August 18, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 33
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Skinheads beat Estonian Pride marchers
Skinheads beat Estonian Pride marchers

After threatening to ban it, Jerusalem police allowed a small Gay rally in Liberty Bell Park Aug. 10 - the event that replaced the WorldPride parade.

The parade was cancelled because police said they needed officers from other cities to help protect it, and those officers were unavailable because of the ongoing war with Hezbollah guerrillas and Lebanon.

AntiGay Orthodox Jews had threatened a massive counterdemonstration against the parade, which also was opposed by Christian and Muslim religious figures, the mayor, and right-wing politicians in the "holy city."

About 200 people attended the rally, which ended after anarchists arrived chanting against the Israeli Defense Forces' actions in Lebanon.

At last year's local pride parade, an ultra-Orthodox protester stabbed three marchers and was later convicted of attempted murder. Orthodox Jews tried to block the march, and some 1,000 antiGay militants staged a rowdy action during which some threw bottles of urine and bags of feces at the marchers.

WorldPride, which was last held in 2000 in Rome, is licensed by InterPride, the International Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Coordinators.


The full press run of the summer issue of Turkey's only Gay magazine, Kaos GL, was confiscated by police July 24.

Judge Tekman Savas Nemli of Ankara's 12th Justice Court approved the seizure at the urging of the Public Prosecutor's Press Crimes Investigation Bureau.

The authorities took action for the "protection of general morality."

The summer issue of the 12-year-old magazine critically analyzed the relationship between homosexuality and pornography and contained articles by Ahmet Tulgar, Fatih Özgüven, Güner Kuban, Hasan Bülent Kahraman, Mehmet Bilal Dede and Meltem Arikan.

"It is the first time that our magazine is banned on the same day it was delivered from the printing house even before it is distributed to bookstores," editors said in a press release.

"What is attempted to be buried with a siege of 'general morality' is the freedom of expression of Turkish national Gay and Lesbians."

The magazine bears the name of the activist group that publishes it, the Kaos GL Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association.

In Turkey's fourth-largest city, meanwhile, police and antiGay soccer fans stopped a GLBT march from taking place Aug. 6.

Hundreds of members of the fan club of Bursa's Bursaspor team trapped about 100 members of the transgender and Gay group Gökkusagi (Rainbow) inside their headquarters by throwing rocks and threatening to kill them.

The would-be marchers escaped only when the protesters' numbers dwindled as the day's soccer match began.

The march was planned in reaction to attempts by the provincial governor to shut down the newly formed Rainbow group under laws designed to protect morality, activists said.


Belarus' state television aired graphic excerpts from a Gay-sex tape July 30 reportedly claiming it showed the second secretary of the Latvian Embassy, Reimo Smits, and had been seized from his Minsk apartment.

Officials said the Belarus KGB raided Smits' apartment because he had been distributing pornography.

The 10-minute TV report reportedly described the several black-and-white snippets, seemingly captured by a hidden camera with a wide-angle lens, as "a dirty homosexual orgy."

As a result, Smits has returned to Latvia, and Latvia has refused to accept the credentials of Belarus' new ambassador to Latvia.

Latvian officials suggest Belarus fabricated the sex and porn allegations because the nation's authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, reportedly disapproves of diplomats who promote democracy in his nation. Smits was a contact person for Belarus' democratic opposition.

In a BBC interview, Latvian Foreign Minister Artis Pabriks also called the raid on Smits' residence a "breach of the Vienna Convention because it was a violation of the private space of our diplomat."


Iraqi Gays are fleeing the nation to escape Shiite death squads, Britain's Observer newspaper reported Aug. 6.

"There is growing evidence that Shia militias have been killing men suspected of being Gay and children who have been sold to criminal gangs to be sexually abused," the report said.

As a result, the United Kingdom has seen a surge in applications for asylum by Iraqi homosexuals.

The newspaper said it had seen a photo of "two men, suspected of having a relationship, blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs - guns at the ready behind their heads - awaiting execution. Another picture captured on a mobile phone shows a Gay man being beaten to death. Yet another shows a corpse being dragged through the streets after his execution."

One such militia is the Badr Brigade, which, the Observer said, "work with the Ministry of Interior and are the informal armed wing of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq, who make up the largest Shia bloc in the Iraq parliament."

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