Serbia Bans Gay Pride
Bowing to Serbia’s Orthodox Church and claiming security fears, local police have banned this weekend’s gay pride march in Belgrade.Police said they are banning the march planned over the weekend because they fear a repeat of the violence in 2010, when right-wing groups attacked such an event in Belgrade, triggering day-long clashes with the police that left more than 100 people injured. Last year’s gay pride march also was banned by authorities. The current ban was announced after Patriarch Irinej, the head of Serbia’s Christian Orthodox church, urged the government to prevent Saturday’s march. He said in a statement that such a “parade of shame” would cast a “moral shadow” on Serbia — a very conservative Balkan country whose gay population has faced threats and harassment.
RELATED: The neo-Nazi organizers of anti-gay violence at Belgrade Pride in 2010 were sentenced to prison last year. Over 200 anti-gay demonstrators were arrested on that day but only a handful were tried. Last year’s Belgrade Pride wascancelled also after police said they could not devote the estimated 5000 riot police needed to protect parade attendees from expected protesters. Police had already arrested six men in the possession of ski masks and baseball bats.
United Kingdom: Mum’s Pride At Son Who Stood Up To Anti-Gay Bigots in Brighton
Pink News UK reports:
A mother in Brighton has spoken of her admiration for her son after he was beaten up for fending off homophobic thugs.
18-year-old Jack Young, who is straight, was bottled in the face, after confronting people who were shouting homophobic abuse during last weekend’s Brighton Pride celebrations.
He was on St James’s Street in Kemptown, on Saturday evening when he came across a group of individuals who were making derogatory remarks about the LGBT community.
According to the Argus newspaper, he confronted them only to be hit with a bottle.
The teenager has been left with injuries to his face
Jack’s mother, Sue Fallon, subsequently shared the story on theWipe Out Homophobia Facebook group.
She spoke of her gratitude at receiving kind words of support from the LGBT community and said in a post:
- “I am extremely proud of my son for what he did. I know for a fact that if he came across the same situation again he would react the same, it’s just how he is.
- I have just spent over an hour reading all of your lovely comments. I am overwhelmed by all [the] caring words.
- I LOVE how many of you like the photo. I know it’s because you like what he did, not what has happened. I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of your comments.
- A lot of you have asked if the police are involved, they have been round to speak to Jack but he does not want it to go any further, This he says, is because there is no point, they would not get caught, They know they have done wrong & one day they will all get theirs.
- I wish he would make a statement but sadly at 18 he is classed as an adult so I have no control”.
Mrs Fallon ended her post by saying Jack: “Does not see himself as a hero, he was in his own words “‘Just doing his civic duty’”.
Earlier this week, Sussex Police revealed it had made 40 arrests during last weekend’s Brighton Pride festival.
Denmark: Copenhagen Pride Activists Wear Nooses To Symbolize 78 Nations (Mostly Muslim) That Criminalize Homosexuality
Uganda: Gay & Proud - Hostile African Nation Gets A Gay Pride Parade
Alexis Okeowo, for The New Yorker, reports:
“Can you imagine that the worst place in the world to be gay is having Gay Pride?” Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera asked a crowd of cheering gay men, lesbians, transgendered men and women, and queers somewhere in between. It was Saturday afternoon, and we were on the shores of the giant, cloudy Lake Victoria in the Ugandan city of Entebbe, where L.G.B.T. activists had decided to stage the country’s first Pride Parade. Nabagesera, a lesbian activist covered, for the occasion, in glitter and neon spray paint, with homemade angel wings, was being half-sarcastic. A barrage of media coverage has painted the country as a hell for gays—a place where they are suffering and being attacked constantly—and, despite the need to combat such threats, L.G.B.T. Ugandans were tired of hearing a story that ignored their nuanced experiences of both joy and hardship. But Nabagesera was also sincerely pleased: a crowd of nearly a hundred people had come out, fears of arrest notwithstanding, to celebrate their existence. The air was thick with confetti, paint fumes, and anticipation.
