This is so disgusting, disturbing, and horrible! My goodness, this is so sad! The gay men in this video are terrified, since a violent angry mob is after them! The homophobia in Jamaica is wrong, and something needs to be done about this. I think Canada, should do something about this either cut off foreign aid to Jamaica or put in sanctions.
Zimbabwe’s newly re-elected President Robert Mugabe. Source: AFP
ROBERT Mugabe has been sworn in for a seventh five-year term as President of Zimbabwe, despite widespread disbelief that he won 63 per cent of the vote in an election he had been expected to lose.
A crowd of about 60,000, enjoying free food, bands and a holiday declared for the occasion, filled the national sports stadium yesterday as Mr Mugabe delivered an hour-long address promising better conditions and a rant against gays and the West.
“We dismiss them as the vile ones whose moral turpitude we must mourn,” he said of Britain, Australia, Canada and the US, which have questioned his victory.
The election result has been bitterly disputed and various nations have indicated that they are unlikely to restore normal relations with Harare. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr called for a rerun of the election; British Foreign Secretary William Hague said an independent investigation would be required for the ballot to be deemed credible. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the EU would review its policy towards Zimbabwe amid serious concerns about the vote.
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The US has said that its travel and investment bans on Mr Mugabe and his senior officials would be removed “only in the context of credible, transparent and peaceful reforms”.
Unlike previous low-key investitures, this event carried strong echoes of Mr Mugabe’s inauguration as prime minister of a newly independent Zimbabwe in 1980.
A no-show by leaders from neighbouring nations, including President Jacob Zuma of regional power-broker South Africa, did little to dampen enthusiasm.
“I promise you better conditions,” he told supporters. “The mining sector will be the centrepiece of our economic recovery and growth. It should generate growth spurts across the sector, reignite that economic miracle which must now happen.”
Mr Mugabe’s opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, withdrew his challenge to the result last Friday after the state electoral body refused to provide an electronic copy of the voters roll to help investigators to check for rigging.
The pro-democracy leader also expressed doubts that he would receive a fair hearing from the country’s Supreme Court, which critics say is packed with Mr Mugabe’s supporters.
Mr Tsvangirai described the ceremony as “a robbers’ party”.
After the holiday, Zimbabweans will have to face the realities of another five years under Mr Mugabe, 89; presuming that old age and frailty do not claim him. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s index has plummeted since the election and power supplies are disrupted for 14 hours every day.
Zimbabwe’s Mugabe defends election, says enemy is thrown away ‘like garbage’
Angus Shaw, The Associated Press
Published Monday, August 12, 2013 12:22PM EDT
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s longtime President Robert Mugabe said Monday his party will not yield its victory in disputed elections and proclaimed it has thrown the enemy away “like garbage.”
In his first public speech since the July 31 elections, Mugabe spoke at the annual Heroes’ Day gathering that honours guerrillas killed in the war for independence in 1980 at a national shrine outside Harare.
Speaking in the local Shona language, in colloquial phrases he does not use when speaking in English, Mugabe called on his challenger and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to accept defeat.
Supporters of Zimbabwean President elect, Robert Mugabe sing and dance, at the country’s commemoration of Heroes day, in Harare, Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. (AP / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
“Those who are smarting from defeat can commit suicide if they so wish. But I tell them even dogs will not sniff at their flesh if they choose to die that way,” he said.
He described Tsvangirai as the “enemy” in his party’s midst during the shaky coalition brokered by regional leaders after the last disputed and violent poll in 2008.
“We have thrown the enemy away like garbage. They say we have rigged, but they are thieves” because of corruption during their time in the government. “We say to them: You are never going to rise again.”
Zimbabwe’s July 31 polls gave Mugabe 61 per cent of the vote, trailed by outgoing Prime Minister Tsvangirai with 34 per cent.
Tsvangirai alleges widespread rigging and is challenging the poll results in court. He stayed away from Monday’s gathering.
But in a message to his supporters marking the day, Tsvangirai said Zimbabweans are “still shocked by the brazen manner in which their vote was stolen.”
“So many sons and daughters of this country sacrificed their lives … and one of the fundamental rights they toiled at, died for was the right to vote,” he said.
But the 89-year-old Mugabe said Zimbabweans voted freely: “We are delivering democracy on a platter. Never will we go back on our victory.”
Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party won 158 parliament seats on July 31 versus 50 captured by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change that Mugabe accuses of receiving money and backing from Britain, the former colonial power, the United States and other Western nations.
One banner displayed at the event at the North Korean-built Heroes’ Acre shrine which was attended largely by thousands of Mugabe supporters showed the party’s clenched fist salute and declared: “July 31. The day we buried imperialism.”
