Thousands Condemn Murder of

Earlier this week thousands of people marched in Manhattan, New York to denounce a stark increase in violence against the gay community in the city and specifically the brutal aggressive shooting on of Mark Carson last weekend.

Openly gay Mark Carson was shot in the face after being followed and subjected to homophobic verbal abuse and slurs in through New York’s Greenwich Village. Witnesses claim the man charged with Carson’s murder, Elliot Morales, asked him “Do you want to die here?” and “What are you, gay wrestlers?” before shooting him in the face.

New York City Police Department chief Ray Kelly said, “It is clear that the victim here was killed only because, and just because, he was thought to be gay,”

Many are shocked by the crime, believing New York, which legalised same-sex marriage in 2011 was a safe place for gay people to live. Indeed the area of Greenwich Village is a well gay friendliness and acceptance. “There aren’t supposed to be anti-gay hate crimes taking place almost in the shadow of the Stonewall Inn,” said political analyst Richard Socarides.

On Monday, thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the shooting. Some of those present carried placards dedicated to “gay angel Mark Carson” whilst some others chanted slogans like “Hate No, Gun Control Yes” and “Homophobia’s got to go”.

The New York Police Department have said anti-gay bias crimes in the area have risen sharply compared to the equivalent period last year, from 14 incidents to 24. However the figures may not tell the whole truth for many believe that only a few anti-gay crimes are actually reported to the police for a number of reasons, not least the fear of not being treated fairly.

Morales has yet make a plea and is currently being held in custody without bail.

Gay Couple Faced Death Threats During Anti-Gay Attack In London

A gay male couple were walking through a South London park during the early hours of Sunday 19th May when they were viciously assaulted by a gang of men, one of the attackers saying “stay down faggot.”

Christopher Bryant, 42, along with his partner Damon Truluck, 38, were walking home across Betts Park in Penge, in the London Borough of Bromley, when six men approached them. “We saw them too late to get away. We ran, and I was getting away, but they caught Damon, my partner, and so I doubled back. I tried to get them off him, and that’s when they thumped me to the ground.“ Mr Bryant told local media.

“When I looked up to see if he was ok one of them kicked me in the face, and said ‘stay down faggot’. Every time I looked up to see what was happening to Damon they either thumped or kicked me, and said ‘don’t try anything’. They went through my pockets and took my wallet and phone. But they kept hitting. Before they ran off they pushed us together and told us to stay still for 5 minutes or they’d kill us.”

The vicious assault took place not long after midnight, just hours after Mr Bryant had celebrated his 42nd birthday. The attack has left both men bruised and battered with Truluck also having injuries to his back and hip, finding it difficult to walk.

In a cruel ironic twist, before this anti-gay attack both men were raising awareness of Friday’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia through online magazine

London’s Metropolitan police are investigating the incident but so far no arrests have been made.

Three Gay Teens Killed At Death Camp To Make Them Real Men!


Raymond Buys looked a picture of health and vitality before being sent by his mother to The Echo Wild Game Rangers training course, to “Make him a better man, to give him a better future” on 12th January 2011. Less than ten weeks later the 15 year old was in hospital, severely malnourished, dehydrated, his arm was broken in two places and there were cigarette burns and wounds all over his body.

He was put on life support in intensive care just two months into the three-month course at the bush camp an hour away from Johannesburg, South Africa. He was so badly injured his mother was told by the doctors the chances of his survival were ‘Virtually Zero’. Raymond Buys lay for four weeks in intensive care before he died.

‘I sent my son on this course to make him a better man, to give him a better future,’ Raymond’s mother, Wilma told The Daily Telegraph. ‘I trusted Alex de Koker with his life.’ Mrs Buys explained how her son had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and was struggling at school and that the course run by Alex de Koker, had been recommended to her by a friend. Mr de Koker, promised her he could help, that he could find her son a job in the wildlife trade.

