Venice Damp on Pride

Luigi Brugnaro | Public Domain

The mayor of Venice, who this month had a public row with British rock star Elton John over family values, has said he never wants to see a Gay Pride parade take place in the lagoon city while he is in charge.

Luigi Brugnaro, the current Mayor of Venice, Italy, who was elected on a centre-right ticket in June, doesn’t want any Gay Prides in Venice. He told Italian press that gay pride marches were the “height of kitsch”.

“There will never be a Gay Pride in my city. Let them go and do it in Milan, or in front of their own homes.”

Italy’s rights group Arcigay holds Gay Pride parades in numerous Italian cities each year, last visiting Venice in 2014. Arcigay accused him of besmirching Venice’s reputation as an open, sophisticated society.

Earlier this year he banned all books about homosexuality from Venice schools.

Margate Pride attacked with hate leaflets

Homophobic leaflets have been distributed which claim that ‘Margate will never be MarGAYte” ahead of this weekend’s Pride. The flyers, delivered to homes in Margate, said: “Save yourself and your children from homosexuality.” It is alleged that the leaflets follow a homophobic email which was sent by a local resident to local government councillors last Christmas.

Many local residents took to social media to express their outrage. Councillor for Gillingham South Ward, Dan McDonald, said he was “disgusted” by the leaflets.

Margate is as gay as everywhere else, whether the bigots like it or not.

UN hears the truth about being gay in hostile countries

Subhi Nahas | New York, 24 August 2015 | Reuters/Mike Segar | 15333

The U.N. Security Council yesterday heard evidence from persecuted gays and lesbians and discussed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues at an informal meeting for the first time. Some testimony had to be conducted over the telephone because the witnesses were in highly unsafe situations.

Security Council members are not required to attend informal meetings. Angola and Chad were not present, diplomats said. The meeting was also open to all other U.N. member states, reports Reuters.

Subhi Nahas, pictured, a Syrian refugee, told them:

“Death threats followed me to Turkey. A former school friend from Idlib named Khalil had joined Islamic State. He relayed through a mutual friend that he wanted to kill me, aiming to go to paradise. I was terrified.”

Nahas has settled in the United States and works with the Organization for Refuge, Asylum, and Migration to help governments and refugee agencies build their capacity to protect LGBT refugees.

It was only an informal meeting. But at last the issues are being heard and considered by the UN.

New focus on Gay apps for spreading drug addiction

GAY hook-up sites have become the online equivalent of a sprawling red-light district, with ice traded for sex on every interactive corner and doors opening to rooms where men are filmed injecting meth and having sex. Contact sites such as Grindr and BBRTS operate without regulation as federal authorities admit they need more focus on the online drug activity,

reports Australia.

On Grindr, codes such as “T” (for Tina, or ice) or a symbol showing a puff of smoke, indicates the person is seeking an instant liaison and has ice to trade for sex, or to sell.

Chris Dawson, the Australian Crime Commission, Chris Dawson, agreed the internet was “a largely unregulated community”.

Cyber expert Dr Gregory Urbas from the University of Canberra said the sites, and the participants, were on the wrong side of the law. “Pretty clearly people are breaking the law,” he said, pointing to Commonwealth telecommunications law that prohibited phones and the internet being used to distribute a prohibited drug.

Brutal attack in Manchester gay village

Two teenagers were knocked to the ground and beaten by a gang of four thugs during a brutal robbery in Manchester’s Gay Village. One of the victims was stamped on as he lay helpless in Sackville Gardens between 4am and 4.45am on Tuesday, August 4. The victims, both 19, believed to be from Derbyshire, were visiting Manchester city centre for a night out.

Some members of the gay community wonder why so many gay pubs and clubs are closing, and gay areas are changing. This is why.

Pull the other one!

According to a Yougov survey which is featured in the media today,

around half of young people are at least a little bit gay. Of those surveyed, 72% of adults and 49% of people aged 18 to 24 chose a position other than exclusively heterosexual.

Is this the same YouGov who were absolutely convinced that Britain was heading for another Coalition Government?


Another one for file 13, as some of my colleagues, 50 years ago, referred to the waste basket.

Homophobia in the Muslim community exposed


Asif Quaraishi | Uncovered | 15320

Asif Quaraishi, a practising Muslim who dresses in drag, called for extra support for “hidden” gay Asians living in Britain who are often ostracised by their communities, and for a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron. He told the Express and Star:

The reality is that south Asian communities and African communities do have inherent homophobia. I want to see the certain charities that deal head on with supporting gay Muslims given more funding and support in terms of raising role models from within the community. And I would like the debate to be pushed forward in faith communities themselves, where there is round-table discussions and getting our voices into mosques.

Mr Quaraishi, who performs under the glamorous alter ego, Asifa Lahore, is a leading figure within the gay Asian community, and received an Attitude Pride Award earlier this year.

Australia’s Parliament gets a Gay Marriage Bill, but might ignore it!

A gay marriage bill has been introduced in the Australian Federal Parliament. The Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill has the support of MPs from across the political spectrum but because it doesn’t have the support of Australia’s Prime Minister, it might not be put to a vote.

MP Warren Entsch moved the bill, saying:

This bill does not create different classes of marriage. It does not establish a hierarchy or anything system pinning a marriage between a same-sex couple above that of a heterosexual couple or vice versa.

It provides absolute protection of religious freedoms, not just in observance of section 116 of the Constitution, but because you cannot replace one form of prejudice and discrimination with another.

The main purpose of this bill is not a complex one, Mr Speaker; it is to give same-sex couples in Australia the same right to marry the person they love as that which is currently only greeted by law to heterosexual couples.

This bill is designed to promote an inclusive Australia – not a divided one. A divided nation is what we will be if we continue to allow discrimination in relation to marriage on the basis of a person’s sexuality.

Gay healthcare under spotlight in US

Following the recent US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, professional organisations in the US have turned their attention to the current provision and state of health services and advice to the gay community.

They have some catching up to do.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LGBT health requires specific attention from health care and public health professionals to address a number of disparities, including:

LGBT populations have the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol and other drug use.

Lesbian and bisexual women get less routine care than other women, including breast and cervical cancer screening.

Gay men are at higher risk of HIV and other STDs, especially among communities of color.

Lesbians and bisexual women are more likely to be overweight or obese.
Elderly LGBT people face barriers because of isolation and a lack of social services and culturally competent providers.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report reviewed many differences within the subgroups in the LGBT community. Lesbian and bisexual women, for example, reported higher rates of asthma, urinary tract infections, and Hepatitis B and C, as well as higher rates of cardiovascular diagnosis. Gay and bisexual men also reported higher rates of cardiovascular disease and risk factors.