YE5 I GAY numberplate up for sale in London
*source of picture: Clinton Fein
From press release issued by Michael Petrelis:
SAN FRANCISCO (July 26) -- "A group of activists staged a protest at an evening meeting at the Fairmont Hotel featuring the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, in order to protest the unconscionable, murderous silence of the United Nations concerning continued violence and executions globally which specifically target gays and lesbians. Ban was speaking before the World Affairs Council of Northern California, as San Francisco is considered the birthplace of the UN.
The nonviolent protesters twice interrupted Ban’s speech, first standing on their seats, chanting "Break the silence! Talk about about gays!” while holding up signs which read “Gay Rights Are UNiversal", capitalizing the letters UN to drive home the point that the UN has not accepted its responsibility to monitor and defend the human rights of gay and lesbian people worldwide.
UN Secretary General Ban replied, "That is most unusual welcome for me . . . As Secretary General, I'm supposed to answer all questions . . . The gay rights issue is very sensitive."
The protesters included Michael Petrelis and Hank Wilson, longtime LGBT activists, who were escorted out of the hotel and questioned by U.S. Secret Service agents.
Thirty minutes later, George Duvoisin, a gay youth advocate, wearing a large rainbow flag draped over his shoulders, rose up and asked Ban, "What about gay rights, and specific language in UN documents for gays and transgender people to protect against violence and discrimination?"
The San Francisco action heralds a series of demonstrations across the world in August to ban anti-gay violence across the world. August 3 and 4 have been cited as the Global Days of Gay Solidarity, with protests planned for cities across the globe.
“The UN has been silent for far too long, as our gay brothers and lesbian sisters are aggressively selected for human rights violations, torture and execution across the globe, simply due to their sexual orientation,” said Petrelis, who organized the protest.
ZombieTime.com captured the event on video and has posted it on YouTube:
In Armenia, gay male sex was decriminalised in December 2002. Lesbian sex was never legally banned. An age of consent of 16 was set regardless of the gender of those involved.
The Armenian National Assembly has repealed article 116 of its criminal code which punished sex between men with up to 5 years in prison (Armenian legislation followed the corresponding article from the former Soviet Union). According to various reports, 7 men were sentenced in Armenia for gay sex in 1996, 4 in 1997 (Amnesty International 1999 Report on Armenia) and 4 in 1999 (Opinion of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe on the accession of Armenia - Doc. 8756 - 6 June 2000). After 1999, article 116 has no longer been put in practice.
On 28th June 2000 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe made repeal of article 116 a condition of Armenia's membership to the Council of Europe. With this repeal, the last remaining law in Europe criminalising same-sex relationships was repealed.
*picture by Denis Lovrovic (AFP)
The leaders of the city's gay and lesbian association said they faced rejection, discrimination, job dismissals and physical assault in Croatia, whose population of 4.4 million is nearly 90 percent Roman Catholic. The Croatian parliament passed legislation giving limited recognition for same-sex unions in 2003.
Three days ago, Human Rights Watch launched online photographic celbration of Gay Pride marches from cities around the world. As Celine Casey from PinkNews noted, it "captures the courage, the exuberance, and the human faces of LGBT people’s Pride marches on five continents, over more than a decade. "
These two pictures from that photo essay particularly touched me and are very relevant in the light of today's events and continuous anti-gay violence in Eastern and central Europe, and world-wide.
Tens of thousands of people ignored the pouring rain and failed attempts of terror attacks in the capital just hours ago, and took to the streets of London to celebrate Pride. People then gathered for the rally and pop concert in Trafalgar square, and street parties in the heart of London, in/around London's main gay 'village' - Soho. Environment was increadible, as always. You could just feel the Freedom there! It was a celebration of significant achievements of gay community in Britain. But it was not only a celebration, it was also a call, a political call to end discrimination against LGBT people in other parts of the world, particularly in Muslim world (killing Fatwas and prosecutions) and Eastern Europe (lack of rights, inequality, discrimination and homophobia).
Below is my photo-post from the London Pride 2007 (click pics to enlarge):
Peter Tatchell, prominent British gay rights activist, who was attacked during recent Moscow Pride by extreme right and religious fanatics, was among the first to start the march; I spotted him afterwards too, at the rally in Trafalgar square.