Sunday, December 8, 2013

Via JMG: ROME: Famed Street Lit With Rainbow Lights For Gay Teen, Wingnuts Complain

Italy's right wing Fratelli d'Italia party is demanding the removal of rainbow lights hung over Rome's famous Via Del Corso in the memory of a gay teenager.
A rainbow-flag theme has been selected for the traditional lights along the city's main shopping street, the Via del Corso. The lights run for almost a mile long. The lights were chosen by the local council as a stand against homophobia, following the recent suicide of a gay teenager in the Eternal City. "That is how we came up with the rainbow flag idea," said councilor Imma Battaglia, who also heads up a gay rights campaign group. But that decision has not gone down well with everyone, reports AFP.
The company that put up the lights has responded to the furor by saying that the lights are now also dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: German President To Boycott Sochi

German President Joachim Gauck has announced that he will not attend the Sochi Olympics in protests of Russia's anti-LGBT pogrom. ESPN reports:
Gauck took the decision to protest human rights violations and the harassment of Russian opposition political figures, Der Spiegel reported Sunday. The magazine said the Russian government was informed of his decision last week. Presidential spokeswoman Ferdos Forudastan confirmed the move to the dpa news agency on Sunday. Gauck's office could not immediately be reached for further confirmation. Forudastan told dpa that there was no set rule saying German presidents had to travel. Former president Horst Koehler did not travel to Vancouver for the Winter Games in 2010. The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) said on its website that Gauck had not been planning to visit to Sochi "according to our knowledge." DOSB director general Michael Vesper told dpa that "(someone) who doesn't travel doesn't automatically boycott something. It's certainly not directed against the German team." Gauck, an outspoken critic of Russia's human-rights record, is yet to visit the country since taking office in March 2012. A planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June 2012 fell through, apparently for scheduling reasons.
The presidency of Germany is largely a ceremonial position. Chancellor Angela Merkel, the actual head of the government, has spoken against any boycott of the Sochi Olympics. (Tipped by JMG reader Str8 Grandmother)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma

Tricycle Daily Dharma December 8, 2013

The Sangha

Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are three precious jewels in Buddhism, and the most important of these is Sangha. The Sangha contains the Buddha and the Dharma. A good teacher is important, but sisters and brothers in the practice are the main ingredient for success. You cannot achieve enlightenment by locking yourself in your room. Transformation is possible only when you are in touch. When you touch the ground, you can feel the stability of the earth and feel confident.
- Thich Nhat Hanh, "The Fertile Soil of Sangha"
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