International

Prominent Russian LGBT Activist: "No Point" In Boycotting Russian Vodka

When it comes to LGBT activists in Russia, Nikolai Alekseev is easily the best known internationaly. Now, Nikolai is putting his global credibility to use in a campaign against a gay boycott on Russian vodkas. 

"To be honest, I don’t see the point in boycotting the Russian vodka," Nikolai said in a release to Gay Star News. "It will impact anyone except the companies involved a little bit. The effect will die out very fast, it will not last forever.’

"And what is the aim of this boycott?" he added. "The producers, even if they become bankrupt because of the boycott (which is unlikely) will not be able to influence Russian politics and President Putin as well as the decisions of the State Duma."

Instead of a boycott on Russian vodkas, Nikolai suggests that countries ban homophobic Russian lawmakers from entering their respective nations. 

"Just three or four persons on the visa ban list of the EU, USA, UK and several other countries will dissuade other Russian politicians to follow this path. This is the only thing which can effectively work. Pressure your governments to put the authors of those laws on the black lists for the entrance visas. They will suffer and others will think twice. Nothing else will work!"

Do you agree with Nikolai? Is a ban on Russian vodka futile? 

(Image and source: Gay Star News)

David Cameron Hopes To Export Marriage Equality To The World

Following a huge win in England & Wales, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has told LGBT activists that he now wants to "export" marriage equality to the rest of the world. 

"I’ve told the Bill team I’m now going to reassign them because, of course, all over the world people would have been watching this piece of legislation and we’ve set something, I think, of an example of how to pass good legislation in good time," Cameron told gatherers at an annual LGBT reception.

“Many other countries are going to want to copy this. And, as you know, I talk about the global race, about how we’ve got to export more and sell more so I’m going to export the bill team. I think they can be part of this global race and take it around the world.”

(Source: Telegraph)

Russian Neo Nazi Groups Tricking And Torturing Gay Male Teens

This is Putin's Russia. 

Neo Nazis in the country have been advised by a top-ranking supremacist to create fake profiles on VK.com (a popular Russian social network) and lure in gay male teens for torture. 

Spectrum Human Rights Alliance has more on the continued deterioration in Russia:

Infamous Russian ultranationalist and former skin head, Maxim Martsinkevich, known under the nickname "Cleaver" (or "Tesak" in Russian) spearheaded a country wide campaign against LGBT teens using a popular social network VK.com to lure unsuspected victims through personal ads. Mr. Martsinkevich's numerous and enthusiastic followers started two projects: "Occupy Pedophilyaj" and "Occupy Gerontilyaj".  Allegedly they are trying to identify and report pedophiles using these "movements".

In reality, over 500 online groups have been created inside VK.com social network in order to organize illegal militant groups in every Russian city. Oddly enough their idea of fighting pedophiles targets exclusively male teenagers who respond to the same-sex personal ads and show up for a date. Captured victims are bullied and often tortured while being recorded on video.  These self-proclaimed "crime fighters" perform their actions under the broad day light, often outside and clearly visible to general public that indifferently passes by or even commend them. Video recordings of bullying and tortures are freely distributed on the Internet in order to out LGBT teens to their respective schools, parents and friends. Many victims were driven to suicides, the rest are deeply traumatized. So far Russian police took no action against these "movements" even though Russian criminal code was clearly violated and despite numerous complaints from parents, victims and LGBT activists.  Social network VK.com intermittently shuts down selected groups and profiles only to allow them to be re-open on the next day. Currently, the founder of VK.com, Pavel Durov, resides in the US and so far has not released any comments.

One particular torture was recorded by the neo nazis as proof that they had captured a "pedophile" under "Putin's Crackdown." Warning: it's graphic and disturbing due to the teen being "bullied, tortured, and sprayed with urine in broad daylight."

 

 

Dan Savage: Dump Russian Vodkas

Instead of a boycott on the Sochi Winter Olympics, It Gets Better founder Dan Savage believes that dumping Russian vodkas would be a more effective way to protest the country's treatment of its LGBT citizens. 

