A community radio station in the English city of Leeds has been fined £4000 after one of its homophobic advocated homophobic violence and branded gay people as “evil” and “shameful”.
The Fever 107.3 FM, a small local station dedicated to the Asian community, presenter Rubina Nasir, sometimes known as ‘Sister Ruby‘ made the revolting homophobic comments during August 2011.
The bigoted Nasir opened her Sister Ruby Ramadan Special 2011 show with a verse from the Quran (Sura Al-Nisa, verse 16) and then spouted her own interpretation of the verse, as being highly critical of mixed-faith marriages and also of same-sex relationships. She went on to discuss various historical events portrayed in the Quran in the context of her main focus on homosexuality.
The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain is considering additional legal safeguards for its proposed equal marriage legislation in order to protect faith groups from the threat of legal action, if the legislation goes ahead, according to the Culture Secretary Maria Miller, reports Jason Shaw
During an interview with serious British newspaper the Telegraph, Mrs Miller said: “I would not introduce a Bill that would in any way impinge on a church’s power to decide who it marries. Faith groups should have the ability to control that. There are already clear protections within European law. Marriage is all about creating some stability in society.” she told the paper.
The possible introduction of protections for religious bodies in the bill comes after months of warnings from back bench MP‘s that European law increases the risk of faith organisations facing potential legal action if they refuse to provide gay couples with same-sex marriages.
Last week the French President Francois Hollande’s government approved a bill to legalise equal marriage and allow gay couples to adopt. The new reform was strongly opposed by many, including over 1,000 mayors and the entire French Catholic Church hierarchy.
France is one of a number of European nations that already have civil unions for same-sex couples, however gay marriage was one of Hollande’s campaign pledges during his bid to become President. On Wednesday he told his cabinet that the bill would mean “progress not only for individuals but for the whole of society” they approved the bill.
The Bishop of Durham Justin Welby has been named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England. The Eaton and Cambridge University educated man is a former oil trader and has only been the Bishop of Durham for a year will take of from the current archbishop, Dr Rowan Williams towards the end of the year.
Only last month, Dr Williams, admitted the Church of England’s attitude to gay relationships had often been harmful to gay people he had also said that while his leadership was “wrong” not to have advocated gay equality, David Cameron was wrong to have embarrassed the church over the issue of equal marriage.
The French government have announced that October 31st is the date when a draft law authorising equal marriage will be approved by government ministers.
There had been widespread political and religious opposition, to the bill however Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault insisted there would be no backtracking on a manifesto promise by President Francois Hollande in an interview with local French news agency AFP.
More than 1,200 French mayors and deputy mayors have signed a petition opposing the government’s plans, with many of them warning they will not preside over same-sex ceremonies. Whilst that number may seem significant, it represents less than one percent of French mayors.
Last week, Francois Lebel, a district mayor in Paris who had previously married former President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni, said that he would not conduct marriages for same-sex couples and suggested the measure could open the door to the approval of polygamous or incestuous unions. Although quite how such a move would allow the ‘door to be opened’ is beyond all legal, moral and political understanding.
Prime Minister Ayrault said the draft legislation will include provision for married gay couples to adopt children but the right will not be immediately extended to unmarried gay couples.
The supreme court of Russia dismissed the appeal by the Russian LGBT organization Coming Out, finding the ‘gay propaganda’ law consistent with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
St. Petersburg law bans ‘propaganda’ of ‘homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, and transgenderism that can damage the health, moral and spiritual development of minors’. The offence carries a fine of up to 500,000 roubles ($16,100)
On Tuesday the Ukrainian Government moved a step closer to an outright ban on homosexuality by agreeing a bill that will effectively silence the whole Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community in the country.
They approved the first reading of a horrifically homophobic legislation that would make it a crime to speak publicly about homosexuality in a positive way, punishable by a hefty fine or a 5 year jail term.
The shock draft bill received approval from 289 of the 350 lawmakers and will have to pass a secondary parliamentary hearing, currently scheduled for 16th October. If the bill passes and Vikto Yaukovych – the Ukrainian President signs the bill into law, any pro-gay talk will be outlawed under the term of spreading ’homosexual propaganda’. This basically means that no positive mention of gays can be made in any media outlet, gay magazines would also face prosecution along with publications and leaflets that promote safe sexual health between gay people.
The Russian politician who introduced the horrifically homophobic St. Petersburg bill banning ‘gay propaganda’ has stepped up his campaign and crusade against gays by claiming in a recent interview that homosexuality is a ‘bad habit’ that can be treated by fasting and prayer.
