Bishop Gijsen threatened little boy he abused with hellfire


This video is about an LGBTQ demonstration in 1979 in Roermond, the Netherlands, against homophobic speech by Jo Gijsen, then bishop of Roermond.

Translated from Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad today:

“Bishop Gijsen threatened abused boy with hell”

Former Bishop Jo Gijsen made two victims, according to statements by the complaints committee about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. But according to advocacy groups Klokk and Mea Culpa there are more cases against the now deceased cleric. The abuse took placed when Gijsen was a priest in South Limburg.

On February 11, the complaints committee said that two accusations against Gijsen were well founded. One of their documents points out that in the late 1950s a little boy, then nine years old, had to bring regularly letters by his father to a curate in Valkenburg. That curate was Jo Gijsen.

On one of those occasions Gijsen invited the boy to drink chocolate. Then he pulled the little boy on his lap and proceeded to play with the penis of the terribly startled youngster. Gijsen told the boy to be silent about this or he would be punished by going to hell. This abuse happened more often, and the committee declared the complaint about it well-founded.

The victim says the former bishop has forced him to perform oral sex as well and has raped or attempted to rape him several times.

USA: Revelations of extra-marital affairs and a porn habit leave the 20,000 worshippers of one mega-church leaderless: here.

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Blind African refugee beaten up in Britain


This video from England says about itself:

Who killed Jimmy Mubenga? Protest outside G4S AGM, London 6 June 2013

By Ryan Fletcher in Britain:

Friday 11th April 2014

A disabled asylum-seeker told the Star yesterday that he was beaten by staff tasked to deliver him to Heathrow airport for deportation.

Alain Kouayep Tchatchue was delivered to Heathrow early on Saturday from nearby Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre.

Visually impaired Mr Tchatchue claimed that when he refused to board a flight to Cameroon, from which he fled because he is bisexual, he was attacked.

He alleged that the two staff responsible for taking him to the airport dragged him back to the transportation van, punched him repeatedly in the ribs and then left him in the van for over three hours with his hands and feet tied.

Mr Tchatchue claimed that the two staff told him “they were just doing their job.”

Speaking to the Star from the detention centre yesterday, he said: “I couldn’t see properly and was screaming ‘please help me.’

“They tied my feet together and handcuffed me. I could feel them putting pressure on my neck.

“They untied my feet after three hours but I was handcuffed for over four.”

Eventually Mr Tchatchue was returned to the detention centre after it was decided he was too ill to travel.

He has subsequently put in a complaint to the police, but said he was still suffering with mobility problems in his shoulder for which he has needed painkillers all week.

He told the Star: “I am very scared and upset. Even now I can’t sleep. This is a very difficult time in my life.”

Mr Tchatchue fled Cameroon after having a relationship with a man and said that reports about his sexuality had appeared in the local press there and he would be in danger if he was deported.

Manchester Metropolitan Church pastor Andy Braunston has been campaigning on Mr Tchatchue’s behalf.

He said: “Alain is a blind man who uses a white stick to get around and who has fled here because of fear of the violence of the state in Cameroon.”

The Metropolitan Police and the Home Office were unavailable for comment.

Britain: We musn’t lose the gains made by black workers over the last decade in an austerity-led backlash, says GLORIA MILLS: here.

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Homophobe becomes Mozilla boss


This video from the USA is called Mozilla Firefox Fallout: Brendan Eich‘s Proposition 8 Support Sparks Backlash From Employees, OkCupid.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

OkCupid boycotts Firefox after ‘homophobic’ CEO appointment

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

Brendan Eich donated money to anti-gay rights group Proposition 8

A popular dating website began yesterday a boycott to a homophobic internet browser.

Free online dating group OkCupid has launched a boycotting campaign against Mozilla Firefox after the internet browser company appointed anti-gay rights supporter Brendan Eich as its new CEO.

Users attempting to access the website through Firefox were met with a landing page requesting they opt for another browser.

“If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8 per cent of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal,” read the statement.

Mr Eich openly donated $1,000 (£600) to the Proposition 8 campaign, which put forward the view that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

OkCupid — which had over 10 million unique hits only last month — said its very nature was “creating love.”

To those wanting to undermine love, they wish “nothing but failure.”

Mozilla has released a statement denying homophobia but omitting its CEO’s political agenda.

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Stop Ugandan anti-LGBTQ bill, Archbishop Tutu says


This video from South Africa says about itself:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu pays homage to Madiba

10 dec. 2013

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has been praised for calling into order the crowd at the memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium, in Soweto.

