Taking Children From Their Homes: Russia Introduces Bill To Remove Gay Parenting Rights

“Waves of protests surrounded Vladimir Putin’s return to power as Russia’s President in March 2012. Since then, parliament has passed so many new laws restricting civil liberties that some people now call it the ‘mad printer.'”

– Amnesty International Wire (Amnesty.org)

Russia’s Civil Liberties Record: Getting Worse and Worse In Word & Deed

“Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth.”

                                                                          – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

According to the Associated Press, Russian State Duma Deputy Zhuravlev (Putin’s United Russia Party/parliamentary caucus) is introducing a law making “nontraditional sexual orientation” viable grounds to remove child custody for LGBTQ parents.

In the draft bill for this proposed new law, Zhuravlev wrote:

“Following the letter of the law that forbids propaganda of non-traditional sex to minors we must restrict such propaganda not only in mass media but also the family… if one of the child’s parents indulges in sexual contact with persons of the same sex, the damage to the child’s psyche is immense as a mother or father serves as an example for their offspring.”

Additional grounds for denial or revocation of parental custody include alcoholism, drug abuse or any amount or type of drug use deemed inappropriate, which has nothing at all to do with gender, sexual orientation or law-abiding families established in-place, having committed none of these substance-related offenses.

Here we see yet another instance of punishing allies in addition to homosexual persons, as once passed, this bill would affect families and children who aren’t even LGBTQ-identified. Custodial rights could then be revoked if both or either parent were gay (out or not), so if two parents happen to have an understanding in their relationship, share post-divorce custody, etcetera, the parent who happens to be gay can be penalized, or a child can be taken away from one or both parents for any so-called ‘homosexual-affiliated’ reason(s).

As it is already illegal to mention homosexuality around children or to advise or counsel LGBTQ or questioning youth. This recent unfortunate move is thought to be the next step in Russia’s plans to eradicate gay tolerance, inclusiveness or protections altogether for LGBTQ persons, friends, allies or families.

At this point, though the bill is to be debated before it is formally passed, it seems such motions are little more than a formality. Russian lawmakers keep clinging to the through line that their anti-gay motions and laws are being instituted to protect the children, rather than being anti-gay.

Putin has already banned LGBTQ people residing in other countries from adopting Russian children, and as of this writing, the Russian government is also considering reinstating a gay blood donor ban.

Though boycotts and protests are occurring worldwide, even Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge is throwing his hands up in the air, saying Russia will not change their minds or policies in terms of its anti-gay legislation, and Rogge’s sharing little more on the matter.

Rogge told the press, “…one should not forget that we are staging the games in a sovereign state, and the IOC cannot be expected to have an influence on the sovereign affairs of a country.”

Activists, lawmakers, PR representatives, athletes, spokespeople and officials can make all the claims they want leading up to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, but we won’t know who’ll be arrested or how LGBT people or allies will be treated (both on arrival, during the events and while attempting to leave Russia) until it’s too late.

Many LGBTQ folks (like Johnny Weir) are Russophiles and/or have Russian spouses or partners. Have you been to Russia? Did you love it? If so, how do you feel now that Russian policymakers are passing all of these awful anti-LGBT laws?


Randy, Oral Roberts’ Gay Grandson, Says: ‘#ItGetsBetter…and It’s Complicated.’


Close-Up – by A. R. Ammons

Are all these stones


I said

and the mountain



but reluctant to

admit my praise could move it much


shook a little

and rained a windrow ring of stones

to show

that it was so


Stone felled I got

up addled with dust


and shook


without much consequence


Obviously I said it doesn’t pay

to get too

close up to



and the mountain friendless wept

and said

it couldn’t help


Re-Imagining Religion: “Falling In Love Will Not Send You to Hell.”

                          – Randy Roberts Potts

“All students are required to sign a pledge stating they will live according to the university’s honor code. Prohibited activities include lying, cursing, smoking, drinking, and a range of sexual acts including homosexual behavior and sex outside marriage.”

                                                                   – Excerpt, ORU Student Codes , Oral Roberts University

Wouldn’t you know it: every time the “gay agenda” is reexamined, the “master plan” appears to become more and more normal on the face of it. Because it is.

“The gay agenda” is “the human agenda:” we all want love. Hope. Home. Family. We all desire the same things.

Back in 2010, Oral Roberts’ out, gay grandson Randy Roberts Potts read a letter to his closeted gay Uncle Ronnie (Oral Roberts’ eldest son) and recorded a viral video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYa0wi4XzeI) to honor Ronnie’s life, as unfortunately, his uncle had already passed away when Randy was just a kid (in June of 1982).