During the first two months of her son’s placement at the camp, she says she spoke to Raymond just three times – and was told by Mr de Koker that he was self-harming. “Raymond was only allowed to speak to me on speaker-phone,” she said. “When I asked him why he was hurting himself, he told me ‘Mum, I’m not doing it to myself’.”

Mr de Koker called Mrs Buys on 23rd March and informed her that Raymond had been admitted to hospital for tests. When she arrived at the hospital, she found that he was dying.

Alex de Koker, 49, The Echo Wild Game Rangers ‘General’ and employee Michael Erasmus, 20, are on trial for charges of murder, child abuse and neglect, along with two cases of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in relation to Raymond Buys’ death.

Last week, the Vereeniging District Court heard the harrowing testimony of a boy who had shared a tent with Raymond Buys. Gerhard Oostuizen, 19, claims Buys was chained to his bed every night, was refused permission to visit the toilet and on one occasion was forced to eat his own faeces. On another occasion Oosthuizen said, that after Mr Buys tipped over a container of washing powder, he was forced to eat what he had spilled and vomited foam.

The 19 year old told how he observed that Mr Buys would be beaten with planks, hosepipes and sticks when he failed to carry out manual labour tasks. Oostuizen further alleges he saw Alex de Koker tie Buys to a chair naked with his head covered in a pillowcase, and would electrocute him with a stun gun.

Raymond is not the first young man to have allegedly died at the hands of Alex de Koker, there have been at least two others deaths at the camp. Eric Calitz, 18, and Nicolaas Van Der Walt, 19, have both died after being enrolled at the Echo Wild Game Rangers camp held on a farm near Vereeniging in 2007. The Calitz’s family were initially informed of his Eric’s death by text message. They were told that their son had died of a heart attack. Subsequently, the cause of death was changed to a seizure, and later, to dehydration. It was eventually revealed that Calitz had died from bleeding on the brain. Van der Walt’s death was first believed to have been a heart attack, but according to local media and forensic reports, the youth appeared to have been choked with a seatbelt.

The trouble started for Eric Calitz when he requested to leave expensive camp, de Koker reportedly told him he ‘wasn’t a moffie [gay] and he would make a man out of him’.

The Echo Wild Game Rangers training camp was supposedly set up by de Koker to teach boys how to become game rangers. However, police reports of the kind of activities that teens would undertake while on the camp do not suggest that a lot of “game ranging” took place. A preliminary police investigation in 2007 found that “the para-military style training presented on this course was not normal ranger training”. In that year, the court heard that De Koker and his “co-instructors” addressed each other using military ranks, and taught skills like leopard crawling and endurance running and walking.

In 2009, De Koker was handed a suspended sentence over Calitz but escaped charges for the death of Van Der Walt, and the camp was allowed to continue.

Gender activist Melanie Nathan has said the three young men were all perceived as ‘gay and clearly effeminate’. ‘With a little bit of digging [into the story], the gay reparative undertones start to emerge.’ Nathan wrote.

Both de Koker and Erasmus have pleaded not guilty to the charges, the court resumes in May.

French President Calls For Calm

President Francois Hollande of France has publicly condemned the displays of homophobic violence that have occurred in the country over the recent days and weeks at an alarming rate.

“Homophobic acts, violent acts have been committed. The right to protest is recognised by our constitution and accepted by the French. But no protest must degenerate,” said President Hollande on Thursday 18th April, speaking after France’s Interior Ministry had confirmed that four people had been detained on suspicion of carrying out a vicious attack at a gay bar in Lille. The bar owner blamed the incident on the mounting “tensions” in the country over the same-sex marriage bill currently going through the French National Assembly.

There is growing concern over the levels and ferocity of an increased number of homophobic attacks and abuse in France over the last two weeks. Several anti-gay protests have turned violent in many cities across the country. A protest on Wednesday turned ugly when several thousand anti-gay protesters damaged cars, vandalised public property and attacked police officers and journalists.

