youth, a local Athens LGBT organization.
Nikolai Alekseev, a lawyer and one of Russia’s foremost gay rights activists, has described it as a ‘severe blow’ to the country’s gay propaganda laws.
Speaking to Gay Star News, he said: ‘Full justice is restored. It is written now in a Russian court. It is a decision that is extremely important.
‘The Russian judiciary is moving forward with the international courts, and agreeing with their view of the legal aspects of sexual orientation.’
While the law being discussed is the regional gay propaganda ban in Ryazan, and not the federal nationwide ban, one ruling could affect the other.
But because one ruling against a regional law has effectively repealed the ban, Russian courts do not rule using precedents.
‘We will see this federal law repealed at some point because the international community is already legally pressuring the Russian courts,’ Alekseev said.- See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/russia-gay-propaganda-law-may-fall-after-historic-court-ruling021013#sthash.ZVVGp0dE.dpuf
Anti-Putin protestors demonstrate outside the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in New York, where the Met held it’s season-opening gala featuring soprano Anna Netrebko and conductor Valery Gergiev, two longtime supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The law banning gay propaganda among minors is completely wrong, though. I remember being 10 and wanting to be a girl and putting on girl’s clothes. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. This was in the Soviet Union and there was no information to explain what was happening to me. I went to dances dressed as a girl back when I looked more feminine. I also started taking hormone pills on my own, but they made me sick, and once an ambulance had to be called for me. I had to stop taking the pills, and for five or six years after that I couldn’t take any pills at all.
You have to understand the complete lack of information on this subject. According to statistics, there are thousands of people going through what I went through. Just imagine all the kids who have no idea what’s happening to them. I never once met a homosexual in my childhood and only learned what a homosexual was when I was 14. By then, I had long known that I was a woman and I had been wearing women’s clothes for years.
So it isn’t a matter of upbringing. It’s nature. That’s why I think the law against ” homosexual propaganda” is a law against children and one that targets certain social groups. It is a fascist law and nothing else.”
G20: Gay activists meet President Obama (by Euronews)
"Gay activists in Russia say they have been left disappointed after a meeting with US President Barack Obama over claims Russia’s attitudes to homosexuality are a breach of their human rights.
The activists say the meeting left them feeling let down and that President Obama says he has to consider his overall relationship with Russia, not just human rights issues.
Protesters gathered in central St. Petersburg ahead of the G20 summit’s close, chanting “fascism will not win”.
While on Thursday a draft law was tabled to deny custody of children to gay parents, adding to the raft of measures activists say are undermining their rights.”