Well, let’s see how horrible Europe really is…
Conchita Wurst did not only win our hearts at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest 2014, she also set a much needed political statement of equality, love and respect.
All the petitions running against Austria’s candidate of choice could not change the European feeling of unity when the winner was announced. Not only Austria celebrated, but everyone who has the same ideals at heart: equality, love and respect for everyone.
“The Danish organizers had declared tolerance a main theme for this year’s event, and the rainbow-coloured flag symbolising gay pride has been flying in many places in Copenhagen during the past week.” – Reuters
This was a big step for the LGBT community, so let’s go from there and show each other some love and respect.
All eyes are on Russia: the fight for LGBT rights is going on in Eastern Europe, but we shouldn’t forget what’s going on in one of the more tolerant countries in the middle of Europe: Switzerland.
Recent discussions in the Swiss Federal Council suggested a change of laws that would heavily affect LGBT rights of Swiss citizens.
The law proposal was made to protect “families” and heterosexual couples from high taxes. The CVP (Christian Democratic People’s Party), who initiated the change, approached all Swiss citizens to show their support.
Swiss Media have been fairly quiet about the whole issue, but LGBT communities and organisations are raging.
Switzerland has always been seen as an advanced, tolerant country – decriminalising homosexuality in 1942, although only legalising homosexual partnerships in 2005. In case the Swiss population chooses to support the suggested law, Switzerland would put itself in the same position as Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. Considering previous situations of the country, this would mean a huge step back.
A press release mutually published by the Green Party, Swiss Party, GLP, SVP and FDP suggested that the discriminating law should not be included in the Swiss constitution.
We will keep you updated on the issue. Meanwhile – make some noise!
You can read the German article here: Schweiz Plant Verbot der Homo-Ehe
Whilst the news in the UK continues to report on world crises in Syria, terror attacks around the globe and the ever antagonistic relations between the USA and Russia, there has been little or no mention (bar of course, the awful murder of Killah P, rumoured to have been killed by Greek political party Golden Dawn) of the nazi-esque concentration camps of Greece. As modern writers many journalists including myself tend to throw about comparisons between the modern world and atrocities that were conducted in (and especially led to) World War Two. Unfortunately, here we have yet another comparable event taking place in Greece. Golden Dawn have opened concentration camps for people who do not fit their ideology, using the pretence that these camps being some sort of immigrant sorting office. A sorting office where inhabitants are denied leave and basic human rights. This blog post here not only deserves reblogging but sharing also. Let’s get talking about what the news don’t show us.
I’ve passed comment on the situation in Greece in previous blog entries but I was unaware of the full scale of what exactly was going on until today. In March 2012 it was announced that Greek Officials had given the go ahead for up to 30 detention style camps to be opened to house illegal immigrants who would be processed for eventual deportation. The move came as a means to control the social chaos consuming Greece after the collapse of the country’s economy. The official justification for the move is that with an influx of immigrants came a huge jump in crime figures and that a fast response is the best way to deal with the crisis. At the time the move was criticised as resembling Nazi Concentration Camps and the rhetoric was seen as a means to raise a climate of hatred and fear against immigrants and Foreigners. That…
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Following the news – Russia is currently showing “a lot of intolerance against homosexuality”. The current changes of laws basically make it illegal to be gay:
– You cannot kiss your partner in public.
– You can’t have a rainbow flag in public.
– You can’t even acknowledge that you are gay, or else you face possible imprisonment and fines.
The reproduced letter below is the real warning Stephen Fry sent to David Cameron. It is regarding the discrimination of LGBT people in Russia.
Dear Prime Minister, M Rogge, Lord Coe and Members of the International Olympic Committee,
I write in the earnest hope that all those with a love of sport and the Olympic spirit will consider the stain on the Five Rings that occurred when the 1936 Berlin Olympics proceeded under the exultant aegis of a tyrant who had passed into law, three years earlier, an act which singled out for special persecution a minority whose only crime was the accident of their birth. In his case he banned Jews from academic tenure or public office, he made sure that the police turned a blind eye to any beatings, thefts or humiliations afflicted on them, he burned and banned books written by them. He claimed they “polluted” the purity and tradition of what it was to be German, that they were a threat to the state, to the children and the future of the Reich. He blamed them simultaneously for the mutually exclusive crimes of Communism and for the controlling of international capital and banks. He blamed them for ruining the culture with their liberalism and difference. The Olympic movement at that time paid precisely no attention to this evil and proceeded with the notorious Berlin Olympiad, which provided a stage for a gleeful Führer and only increased his status at home and abroad. It gave him confidence. All historians are agreed on that. What he did with that confidence we all know.
