Saturday, July 27, 2013

Via JMG: Harvey Fierstein On Orson Scott Card

"Look at that asshole [Orson Scott Card] that wrote this new Harrison Ford movie [Ender's Game]. I think that you can have any opinion you want, but at least be willing to take the consequences of your opinion. It’s like, 'Well, I hope that people will be more understanding,' or what did he say? 'More tolerant of my views.' The quotes that got me about him weren’t against gay marriage -- he wanted homosexuality criminalized in the United States. That's what he called for. You want me to be tolerant of you wanting to criminalize homosexuality? Fuck you on your grave, you piece of shit." - Harvey Fierstein, telling it like it is to the Hollywood Reporter

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Canada Updates Russia Travel Advice

From Canada's just updated travel advisory for Russia:
Although homosexual activity is not illegal in Russia, a federal law has been passed that prohibits public actions that are described as promoting homosexuality and “non-traditional sexual relations”. This law could render any homosexual and pro-homosexual statements punishable. Public actions (including dissemination of information, statements, displays or conspicuous behaviour) that contravene or appear to contravene this law may lead to arrest, the imposition of a fine and deportation. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travellers, as well as their friends and families, have been targets of harassment and violence.
RELATED: The US State Department's advisory for Russia contains warnings about "harassment, threats, and acts of violence" against LGBT people, but does not yet note the recent passage of the national ban on "homosexual propaganda." It does note the passage of the earlier regional bans.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Quote Of The Day - Scott Shackford

Quote Of The Day - Scott Shackford

"What’s sad about this effort is that if Russia succeeds in getting its hands back on Stoli, then a boycott actually makes sense. But the consequence will be that a powerful businessman who does support the gay community will lose his company. Boycotting Stoli now is a very bad idea. [Stoli owner Yuri] Scheffler is an ally who the gay and lesbian community needs to work with, not alienate. From a Western perspective it may be hard to realize that an incredibly rich person like Scheffler has the potential to be a victim of Russia’s authoritarian regime like its gay citizens or members of Pussy Riot, but it’s extremely important not to look at the nature of power and influence there the way we do here." - Scott Shackford, writing for Reason.  The entire essay is worth your time.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: HRC: The IOC Shouldn't Trust Russia

Via press release from the Human Rights Campaign:
Mere verbal assurances from the Russian government that foreigners will be exempt from their repressive laws are not enough,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin. “The IOC must obtain ironclad written assurance from President Putin. But more importantly, they should be advocating for the safety of all LGBT people in Russia, not simply those visiting for the Olympics. Rescinding this heinous law must be our collective goal.”
In June, a law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" was passed by Russia’s Federal Assembly and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin. Under the guise of protecting children from "homosexual propaganda," the law imposes fines or jail time to citizens who disseminate information that may cause a "distorted understanding" that LGBT and heterosexual relationships are "socially equivalent." The fines are significantly higher if such information is distributed through the media or Internet.
The HRC is responding to this story.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Quote Of The Day - Desmond Tutu

Yesterday I reported that the United Nation's had launched a global campaign for the LGBT rights during a meeting in South Africa.  At the launch announcement was Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
South Africa's Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he will never worship a "homophobic God" and will rather go to hell. The retired archbishop was speaking at the launch of a UN-backed campaign in South Africa to promote gay rights. Archbishop Tutu said the campaign against homophobia was similar to the campaign waged against racism in South Africa. "I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level," he added.
(Image via Memeographs)

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: NBC Responds To IOC Statement

Yesterday the International Olympic Committee released a statement declaring that it had "received assurances from the highest levels" of the Russian government that athletes and fans would be exempt from arrest under the "homosexual propaganda" law during the Sochi Olympics. Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner reached out to NBC for a statement:
“NBCUniversal strongly supports equal rights and the fair treatment for all people. The spirit of the Olympic Games is about unifying people and countries through the celebration of sport and it is our hope that spirit will prevail,” NBCUniversal senior vice president of corporate communications Cameron Blanchard told BuzzFeed Friday evening. Human Rights Campaign had raised questions about the coverage plans in a letter to NBC officials earlier this week, with HRC president Chad Griffin writing, “NBCUniversal … has a unique opportunity — and a responsibility — to expose this inhumane and unjust law to the millions of American viewers who will tune in to watch the Games.”
Geidner reports that NBC noted that the Olympics are still seven months away and that "specific coverage plans are yet to be finalized." Let's hope that coverage includes much more than the above blanket statement of support.

Reposted from Joe

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma

Tricycle Daily Dharma July 27, 2013

Make the First Move

Usually we are in a stalemate with our world: 'Is he going to say he is sorry to me first, or am I going to apologize to him first?' But in becoming a bodhisattva we break that barrier: we do not wait for the other person to make the first move; we have decided to do it ourselves.
- Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, "The Bodhisattva Vow: Eight Views"
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