Tag Archives: genocide

It’s Ronald Reagan’s Birthday: The Hateful Legacy of Ronald Reagan Who Let Gay Men Die In The Name Of “God”

As Republicans and Tea Party members remember and celebrate the revisionist life history of Ronald Reagan on what would be his 107th birthday today.  Let us, the friends, the family, and the loved ones of the victims of Ronald Reagan’s bigotry and homophobia remember the REAL legacy of genocide, war mongering, and poverty that he left behind all in the name of “God”  and never let it be forgotten.

Ronald Reagan was and always should be remembered as the President who helped bring back poverty to the masses, the President who changed American foreign policy, by selling arms to Iran, and forwarding the profits to right-wing Central American dictators to help fund their death squads, and most of all as the President who is personally responsible for the deaths of thousands who died of AIDS and  literally wiped out almost an entire generation of gay men.

Ronald Reagan deliberately ignored one of the deadliest diseases in history of the world which is now affecting over 70 million people around the globe all  in the name of God, bigotry and homophobia.

In 1981 with the emergence of the AIDS epidemic also came the emergence of the Christian Right, who Reagan ushered into power and seized the moment that AIDS was a sign of God’s abhorrence for gay men. . Reagan, who saw the first signs of the AIDS epidemic in 1981, his first year in office, . said “maybe the Lord brought down the plague because illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments.”

Ronald Reagan may have done laudable things but he was also a monster and, in my estimation, responsible for more deaths than Adolf Hitler. He is one of the persons most responsible for allowing the plague of AIDS to grow from 41 cases in 1981 to over 70 million today. He refused to even say the word out loud for the first seven years of his presidency and when he did speak about it it was with disdain. He was, in the words of his domestic policy adviser, Gary Bauer, “irrevocably opposed to anything having to do with homosexuality” (personal communication from the White House office in April of 1983). The Tragedy of Today’s Gays (Penguin, 2005),

“I can locate no work of any urgency, or indeed, much work at all, on AIDS” during his entire presidency, thus allowing many millions of gay men all over the world to be exposed to the virus without so much as a warning from anyone in his government. Those of us on the front lines can attest to this stone wall that was unbreachable. – Larry Kramer.”

AIDS research was chronically under-funded in the beginning of the outbreak when money for research and treatment were the most needed.  When doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health asked for more funding for their work on AIDS, they were routinely denied.  Between June 1981 and May 1982 the CDC spent less than $1 million on AIDS and $9 million on Legionnaire’s Disease. At that point more than 1,000 of the 2,000 reported AIDS cases resulted in death; there were fewer than 50 deaths from Legionnaire’s Disease. This drastic lack of funding would continue through the Reagan years.

Newly unearthed audio of Ronald Reagan’s White House Press Secretary in daily meetings with the Press Corps from that period puts a face on the homophobic Reagan administration and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that because AIDS affected mostly gay men that the Regan administration could not be bothered and did could care less that American citizens dying because of their homophobic bigotry.

It would not be until  October 1987 when pushed that Reagan would publicly speak about the AIDS epidemic in a major policy address. By the end of that year, 59,572 AIDS cases had been reported and 27,909 of those women and men had died. He and his administration did almost nothing during the first seven years of the epidemic.

In 1986, Reagan ordered Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to prepare a major government report on AIDS. Critics attacked Reagan for ordering the report on the same day he submitted requests to reduce the AIDS budget, according to the Globe. Koop’s report called for mandatory sex education for children as early as elementary school, but Reagan’s education secretary, William Bennett, and his undersecretary of education, Gary Bauer, strenuously opposed those efforts, calling for abstinence-oriented education.

With AIDS research being underfunded community education and prevention programs were routinely denied federal funding and would have been even more so if Regan had had his way. Only when pushed did Reagan offer any assistance.

Finally in 1986 Reagan requested $85 million for AIDS research, but Congress horrified at the low number bumped that figure up to $244 million only to have Reagan then unsuccessfully try to rescind $50 million of that figure, according to the Boston Globe, but he ultimately agreed to Congress’ figure.  In 1987, Reagan proposed cutting the research budget for AIDS down to $214 million. Congress again responded dramatically against Reagen by raising it to about $400 million.

