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Friday, August 5, 2011

Holocaust’s Last Gay Survivor Dead at 98

By Kilian Melloy -

Rudolph Brazda
Rudolph Brazda  (Source:Ronny Hartmann, File /AP Photo)
The terrors of the Holocaust wiped out six million Jews. What is less known is that a number of other groups were also targeted for forced labor and extermination by the Nazis, with gays being among them.
It’s estimated that around 100,000 gay men were arrested during the Nazi regime. Of those, about half were incarcerated, and as many as 15,000 were sent to concentration camps under the Nazis, a Wikipedia article says.
"It is unclear how many... eventually perished in the camps, but leading scholar Ruediger Lautman believes that the death rate of homosexuals in concentration camps may have been as high as 60%," the Wikipedia article notes. "Homosexuals in the camps were treated in an unusually cruel manner by their captors."
The Nazis forced gay concentration camp prisoners to wear pink triangles as a means of identification; GLBT equality groups later embraced the pink triangle which now stands as a symbol of the civil rights struggle for equality before the law.
But when the Allies liberated the concentration camps, gays were not set free; rather, they were turned over to the civil authorities. All too often, they were locked up once again.
The issue of gays having been persecuted, arrested, incarcerated, and murdered under the Nazi machine was left unaddressed for decades. In 1979, playwright Martin Sherman used the topic as the basis for his play "Bent," a separate Wikipedia article says. "When the play was first performed, there was only a small trickle of historical research or even awareness about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. In some regards, the play helped increase that historical research and education in the 1980s and 1990s," the article adds.
In 2002, the German government finally issued an apology to the gay community.
One of the gays sent to the camps under the Nazis was Rudolph Brazda, who spent three years at Buchenwald. Brazda was thought to be the last surviving gay man to have been sent to the camps for his sexuality upon his recent death, the Associated Press reported in an Aug. 4 article. He was 98 years old.
The AP story drew on a statement made German group the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD), which reported that Brazda died on Aug. 3. The report "didn’t give details of the location or cause of death," the AP article said.

The AP reported that Brazda spent the years 1942 - 1945 at Buchenwald. He was sent to the camp after "repeatedly [running] into trouble with Nazi authorities over his homosexuality," the article said.
"When a memorial to the Nazis’ gay victims was unveiled in Berlin in 2008, the LSVD said the last ex-prisoner that it knew of had died three years earlier," the AP article recounted. "But the group said it was then contacted by Brazda, who visited the memorial at its invitation and became an honorary member."
The openly gay mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, lauded Brazda. The two men had met in 2008, the AP reported.
"He is an example of how important the work of remembrance is for our future," Wowereit told the media.
"Fewer and fewer people can give information about repression under the Nazi dictatorship authentically and from their own experience."
"Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration that threatened the German race," the AP reported.
Similar rhetoric has been used against gays in the United States, and recently anti-gay screeds that claim gays will cause the destruction of all humanity unless stopped have been at the heart of a campaign in the African nation Ghana, where a regional minister has launched an effort to round up and "get rid of" gays.
The anti-gay crackdown started last month when a regional minister, Paul Evan Aidoo, responded to lobbying from Christian and Muslim groups with a directive that gays be placed under arrest. Aidoo tasked Ghanaian security agencies with finding and detaining gays, and also called for heterosexuals, such as landlords, to turn in people they suspect might be gay.
Aidoo has described the effort to round up and arrest gays as an initiative to "get rid of" all homosexuals.
Kilian Melloy is EDGE Media Network’s Web Producer and Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes aggregate news stories and commentary for EDGE.

Pinksixty News FRIDAY 05 AUGUST 2011

A Californian federal judge has struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision is a major step forward in the fight for equality for gay Americans.

A lesbian couple in Norway have been commended for saving the lives of 40 youngsters during the recent massacre. They ferried injured teens off the island in their small boat whilst under fire from the killer, who shot at their boat during the rescues.

A runaway Turkish soldier has been arrested in Istanbul for murdering a transsexual sex worker. The victim, known as Didem, was killed by the 26 year old man after he discovered she was a trans woman.