Mugabe, in an hour-long address broadcast on state radio and television, said voters confounded the country’s Western critics.
“We are proving wrong those who say we are not able to conduct our affairs without outside interference,” he said.
He said he thanked regional leaders and the continent-wide African Union organization for what he called “continuing to support our national efforts.”
African Union election observers have given cautious approval of the vote but are still compiling their final report. The Southern African Development Community, a regional political and economic bloc, judged the polling itself peaceful and credible but has yet to pronounce it fair.
Western nations, prevented by Mugabe from sending observers, have condemned the vote for irregularities in voters’ lists and elections procedures noted by independent local observers.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Minister William Hague expressed what they called grave concerns over the fairness of the vote. The EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said in Brussels last week that economic sanctions against Mugabe and his party leaders to protest a decade of human and democratic rights abuses cannot be lifted unless the vote is deemed credible, free and fair.
Australia has called for fresh presidential and parliament elections before further economic measures can be eased. They had lifted some economic restrictions against Mugabe and his loyalists earlier this year to recognize free and unchallenged voting in a referendum on a new constitution.
The sanctions involve business, banking and travel bans on Mugabe’s party and its leaders.
Mugabe on Monday said he offered his gratitude to “friendly countries who always wish us well and on this occasion have also done so.”
China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela and several African presidents, including South African President Jacob Zuma, the chief regional mediator on Zimbabwe, have sent congratulations to Mugabe on his victory.
It is interesting reading the news on the internet about First Lady Michelle Obama daring to stand up to an obnoxious lesbian heckler Ellen Sturtz. Ms. Obama was speaking at a private residence and twelve minutes into her speech Sturtz rudely interrupted Ms. Obama. Unlike President Obama, his wife Michelle is not an elected official so she has more leverage on how she conducts herself. Ms. Obama is a strong black woman and I commend her for standing up to Sturtz and telling her to “take the mic or I’m leaving”.
On some conservative and liberal media websites, such as Fox News they are attempting to illustrate that Ms. Obama is the stereotypical angry black woman. After all, Ms. Obama had the audacity to actually defend herself when she is being disrespected by an annoying protester!
A white gay organization codepink defended Sturtz and said ” good for @EllenSturtz for talking to @michelleobama about POTUS
unfulfilled promise to pass ENDA Mrs. Obama should have said to LGBT protester: I don’t make policy but I certainly understand your concerns. Thanks for sharing them with me”.
This is a classic example of white privilege, white gay people trying to tell a black woman how she should act when she’s being rudely confronted.
One of the issues that is often ignored in the mainstream press is the racism of some white gay folks. Sturtz had the nerve to heckle the First Lady of the United States of America! There is this racist attitude by some in the white gay community that black people owe them something.
Sturtz, was swiftly ejected from the event, but I am glad Ms. Obama stood up for herself. There is this racist narrative that black people are supposed to bow down to white folks. Slavery ended in a long time ago, yet some white people still think they can talk to a black person anyway they want in a disrespectful manner.
Sturtz certainly didn’t respect Ms. Obama why couldn’t she have waited until after the First Lady finished her speech? Glad Ms. Obama schooled this lady and put her in her place. You go girl!
Globe & Mail Article: Health Canada Discriminating Against Gay Men Must Be Celibate For Five Years Prior To Giving Blood!!!
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, May. 22 2013, 10:47 AM EDT
For most Canadians, donating blood is as easy as visiting a clinic and rolling up a sleeve.
Not so for gay men, who since the mid-1980s have been banned from giving blood.
That changed Wednesday, when Health Canada approved lifting the prohibition as long as the donor has not had sexual contact with another man in at least five years. The change is expected to take effect this summer.
The policy shift may give celibate gay men eager to tap a vein reason to celebrate. But it was met mostly with derision by critics of the ban, who argued the move perpetrates an unscientific stereotype of gay men and HIV transmission and does nothing to enhance the safety of the blood supply.
“For the vast majority of people who are affected by the ban, this policy change is actually no change,” said Adam Awad, the national chairman of the Canadian Federation of Students, an organization among a coalition of groups that has advocated against the ban.
The coalition, which includes the Canadian AIDS Society, has recommended that behaviour and risk of transmission of disease be factored in to blood-donor restrictions. They argue, for example, that a straight man who has unprotected sex with multiple women is a greater threat to the sanctity of the blood supply than a gay man who has been in a long-term, monogamous relationship.
“This [new] policy assumes that if you’re a man, regardless of what protections you might take, any sexual contact with another man becomes risky,” Mr. Awad said. “We know that’s not the case.”