The Boston Globe reported that in 1986 – 1987 that AIDS patients were dying at a rate of about 80 per week.

As Barbra Streisand put it in an address to an AIDS Project Los Angeles fundraiser in 1992: “I will never forgive my fellow actor Ronald Reagan for his genocidal denial of the illness’ existence, for his refusal to even utter the word AIDS for seven years, and for blocking adequate funding for research and education which could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.”

By the end of 1989, 115,786 women and men had been diagnosed with AIDS in the United States—more then 70,000 of them had died.

This is Ronald Reagan’s TRUE legacy, and everyday may we never forget it and remember those who died because of it.

Gay History – Reagan Administration Audio Reveals Chilling Response to the AIDS Crisis in the 1980’s

Regan AIDS Audio

Filmmaker Scott Calonico’s  documentary short, When AIDS Was Funny released audio a few years ago that showed the Reagan administrations chilling and despicable reaction to the mounting problem and deaths of gay men during the AIDS crisis.

Via Vanity Fair:

Using never-before-heard audio tapes from three separate press conferences, in 1982, 1983, and 1984, When AIDS Was Funny illustrates how the reporter Lester Kinsolving, a conservative (and not at all gay-friendly) fixture in the White House press corps, was consistently scoffed at when he posed urgent questions about the AIDS epidemic. With snickering, homophobic jokes and a disturbing air of uninterest, Speakes dismisses Kinsolving’s concerns about the escalating problem. “Lester was known as somewhat of a kook and a crank (many people still feel the same way),” says Calonico. “But, at the time, he was just a journalist asking questions only to be mocked by both the White House and his peers.”

This disturbing audio puts a face on the homophobic Reagan administration and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that because AIDS affected mostly gay men that the Reagan and his cronies could not be bothered and did not care that American citizens were dying just because they were gay.

It would not be until 1986 that Reagan requested $85 million for AIDS research, but Congress horrified at the low number bumped that figure up to $244 million only to have Reagan try to unsuccessfully rescind $50 million of that figure, but he ultimately agreed to Congress’ figure. In 1987, Reagan proposed cutting the research budget for AIDS down to $214 million. Congress again responded dramatically against Reagen by raising it to about $400 million.

As Barbra Streisand put it in an address to an AIDS Project Los Angeles fundraiser in 1992: “I will never forgive my fellow actor Ronald Reagan for his genocidal denial of the illness’ existence, for his refusal to even utter the word AIDS for seven years, and for blocking adequate funding for research and education which could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.”

By the end of 1989 when Reagan left office over 115,786 Americans, mostly gay men had been diagnosed with AIDS in the United States—more then 70,000 of them had died.

Watch and listen below.

More Gay Men Arrested, Detained, and Tortured in Chechnya

More Gay Men Arrested, Detained, and Tortured in Chechnya

In the past year and a half over 100 gay men in Chechnya were arrested and subjected to torture, and some of them were killed. Now new reports of arrests and detainment’s are coming to light.

Prominent activist Igor Kochetkov told The Associated Press on Friday that gay rights supporters have seen a spike in detentions of men and women suspected of being gay since late December. Kochetkov would not say how many people have been detained or where they are now. He said the activists are preparing a short report to be released on Monday.

Independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which broke the news of the crackdown in 2017, also confirmed earlier on Friday reports renewed persecutions of gay people in Chechnya.

Russian authorities kept denying that the killings and torture took place in the predominantly Muslim region where homosexuality is a taboo, even after one man came forward to talk about the time he spent in detention in Chechnya.

Maxim Lapunov said he was detained by unidentified people on a street in the Chechen capital, Grozny, and kept in custody for two weeks, where he was repeatedly beaten. He was let go after he signed a statement acknowledging he was gay and was told he would be killed if he talked about his time in detention.

Chechen authorities have used electrocution, beatings, starvation, dehydration, isolation, forced nudity, homophobic insults to get the men to reveal more suspected homosexuals. Authorities confiscate all personal belongings and don’t allow the men to contact anyone or to sleep.