The launch of Ben Cohen's Stand Up Foundation website was halted by the huge demand yesterday. Ben's promised that the site will be up and running soon, and all tee-shirt orders made this week will receive a free anti-bullying wristband. You can place your order at

And finally, Dolly Parton has issued a personal apology to the lesbian couple who were told to invert their gay marriage tee-shirt before being allowed into Dollywood. She reaffirmed her commitment to the queer community and said she is looking into the incident personally.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lambda Legal eNews: NY's First Vows | Attack at Sizzler | Supreme Court Petition

Lambda Legal.
August 2011: Marriage Vows

Kevin Cathcart.
In Brief
by Kevin Cathcart
Executive Director
Lambda Legal
On July 24, the whole world watched as New York celebrated marriage equality. Among the first to tie the knot were three plaintiff couples in Lambda Legal's New York marriage lawsuit, Hernandez v. Robles. It was a historic day and a momentous occasion for all of us—one that we are committed to recreating across the Hudson River, in New Jersey.
Read more »
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Q: My partner and I got married in California in 2008 before Prop 8 passed—as New Yorkers we now want to marry in our home state. Is this a good idea?
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Meet Erica and Tevonda, plaintiffs in our New Jersey marriage equality lawsuit. Watch their video, then send them a note of support!
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Watch Lambda Legal's Susan Sommer discussing the New York Marriage Equality Act on WABC-TV's Eyewitness News Up Close.
Read more media coverage in Lambda Legal's In the News.
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Top Stories
First Marriages in New York
Lambda Legal plaintiffs among first to tie the knot. Read more. Watch video. Download our FAQ.
Birth Certificate Case Aims for U.S. Supreme Court
Lambda Legal asks justices to hear case of gay couple seeking accurate birth certificate for their son.
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Woman Attacked at Sizzler
Lambda Legal sues NY restaurant on behalf of a woman targeted because of anti-LGBT bias.
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Stop Deportation of Married Same-Sex Couples
Lambda Legal asks officials to halt immigration proceedings pending legal challenges to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
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Register for Equality
Honor a couple by making a donation in their name on Lambda Legal's Wedding Registry, or register your wedding.
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Lambda Legal Is Proud . . .
Deputy Legal Director Hayley Gorenberg has been named co-chair of the American Bar Association Litigation Section’s new Civil Rights Litigation Committee.
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As part of a special 10,000 Actions for $10,000 Challenge, now through September 5, Lambda Legal will receive $1 for every new person who "likes" us on Facebook or follows us on Twitter.
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Citing new research, psychology group supports gay marriage

WASHINGTON – The world's largest organization of psychologists took its strongest stand to date supporting full marriage equity, a move that observers say will have a far-reaching impact on the national debate.
The policymaking body of the American Psychological Association (APA) unanimously approved the resolution 157-0 on the eve of the group's annual convention, which opens here today.
The group, with more than 154,000 members, has long supported full equal rights for gays, based on social science research on sexual orientation. Now the nation's psychologists — citing an increasing body of research about same-sex marriage, as well as increased discussion at the state and federal levels — took the support to a new level.
"Now as the country has really begun to have experience with gay marriage, our position is much clearer and more straightforward — that marriage equity is the policy that the country should be moving toward," says Clinton Anderson, director of APA's Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns.
The resolution points to numerous recent studies, including findings that "many gay men and lesbians, like their heterosexual counterparts, desire to form stable, long-lasting and committed intimate relationships and are successful in doing so."
It adds that "emerging evidence suggests that statewide campaigns to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage are a significant source of stress to the lesbian, gay and bisexual residents of those states and may have negative effects on their psychological well-being."
Six states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont) and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.
"Psychologists have been very important in helping to keep the discussion at a fact-based level and not let it steer off into stereotypes," says M.V. Lee Badgett, research director at the non-profit Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law & Public Policy at the University of California-Los Angeles.
Sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia-Charlottesville, says his board is divided on the issue and hasn't taken a stance on same-sex marriage. He says the APA resolution will likely have a broad impact.
"I don't think it's very significant for the population at large, but I do think this move is significant for the ongoing public policy and legal battles in Washington and around the states," he says.
Clinical psychologist Mark Hatzenbuehler, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Columbia University in New York City, whose new research is cited in the resolution, says the courts tend to look at these kinds of policy statements because "they're really looking to see what social science research says about the influence on gay marriage and marriage bans on a whole host of outcomes."
Badgett's research of gay marriage across cultures is also cited in the resolution. She says the Netherlands was the first to allow gay couples to marry, and it showed "very little change in the overall society, but it was very important to gay couples themselves."
The last APA resolution on sexual orientation and marriage was approved in 2004. The resolution notes that since that time, APA has worked on 11 amicus briefs filed in same-sex marriage cases since 2004.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cuddle Therapy - Gay To Straight Scam

Social conservatives are promoting so-called cuddle conversion camps where cuddle therapy is supposed to turn gay people straight. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss.