Canadian Blood Services, a non-profit charity that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories outside Quebec, and Héma-Québec, which serves the same function in that province, began pushing for what they call the five-year “deferral period” for gay men in 2011.
The effort followed a 2010 Ontario Superior Court ruling that upheld the ban, but said there was insufficient evidence to support an “indefinite deferral period.”
Dana Devine, vice-president of medical, scientific and research affairs at Canadian Blood Services, cast the policy shift as “a very significant change for us.” She acknowledged, though, that the change would face resistance.
“We recognize that many people will feel that this change does not go far enough, but given the history of the blood system in Canada, we see this as a first and prudent step forward on this policy,” Dr. Devine said. “It is the right thing to do and we are committed to regular review of this policy as additional data emerge and new technologies are implemented.”
Several countries allow men to donate blood one year after having had sexual relations with another man, including Great Britain, Australia, Japan and Sweden. In South Africa, the deferral period is six months. Italy is one of a handful of countries that has no restrictions.
A blood-donor ban remains in place in the United States for men who acknowledge having had sex with another man at least once since 1977. Canada’s screening process had also set the threshold at 1977.
Dr. Devine said a five-year deferral would give the organization enough time to collect data, specifically the rate of transmissible diseases found in donated blood. The data would be used to regularly review the policy and amend it as appropriate, she said.
At the same time, she said she did not expect the change to trigger a noticeably larger pool of donors, leaving critics to wonder what substantive data could be gleaned from the new policy.
“We do not anticipate that this will bring a large number of gay men forward to the blood-donor pool,” Dr. Devine said.
Researchers at the University of California found in 2010 that if the ban in the United States were replaced by a five-year deferral, an additional 71,218 pints of blood would be donated each year.
The Canadian AIDS Society, which called the change “a good first step” that does not go far enough, was optimistic about the impact the change could have on the donor pool.
Monique Doolittle-Romas, the chief executive officer, said people who refused to donate because of the blanket ban would now reconsider.
Still, she said her group would intensify its efforts to push for a screening process based on donor behaviour rather than sexual orientation.
When a person gives blood, the donation is typically tested within 24 hours for HIV and several other infectious diseases, including hepatitis B and C, West Nile virus, syphilis and the human T-cell lymphotropic virus HTLV-I and II.
Since the 1980s, when the ban took effect, tests have become much more sensitive and accurate. The organization employs nucleic acid and antibody tests for HIV that are considered state of the art.
Of the 901,640 units of blood collected by Canadian Blood Services last year, fewer than five were found to be infected with HIV, according to the organization. A unit is the equivalent of 450 millilitres.
Fewer than 250 of the roughly 900,000 donations annually – or about 0.03 per cent – test positive for an infectious disease, according to the organization.
Hundreds of Canadians were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through blood transfusions in the 1980s before rigorous tests were implemented.
Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada, a gay-rights advocacy group, said the advances in blood testing make any deferral policy antiquated.
“It’s still a discriminatory process,” Ms. Kennedy said. “They’re saying that a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity is reason enough to have a five-year deferral. It’s no different than an indefinite deferral.”
In the United States, where the Food and Drug Administration is facing growing public pressure to lift the ban, the agency insists its policy is grounded in statistics.
Men who have sex with men accounted for 61 per cent of all new HIV infections in the United States in 2010. The largest increase was found in homosexual males ages 13 to 24, the population the agency says is most likely to donate blood.
Francine Proulx-Kenzle, president of PFLAG Canada, a support group for gays and lesbians, said any deferral could be viewed as discriminatory.
But she said she is heartened by Canadian Blood Services’ openness to reviewing its policy and making adjustments.
“Sometimes going step by step is a result that is more lasting,” Ms. Proulx-Kenzle said. “You get everyone on board and you get a result that becomes part of who we are as a society.”
I am not surprised that some French people are against gay marriage. Although France is a secular country, there are some conservative elements to French society. I am glad the same sex marriage bill was approved and that marriage equality now exists in France for gay couples. Some of the arguments of conservatives are that the French family is going to decay and breakdown.
However, in Canada almost a decade ago prior to gay marriage becoming law there were similar arguments. Now almost eight years since same sex marriage became legal in Canada it isn’t a big deal anymore. Even the conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, recognizes that same sex marriage is just a part of what makes Canada a great nation. Canada was the first country in the western hemisphere to legalize gay marriage.
I think in a generation from now in France people won’t make a big deal about same sex marriage they won’t be upset about it. Consenting adults should be allowed to marry whomever a person of the same sex. Why should gay people in France be denied gay marriage when they pay taxes just like the heterosexuals? It is nice to see France moving forward and progressing towards modernity.