He writes at Slog:

"Seattle's bars, gay and straight, must dump Stoli. Seattle's drinkers, gay and straight, must dump Stoli. Some are arguing—based on Stoli's outdated Wiki page—that Stoli isn't a Russian vodka. 'Presently the internationally distributed version of Stolichnaya is not a Russian vodka but is distilled and bottled in Latvia,' Stoli's Wiki page reads. 'In 2009, William Grant & Sons signed an agreement to distribute Stolichnaya in the USA, taking over from PepsiCo.' That's old news. On January 1, 2014, Stoli becomes a Russian vodka again. The SPI Group—which will be distributing Stoli in the USA before the Olympic games begin this winter—is owned by Yuri Scheffler, one of the 100 richest men in Russia. Stoli is a Russian vodka.

"If you drink a Russian Vodka like Stoli, Russian Standard, or any of the other brands listed above, switch to another brand from another country, or even a local brand from a local distillery. Stoli is the iconic Russian Vodka and it's returning to Russian ownership in 2014. Other brands like Russian Standard should also be boycotted. Do not drink Russian vodka. Do not buy Russian vodka. Ask your bartender at your favorite bar—gay or otherwise—to DUMP STOLI and DUMP RUSSIAN VODKA."

As to why Savage prefers supports boycotting vodka over the Winter Olympics, he points to an inspired quote from Patrick Burke, founder of the You Can Play project, on the subject: 

"In 1968, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar refused to play in the Olympics as a protest against the treatment of blacks in America. The same year, Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on a medal stand, gloved fists in the air, as a protest against the treatment of blacks in America. History remembers the athletes who showed up.... To send the strongest possible message of support to the LGBT community, we must send our athletes—those who are LGBT, those who are LGBT-supportive, those with LGBT family members or friends. Let them show that champions stand strong with their teammates and training partners. Send our openly LGBT and “publicly pro-gay” athletes and let them compete. Let them win. Show the world that there are elite LGBT athletes who are not afraid to be themselves, on and off the playing field. That the majority of the world’s finest athletes support their LGBT teammates, coaches, and opponents by treating them as equals in competition."

What do you think about Savage's idea?

 

Montenegro's First Gay Pride Attacked By Hundreds Of Extremists

The debut of Montenegro Pride was marred by a violent showing of extremists who pelted the LGBT community with rocks and chants of "kill the gays."

The AP reports:

Several hundred extremists shouting "Kill the gays" attacked gay activists and clashed with police on Wednesday in a bid to disrupt the first ever pride event in staunchly conservative Montenegro, which is seeking to improve its human rights record as it bids to join the European Union.

Angry assailants threw rocks, bottles, glasses and various other objects — including chairs from local cafes — at several dozen flag-waving gay activists who shouted back "Kiss the gays." A shower of stones and bottles also landed on special police securing the gathering in the coastal town of Budva.

Police then intervened to push the attackers away and allow the event to continue. The participants briefly marched by the sea before they stopped to hold speeches as extremists shouted insults from a distance. Later, police again clashed with smaller groups of extremists scattered throughout the town.

The Vatican Loves Big D*ck Porn, According To New Data

New numbers released from Pornhub (one of the largest such sites in the world) gives us a delicious peek behind the scenes at the porn habits of some of the globe's most anti-gay countries, including the Vatican, in a study titled  Culturally Repressed Nations Secretly Rebel w/ Gay Adult Entertainment.

According to numbers crunched by Pornhub statisticians based on data held by the website, visitors from the United Arab Emirates lust for "big pecs," visitors in Yemen want "czechhunter.com" and those in Saudi Arabia want "argentino" when they conduct gay porn searches. 

But the real chin scratcher comes from Pornhub's report on most visited categories (general, not specifically gay) which reveals that the Vatican likes to look at mature pornography first and "big dick" second, while Yemen, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia click on the teen category the most. 

As far as male pornstars go, folks at the Vatican are fans of Rocco Siffredi, Zeb Atlas stakes his claim on the United Arab Emirates, and Indonesia loves James Deen. 

