Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during June, 2007

Russian Church Purifies River After Gay Cruise

June 29th, 2007

Gay Filter

The Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods, a religious group in Russia, has completed a ceremonial procession along the Moscow River to purify the waters after a gay cruise ship sailed down it the previous day.

Event organiser Yuri Ageshchev said the religious ceremony was necessary to protect a sared site:

[We aim] to clean the Moscow River of the filth that filled the river after the trip of a big company of homosexuals that took place on the same route and on the same motor ship.

[Gays] boldly demonstrate their non-traditional orientation, persuading everyone that it is normal. We believe that it is a vice and want to remove all this from this site, which is sacred to Russians.

Hmm… I wonder if this has any connection to the Rasputin-esque guy that has been sprinkling holy water over my favourite paths lately.

Anti-Gay MP Joins Tories

June 27th, 2007

Floor Crossing

Joe Comuzzi, the Liberal MP who resigned his cabinet position over same-sex marriage in 2005, is now the Tories’ latest member.

Comuzzi was a member of the Liberal party for 18 years, but left his swanky cabinet gig in disgust over the party’s support of same-sex marriage. Later, he was kicked out of the party entirely for supporting the Tory budget against party lines. Until yesterday’s move, he was sitting as an independent.

Of course, I imagine that half of the Tory caucus strongly disagrees with their latest member’s admission, and will vehemently insist that Comuzzi run in a by-election first. At least, that’s how I remember the party feeling about this sort of thing in 2005…

Anglican Church Sends Gays Mixed Message

June 25th, 2007

Anglican Church Flip Flops

The Canadian Anglican Church has decreed that the blessing of same-sex unions is perfectly compatible with their core doctrine. Hours later, they forbid the blessing of same-sex unions.

With these votes, gay Anglicans have been sent a clear and decisive message: Your church thinks your relationships are worthy of their full blessing, but they, uh, just don’t feel like doing it right now.

Canadian Anglicans had spent months preparing for this decision, during which time the global Anglican community issued an ultimatum threatening to shut down “errant” churches. (I think the official wording was something like: “Stop blessing gays or there’ll be no church for anyone!”) While several Anglican denominations supported gay blessings, yesterday’s vote means they won’t be able to continue the practice.

Guess Who’s Running For Mayor of Edmonton

June 22nd, 2007

Mayor Whatcott

Bill Whatcott, the male nurse who has dedicated his life to hysterically opposing gay rights, is running for mayor of Edmonton.

So what’s his top election issue? Timely road repairs? Discount transit fares for war veterans? Let’s take a look at his official platform’s opening paragraph:

As your mayor Bill Whatcott is committed to protecting Edmontonions from homofascism. Bill Whatcott loves children and he loves truth. He believes children have the God given right to have a mother and father and not have to be indoctrinated into embracing homosexuality by our public schools and media. […] Homosexuality is wrong and as your Mayor, Bill Whatcott is committed to denouncing homosexuality, warning young people about the consequences of indulging in the practice and calling on those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle to repentance, forgiveness and healing through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Yes, that ought to resonate with the mainstream voter. Oh, and his campaign photo (I swear, this is all real) is a full-torso shot, arms folded behind the back for maximum legibility of his T-Shirt: “Sodomites will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven.”

Of course, though they may try, municipal leaders are about as powerful as multicoloured baby marshmallows when it comes to overriding civil rights. Given this, I think I’ll give Whatcott my full endorsement. Seriously, who’s in for a couple of years of hilarious “Edmonton’s frothy mayor” stories?

(A tip o’ the hat goes out to Pam Spaulding)

Toronto Wants More Gays

June 20th, 2007

Toronto Tourist Campaign

The city of Toronto has launched an expensive new ad campaign in hopes of attracting gay travelers. The campaign, whose tagline is “as gay as it gets,” is primarily targeted toward gays in the U.S.

In a completely unrelated story, Toronto’s CN Tower now lights up in rainbow colours at night, thanks to a sophisticated new LED system.

Montréal’s Gay Pride Parade Cancelled, Saved

June 18th, 2007

Beer Garden

Divers/Cité has completely turfed Montréal’s Gay Pride parade after a survey suggested that the traditional gay rights march didn’t improve beer sales enough to justify the insurance and security costs.

Thankfully, upset community members came together last week to save the parade, which has now been scheduled for July 29th at 1pm, a week before the Divers/Cité festival. A new non-profit organisation, Célébrations LGBTA Montréal, has been formed to control the event.

Hmm… I wonder what priority the Divers/Cité festival planners would give beer sales today if it weren’t for past parades?

Refugees, Flags, Censorship, and Constitutionality

June 15th, 2007

Mini Slaps
Let’s do the follow-up thing today:

  • Alvaro Orozco, the refugee who was denied Canadian citizenship because he didn’t look “gay enough” is still facing deportation to Nicaragua where homosexuality is illegal. The application to re-open his case was dismissed, but there’s still a chance he could file a standard application for immigration from within Canada on humanitarian grounds. Sadly, pretending to be gay to obtain refugee status is not uncommon, but the circumstances under which Orozco’s application was denied were downright silly.
  • Niagara Falls officials have replaced the Pride flag that mysteriously vanished less than four hours after its raising ceremony. Thankfully they have “some ideas” to make sure this one stays put. At the top of the list: piping in Kylie Minogue to create an appropriate anti-heterosexual radius.
  • The City of Ottawa has adopted policies ensuring that Capital Xtra, a gay community newspaper, cannot be censored from city community centres. The paper was removed from a public facility after Greg Evans, a local man, complained that his son could have seen it at basketball practice. Though the paper’s censorship was illegal, I can attest to the dangers of gay community newspapers: The last time I picked one up, I got a paper cut.
  • The federal conservatives’ scrapping of the gay-friendly Court Challenges Program has turned out to be illegal. According to a report by the official languages commissioner, removing public funding to challenge unconstitutional laws violated Officials Languages Act. The government, in the interests of transparency and accountability, has not responded.

