Nikolay Alexandrovich Alexeyev, the face of Russian LGBT rights, retires.

In an email sent to supporters last week, the 34-year-old said he would no longer head Moscow Pride and GayRussia.ru but gave little reason for his decision.

In a Facebook post, he wrote:

Dear friends … today on 21 October 2011, one year anniversary of the European Court of Human Rights verdict in the case of illegality of Moscow Pride bans, I decided to resign from the positions of the head of Russian LGBT Human Rights Project GayRussia.ru and head of Moscow Pride Organizing Committee. From midnight 21 October 2011 in Moscow and up to the decision on the new leadership, Project GayRussia.ru will be headed by Nikolay Baev and Moscow Pride Organizing Committee by Alexander Naumchik.

Speaking to UKGayNews.org.uk, he added:

It is true that I am fed up, and that is why I decided to step down. I also decided not to give any further comments on my decision.

Mr Baev, who will take over GayRussia.ru, said:

The reason [for Alexeyev’s resignation] is totally personal. He just decided to change his activity and lifestyle, and he has a full right to this.

Alexeyev, a former journalist, turned his attention to full-time gay rights campaigning in 2005, setting up GayRussia.ru and making plans for a Pride march in Moscow.

He has appeared regularly on Russian television and has been honoured for his work by LGBT organisations worldwide.

He has been arrested on numerous occasions for holding illegal Pride marches and gay rights demonstrations and launched lawsuits against Moscow authorities for banning the events.

Last September, the campaigner was arrested at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow while boarding a plane to Geneva.

He says he was kidnapped and possibly drugged by Russian security forces who detained him for more than two days and used his phone to send fake messages claiming he was dropping his legal challenges.

Related:
Russian judge: Court ruling on gay pride ban culturally insensitive.
The Army of One – Nikolay Alexandrovich Alexeyev

Update: Nepal Constitution Aims High.

Update relevant to Nepal Constitution Aims High.

Prime minister Jhalanath Khanal resigned last Sunday due to several conflicts in the constitution writing process. So far no replacement have been announced, and the fact that it took seven months to choose prime minister Khanal – it might take some time to find a new one. There are still some political unrest in Nepal, but it´s on the right track.

Nepal Constitution Aims High.

A draft constitution for Nepal would enshrine LGBT rights advances as breathtaking as the heights of Mount Everest if lawmakers are willing to adopt the document.

Following centuries of monarchy and a decade-long civil war that ended in 2006, Nepal has emerged as a democratic republic with one of the world´s most progressive stances on LGBT rights, which could be promulgated in a new constitution this year unless the government further delays its implementation.

Extended once last year, the constitution´s deadline was put off by three months more in late May. Lawmakers disagree on broad questions of government structure, not the LGBT content – some of the most inclusive language of any nation.

The LGBT issues are pretty well formulated in the draft, and there is no opposition, so we don’t need to worry about that. Our concern is about how long it will take to have the constitution, says Sunil Pant, Nepal´s first openly gay elected official and a member of the interim constituent assembly writing the document.

Pant, who is pushing for adoption of the constitution this year, says the draft proposes citizenship rights for “third gender” individuals, who identify as neither male nor female; bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; calls for government affirmative action in support of LGBT people; and proposes gender-neutral language on the rights to work, health, education, and marriage, the latter also being drafted in a separate law directed by a supreme court ruling.

Pant, founder of the LGBT network the Blue Diamond Society and the tourism company Pink Mountain Travels and Tours, attributes the success to a receptive private sector, lack of sensational media, and the Hindu religious tradition, which has  deities that challenge binary gender norms. He also cites the movement´s organizational acumen, and he believes the pace and quality of change will allow Nepal to implement its constitution whenever it is finally adopted.

Nepal´s situation is likely to differ from that of South-Africa, which has a notably progressive constitution, but a disconnect between law and reality.

Homosexuality can be cured, Salvation Army says.

The Salvation Army’s all-inclusive congregation policy does not extend to homosexuals, Swedish broadcasters TV4 claimed on Sunday evening.

During an undercover news report broadcast on one of Sweden’s biggest channels, Salvation Army leaders told a covert journalist working for news programme “Kalla Fakta” (Cold Facts) that he, being a gay man, could not join the army originally formed in London in 1865. Instead, an officer offered to “cure” him through prayer.

The programme also claimed that the Salvation Army was involved in an agreement with Africa’s Malawi Council of Churches, which comprised of voting for the imprisonment of gay men.

Despite Sweden being the first country in the world to remove homosexuality as an illness, local SA officers told the journalist that homosexuality is “fundamentally wrong”.

The Salvation Army’s basic position is that homosexual sex is a sin. The Bible says a man shouldn’t sleep with a man in the way he sleeps with a woman, one chapter leader told the TV4 reporter. Anatomically we are not shaped that way, so in that sense I do think it is wrong, another soldier said.

The Salvation Army now accuses the Swedish TV programme of infringement.

There is no revelation, there is no surprise, there is just a cheap but costly straining after sensationalism, a Salvation Army spokesperson in Sweden said. We interpret the Bible in a way that defines sex as something that should happen within marriage and as something between a man and a woman.

The top officer of The Swedish Salvation Army appeared live in the programme on Sunday, ignoring questions about whether homosexuals were included in their “all inclusive” policy. She claimed no knowledge of the MCC agreement.

The Salvation Army was founded by William and Catherine Booth in London in 1865 and are although describing themselves as “mainstream protestant” considered to be practising Biblical literalism.

I don´t know where the salvation army get their gay-sex facts, but to be fair gay men don´t have sex with men the way you have sex with women – thats kinda not possible, so if the reason gay-sex is wrong is that the bible says: a man shouldn’t sleep with a man in the way he sleeps with a woman, then I can´t see that gay-sex is forbidden.

40 year old social experiment might come to an end.

The last decades disagreement between the citizens of the Freetown Christiania in Denmark’s capitol Copenhagen and the Danish government might have come to an end after a court ruling, earlier this year, decided that the government get the right to decide the future of the settlement. The citizens on the other hand says that the fight is far from over.

Today the Christianians closed all access to the town for the general public, and both the legal and illegal businesses have been closed until further notice. This is the first time in the towns 40-year-old history that the gates are closed for the general public.

The Danish government have a plan of developement for the area which will result in the demolition of some of the occupied buildings to make way to new construction. But some of the buildings are considered to have historic value and will be restored.

A spokesperson for the Freetown of Christiania is calling it the liquidation of the self-managed social experiment as we know it.

For more information, and info on how to support Christiania – www.christiania.org

Death penalty part of the Ungandan anti-gay bill may be removed.

A MP behind the Ugandan anti-gay bill has said that the death penalty portion is likely to be removed.
The legislation which has caused outrage worldwide featured a mandatory death sentence for active homosexuals living with HIV and life imprisonment for anyone convicted of a homosexual act.

Speaking to the Associated Press, MP David Bahati said:

The death penalty is something we have moved away from, many people have expressed concern about that provision providing for the death sentence and I’m sure when we start hearings on that bill, we will hear many more concerns

Bahati said his group would go along if the committee handling the bill wanted to remove that part of legislation.

The legislation is expected to come up for vote by mid-may and has been condemned by many, including US President Barack Obama.

Related stories:
Shame on you Uganda!

Stand up against homophobia, Tune Out Trump!

Let´s all give Donald Trump a kick in the mouth for his homophobic attitude, boycott these places and other Trump related businesses:

New York:

  • Trump World Tower
  • Trump Tower
  • Trump Plaza
  • 40 Wall Street
  • 1290 Avenue of the Americas
  • West Side development
  • Trump Park Ave. (Delmonico Hotel)
  • Trump International Hotel
  • The Residences at Trump National in Westchester County

National (USA):

  • Bank of America Center, San Francisco
  • Trump Entertainment (casinos) (Atlantic City)
  • Trump Las Vegas
  • Mar-a-Lago (Palm Beach, FL)
  • Trump Chicago
  • Miami Beach Hotel/Trump International Beach Resort (Miami, FL)

Golf Courses:

  • Trump International Golf Club, Raffles Resort (Canouan Island, The Grenadines)
  • Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster (Bedminster, NJ)
  • Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA)
  • Trump International Golf Club (West Palm Beach, FL)

On TV:

  • The Apprentice
  • The Celebrity Apprentice
  • The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
  • Miss Universe
  • Miss USA
  • Miss Teen USA
  • Fox and Friends (Fox News)