Randy’s irrepressible spirit remains to alchemize life’s tests and turn them into life’s testimonies.

In the video, after 2:38 minutes of silence (during which time we see the handwritten letter for his uncle), Potts reads a revelatory poem entitled “Close-Up” written by A. R. Ammons. Then, Randy moves into his own compelling testimony about the strange magic behind growing up with a gay uncle (around whom Randy’s mom was most captivated), and how it affected Potts himself.

We witness Potts as he entreats Ronnie’s spirit (for healing? For explanations?), “When my mother spoke of you, a look of awe lit up her face. You were the one voice in her life that could inhabit multiple worlds at once…. You stood for everything she was afraid I would become: gay, intellectual, and godless. And yet nothing caused my mother’s face to light up like your memory. I was jealous, and I always hoped to be you.”

Randy recounts following in his uncle’s footsteps simply by following his heart, and reminisces about the tragedy of losing a loved one who took his own life because he felt he had no options. No hope. Because he felt that life would not and could not get better.

“I’ve seen pain and loss and sorrow,” Potts continues. “I would have held you in my arms had I been a man at the time…. but there’s no one holding you, because you’re holding on to no one. And now I’m here sharing the same destiny…. your path and mine are crossed. They intersect…in some ridiculous dance.”

With a tonality not unlike Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight,” Potts brings us into present day. Yes, he is angry, but we can somehow see the light at the end of the tunnel, the burning hot flames of passion for living forever aglow in Randy’s heart. We somehow feel his uncle lives in some kind of virtual second life, through Randy.

Another “Gay Agenda,” Another Pleasant Valley Sunday.

Oral Roberts was the first and one of the biggest of the televangelists. He brought the Pentecostal faith to mainstream America, he started a self-named university, and of course lived a rich life through his relentless please for money from his followers. His grandson Randy Roberts Potts grew up with him…steeped in that really sheltered, Far Right Christian world. Now he’s following a calling like his grandfather, but with an unexpected message.”

Reporter Page Hopkins for MSNBC

In sharing his story with MSNBC, Potts did indeed reveal he’d felt suicidal too—coming out was unthinkable to him. Having married a woman and raising three children with her, Potts’ coming out narrative is a common one that always feels mysterious and new during the discovery process. He told Hopkins, “Honestly, I thought I was just a really good christian that I just didn’t sexualize women.”

Though Potts’ closeted gay uncle passed away when Randy was just a boy, as he unfolded the discoveries about Ronnie’s life, they paralleled discoveries of his own.

It is now Randy’s life mission to reach back across the table and minister tolerance and inclusiveness to evangelicals themselves. Potts informed Page Hopkins that he’s doing so non-publicly, holding confidential meetings with religious leaders and consulting with them regarding family cohesion, suicide prevention and myriad other positive effects of practicing religious tolerance.

In one of the most romantic and courageous activism campaigns out there, Potts and his partner are now conducting what they call an ongoing “performance project designed for conservative towns with visuals of domestic gay life.” Potts is setting up storefronts from town to town , choosing to put his normal day-in day-out familial relationships on display, in a performance art piece called—what else…

“…The Gay Agenda.



Reach out to Randy @randyrpotts and connect with ORU Out, ORU LGBTQ alumni and ombudsmen) at http://oru-out.tumblr.com.

To watch Potts’ It Gets Better video in its entirety, please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYa0wi4XzeI

Have you got time to sit and pray a while? Check out Randy Roberts Potts – Re-Imagining Religion Series at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uYWf2WfPH8. During his ministerial speech in this video, Potts reveals that his brother is also gay and his family still ostracizes them both.


And for more information about suicide prevention and LGBTQIA resources and support, please visit the It Gets Better Project at http://www.itgetsbetter.org.






Sochi 2014 Olympics Boycott? Greg Louganis: “Nyet!” Stephen Fry: “Da!”

The mounting controversy surrounding Russia’s widespread legal war against LGBTQ persons and allies continues to inspire people to speak out, worldwide. The loudest of these voices are LGBTQ people themselves.

Two notable and diametrically opposed viewpoints have emerged from the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively. Olympian athlete Greg Louganis and world renowned entertainer Stephen Fry, both two out gay men, are speaking up for themselves, in their own words, and taking a stand against anti-gay legislation in their own distinct ways.

