Saturday, August 1, 2009
A brief comparison to recent antigay attacks has me bewitched, bothered and bewildered.
U.S. military accused of atrocities against Iraqi gays
Refugee tells stunned audience that soldiers detained, executed gay civilians
(Washington Blade) - A fundraising event to benefit an LGBT community center in Lebanon last week took a surprise turn when stunned audience members were shown graphic photographs of beheaded corpses and images purportedly depicting U.S. soldiers preparing to execute gay Iraqis.
Two gay Iraqi refugees, who declined to use their real names, delivered a presentation at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters July 24 in which they detailed alleged abuses of fellow gay Iraqis while calling on their audience to donate funds to Helem, a Lebanon-based center that works to address the plight of LGBT people in the Middle East.
One of the Iraqis, who goes by the name “Hussam,” showed the audience of about 80 people gruesome images, including shots allegedly of a beheaded man who was gay and another of the victim’s twin brother grieving over the severed head.
While asserting that anti-gay violence in Iraq is often committed by Iraqis, Hussam also said U.S. service members were involved in anti-gay hostility. For example, he said service members displayed signs in front of their barracks with the words “Fuck Off Fags.”
Suspect in gay sailor's death commits suicide
(CNN) A sailor accused of killing another sailor was found dead in his cell in a southern California military jail, officials said Friday.
Seaman August Provost (photo: from his MySpace page) was killed while on sentry duty at Camp Pendleton.
Petty Officer Jonathan Campos was found dead in the brig at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, a military statement said. The cause of death was self-inflicted asphyxiation, according to the statement.Campos had been charged with murder in the June 30 shooting death of Seaman August Provost.
Provost was killed while he was standing guard as a sentry for the Assault Craft Unit 5 compound at Camp Pendleton, officials said. Authorities also said Provost's body was set on fire at his guard post. Provost's family believed that he was killed partly because of his sexual orientation.
2 killed in Tel Aviv shooting
GLBT activist says shooting that killed 2, wounded 10 at gay community meeting place in central Tel Aviv was 'deliberate act against gay community'
(Israel News) A shooting incident occurred at a meeting place for the GLBT community in Tel Aviv late Saturday evening, and paramedics have reported two people dead. At least ten people have been wounded, six of them seriously.
The incident took place at a time during which teenagers belonging to the GLBT community were holding a meeting. At around 10:40 pm shots were heard at the meeting place in central Tel Aviv. A man dressed in black was spotted by eyewitnesses fleeing the scene, and he was later spotted again on a nearby street.
The police's Tel Aviv district commander, Major-General Shahar Ayalon, said the incident had not been preceded by threats to members of the community. "For 15 years this place has served as a club belonging to the union for private rights. Today a teen meeting was taking place," he said. "At some point someone walked in and began firing left and right. The shooter escaped and we are searching for the suspect. We have no specific description of the suspect or the circumstances."
One eyewitness to the shooting said, "The place looked like a slaughterhouse." Another witness said the shooter had worn a mask. Civilians were warned to stay away from the area.
Hawaii Football Coach Apologizes for Antigay Slurs
Hawaii coach Greg McMackin was suspended for 30 days without pay and has volunteered to take an additional 7 percent pay cut from his $1.1 million salary for making a derogatory comment while describing Notre Dame’s chant before last year’s Hawaii Bowl.
In a room full of players, assistant coaches and boosters, a tearful McMackin addressed reporters late Friday after meeting with school officials for several hours.
“I just want to say I made a big mistake. I want to apologize to everyone and anyone that I offended with my remarks,” he said. “I’m committed to do whatever I can to use this as a life lesson to learn from my mistake. When we make mistakes, we have to learn from it and make better people of ourselves.”
In total, McMackin will lose roughly $169,000 from his salary this year. But the real damage seems to be to his reputation and to the university. (The idiot coach repeatedly called players "faggots" for doing a silly dance, then tired to pressure media nearby to not report his idiocy.)
Bombing, assault mars Outgames
(Bay Area Reporter) - A Seattle runner was injured Tuesday afternoon when explosive devices were thrown at athletes and exploded at the start of the 4x200 meter track relay at the World Outgames 2 in Copenhagen – the second violent incident since the opening of the Outgames last weekend.
Dean Koga from Seattle Frontrunners was in the starting block when two bombs were thrown from behind a wall onto the track at the new Østerbro Stadium, home to a major track and field event for the first time. According to members of the Seattle team, the bombs "exploded upon impact and resulted in Koga sustaining injuries to his right hand from flying material. We had had four Seattle Frontrunners at the starting blocks at the time and 16 on the track, but all others are unharmed, however, a little shaken up."
Koga was transported to a local hospital where medical workers removed impacted plastic material from his hand and stitched the wound. He was later released. Koga, 58, competed on Wednesday and won the gold medal in the 200 meter race in his age group.
Another bomb was thrown about 45 minutes later, according to athletes at the meet, and police arrested a 31-year-old Danish man who was seen running from the scene, according to the athletes.
[Edits made here]
Last night (Friday), before the wildly popular Midnight Mass show (campy movies, drag queens, general hilarity) a gay man named Joshua [NOT Joshua Granell, aka Peaches Christ] and his boyfriend Sebastian where physically thrown out of a wine bar on Geary called Internos. They were called "faggots" and hustled out of the bar.
According to them, all they were doing was hugging and looking into each others eyes, they just wanted a drink before their sold out screening of Showgirls.
Facebook pals have rallied. This bar was made clear to be an anti gay zone, and a "kiss in" has been called for tonight at 9pm at www.internoswinecafe.com (415) 751- 2661. Supporters have been asked to post responses to this incident on the bar's Yelp page. (At the time of my posting this, half a dozen people have already done so.)
Said drag queen Anna Conda, "Let's go be very GAY tonight!"
It's not much compared to the heinous other crimes listed, but it's the least one can do to hold on to at least one outpost of gay-friendliness in our town. Otherwise, worse events like those above will happen.
UPDATE: more than 40 people showed up for the protest. An expansive account and strong response was posted on Edge San Francisco. (Thanks for the comments correction).
UPDATE: The person involved in this incident has turned out to be not so honest as reported in the BAR.
Anyway, while back, ludicrous GOP presidential candidate and fundamentalist snake-handler Mike Huckabee said on TV that he didn't think anti-gay crimes were equivalent to anti-black crimes. He said, in effect, there weren't enough "skulls cracked" for antigay violence to be as important, or worthy of Hates Crimes legislation. Huckabee later back-pedaled after criticism (and after losing any hope of presidential dreams).
Fortunately, others, like the Danes, who arrested all the violent offenders in Copenhagen, think differently than the bigots, bombers and violent assassins, and the rightwing idiots who dismiss them.