Moscow Authorities Ban Gay Pride For A Century
After many attempts by LGBT activists to obtain permission to hold a gay pride parade, the Moscow City Court has officially denied LGBT parades for the next century, reports RT.com (Russian Times).
Dozens of LGBT activists and allies were arrested May 27 when they attempted to hold a Moscow Pride rally. Nikolai Alexeyev, Russia's highest-profile LGBT activist, was among those arrested.
Of this latest ruling, he said, ''They refuse our requests every time, but in Strasbourg they recognize these rulings as unlawful,'' RT.com reports. Strasbourg, France, is home to the European Court of Human Rights.''
RT.com notes that Madonna hopes to speak out in support of LGBT equality at her upcoming concert in Moscow, Aug. 7. She said she is going to ''give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed.''
Uganda Joint Christian Council Reignites Anti-Gay Animus
The Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) wants to revive the so-called ''Kill the Gays'' bill, which has been floating around the Ugandan Parliament since late 2009, London-based Gay Star News reports. The UJCC is claiming homosexuality is a threat to marriage and to children.
GSN quotes Frank Mugisha, head of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), as saying that despite the UJCC push, the conditions in Uganda may actually be improving somewhat. Consensual sex between members of the same gender is already illegal in Uganda, while the bill the UJCC is calling for would add extreme penalties, such as requiring Ugandans to report to authorities those they suspect of being gay.
''We see a shift in public opinion and I guess it's because many Ugandans are talking about homosexuality a lot,'' Mugisha said, according to GSN's June 11 report. ''There are some local leaders who are now willing to meet and talk to us. The only problem we have is the belief people have that we are promoting homosexuality and recruiting children.''
Cassano Hopes There Are No Gay Players In Italy
Antonio Cassano, an Italian soccer player, told a reporter that he hopes there are no gay players in the Italian squad for the Euro 2012 soccer championships, on now in Poland and Ukraine, though he issued an apology shortly after.
Agence France-Presse translated Cassano's comments as, ''If they're queer, that's their problem. I hope there aren't any queers in the national team.''
AFP reported that the comments, from the Italian team's June 12 press conference in Krakow, Poland, caused a stir back home. Fabrizio Marrazzo, of the Rome-based Gay Center, released a statement, in which he said, ''Unifying sport and homophobia gives a dangerous message, especially to the young. Cassano has shown that he has no respect, not only from a sporting perspective but from a human one, towards the many who follow him and consider him a great player.''
In his apology, carried by ANSA, an Italian news agency, Cassano said, as translated by The Guardian, ''I am sincerely sorry that my comments have caused controversy and protests among gay groups. Homophobia is not a point of view that I share. I didn't want to offend anyone and I absolutely don't want to put a person's sexual freedom under discussion.''