One former detainee said that the torturers showed him a graphic video of a suspected terrorist having a plastic pipe inserted into his anus and then barbed wire forced into the pipe and ripped out of his rectum. The torturers videotaped the torture, showed it to a gay man and revealed that they had brought a similar plastic pipe and barb wire to use on him. The man then confessed, revealing his gay associates to avoid a similar fate.

Russia Claims It Can’t Find Any Evidence of Chechnya's ‘gay purge’

Russia Claims It Can’t Find Any Evidence of Chechnya’s ‘gay purge’

Russia’s justice minister Alexander Konovalov told United Nations representatives on Monday that the countries investigation of the “gay purge” in Chechnya had turned up no evidence to support the claim.

Speaking before the UN’s Human Rights Council, Konovalov said officials had taken the allegations seriously and looked into them.

“The investigation showed that there were not any such incidents,” he said.

“There weren’t even representatives of LGBTI in Chechnya. We weren’t able to find anyone.”

LGBT groups claimed that at least 200 gay people were held in secret prisons where they were tortured and beaten. At least 26 were said to have been killed. Among those missing and presumed dead is Russian pop singer Zelimkhan Bakaev, who went missing in August 2017.

The news of these crimes against humanity were initially reported in of April 2017 in Novaya Gazeta, a Russian-newspaper, which reported that over 100 men had allegedly been detained and tortured and at least three had died in an extrajudicial killing. The paper, citing its sources in the Chechen special services, called the wave of detentions a “prophylactic sweep”. The journalist who first reported on the subject has gone into hiding. and there were calls for reprisals against journalists who report on the situation.

The Chechen police and military conducted entrapment schemes, in which a victim is lured on a date, beaten and humiliated. A recording is produced, and blackmail money is solicited in return for silence. Law enforcement agencies in Chechnya already keep lists of “suspects”. According to a source from Radio Liberty, raids on gays began in December 2016, subsided briefly, and resumed on a large scale in February 2017. The first gay men who were detained via entrapment were tortured in attempts to reveal the names of their acquaintances.

According to escapees interviewed in the Novaya Gazeta and the British-owned The Guardian, 30 to 40 people are detained in one room (two to three meters big), and often kept for months on end without trial. Witnesses report they are also beaten (with polypropylene pipes below the waist), and tortured with electricity. In addition to physical torture, individuals report being mocked, humiliated and insulted, as well as being forced to clean the prison and spat in the face. In some cases the process of torture ended in the death of the person being tortured.

Canada, Germany, France and Belgium are among countries to have granted asylum to gay Chechens on the basis that they would have faced persecution and possibly death if they stayed.

 

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Boxer Floyd Mayweather Befriends Anti-Gay Murdering Chechnya Leader Ramzan Kadyrov – Video

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Befriends Anti-Gay Murdering Chechnya Leader Ramzan Kadyrov - Video

 

Via TMZ:

Floyd Mayweather has a new member of The Money Team — Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov … an alleged violent warlord who unapologetically hates gay people.

Floyd met up with Kadyrov during a recent trip to Chechnya — buddying up with Kadyrov and urging his fans to follow Ramzan on Instagram.

Ramzan is responsible for the horrible anti-gay purge in Chechnya that has led to hundreds of gay men being held in detention, being  tortured, and executions his country.

When HBO’s Real Sports recently went to Chechnya to report on the country’s  Mixed Martial Arts program this is Kadyrov replied when asked about the “gay purge”: 

“This is nonsense. We don’t have those kinds of people here. We don’t have any gays. If there are any take them to Canada. Praise be to God. Take them far from us so we don’t have them at home. To purify our blood, if there are any here take them.

“They are devils. They are for sale. They are not people. God damn them for what they are accusing us of. They will have to answer to the Almighty for this.”

In June the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning the violence and persecution against gay men in Chechnya, On October 30, 2017 the U.S. Senate followed suit.

S. Res. 211 “calls on Chechen officials to immediately cease the abduction, detention, and torture of individuals on the basis of their actual or suspected sexual orientation, and hold accountable all those involved in perpetrating such abuses.” It also calls on the U.S. government to “continue to condemn the violence and persecution in Chechnya.”

