What to do about Sochi?

While most people are horrified by Russia’s recent laws on “Gay Propaganda” and its inaction on the torture of LGBT Teenagersby thugs, the rest of the right thinking world is split on how to react.

Should we boycott Russian Vodka? Should we move the Olympics like Stephen Fry has suggested? But if we do this will it harden the Russian Attitude and make them the victims? Well in their media anyway.

But of course the International Olympic Committee has been here before. Beijing.

Those planning to protest should remember that the IOC took no heed of those protests despite China’s trampling on Human Rights, so why would the IOC treat Russia any differently?

Its a catch-22 for those who want to protest. The IOC have said it will enforce rule 50 of the IOC Charter on athletes and officials. Rule 50 states

‘No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.’

Tilda Swinton in Moscow


The Russians too have said they will enforce the law during Sochi 2014 meaning athletes, officials and spectators face 15 days in jail followed by deportation if suspected of Gay Propaganda.

How do you fight this? Go for the sponsors? Sign Petitions?

You can’t move it. No where else is geared up for this.

A boycott is unfeasible as it puts a break on an athletes career. These are only every 4 years.

There are no good options on this.

The only option is, as The National Post points out for Gay Athletes attending Sochi 2014,

Go, be out, be yourself. If you’re not out, be supportive. Be proud. Inspire the people watching. We don’t know if someone will offer an act of bravery on a podium, or elsewhere. But someone should have the chance, because that, more than anything, should be what the world will remember.

Between that and protests around the world like this one in Sweden outside the Russian Embassy,

Amsterdam’s “Welcome” to President Putin

and other such as Irish Youth Groups coming together to protest against this, then we may start to make the Russian realise they are on the wrong side of this.

We can only hope they find this out before Sochi gets underway.

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Is it right that a Political Party Owns LGBT.ie???

Labour Party (Ireland)Image via Wikipedia

I was contacted after a tweet by Mark Coughlan about the ownership of a .ie domain. The Domain in is LGBT.ie and it is, according to the IE Domain Registry owned by the Irish Labour Party and is registered as a “Discretionary Name”

If you visit the site you get redirected to Labours homepage? Now is it right that a political party owns this and redirects it to their site? I don’t think so? I am not saying that as a party political hack (what use would Fine Gael or Fianna Fail have for that site) but as a former Gay Activist (I’ve toned it down an awful lot, most of my activism is by me for me now a days). No political party should own that domain.

While I agree Labour LGBT and the Labour Party in general have been a fantastic supporter of the Gay Community and Gay Rights, but does it give them the right to this domain? I don’t think so!

GLEN or the NGLF or some sort of Gay community or a website to co-ordinate all the other ones should be on that domain. It should not be a redirect to the Labour Home Page!

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PS: You can follow me on Twitter here

Bush in one move did more for gays then Clinton ever did

Yup that is right. Found out via Gaypatriot.net. President Bush signed into law the Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008. This makes it mandatory for businesses to roll over retirement benefits to a same-sex partner in the event of the employee’s death.

Why is this more progressive then Clinton? Well lets have a look at what he brought the Gay Community in America. He signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (known as DOMA) which has two effects:

1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.
2. The Federal Government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.

Secondly President Clinton brough us “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” which prohibits anyone who “demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because it “would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”.

So tell me who did more for Gay rights in America? Bush or Clinton?

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EMail: Greek gay rights activist gets sued for denouncing hate speech

A Greek bishop sued a Greek LGBT activist and an HIV/AIDS charity for 1 million euro, after the latter denounced him for his homophobic hate speech.

Hate speech against gays, lesbians and transgender people in Greece takes place with impunity. Several leading politicians, ministers, and religious leaders, as well as several journalists and other public figures, repeatedly insult and demean gays and lesbians without any legal or disciplinary consequences.

The latest example is the bishop of the Piraeus, Seraphim, who in an article maligned gays as ‘morally corrupt, obsessed with satisfying their psychopathological deviation and who have made a life value out of the faeces elimination tract’. Such is Seraphim’s hatred against gays that he supports the claims of an alleged murderer. The bishop said that the popular Greek actor Nikos Seryanopoulos, who was murdered in what seems to be a homophobic crime, brought this on himself because, according to the alleged murderer, Seryanopoulos forced him to have sex, and him not being ‘that way’ got upset and defended himself by stabbing the actor 21 times.

The above was sent to me by Synthesis HIV/AIDS Awareness a greek AIDS organisation who along with gay rights activist Leo Kalovyrnas. A petition to the Greek Government to ban hate speech against the Gay, Lesbian and Transexual community in Greece by changing the anti-discrimination law 927/1979 so as to cover hate crimes against the Greek LGBT community is online and I urge people to sign it.

The trial is due to start on 3rd February 2009 and I hope to keep a close eye on it.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

So it’s Ireland in the 21st and gay rights are a major issue. The fight for true equality, same-sex marriage, is well underway but who represents us. There is GLEN, NGLF, and ÉAGLE and other groups, but who will represent us in this fight for true equality. The way things are the Government can pick and choose who to negotiate with on equality issues.

We need to follow the example that the Spanish have set for us in their successful campaign for marriage equality. We need to form one group representing every LGBT group in Ireland to fight for true equality in this country. This is the only way we can unite to get what we deserve our basic right’s, our basic human rights, the right to be treated the same as everyone else in this country.

This grouping would represent every group in the country, rights groups, social groups, sports groups, youth groups, and college groups. Only united can we stand up to government and be united no matter what political creed we subscribe to. That way we can have members in all political parties and make our demands known. The only way we can achieve true equality is by coming together and fighting the good fight.

We deserve equality, we need to unite to get it!

Short History of LGBT Rights Campaign

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.