Well, have a great weekend kiddos!

Comedian Goes On Anti-Lesbian Tirade

June 13th, 2007

Uh oh; Hecklers.

Dealing with hecklers isn’t Guy Earle’s specialty. When a lesbian couple started kissing during the Vancouver comedian’s performance, he decided to draw audience attention to them, prompting drunken heckles. Reportedly, Earle’s response wasn’t exactly measured:

You’re fat and ugly, no wonder you’re lesbians, you can’t get a man that’s why you’re dykes. You must be on the rag, you stupid dykes.

After receiving the classic retaliatory “glass of water, meet face”, the comedian then took one of the woman’s sunglasses of her head and snapped them in half.

Earle, who was booed by the audience, later admitted that he “lost his cool,” but that “sexuality [had] nothing to do with it.”

Well, that ought to confirm his status as a comedian, no?

Israel To Ban Gay Rights Demonstrations

June 11th, 2007

Oh, the ironing!

Gays seeking equal rights will no longer be allowed to congregate and demonstrate in Israel. The Knesset passed two bills through their first reading last week. If enacted into law, these bills will forcibly silence gay rallies across Israel.

This curious denial of rights is a hypocritical irony, demonstrated most succinctly by an anti-gay demonstrator during what will probably be Tel-Aviv’s last gay pride parade. According to an Army Radio reporter, a religious protester shouted to the marchers: “It’s a shame the Nazis didn’t finish you off.”

Meanwhile, Badatz, an Orthodox sector of rabbis, placed a curse on gay rights marchers and the police who maintain order during their demonstrations:

All those involved in the matter [of gay rights rallies], those of impure souls and those helping them and guarding them, they will feel in their souls a curse, a bad spirit will come over them and haunt them, they will never be cleansed of their sins from the judgment of God, in their bodies, their souls and their finances.

Spooky stuff. Who knew Orthodox rabbis were so practiced in their evil curse casting skills?

(And a very special hat tip goes out to Montreal Simon, who has some choice words on the whole matter.)

Pride Flag Disappears From Niagara City Hall

June 8th, 2007

Pride Flag Vacation

Officials and community members in Niagara Falls have been left scratching their heads after the first-ever gay pride flag to be flown over city hall went missing a mere four hours after its raising ceremony.

So far, there’s no word on what happened to the flag or if it has been replaced. Although, after years of following these sorts of stories, I think it’s clear who took it: Mutant seagulls.

Gay Publisher Vandalized Again

June 6th, 2007

Capital Xtra is Flaming

Poor Capital Xtra. The popular gay community newspaper just can’t get a break from vandalism. In the past few years, their distribution boxes have been spray painted, covered in slurs, bolted shut, robbed, illegally removed from public facilities, and now burned!

Over the Victoria Day long weekend, a vandal set fire to some of the magazine’s distribution boxes, ruining about 80 issues and damaging the metal and plexiglas.

In response to the continued defacements, the magazine has started a “very informal” adopt-a-box program. Each of the adorable purple boxes will get a reader volunteer to check up on it from time to time. As with real children, adoptive parents are to report back if their baby gets spray painted, covered in slurs, bolted shut, robbed, illegally removed from public facilities, or burned.

School Forbids “Gay Eskimo” Song

June 4th, 2007

Snowstorm Homophobia

An Inuvialuit high school student in the Northwest Territories has been barred from singing a sexually suggestive song about a “gay Eskimo” at her school’s fundraiser. The staff’s rationale for the ban: The word “Eskimo” is culturally insensitive. Uh, yeah.

Vice-principal Lorne Guy, the only staff member to comment to the press, eventually admitted the following: “I would say that the combination of both the cultural sensitivity and the sexual preference [led to the decision].”

So, first, let me get this out: Anyone who finds the word “Eskimo” insensitive had better not be using the term “sexual preference.” I mean, gee whiz.

Second, the song, though funny, is sexually suggestive. Gay-related or otherwise, it’s OK to bar a secondary student from singing provocative material at a fundraiser. The anti-gay lobby loves to scare people into believing that people like me would be screaming homophobia over any sort of “gay censorship,” but in reality the song isn’t appropriate for school and there’s no need to pretend there’s something else offensive about the song just because the sexual content is gay.

Woman Kicked Out Of Gay Bar

June 1st, 2007

A Girl in a Gay Bar

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A woman walks into a gay bar and sits down for a beer. The waiter comes up to her and says: “This establishment is for men only; please leave.” (rimshot)

Not busting a gut? Neither was Audrey Vachon, who filed a human rights complaint after she was asked to leave Bar Le Stud in Montreal’s Gay Village.

Now, I’m a gay Montrealer and I’ve never felt uncomfortable having women frequent the gay bars here. Last year, I walked into a bar with a group of gay friends. We ordered drinks, were talking, laughing, and having an all-around great time when someone noticed something peculiar… The place was packed to the rafters with lesbians. (Our theory: As gay guys, we’ve been genetically wired to not notice women, so it was perfectly natural for us to not realise we were in a lesbian bar.)

My bottom line: Gay-friendly doesn’t have to mean gays only. If a group of gay guys can enjoy a drink in a lesbian bar, a straight gal should be able to do the same in a gay bar. Why not?