18 thoughts on “Gay pride and homophobia in Italy, Croatia, Poland

  1. Administrator on June 11, 2011 at 10:37 pm said:

    Stone-throwing extremists disrupt gay pride march in Croatia’s coastal town of Split

    By: The Associated Press

    Posted: 06/11/2011 1:45 PM

    ZAGREB, Croatia – Stone-throwing extremists disrupted a gay pride march in Croatia on Saturday, a day after the Balkan country was given the green light to join the European Union.

    At least 100 people were detained and many others were injured after opponents of the march in the coastal town of Split attacked about 200 participants with rocks, bottles and firecrackers, state TV reported.

    Riot police prevented direct clashes between the two groups, which were also separated by iron fences. Police said thousands lined the streets in protest of the march.

    Croatia has pledged to protect human rights as part of efforts at EU membership after a series of wars in the Balkans in the 1990s. EU officials said Friday that Croatia could join in 2013, after years of tough negotiations.

    But organizers of the Split march accused the police of not doing enough to protect them.

    “The state institutions did not do their job properly,” activist Sanja Juras said.

    Amnesty International described the violence as a “disgrace.”

    “The Croatian authorities need to act to stop this happening in future,” said Nicola Duckworth, the human right group’s director for Europe and Central Asia, urging an immediate investigation and punishment for the attackers.

  2. Administrator on June 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm said:

    Nationalists throw firecrackers at Polish Gay Pride parade

    Jun 11, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    Warsaw – Polish ultra-nationalists threw firecrackers and shouted homophobic abuse in Warsaw on Saturday at the country’s Gay Pride parade.

    Marchers demanded legal rights for same-sex couples, government action on discrimination and laws against homophobic hate speech.

    More than 3,000 gays, lesbians and their supporters were cordoned off by police from a smaller group of counter-demonstrators, who shouted slogans such as, ‘Man and Qoman:Normal Family.’

    Those demonstrating against the parade included members of the All-Polish Youth, an ultra-conservative organization that preaches nationalism and family values.

    The march set off from parliament, and began with the playing of the Polish national anthem – organizers said they wanted to be demonstrate their love for their country.

    Marchers waved the rainbow-coloured gay pride flags as they danced to techno music and waved banners saying, ‘Love Doesn’t Exclude.’ A group of women dressed as nurses carried signs saying, ‘Homophobia is Curable.’

    Organisers said they wanted sexual education in schools to include homosexuality, and the right to receive information on their partner’s health if the partner was hospitalised.

    Politicians from the Democratic Left Alliance, Poland’s second-largest opposition party, took part in the parade.

    The British ambassador in Poland, Rick Todd, told the crowd that the parade was not against anyone, and that it supported diversity. The crowd yelled back, ‘God Save the Queen.’

    Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science, built by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, was lit up in multi-colored lights for the event.

    The three-hour parade concluded without major incident in the late afternoon and there were no arrests or detentions, a police spokesman said.

    Police would keep patrol as crowds were set to gather for a concert that was to carry on until the evening.

    Gay rights activists have said that big cities like Warsaw and Krakow are becoming more liberal and tolerant towards homosexual couples. But an openly gay couple is still a rare sight in smaller towns, where gays can face taunts or threats.

    Last year, police used batons to push back egg-throwing anti-gay demonstrators as they threw eggs when the city hosted for the first time a EuroPride gay parade, which is held each year in a different European city.

    Warsaw has hosted gay pride parades since 2001, but homosexuality remains a difficult subject in the largely Roman Catholic nation. Gay pride parades were banned in 2004 and 2005 by then mayor Lech Kaczynski.

    DPA

  3. Administrator on June 18, 2011 at 10:23 am said:

    U.N. rights forum proclaims equal gay rights

    By Stephanie Nebehay

    GENEVA | Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:10pm BST

    (Reuters) – The top U.N. human rights body declared Friday there should be no discrimination or violence against people based on their sexual orientation, a vote Western countries called historic but Islamic states firmly rejected.

