Tag Archives: LGBT Activists

Antarctica Declared First LGBT-Friendly Continent By Activists

Antarctica has always been peaceful place.  Maybe this is due its in habitual snowy condition means there are no permanent residents on the land, and therefore it is only home to seals, polar bears, and little else.

The humans, means no governing bodies, and the continent is also one of the only places on the planet that’s never had a war.

This all makes it a very apt place for Planting Peace – a group of LGBT rights activists – to declare continent is the world’s first LGBT friendly continent.


Talking to a local news channel, president of Planting Peace, Aaron Jackson said:

I was just watching a documentary on Antarctica and thought, ‘Aw, man, ‘I’d like to visit Antarctica — that would be real interesting. Maybe I should bring a pride flag.

It’s not governed by any one country — just international treaties. No government is in charge of Antarctica.

That would be interesting if we declared it the first gay-friendly continent. The reality is, no one will be able to tell me it’s not.”

The group also discussed the significance of taking the flag to the region:

Let this declaration serve as a catalyst to create the momentum needed to bring LGBT rights to every continent in the world. And let this serve as a signal that the LGBT movement is moving forward to relentlessly battle for LGBT rights.

Currently, 76 countries are violating the rights of LGBT people, and in six countries you can even be killed for being a sexual minority. Visibility and advocacy for the rights of sexual minorities is desperately needed.”


Cynthia Nixon Urges Us to Continue the Fight for LGBT Rights

Two-time Emmy-winner Cynthia Nixon – famed for starring in Sex in the City – has written an op-ed in Variety urging LGBT activists and their allies to continue the fight for marriage equality.

Even though the Friday Supreme Court decision to legalise gay marriage across America may seem like the ultimate victory, Nixon argues that the work is not done yet.


The reason the LGBT movement has come so far is constant perseverance both in the face of adversity and after achieving community goals, she said.

Equality proponents knew they were going to win, but didn’t take it for granted for a moment; they worked, they organized, leaving no stone unturned. And to have the vote come from the general population was absolutely game-changing.

The important thing to remember going forward, though, is no outcome is ever 100% assured. We have to keep organizing like our lives depend on it.”

Nixon has been active in the fight for marriage equality and married a woman herself in 2012.

Cynthia Nixon

But she offers a note of caution, adding,

The important thing to remember going forward, though, is no outcome is ever 100% assured. We have to keep organizing like our lives depend on it.”

And the bisexual mother-of-two insists it’s now more important than ever to be true and honest about your sexuality if you’re gay, adding,

LGBT characters aren’t new; everybody has LGBT people in their family, and everybody needs to make the effort to come out in any and every way they can.

If people who are opposed to equality realized how many individuals they already like, admire or even love are LGBT, the battle would be over. It’s important to come out to our parents, children, co-workers, boss – you name it.”

Read the full article here

South Korean Court Throws Out Police Ban on Gay Pride Parade

A court in the South Korean has ruled that police violated the law when they banned a pride march to be held June 28, according to a press release from organisers.

Police had denied permits to hold the march, citing conflicting applications for events that overlapped the parade route. These applications were filed as the result of a showdown between Christian conservative activists and LGBT activists, who had both camped out in front of the police station processing applications for more than a week in May. The conservatives managed to get their public use applications in first.

On Tuesday, the court ruled this violated the LGBT activists’ right to protest.

Unless there is a clear risk of danger to the public, preventing the demonstration is not allowed and should be the absolute last resort.”

Myeong Jin Kang, chairman of the Korean Queer Cultural Festival, embraced the court’s acknowledgement and recognized the moment’s significance in a press release saying,

The court’s decision in relation to police’s unjust notice prohibiting assembly is important. Within a democratic country, built on civil society, the guarantee that society can use their voice has a deep meaning.”

Last year’s march was disrupted when anti-LGBT activists lay down in the street in front of parade floats. Police also attempted to shut down the event by trying to revoke the march permits saying it was inappropriate to hold the event in light of the Seoul ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people two months earlier. But the march was ultimately held peacefully.

Organisers have projected more than 20,000 people will participate in the march, and the march’s opponents are likely to attempt to disrupt the event once more. When the Queer Cultural Festival opened on June 9, participants were outnumbered by protestors holding signs with slogans like “Stop Same-Sex Marriage” and “Gays Out: Homosexuals have no human rights.”

Many protestors held smaller signs that simply said, “Come back — We’ll be waiting.”

South Korean LGBT Activists Gain Victory After Seoul Mayor Agree to Address Discrimination

South Korean LGBT Activists gain an historic victory, as the mayor of Seoul apologised for failing to proclaim a new civil rights charter that includes LGBT protections, and has agreed to establish a panel to discuss ways to end discrimination.

The LGBT coalition group called Rainbow Action, decided to end a six-day sit-in at Seoul City Hall after meeting with Mayor Park Won-Soon.

The sit-in began when Won-Soon and the Seoul Municipal Government declined to proclaim the charter on World Human Rights Day as originally scheduled, saying the LGBT protections had caused “social conflict.”


