Tag Archives: Human Rights

AP Reports Gay Men Being Dragged From Homes And Savagely Beaten In Nigeria

Nigeria

The Associated Press is reporting  a wave of brutal beatings of gay men in the anti-gay country of Nigeria where armed mobs are dragging the victims out of their homes and into the streets.

A mob armed with wooden clubs and iron bars, screaming that they were going to “cleanse” their neighborhood of gay people, dragged 14 young men from their beds and assaulted them, human rights activists said Saturday.

Four of the victims were marched to a police station, where they allegedly were kicked and punched by police officers who yelled pejoratives at them, said Ifeanyi Orazulike (pictured) of the International Center on Advocacy for the Right to Health.

Police threatened that the men would be incarcerated for 14 years, he said, the maximum prison sentence under Nigeria’s new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, dubbed the “Jail the Gays” law.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has also received reports that approximately 10 men, perceived to be gay, were beaten by a mob of some 40 persons in the community of Geshiri near Abuja last night or early this morning. The local police reportedly arrested 5 of the victims of the attack and later released them. Most of the men suffered injuries from the attack and are now in hiding.

Putin Defends Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws In ABC Interview, ABC Leaves Out Outrageous Remarks

Poopoohead Putin

During a rather soft interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday’s This Week, ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked Putin about the country’s anti-gay laws. Not about the countless arrests and hassasment that has happned in Russia.  Stephanopoulos asked Putin whether gay people will be prosecuted under the propaganda law if they wear a rainbow pin at Sochi.

Said Putin:

Acts of protest and acts of propaganda are somewhat different things. They are close, but if we were to look at them from the legal perspective, then protesting a law does not amount to propaganda of sexuality or sexual abuse of children. That’s one. Two is that I’d like to ask our colleagues, my colleagues and friends, that as they try to criticize us, they would do well to set their own house in order first. I did say, after all, and this is public knowledge, that in some of the states in the U.S., homosexuality remains a felony.

Stephanopolous replied that “the Supreme Court has struck those laws down.”

Added Putin:

How are they in a position to criticize us for what is a much softer, liberal approach to these issues than in their own country? I know that this isn’t something that can be easily done. This is so because there are a lot of folks in the U.S. who share the view that the legislation in their state or in their nation is appropriate, well grounded, and is in sync with the sentiment of the vast majority of the population…The Russian people have their own cultural code, their own traditions. We don’t interfere. Don’t stick our noses in their life. And we ask that our traditions and culture are treated with the same respect.  Russia does not criminally prosecute people for being gay, unlike in over one-third of the world’s nations. Seventy of the world’s nations consider homosexual behavior a crime. Seven out of the 70 use capital punishment for homosexuality. What does it mean? Does it mean we need to cancel any major international sports events in those countries? Probably not.

But according to a source to Back2Stonewall.com from a source that has read the Russian transcripts from this press conference there’s a lot more propaganda from Putin than ABC was willing to talk about including the fact that even after being corrected about about homosexuality being criminalized in “several US states — Texas, for example,” Putin kept repeating this over and over.

Putin also doesn’t recognize the usual designation of the law as “Mizulina’s law” and claims that it’s a law “against propaganda of pedophilia and homosexualism.”Pedophilia is NOT MENTIONED in the law. And “homosexualism” was only deleted in order to make out that the law is not anti-gay. Instead it’s against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.”

Another outrageous claim from Putin in the Russian transcripts is that he claims that in several countries in Europe there is a valid movement WITHIN THE GOVERNMENTS to legalize pedophilia. He repeats this again and again too, and it’s a major feature of Russian anti-European propaganda adding that also in Germany 38,000 children were taken away from straight parents and given to gay couples.

This is only the tip of Putin’s propaganda iceberg.

UPDATE: RFK Center for Human Rights Auctions Off Orson Scott Card for Charity – Current Bid $0.00

Enders Game Action 2

In what has to be a joke (its not) the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights a human rights advocacy organization, a nonprofit charitable organization that works to realize Robert Kennedy’s dream of a peaceful and just world by advancing human rights is auctioning off a “an exclusive two-hour story creation workshop for a small group of dedicated high school writing students at any high school in the United States.” with Orson Scott Card.

That’s right. You can win a two hour session for the well known anti-gay homophobe and racist scribe of Ender’s Game to teach you children!

Now one has to wonder exactly just how clueless the people at the RFK Center are to actually offer up this heinous bigot for action to get money to advance “human rights” so lets tell them shall we.

Contact The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and let them know about Cards racism and homophobia and demand an apology for what has to be the most insensitive and ironic auction item ever in the name of human rights.

The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights’

1300 19th Street, NW
Suite 750
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-463-7575
Fax: 202-463-6606
E-mail: info@rfkcenter.org

 

Enders Shame Auction

UPDATE: Back2Stonewall.com reached out to the RFK Center and they have pulled out of the auction 

Dear Will:

The RFK Center works around the world to defend sexual minorities’ rights, and is a longstanding leader in the fight against LGBTI discrimination. In Uganda alone, we have partnered for years with on-the-ground activists to lead a global coalition against the infamous anti-homosexuality bill, galvanized global faith leaders and Nobel Peace laureates on behalf of LGBTI Ugandans, secured the release of trans activists imprisoned for their advocacy efforts, brought life-saving medical resources to health care clinics serving LGBTI patients who have been turned away from city hospitals, and fostered a historic dialogue on sexual minority rights within the nation’s police forces. Auction coordinators occasionally offer items to the RFK Center auction. The RFK Center did not solicit this item and it is no longer part of our auction.

 

Mikhail Baryshnikov Speaks Out Against Russia’s Treatment Of Its LGBT Citizens

Barishnikov

“My life has been immensely enriched by gay mentors, colleagues and friends and any discrimination and persecution of gay people is unacceptable. Equal treatment of people is a basic right and it is sad that we still have to even speak about this in [the] 21st century. I salute No More Fear foundation for stepping in so quickly to provide the much necessary assistance to gay and lesbian people who are fleeing prosecution and help them lead a proud life in their new country.”

Legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, who defected from Russia in 1974, in a statement released to the No More Fear Foundation that provides a lifeline of resettlement services for LGBT people who flee other countries and seek asylum in America.

It Ain’t Over Yet. Many More LGBT Related Cases Headed To The Supreme Court

sUPREME cOURT

Earlier this week the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal made by Virgina’s bigoted Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the case of McDonald v. Moose, which involved Virginia’s sodomy law ending The Cooch’s puritan reign f sexual terror in that sate once and for all.  Also this week  SCOTUS  refused to hear the appeal of a University of Toledo Human Resources staffer  Crystal Dixon who was fired for writing an an op-ed that condemned the term “civil-rights” and distaste for comparisons between civil rights struggles of gay people and those of African Americans.

Two major wins for the LGBT community.  But that’s not the end of the line for gay rights cases and the Supreme Court—several cases with important consequences are still under consideration.

Elane Photography v. Vanessa Willock

New Mexico photographer Elaine Huguein refused to shoot the wedding of a lesbian couple, and in doing so violated the state’s law banning discrimination in public accommodations.  Huguein maintained her religious beliefs should trump local ordinances, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in August that her First Amendment rights weren’t violated and that “[businesses that] choose to be public accommodations must comply” with law. The court stated Huguein’s company could still “post a disclaimer on their website or in their studio advertising that they oppose same-sex marriage.”

If SCOTUS hears Elane Photography v. Vanessa Willock, the case could seriously impact anti-discrimination laws nationwide.

Pickup v. Brown

The notoriously anti-gay legal hate group the Liberty Counsel is appealing California’s new ban on reparative therapy for minors.  In late August, a U.S. Court of Appeals panel reversed an injunction against instituting the ban until the appeal had been reviews, stating that the law “is neither vague nor overbroad, and does not violate parents’ fundamental rights.” Right now, Liberty Counsel is requesting a review of the panel’s decision, but Pickup v. Brown could find its way to the Supremes soon enough.

If it does, it could impact similar efforts to ban conversion therapy in other states.

Other LGBT related cases which make their way to the Supreme Court are 35 major lawsuits in 19 states all challenging state bans on marriage equality.

The farthest along and most likely to reach the Supreme Court first is one by Lambda Legal out of Nevada. That case, Sevcik v Sandoval, was dismissed at the federal district court level but Lambda has an appeal pending before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and briefing closes on or two weeks after November 18.

A second lawsuit, Jackson v Abercrombie, against Hawaii’s ban on same-sex marriage, has final briefs due to the Ninth Circuit on December 23 or two weeks thereafter. Depending on how quickly the Ninth Circuit moves on the cases, they could potentially be appealed to the Supreme Court this session but they would likely be heard next session.

