Category Archives: LGBT

News & Issues about the LGBT Community

Russian Blogger Says Interrogated for Creating ‘Gay Terrorist Underworld’ #Russia #LGBT


A blogger in the Khabarovsk region in Russia's Far East says the Federal Security Service (FSB) has accused him of creating a Andrei Marchenko

A blogger in the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s Far East says the Federal Security Service (FSB) has accused him of creating a “gay terrorist underworld” in a bid to bring about regime change, regional news website Amurburg.ru reported.

Unidentified investigators came to Andrei Marchenko’s home Thursday and “turned the apartment inside out” searching for U.S. dollars, extremist materials and drugs, Marchenko told Amurburg.ru.

“They were very aggressive, and one investigator said immediately that I’d have to go with them after the raid; he was apparently very confident that they’d find something. Judging by the two video cameras [they had with them], they were expecting to find millions of dollars, banned books and a bunch of underage boys,” Marchenko was cited as saying.

The blogger, who has expressed support on his LiveJournal blog for both gay rights and the Kiev government currently battling a pro-Russian insurgency, said he was first summoned to the FSB’s offices a week ago and accused of creating a “gay terrorist underworld” with a local LGBT activist, Alexander Yermoshkin, with the aim of fomenting an “Orange Revolution” in Khabarovsk.

The Orange Revolution was a series of massive public rallies protesting election rigging in Ukraine in 2004 that brought about new elections and a different, pro-Western president.

Investigators also told Marchenko that it was his posts on social networks in support of Kiev against the separatists that had attracted their attention, he said.

On Thursday, he posted several photos of benches painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag in Khabarovsk, with the caption: “Politically incorrect benches in a courtyard in Khabarovsk. I’m curious, is the anti-extremism department already searching for those who painted them?”

Shortly after that post, a new message appeared: “This is Andrei’s friend writing at his request. A search of his apartment was conducted this evening. They’re accusing him of extremism and of supporting Ukraine,” the message read.

During the search at his home, four computers were confiscated, along with five phones, several USB drives, hard drives and a modem, leaving him without means of communication at home, the blogger told Amurburg.ru.

Marchenko said he was told to return for questioning on Friday, and that investigators were seeking to charge him with public incitement of hatred. The charge carries a maximum punishment of four years behind bars.

There has been no confirmation from the FSB on any case against Marchenko.


The Moscow Times.

UK: #Brighton & Hove City Council best in country for tackling #homophobia


BRIGHTON and Hove City Council best in country for tackling homophobia

BRIGHTON and Hove City Council has been named the top local authority in the country for tackling homophobic and biphobic bullying in schools.

The pressure group Stonewall has put the council in first place in their 2014 Education Equality Index.

Stonewall has described the council as ‘leading the way’ in celebrating difference and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

Councillor Sue Shanks, chairwoman of the council’s children and young people committee, said: “We want all our young people to be proud of who they are and to be able to make the best of their talents without fear or prejudice.

“In our schools young people are active participants in our anti-bullying work.

She added: “This is a proud moment for our city.

Stonewall praised the work the council does jointly with the Allsorts Youth Project charity.

Young people from Allsorts have delivered training to council and school staff and provided anti-homophobic bullying sessions in secondary and primary schools.

Stonewall praised Blatchington Mill School for a Student Equality Conference it held earlier this year that was attended by 60 students from five secondary schools.

St Nicolas’ Primary School was praised for the innovative work it has done on challenging the use of homophobic language in the playground.

Allsorts director Jess Wood, MBE, said: “The council and our schools have done amazing work this year and deserve this great recognition.

“We cannot praise the schools highly enough.

“They have taken on the issues and worked tirelessly to change things for the better.

“We all work closely together and this mutual support and enthusiasm has made our schools and our city a safer place for LGBT children and young people.”

From:The Argus Header Logo

Russia’s ‘#Gay #Propaganda’ Law One Year On Today


By Gabrielle Tétrault-FarberJun. 29 2014 20:54

LGBT rallyEvgeniy Isaev / Flickr: A photo from Moscow LGBT rally taken on June 12, 2012. Since the adoption of “gay propaganda” law, the violent attacks against LGBT people in Russia have increased.

In the year that has passed since Russia adopted a law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors,” the country’s LGBT community has witnessed the erosion of its rights and freedoms, human rights activists said.

Since President Vladimir Putin approved the so-called “gay propaganda” law on June 29, 2013, only four individuals have been fined for violating it, according to Tanya Lokshina, program director and senior researcher at Human Rights Watch Russia. But, Lokshina added, the rarity of the law’s formal enforcement inadequately reflects its broader consequences for Russia’s LGBT community.

“Only a few people were fined throughout the year and this might not seem to be much of a problem,” Lokshina said. “But the fines are not what this law is about. This law is not only contrary to Russia’s international obligations but has also contributed to anti-gay violence and to creating a hostile environment for LGBT people in the country. It has contributed to stigmatizing LGBT individuals as unnatural, perverse and as acceptable targets.”

Putin has distanced himself from the issue of LGBT rights in the country. In January, he said that he was “not prejudiced in any way” and that he even had gay friends. He has also said publicly that gays face no discrimination in Russia.

Since the adoption of the country’s “gay propaganda” law, Human Rights Watch has observed an increase in violent attacks carried out against LGBT people in Russia.

U.S. advocacy group Human Rights Campaign reported that at least two men were killed because of their sexual orientation in Russia in the summer of 2013 alone and that others had been assaulted, pelted with eggs and blinded in air gun attacks in the past year.  Continue reading

Whose anti-Semitic and Homophobic Choice?


Putin-Merkel 'Alliance'

How divided Ukraine is arouses endless debate, yet it is the West which at present is appearing positively schizophrenic. Take German chancellor Angela Merkel’s interest in giving Viktor Medvedchuk official status at peace negotiations.  This is undoubtedly the Kremlin’s choice, however why the leader of a party with apparent anti-Semitic leanings and a pronouncedly homophobic position should be the EU’s is less clear.

Medvedchuk was one of the first people against whom the US imposed sanctions back on March 17  “for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine”.  He is also targeted for having “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support to Yanukovych”. Ex-president Viktor Yanukovych who is in hiding in Russia, is generally believed to be playing a major role in the present unrest in Donbas.  Medvedchuk’s party or its members are considered by the US to be undermining democratic processes in Ukraine.

They are also giving freedom of speech a bad name with a site that posts appallingly anti-Semitic articles.  A particularly extreme example from 10.12.2013 was entitled “Jews, Jews, there are Jews everywhere” (A screenshot can be found here). The author, Yevgeny Barannik unfortunately saw the need to express the view that all power in Ukraine is held by Jews, and “the whole opposition in Ukraine is also Jewish despite some exotic surnames”.  In true Soviet style, the author then ‘exposes’ the Jewish surnames of certain opposition figures or their grandparents.

After an article entitled “Viktor Medvedchuk’s anti-Semitic Choice”  condemned the text, it disappeared.  This is despite the attempt by Yelena Markosyan, regular author and apologist for Medvedchuk to claim that the party was simply defending freedom of speech and that anybody can put what they like on the site.  Continue reading

#LGBT: Anti-LGBT Backlash Has Grown Since Russian ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law


Anti-LGBT Backlash Has Grown Since Russian ‘Propaganda’ LawA man takes away a rainbow flag as a policeman detains gay rights activists during a May 31 protest in Moscow. A new report claims that Russia’s law banning homosexual “propaganda” has led to increased persecution of gays in the country.

The Russian law that prohibits “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors has had wide-ranging and devastating effects on the LGBT community, according to a report released by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Friday.

To mark the law’s one-year-anniversary Monday, the LGBT rights group has collected numerous incidents showing the law’s consequences, including attacks on LGBT night clubs, discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace and an intensification of anti-LGBT rhetoric among Russian leaders.

While only a limited number of Russians have been reported in the English press as having been found guilty of breaking the law, it has spurred numerous investigations resulting in teachers being fired, products being  taken off the shelves , and even a crusade against a ninth-grade student who was turned into authorities after she told classmates she was a lesbian.

Overall, the report states, these investigations have produced a “chilling” effect on Russia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its advocates.

“The law is written incredibly vaguely. No one knows what it means to promote propaganda, so people feel like anything they do can be swept into that definition – or that lack of a definition in that broad term,” says Ty Cobb, director of global engagement for the Human Rights Campaign.

The survey found that in addition to the propaganda ban’s legal ramifications, the law has created a climate where crimes against LGBT people have increased while officials turn a blind eye. Cobb blames these crimes on the messages being put out by government officials and church leaders, also detailed in the report.

“When the rhetoric continues to create a tense situation where it looks like it’s OK to discriminate, it’s OK to harass, it’s OK to violently attack LGBT people, it isn’t surprising that groups collect themselves on social media and organize to actually go after LGBT people in a methodical way,” Cobb says.

The law has been regarded as a move by Vladimir Putin’s administration to align his government with the conservative Russian Orthodox Church while using anti-LGBT sentiment as a weapon against the West. White House national security adviser Susan Rice criticized Russia this week for a law she described as “pernicious.”

“With Russia trying to strengthen its sphere of influence, we’re seeing this rhetoric and lies about LGBT people becoming a wedge with former Soviet countries who are making the decision of whether they’re aligning themselves with Western Europe or with Russia,” Cobb says.

Legislation similar to Russia’s propaganda ban is under consideration in Kyrgyzstan , a former Soviet territory, and there has been talk of other anti-LGBT measures in Lithuania , Kazakhstan and elsewhere in the region.

Russian officials also have suggested other proposals aimed at the LGBT community, including the creation of a national morality police, a ban on gay clubs and a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Meanwhile, Putin told reporters this week that accusations Russia is anti-gay are “fictional.”

US News