I’ve spent a couple of months this year working on a story about gay rights here, as an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow, and was surprised to see that the narrative had made yet another unexpected turn. Though activists are in the middle of a lawsuit they filed against ethics and integrity minister Simon Lokodo, who has been on a zealous effort to shut down all gay-advocacy workshops and non-profits allied with L.G.B.T. activists, spirits were high to the point that a Pride event was not just wanted, but needed. Uganda’s Pride was a weekend-long event, made up of film screenings, a fashion show in drag, and all-night (and into the morning) parties. Two hundred and fifty tickets had been sold, though, as a vivacious trans woman named Cleo told me, fifty-some people showed up on Thursday and Friday, because many were still wary about gathering in large groups. “We couldn’t have done this kind of thing two years ago, and for those that were here back then, they almost can’t believe things are safer and better now,” Cleo said. The first two days went off without a hitch, and more people, predictably, showed up for the evening bacchanals.
I took a bus from Kampala, the capital, to Entebbe on Saturday morning with a number of the participants. A trans woman named Bad Black showed me glamour photos taken of her at an L.G.B.T.-friendly studio in town: in them she is wearing a wig, dresses, and lingerie. Bad Black, who helps run a foundation that helps H.I.V.-positive L.G.B.T. Ugandans, was wearing typical male attire for the bus ride, but wore gold earrings and had short, fluffy curls. She can’t dress as a woman on a daily basis, but planned to change once we got to the lake. Nature, a cheerful trans woman sitting in front of us, plucked a photo to admire it and remarked, “Hmm, photos do lie.” The bus erupted into laughter. Several people, adorned in rainbow-patterned scarves and armbands, pulled out makeup compacts and started to apply bright eye shadow and lipstick. We made noisy stops along the highway to pick up more attendees, and passersby, curious about the laughter and music, peered inside.
The botanical grounds around the lake are a languid picnic destination for families and couples, but relatively secluded: an ideal location for a parade that was still on shaky ground, safety-wise. At the area reserved for the festival, participants wore yellow wristbands to identify themselves to each other and let loose. People swam, drank, and danced as a D.J. played loud music. I met people like Akram, who operates a “gay-video library.” Activist Frank Mugisha, who appeared dressed in a sailor’s costume with a rainbow sash and called himself Captain Pride, told me, “I just wish I had a switch to turn on that would make everyone who’s gay say they are gay. Then everyone who is homophobic can realize their brothers, their sisters, and their aunts are gay.” He confessed that he was shocked to see so many people in attendance.
As the parade began, in a convoy of marchers and cars blasting more music, people held up signs like “African and Gay. Not a Choice.” Children who lived nearby flocked to the parade, and adults stared, clearly stunned, and, in some cases, amused. The marchers chanted, “We are here” (a reference to those who say that there are no gays in Africa), and danced and sang in a chorus that was at once moving and exciting under a rainstorm of ribbons and flags. Nabagesera’s German shepherd trotted around in a rainbow-colored handkerchief. A woman named Claire said, “Even if Lokodo came today, he could not stop us.”
But Lokodo did come, or at least the police did. Hours after the parade ended, police raided the gathering, supposedly because they had heard a gay wedding was taking place, and arrested three participants, detained a photographer, and demanded statements from others, reminding all of the threats that gays still face. The station police chief eventually released them, and celebrations continued in Kampala. On Sunday, closing events went as planned. One participant, Ambrose, who was in charge of selling Pride-themed T-shirts, explained that the dynamics of being gay in Uganda have changed: “This is who we are. We are here to stay. And we are not going anywhere.”
Photograph by Anne Ackermann.
Israel: Jerusalem Pride Draws 4,000 Marchers, Liduk Leader Moshe Feiglin Brings Donkeys & Hatred
RELATED: In the past, Feiglin has said that the Nazi Party was made of up “thugs and homosexuals.”
