Baltic Pride Suspended

balticprideNews in today is that the Baltic Pride Festival March has been suspended pending the outcome of a court case. From the Baltic Pride facebook:

Wednesday morning Vilnius District Administrative Court announced it will concider the request by interim Attorney General Raimondas Petrauskas and member of Kaunas city council Stanislovas Buskevicius to revoke the permit of Vilnius municipality to hold LGBT march “For Equality”.

Until the verdict is reached, the court suspended the permit as a temporary security measure.

Mr Petrauskas filed the request on Monday, quoting security issues as the basis to ban the main event of “Baltic Pride Vilnius 2010.”

“I have only one argument – maintaining public order. In case there’s a threat to people’s wellbeing and public security, the permit should not be given,” said Attorney General.

He claimed having received official information – that is currently classified – from operational services. “We have to weight peaceful march against public order and wellbeing. We could, of course, fence the area and guard so tha no one approaches it, but first, people have to come and leave it somehow,” said Mr Petrauskas.

He admits that his request might make Lithuania look homophobic, “but how will we look if there are reports about violence and other phenomena.”

The interim Attorney General claims to have information that radical and violent groups are organizing protests and provocations against the marchers.

“We have reason to believe that the state will not be able to provide proper protection for the participants in the intended location, i.e., streets of Vilnius,” – he claims in the request, asking to cancel the decision of Vilnius municipal authority to grant the permit for the march scheduled for 8 May.

The court also received a similar request from a member of Kaunas City Council Stanislovas Buskevicius, who claims that the march “would offend the values dear to Lithuania – decency, fidelity, fertility, human dignity.” According to politician, the state should not embrace the life style that goes against the values of the majority.

The organizers of “Baltic Pride” also filed a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office against its current head. Mr Petrauskas is seeking to influence their will and free choice in order to stop them from exercising their right to peaceful assembly, claim LGL chairman Vladimiras Simonko, Eduardas Platovas and Vytautas Valentinavicius.

According to them, Attorney General is abusing his power to “exert illegal pressure” without pointing out concrete breaches to public interest.

Please support the festival. Follow the news on Facebook and sign the Amnesty International Petition!

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Baltic Pride

More astute readers of the blog will notice the new advert on the top of the blog. This is to support one of the Campaigns of Amnesty International Denmark.

Next Saturday May 8th Baltic Pride is set take place in Vilnius, Lithuania. This will be the first Pride in Vilnius. So why is there a campaign?

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the Baltic States are facing obstacles to holding their annual Pride march in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. Amnesty International calls for the Pride march to be held in safety and in full respect of freedom of expression and assembly.

On Saturday 8 May, Lithuania is set to host the 2010 Baltic Pride which celebrates diversity and champions human rights.  It will be the first ever Pride event to take place in Lithuania.

However, LGBT people in Lithuania are still subject to discrimination and intolerance, and the Lithuanian authorities have cancelled all previously planned public LGBT events in the country.

Pressure is mounting on the Vilnius City Council to revoke its authorization of the 2010 Baltic Pride march.  There are still concerns that the necessary security arrangements will not be put in place by the Vilnius Police.

Show your support for the 2010 Baltic Pride and demand that LGBT people’s rights to freedom of expression and assembly are respected and protected in Lithuania.

Pride Parades took place in Riga in neighbouring Latvia in 2008 and 2009 and there were protests against these events. Please sign the petition to the Lithuanian President to ensure that this march goes ahead safely.

UPDATE: the interim AG in Lithuania has today lodged an appeal to have the parade banned on security threat grounds and has sought to have  permission repealed. The case is to be heart tomorow in the civil court with judgement expected by 12 noon local time. Amnesty Press Release with full details More on this when I get it!

UPDATE 2: ILGA-Europe, the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights and Amnesty International have also issued a joint Press Release on the issue

thanks to John James Hickey on FB for the post and updates

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GALA Awards

Défilé de PASTT à la Gay Pride à Paris en FranceImage via WikipediaI saw an ad for this in this months GCN and there is a thread on about it too. So what are they?

From the blurb

The GALAS are Ireland’s first annual awards celebrating contributions to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) life in Ireland. We want you to tell us who you think deserves to be honoured for their contributions in 2008 at our very special awards ceremony later this year. The nomination process is easy, and you can nominate as many times in as many categories as you like.

The GALA Awards are being run by the the National Lesbian and Gay Federation of Ireland who publish GCN.

There are 11 Categories up for Grabs.
# Person of the Year

The person you feel has most contributed to the advancement of equality and social acceptance of LGBT people in Ireland during 2008.

# Community Organisation of the Year

Across Ireland there are many organisations constantly working towards the advancement of LGBT people, running centres, helplines, support groups, social groups, events and much more. Which organisation do you think deserves to be awarded for their work in 2008?

# Volunteer of the Year

Each year in the LGBT sector, an unprecedented number of people give freely of their time, energy and skills to help other LGBT people in many, many ways. Is there an LGBT volunteer you believe should be honoured for their work in 2008?