Football Stud Brendon Ayanbadejo Writes Article Telling NFL To Provide Support So First Openly Gay Athlete Can Come Out!!
Ex-Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo continues to fight for same-sex marriage rights in the US.
APR 22, 2013 2:31 PM ET
Brendon Ayanbadejo is a 10-year NFL veteran who last played with the Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens and is a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage rights. In August 2012, Maryland state delegate Emmett Burns Jr. wrote an open letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti requesting Ayanbadejo cease and desist all public support of marriage equality after Ayanbadejo donated Ravens tickets to help fundraise for marriage equality in Maryland. A law allowing same-sex marriages in the state eventually passed in late 2012 and took effect Jan. 1.
While the equality treadmill under most of our feet is moving at a high rate of speed, I would imagine this journey is not traveling fast enough for many Americans whose lives are directly impacted by the possibility of change.
Consider tennis hall of famer Billie Jean King, who was outed in 1981 when her relationship with another woman became public, and Greg Louganis, the four-time Olympic gold medal-winning American diver, who came out some seven years after King.
With more than 55 years combined of public scrutiny of their sexuality, the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which restricts some federal marriage benefits to only opposite-sex couples, and Prop 8, California’s state law restricting same-sex marriage can’t come soon enough for these two American heroes and California residents who have forever shaped the face of their respective sports.
Yet, we still have such a long journey ahead of us. Draconian policies such as “don’t ask, don’t tell” are a thing of the past, and with the quickly approaching U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the repeal of DOMA and Prop 8 in June, it appears as if we are on the precipice of a more progressive and accepting America.
It is quite hard to fathom that, in two years, we have nearly doubled the amount of states that have legalized marriage equality. In this time, New York, Maryland, Maine and Washington have approved same-sex marriage, bringing the total number of states that allow it to nine, as well as the District of Columbia.
Equal marriage rights are on the radar for Illinois, Delaware, Rhode Island and nine other states by the end of 2014. A March 2013 FOX News poll on same-sex marriage shows that 49 percent of Americans believe in same-sex marriage while 46 percent are in opposition. Support is up 32 percent from 2003.
From the opening kickoff to the Super Bowl, the best NFL action is on FOX. See the full NFL on FOX schedule.
While LGBTQ Americans can bravely and proudly serve our country in battle and even die protecting our freedom overseas, it is still perfectly legal in 29 states, to fire someone because he or she is a part of the LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ Americans do not, under DOMA, currently have any federal rights. There are so many things wrong with this picture. And, as many of us openly support and fight for equal rights in this community, we are also left asking ourselves questions about why many who identify as LGBT or Q are still so hesitant to join the fight.
Brittney Griner came out on Thursday, saying people should “just be who you are.” But being who you are in the four major professional sports isn’t accepted.
When will a male athlete come out in the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL?
Even as it appears American pop culture is ready to accept a gay male athlete, the stratified sporting culture might not be quite as keen on the idea of our favorite NFL player scoring touchdowns on Sundays and celebrating in Chelsea (NYC) or Hillcrest (San Diego) on Sunday nights with his boys after a hard-fought victory.
I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with it.
Corporate America doesn’t, either.
It’s time to plan work and family weddings as the NFL releases the dates and times for this year’s games.
Corporate America is frothing at the mouth, waiting for a gay superstar to take the sporting culture by the reins. Companies such as Levi’s, American Airlines, Google, and Starbucks are huge money makers, but also morality moguls in corporate America, having been rated in the top LGBTQ friendly corporations.
And just like the infamous “Bo knows” marketing campaign by Nike, I could also see a sneaker and apparel giant backing a superstar athlete with a “gay is great” campaign.
Make no mistake, the LGBTQ community’s buying power is something corporate America is keeping its eye on. The overall spending power of this growing demographic is projected to be well over $2 trillion in 2013, by some estimations.
I personally have stopped patronizing all retailers that are not LGBTQ friendly. Not only are these corporations losing out on LGBTQ dollars, but also straight dollars from family and friends of the LGBTQ community.
The most important company yet to weigh in on the issue of gays in sports is the NFL itself.
The NFL is the most popular and most-watched sport in the U.S., capturing some 59 percent of the entire U.S. population as viewers. With 1,696 players on its opening day rosters, the NFL is also the largest professional sports league in North America.
The NHL has 690 players; the NBA has 450 players; and MLB has 750 players total on its 25-man rosters, for a total of 1,890 professional athletes.
The lowest estimations say that about three percent of the population at large is gay. If you extrapolate that number across these 3,586 pro athletes, that would equate to 107 or 108 professional gay athletes, with 50 or 51 of them in the NFL.
Yet to this day we still have not heard of an athlete coming out during his playing career in any of our four professional sports. The NHL has a leg up on the other three leagues because of its alliance with the “You Can Play Foundation” that supports LGBTQ athletes.
The other three leagues have a faint footprint, or none at all, in supporting or aligning with a LGBTQ organization.
What are they waiting for?
If we hope to close one of the last closets in America, I would call upon the NFL to be proactive and align with an LGBTQ organization, something that it has not done publicly yet.
When the NFL does take such action, maybe players will be more at liberty to feel not only that they can be themselves at the workplace, but also that their employer has their best interest at heart and not just the bottom line. I would even argue that profits would increase if there were a gay player on the roster. At the end of the day, I have played with several gay athletes in my tenure with the NFL. I just didn’t know it!
Wow, this video brings tears to my eyes, it is so wonderful to see a young gay black couple in love! This wedding is going to open the minds of people across the globe. I also believe this wedding will hopefully start a dialogue in the black community about homosexuality. Gay marriage is legal in South Africa and I think this wedding is symbolic to show South Africa is progressing. Yes, gays and lesbians in South Africa still encounter discrimination, but this wedding illustrates more African people are accepting homosexuality.
Gay Connecticut couple accused of raping adopted children will face trial
George Harasz, 49, and Douglas Wirth, 45, of Glastonbury, withdrew a deal with prosecutors that would have given them suspended prison sentences and probation, according to reports. The surprise move comes as new allegations by three more adopted children surfaced Friday.
By Erik Ortiz / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 11:16 AM.
George Harasz (l.) and Douglas Wirth (r.), a married couple from Glastonbury, Conn., were arrested in November 2011 following allegations by two of their nine adopted children of sexual abuse.
The case of a same-sex Connecticut couple accused of repeatedly raping and abusing two of their nine adopted boys is headed for trial.
Married couple George Harasz and Douglas Wirth of Glastonbury were supposed to be sentenced Friday in Hartford Superior Court under a plea deal, but instead withdrew from their agreement with prosecutors. The men had already pleaded no contest in January to one felony count each of risk of injury to a minor — a reduction from even more serious charges related to sexual assault.
But in a surprise turn, the couple’s attorneys pulled them out of the plea in a bid to fully clear their names, according to CBS affiliate WFSB-TV.
If Harasz, 49, and Wirth, 45, had continued with the deal, they would have been given suspended prison sentences and probation, WFSB-TV said.
But more allegations came to light Friday in the explosive case, and prosecutors said they also want to go to trial.
“I think the only proper resolution of this matter is to try it,” said prosecutor David Zagaja, according to the Hartford Courant.
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Douglas Wirth, 45, leaves Hartford Superior Court in Connecticut on Friday after his attorney withdrew a plea agreement in a sex-abuse case.
Judge Joan Alexander agreed that a trial would be “in the interest of justice. The facts must be shown and must be shown publicly.”
Harasz and Wirth adopted nine children — three sets of male siblings — beginning in 2000, and ran a home-based dog breeding business called The Puppy Guy.
The couple was arrested in November 2011 following a police and state investigation of sex-abuse allegations. The children were removed from the home.
Police said two boys, ages 5 and 15, accused Harasz of sexually assaulting them. Harasz was initially facing first-degree sexual assault and other charges, while Wirth had been charged with third-degree sexual assault of the 15-year-old boy.
Their arrest warrants claimed the couple not only sexually and physically abused the children, but also forced them to sleep in closets.
Other children in the home told authorities that they weren’t abused, and prosecutors had agreed to a plea deal because they said a lack of forensic evidence would make it difficult to prove all of the allegations.
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George Harasz, 49, leaves Hartford Superior Court in Connecticut on Friday following new allegations of abuse by his adopted children.
But now, three other children are claiming they were also abused, although no new criminal charges had been filed Friday, the Hartford Courant reported.
One of the victims who spoke during the court hearing said sexual assault began when he was 6.
“They took turns raping me over and over,” he said. “Anyone who would do this to a child is a sick, demented person.”
Supporters of Harasz and Wirth also spoke Friday in defense of the couple. One of their children, Carlos Harasz, said the accusers were lying and that the abuse suffered was under previous foster parents.
Carlos Harasz added that the state Department of Children and Families “took the word of an angry, damaged, disturbed boy and destroyed a family.”
Police have been ordered to investigate the latest accusations, and the parties are set to appear in court again June 5.