United States police racism, homophobia, pornography discoveries


This video from Florida in the USA says about itself:

Miami Beach cops under investigation for racism

14 May 2015

Two high-level former Miami Beach police officers sent hundreds of racist, pornographic and crude emails to fellow cops, spurring a criminal probe. State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine held a news conference on Thursday detailing the inappropriate messages.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Miami Beach cops sent more than 200 racist, homophobic and pornographic emails, says senior officer

Probe launched amid concerns hundreds of criminal prosecutions could be jeopardised

Andrew Buncombe

Miami, Sunday 17 May 2015

Police in Miami have launched an inquiry after it was revealed that a handful of officers – some of them senior figures – allegedly sent hundreds of racist and pornographic emails, which included so-called jokes about President Barack Obama.

Reports said an internal investigation had revealed that the sending of the emails possibly jeopardised dozens of criminal cases in southern Florida in which the officers were witnesses.

Police Chief Daniel Oates said that two of the 16 officers were senior members of the Miami Beach Police Department and were alleged to be the main instigators. One has retired, and the other was fired on Thursday, he said. They were identified as former Major Angel Vazquez and former Captain Alex Carulo, CBS Miami reported.

“They were the primary purveyors of pornography and high volume of it. I was shocked and angry,” Mr Oates told a press conference.

Mr Vazquez has since retired, but could face a potential criminal charge for his alleged role in circulating an post-mortem photograph of Raymond Herisse who was shot by police in 2011 during the Memorial Day holiday, Mr Oates said.

Mr Oates said the probe revealed about 230 emails that were demeaning to African-Americans and women, or else pornographic in nature.

Many were depictions of crude racial jokes involving Mr Obama or black celebrities such as golfer Tiger Woods. One showed a woman with a black eye and the caption, “Domestic violence. Because sometimes, you have to tell her more than once.”

One of the racially offensive emails depicted a board game called “Black Monopoly” in which every square says “go to jail.”

Miami-Dade government prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle said about 540 cases in which the officers were witnesses are being reviewed to determine if they are tainted racially. Some charges could be dropped as a result, or prisoners could be freed from jail.

“These activities are a breach of trust. They are disgusting,” she said.

There has not yet been any public comment from the officers accused of sending the emails.

Mr Oates said the emails came to light in an unrelated 2013 internal affairs probe. Most of the messages spanned the years 2010 to mid-2012, and many of the officers involved apparently just received the offensive ones rather than forwarding them.

The case comes in the wake of another, similar scandal in the San Francisco Police Department involving officers exchanging racist and homophobic text messages.

It also comes amid a national debate about issues of race and law enforcement and the way some police treat black suspects.

A string of revelations by the Guardian newspaper have exposed widespread police torture by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) at a “black-site” detention facility known as Homan Square. Victims have described being detained illegally, without a lawyer, for hours or days, and being physically abused or sexually assaulted: here.

On Wednesday, an Illinois judge ordered the release of a Polaroid picture showing two Chicago police officers crouched, posing as hunters over an unidentified African-American man, who police have said was a “drug suspect.” Jerome Finnigan, the officer on the left, is holding a pair of antlers above the man, while the other officer, Timothy McDermott, holds the man’s head up. Both officers are posing with rifles and clearly instructed the man to stick his tongue out and roll his eyes back, creating the image of a deer that had been hunted and killed by the officers: here.

New British ‘equalities’ minister supports LGBTQ inequality


This video from Britain says about itself:

12 May 2015

Caroline Dinenage, New Equalities Minister, Voted Against Gay Marriage.

In David Cameron‘s new Conservative government in Britain, the ‘Justice’ Secretary has said he wants to bring back the unjust, medieval death penalty by hanging.

‘Of course’, in this government, like in most recent governments in Britain and elsewhere, the secretary of war (Britain’s wars are far away from Britain, like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia …) is not called secretary of war, but ‘defence’ secretary.

In George Orwell’s novel 1984, with its Orwellian newspeak, the ministry of torture is called the ministry of love.

So, perhaps it is not surprising that in Cameron’s new government the ‘equalities’ minister opposes equality.

From daily The Guardian in Britain today:

Equalities minister voted against same-sex marriage

David Cameron’s new minister for equalities, Caroline Dinenage, voted against same-sex marriage because she said the state had “no right” to redefine marriage, Pink News reports. So perhaps some people are more equal than others.

The paper reports that in 2013, Dinenage – the daughter of the TV news presenter Fred – told a PinkNews reader that “preventing same-sex couples from being allowed to marry takes nothing away from their relationship”.

Dinenage also voted against the marriage (same-sex couples) bill at its second reading in the House of Commons, the paper says, and was absent for its third reading.

This from Pink News:

In a letter to a PinkNews reader, Ms Dinenage wrote that the Church states that “marriage is in its nature a union of ‘one man and one woman’, and went on to say “the insitution of marriage is distinctive.”

She wrote: “These proposals were not included in any of the three main manifestoes nor did it feature in the Coalition’s Programme for Government. As I have mentioned, under current law same-sex couples can have a civil partnership but not a civil marriage and I believe that there is no legitimate reason to change this.