Both men took to writing blog posts (Louganis writing exclusively for PolicyMic while Fry posted an open letter on his own blog), voicing their concerns and advocating for the rights of all LGBTQ people affected by the increasing strict, punitive climate in Russia.

Louganis’ post, “I’m An Openly Gay Gold Medalist and I Reject the Sochi Olympics Boycott,” (http://www.policymic.com/articles/58481/i-m-an-openly-gay-gold-medalist-and-i-reject-the-sochi-olympics-boycott) speaks from experience to Louganis’ concern for all the LGBTQ athletes, supporters, families, teammates, coaches and peers who went to great efforts in preparation for the 2014 games.

Though Putin and the Russian government has assured the public those traveling to Russia will not be penalized under the anti-gay laws, none of this is guaranteed. Still, many athletes such as Johnny Weir and Louganis plan to move forward in courage and support and attend the upcoming events.

Louganis’ blog post began, “As an openly gay Olympic four-time gold medalist, you might expect that I would be in favor of joining prominent LGBT activists in calling for America to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia. After all, Russia’s recently passed laws cracking down on gays and lesbians violate everything I’ve spent my career fighting for; namely, love and respect for all people.”

However, he continued, “Boycotting sends the wrong message and will only harm the hard-working athletes set to compete in the 2014 Olympics, not the Russian government itself. I know from personal experience. My first Olympics I won Silver at age 16, and then in 1980, at the height of my diving career, President Jimmy Carter opted to boycott the 1980 Olympics in Moscow as a method of protesting the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. The toll on fellow athletes and me was devastating. We had trained our entire lives for that one moment.”

To mirror his message of support, he encouraged readers to stand behind gay in-community role models and  athletes, and encouraged people to sign the All Out and Athlete Ally petition against Russia’s recent actions (http://gayagenda.com/lgbt-empowered-shaun-t-partners-up-with-athlete-ally).

Stephen Fry’s words were just as impassioned, his sentiments just as vehement:

In his post, “An Open Letter to David Cameron and the IOC,”  (http://www.stephenfry.com/2013/08/07/an-open-letter-to-david-cameron-and-the-ioc/single-page), Stephen Fry drove his points home by writing, “An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillyhammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.”

As he too spoke from his own experience, Stephen Fry continued, “I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian ‘correctively’ raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.“

Fry then ended his article by citing the IOC’s own rules, re-purposing them inclusively, in defense of LGBTQ rights. He ended his letter as follows:

“I especially appeal to you, Prime Minister, a man for whom I have the utmost respect. As the leader of a party I have for almost all of my life opposed and instinctively disliked, you showed a determined, passionate and clearly honest commitment to LGBT rights and helped push gay marriage through both houses of our parliament in the teeth of vehement opposition from so many of your own side. For that I will always admire you, whatever other differences may lie between us. In the end I believe you know when a thing is wrong or right. Please act on that instinct now.”

Additionally, entertainers such as actor Harvey Fierstein, George Takei, Dan Savage (http://gayagenda.com/dumpstoli-russias-anti-gay-bill-sparks-creative-boycott) and a growing number of public figures are making themselves heard. While everyone who’s come forth is voicing opposition to the anti-gay legislation in Russia, it seems like opinions run neck and neck: those who feel a boycott is futile or unfair for the Olympians seem to equal those who feel it is unconscionable to hold the event in Russia at all.

Have your say!

Click the following link to sign All Out / Athlete Ally’s petition speaking out against Russia’s anti-gay legislation https://www.allout.org/en/actions/russia-attacks or leave your comments below.


Publically Elected Out Gay Mayor Shows Opinions Changing in Mexico

Even with cartels and drug wars making headlines within Mexico, the lgbt community has some bright spots within the country.

Most recently, the country is celebrating its first openly gay elected mayor, who will be taking office in September in a remote and rural township (approximately a U.S. county) in the state of Zacatecas. The region is “known for cowboy boots, embossed belts and drug gang shootouts” reports AP, and Benjamin Medrano, the elected official, agrees. “Very machisto, I would say. I am going to be the mayor of a township where there are 258 villages full of tough country people, who don’t necessarily have much information on what’s happening elsewhere, and have even less of an automatic sympathy with their gay mayor.”

Medrano, who is 47, pins his fame and elected status not on being openly gay, but because he’s a respected singer and has been the owner of a gay bar for 18 years. Like many countries throughout the world, lgbt individuals are readily accepted in Mexico in the entertainment industry. While he is also openly gay, he does not consider himself an activist: “I’m not in favor of gay marriage, I don’t share that view, because we are still a very small town… in short, we’re not prepared.” He notes that his style of being gay means “It’s not like I’m going to paint the city hall pink.”

