It is not realistic to ask male-female couples to do this, but I find it very touching when such couples do make a stand like this. It’s a big sacrifice, and when it comes from a famous rugby player like Dave Pocock it makes a doubly strong point.
This is a really sad story – and just one of thousands out there, about bi-national couples forced to lie, separate or put one member of the couple’s health at risk because of discriminatory immigration policies.
In this case a New York couple who’ve lived by the (ridiculous) rules, now face separation and state and federal governments face increased costs, because Edwin Blesch (who has HIV) will lose his primary care-giver, and husband, if the US immigration service gets its way.
Blesch, 70, and his South African husband, Tim Smulian, 65, have been spending six months on Long Island and six months abroad to comply with Smulian’s tourist visa. But Blesch, who has HIV, suffered several mini-strokes and other complications and is now unable to travel safely, meaning he risks losing his carer and husband if they stick to the law.
As he told journalist Erica Pearson “It’s not a good idea for me to be away, and it’s not a good idea for me to be away from Tim.
So – these guys can apparently share a fishing license but not a home. The law sucks.
“This is a basic right – to fall in love with and live with the person you want to. The pursuit of happiness, I guess you’d call it,” Blesch said.
The ridiculous and ridiculously evil Libyan leader n 2003, Moammar Gadhafi, started bombing his own people today. This is also the same man who outlawed homosexuality and told a 2003 regional African conference that heterosexual people cannot get HIV-AIDS.
For an idea of how gays are treated in Libya, read about this recent arrest story from gaymiddleeast.com
I hope that the very brave Libyans keep up their fight and stay on the long journey to true freedom and equality.
The noted homophobe Yoweri Museveni, sailed into a fourth term in office as President of Uganda last weekend, with 68% of the vote after suggestions of armed pressure on voters.
Museveni is not the worst of Uganda’s homophobe politicians. For pragmatic reasons he eventually put distance between himself and the notorious “anti-gay bill” of 2009/10 which called for the death penalty for homosexual acts. Essentially, he didn’t wanted Uganda’s aid cut off. That of course doesn’t change 20 years of active homophobia while in public office, as is noted in this article.
Some key quotes: “Look for homosexuals, lock them up and charge them” and “the continent will end up eaten by homosexuality if they (the clergy) relax”
Reuters noted that the election result offers “continuity for investors,” one could also speculate that it offers continuity for violent homophobia too. After all, it took just a few weeks after his name and face were printed in a notorious anti-gay tabloid newspaper with the headline “Hang Them”, for activity David Kato to be killed in his own home with a hammer.
Very interesting article by a British student here about what it is like to be gay in Egypt today. OK, so strictly this is not about gay marriage, but it also shows the potential gains marriage rights would bring not only to traditional front lines in the gay rights fight, but also to people in the most diverse and difficult positions.
Full article here if you prefer not to scroll down a long way. And here is a truly mind bending story from Queerty about the Muslim ‘gay rights’ supporter who believes in the death penalty for those who don’t change their ways.
In Egypt, laws on public morality are severe – homosexuality is seldom openly acknowledged. Whilst being gay is not technically illegal it is unacceptable in Egypt, it is frowned upon socially, culturally, religiously and politically. Gay people are vilified by the press and the public, Al Balagh Al Gadid, an independent weekly newspaper, was banned after accusing actors of homosexuality.
The personal struggle of many young gay Egyptians is constant- they must deny who they are to survive. Yet despite hostility, there are many Egyptians out there hoping that society will change its strict laws and accept them for who they are.
“Mohammed” is a good-looking man in his early twenties with a successful career and a very open mind. I met him for the first time in a quiet little coffee shop in central Cairo. In perfect English he tells me that he hides a secret most of the time: he is gay. Continue reading →
This is going to be HUGE!
Like this blog on a scale of one million to one.
We all need to work together and to help each other. None of us is really free, and can sleep with a totally clean conscience until all of us is free.
I am very excited for old friend Jeremy Heimans and the wonderful team from Purpose that are building this global movement
Shocking report here on the institutionalised and violent nature of homophobia in the central African state of Cameroon.
Marriage equality is speck on the horizon if you are gay in Cameroon – just as it is in Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe and so many others.
It is what we have come to expect in Africa. I wish it were more outrageous of me to criticise a whole continent like that, but frankly: it’s the truth. With the exception of South Africa, the entire continent is a disaster zone for gays and their rights. The truth is that it is more socially acceptable to have sex with animals in many parts of Africa than it is the act in the “unAfrican” way of loving someone of one’s own sex.
Does it shock you to read that from me? Well – be shocked at the actual violence and hatred in Africa; that is the real problem. I hope only that the internet and globalisation can help share more and more stories of normal gay and lesbian lives so that those suffering now in Cameroon can be inspired to change their society or to leave it according to their wishes.
I don’t know about you, but if my country had just suffered genocide, I wouldn’t put gay marriage at the top of my list of problems to worry about.
So I got a piece of advice for people in Rwanda, especially, the soon-to-be Anglican Archbishop: buck up and focus on avoiding another genocide.
The most disgusting past comment of Onesphore Rwaje, the Archbishop-elect, is homosexuality is “moral Genocide.”
No – the only genocide is the one where a ethno-cultural is massacred. And I don’t remember any gays ever advocating or implementing that.
Hold on, it is not as crazy as it sounds … the radio host and former Amakorokoza star Frank Malaba, is not actually in Zimbabwe these days, but plans to be very public about his wedding to Lee Lucas Strydom. That news that will not escape Robert Mugabe‘s attention.
In a lengthy interview with the Newsday magazine service Malaba weighs in on debates about Zimbabwe’s future: “Including gay people in the Zimbabwean Constitution would not make Zimbabwe a gay country. It would show that they acknowledge human rights as a whole. What kind of democracy says it protects the rights of citizens except for ones that are gay?”
On making his social media profile pics ones where he is sharing a kiss with his partner: “I have had no hostile messages. We have always been out. That picture has been there for over a year. Lee and I are in it for the long haul.” Continue reading →
A very interesting article from the New York Times; more commentary on it to follow later today.