“Preventing same-sex couples from being allowed to ‘marry’ takes nothing away from their relationship.”

See also here.

Nazi homophobic doctor helped by Britain to escape justice


This video from Britain says about itself:

My hunt for anti-gay Nazi Doctor, Carl VaernetLGBT History Month, 14 February 2015

By Peter Tatchell in Britain:

The Nazi doctor who experimented on gay people – and Britain helped to escape justice

The Danish authorities have still not explained why Carl Værnet, who escaped to Argentina with British collusion, was shielded from prosecution

‘Carl Værnet had been a member of the Danish Nazi party from the late 1930s. As a doctor, he specialised in hormone research; including treatments to “cure” homosexuality.’

Tuesday 5 May 2015 11.42 BST

Today is the 70th anniversary of Denmark’s liberation from Nazi rule by British troops. The Danes are rightly proud of their anti-Nazi resistance and their heroism in saving the lives of almost all their Jewish citizens. But Denmark also had a dirty little secret that remained hidden for many decades.

A Danish Nazi, SS Dr Carl Værnet, conducted medical experiments on gay concentration camp prisoners. Unlike most other Nazi doctors, he was never put on trial at Nuremburg. Instead, with Danish and British collusion, he was able to escape to Argentina, where he lived openly and continued his research into methods for the eradication of homosexuality.

Værnet was a Copenhagen doctor who, realising the opportunities offered by the homophobic policies of the Third Reich, joined the Nazi party and enlisted in the SS to pursue his research to “cure” gay men.

This research was conducted on the personal authority of Heinrich Himmler. The Gestapo chief demanded the “extermination of abnormal existence … the homosexual must be entirely eliminated”.

The campaign to expose Værnet only took off in 1998, when I wrote to the then Danish prime minister, Poul Rasmussen, calling for an inquiry into Værnet’s wartime activities. Media coverage of this letter triggered a public outcry in Denmark, where most people had been unaware of Værnet’s war crimes and the high-level measures taken to shield him from prosecution.

Rasmussen passed the buck to the ministry of justice, and it passed the buck to the National Archives of Denmark.

Refusing to launch an inquiry into Værnet’s crimes and his escape from prosecution, the ministry of justice advised me to conduct the criminal investigation. They referred me to the Danish National Archives to secure the necessary evidence. But the archives told me the files on Værnet were classified and closed until 2025.

Faced with mounting public, media and parliamentary pressure, the Danish government eventually relented. Access was given to the previously top secret files. They revealed Værnet’s medical Nazism, his protection by the postwar Danish state and inaction by Allied war crime prosecutors.

Værnet had been a member of the Danish Nazi party from the late 1930s. As a doctor, he specialised in hormone research; including treatments to “cure” homosexuality.

After Denmark was occupied by the Nazis, few patients visited Værnet’s clinic because of his pro-Hitler sympathies. This prompted him to approach the Nazis, who were well known for their hatred of gay people and their bid to “eliminate the perverted world of the homosexual”. Værnet met the chief Nazi doctor, Reichsarzt-SS Ernst Grawitz, who proposed that he research the treatment of homosexuality on behalf of the SS.

This led to Værnet operating on gay prisoners in Buchenwald concentration camp, inserting artificial hormone glands in their groins. Two of these men died from infections caused by the insanitary conditions.

When Denmark was liberated on 5 May 1945, Værnet was arrested and detained at Alsgade Skole prisoner-of-war camp in Copenhagen. It was run jointly by the British military and the Danish police. The head of the camp was a British major, Ronald F Hemingway, who declared Værnet “undoubtedly will be sentenced as a war criminal”.

Despite this prediction, Værnet appears to have convinced the British and Danish authorities that his hormone treatments to turn gay men heterosexual were important, worthy scientific research.

In November 1945, in response to Værnet’s claim that he was suffering from a serious heart condition, Hemingway authorised his transfer to a Copenhagen hospital. In fact, the medical records show that Værnet’s heart tests were normal and that he received no treatment during his hospital stay.

In August 1946 a medical colleague of Værnet’s informed the Danish public prosecutor that his deteriorating health required urgent vitamin E treatment that was only available in Sweden. Astonishingly, Værnet was given a permit to go to Sweden and was even paid a state stipend to support himself.

Letters written by Værnet in this period don’t mention his declining health. Instead, they state “everything is ready in Argentina” and “the money is ready in Sweden”.

The Danish police were informed in 1947 that Værnet had settled in Buenos Aires. He was living there under his own name and had resumed his hormone research with funding from the Argentinian ministry of health. Despite calls for this prosecution, the Danish government decided against extradition proceedings.

Værnet remained in Argentina until he died in 1965, living there with the full knowledge of the Danish and Allied authorities. They made no attempt to prosecute him for war crimes, possibly because they regarded his research to “cure” homosexuality as legitimate, even commendable.

The Danish authorities have still not explained why Værnet and his Danish protectors were shielded from prosecution and why it took my public challenge to force them to open the Værnet files. I’m still waiting for an answer.

Nazi occupation and resistance in Denmark: here.

‘Gay’ ambassador rejected by Vatican?


This 19 June 2012 video is called In Italy, Gay Marriage Efforts Met With Vatican Opposition.

From The Local in France:

Pope ‘rejects’ France’s gay envoy to Vatican

Published: 10 Apr 2015 12:42 GMT+02:00

Pope Francis’ liberal credentials have taken a blow after the Vatican reportedly refused to accept the nomination of the new French ambassador, a close aide of President François Hollande, because he is gay.

Laurent Stefanini, a senior diplomat and French President François Hollande’s chief of protocol, was nominated in early January but the Vatican has yet to accept his credentials, officials in Paris said.

Normally a new ambassador’s credentials are accepted within a month and a half. The Vatican does not usually explicitly refuse an envoy’s credentials, but a prolonged silence after a nomination is interpreted as a rejection.

The Vatican declined to comment when asked by The Local if Stefanini, who is openly gay, was being rejected and if this was due to his sexuality.

Dutch NOS TV, on the other hand, says that Stefanini has never said anything about his sexual orientation. He is not married and does not have children, which makes some people suggest he is gay.

A French presidential aide said that the choice of the 54-year-old to represent France at the Vatican resulted from “a wish by the president and a cabinet decision” and that the president regarded him as “one of our best diplomats.”

French media widely reported that the apparent rejection by the Vatican was because of Stefanini’s homosexuality.

Le Journal du Dimanche quoted a Vatican insider as saying that the rejection was “a decision taken by the pope himself.”

Libération daily headlined its article on the story with “The Pope tarnishes his image.” …

French media reported that Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris had interceded with the pope to back the nomination of Stefanini, who has previously worked as an official in the French embassy at the Vatican.

La Croix newspaper said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the former Vatican foreign minister who is currently president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, also supports the appointment.

Pope Francis has taken a far less judgemental position on homosexuality than his predecessor Benedict XVI.

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” he said in an interview shortly after he became pontiff two years ago.

He also said that gay people should not be marginalised but integrated into society.

But the change in tone does not necessarily signal a change in the doctrine of the Roman Catholic church.

Francis has criticised gay marriage and is opposed to adoption rights for gay couples, both of which became legal in France in 2013 amid widespread protests from the country’s Catholic community.

by Rory Mulholland

During all the years of the Cold War, the Soviet Union nominated communists as ambasadors to NATO countries. And NATO countries nominated anti-communists as ambassadors to the Soviet Union. There was no moaning about that, as the Vatican seems to do now. Why did the Vatican not complain when Stefanini was a diplomat to the Holy See before?

Reggae musician Mista Majah P against homophobia


This reggae music video says about itself:

Maverick Mista Majah P “Closet Is Open” LGBT Community Music Video

13 October 2013

Maverick Mista Majah P breaking the taboo in reggae, telling gays that it is OK to be yourself, no more hiding, come out of the closet, be who you are, be happy.

By Will Stone in Britain:

Reggae star’s LGBT rights stand hailed

Friday 10th April 2015

A JAMAICAN singer was hailed by LGBT rights activists yesterday for his lone voice attacking the homophobic “murder music” of his reggae peers through song.

Mista Majah P has relaunched a two-part music video for [his] single Karma, which attacks the homophobic songs of top dancehall singers like Bounty Killer and Buju Banton.

Many artists in the genre are notorious for their anti-gay lyrics and beliefs, with Shabba Ranks infamous for once stating that LGBT people should be crucified.

Majah P’s music turns the tables on them with lyrics warning that they will reap the hate and violence they sow and suggesting that they could be homosexual themselves, uncomfortable with their own sexuality.

His lyrics have also appealed to parents not to reject their LGBT children, spoken out against gay bullying and in support of same-sex marriage and adoption rights.

Human rights lobbyist Peter Tatchell said: “Such lyrics are unprecedented in the hard-man world of Jamaican reggae and dancehall music, where eight of the best known performers have, for over a decade, made homophobic murder music a staple part of their repertoire — variously inciting and glorifying the shooting, burning, hanging and drowning of LGBT people.”

Since releasing his pro-gay music, California-based Majah P has received numerous death threats and has been warned to not return to Jamaica.

He said: “As long as there are homophobic people, hatred, bigotry, death and no equal rights for the LGBT community I will continue to use my talent and speak out about injustice.

“I’m seeking to challenge ignorance and reach out to gay people.”

He is working on [his] third album Gays Belong In Heaven Too.

This music video from Italy says about itself:

For the first time in Italy, reggae music takes a stance against homophobia. Luciano and The Jah Messenjah Band came out in support of gay rights and the 2009 national LGBT Gay Pride to be held in Genova, Italy on 27 June 2009. The concert took place on the international day against homophobia (17 May) drawing a crowd of 3-500 revellers. Special guest: Carrol Thompson.

USA: Hateful Bigot Mike Huckabee Totally Fails At Basic Civics In Long, Idiotic, Anti-Gay Rant: here.