Medrano is not the only out public official in the country, but he is the first elected. While many other elected officials have been rumored to be queer, none have come out, and those who are out in the legislature have won their seats through a proportional-representation method where their parties designate them. Alejandro Brito, director of “Letra S,” one of the foremost gay rights groups in Mexico, said that the ability for out gay public officials to serve openly “shows that our human rights system is providing some protection. Because, even though there is no public majority in favor of electing gay politicians, [Medrano] knows that the legal framework will protect him.”

Much like in the U.S. currently, “It is now more risky for a political rival to be openly homophobic than it is to be a homosexual candidate,” Brito added.

Mexico City is the only place in the country where gay marriage is legal, but a supreme court ruling back in December 2012 opens the door for bans throughout the country to be repealed. And to top it off, over 80,000 people participated in the Gay Pride parade in Mexico City at the end of June. The conservative Catholic nation is opening up on this issue, slowly but colorfully.

Straight Allies Spotlight: Why We Love Chris Kluwe

“Society’s trending towards more equality, and you see that in the locker room.”

– Chris Kluwe (to Larry King, on “Larry King Now” broadcast)


Oh, Chris: how do we love thee? Let us count the ways.

First off, few people can bring themselves to hate him.

As the Oakland Raiders’ American NFL football punter, Chris Kluwe comes off as a fresh-faced, cheery, potty-mouthed and an unabashedly proud “gamer geek.” Kluwe’s spoken up—loudly—about everything from NFL labor disputes to honesty in the media. Now, he’s championing gay rights and marriage equality—and it’s not his first time rocking the mic for LGBTQ inclusivity.

The UCLA alum combines dashing good looks and dorky gamer references (he owns a fantasy gaming store for goodness’ sake), and let’s just say his wife Isabel isn’t the only one who finds him easy on the eyes.

Hm…male model? Athletic cover boy? What? Okay, losing track of the numbers here.

Still, there are so many reasons to adore him.

As articulate as he is awkward, Chris recently appeared on “Larry King Now”  to promote his  book, “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football and Assorted Absurdities.”

On the show, he briefly mentioned his personal protest of the Minnesota Marriage Amendment and his ever-expanding record of LGBT advocacy, which started hitting its stride last year.

Sharing a viewpoint with Larry King that’s rarely been shared by celebs publicly, Chris went on to express a bittersweet regret about the Prop 8 decision, saying  we could have pressed even harder to get more mileage from the opportunity to make permanent changes.

“I liked the DOMA decision,” said Kluwe, “Because obviously it extended federal benefits to married couples. Not a big fan of the Prop 8 decision, because while it allowed gays to be married in California as soon as they vacate the stay, the problem is, the Supreme Court had a chance to extend those rights across the entire country…whereas they could’ve made a statement.”

“They have a precedent,” he continued. “They have Loving v. Virginia—that says

marriage is a human right. They could’ve extended that out to say, ‘Same sex marriage, that is a human right, and you can’t discriminate against that.’”

Trying to keep realistic, he tied things up by saying, “So now we’ve just got to go to all the other states that—right now—gay marriage is illegal in, and get that passed.”

Earlier this month, in what could have been a media disaster, Kluwe shared a stinging truth (citing ex-New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s murder charges) in the following exchange with Conan O’Brien on the “Conan” show:

“Now what about the NFL? Where’s the NFL in all of this?” Conan O’Brien asked.

“They pretty much just left me alone,” Kluwe answered, “As long as you’re not out shooting people…”

Here’s the deal: straight allies often put their foot in their mouths, no matter how good their intentions may be. Chris Kluwe’s using his “big-mouthed” persona to our advantage. You just can’t hate on somebody for that.

Chris Kluwe loves World of Warcraft, loves the game of football, loves to raise consciousness and awareness, and is all about a message of transparency, fairness and equality.

In his “Larry King Now” appearance and his Out of Bounds blog, Kluwe rants on with this through line: if we are not honest with ourselves and protecting our own, our civilization is doomed. He simply won’t back down from the idea, and his new book likely puts that sentiment on full blast.

Well-played Chris Kluwe—and play on.

What’s your take on Chris’ mouthy antics? Do you think he’s trying to co-opt Gay Rights to get attention? Does that matter, either way? Wait…you’re too busy looking at his “Out” magazine cover spread, aren’t you?