    The controversial resolution marked the first time that the Human Rights Council recognized the equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, diplomats said.

    The text, presented by South Africa, was adopted by 23 countries in favour, 19 against with 3 abstentions and one delegation absent during voting. Libya’s membership in the 47-member Geneva forum was suspended in March.

    “All over the world, people face human rights abuses and violations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including torture, rape, criminal sanctions, and killing,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement issued in Washington.

    “Today’s landmark resolution affirms that human rights are universal,” she said, calling it a “historic moment.”

    Britain, France joined the United States in voting in favour, while Russia voted against and China abstained, results showed.

    South African Ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila said the aim was for a dialogue on discrimination and violence meted out to those “whose only crime seems to be their choice in life.”

    But delegations from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Bangladesh took the floor to reject the text in a heated debate held on the last day of the council’s three-week session.

    Mauritania’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Cheikh Ahmed Ould Zahaf, said that the issue did not fall within the scope of any international human rights treaty.

    “This issue has nothing to do with human rights,” he said, speaking before the vote. “What we find here is an attempt to change the natural right of a human being with an unnatural right. That is why calls on all members to vote against it.”

    Homosexuality is generally taboo in Islamic states as it is seen as a violation of religious and cultural values. Homosexual men in the Gulf are regularly arrested and sentenced to prison terms.

    Mexican Ambassador Juan Jose Gomez Camacho said the issue had nothing to do with imposing Western or other values, but with non-discrimination. People are already protected under international treaties against discrimination on grounds of race, religion, and gender, he said.

    “Non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation is exactly the same,” Camacho said, winning applause.

    The resolution calls on the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to draw up the first U.N. report on challenges faced by gay people worldwide.

    Her report, due by December, should document discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

    (Additional reporting by Tabassum Zakaria in Washington; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/06/17/uk-un-rights-sexual-idUKTRE75G4TD20110617

  4. Administrator on June 18, 2011 at 10:18 pm said:

    Police Protect Gay Pride Rallies Across Balkans

    by The Associated Press

    SOFIA, Bulgaria June 18, 2011, 01:58 pm ET

    Gays and lesbians marched in several Eastern European capitals Saturday protected by hundreds of riot police after some extremist groups urged members to stop the Gay Pride rallies.

    Nearly 1,000 people joined the fourth Gay Pride rally in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, organizers said. Twice as many paraded through the Croatian capital of Zagreb under rainbow arches of balloons and banners for that city’s 10th Gay Pride march. Hungarian gay rights activists also took to the streets in Budapest, flanked by police in full riot gear.

    Gays and lesbians face widespread hostility in the region’s macho-dominated societies, and opposition to their public events has been fierce.

    “I am here because I am tired of being afraid,” Deya Georgieva, 19, said in Sofia. “It is really ridiculous that in a country pretending to be European its citizens are denied some basic rights.”

    Police spokesman Krunoslav Borovec said 2,000 people marched through central Zagreb, protected by more than 700 policemen. Police detained 17 people for insulting the marchers and holding anti-gay banners.

    Some prominent public figures joined the Zagreb parade, which was dubbed “The Future is Ours.”

    The Zagreb rally came a week after thousands of extremists disrupted a gay pride event in the coastal city of Split, throwing rocks, bottles and firecrackers.

    Croatia, which has pledged to protect human rights as part of efforts to join the European Union, provided extensive security for Saturday’s rally. After years of tough negotiations, EU officials said earlier this month that Croatia could join the 27-nation bloc in 2013.

    Due to extremist violence during previous gay rights parades, Sofia city hall rejected an anti-gay group’s demand to hold a parallel rally. Gay Pride organizers, however, said extremists used social networks to drum up resistance.

    Guarded by hundreds of police and private security, the mostly young marchers walked peacefully through downtown Sofia displaying colorful banners calling for love, equality and sexual diversity.

    “We are here because we exist” read one banner. “Be aware whom you hate, because it could be someone you love” proclaimed another.

    Gays in Bulgaria face widespread hostility despite a 2003 anti-discrimination law that protects their rights.

