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Where Saying ‘I Love You’ Can Get You Put In Jail: Free Roger Mbédé

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Most of us do it everyday without thinking. Tell that someone special we love them. But do it in Cameroon and you could end-up in gaol.

That’s what happened to Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé, who was sentenced to 3-years in prison in 2011 for sending another man an SMS that read:

“I’m very much in love w/u.”

Mbédé was detained by Cameroon’s Secretary of State for Defense (SED) on “suspicion of homosexuality.”

He was formally charged with “homosexuality and attempted homosexuality” on March 9th, 2011.

He was then tried and on April 28th, 2011, Mbédé was found guilty on both charges and sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment at Kondengui Central Prison.

His sentencing was condemned by Human Rights Watch, who described it as “a gross violation of Mbede’s rights to freedom of expression and equality.”

In prison “many suspects were tortured or otherwise treated poorly in custody until they gave confessions, which were then used as evidence against them.

In 2011, 14 people were prosecuted for homosexuality, 12 were convicted.

Roger’s 3-year conviction led to a campaign by Amnesty International and Rights activists, which saw Roger provisionally released on bail in July 2012, on health grounds. However, an appeals court upheld the 3-year sentence against Roger.

All Out is running a campaign to help release Roger from jail:

Roger still has to serve 2 more years in jail under horrible conditions, but Cameroon’s President Biya could free Roger from this sentence and end the anti-gay laws that jailed him in the first place. Biya has made statements that could indicate he’s evolving ont his issue and he knows that Cameroon’s reputation is at stake.

All Out have started a petition to President Biya, and Justice Laurent Esso which reads:

TO: PRESIDENT BIYA AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE LAURENT ESSO

We call on you to free Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé, who was jailed for sending a text message, and to place a moratorium on Cameroon’s discriminatory anti-gay laws.

These laws deny basic human rights to many Cameronians like Roger and create an environment of hostility and fear. End the use of laws that make it a crime to love who you choose and encourage their permanent repeal.

If you want to help with getting Roger released from prison then please sign and share this petition. Thank you.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Catholic Church endorses murder as Pope blesses Uganda’s ‘Kill The Gays’ Minister


 
Via Joe My God:

Ugandan Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, who last month promised the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act as a “Christmas gift to Christians,” yesterday appeared in Vatican City to receive the motherfucking blessing of the Pope. From the website of the Uganda Parliament:

Kadaga who led a delegation of Ugandan legislators to the Vatican expressed delight at meeting the Pope and visiting St Peter’s Basilicca. “I think this is a moment that cannot be repeated. We have been reading about him, hearing stories about St.Peter’s Basilica but now we are here physically. I think it is something that I will remember all my life. Its a very great moment and I thank God for this opportunity,” she said minutes after meeting the Pope. The Speaker dedicated to all Ugandans readings from the book of St. Mark which the Pope quoted in several languages during the Vatican mass.

And there you have it. A blessing from the Pope upon the woman who wants you executed. It can’t get any plainer than that, can it?

WOW.

The pope has “blessed” a woman who actively wants me dead. A woman who is seeking to make her murder of me, and others like me, justifiable by law, and a legally sanctioned action. Fuck you, Pope Benedict. You’re a real stand-up guy.

Strongly worded, yes, but why the hell shouldn’t it be? If someone is asking for YOUR death and one of the most powerful institutions in the world endorsed them, wouldn’t YOU be just a little bit pissed?

Of course, there will be Catholics and Christians who read the headline to this blog post and will find ways to absolve the Catholic Church, the Vatican and the Pope of any complicity in the oppression and murder of hundreds of thousands of people. Well I have three words for you. And guess what? They don’t even come from the Bible. They don’t need to.

SHAME ON YOU.

That you could find a way in your mind to justify this act of endorsing murder and oppression says more about the stranglehold the Catholic Church has on your mind, and its primary function as a death cult used for social control, than it ever could about notions of “love” and “acceptance,” of so-called “Christian” values.

CATHOLICS, I AM TALKING TO YOU.

Look at this picture, where a smiling Pope Benedict is happily holding the hand of a woman who actively wants me, and people like me, dead, as he blesses her. Go ahead, tell me that he did the right thing, that his blessing of this bigot is somehow NOT the endorsement of a head of state who seeks to make the murder of other people legal. GO ON.
 

 
I’m waiting.

Oh, and while you’re there, here’s something that DOES come from the Bible, four words that come (supposedly) from the mouth OF GOD HIMSELF and trump anything that’s written in Levictus: 

THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

Funny how Pope Benedict managed to ignore that little commandment while blessing Rebecca Kadaga. I guess we know where his priorities lie now, and it’s not with following scripture.

