Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during July, 2012
Lawmakers in the Ukraine have introduced an anti-gay bill that would punish “propaganda of homosexuality” with fines and up to five years in prison.
Russia recently enacted a similar law this year, with expected disastrous results. Gay activists in the country have been arrested simply for marching for equal rights, and any positive portrayal of gay characters in TV and movies are now forbidden under penalty of severe fines and jail time.
According to one of the authors of the Ukrainian bill, the country’s definition of “propaganda” is just as broad: “The positive description and the publicity […] of this abnormal lifestyle.” While a voting date hasn’t yet been set, it could happen as early as September—about a month away.
Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych hasn’t indicated whether or not he supports this initiative. Hopefully Mr. Yanukovych will have some sense here, otherwise I’ll be forced to boycott… uh… borscht?
- Anti-gay bill sparks outcry in Ukraine [CTV News]
Slap reader Tim writes in with this bit of news from Down Under:
Currently in Queensland Australia there exists a legal defence which allows a reduced sentence on murder of another person of the same sex if they hit on you. [There is a] petition put forward by Rev. Fr. Paul Kelly to try and get this defence removed as a valid legal defence.
The gay panic defence has been a very real—and very unjust—legal tool in the past, including in Canada. Up here, it’s been invoked to explain assaults as recently as 2010, but has been considered a legal non-starter since its last successful use in 1994. (The murder of David Gaspard by Gary Gilroy was punished with a reduced sentence of only five years in prison after his killer cited gay panic as the reason for stabbing his victim 65 times.)
While this sort of bizarre logic is considered an antiquated relic nowadays, it’s strange to hear that Queensland still permits it. Stranger still, The Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman, has actually defended it, calling its revocation “unnecessary.” Newman is no friend of the GLBT community, though. His government rolled back civil unions and cancelled funding for the state’s GLBT health service, the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities.
As for the gay panic defence, though, there’s something you can do: A petition has been started calling for the end of this legal antiquity, which has had no just purpose even when it was introduced in the 17th century. So, if you’re concerned about what’s happening in Queensland and you’ve got a few moments to spare, why not go and show your support?
- Priest fights for end to ‘gay panic’ defence [ABC News Australia]
- Petition to eliminate the ‘gay panic’ defence from Queensland law [Change.org]
An anti-gay group calling themselves New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms filed a lawsuit late last year to reverse the state’s equal marriage law. Like most attempts to get same-sex marriage overturned, they gave themselves a delightfully ironic name; unlike other groups, however, they didn’t seem to rely on the usual arguments about how families would be instantly vaporized or how children would now be used for cattle feed, etc. Instead they suggested that same-sex marriage is invalid in New York because two meetings of the Republican Senate’s majority should have been held in public instead of privately leading up to the vote.
The case was rejected almost immediately in November, but New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms appealed to the state supreme court. On Friday, that court unanimously found that private meetings are perfectly allowable, adding that even if they weren’t, it has nothing to do with why same-sex marriage should be banned in any fathomable capacity.
Well, that should have gone without saying.
Seriously, anti-gay lobbyists? Your arguments have always been deeply flawed, but this one isn’t even fun. How am I supposed to get new material for this site when you’re not mischaracterizing gay people in amusing ways anymore? Your next lawsuit had better involve accusations of conspiracy to release genetically engineered vampire pigeons, repurposed to inject schoolchildren with experimental gaydar genes or something. That just sounds a lot more fun to draw than someone following bureaucratic procedure improperly, you see.
- Court Rejects Argument Against Gay Marriage Bill [New York Times]