The Rainbow Action coalition alleged Won-Soon, a former human rights attorney who recently expressed support for same-sex marriage, had caved to pressure from South Korea’s powerful right-wing religious lobby.

“It is my responsibility and fault. I am sorry for the emotional pain that you have suffered and will make whatever statements that you demand. 

This is an occasion for me to offer comfort for the emotional pain that you have suffered and to apologize to you” and, “regardless of any misunderstanding or statement, no citizen will be subjected to discrimination or disadvantage. I will search for practical ways of resolving the difficulties that you suffer from.” 

Mayor Park Won-Soon

Throughout the 6-day-long sit-in, the protesters were showered with support from both home and abroad. Indeed, over 300 NGOs including those for human rights, people with disability, women, civil society, laborers, and other minorities provided signatures of support in just one day. In addition, moving messages of support poured in from LGBT rights activist groups, major figures, and grassroots organizations overseas. Furthermore, countless people visited the City Hall and joined the cultural festival held every evening by the protesters.

Through the sit-in, South Korean sexual minorities showed that the government and hate-mongers alike may not thoughtlessly disregard their rightful demand and movement for full social citizenship. The sit-in also served as an occasion for LGBT people in the nation to have more self-confidence and to confirm the future direction of their continued fight for justice and equality. The protesters are deeply grateful to friends and allies around the globe for their solidarity.

Hundreds hit the streets of Brighton for Stonewall 25th anniversary celebration

Over 700 Stonewall supporters hit the streets of Brighton for the charity’s eleventh annual Equality Walk on Sunday. The annual fundraiser – supported by American Express and Square Peg Media – was part of Stonewall’s 25th anniversary celebrations and raised over £55,000 to tackle homophobic language in Britain’s schools.

Radio 1Xtra DJ Adele Roberts and Great British Bake Off’s John Whaite hosted this year’s walk which included live entertainment and a picnic in the Royal Pavilion Gardens for the hundreds of families and fundraising teams. MPs Caroline Lucas and Simon Kirby, and the Mayor of Brighton & Hove Denise Cobb, also attended the 10k walk. After the walk Adele and John handed out prizes to the top fundraising team – PwC who took the title for the third year running – and the best individual fundraiser, Kate Harris, who raised over £1,400 and won a weekend in Paris courtesy of American Express.

‘I can’t think of a more fantastic way for so many people to help celebrate our 25th anniversary. It was inspiring to be joined by individuals, teams and families whose hard work means we’ve raised a remarkable £55,000 to help tackle homophobic language in Britain’s schools.’

Catherine Bosworth, Stonewall’s Director of Fundraising

Research conducted by Stonewall shows that 99 per cent of young people regularly hear phrases like ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’ in school. These insults can have a devastating impact on lesbian, gay and bisexual young people’s self-esteem and confidence. Stonewall’s campaign, Gay: Let’s Get the Meaning Straight, is helping schools and young people tackle this abuse and put a stop to homophobic language.

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More information can be found at www.stonewall.org.uk/getoverit 

Image source

“The New Jews”: LGBT Activists Forced Out of Russia

Earlier this year 31-year-old Russian gay rights activist Slava Revin flew from Moscow to Washington, DC to seek political asylum. After receiving a death threat online from a man he believed was a police officer, Revin knew he couldn’t stay in a country increasingly dominated by widespread homophobic violence and anti-gay legislation.

Since arriving in the US, Revin has formed close links with the Russian LGBT expat community and stepped up his criticism of Vladimir Putin’s government. He has campaigned to end Philadelphia’s sister-city relationship with his hometown of Nizhny Novgorod and appeared in advocacy videos for Freedom House.‘I can’t just come here and keep my mouth shut,’he says.

Since Russia announced her controversial prohibition of “gay propaganda”last year, a huge number of LGBT Russians have contacted US Immigration to inquire about relocating to America. A record 44 such cases are being considered right now. In the last few months, asylum has been granted to eight exiled Russians.

LGBT Activists Forced Out of Russia 05

However, there are no guarantees that Revin will be able to stay in his adopted country. His case is currently being considered and he hopes that the Center Global, a project run by The DC Center for the LGBT Community, will successfully represent him. He is also being advised by the Russian-Speaking American LGBT Association, whose founder and co-president Yelena Goltsman has this to say about Revin and dissidents like him: ‘People don’t just get up and leave their country. LGBT people are basically [the] new Jews.’

Revin takes the anti-Semitism analogy further when discussing Russia’s persecution of LGBTs. ‘Everyone forgot about the Jews in Germany in 1939. They intimidate and beat people and arrest activists.’

Although it hasn’t been easy for Revin to start a new life in a new country, he appreciates the American tolerance of LGBTs. He now lives in Dupont Circle, Washington DC’s famous gay quarter, where same-sex couples are free to hold hands and kiss in public. ‘Nobody cares here,’ says Revin, ‘unlike in Russia.’


Let us not forget how homosexuals where once persecuted by the Nazis. We do not need history to repeat its self.