From Associated Press:

Tutu Urges Uganda‘s Museveni Against Anti-Gay Bill

JOHANNESBURG February 23, 2014

South Africa’s retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu urges Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni not to sign into law the harsh Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would give up to a life sentence in jail for some same-sex relations.

Tutu, a Nobel peace prize winner, said in a statement Sunday that Museveni a month ago had pledged not to allow the anti-gay legislation to become law in Uganda. But last week Museveni said he had reconsidered and would consult scientists on whether homosexuality is determined by genetics or by a person’s choice.

Tutu said he is “disheartened” by Museveni’s change because there is “no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love … There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever.”

Tutu urged Museveni to strengthen Uganda’s “culture of human rights and justice.”

Museveni Still the West’s Man? Here.

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Band plays YMCA at Sochi Olympic skating


This video from the Winter Olympics in Canada says about itself:

Dutch speed skating band Kleintje Pils during the Men’s 500m in Vancouver 2010.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Musical protest by Kleintje Pils

Saturday, February 15, 2014 15:21

The Dutch brass band Kleintje Pils ["Small Beer"] has played the song YMCA in Sochi during a break while the ice was cleaned during the 1,500 meter speed skating. This was intended as a protest against the anti-LGBTQ law in Russia.

“We too know the terrible images of anti-gay hatred in Russia and other countries,” said the Oompah band. “We cannot be silent about that.” The song, a 1970s hit by the Village People, is associated with the gay movement.

Kleintje Pils has had contact with Victor Willis, the composer of YMCA. “He wrote it to connect people with each other and that is also what Kleintje Pils stands for,” says the band.

A Dutch radio interview with the band about this is here.

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YMCA played at Sochi Olympics


This video is called Village People – YMCA OFFICIAL Music Video 1978.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Russians themselves play YMCA

Saturday, February 8, 2014 15:46

It was the idea of ​​[Dutch gay comedian] Paul de Leeuw: let the party band “Small beer” [Kleintje Pils] play ‘gay song’ YMCA during the speed skating in Sochi as a protest against the anti-LGBTQ law in Russia. It is not known whether the Russians knew about that call and whether they agreed with such a playful protest, but the fact is that the song sounded from the loudspeakers this afternoon in Sochi.

During a break in the while machines cleaned the ice of the Adler Arena, people could hear The Village People which is seen worldwide as a ‘gay’ song.

Kleintje Pils will be going to Sochi next week.

Women’s fight to join the Olympics, sport by sport: here.

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Sochi Olympics, homophobia and snow


Democracy Now! in the USA says about this video today:

“Celebration Capitalism & the Olympics”: Global Protests Mark Opening of Sochi Games

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent more than $50 billion on the Winter Games in Sochi, making this the most expensive Olympics in history. In the lead-up to the games, Russia has faced worldwide criticism and calls for boycotts, especially after it passed a law in June banning the spread of so-called “gay propaganda” to children. With the games just two days away, we host a roundtable with four guests: Dave Zirin, sports columnist for The Nation magazine and author of “Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down”; Samantha Retrosi, a luge athlete who competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics; historian and former U.S. Olympic soccer player, Jules Boykoff, who is author of “Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games“; and Helen Lenskyj, author of several books on the Olympics, including “Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry” and the forthcoming book, “Sexual Diversity and the Sochi 2014 Olympics: No More Rainbows.”

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

DAVE ZIRIN: Second, I had a flashback this morning to getting a call from Amy in 2010, when she was detained at the Canadian border, going across for a different event, and the Vancouver Olympics were happening. Do you remember that?

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, I do.

DAVE ZIRIN: And they said to Amy, they said, “Are you here to talk about the Olympics?” And Amy said, “I am now.” And it’s just to point out that these issues we’re talking about are at every Olympics, and there’s no doubt that they’re getting amplified in Russia, partially because of the conflicts between the United States and Russia, but it’s also true that what’s happening in Russia is particularly bad, even by Olympic standards.

And that leads, really, to your question. I mean, the U.S. delegation involves three openly LGBT athletes—Billie Jean King, Caitlin Cahow, Brian Boitano—and then gold medalist Bonnie Blair. Now, what’s so interesting about this is that this is the first time since 2000 that nobody from the president or the vice president’s family has been part of the delegation. This is very clearly a thumb in the eye to Vladimir Putin by President Barack Obama. And I’m sure there a lot of people in the LGBT community and amongst allies who are happy that this is happening. It’s a strong stance for LGBT rights.