Church child protection chief caught with 4,000 child porn pictures

Christopher Jarvis (pic: Apex)Christopher Jarvis leaves court
A child protection official for the Catholic Church has been caught with 4,000 pictures of child porn.
Father-of-four Christopher Jarvis was arrested after uploading pictures of children being abused to a website.
Married Jarvis, 49, a former social worker, was employed by the church following sex scandals about pervert priests.

His job was to monitor church groups to ensure paedophiles did not gain access to children in the church’s congregations.
But he was caught by police in March with more than 4,000 child porn images on his home computer and his work laptop.
He admitted 12 counts of making, ­possessing and distributing indecent ­images when he appeared before ­magistrates in Plymouth and is likely to face jail when he returns to court for sentencing next month.
Jarvis, who has been sacked from his job as child safeguarding ­officer, worked the Diocese of ­Plymouth for nine years.
Church spokesman ­David Pond said: “Mr Jarvis was suspended from his position as soon as the diocese became aware in March of the police investigation.
“The Bishop took that action and since then the Church has worked closely with the police.

Lesbian couple saved 40 teenagers in Norway massacre

By Jessica Geen -

A married lesbian couple have been commended for saving the lives of 40 teenagers in Norway’s massacre two weeks ago.
Toril Hansen and Hege Dalen were having dinner on the shore opposite the island of Utoya when they heard shots ring out and screaming.
They saw young people running into Lake Tyrifjorden as Anders Behring Breivik opened fire on the Norwegian Labour Party camp.
In a stunning act of bravery, the couple got in their boat and started towards the island.
Hansen and Dalen made four runs across the lake, each time picking up injured, frightened and dazed youngsters while Breivik shot at – and hit – the sides of the boat.
Dalen told Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat: “We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake.”
While other acts of heroism have emerged from the massacre, Hansen and Dalen’s actions have been largely unreported until now.
The LGBT blogTalk About Equality asked: “If a married lesbian couple saves 40 teens from the Norway massacre and no-one writes about it, did it really happen? … The heavy hitters who usually kill for hero stories like this have remained silent.”
Tom Chivers, of the Daily Telegraph, wrote: “Have the media ignored a gold-plated tale of bravery and heroism just because they don’t like the sexual orientation of the protagonists? I don’t know, obviously.
“But it’s not as though it’s just traditionally minded, conservative news organisations, who might be expected to have misgivings about homosexual marriage, which have not reported on Mrs Hansen and Mrs Dalen’s heroism.”
Breivik has admitted to killing 77 people on the island and in Oslo on July 22nd.
He surrendered when surrounded by police and remains in custody.

Chris Matthews Plays Hardball with Dr. Anthony Fauci at amfAR Capitol Hill conference

Chris Matthews, the longtime host of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, interviews Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, at amfAR's July 2011 Capitol Hill conference, "Making AIDS History: Ending the Epidemic."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

LGBT History 2011 Overview

The Michael Causer Foundation

Today is the 3rd anniversary of Michael Causer's murder.The invisible death of Michael is a film made by Michael Causer's parents after the UK press failed to report on his homophobic murder, please watch this short film and then join the Michael Causer Foundation page to show your support.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Latest Wrinkle in the Prop 8 Trial

A new twist in the Prop 8 case, with a court date coming just days after a controversial new judge is expected to join the Supreme Court. New York launches its own attack on the Defense of Marriage Act, and polling brings mostly good news, and a little bad.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

All In The Family: "Edith's Crisis of Faith"

Edith's religious faith is shaken after her friend, female impersonator Beverly LaSalle, is brutally murdered by street thugs at Christmas. Perhaps the earliest, serious television role for a cross-dresser/drag queen.

Julian Bond speaks at NAACP on Homophobia

The NAACP held its first-ever town hall meeting to discuss LGBT issues on July 25 as part of its 102nd annual convention held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The theme was "Our Collective Responsibility: Overcoming Homophobia". Julian Bond, Civil Rights Icon and Chairman Emeritus NAACP, addresses the NAACP. Video by Renee Sotile & Mary Jo Godges of for

Tempe Pastor Proudly Hates Gay People

New Details On Cult Leader Who Killed Woman & 4-Yr-Old He Thought Was Gay

In a hearing Friday, prosecutors announced plans to seek the death penalty and revealed details of their case against Peter Lucas Moses Jr., accused of murdering a 4-year-old boy and a 28-year-old woman because of his beliefs and association with a radical religious sect. Moses, 27, faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jadon Higganbothan, 4, and Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, 28.