The deputy of the St Petersburg city legislature Vitaliy Milonov said that homosexuality was an illness, which can be cured and this hatemonger likened same-sex attraction to “a bad habit. His homophobic and
Speaking on the popular Russian radio talk radio show Ekho Moskvy,
Milonov told how if his son told him he was gay, he would take him to a priest who should tell the young man that he was partaking in a bad habit that one can easily quit. “God can send many temptations upon us,” he said. “But the thing is, this illness is easily treated by fasting and praying. I do not know of a single case within the Russian Orthodox Church that a man would not be cured by his sincere repentance in this sin. People get rid of it, just like they get rid of kleptomania or, for instance, fornicators.”
Virtually every medical and psychiatric association in the world have long since proved that homosexuality is not an illness or something that could be cured. Equally there is uniform opinion that trying to prey the gay away is futile and in many cases harmful.
Milonov who also wants to outlaw abortion, is no stranger to controversy, he gained particular notoriety this year for his campaign against homosexuality and received a parody award in June for his initiative to ban homosexuality in Russia until 2015. One of his key aims was achieved in St. Petersburg this February when the city legislature approved a bill banning the promotion of homosexuality and paedophilia to minors, this includes holding any form or gay pride event or protest for equality.
Milonov has also vowed to prosecute a German rock group called Rammstein as they, in his view, violated the bill during a concert in St. Petersburg. Although it should be noted that the comment and concert took place in February and so far no legal action has been taken. However many Russian citizens have been arrested since this homophobic and wholly inappropriate bill became law.
A top German professional soccer player fears he could be attacked by fans and even by other footballers if he goes public with his sexuality and officially comes out.
“I don’t know whether I will be able to take the constant tension between [being] the model heterosexual player and the possible discovery until the end of my career,” the unnamed top flight player said in an interview with Germany’s Fluter magazine.
He told them women friends act as “beards” at public events to disguise his sexuality, acting as his girlfriends. He confesses sadly that his last gay relationship was “poisoned” and destroyed by all the secrecy.
The German player thinks the increased media attention regarding his private life would have a big and detrimental impact on the pitch for him. “In the situation in a stadium or after the game, any tiny thing within the group would be made into a big deal.” More worryingly, he added, “I would no longer be safe if my sexuality was to be made public.”
He is not however an isolated case, there are other gay yet closeted sportsmen who share the same feelings, worries and anxieties. “I would love to come out and be open about my sexuality, but I just don’t think the UK is ready for an openly gay player yet.” a UK based professional football player told me in secret earlier this week.
“We thought racism was a thing of the past, but then you had that John Terry and Anton Ferdinand business and you hear the occasional racist remark or chant from the terraces and you realise that perhaps we haven’t moved forward as far as we thought we had.” he tells me.
“If we haven’t stamped out racism yet and it’s now 2012, what hope have we got for homophobia?”
“There isn’t a training session or a match day that doesn’t pass without some sort of homophobic remark or joke banded about the changing room or on the pitch. Sure, most of it is just banter between guys with ego’s far larger than their IQ’s, but even that can be discriminatory and sometimes hurtful. They just don’t think about it, its a normal part of the ’lifestyle’ and therefore its accepted and if its accepted then its considered to be ok.”
“Of course there are some deeply homophobic players as well, they say they’d never tolerate a ’queer’ on the team, on the pitch, sharing changing rooms and all that sort of stuff. Thankfully guys like that are getting few and far between, at least I think so, of course I can’t be sure and homosexuality isn’t really talked about a great deal. Unless it is the basis of a joke or something like that, homosexuality is somewhat of a taboo subject.”
In a recent interview with the Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN) Clarke Carlisle, Kick It Out ambassador and York City player said “You know it is one of the biggest bugbears for me that no player feels able to come out and talk openly about his sexual orientation”.
Clarke said he had spoken with eight gay players recently, “Seven of the eight said they didn’t want to come out because they were worried about the media. Nothing came of our conversations with these players so I guess we are back to square one”.
He continued “You have to understand that the use of language in football, in the changing rooms, between players and managers and of course on the terraces is at a pretty base level… so any player thinking about doing this would need to be very brave”.
Whilst Clarke remains worried that any out gay footballer would be “driven out of the game,” because of pressure from the fans and the media, the anonymous player however believes that’s only part of the fear and an equal amount of pressure would come from within, “Football is run much like an ‘old boys network’ and I don’t think they are either ready to support or willing to accept an openly gay player. There is a lot of hostility there and those attitudes don’t just change overnight.”
News this weekend suggest that Polish ruling centre right party, Platforma Obywatelska (PO), is actually planning to introduce a law of registered civil partnerships that will be include same-sex couples. Already this bill is facing fierce opposition and aggression within and out of the party.
After several months of discussion, the PO decided last week to put to the vote a draft bill in both chambers of the Polish parliament, the Sejm and Senate. The proposed draft bill of registered civil partnership is similar the current French Pacte civil de solidarité (PACS). The bill includes a range of benefits which currently are only granted to married heterosexual couples, including protections and responsibilities, inheritance, pension funds, notary, and medical rights. Joint tax benefits and adoption rights are not included in the bill.