But I think people should also be very wary of it, for two reasons. First of all, we have a lot of problems in this country with regards to LGBT rights. I mean, for example, there are 29 states in this country you can still fire someone on the basis of their sexuality, and in eight states in this country there are what are called “no promo homo” laws, which are very similar to the Russian laws, where you cannot propagate homosexuality or anything of the sort. So, that’s the first thing. So it’s like we have to clean our own house.

The second thing, which is really important, is the only question that matters is: Will LGBT athletes in Russia be better or worse off after the cameras have gone home? And by sending over the delegation, one of the things that does is that it allows the IOC—and, by the way, they’re already doing this—and Putin to present the LGBT movement in Russia as a tool of the United States, and it actually opens them up for further repression.

AMY GOODMAN: Legendary tennis star Billie Jean King recently appeared on CBS This Morning and talked about going to Russia as a member of the official U.S. delegation, about the origins of Olympic Rule number 50, which bars athletes from engaging in any type of political demonstration at the games.

BILLIE JEAN KING: It probably came from the fact when John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their arms about civil rights, human rights, back in ’68, I think the rule [inaudible] was written after that, Rule 50.

VINITA NAIR: Because it bans all political demonstration.

BILLIE JEAN KING: It bans—they’re not supposed to protest or demonstrate. And if they do, they can have their medals stripped, and they can be sent home. But I also think people—some of the athletes will probably have their say.

The full transcript is here.

Winter Olympics 2014: Norway’s Health Minister to take his husband to Paralympics: here.

A People’s History of LGBTI Olympians: here.

The President of the Sochi Olympic Committee has just confirmed that the two wild orcas captured by White Sphere will not be displayed during the Sochi Olympics: here.

Everything you wanted to know about that hideously anti-gay law passed in Arizona last night: here.

Former Bush strategist equates Arizona’s anti-gay Christians to Islamic terrorists: here.

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French extreme Right racism and homophobia and the US Tea Party


This video says about itself:

Demonstration in Paris (8.6.2013)

Murder Charge Sought in Paris Activist Death

PARIS – Thousands of supporters marched in grief and anger Saturday to honour an anti-fascist activist who died after a brawl with far-right militants, while authorities opened a murder investigation against a 20-year-old skinhead suspected of delivering the fatal blow in a killing that has shocked France.

France’s Socialist government also took a first step toward banning the security branch of a nationalist youth group that the suspect and four alleged accomplices had claimed ties with, according to the Paris prosecutor.

The death of 18-year-old Clement Meric, a student at Paris’ prestigious Sciences-Po political science university, has renewed concerns that hate groups are on the rise — not just in France, but across Europe.

A medical examiner determined that Meric died from head trauma sustained in the fight that erupted after a chance encounter Wednesday between the far-right militants and anti-fascist activists including Meric in a posh Paris shopping district, prosecutor Francois Molins said at a news conference. He said a murder investigation was under way into one suspect — a security guard who was identified only as “Esteban” — while he and three other skinheads were also facing charges for group violence in the fight that led to Meric’s death.

The four suspects were being held, and a fifth suspect, a 32-year-old woman named Katya who was said to be Esteban’s girlfriend, was facing the prospect of preliminary charges for complicity in group violence, Molins said. The suspects, under police questioning, acknowledged links to an ultranationalist group known as “Troisieme Voie” — or Third Way, he said. None of the suspects had a prior criminal record, though Esteban was known to police for possession of banned weapons in Paris in May 2011, the prosecutor said.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault‘s office said in a statement Saturday that he had asked the interior minister to immediately take steps, under a 77-year-old domestic security law, toward dissolving a far-right group known as Revolutionary Nationalist Youth — considered the security unit of Third Way.

Militant extreme-right groups have become increasingly visible in France, and the government said after Meric’s death that it wants to ban fascist and neo-Nazi groups. Extreme-right groups have gained attention in numerous European countries, particularly Greece, where the Golden Dawn party, broadly vilified for alleged Nazi sympathies and violence against immigrants, holds seats in parliament. Last month, the World Jewish Congress said it’s greatly concerned about the emergence of what it called neo-Nazi parties in places like Greece, Hungary and Germany.

On Saturday, demonstrators poured into the streets of eastern Paris to honour Meric, chanting “we don’t forgive, we don’t forget” and marching behind a banner that said he was “forever in our memories, forever in our hearts.”

