Big Gay News – April 5, 2012
Dubai Police Chief Denies Gay People Arrested at Party
Huffington Post reports that Dubai’s chief of police has denied reports that 30 gay men were arrested at a private party in early March. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim denied the men were arrested, but reiterated that homosexuality is illegal in Dubai. A gay rights organization says they’ve collected numerous first-hand accounts of the party and subsequent arrests.
Anti-Gay Robo-Calls Continue but Romney Wins Illinois
Keen News Service reports that Illinois voters in the Republican primary election in March received an anti-gay Robocall attacking frontrunner Mitt Romney for his positions on gay civil rights. Romney won against Rick Santorum 47% to 35%.
Madonna to Oppose Gay Law in Putin Hometown
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Madonna announced she will defy a new anti-gay law in St. Petersburg Russia when she’s there on tour in August. “I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed,” said Madonna. The law bans so-called GLBT “propaganda.” She is scheduled to perform in St. Petersburg on Aug 9.
Indiana Gay License Plates Dumped
Huffington Post reports that Indiana’s state Bureau of Motor Vehicles has revoked the first-in-the-nation license plate supporting GLBT youth. Republican lawmakers complained the group behind the plate, Indiana Youth Group, was giving them out in exchange for donations. Indiana Youth Group executive director Mary Byrne told the Associated Press the plates were offered as thank you gifts in exchange for donations, which other groups have been allowed to do.
Canada Warns Gay Travelers Over Russian Law Banning ‘Homosexual Propaganda’
The Sun reports that Canada’s federal government has issued a travel advisor to gay and lesbian Canadians traveling to the Russian city of St. Petersburg. As a new anti-gay law takes effect in St. Petersburg, the advisory warns “homosexuality is legal, though some still strongly disapprove of it. Canadians are advised to avoid displaying affection in public, as homosexuals can be targets of violence.” The law bans so-called “homosexual propaganda” and prohibits anything that is seen as “promoting homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality and transsexuality among minors.”
Nepal Launches Asia’s First Gay Sports Tournament
The Telegraph reports that Nepal is set to hold Asia’s first ever sports tournament for GLBT athletes. The two-week Blue Diamond National Sport Competition will feature athletes and sports from across Nepal. Organizer and openly gay legislator Sunil Pant said in a statement, “Renowned and respected Nepali athletes will support as coaches and referees for the program.”
Defendant Found Guilty of Hate Crime in Tyler Clementi Case
Reuters reports that a jury has found former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi guilty of hate crimes and other charges after using a webcam to broadcast his roommate kissing another man over the internet. The roommate, Tyler Clementi, later killed himself after learning about Ravi’s actions. Ravi, 20, faces 10 years in prison and will be sentenced on May 21.
Head of Iowa School That Hosted Anti-Gay Band Resigns
The Associated Press reports that Mike Cooper, principal of an Iowa high school responsible for allowing a Christian rock band to share their anti-gay, anti-abortion views with students, has resigned. Superintendent Jim Stanton said Cooper’s resignation had nothing to do with the band’s performance and that it was a plan that had been in the works for the last month.
Russian Court Refuses to Register Gay Pride Group for Olympics
The Moscow Times reports that a regional Russian court has refused to register a gay rights group hoping to create a conference space during the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi. The group, organized by members of the site GayRussia.eu, hoped to provide information on the gay rights movement in Russia to GLBT athletes and visitors, but the court rejected their application. The court said it did so because “its aims contradicted ‘public morality’ and could result in the destruction of society’s notions of good and evil.”
Three Hospitalized as Anti-Gay Crime Wave Hits D.C.
Huffington Post reports that two gay men and a transgender woman have become the latest victims in what has been called a “spate of LGBT violence” in Washington D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood. According to the Washington Blade, one gay man was shot inside an IHOP restaurant on March 11. The following day, in separate incidents, another gay man and a transgender woman were brutally beaten on the street.