We spent years and millions upon millions of dollars trying to change “hearts and minds” and wrongly trying to sway the popular vote.  But after Prop 8 and DOMA  in the end now it seems that that strategy was wrong, and the courts and America’s legal system was always the way to go.

Mark Regnerus Is Upset That Anti-Gay Russians Are Using His Bogus Anti-Gay Parenting Study

Mark Regenerus

Now that  anti-gay Russian lawmakers are citing University of Texas sociopath sociologist Mark Regnerus’s  bogus and anti-gay right wing backed study on gay parenting as reason to strip custody rights from gay parents, Regnerus is trying to backtrack and disassociate himself from the draconian Russian law by spinning a new “true meaning” of his widely discredited worked.

In an article in The Atlantic Regnerus writes:

“This may come as a surprise to those who have spent the past 15 months tagging my study as discredited or “debunked,” a silly and simplistic moniker given that the data is public and the analyses in the article are rather straightforward. Isn’t it hypocritical to blow the whistle on this use of the data while supporting other such uses, such as my own participation on an amici brief to the U.S. Supreme Court? No, it is not, because I oppose same-sex marriage and lawmaker Andrei Zhuravlyov’s draconian legislation for the same reason: every child has a mother and a father, and such kinship matters for kids. To be stably rooted in your married mother and father’s household is to foster the greatest chance at lifelong flourishing. It’s not necessary, of course. It just has the best odds.

Of course, such kinship ties are often broken, sometimes with intention (by mutual divorce, sperm donation, and some instances of surrogacy), sometimes by accident (as through the death of a parent), and sometimes by necessity (in the case of seeking protection from domestic violence), all through no fault of the child. A good society seeks to discourage broken kinship ties, and to struggle over how to manage those that are unavoidable. It does not respond by simply declaring biological bonds to be irrelevant or such brokenness only imagined.’

It’a a little late for Mark Regnerus to be backtracking his bought and paid for radical religious anti-gay right wing junk science piece of work in order to legitimize precisely the kind of hateful legislation that he meant it to be used for.  He only does so now because his discredited study is included in the fascist anti-gay Russian law that has been submitted to the Russian Duma and all the world can now see his homophobic hate destroys countless lives.

 

 

Nancy Pelosi Zings Putin Over NYT Op-Ed: I Hope Equality Applies To ‘Gays And Lesbians In Russia’

SNAP

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Thursday that she thought it was “great” that Vladimir Putin included a line in his controversial New York Times op-ed about all people being created equal under God.

But also gave Putin a verbal slap on in the face when she added that “I hope it applies to gays and lesbians in Russia as well,” during a Capitol Hill press conference.

To double down on the statement Pelosi (or her staff) took the comment to Twitter for all the world to see.

Great sound bite and you have to give it to her for actually saying something.

Nancy Pelosi

 

Russian Sochi Olympic Head Begs IOC To Help Stop The Bad Press. – Good Luck With That.

Sochi Russia gay

The Russian organizing chief of the Sochi Olympic Games, Dmitry Chernyshenko is begging the International Olympic Committee to help downplay and do something about all the fallout over Russia’s anti-gay laws, because of the demonstrations and ramifications from around the world that it might cause at the Olympic Games.

AP reports:

“It’s very important to have your support to stop this campaign and this speculation regarding this issue,” Chernyshenko said at an assembly of members of the IOC.

Reuters also claims that Chernyshenko also said that the law banning “gay propaganda” does not affect gays. And because Putin recently gave an award to a gay person, Russia respects homosexuals.

“The constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees equality of rights for everybody in the country. It explicitly prohibits any form of discrimination,” he told the IOC session…

“We make this clear. This law recently passed does not prohibit homosexuality directly or indirectly. It does not contradict elements of the Olympic Charter. It will not stop 2014 proudly upholding the Olympic values,” Chernyshenko said.

“The law will have no impact for any guest visitor. Whether athletes or just fans or members of Olympic family, everybody is welcome to enjoy the fantastic Games.”

Chernyshenko said Putin had awarded “the highest Russian order” to a homosexual recently. “This is a greatest example of diversity of our country. It’s important to have your (IOC) support in this campaign.”

Meanwhile Sochi 2014 Marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg added that is afraid that: “The American sponsors are afraid what could happen. This could ruin a lot for all of us.”

GOOD.