 The Canadian federal government has been secretly spiriting gay Chechen men from Russia to Canada, under a clandestine program.  About a third of those who were being sheltered in Russian safe houses – are now in Toronto and other Canadian cities

Sources estimate that Chechen authorities have rounded up and detained, tortured and in some cases have murdered  hundreds of gay men in secret prisons including the recent revelation that Russian pop-singer  Zelimkhan Bakaev was arrested, tortured and then murdered for being gay. 

His body at the writing of this post  has still not been found.

 

 

 

 

Since you’re here …

We have a small favor to ask. Unlike many other LGBT blogs and news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall or installed intrusive ads– we want to keep our journalism and historical reporting as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Back2Stonewall’s independent voice takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If you can please help us with a small donation to cover the sites expenses and evolve it would be greatly appreciated.  Just clock on the GoFundMe picture on the right of the page or by CLICKING HERE.

Thank you.

Will Kohler

 

Russia Claims It Can’t Find Any Evidence of Chechnya's ‘gay purge’

Voices4Chechnya Protests Russian Consulate in NYC Demands Answers About Missing Chechen Pop Star Zelimkhan Bakaev

On Tuesday, November 7th, the group Voices For Chechnya protested outside the Russian Consulate in NYC, demanding  an immediate investigation into the disappearance of Chechen pop star Zelimkhan Bakaev.

As reported here last month multiple sources claim that Russian singer Zelimkhan Bakaev was arrested, tortured, and murdered by by Chechen authorities due to suspicion of homosexuality.”

Bakaev was last seen on August 8 in Grozny, where he had come from Moscow for his sister’s wedding and has not been seen since.

Via Press Release:

Voices 4 Chechnya’s action began at Central Park where they marched to the Russian Consulate on 91st Street at 1pm. Approximately 50 activists assembled outside the consulate. Voices 4 Chechnya activists held large signs with portraits of Zelimkhan Bakaev, as well as a banner which asked, “Where is Zelimkhan Bakaev?” Chants included “No Murder, No Hate, Russia Investigate, Gays In Chechnya Can Not Wait” and “When Gay Chechens Are Under Attack, What Do We Do, Stand Up Fight Back”.

Voices 4 Chechnya believes that non-violent, direct action activism is integral to the fight for human dignity and equality for all. And everyone, no matter who they are or whom they love, is entitled to live without fear. We will not stand by as the Chechen Republic orders and encourages the capture, torture, and death of its own LGBTQ+ people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Since you’re here …

We have a favor to ask. Unlike many other LGBT blogs and news sites, we haven’t installed intrusive ads– nor do we follow the typical LGBT media PR stream. We want to keep our journalism and historical reporting as open and honest as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Back2Stonewall’s independent voice takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce most of which comes from out own pockets.  We do it because we believe our perspective and integrity matters.

If you can please help us with a small donation to cover the sites expenses and evolution it would be greatly appreciated.  Just go to our GoFundMe page by CLICKING HERE

Any donation no matter how small will help us continue our important work.

 

Russian Pop Star Zelimkhan Bakaev, Tortured and Killed In Chechnya Anti-Gay Roundup

 

Sources are reporting that Russian singer Zelimkhan Bakaev was arrested, tortured, and murdered by by Chechen authorities due to suspicion of homosexuality.”

Bakaev was last seen on August 8 in Grozny, where he had come from Moscow for his sister’s wedding

Bakaev’s Instagram account has mysteriously been deleted, but a small Twitter account in his name remains active, offering no recent updates. Earlier this week, Igor Kocketkovof the Russian LGBT Network made a statement to the media that touched on the disappearance, saying:

At the end of August, we received confirmation of our earlier presumption that [Bakaev] was detained by Chechen authorities due to suspicion of homosexuality.”

A source close to activists in the region have stated that  Bakaev, 26, was tortured to death. “He arrived in Grozny and was picked up by police within three hours,” they claimed. “Within ten hours he was murdered.”

Earlier this week, Maxim Lapunov became the first victim of Chechnya’s ‘gay purge’ to come forward publicly with claims of abuse at the hands of authorities.

