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Posts Tagged ‘homosexual zone

Photos : Jacob | Donny

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Jacob is a little shy in front of the camera but nevertheless he admits to being openly gay with some hesitation.

A bright smile can do a lot for you in a day. Donny’s is just perfect. He’s a 24 year-old-college student from the east coast with a very detailed knowledge of the human body.

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April 30, 2011 at 1:48 am

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Eye candy : Ben Brian | Quote : Jennifer Aniston

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Eye candy

For gay

Ben Brian

For lesbian

Bar Refaeli Rampage bikini photo shoot

Celeb quote of the day

The greater your capacity to love, the greater your capacity to feel the pain.

Jennifer Aniston

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January 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

Indian High Court adds momentum to a broader regional movement for gay rights

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With one sweeping judgment Thursday July 02, the Indian High Court decriminalized homosexuality, shook off a stubborn piece of colonial baggage and may have added momentum to a broader regional movement for gay rights.

The decision by the Delhi High Court was hailed by gay activists here as a historic step in their struggle to achieve equal rights in a conservative society that largely regards homosexuality as a taboo illness.

The court ruled that the existing ban on homosexual acts was discriminatory and therefore a violation of individual rights guaranteed by the constitution.

“This is a huge step forward,” says Anjali Gopalan, executive director of the Naz Foundation, a gay advocacy group based in New Delhi that successfully brought a public interest petition to overturn India’s anti-sodomy law, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

“This is just the beginning. The battle will continue till every member of this community gets all the rights that an ordinary citizen has,” Gopalan told reporters.

The law was enacted in 1860 by India’s British rulers, but the most stubborn opposition to repealing it in India has come from those who argue that homosexuality goes against traditional Indian sensibilities. In July 2001, according to a report last year by Human Rights Watch, four HIV/AIDS outreach workers were arrested under Section 377 for distributing medical literature; a judge denied them bail, accusing them of “polluting the entire society.” In 2003, the Indian Home Ministry – then under the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party – argued that it “responded to the values and mores of the time in the Indian society.” Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli, a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said today’s ruling was “against all religions. It is against the culture of Indian society.”

The High Court soundly rejected that argument. “Moral indignation, howsoever strong, is not a valid basis for overriding individuals’ fundamental rights of dignity and privacy. In our scheme of things Constitutional morality must outweigh the argument of public morality, even if it be the majoritarian view,” the court said in its ruling. Going even further, the court found that Section 377 went against the Indian tradition and guiding political principle of inclusiveness.

That sends a strong signal to Indian gay rights activists, who cheered not just the decision but the principle affirming homosexuals as part of Indian society. “It’s the first judgment of its kind,” says Siddharth Narrain, an attorney with the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore. “It looks at the concept of inclusiveness, not just life and liberty.”

“I feel very proud to be an Indian today,” said openly gay fashion designer Wendell Rodericks.

Ashok Row Kavi, a prominent gay rights campaigner since the 1970s, told AFP from Bangkok, where he was attending a UN AIDS conference, that the court’s decision opened a new era.

“I will return to India as a free gay man… free from extortion, violence and blackmail from the police, free from discrimination and free to access all health services,” Kavi said.

Bollywood actress and gay rights campaigner Celina Jaitley said the ruling was historic.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Jaitley told AFP in Mumbai.

“It’s great not to be criminalised for being a human being and what you do in your bedroom,” she added.

New York-based Human Rights Watch welcomed the ruling, saying it was overdue.

“This legal remnant of British colonialism has been used to deprive people of their basic rights for too long,” said Scott Long, director of the watchdog’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Programme.

“This long-awaited decision testifies to the reach of democracy and rights in India,” Long said.

Versions of Section 377 – often identified by the same three digits – exist throughout the former British colonies of Asia and Africa, and there is some hope among activists in the region that today’s ruling will help efforts elsewhere. Nepal has already overturned the law, but as the largest country in South Asia, India’s repeal effort has been watched especially closely. “We have had a very progressive leadership, and I sincerely hope that the Indian decision will help us in the right direction,” says Sahran Abeysundera, a gay rights activist in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital.

Shakhawat Hossain, moderator of Boys of Bangladesh, an online community that helps and supports gay Bangladeshis, says that India, because of its cultural and historic ties to Bangladesh, can influence the direction of the gay rights movement there. “This ruling certainly would boost up the work that is going on in here,” Hossain says. “Most importantly it will pave the way for a discussion in the wider society and media here in Bangladesh.”

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July 3, 2009 at 12:38 pm

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Gay rights groups expressed dismay with the Obama administration over DOMA

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Gay rights groups expressed dismay with the Obama administration Friday over its championing of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law the president pledged to try to repeal while on the campaign trail.

The U.S. Department of Justice Thursday night filed a motion to dismiss a legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

U.S. Department of Justice lawyers argued that the act – known informally as DOMA – is constitutional and contended that awarding federal marriage benefits to gays would infringe on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit same-sex marriages.

“The president made very explicit and emphatic campaign promises that he opposes DOMA and would provide leadership calling on Congress to repeal it,” said Jennifer Pizer, marriage project director for Lambda Legal. “This brief is not consistent with that promise.”

Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said Friday that the department is abiding by its standard practice of defending existing law and that the filing doesn’t mean Obama has changed his mind about wanting to see gay couples win federal recognition.

“As it generally does with existing statute, the Justice Department is defending the law on the books,” Schmaler said. “As you know, the president has said he wants to see a legislative repeal of DOMA, but until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the administration will continue to defend the statute when it’s challenged.”

Since taking office in January, President Obama has taken bold steps to deliver on principles and promises he articulated during his campaign. In just his first six months in office, President Obama has signed the Lily Ledbetter Act into law, paved the way for life-saving stem cell research, eliminated barriers to women’s health and reproductive care abroad, expanded insurance coverage for millions of children, ended the torture of detainees, and called for the notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay to be closed. However, this community is frustrated by the Administration’s silence, until today, on a critical matter that the President voiced support for during his campaign – repealing DOMA.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights lobbying group based in Washington, called on Obama to reassure his supporters by sending Congress a bill to lift the federal marriage law.

“President Obama must see that this extraordinary record of commitment to the public good at last be extended to end discrimination against LGBT people,” said Solmonese. “Mr. President, you have called DOMA ‘abhorrent’ and pledged to be a fierce advocate for our community. As we approach the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, it is time for you to use your leadership to translate these principles into meaningful action.”

The Obama administration will have more opportunities in coming weeks to weigh in on the subject.

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June 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm

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Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal from a gay captain

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The US Supreme Court rejected Monday a challenge to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gays from openly serving in the military, refusing to hear an appeal brought by an ex-army captain.

The Army discharged James E. Pietrangelo simply for being gay. Capt Pietrangelo’s appeal was opposed by the US government, which argued in papers submitted to the court that the ban was “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion”.

The Supreme Court offered no explanation for its decision.

The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was hatched in 1993 as a compromise after President Bill Clinton failed in an attempt to overturn an existing ban on gay service members. The awkward compromise limited the military’s ability to ask service members about their sexual orientation (don’t ask) and allowed homosexuals to serve provided they kept quiet about their sexual orientation (don’t tell) and refrained from homosexual acts.

The ostensible rationale was that the known presence of gay men and lesbians would undermine morale and unit cohesion, but as it turned out, the policy caused its own kind of damage to military readiness. Thousands of service members have been discharged from duty at a time when the military is stretched by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The loss of highly skilled interpreters and intelligence analysts has been especially damaging.

President Obama said during the campaign that he would work to overturn the ban, but he has made no move beyond asking the Pentagon to assess the implications. Military leaders seem cool to lifting the ban, but we hope they do a fair and honest job. Members of the military and of the general public are much more receptive to the notion of accepting gays than they were in 1993.

Advocates for gay soldiers believe that the administration, on its own, has the authority to prevent the discharge of gay people, perhaps by issuing “stop-loss” orders such as those used to keep troops serving past their original commitments in Iraq – many unwillingly. How much better to use the power to prevent the loss of gay service members eager to keep serving.

President Obama should see if there is indeed any action he could take on his own while awaiting the military’s assessment. In the end, it will be up to Congress to root out “don’t ask, don’t tell” by overturning the law that brought it about.

Gay rights activists vowed to continue to campaign for an end to the ban, despite the court’s ruling.

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June 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm

At least 50,000 turn up at gay festival Europride in Zurich

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At least 50 000 people turned out for the European gay and lesbian parade Europride’s annual festival in the Swiss city of Zurich on Saturday, June 07. Political speakers included politician and publicist Daniel Cohn Bendit, the mayor of Zurich city, Corinne Mauch, and the Moldovan human rights activist Mihaela Copot.

“Up to now, there are about 50,000 people participating in the parade, but there will be some more people coming for the festivities later today,” organiser Michael Rueegg said. Rueegg was optimistic that a heavy downpour in the late afternoon would not dampen the festive spirit.

This year’s Europride coincides with the 40th anniversary of the first gay rights movements in the United States.

Zurich, Switzerland’s biggest city, is festooned with the movement’s traditional rainbow colours for the occasion, under the impetus of its recently elected Socialist Party mayor, Corine Mauch, who is openly lesbian.

The festival, in the home of the country’s conservative business and economic establishment, is not without its critics.

Organisers of the Mr Switzerland pageant have expressly warned their current male icon, Andre Reithbuch, to stay away from the parade, the Swiss tabloid Blick reported.

And the Christian Social Union (BCS), a lobby group, has called for the defence of the “Christian family model” and is launching a poster and leaflet campaign during Europride.

Rueegg said that he had seen some people handing out their leaflets, but added that the parade had taken place in a festive mood so far.

“I saw a few straight couples and I went to ask them why they were here, and they found my questions very absurd. They said: ‘why shouldn’t we be here, it’s where the party is,'” said Rueegg.

The festival, which was held for the first time in London in 1993, takes place in a different European city every year, attracting participants from all over the continent. Next year EuroPride will take place in Warsaw.

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June 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm