||Matt Lucas (left) and
Simon Callow are two of the stars supporting the axm/Outrage!
protest in London.
(photos courtesy axm magazine
LONDON, October 3 – A number of
stars have backed tomorrow’s demonstration at the Iranian Embassy in London
and the international petition organised by the monthly UK gay magazine
The magazine has joined forces with
Outrage!, the UK gay human rights organisation, to organise the “Homophobia
Kills” protest against the homophobic atrocities in Iran outside the
country’s Embassy at 1pm tomorrow (Tuesday October 4).
“How can we possibly hope for world
peace when acts of this nature are allowed to take place,” asked Andy Bell
of the group Erasure?
“Although I won’t be in the country
on Tuesday, I wanted to express my solidarity with the axm protesters
– and have signed the petition. Isn’t there enough suffering in the world
already without having to resort to this kind of barbarism and taking the
lives of two innocent youths who were merely expressing their love? […]
Good luck with the demo on Tuesday, I will be there in spirit.”
And Simon Callow was equally
forthright. “I unreservedly condemn this savage and barbaric treatment of
homosexual men in Iran. It is inconceivable that we should have diplomatic
relations with a country which betrays its citizens in this way,” he said,
adding that he was filming all day and would be unable to be at the
But Actor Jeremy Sheffield and
comedian Scott Cappurro are set to attend.
Also supporting the axm/Outrage!
protest is Matt Lucas, who stars in the hit BBC comedy series Little
“Recently in Iran two teenagers
were executed for being gay – just one example of the constant persecution
of gay and lesbian people by the Iranian government,” he said. “I support
efforts to put pressure on the Iranian government to stop this persecution.
“While gay visibility has grown in
Britain in recent years we cannot forget the plight of those in more hostile
parts of the world who live with the daily risk of jail, torture and
execution for no other reason than their sexuality.”
The response to the online petition
was described this evening as “fantastic” by axm editor Matthew
“The protest and petition has
snowballed and shows that the gay community in Britain cares,” he said.
He said that thousands had already
signed the online petition. “We are now on the final call – the petition
will be online until 9am tomorrow [Tuesday October 4 – 4am Eastern time in
the USA]. And we hope that anyone who is in London and has a hour to spare
will come and join us.”
To sign the online petition, click
■ The Iranian Embassy is at 16 Prince’s Gate, London,
SW7 1PT Getting there: The Embassy is near the Royal Albert Hall, by the
junction of Kensington Road and Exhibition Road. Nearest underground
stations are South Kensington and Gloucester Road.
■ This week, Bay Windows, the gay weekly for
the Boston area, has joined New York’s Gay City News in asking why
American gay organizations are do relatively little about the worrying state
of affairs in Iran.
“More than likely, the inaction on the ongoing
anti-gay human rights abuses in Iran stems from plain old apathy,” writes
Laura Kiritsy in Bay Windows under the headline:
Death of activism – Where’s the outrage over Iran's treatment of gays?
She takes a similar line to that of Doug Ireland in
asking why aren’t the Amercan gay human rights groups outraged and doing
Failure to Stand Up to Anti-Gay Iran).
■ Simon Callow's latest film,
Rag Trade, opens in the UK this week.
Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization
UK/Iran: New Iran Protest Over Treatment of Gays at London Embassy.
A new protest outside the Iranian Embassy in London is to be staged next
week. UK gay human rights group Outrage!,
which last July broke the news to the world of the execution of two gay
teenagers, has joined forces with UK gay lifestyle monthly axm to
spearhead a further demonstration at the Embassy on Tuesday (October 4).
“Please do not leave us
alone,” Iranian Gays Urgently
Appeal to World,
by Doug Ireland.
Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization
(PGLO) has appealed to North
American activists for help in mobilizing support for their campaign against
the vicious, lethal, anti-gay crackdown taking place in the Islamic Republic
of Iran. The anti-gay pogrom in Iran includes arrests and torture of gay
people, executions of gay Iranians on trumped up charges, and a
well-organized Internet entrapment campaign by Iran's religious sex police
that is ensnaring gay Iranians daily.
Anti-Gay Christian Voice Director on BBC’s Question
Time. Stephen Green, the national director of the
vehemently anti-gay Christian fundamentalist Christian Voice, is one of the
panellists on tonight’s Question Time (BBC1 at 10.35pm), which comes live
from Brighton at the end of the Labour Party conference.
Police Brutality Against Gays in Nepal.
The UK LGBT human rights group OutRage! has today condemned the police assaults of
gay metis last weekend in Kathmandu, Nepal (see
UK Gay News report of
Gay Rights Violated by
Turkey, Says Human Rights Watch. The threat by Turkish
officials to close down an organization defending lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender people’s rights violates basic freedoms of association and
expression, Human Rights Watch said last night.
European Push to
Help Belarus Gays. Concerns are growing over human rights
of gays in Belarus, dubbed by activists as “Europe’s last dictatorship”.
UK (England and Wales):
Your Rights Section:
Employment in the Gay Community and the Law.
HIV Victim Beaten As
Police Taunt Gays In Nepal. A Nepalese meti afflicted with
HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS, was savagely beaten by police and detained
in a Kathmandu police station for a day before being released on payment of
what was effectively a bribe.
Against Gays, Lesbians Is Inadmissible, Says Council of Europe.
Moldova must guarantee the fundamental rights of gays and lesbians, a report
from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) says.
Cashman Pledges Support for Moscow Gay Pride.
Michael Cashman, the out-gay Member of the European Parliament, has invited
the Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov to Strasbourg for a “summit” on gay pride
events and of LGBT rights to expression, demonstrations and meetings.
Accountable for Violating Gay Human Rights, by Paula Ettelbrick.
The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, joined the largest
gathering ever of world leaders last week at the United Nations without one
question being asked about his country’s continued violations of
international human rights law. Iran has signed both the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights
of the Child. Both forbid the execution of any person under the age of 18
for any crime. Yet there has been a rash of public executions in Iran that
have involved youth or were related to sexuality and gender identity.