George Broadhead writes: The latest issue of G&LH is now available free at www.gayandlesbianhumanist.org
27 June marks the fortieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City. On that day, New York City police raided the Stonewall bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. The gay men inside didn’t meekly comply, but fought back. Two days of rioting ensued and in July the Gay Liberation Front was born.
Although the fight for gay rights can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century, these events marked the birth of the modern gay liberation movement that has continued to the present day. Unlike most gay rights activity in the UK and elsewhere today, what there is of it, the GLF was a truly radical organisation that had a vision of gay radicalism that embraced the anti-war movement. But perhaps GLF was a little too radical as it rapidly fell into disarray, as JOHN LAURITSEN remembers in our keynote feature Gay Liberation, which recalls the Stonewall riots and what followed.
Veterans and fakes
WARREN ALLEN SMITH continues our retrospective of the Stonewall riots and the setting up of the Stonewall Riot Veterans that followed. In what is an amazing and little-known story, Smith describes how the group’s president came out to him in 2006 as a total fake! Smith continues his story in our Out of Print article, which first appeared in the print version of G&LH in 2004.
Gay Muslims fight back
Although now forty years old, the modern gay-rights movement is still very far from its goal of full gay equality. In fact, in many parts of the world, especially in Islamic countries such as Iran, little progress has been made at all and homosexuals are often murdered by state executioners for the “crime” of being gay. However, there are definite signs that things are at last beginning to change. The homosexual students of a number of Iranian universities have put their names to a ground-breaking letter to the Student Movement of Iran, calling for the recognition of gay people and respect for their rights and freedom. The letter, which was translated into English by SAGHI GHAHRAMAN with the assistance of MIKE FOXWELL is reproduced here in G&LH.
Even in many countries in Europe, the road to universal gay rights has a long way to go. COLIN DE LA MOTTE-SHERMAN tells of this other Europe in part 1 of a three part article that explores in detail the national and culturral differences within Europe. Although progress is being made here by the gay-rights movement, he warns of the dangers of not understanding cultural nuances that can lead foreign campaigners to hinder, not help, the indigenous gay-rights organisations in these countries.
Sherman also reports on the Riga Baltic Pride 2009 event, which was held in the Latvian capital despite attempts to stop it albeit within the confines of a completely fenced-in park!
While on the subject of Europe, the Anglican Church pitched into the recent European election campaign by calling on the UK electorate not to vote for the British National Party, a somewhat hypocritical stance, as MIKE FOXWELL points out in BNP Bishops.
Not so Christian?
Ordained minister NEIL RICHARDSON is also on the political campaign trail and takes a closer look at the Christian Party in the UK, which causes him to question whether or not he belongs in a church after all. JOHN HEIN, militant atheist and editor of ScotsGay, also casts a jaundiced eye at religion in Kirk Session, where he takes a look at Scotland’s principal God botherers at their annual jamboree on The Mound.
The game of the name
Meanwhile, MARK REES-ANDERSEN tells in Philosophy Game how a small Danish publisher is being sued by the infamous Catholic organisation Opus Dei over trademark legalities surrounding its new game of the same name.
Amnesty on free speech
Christian zealots have been causing trouble too, in the Isle of Man, where STUART HARTILL was barred from a local Amnesty International meeting in the name of free speech! Hartill tells us the full story in Amnesty.
Oh, The Things Mommies Do!
On a lighter note, we feature a new book by CRYSTAL TOMPKINS, titled Oh, The Things Mommies Do!, which is a celebration of lesbian mothers and their children. In Airings, EVGENY AFINEEVSKY talks to us about his new film Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!, which tells the story of what happens when a Jewish familily try to get their gay son off with another “perfect” girl.
PETER WELLEMAN’s cartoons have appeared regularly in G&LH, and this month we get to know Welleman and his work a little better in an interview with him conducted by ERIC GEERS. We feature more of Welleman’s work in our regular ’Toons page and also another in the popular Jesus and Mo series.
… and the regulars
ANDY ARMITAGE takes his regular look at what’s been happening on our Pink Triangle blog. He also peruses what’s been happening in the news recently in News Watch, while GEORGE BROADHEAD casts a global eye over the world’s news in World Watch.
If you missed any of our previous online editions, they are still there to be read in our archive.
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“Great to see you’re back. This beats any other resurrection (Lazarus? Eat your heart out!) … Here’s to happy godless future where people matter more than popes and their like. Every power to your elbows!” – CLAIRE RAYNER.