Vietnam To Hold First Gay Pride Event With The Sponsorship Of Canada & Sweden
The first gay pride event in Vietnam’s history will take place this weekend in Hanoi.Viet Pride will run from Aug 3-5 and will feature film screenings, research presentations, music live performances, and a cycle parade through the city center on Sunday morning beginning at My Dinh Stadium and ending at Ly Tu Trong Park. Organised by Nguyen Thanh Tam and a group of volunteers, the event is supported by the Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents (CSAGA) where Tam is casually employed. The 25-year-old self-described “freelance activist”, who has lived in Singapore for the last six years, was inspired to organise Viet Pride after she and other activists were sponsored to attend Stockholm Pride last year. The event is also supported by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE), and Information Connecting and Sharing (ICS); venue and in-kind sponsors Goethe Institute, Lebox Produktion (Sweden) and Hearst Entertainment (US); and in-cash sponsors Embassy of Sweden and Embassy of Canada.
Props to Sweden and Canada for their support!
RELATED: Earlier this week the Vietnamese government indicated that it was in the early stages of putting forward a marriage equality bill.
Northern Ireland: Lord Mayor Of Belfast, Gavin Robinson, To Attend Pride Event
Pink News UK reports:
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, a councillor for the Democratic Unionist Party whose members have made numerous anti-gay comments in recent years, has attended a Pride event in the city.
Gavin Robinson attended the discussion event on Tuesday evening and said he wanted to “engage with every section of our society”, the BBC reports.
He said a “shared understanding will be of benefit to the city”, although the DUP still would not support marriage rights for gay couples.
The Belfast Newsletter reports that he told the audience at last night’s event he opposed equal marriage rights for gay couples, saying: “If you extend the definition (of marriage) to include everything, in the end it means nothing.
“Marriage is something we believe has a Biblical foundation in scripture.
“I think the definition is, marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s the belief I hold and the party holds.
“If it is going to dilute the definition of marriage, that’s not something we would support.”
He reportedly added that he would defend party members’ anti-gay comments on the grounds of free speech.
Many of the attendees objected to the DUP’s stance. Mr Robinson said in response: “I don’t consider anybody in this room to be lesser than myself. If I thought you were lesser, I wouldn’t be here.”
Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson welcomed Mr Robinson’s appearance, saying: “The DUP are on a learning curve and it was good to see Gavin here tonight. I’m glad he accepted the invite and I hope it’s a sign of things to come.”
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph in June 2009, DUP MP Iris Robinson, wife of the first minister said: “I cannot think of anything more sickening than a child being abused. It is comparable to the act of homosexuality. I think they are all comparable. I feel totally repulsed by both.”
Two DUP MPs recently backed the campaign group Keep Marriage Special which claimed the next logical step after allowing gay couples to marry would be legalising incest and polygamy.
Last year, DUP assembly member Jim Wells reportedly told a Pride organiser that he would not take part in the “repugnant” event.
According to the Irish News, Mr Wells sent Pride organiser Simon Rea a text message which said: “Dear Mr Rea, I understand that you contacted my Kilkeel office regarding what is termed a ‘Belfast Pride’ debate.
“I find the behaviour of those who take part in this march repugnant. I do not wish to be associated in any way with this event.
“My position on this will not change in the future and I would politely suggest that any further requests of this nature will be a total waste of your time. Jim Wells.”
CALIFORNIA: Military Members Make First Ever Gay Pride Appearance In Full Uniform In San Diego
For the first time since the repeal of DADT, today in San Diego members of the military marched in a gay pride parade in full uniform. Earlier this week the Pentagon, which typically does not allow uniformed personnel to march in civilian events, said that it was making a one-time exceptionfor San Diego Pride.The loudest cheers from the parade crowd of nearly 200,000 were reserved for them. The U.S. military contingent included about 40 members — some active, some retired. As they assembled in the staging area, countless spectators took pictures of and with them. Most of the active-duty personnel said they were under orders not to give interviews although photos were fine. Sean Sala, 27, who left the Navy last year but helped organize the military group, said the significance of this year’s active-duty uniformed participants is bolstered by government approval for the first time. “I think everybody wants to make it a gay thing, but it’s just an American thing,” he said. “These are people that have laid down their lives for their country, you know, and they deserve recognition for their service regardless of their sexuality.”