Don’t leave us hanging, y’all—what’s the T? Let us know what’s on your mind, and you can holler at your boy Chris Kluwe @ChrisWarcraft on Twitter.

New Yorker’s Bert & Ernie Cover Promotes Child Abuse Says Radio Host

Bryan Fischer, a Christian radio host in the US has gained notoriety world-wide and stolen some of the media attention around the US Supreme Court historic ruling on Defence Of Marriage Act last week, by saying the New Yorker magazine’s cover “promoted child abuse”, simply by featuring Sesame Street characters cuddling at the news.

This popular and long running New Yorker magazine features Bert and Ernie snuggling up to each other on a sofa, while an image of the US Supreme Court Justices appears on their television screen. It’s simple, it’s cute, it doesn’t have them kissing or in any way acting inappropriately yet that didn’t stop the anti-gay, anti-equality Bryan Fischer spouting out a great deal of hate.

The Christian radio host launched his attack during his Focal Point programme saying the characters were engaged in a “homosexual clinch”. Adding “I don’t know which is which” continuing: “This is grossly irresponsible for The New Yorker to promote this, they really are promoting child endangerment and they are promoting child abuse.”

Fischer also quoted figures from the heavily criticized Regnerus Study, published in July 2012, which was titled “How Different Are The Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study”. Its findings were refuted by many and deemed “flawed and misleading” with a lack of fact.

Many have believed that the two Sesame Street characters were a gay couple over the years, some 10,000 people even signed an online petition during 2011, urging the creators to allow the ‘couple’ to get married.

The Sesame Street workshop issued a statement at the time which stated: “Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though the Sesame Street Muppets … possess many human traits and characteristics, they have no sexual orientation.” Of course it had nothing to do with their Christian sponsors threatening to pull out if Bert and Ernie did end up getting hitched to each other.

Just recently the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which federally defined marriage as between one man and one woman. A second case, centered around California’s Proposition 8, the Supreme Court ruled that such a ruling was not in its jurisdiction, nor was it in the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court, which previously ruled, therefore deferring the decision to a previous ruling by a district court which decided the ban was unconstitutional.

Anti-Gay Laws Pass in Nigeria


Nigeria’s House of Representatives recently voted in favour of a ban on gay marriage, outlaw any groups actively supporting gay rights and endorsing a measure that also calls for 10-year prison sentences for any “public show” of affection by a same-sex couple.

The House of Representatives appeared to unanimously approve the proposal in a voice vote, sending it immediately to the President, Goodluck Jonathan for him to sign it into law in Africa’s most populous nation.

Nigeria’s Senate previously passed the bill back in November 2011, although it seemed to disappear in procedure for some time before re-emerging in the most recent session of the House. This new law would not only ban any same-sex marriage from taking place either in a mosque or a church, it would also see same-sex couples face up to 14 years in jail for marrying in other locations. In a horrendous abuse of freedom the law would also have implications for friends and relations of gay people, as anyone who witnesses or conducts same-sex marriages would face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

The law would also effectively silence Nigeria’s gay population, as under the proposed legislation anyone taking part in a group advocating for gay rights or anyone caught in a “public show” of affection also would face 10 years in prison. Many fear this is just the start of an anti-gay campaign by the political leaders in the country that would lead to custodial sentences for simply being gay or lesbian. There is already a ban on gay sex in the country and a culture of hatred toward gay people has existed for many years, including when the country was rules by the British Empire.

The bill is currently with President Goodluck Jonathan awaiting for his approval or an incredibly unlikely veto. So far all requests for comment on this issue have gone unanswered either by his office or the President himself. The UK, which gives millions free money and aid to Nigeria has previously threatened to stop aid to nations that discriminate against gays, but no money has yet been stopped to any nation on this basis. Plus there seems little appetite among the government elite to make a stand on the issue because of the backbench revolt Prime Minister David Cameron faced over his stand on gay marriage recently.

During 2011 President Barack Obama issued a similar directive asking officials to “ensure that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of” gays, lesbians and the transgender people included having diplomats “combat the criminalisation” of being gay by foreign governments, yet the US remains the biggest customer for the Nigerian oil industry.



Scotland’s Gay Marriage Plans


The government in Scotland, UK, has confirmed it will introduce a bill to allow same-sex marriage within the month. A special consultation on a ‘Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill’ came to an end in March this year, however its findings have yet to be made public.