Many gay activists and pro marriage equality supporters have reported threats of violence directed at them and according to gay groups monitoring the situation, reports of anti-gay and homophobic violence has gone up by a staggering and shocking 30% this year alone.

Manuel Valls, the Interior Minister is believed to have held meetings with representatives of security forces in order to “reinforce security measures surrounding protests following the excesses of the past days”. He has also verbally pledged to prevent further homophobic assaults.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has also condemned the violence and has called for calm. “These protests have a right to take place, we are in a republic. But calls for violence, calls to hate, must be condemned,” he said earlier last week.


French Politicians Fight Over Gay Marriage.


The prospect of Marriage Equality in France has certainly raised tensions in the European country over the last few weeks, including in the French National Assembly!

In surprisingly ugly scenes inside the house also exactly replicated the violence going on outside the building cantered on the issue of marriage equality. The politicians came to blows, with punches being thrown in a scuffle that lasted a number of minutes as the MPs came to the end of an incredible 25-hour debate on the same-sex marriage bill that would also give same sex couples the right to adopt.

The incident, blamed on fatigue and high emotions that accompany such a controversial subject was condemned outright by the ruling Socialist party. One minister criticized the scuffle as outrageous and the worst he’s seen in the house in 30 years.

The fever pitch tensions are set to remain until the final, and decisive vote on the same-sex marriage bill is expected to take place on Tuesday 23rd April. Should the bill pass this crucial vote, it will then go to the Constitutional Council, which will review its constitutionality, once passed by them, it will be sent over to the French President, Francois Hollande to sign it into law.

The tensions inside the assembly come after calls for calm had been made by both the French President and Prime Minister after a number of violent homophobic attacks and ambushes.

The Interior Minister Manuel Valls, warned that the movement opposed to equal marriage was being infiltrated by far-right organisations, who seek nothing but violence. Frigide Barjot, the figurehead of anti-marriage equality group Manif pour Tous, said if the French President Francois Hollande “wants blood”, and promised “He will get it”.

The police in Paris are on standby and there are expected to be large numbers of both pro and anti marriage equality protestors on the streets of the capital next week.

Homophobic Greek Travel Ad

A Greek flight and travel company is causing a stir with it’s most recent advertising campaign that appears to draw upon old, outdated homophobic stereotypes of gay men being predatory and lecherous.

The AirFasttickets video, published on video sharing site YouTube and other media outlets features a handsome young male hitchhiker who is then picked up by a trucker. All seems well until the trucker is revealed as a gay man and then the stereotypes flood out rapidly. The truck driver makes supposedly suggestive glances at the hitchhiker and each time the hitchhiker looks increasingly uncomfortable.

The strap line of the ad is that to avoid similar uncomfortable situations people should book with AirFasttickets.

Homophobia has steadily been on the increase on Greece since the debt crisis started during the early part of 2010 and the ever changing political situation in the financially troubled nation. In November last year, in central Athens, large anti-gay protesters and members of Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn succeeded in forcing a theatre company into closing its production of Corpus Christi, which portrays Jesus Christ as a gay man.

Also in November last year Greek state television decided to censor out a gay kiss scene in the popular British drama Downton Abbey, sparking fears that a change in attitudes it could be down to the influence of Golden Dawn.

Golden Dawn, known for its homophobic and racist anti-immigrant stance, has been on the political ascendancy since Greece’s 2012 elections. “There is a lot more hostility on the streets these days. I have been refused service in a convenience store for being gay and it is getting to the point where I don’t feel safe walking in certain neighbourhoods” a gay contact reported yesterday.

Watch the ad on YouTube.

The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill Drops Death Penalty Clause.

The committee of Ugandan MPs that endorsed the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill have dropped the death penalty provision, claims MP Medard Segona. He told media outlets there had been “substantial amendments” to the horrific bill that increases penalties for being gay in the African nation, however he said he was not allowed to reveal further details.  Segona, is a member of the Legal and Parliamentary committee of Uganda’s parliament said “I can confirm it has been dropped.” Adding “Some of us who are human rights activists would discourage the death penalty.”