The fight erupted outside a clothing store where members of the two groups had run into each other by happenstance Wednesday, Molins said, citing witness accounts and testimony by the suspects during police questioning. … He said a saleswoman in the store testified “having heard one of the skinheads call in reinforcements to do battle, saying — and I quote — ‘in any case, we’re going to call in the others, and we’re going to mess them up’”— in a charitable translation of the profanity-laced remarks.

By the time Meric and his three leftist friends left the store, a group was waiting for them outside — and blows were exchanged, Molins said. Others were injured in the brawl.

During questioning, “the one named Esteban acknowledged to police that he had struck Clement Meric twice — bare-fisted, he claimed — including the blow that caused him to fall to the ground,” Molins said. “A friend of Clement Meric said he saw him (Esteban) with brass knuckles, while another witness of the scene referred to a ‘shiny object’ in his hands.”

By Robert Myles:

France’s interior minister warns of emerging ‘tea party of the French’

Feb 02, 2014 at 1:31 AM PST

France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls, a key minister in President François Hollande’s cabinet, warned Sunday of the emergence of a “tea party of the French,” on the far right of French politics.

Valls was interviewed in the French Sunday newspaper Journal du dimanche. His remarks came a week after Paris witnessed a demonstration under the banner “Jour de Colère” — Day of Rage — against the policies of socialist President Hollande.

Last week, up to 50 disparate groups, united in their opposition to Hollande’s government, took to the streets. Organizers put the numbers of those demonstrating at 120,000, though, as is the norm in France, the police estimate of numbers was a more modest 17,000.

As the demonstration broke up, it turned violent. Police arrested up to 250 demonstrators, mainly on public order and police assault charges, when police came under attack from a hail of bottles, fireworks, stones and other missiles.

Up to 50 disparate groups participated in the Jour de Colère. Demonstrators ranged from far-right fundamentalist Catholic movement Civitas, anti-abortionists, through Comité de Lépante,

This anti-immigrant organisation calls itself after the 1571 naval battle of Lepanto.

Then, a coalition of Roman Catholic States, mainly the kingdom of Spain, fought against the navy of the Turkish Ottoman empire.

However, the 21st century French bigots don’t know their French history in choosing their name. The kingdom of France did not participate in the battle of Lepanto. Often, France then saw the Muslim Ottoman empire as allies against the Habsburg rulers of Spain and Austria.

Like the Dutch, mainly Protestant Christian, rebels against the king of Spain also preferred the Turkish empire to the Habsburg rulers. Geert Wilders, the Dutch ally of the French extreme Right, also does not know his Dutch history about this.

which campaigns against what it sees as the Islamization of Europe, and Printemps Français (French Spring), the most vocal and extreme of the broader Manif pour Tous coalition, campaigning against France’s recently introduced relaxation of laws on same-sex marriage.

One week later, with a further Manif pour Tous anti-gay marriage rally scheduled to take place in Paris Sunday, Valls expressed deep concern at a society “tormented by the dark forces of division” and called on what he termed “the Republican right” of French politics, to distance itself from these groups.

Valls’ call Sunday echoed remarks made by President Hollande two days ago during a visit to the UK for a Franco-British summit with UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Asked about the Jour de Colère, Hollande condemned “the manipulation of minds” with specific reference to what he said were unfounded rumors started by minority groups with the aim of fomenting fear and division, focusing on stories which had been circulating concerning the teaching of gender theory in French schools. Such rumors resulted in a number of French parents withdrawing their children from school, prompting France’s minister for education to write to all school heads in France.

But Valls went a step further, drawing a parallel between the intolerance of elements of Jour de Colère with 1930s Europe in a thinly veiled reference to the rise of Nazism. He described it as “a revolt of the antis: anti-elite, anti-government, anti-tax, anti-parliament, anti-journalist,” but said it went further being especially, “anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic…simply anti-Republican.”

Analyzing what he thought was happening in French politics, Valls said he believed “we are witnessing the creation of a tea party of the French,” drawing a comparison with some far right wing elements of the Republican Party in the US.

“Bound up with the crisis of leadership of the right [in French politics], and faced with the refocusing of the [far right] Front National [political party],” Valls said, “a conservative and reactionary right has come into being. With opposition to marriage for all [same-sex marriage reform], it has increased its forces tenfold. It occupies the streets as it considers that the left [Socialist Party] in power is not legitimate.”

And in a call to the mainstream right of French politics to stand up for democracy, Valls stressed, “In this, the Republican right has a clear responsibility to stand clear of movements that do not accept democracy and the will of parliament.”