Scottish ministers have promised to change the law to allow same-sex couples the right to marry whilst also writing in protections for religious groups that do not want to carry out such ceremonies. Both the Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Church are against the plans, as is expected.

The government advise the bill would also allow civil ceremonies to take place at a location other than a registrar’s office and once a legislative proposal had been lodged at parliament it will undergo rigorous scrutiny before committee members and in the chamber. There have also been talks going on behind the scenes have been taking place with the UK Government as ministers at Holyrood House, the home of the Scottish political chamber, believe an amendment is needed to UK equalities legislation to protect individual celebrants who may not want to conduct same-sex ceremonies even if their church, as an organisation, backs them. Health secretary Mr Neil said “substantial progress” had been made on the issue in discussions with UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller.

Mr Neil said: “We have given a commitment to introduce this legislation after the extensive consultation we have had as quickly as possible, which is what we’re doing. I would hope the timetabling would be such that we could see this bill become law sooner rather than later.”



Lord Carey warns ‘Gay marriage plan ‘paves way for polygamy’

Same-sex marriage sets a “dangerous precedent” which could lead to sibling marriage or polygamy, so says Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury – the head of the Christian church of England.

His aggressive anti-gay outburst comes just days ahead of the same-sex marriage bill being debated in Britain’s unelected second political chamber – The House of Lords.

The vile former archbishop of Canterbury argued there could be “unintended consequences” in allowing marriage equality in an article for the think tank Civitas. He says the bill will essentially change the definition of marriage to “a long-term commitment between two people of any sex, in which gender and procreation are irrelevant”. He claims not to be alarmist but says the logically next step to allowing gay people to marry would be to extend marriage to “say, two sisters bringing up children together” or “multiple relationships, such as two women and one man“. – “Ultimately, the proposed legalisation of same-sex marriage represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of marriage,” he claims.

This isn’t the first time the cleric has verbalised gay hate views, last year at the Conservative Party Conference he spouted that gay marriage was a “slippery slope” to allowing a “Mormon-style relationship”. He also previously courted controversy by likening critics of gay marriage to persecuted Jews in Nazi Germany.

The UK’s same-sex marriage bill passed through the House of Commons the elected political chamber of the UK’s political system last month and now heads to the House of Lord’s, the second chamber in the next few days, where it is expected to face stiff opposition. One lord, the former West Midlands chief constable Lord Dear has put forward an amendment to refuse the bill a second reading in the Lord’s – which if passed would effectively kill the bill‘s progress and set the UK‘s equality battle back at least fifteen years.

Stonewall, the equality campaigning charity, chief executive Ben Summerskill said: “This is regrettably hyperbolic shroud waving. We pray other peers will be a little more attuned to the 21st Century during next week’s debate.


First French Gay Marriage

Representatives of the world’s media descended on the liberal city of Montpellier, France on Wednesday 29th May for the very first gay wedding in France, just days after President Hollande signed the same-sex marriage bill in to law.

Vincent Autin, 40, and Bruno Boileau, 30, celebrated their love with a wedding ceremony and the slightly futuristic Montpellier City Hall, joined by 500 of their closest friends and a media contingent mustering more than 300.

‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity is written on the walls of City Hall so perhaps it was a fitting venue for the country’s first gay wedding, presided over by city Mayor Hélène Mandroux, which was broadcast live on the city government’s website to the world. Among the 500 plus guests were prominent gay rights activists, equality campaigners and high profile political figures.

Montpellier is wonderfully vibrant Mediterranean city that enjoys a hedonistic and bohemian lifestyle, with a strong and colourful student population and is known as a particularly ‘gay-friendly’ city. Indeed many commentators and inhabitants consider it to be comparable to California’s lively gay community in San Francisco or the United Kingdom’s city of Brighton.

Following on from the violent demonstrations against marriage equality that took place in Paris on Sunday that saw hundreds arrested, the local police and organisers took no chances, 100 police officers were put on the wedding’s security detail, with another 80 gendarmes ready to back them up, according to the local police office.

Vincent Autin, 40, a gay activist and the head of a Montpellier public relations firm, and Bruno Boileau, 30, a government worker, have been together for more than five years and state that as significant as their wedding was, it was just one step towards their bigger goal, to start a family by adopting a child.
“The law will allow that, but we’re very aware that we won’t have the child we both want right away,” Autin said. “Mentalities have to change. And of course the path to adoption is long, even for heterosexuals.”

“Everything won’t get done from one day to the next,” Boileau agreed.

We wish them well and hope they have a long and happy future together.