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MAY 2010

May 29:  Malawi:  Malawi Couple Pardoned by President: Justice at Last for Steven and Tiwonge, Says Tatchell.   Peter Tatchell has praised President Bingu of Malawi has pardoned the couple, Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who were recently sentenced to 14 years hard labour on charges of homosexuality.

May 29:  Russia:  Gay Pride Triumph in Moscow!  By Peter Tatchell.  Thirty Russian lesbian, gay and bisexual activists foiled the police and FSB security services by holding a 10 minute flashmob Gay Pride march on one of Moscow’s major thoroughfares, Leningradsky Street, this afternoon.

May 28:
  Russia:  EU, UK and US Fail to Condemn Ban on Moscow Gay Pride as Activists Gather in Secret Locations.  Commentary by Peter Tatchell in Moscow.   In a shameless display of feeble deference to the Mayor of Moscow, a court in the Russian capital today upheld Mayor Luzhkov’s ban of the fifth attempted Moscow Gay Pride parade.

May 28:  Russia:  Moscow Court Upholds Ban of Moscow Gay Pride by Mayor Luzhkov.   Organisers say the court decision will not change their plans for “event” at European Commission office.  A judge at the Tverskoy District Court in Moscow confirmed today the legality of the earlier ban of the Moscow Pride march by the Mayor of the Russian capital, Yuri Luzhkov.

May 27:  Russia:  Luzhkov Should Stand Trial Over Moscow Gay Pride Bans Says Tatchell.  The mayor of Moscow is a criminal over his bans of Moscow Gay Pride for the last five years, the gay rights activist Peter Tatchell said this afternoon.

May 27:  Russia:  Blogging from Moscow Gay Pride.  UK Gay News is in Moscow and blogging has started.

May 26:  Europe:  Gay Prides in Eastern Europe: The Bitter Taste of the Police Batons.  Commentary by Nikolai Alekseev.   Millions of people around the world, no matter whether they are gay or straight, will once again celebrate Prides this year.  Some were lucky enough to be born in most recent times, in countries which have already achieved much on equality for LGBT people.  But others have been part of Stonewall, worked with [Harvey] Milk and remember about the origins of Pride.

May 23:  Slovakia:  Blue Danube Goes Rainbow as Bratislava 'Gay' Pride Parties on the Famed River.  By Clare Dimyon.  The music continues pulsing and the dance floors are still buzzing at the first Pride After-Party at the end of a historic day for Slovakia and for the European Union.   This report puts an emphasis on what went right at Bratislava on Saturday, rather than dwelling on the skirmishes between police and the ‘neo-Nazi’ protestors.

May 21:  Russia:  Moscow Authorities Gag Gay Russian Website?  The Russian gay news Web site GayRussia has been shut down by the hosting company, Caravan. And Nikolai Alekseev said in a brief message to UK Gay News late last night that Caravan came under pressure to shut down the site from the Moscow authorities.

May 20:  UK/Malawi:  Conviction of Gay Couple: “We Will Not Sit Idly By”.   By Alan Duncan, MP.   The conviction of two men in Malawi for exercising their basic right to express their sexuality as they wish is both shocking and disturbing.

May 20:  Russia:  Moscow Gay Pride Banned by Mayor’s Office for Fifth Consecutive Year.  Not unexpectedly, the homophobic Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, has banned the march planned in Russian capital as part of Moscow Pride on May 29.  It is the fifth successive year that the Mayor, who infamously described Gay Pride parades a “satanic happenings”, has invoked a ban.

May 20:  UK/Malawi:  UK Ministers Call for Human Rights Review in Malawi Following Sentencing of Gay Couple to 14 Years in Jail.  Three government ministers have hit out at this week’s conviction in a Malawi court – and this morning’s sentencing of 14 years in prison with hard labour – of the gay couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza who were arrested last December for having a traditional engagement ceremony.

May 19:  Belarus:  Arrested, Beaten, Threatened, Jailed and Sent for Trial Just for Taking Part in Slavic Gay Pride.  By Sergey Yenin.  This is an account of the most dramatic 48 hours in my life as a gay activist in Belarus.  There were four of us in the taxi.  Myself, Logan (and Australian filmmaker), Jack (his boyfriend) and Chad (a photographer working on a project Walk with Pride).   I couldn’t help shivering in anticipation of the upcoming Pride march and the possible extreme few hours that I would probably face.  But I couldn’t let my friends worry as well.   The taxi driver noticed that something was really wrong with the place he had to drop us off.

May 19:  USA:  Stories from the Frontlines: Letter to the US President from a Former Gay Servicemember Discharged Under DADT. By Darren Manzella .  ... When I came out, the first people I told were comrades, with whom I had just spent 12 months in Baghdad.   To be honest, I was scared of their rejection more than the mortar and rocket attacks, ambushes, or roadside explosives.   But, they showed immense understanding of what I had been going through and offered unconditional support.