And isn’t it funny how two references to homosexuality in the Bible (if even that many, as is widely and strongly debated) somehow trumps untold references to love and forgiveness, to not casting stones, to not judging people lest ye be judged, to live and let live, to love they neighbor, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah?

If it’s not acceptable for Christians to “pick and choose” which bits of the Bible they adhere to, how come it is OK for the anti-gay bigots to ignore what is basically THE WHOLE DAMN POINT of that book in favor of a couple of contested quotes? I mean, seriously?!

Because, as I stated above, the Catholic Church is NOT about love. If it truly were, why isn’t there an uprising within the church of Catholics actively rejecting oppression in ALL its forms, just as Christ himself told us to do?

For my sins, I was raised a Catholic in Ireland, so I know how these things work. Following orders that are handed down to you IS more important than acting with genuine Christ-based values. The Catholic Church is NOT about rejecting hate, it is about corralling people’s hatred and aiming it at subjects that the church endorses. That simple fact is how a person can claim that passing an act legalizing murder and oppression is “a Christmas gift to Christians.”

Thankfully, I have left the Catholic Church behind, because, frankly, I don’t need them to have a personal relationship with any deity. That is strictly between me and my God. If ze wants to judge me, ze can, and I’m sure ze’ll do it to my face, and not through an intermediary in an ecclesiastic frock riding around in a clown car.

Besides, being stuck in an abusive relationship with someone who wants you dead is worse for your mental, and physical, health than sucking a thousand dicks or licking a thousand clits ever could be.
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Russian protester first to be convicted of ‘gay propaganda’


 
Nikolai Alekseev, a Russian gay rights activist arrested during a 2010 Moscow protest (picture above) has been convicted of spreading “gay propaganda” by a court in St Petersburg, making him the first to be convicted under the city’s new anti-homosexuality laws. From Pink News:

Mr Alekseev was said to have been fined 5,000 roubles, just over £100, by a court in Russia’s second city for the promotion of homosexuality among minors, AP reports.

The law was approved in February; this is the first time a citizen has been successfully prosecuted under it.

Mr Alekseev had held up a sign reading “Homosexuality is not a perversion” outside the Smolny Institute in April in public view.

A former journalist, Mr Alekseev turned his attention to full-time gay rights campaigning in 2005, setting up the gay rights advocacy group GayRussia.ru.

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 and had announced his intention to retire last year.

 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Petition to stop Russian authorities from passing ‘draconian’ anti-gay bill

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In what has been described as “a throwback to Soviet times”, Saint Petersburg passed a law banning the promotion of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender lifestyles, last week. It is now feared that other Russian cities will follow St Petersburg’s homophobic and bigoted lead, and pass similar laws against the LGBTI community. The Arkhangelsk and the Riazan region have already introduced such legislation.

The law was passed by a majority of 27 to 1, and bans members of the public who acknowledge gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender or inter-sex issues in the presence of a minor. The law is on the same level as pedophilia, and enforces fines of up to $1,500.

A petition has been launched by All Out, which aims to alert the international community to stop what is happening in Russia:

TO: WORLD LEADERS

The party led by Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin is pushing discriminatory legislation against lesbian, bi, gay and trans people that could eliminate their freedom to speak publicly and assemble.

Russia is a signatory to numerous international human rights treaties - including the European Convention on Human Rights. We call on you to urgently speak out and hold Russia accountable to its treaty obligations - and stand with LGBTI Russians whose ability to speak for themselves is under attack.

It was in 1993 that President Boris Yeltsin repealed the law against homosexuality, and in 2009 GayRussia launched its campaign for same sex marriages. However, homophobia is still rife in Russia, which can be seen by Moscow’s ban of Gay Pride rallies over the past 6 years, and Chechen authorities claim Chechnya is a gay free zone.

Amnesty International has asked St Petersburg not to enact the new law which Amnesty claims will lead to violence and discrimination against the LGBTI community.

Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Director Nicola Duckworth said:

“This bill is a thinly-veiled attempt to legalise discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in Russia’s second-biggest city.

“The notion that LGBTI rights activists are somehow converting Russia’s youth through ‘propaganda’ would be laughable if the potential effects of this new law weren’t so dangerous and wide-reaching.

“Legislation like that proposed in St Petersburg will only further marginalise LGBTI people, and must be stopped.

“Instead of seeking to restrict freedom of expression and assembly for LGBTI people, the Russian authorities should be doing more to safeguard their rights and protect them from discrimination and violence.”

All Out’s petition can be signed here.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment