The graph tells it all: after an all time record month for traffic on Gay Activist in May, June was another fantastic month, and not far behind May! I would like to thank all readers, followers and subscribers for continuing to support the blog. Thank you! Paul
Ivan Scalfarotto | AFP/Getty | 15164
Ivan Scalfarotto, an Italian junior minister, has gone on hunger strike to protest against the slow pace of reform on civil unions, saying Italy is guilty of a “grave violation of human rights”. He said in a blog that the time had come for Italy – which is now the only major western European country that does not recognise either civil partnerships or gay marriage – to catch up with the rest of the world.
Well, yes, and we’re grateful for the support, but a hunger strike is a bit Puccini, dear.
Mozambique has decriminalised homosexuality in its new penal code, making it one of a few African countries where same-sex relationships are legal. The revised code, in force from today, drops a colonial-era clause outlawing “vices against nature”.
Well done Mozambique.
A video of a New York policeman dancing with a Gay Pride parade attendee has racking up over a million views.
Paige Ponzeka, who uploaded the clip, was marching in the parade when one of her friends danced near an officer who was on duty along the route. The officer ignored him at first but eventually gave in and began dancing with the parade goer.
Goodness. Hasn’t New York changed!
A new opinion poll suggests that 87% of people in Nigeria support the legal ban on same-sex relations. Five years ago 96% of Nigerians opposed relationships between same-sex couples. The poll was commissioned by local gay rights activists who said this showed attitudes towards gay people were changing slowly.
About 1,000 people across Nigeria took part in the telephone poll.
28 June, 2015 | Ankara | Reuters | 15160
Turkish police fired water cannon, tear gas and rubber pellets to disperse Pride revellers in Taksim Square, central Istanbul yesterday. It was not immediately clear why the police stopped the marchers gathering and chased away between 100 and 200 of them. Police told the crowd to disperse soon after they began assembling, telling them they would not be allowed to march.
Pride regrouped a few blocks away and continued to dance and chant slogans against homophobia without any further clashes. The rally grew to several thousand people as the day wore on. Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, as it is in most other Muslim countries, but homophobia is widespread.
San Francisco, 28 June 2015 | Jeff Chiu | Associated Press | 15159
A man was shot and several people detained after an argument broke out and shots were fired near San Francisco’s Civic Center/United Nations Plaza Saturday, at around 6 pm, just as San Francisco Pride celebrations were winding down nearby.
The shooting was “unrelated” to Pride events, police said, and stemmed from a dispute between several groups of young men. As the argument escalated, a suspect pulled out a gun and fired several shots. One of the bullets hit a 64-year-old Pride spectator in the arm. The injured man is in a stable condition.
Police detained several suspects.
CNN | cnnshot
Much hilarity at the expense of CNN who sent a correspondent to cover London’s Pride March yesterday. She spotted an IS flag. Only it wasn’t.
“If you look at the flag closely, it’s clearly not Arabic. In fact, it looks like it could be gobbledegook. But it’s very distinctively the ISIS flag.”
Poor Lucy Pawle of CNN. The flag actually displayed an assortment of butt plugs, dildos and other sex toys arranged to look like the ISIS flag. Pawle went on to cast suspicion on a man dressed in black at the festivities, who she said was displaying the flag.
“I seem to be the only person who has spotted this, and nobody seems to be raising any questions or pointing it out.”
Never mind, Lucy. You’ll know next time.
How long will it be, Your Activist wonders, before some anti-gay politician somewhere alleges we are all members of IS!
Campaigners from the Terrence Higgins Trust will attend today’s Pride carrying placards calling on the Government to have pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) made freely available on the NHS as an HIV prevention strategy for gay men, reports The Indy.
In the UK, PrEP is currently only available to people enrolled in a research trial taking place in six cities, but it has been available in the USA since 2012. It is a course of HIV drugs taken before sex to reduce the risk of getting HIV.
The case for making PrEP available is a strong one, but the timing is unfortunate, as it comes at a time when the National Health Service simply cannot meet all the demands piling on its limited resources and overstretched facilities and staff. Aids activists understandably want to push this treatment but they should remember the damage that new treatments can do if they are prescribed or sold widely before they have been proved to be really safe and effective, as well as cost effective. Activists should always put people before politics; our community are too precious to be used for experimentation.
Jim Bourg/Reuters | 15157
Well done America.