Igor Kocketkov claimed in Monday’s press conference that other individuals in Chechnya’s entertainment industry were subjected to “torture” as the authorities attempted to gain information on Bakayev.

Our hearts break for the family and friends of Zelimkhan Bakaev and to the LGBT community of Russia and Chechnya.  

***************

 Since you’re here …

We have a small favor to ask. Unlike many other LGBT blogs and news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall or installed intrusive ads– we want to keep our journalism and historical reporting as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Back2Stonewall’s independent voice takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If you can please help us with a small donation to cover the sites expenses and evolve it would be greatly appreciated.  Just clock on the GoFundMe picture on the right of the page or by CLICKING HERE.

Thank you.

Will Kohler
Back2Stonewall.com

 

Sir Ian McKellen Protests at Russian Embassy in London Over Chechnya “Gay Purge’

Openly gay actor Sir Ian McKellen joined hundreds of protesters outside the Russian embassy in London to voice anger against a “purge” of gay men in Chechnya.

McKellen described it as “a matter of principle” to demonstrate outside the Kensington Gardens consulate on Friday to demand that Moscow takes decisive action against those responsible for the brutal persecution.

Despite international condemnation, Chechen and Russian authorities have denied the accusations, according to Amnesty International. A Chechen spokesman even refuted that gay people even lived in the region.

Condemning the stance of Chechen authorities on gay people, McKellen said: “It is possible to think that gay people don’t exist because gay people are so frightened that they daren’t say they exist.

“What a condemnation it is of Chechnya that its authorities should believe that there are no gay people there, and if there were they shouldn’t be – it’s absolutely appalling.

“If gay people are invisible it’s because they are frightened to be themselves and come out, so it’s a condemnation not of gay people but the society they are trying to exist in.”

“Our principles are shared across borders, and the plight of the gay men in Chechnya is the plight of gay men and women throughout Russia.”

Reading a message from the Russian LGBT network to the crowd, he said: “Right now we need you to demand justice, we need you to tell your governments to take action, we need you to accept refugees, we need you to call for a transparent and just investigation that is going to hold those responsible to account.”

After the protest, McKellen laid rainbow roses on a rainbow flag – the symbol of the LGBT movement – outside the embassy.

Russian Survey

Gay Rights Activists Hold Flash-Mob Protest In St. Petersburg, Russia Over Chechnya Atrocities

Over 100 gay rights activists have held a flash-mob demonstration in the Russian city of St. Petersburg to observe International Day Against Homophobia and to call attention to claims of gay persecution and torture in Chechnya.

Authorities routinely deny LGBT activists permission to hold rallies in Russia under its draconian anti-gay bill banning the promotion of “homosexual propaganda” Unauthorized gatherings often end in arrests and attacks by thugs and Orthodox religious counter protests . But the Wednesday evening demonstration ended without arrests or trouble.

In 2015 after signing the anti-gay bill into law Vladmir Putin insisted “We have no persecution at all. People of non-traditional sexual orientation work, they live in peace, they get promoted, they get state awards for their achievements in science and arts or other areas. I personally have awarded them medals.”

The St. Petersburg demonstrators called on Western governments to grant asylum to Chechen gays.

As it was reported by this website yesterday. The United States have been denying visa applications from gay men attempting to flee persecution in Chechnya.

 

Chechnya Police Arrest More Than 100 Gay Men, 3 Murdered In Latest Gay Genocide Attempt

A Russian newspaper has reported that it has uncovered information that police in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya have rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three have been killed according to the New York Times, which cites the Novaya Gazeta. The Russian newspaper says it confirmed the news with government officials and an analyst of the region also confirmed the news to the Times with her own sources.

The report has been denied by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s spokesman, who suggested there are no homosexuals in the Muslim-majority region. Ali Karimov said, “It’s impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic. If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.”

Three men are known to have been murdered, although the real number is likely to be higher. The newspaper claims authorities have been specifically seeking out closeted gay men by posing as men looking for dates on social networking sites.

The Kremlin-backed Kadyrov is widely accused of extensive human rights violations. He has brought Islam to the fore of Chechnya’s daily life, including opening what is called Europe’s biggest mosque.