The Ugandan parliament will shortly debate the bill and Segona believes this will happen before Christmas, although refused to be more precise. In recent statement the speaker of the Ugandan parliament, Rebecca Kadaga promised the bill would be passed as a “Christmas gift” to all its advocates and supporters.

The bill has been tabled by MP David Bahati, well known for his deeply homophobic views, proposes longer jail terms for homosexual acts, including a life sentence in certain circumstances. Before the change , the original bill included the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” which was defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender”.

The original drafting of the bill also prohibited the “promotion” of gay rights and called for the punishment of anyone who “funds or sponsors homosexuality” or “abets homosexuality” and sentences will be long.

There appears to be broad support for the bill in the Ugandan parliament, even President Yoweri Museveni who would have to sign the bill before it becomes law, is known to be supportive however international pressure is likely to increase dramatically.

US President Barack Obama who described the bill as “odious” and many International donors have threatened to cut off aid to Uganda if the country does not do more to protect the rights of gay people, including the UK, Canada and the US.

“If the Americans think they can tell us what to do, they can go to hell” said
John Nagenda, Ugandan presidential adviser recently.

Uganda is one of 38 African nations where homosexuality is currently illegal where penalties range from 1 year to life imprisonment. Three nations, Sudan, Mauritania and Nigeria still have the death penalty for being gay.

One In Four Young Gay People Assaulted

Shocking new researched finds that one in four young gay people in England have been assaulted simply because of their sexuality, whilst over half have self-harmed in some way.  Forty-seven per cent say they have received threats or intimidation as a result of being gay. These statistics are alarming and the research from Youth Chances, are a stark reminder of the difficulties faced by young lesbian, gay, bi and transgender people in the UK.

Youth Chances are undertaking the biggest social research project into young GLBT people across the UK. Eventually this three-year project will conducted research with some 15,000 young people, whilst the shocking figures released last week are based on initial findings from the first 3,500 responses.

Many experts and observers are very concerned by the statistics on self-harm, which, based on this initial research, are much higher than the national average of around one in 12 young people. Some researchers and commentators suggest this may be indicative of the mental turmoil many GLBT teenagers go though during their educational lives whilst coming to terms with and coming out about their sexuality.

According to this research young gay women were significantly more likely to self-harm, two-thirds said they had hurt themselves on purpose, compared to thirty-seven per cent of young men. However, the most vulnerable seemed to be the young Transgender people, nearly four out of five admitting they had deliberately self-harmed.

Youth Chances project manager, Dan Baker, said: “In 2012, despite improvements which entitle LGBT people to equality, it’s still a really challenging environment to grow up in. Self-harm jumped out as a really alarming statistic. Self-harm is a way of people expressing an internal issue that they might not be able to express. Maybe Britain is not as tolerant as we thought.”

The UK is sometimes considered to be well ahead of many other countries around the world in terms of GLBT equality and the fight against discrimination on the grounds of sexuality, yet this research shows there are still large swathes of prejudice where homophobic bullying presents a pressing and worrying problem. Youth Chances say that the research demonstrates that public attitudes have yet to catch up with the advancing legal situation. “There’s a lot of great equality now, such as allowing gay couples to adopt and have civil partnerships. But, despite the progress, there seem to be lots of cases of harassment and even assault. If people are being taunted or attacked because of who they are, it shows public opinion and behaviour hasn’t caught up with legislation.” Said Dan Baker.

Many believe part of the problem is that bullying about sexuality is not being adequately controlled or handled sufficiently in schools. According to recent research from gay rights and equality charity Stonewall, ninety per cent of secondary school teachers and around forty per cent of primary teachers had regularly witnessed homophobic bullying in schools.