It appears that the parade included a proposal!
Hungary: 3,000 Match At Incident-Free Budapest Pride
Pink News UK reports:
Budapest Pride 2012 took place safely on Saturday despite earlier threats and the mayor’s unwillingness to support the event. Over 3,000 marchers took to the streets protected by riot police.
According to organiser Szilvia Nagy, it was the most popular pride so far in the city.
The procession included human rights organisations, ambassadors, opposition politicians and Members of the European Parliament and took place safely thanks to heavy police protection.
Before the pride, far-right groups had made violent threats, publishing the names and Facebook profiles of EuroGames organisers, as well as hotels where LGBT athletes stayed for the event.
Mayor of Budapest István Tarlós had replied to a letter regarding Pride safety by Members of the European Parliament, saying that “becoming absorbed in this subject matter would [not] indicate a measure of intellect”.
Present at the march, LGBT Intergroup Vice-President Sophie in ‘t Veld said: “This year’s Budapest Pride was a great celebration, and the police did a good job in providing protection in a calm and professional manner. However, politicians would contribute more to security by ending the climate of homophobia, so that massive police protection is no longer needed.
“The mayor of Budapest should consider marketing for his city: rampant homophobia, or an open, tolerant approach to diversity.”
Also present at the march, the LGBT Intergroup’s Co-President Ulrike Lunacek added: ”Mr Tarlós thinks that LGBT issues should not be a mayor’s concern. He forgets that his city alone has an estimated 180,000 LGBT citizens; they are part and parcel of Budapest’s socio-economic life.
“I urge him to open his mind and eyes; ignorance and intolerance are no good guides for any mayor in Europe. He should speak to the Latvian mayor of Riga, for example, who supported the Pride this year.
“It’s homophobes and homophobia that belong to the closet, not us lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
London Pride, Host Of World Pride, Considered A Success, Pride Toronto Getting Ready For 2014
Via Pink News UK:
Angela Mason, former director of Stonewall and one of the 1972 veterans, told PinkNews.co.uk: “Well, I think we’ve got it together again, despite all the obstacles. That’s always been the history of Pride. “Pride really depends on the commitment and anger of our lesbian and gay community. Politicians sometimes court us and sometimes don’t, but we’re going to carry on anyway. I think that’s very much the spirit of the original Pride, it shows we’re not dependant on political bureaucracies.” Peter Tatchell was marching among veterans under the banner ‘Decriminalise homosexuality worldwide. Global LGBT equality.’ On the parade route today, he told PinkNews.co.uk: “Despite the failures of the parade organisers, the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council, we’re here and having a fabulous WorldPride.
Also via Pink News UK, Pride Toronto already wooed crowds with thier gay cabs to promote World Pride 2014, of which they’re are the hosts to be:
Pride Toronto has unveiled a new taxi advertising campaign to promote the host city of WorldPride 2014 to gay Londoners, as the latter city handed over the mantle this weekend.
Toronto beat Stockholm to host WorldPride after winning the majority vote from leaders of gay and lesbian organisations around the globe.
As WorldPride celebrations in London have now drawn to a close, Toronto has two years to promote its host status and encourage tourism to the city, beginning by targeting the gay community in London.
Advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky designed three adverts to run on the taxi fleet including the rainbow flag colours of pride in a glitter effect, a black studded cab mimicking leather fetish wear, and a bright pink cab with a fur effect.
All taxis will run with the strapline ‘Ride with Toronto Pride’ and the WorldPride logo.
Toronto Pride has funded the taxis for four weeks and will target passengers in the London districts of Soho and Vauxhall.
Advertising in the cab includes the message on the front seats: ‘If you think this cab is gay, wait until you see Toronto in 2014.’
Passengers will also be given WorldPride-branded receipts for their journeys.
John Kehoe, Managing Director at Transport Media worked on the campaign with Crispin Porter + Bogusky said the “high impact design and visibility of these taxis are sure to increase talk ability and raise awareness of WorldPride 2014”.