May 17:  Russia:  Homophobia Subject of Russian Prime Time Television Programme Tonight.  By Nikolai Alekseev.   In Russia tonight, millions will be able to watch an hour-long television programme on homophobia being screened to coincide with International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).

May 17:  Belarus:  Belarusian Court Fines, Releases Participants Arrested at Slavic Gay Pride.  The seven Belarusian and Russian gay activists, who spent the weekend in police custody follow their arrest during Saturday’s banned Slavic Gay Pride march, have been released.

May 17:  International Day Against Homophobia:   Top EU Leaders Mark International Day Against Homophobia.  Today, the International Day Against Homophobia, leaders from the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission have issued strong messages condemning homophobia.

May 15:  Belarus:   Brave Gay Activists Stage Pride March in Minsk but Were Met By Violent Police Action.  Belarus had its first Gay Pride March this afternoon.  But after some 200 metres, it was broken up by the riot police, with twelve participants arrested after scenes of reported police violence.

May 14:  Belarus:   No Restriction on Private Gay Events, Belarus MPs Tell French Parliamentarians.  By Teo Valenti in Paris.   MPs from Belarus have told their French counterparts that the decision to ban the Baltic Gay Pride parade in Minsk tomorrow was taken by the city authorities.

May 14:  Belarus:   Blogging from Belarus and Slavic Gay Pride.  This page will be constantly updated during the weekend

May 12:  Belarus:   IDAHO Committee Strongly Condemns Ban of Slavic Gay Pride in Minsk.  The IDAHO Committee of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) has asked Jérôme Lambert, member of the French Parliament and President of the France/Belarus friendship group, to raise the issue of the ban of the planned peaceful Slavic Gay Pride event due to be held on Saturday with the delegation of Belarusian MPs visiting France this week.

May 8:  Belarus:   Minsk Authorities Ban Next Weekend’s Slavic Gay Pride.  The city authorities have banned next weekend’s Slavic Gay Pride March, using an obscure law that says public events are not allowed near underground pedestrian crossings and metro stations.

May 7:  Lithuania:   Euro Commissioner Tells Baltic Pride Conference: “I Will Remain Vigilant” Over Gay Rights.   The full text of the remarks made this morning by Vice-President Viviane Reding of the European Commission at the opening of the Human Rights Combating Fear and Prejudice conference in Vilnius, part of Baltic Gay Pride. Her remarks were by video link from Brussels.

May 7:  Belarus:   Slavic Gay Pride Organisers Appeal to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.  Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, was asked yesterday to personally intervene in the process of consideration of the application for the Slavic Pride march planned for May 15.  In a letter, from Belarusian and Russian gay activists, also asked the President to back the recognition of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Belarus.

May 6:  Lithuania:   Baltic Gay Pride: “Tweets” from Vilnius.  A special page that will be frequently updated with “Tweets” from various people during Baltic Pride.

May 6:  Georgia:   Special Report from Georgia: Gay Hate Violence on the Rise in Tbilisi.  By Paata Sabelashvili.   With upcoming municipal elections set for May 30, a strong wave of hate speech against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has been forcefully unleashed by radical nationalist and religious groups in Georgia.

May 5:  Lithuania:   Court Ban of Baltic Gay Pride March Is “Beyond Understanding”.  The Vilnius County Administrative Court has today effectively banned the ‘March for Tolerance”, the highlight of Baltic Gay Pride which takes place this coming weekend.  And Vytautas Valentinavicius, chairman of the Tolerant Youth Association, one of the organizers of the march, told the Baltic News Service that the court’s decision was “beyond understanding” and that he would seek legal advice on an appeal, the German DPA news agency is reporting.

May 4:  Lithuania:   Baltic Gay Pride’s ‘March for Equality’ in Lithuania Is Under Threat.  Raimondas Petrauskas, Lithuania’s Interim Attorney General and Stanislovas Buškevičius, member of the Kaunas City Council, have applied to the courts to ban the Baltic Pride/March for Equality which is scheduled for this Saturday, May 8.  The march has been given approval by the Mayor of Vilnius.

May 4:  USA:   Leading Ex-Gay Activist Caught On Vacation with Rent Boy.   Truth Wins Out today called on anti-gay activist Dr. George A. Rekers to resign from the board of a leading “ex-gay” therapy group and apologize to the LGBT community after the Miami New Times discovered that he took a male prostitute that he met on Rentboy.com to Europe.   According to the sex worker, Rekers “likes younger guys to hang out with.”

May 3:  UK:   Austrian Post Office Goes Gay with Special Postage Stamp for Rainbow Parade in Vienna. Austrian Post will be making philatelic history when it releases a postage stamp commemorating the 15th Regenbogenparade (Rainbow Parade) in Vienna on July 3.