# Employer of the Year

Less than 50% of Irish LGBT people feel comfortable to be ‘out’ at work, so we are honouring the employers who are committed to diversity and LGBT inclusion. From corporates to small employers, we would like to award the most inclusive employer of 2008.

# LGBT Businessperson of the Year

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are keen business men and women. This award will go to an out and proud LGBT businessperson, someone who you think deserves to be awarded for his or her endeavours in the business world.

# Most Gay-Friendly Politician of the Year

Behind the scenes in government and in the opposition parties, in the Seanád and in local councils, there are politicians who stand behind the LGBT community and seek equality and social advancement for all. The GALAS seeks to honour gay-friendly politicians and encourage other politicians to work towards a more inclusive, equal society with this award. Who do you think the most gay-friendly politician of 2008 has been?

# Journalist of the Year

Representations of LGBT people in the Irish media range from positive to stereotypical to homophobic. What journalist do you think has represented gay issues and stories in a fair and understanding way in the media in 2008, helping to advance gay rights with their writing or broadcasting?

# Media Representation of the Year

From soap operas to documentaries, from television dramas to movies featuring gay characters and story lines, from sitcoms to news items, from pop stars to radio shows, what was the most arresting, forward thinking and entertaining gay representation in the Irish media and entertainment industry in 2008? You decide.

# Blogger of the Year

The Internet has opened a whole new world for LGBT people to give the world their opinions on politics, the media, society and just about anything they care to write about. Who do you think the best queer blogger of 2008 is?

# Event of the Year

From Pride festivals to cultural events, from sporting tournaments to large-scale social occasions, what do you think the gay event of 2008 was?

# Molly Malone Award for the Irish Gay Icon of the Year

We all love a gay icon, whether they be from the world of entertainment or politics. So who do you think should be crowned the Irish gay icon of the year?

I have an idea who I will be nominating in a few categories and others are drawing a blank. But I am sure something will come to my mind.

It is great to see the blogger category in there! I am really interested in seeing, one, who is nominated and two, who wins and have I heard of them!

So get nominating

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CorkPride 2007 video’s

A friend of mine made these and sent them to me! Enjoy.

This year Pride is on from May 25th to June 2nd. See for more details and staytuned! 😀

Gay Pride… Revistited.

Last month I wrote a post about Gay Pride, was it Triumphalist or rembering a historical battle for human rights? . The Daily Bohomian yesterday wrote a piece that towards the end touches on Gay Pride and raises some interesting points.

He wrote

I believe that there’s a fine line between showing off to deliberately make people feel intimidated and in showing pride just as there’s a fine line between not understanding gay people and being a thuggish bigot

I think this really sums up the feelings on Gay Pride. It is a very careful balancing act, that I beleive in some places falls they over themselves to be intimidating not just to people who feel ‘uncomfortable’ but also to some gays who like myself are a tad conservative. I dont believe that a Gay Pride Parade should be about men walking down the street in skimpy underwear or Lesbians topless on bikes. Thats not what Pride is about, but it is what it has become.

Pride should be about celebreting diversity, not just within the Gay Community but within wider society. It should aim to educate not intimidate.

For me as a Gay man, without that perfect body, Pride can be quite intimidating and it can effect your self-esteem. This is why I would never go to Pride in Amsterdam or San Francisco. This is why I love Cork Pride. Cork Pride is small, and welcoming. It is open to anyone who wants to join, Gay, Straight, Bisexual, transexual, whatever you describe yourself as. There are fun family events, like last year we went to the beach and had a Sports Day. It was great fun. Thats what Pride should be about, Respect and Fun.

Bohomian also raises an interesting point on where the Gay Community gets ghettoised so people only associated Gays with certain areas, EG London’s Soho.

And Soho has always been a Ghetto in much the same way. The predominance of rainbow flags serves as a mark of territory and man’s natural instinct is to challenge the territorial claim of his neighbours.

So what’s the answer? So we stick a sex shop, darkroom and G-A-Y bar on every corner? No but we do need to open the doors of our community and if Mohammed refuses to come to the mountain, take the mountain to Mohammed. This year’s London pride will stick to the same old route and the same people will take part. If the gay community wants to begin breaking down the divide that exists between the straight community and the gay community, we have to take pride to places like Dagenham.

The Gay Community needs to be open and welcome to questioning. Thats is the only way we can improve tolerence. We need to take the spirit of Pride and take it around our own local communities.

I hope one day we can live up to the words that Bohomian has written

We have to get our voice heard in the local press and be a clear presence at local events like town shows and carnivals. We have to become a bigger presence in pubs and clubs instead of sticking to those we know we can pick up trade in. And if we do all those things without ramming our cause down people’s throats, they’ll come to see that although we unite in one community to tackle homophobia, we remain individuals who still live by the values of decency and politeness, tolerance and that all important motto of “the right thing at the right time”. It’s a case of give and take and I truly hope that in the future we begin to live as members of a national family rather than members of polar communities

Yours in Pride,

Gay Pride: Triumphalist or rembering a historical battle for human rights?

