CNN looks at gay men in Germany who have joined politically far right political groups, such as Alternative for Germany (AfD), who, if opinion polls are correct, are likely to secure enough votes to enter the Bundestag after the German general election on 24 September.
Karsten P. empties a test tube filled with metal pieces into the palm of his hand. They’re the tiny screws and bolts that held his face together after he and his partner Sven were violently assaulted in a life-changing attack outside their local store.
Two surgeries later and fearful of being attacked again, the openly gay 52-year-old taxi driver — who doesn’t want to be identified because of concerns of another attack — avoids public spaces and always takes pepper spray with him. He and his partner have also been forced to move neighborhoods in the northwest German city of Bremen following mounting costs as a result of being injured.
“I went outside and saw someone kicking my partner’s head. I was trying to stop him and right at that moment, I got hit from the side,” Karsten recalls about the attack. “I kind of lost consciousness and when I got up again, I thought my partner was dead. He was all covered in blood and he didn’t move at all.”
Police identified the attackers as two locally known Muslim extremists. They were never arrested and later fled to Syria. After demanding answers from local prosecutors and the mayor’s office and not getting a response, Karsten turned to Germany’s far right party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD).
“I don’t like everything they say,” Karsten says, “but this is too dangerous for gay people to live openly here, if we get attacked like that. We need a party that’s talking openly about this.”
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Hundreds of thousands of gay citizens marched in cities across the United States in pride and protest this weekend, celebrating and demanding full rights for our community. The Equality March in Washington and the Resist March in Los Angeles were just two major events this weekend.
Many of the marchers noted what they believe is the setback in the progress made under the Obama administration, in the new Trump White House.
Several members of the new President’s Cabinet have been openly critical of the gay community, including Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Unlike Obama, Trump did not declare June Gay Pride Month.
Sunday’s marches came on an especially poignant day as many remembered the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, one year ago, when a pro-Islamic State gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 people.
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Russian police have detained five activists who tried to deliver a petition to prosecutors in Moscow against the treatment of gay people in Chechnya. Police said they arrested them because their actions amounted to an unsanctioned protest.
Hundreds of thousands of people had signed the petition calling for an official investigation into the alleged torture and killing of gay men in the Russian territory.
Police detained the activists, four Russian and one Italian, on Thursday as they walked along Moscow’s Tverskaya Street holding mostly empty boxes with the words “Justice for the Chechen 100” written on them.
File photo | Irish Times | 17071
The Irish gay rights group Glen is being investigated into whether it breached rules on political campaigning and financial management. The charity has appointed an external investigator to examine allegations of bullying made by staff.
The Charities Regulator has told Glen to provide it with financial records, details of credit cards and the report of an independent auditor by the end of this month. One of the issues being examined by the regulator concerns the use of the charity’s resources to support political campaigning.
Glen’s co-chairman Kieran Rose stepped down after it emerged that campaign literature for his Seanad election campaign last year was printed at the charity.
The intervention by the regulator follows a disclosure made by Glen in response to concerns raised by the executive director, Áine Duggan, appointed last October, who raised a number of issues with the board after carrying out a due diligence of the organisation, which works on issues such as sexual health, mental health and education in the LGBT community.
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Hundreds of Britons held a protest outside the Russian Embassy against the reported torture and murder of gay men in Chechnya, where up to 100 men are said to be held in concentration-style camps and at least three men have died.
Michael Salter-Church, co-chair of Pride in London, said: “It sends a shudder down the spine to hear about concentration camps in 2017. Russia’s abuses cannot be ignored.”
Demonstrators draped in rainbows shouted “close the camps” and laid pink flowers while passing traffic beeped their horns in support.
Writing for Third Sector, Kevin Curley notes that
It is 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales. The extent to which our society has changed since then is illustrated by the fact that the Westminster parliament, with 35 out gay MPs, is the most diverse of any in the world in terms of sexual orientation. But many challenges remain for those from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and others community.
Giving young people support and safe places is a constant theme in my conversations with local activists. So too is the need to challenge prejudice. Proud2Be’s Price says it’s a misconception that “the battle for LGBTQ+ rights has been won”. He says there have been great advancements in terms of securing equality under the law, but “we are by no means there yet”.
Brooke shows me the videos produced with her young members and says: “We are a long way from achieving equality in practice.”
Seattle Gay Pride | File photo | Christopher Zeuthen/Seattle Weekly | 17066
Ed Murray is the Mayor of Seattle and he has been accused of paying drug-addicted teenage boys for sex decades ago. Two other men are making similiar accusations. Murray denies the allegations.
Ed Murray has a lot to lose: in twenty years of local political activity he managed to pass both the Anderson-Murray Anti-Discrimination Law and the bill establishing gay marriage. He is Seattle’s first openly gay mayor.
One old-timer who lived on Capitol Hill during the 1980s, who asked that his name not be used for reasons of political fealty, said that while he doesn’t know anything about the specific allegations against Murray, the kind of relationship described in the lawsuit—that is, an older man paying an under-age teenager for sex—“would have been very consistent with [Seattle gay culture in] the ’80s.”
This was caused in part, he says, by “the closet and how people could interact.” With an entire population (gay men) sanctioned into the shadows, there was no social mechanism for enforcing the age of consent,
says Seattle Weekly.
Gay Activist used to have a page about “Conduct in public office” but the page was deleted because so few people viewed it. Gay Activists everywhere should be aware that they are representing the community, and conduct themselves with pride.