This is a sign that the protests are working we all need to keep the pressure going.

And as for Dmitry, Gerhard , and the IOC.   Cry me a fucking river boys. This is one PR battle that you will not win especially when he louder Russia screams their denials of injustice, the clearer picture becomes that they are lying and the world gets of the true situation.

 

Gay Russian Activist “Let Down” By Meeting With President Obama – Video

Gay Russia

Igor Kochetkov of the Russian LGBT Network has publicly stated that he felt underwhelmed and “let down” with the recent meeting of President Obama concerning the persecution that LGBT Russians are experiencing under Vladimir Putin’s current anti-gay regime because Obama said he had to consider his overall relationship with Russia.

Said Kochetkov:

“The President said he can’t prioritize human rights in his relationship with Russia because there are other issues as well. I disagree with the President because, in my view, by doing so, we narrow our chances of cooperation in other areas.”

Not totally shocking considering the snails pace the Obama administration has taken on LGBT issues in his own country after all his grandiose promises and talk during his campaign year in 2007 and 2007.  While DADT did happen after much prodding from GetEqual and the LGBT community we’d do well to remember the LGBT community took care of DOMA and we sit here 6 years later still waiting on a strong push from President on ENDA and much of the time waiting is because there are other “issues” with out own anti-gay faction of government because their are other issues.

The 2.5 Billion Dollar Truth Behind P&G’s Relationship With Russia Goes Beyond The Olympics

P&G Russia

Procter & Gamble Russia – Key Facts

P&G in Russia

Operating in Russia since 1991, P&G Russia is now one of the fastest developing subsidiaries of the Procter & Gamble Company. It has in Russia a solid portfolio of over 70 brands, the key of them are Ariel, Tide, Fairy, Blend-a-med, Pampers, Always, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Wella and possesses leading market shares in 3/4 of the categories where it operates, esp. detergents, shampoos and diapers.

Major Local Manufacturer Ca. 50% of all P&G products sold in the Russian consumer market are already manufactured locally in Russia. Since 1993 P&G owns the OOO “Procter & Gamble – Novomoskovsk” plant in Tula region and now turned it into the most significant detergent manufacturer in CIS. Today overall investment of P&G in Novomoskovsk is close to $250 millions.

New production lines were installed in the plant for Ariel, Tide, Myth and Tix detergents, Comet and Mr. Proper cleansers, Ace bleach, Fairy dishwashing liquid and Lenor fabric conditioner. New production for Pampers Sleep & Play diaper manufacturing  began in September, 2005.

Another plant producing hair care products, Capella, in Nizhny Novgorod region has arrived with the Wella acquisition. As a result of integration of P&G and Gillette companies the third production site has moved into P&G family. It is “Peterburg Products International” that produces disposable razors and blades.

Important Local Employer
P&G directly employs in Russia more than 2300 people. There are around 1000 workers at Novomoskovsk plant.  Local employees including managers in very senior roles run the majority of the business. In addition, P&G operations trigger jobs for more than 14000 people at P&G’s business partners in Russia. For example, regional companies engaged in P&G products distribution employ over 10000 people.

Major Exporter
Ca.25% of OOO “Procter & Gamble – Novomoskovsk” output is exported to neighboring countries. OOO “Capella” and ZAO “Peterburg Products International” also make products for export including Europe.

Taxpayer Info
Since the start of its activities in Russia, until 2006 P&G contributed more than $1,2 billion US dollars in taxes and duties to federal, local and regional budgets in Russia today that amount has almost doubled.

P&G has a large investment in Russia and not only profits greatly from its Russia businesses but economically boosts and supports the country and its anti-gay government as well..

While P&G claims to be LGBT inclusive and supportive to its employees and the community at large, it needs to make a public statement statement of support not only to Russia’s LGBT community but also to its own LGBT Russian workers by pulling its support of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games and taking a stand against Russia’s draconian anti-LGBT laws which are not only contrary to P&G’s corporate mantra of inclusion but also to basic human rights itself.

Sign the petition below to P&G and other USA corporate sponsors to pull out of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

http://www.change.org/petitions/stand-against-russia-s-brutal-crackdown-on-gay-rights-urge-winter-olympics-2014-sponsors-to-condemn-anti-gay-laws

*FULL DISCLOSURE:  I worked for P&G for one year in 2005 at the Cincinnati, Ohio Headquarters and I know these facts to be true.