However correct Mr Valls may be on the dangers of the extreme right on France, and on the “moderate” right’s role in helping the extremists: let us not forget Mr Valls’ own role in helping the extreme right. Mr Valls wages a campaign against Roma people with bigoted rhetoric. And with anti-democratic repressive measures, like the deportation of Roma schoolgirl Leonarda and her family to dangerous Kosovo. Like the deportation of Armenian student Khatchik Kachatryan. The youth organisation of Valls’ own Socialist Party demonstrated massively against Valls’ xenophobic deportations. In this context, even the truest truism in what Valls says on the French bigoted “tea party” far right sounds hypocritical.

France’s centre-left president Francois Hollande has given a chilling glimpse of what could be in store for Britain under a future Labour government. Hollande capitulated to reactionary protests against his government’s tame pro-LGBT reforms last week: here.

Anti-gay stigma significantly shortens the life-spans of people who identity as gay, lesbian, or bisexual: here.

Al Sharpton: From Arizona to Uganda, We Must Protect the Rights of the LGBT Community: here.

Conservative California Catholic bishop forces out popular, progressive gay priest: here.

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Unknown Sappho poems discovered?


This video is called Sappho, Biography.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Sappho: two previously unknown poems indubitably hers, says scholar

University of Oxford papyrologist convinced poems preserved on ancient papyrus are by seventh-century lyricist of Lesbos

Read one of the poems here

Charlotte Higgins, chief arts writer

Wednesday 29 January 2014 19.45 GMT

Sappho is one of the most elusive and mysterious – as well as best-loved – of ancient Greek poets. Only one of her poems, out of a reputed total of nine volumes’ worth, survives absolutely intact. Otherwise, she is known by fragments and shards of lines – and still adored for her delicate outpourings of love, longing and desire.

But now, two hitherto unknown works by the seventh-century lyricist of Lesbos have been discovered. One is a substantially complete work about her brothers; another, an extremely fragmentary piece apparently about unrequited love.

The poems came to light when an anonymous private collector in London showed a piece of papyrus fragment to Dr Dirk Obbink, a papyrologist at Oxford University.

According to Obbink, in an article to be published this spring, the poems, preserved on what is probably third-century AD papyrus, are “indubitably” by Sappho.

Not only do elements of the longer poem link up with fragments already known to be by her, but the metre and dialect in which the poems are written point to Sappho.

The clincher is a reference to her brother, Charaxos – whose very existence has long been doubted, since he is mentioned nowhere in previously discovered fragments of Sappho.

However, Herodotus, the fifth-century BC historian, named the brother when describing a poem by Sappho that recounts the tale of a love affair between Charaxos and a slave in Egypt.

In this poem – though it is not the precise one that Herodotus mentions – the writer addresses her audience, seeming to berate them for taking Charaxos’s return by ship from a trading trip for granted.

Pray to Hera, says the narrator, “so that Charaxos may return here, with his ship intact; for the rest let us leave it all to the gods, for often calm quickly follows a great storm”.

The poem goes on to say that those whom Zeus chooses to save from great storms are truly blessed and “lucky without compare”. The poem ends with the hope that another brother, Larichos, might become a man – “freeing us from much anxiety”.

According to Tim Whitmarsh, a professor of ancient literature at Oxford University, the poem could be read as a play on Homer‘s Odyssey, and the idea of Penelope waiting patiently at home for the return of Odysseus. Sappho frequently reworked Homeric themes in her poems.

Sappho, who was born in about 630BC, is known for her lyric verse of longing, often directed at women and girls – the bittersweet feeling of love, impossible-to-fulfil desire and the sensation of jealousy when you see the object of your obsession across the room, talking intimately with someone else.

She was admired in antiquity for her delicate, passionate verses. The only evidence for her biography comes from within her poems – and the naming of her brothers, Charaxos and Larichos, adds substantially to a sketchy knowledge of the poet’s life.

Sappho’s poems, which were lost from the manuscript tradition and were not collated and copied by medieval monks as were so many surviving ancient texts, have been preserved by two main means: either through quotation by other authors (often as examples of particular syntactical points by ancient grammarians) or through the discovery of fragments written on ancient papyrus. There is hope yet for more poems to come to light, preserved in the Egyptian sands.

Obbink’s article, with a transcription of the original poems, is to be published in the journal Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik.

Only a few poems of the Greek poetess Sappho’s work have survived but thanks to a leading scholar’s investigation two new works have just been recovered—and gives experts hope to find more: here.

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