Putin is eerily repeating this insane crime, only this time against LGBT Russians. Beatings, murders and humiliations are ignored by the police. Any defence or sane discussion of homosexuality is against the law. Any statement, for example, that Tchaikovsky was gay and that his art and life reflects this sexuality and are an inspiration to other gay artists would be punishable by imprisonment. It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their village. The IOC absolutely must take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent against the barbaric, fascist law that Putin has pushed through the Duma. Let us not forget that Olympic events used not only to be athletic, they used to include cultural competitions. Let us realise that in fact, sport is cultural. It does not exist in a bubble outside society or politics. The idea that sport and politics don’t connect is worse than disingenuous, worse than stupid. It is wickedly, wilfully wrong. Everyone knows politics interconnects with everything for “politics” is simply the Greek for “to do with the people”.
An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillyhammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.
He is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it. I know whereof I speak. I have visited Russia, stood up to the political deputy who introduced the first of these laws, in his city of St Petersburg. I looked into the face of the man and, on camera, tried to reason with him, counter him, make him understand what he was doing. All I saw reflected back at me was what Hannah Arendt called, so memorably, “the banality of evil.” A stupid man, but like so many tyrants, one with an instinct of how to exploit a disaffected people by finding scapegoats. Putin may not be quite as oafish and stupid as Deputy Milanov but his instincts are the same. He may claim that the “values” of Russia are not the “values” of the West, but this is absolutely in opposition to Peter the Great’s philosophy, and against the hopes of millions of Russians, those not in the grip of that toxic mix of shaven headed thuggery and bigoted religion, those who are agonised by the rolling back of democracy and the formation of a new autocracy in the motherland that has suffered so much (and whose music, literature and drama, incidentally I love so passionately).
I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian “correctively” raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.
“All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” so wrote Edmund Burke. Are you, the men and women of the IOC going to be those “good” who allow evil to triumph?
The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory. The Five Rings would finally be forever smeared, besmirched and ruined in the eyes of the civilised world.
I am begging you to resist the pressures of pragmatism, of money, of the oily cowardice of diplomats and to stand up resolutely and proudly for humanity the world over, as your movement is pledged to do. Wave your Olympic flag with pride as we gay men and women wave our Rainbow flag with pride. Be brave enough to live up to the oaths and protocols of your movement, which I remind you of verbatim below.
Rule 4 Cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace
Rule 6: Act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement
Rule 15 Encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education
I especially appeal to you, Prime Minister, a man for whom I have the utmost respect. As the leader of a party I have for almost all of my life opposed and instinctively disliked, you showed a determined, passionate and clearly honest commitment to LGBT rights and helped pushed gay marriage through both houses of our parliament in the teeth of vehement opposition from so many of your own side. For that I will always admire you, whatever other differences may lie between us. In the end I believe you know when a thing is wrong or right. Please act on that instinct now.
Yours in desperate hope for humanity
Original Article on Pinknews.co.uk
…and people keep saying a Holocaust isn’t possible anymore…be careful.
Here’s another article about a gay teenager that has been kidnapped and tortured by Russian neo-Nazis. It has been claimed that he died from his injuries following the actions after a video the accused group of people published: Gay teenager kidnapped
Spread the word – everyone should be aware of what is going on in Russia at the moment.
Discrimination of people with a different sexual orientation should be stopped and not made legal.
One of the worst aspects about this is: if parents are fine with the homosexuality of their child and still love it, they could be prosecuted for saying it.
For the AllOut Petition klick here.
This week’s Track Of The Week is by Macklemore. His songs Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us are well-known and currently all over the radio; however, the track we’re introducing this week is not quite as famous.
Ben Haggerty, his stage name is Macklemore, has written an incredibly deep and touching song before the same-sex marriage debate. Now this human right finally has been acknowledged and it is law that same-sex couples can get married in England and Wales.
Therefore let’s have a toast on Macklemore, and not just because of the message – the tunes are pretty awesome too!
Macklemore – Same Love
Let’s also have a toast on the Costa Rican politicians, who accidentally approved same-sex marriage too….
Isn’t this cat cute?
No, this isn’t just another blog post about cute animals (we’ll save that for later). This cat is actually running for Mayor of the Mexican city Xalapa with the campaign slogan “Tired of Voting for Rats? Vote for a Cat.” He also promises to eat, sleep most of the day and donate his leftover litter to fill potholes. Morris, the apparently very honest candidate has already got 118,800 fans on his Facebook page and more than 6,000 followers on Twitter – this makes him more popular than the five human contenders.
After the empty promises of politicians Chamorro and a few friends put Morris forward as a candidate – and they weren’t the only ones! A bunch of other farm animals are also running for mayor:
– Chon the Donkey (Ciudad Juarez, which was the world’s most dangerous city for several years)
– Tina the Chicken (Tepic)
– Maya the Cat (Puebla)
– Tintan the Dog (Oaxaca City)
Besides a great followership on Social Media channels, Morris also has international supporters. Stubbs, the honorary mayor of Talkeetna in Alaska, has shown support for Morris by posting his fellow feline candidate’s spot campaign on its Facebook page. Yes, another cat.
What we learn from all this: treat your cat nice, one day it might rule the city…
And his website: http://www.elcandigato.com/