I personally am appalled by the initial findings of this research, I really thought we had come a great distance from the kind of abuse I faced coming out in the early 80’s, yet it seems the same sort of prejudice and discrimination is still out there, in fact according to this report, it seems more vicious than it was in my youth. We as a society should really see this as a frightening wake up call, young people should not be having to cope with such prejudice and hatred. Every school has a duty to protect kids from all forms of bullying, including homophobic bullying and they should work so much harder to achieve an environment, not only of learning, but also of tolerance and acceptance free from hatred and abuse.


Ukraine’s Anti-Gay Law

Earlier this week the Ukrainian Government moved a step closer to an outright ban on homosexuality by agreeing a bill that will effectively silence the whole Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community in the country.

On Tuesday they approved the first reading of a horrifically homophobic legislation that would make it a crime to speak publicly about homosexuality in a positive way, punishable by a hefty fine or a 5 year jail term, reports Jason Shaw.

The shock draft bill received approval from 289 of the 350 lawmakers and will have to pass a secondary parliamentary hearing, currently scheduled for 16th October. If the bill passes and Vikto Yaukovych – the Ukrainian President signs the bill into law, any pro-gay talk will be outlawed under the term of spreading ’homosexual propaganda’. This basically means that no positive mention of gays can be made in any media outlet, gay magazines would also face prosecution along with publications and leaflets that promote safe sexual health between gay people.

The authors of the bill claim that “The spread of homosexuality constitutes a threat to national security as it leads to an epidemic of HIV/AIDS and also destroys the institute of family and can trigger a demographic crisis”

Whilst homosexuality has been legal in the Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, however recent surveys have suggested that as much as 78 per cent of the population think negatively of homosexuality and as such this bill could easily be seen as a popular vote winner for forthcoming elections.

A similarly homophobic bill that would have banned all public demonstrations of homosexuality, such as ’pride’ marches and events was scrapped earlier this year. However many fear the current proposed bill will lead to an eventual outlawing of homosexuality completely.

Gay and Human rights groups around the world have codenamed this latest attempt to curtail the freedoms of the Ukrainian gay community. If the bill is passed, it will further damage the already fragile relations between Ukraine and the European Union and some are predicting a boycott of Ukrainian goods and services.

Prey The Gay Away – St Petersburg

The Russian politician who introduced the horrifically homophobic St. Petersburg bill banning ‘gay propaganda’ has stepped up his campaign and crusade against gays by claiming in a recent interview that homosexuality is a ‘bad habit’ that can be treated by fasting and prayer,  reports Jason Shaw.

The deputy of the St Petersburg city legislature Vitaliy Milonov said that homosexuality was an illness, which can be cured and this hatemonger likened same-sex attraction to “a bad habit. His homophobic and

Speaking on the popular Russian radio talk radio show Ekho Moskvy, Milonov told how if his son told him he was gay, he would take him to a priest who should tell the young man that he was partaking in a bad habit that one can easily quit. “God can send many temptations upon us,” he said. “But the thing is, this illness is easily treated by fasting and praying. I do not know of a single case within the Russian Orthodox Church that a man would not be cured by his sincere repentance in this sin. People get rid of it, just like they get rid of kleptomania or, for instance, fornicators.”

Virtually every medical and psychiatric association in the world have long since proved that homosexuality is not an illness or something that could be cured. Equally there is uniform opinion that trying to prey the gay away is futile and in many cases harmful.

Milonov who also wants to outlaw abortion, is no stranger to controversy, he gained particular notoriety this year for his campaign against homosexuality and received a parody award in June for his initiative to ban homosexuality in Russia until 2015. One of his key aims was achieved in St. Petersburg this February when the city legislature approved a bill banning the promotion of homosexuality and paedophilia to minors, this includes holding any form or gay pride event or protest for equality.

Milonov has also vowed to prosecute a German rock group called Rammstein as they, in his view, violated the bill during a concert in St. Petersburg. Although it should be noted that the comment and concert took place in February and so far no legal action has been taken. However many Russian citizens have been arrested since this homophobic and wholly inappropriate bill became law.