Are you surprised by the male-desiring porn habits of these anti-gay countries? Did you think "twink" would out rank "big d*ck" at the Vatican?

Russia Arrests & Charges First Foreigners Under Disgusting Anti-Gay Law

A deplorable milestone has officially been met in Russia where the first foreigners to be arrested under the country's freshly-minted "anti-gay propaganda" law have been charged ... and released. 

Four Dutch filmmakers led by LGBT activist Kris van der Veen were apparently filming a documentary in the Russian city of Murmansk when they were taken into custody by police and charged with promoting gay culture. 

Apparently, the doc crew had asked a 17-year old his views on the fight for gay rights in the country, prompting their arrest according to the new (as of July 1) anti-gay law. 

Thankfully, due to a slip up, the four were released, though their camera footage was confiscated by police and the group was charged with a 3,000 rubles fine ($93). 

This marks the first arrest of tourists in Russia under the internationally criticized ban on anything that's not one man one woman sexuality in public. 

(Via Gay Star News)

 

David Cameron Applauds U.K. Marriage Equality

In a piece penned for the Standard, British Prime Minister David Cameron cheers on the legalization of marriage equality in England and Wales. 

"I am proud that we have made same-sex marriage happen. I am delighted that the love two people have for each other — and the commitment they want to make — can now be recognised as equal. I have backed this reform because I believe in commitment, responsibility and family. I don’t want to see people’s love divided by law. I also want to acknowledge those that worked to bring about this moment: the campaigners, groups such as Out4Marriage and Freedom to Marry, and the team in the Civil Service and Parliament who worked to deliver it.

"The UK is rated as the best place in Europe for LGBT equality — but we cannot be complacent. There are subjects we must continue to tackle: not least taking a zero-tolerance approach to homophobic bullying, and caring for elderly members of the LGBT community. Rest assured, this Government will work tirelessly to make sure this happens."

Inspiring, right?

The Queen Signs U.K. Marriage Equality Bill

Queen Elizabeth II has given royal approval to marriage equality legislation approved by both Houses earlier this week. As a matter of formality, the royal assent is the final nod for the legislation.

The AP has more:

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow told lawmakers that the royal assent had been given Wednesday — the day after the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales cleared Parliament. The queen’s approval was a formality. It clears the way for the first gay marriages next summer.
 

The law will take tangible effect in the summer of 2014. 

U.K.: House Of Commons To Give Final Approval To Marriage Equality By End Of Night

Updated Tuesday, 2:20 p.m. PST

As predicted marriage equality has passed in the UK's House of Commons!

Pink News reports:

"The equal marriage bill for England and Wales has once again been passed in the House of Commons, and will soon will be given Royal Assent to become law.

Conservative MP David Burrowes had tabled an amendment and was today once again accused of trying to delay implementation of the bill. Pro-equal marriage MPs padded out their speeches so that Mr Burrowes could not propose his amendment.

The amendment he tabled sought to force the government to hold individual public consultations for changes to secondary legislation.

This process was used from time to time on other laws, such as the Digital Economy Act 2010, but it was not proposed for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

The equal marriage bill was passed in the House of Commons, and as all amendments added in the House of Lords were accepted, it will not be required to go back to the Lords."

Congrats, UK gays!!! Now we just need a signature from the Queen!!

______________

Original Post

The House of Commons is expected to sail through its formal reading of marriage equality legislation approved by the House of Lords on Monday by the end of the night. 

The Guardian reports:

MPs will debate amendments made to the legislation in the upper house on Tuesday evening, but this is expected to be little more than a formality and is unlikely to delay its progress into law, with royal assent within the next few days.

The deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, told campaigners celebrating outside parliament that the new law would ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people felt "recognised and valued, not excluded".

And the gay Labour peer Lord Alli told fellow members of the second chamber – some of them sporting pink carnations: "My life and many others will be better today than it was yesterday."

The first marriages of same-sex couples will take place in England and Wales next summer. 

(Image)

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