    One young man said his parents were unaware of his sexual orientation.

    “They belong to another generation, and for them the issue is taboo,” said 18-year-old Nikolay, who would not give his last name for fear of discrimination.

    On Friday, the United Nations issued its first condemnation of discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender people in a cautiously worded declaration. The resolution was hailed by supporters, including the United States, as a historic moment but decried by some African and Muslim countries for introducing ideas that “have no legal foundation.”

    ————————

    Jovana Gec contributed to this report from Belgrade.

  5. Administrator on June 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm said:

    Reverend not so revered at home

    POLAND: A fundamentalist priest and media mogul has sparked uproar in Poland by asserting that the state “hasn’t been ruled by Poles since 1939” — a statement some interpret as code for saying that Jewish people are secretly running the country.

    The Reverend Tadeusz Rydzyk, who has previously been accused of fomenting anti-semitism through his politically influential extremist Radio Maryja station, made the comments at the European Parliament last week.

    Poland’s Foreign Ministry sent a diplomatic note to the Vatican on Saturday accusing Mr Rydzyk of “harming the image of Poland abroad.”

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/106339

  6. Administrator on August 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm said:

    Klaus slaps down pride petition

    CZECH REPUBLIC: The president lashed out on Monday at 13 ambassadors who had signed a petition supporting gay rights in the country.

    Vaclav Klaus said the petition was “an unprecedented step” and attempted to influence the internal politics of a democracy.

    Mr Klaus had backed Deputy Chancellor Petr Hajek’s condemnation of a gay pride festival due to begin tomorrow.

    The petition, signed by the ambassadors of 13 countries including Britain, was labelled “counterproductive and redundant” by Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/108063

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  8. May 19, 11:32 AM EDT

    Lady Gaga arrives in Philippines amid protests

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Pop singer Lady Gaga arrived in the Philippines on Saturday to cheers from fans and protests from young Christians calling for the cancellation of her upcoming concerts.

    About 200 Christian young people marched in Manila for a second straight day, holding placards urging the singer to “respect our faith, stop the blasphemy.”

    The Biblemode Youth Philippines members plan to hold a vigil starting Sunday near the concert venue. They said they are offended by Lady Gaga’s music, particularly her song “Judas,” which they said mocks Jesus Christ.

    But throngs of shrieking, camera-toting fans mobbed her, seeking her autograph as she walked into her hotel surrounded by bodyguards. She arrived in Manila late Saturday on a private jet.

    Authorities in the conservative, majority Roman Catholic country approved the concerts, set for Monday and Tuesday, but said they won’t allow nudity or lewd acts.

    Sold-out crowds and angry protests have followed Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” Asian tour.

    Fans younger than 18 were banned from concerts in South Korea over complaints her lyrics and costumes were too provocative, and she was denied a concert permit in Indonesia by police under pressure from Islamic hard-liners.

    Riot police stopped Saturday’s marchers about a kilometer (half a mile) away from the concert venue. Phalanxes of security guards stood on alert in front of the arena.

    “She declared a distorted view toward Jesus Christ and for us Biblical Christians it is offensive,” said Ruben Abante, a protest leader. “Her music and everything about her is different from what our values are.”

    Organizers from Ovation Productions said they respect the beliefs of critics but promised that the performances “will not pose a threat to their sense of morality and conduct.”

    Under Philippine law, people who offend race or religion can be sentenced to up to six years in prison, although no one has been convicted recently.

    © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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  11. MPs protest against Walesa comments

    POLAND: The country’s first openly gay and transsexual MPs took seats on Parliament’s front bench today to protest against bigoted remarks by former president Lech Walesa.

    Walesa said on Friday that gays belong on the back rows of Parliament, or “even behind a wall.”

    Palikot’s Movement party leader Janusz Palikot responded by giving up his seat to gay rights activist Robert Biedron and providing another for transsexual parliamentarian Anna Grodzka.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/130266

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  14. Pingback: Indian court re-activates British colonial anti-LGBTQ law | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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