The other day I was bored and was watching BBC Parliament. It was a recording of the previous days debates in the House of Lords, which is very interesting. Though one member of the House gave me something to mull over and hence this post.

Another thing that we see regularly—I do not know whether it is an annual event—is the gay pride parade, which I and many others consider to be triumphalist and could be used to incite hatred against other sexualities. People may think that that is far-fetched, but these days nothing is far-fetched.

Lord Stoddart of Swindon, Independent Labour

Source: Hansard

This was during a debate on amendment No. 137 (Lord Waddington) to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill.

For those interested the amendment was as follows:

Schedule 26, page 269, line 19, at end insert—

“13A After section 29J (protection of freedom of expression), insert—

“29JA Protection of freedom of expression (sexual orientation)

Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion of, criticism of or expressions of antipathy towards, conduct relating to a particular sexual orientation, or urging persons of a particular sexual orientation to refrain from or modify conduct related to that orientation.””

Source: Hansard

But the amendment aside, Lord Stoddart does raise an interesting point, Is Gay Pride Triumphalist? Or are we celebrating or Liberation that started in New York in 1960’s?

For me Gay Pride is a double edged sword. Its celebrates the fact that I am who I am, but at the same time I think Gay Pride can sometimes creat more differences then their are. I also feel gay pride has lost its political roots as demonstration for human rights, not just for homosexuals but for all citizens.

People views of Gay Pride today vary from fun, carnival like atmosphere (eg Cork, which welcomes everyone to join in the parade) to brash, sexual all night parties (eg Amsterdam). These are views I have come across in the two and half years I am out.

So where does the future lie for Gay Pride? Please leave comments and I will post on this one further.

Brighton Pride

Well, im off to brighton pride later today! won the tickets last night! cant wait!!! be back on monday!!!! 😀

Notes on a Train

Random thoughts on the 11:00 Dublin to Cork Train

Fine Gael won the election so stop asking me if I’m happy with the election!

A downturn is coming in the economy and people know it. Watch the number of Penny’s bags the next time your in Town.

The Following Drag queens rock (in no particular order!)
*Regina George
*Fabula Di Marchais
*Destiny Jones
*Kitty Cartier
*Lady Face – Veda and Devina
*Panti (all hail)
*Joanna Ryde
*Aine Climax

Cork needs a LUAS

The B’house is cool 😉

I like the new CIE trains

Kinlay house is a great place to stay – its near all the Gay Bars!!!!

Lemonjelly is gorgeous and the staff are hot!!!!

This weather is killing me….

I found Today FM’s HQ by accident….

Transgendered rights more improtant then Civil Partnerships.

Launch of Dublin Pride was fab. Must try and get to the Parade on the 23rd of this month!

Cork Pride was fab – I came second in the mince marathon!!!

The Parade was well better this year like!

I say ‘like’ a lot – especially when it’s pointed out to me

I dropped out of college :-O

Cant get this song out of my head!

I must go to Dublin more often…. but not by train €40 student return jaysus!!!

Must start blogging regularly again. Excuses:
*General Election

Dan Boyle travles by train…. hes two carriages back

Why is Paris Hilton on the front page of the Irish Examiner…. Who gives a shit – stupid bitch.

ISL should be thought to all children. I will teach mine.

I need to think of a drag name!

Your Drag Queen Name Is:

Felicia Fellatio

Anyone know where i can get men’s size 10 (UK) heels in Ireland?? Preferable Cork!

My hangover is subsiding!

I love free beer….

This is a cool song

Thats all he wrote!

Letter To Russian Ambassador

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of
the Russian Federation to the Republic of Ireland
His Excellency Vladimir Rakhmanin
Embassy of the Russian Federation
184-186 Orwell Road
Dublin 14
Dear Sir,
I am writing to you, as the representative of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Ireland, to ask you what steps the Russian Government is taking to bring those who attacked the Gay Rights Parade in Moscow on the 27th May 2006 to justice.

Being from Cork where we just held our first Gay Rights Parade we received a total different reaction to those received in Moscow. This month also sees a Gay Rights March in Dublin.

I understand that the Russian Federation is a sovereign state but as a member of the Council of Europe, it should have high regard for Human Rights, especially the right to freedom of expression. These rights cannot be infringed upon buy other peoples rights and need to be protected.

I ask you to take urgent action in contacting your Government in taking steps to stop this violence against the Gay Community in Russia.

Yours Sincerely
Stephen Spillane

As soon as i get a response i will post it up.

Cork Pride Over

Well after an eventful long weekend (me out every night wooooooo!) Cork Pride came to a close yesterday. The highlight for the week had to be the Parade on Sunday through Cork City. It was fantastic. The reaction was excellent as we urned the city into a riot of colour and sound with floats, buses, cars and a 250ft Pride flag! It was the best way to start our Pride Parades in Cork.

for more pics see My photobucket album and