Archive for the ‘intolerance’ Tag

Gay shooting inflames debate in Israel

Gay shooting inflames debate in Israel

The shooting at the gay youth club Bar-Noar in Tel Aviv, which resulted in the tragic death of 26-year-old Nir Katz and 16-year-old Liz Tarboushi, and the injury of 13 others, is sending political shockwaves across Israel. “This is our Stonewall,” said activists in Israel’s gay community this weekend, referring to the defining moment for the gay community in the US, back in 1969.

While everybody involved in gay events always anticipates violence in the religious and conservative Jerusalem – and particularly in the Jerusalem gay pride parade which has become a centre of controversy in recent years – the gay community sees Tel Aviv as its safe haven. No matter how segregated, old fashioned, grumpy and troubled the rest of Israel gets, Tel Aviv keeps shining as a liberated autonomous jewel, the iconic big city into which anybody can integrate, or at least be tolerated. Its proud gay community, which has turned Tel Aviv into a tourist attraction for many Europeans, is also part of what makes some Israelis hate the “bubble”, as the city is often referred to.

Nobody knows yet the identity of the masked character, dressed in black, who ventured into the bubble and shot the young people at the gay youth club on Saturday night. But as one of the commentators on the subject noted, a hate crime is defined by its victims, not its perpetrators. This much was understood by everybody. Even the community’s most bitter enemies, the orthodox Shas party, ultra-orthodox MK Yaakov Litzman of Yahadut Hatora (United Torah Judaism) party and others were quick to condemn the murder in no uncertain terms. “The Tel Aviv branch of Shas is shocked and pained and it condemns the murderous crime against the gay community,” said Shahar Bakshi, a spokesperson for Shas. Litzman said he strongly condemned the killing and that the murderer should be caught and prosecuted “like any other murderer”. The prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu; the president, Shimon Peres; the leader of the Labour party, Ehud Barak; and the leader of the opposition, Tzipi Livni, all voiced their condemnations and condolences, and spoke of the importance of equality, freedom and tolerance.

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After Gay OK, Robertson Supports Episcopal Church’s Demise

After Gay OK, Robertson Supports Episcopal Church’s Demise

After the Episcopal Church OK’d the ordination of gay bishops, televangelist Pat Robertson said he supports the demise of the church.

Robertson’s latest anti-gay comments came Tuesday, the day after the Episcopal Church voted in favor of lifting their three-year moratorium on the consecration of gay bishops. The self-imposed pause was initiated after the church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, Rev. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, in 2003.

Robertson made his remarks while discussing the leadership of the Episcopal Church of America on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s 700 Club.

“They have lost their way. They were taken over by this controversy having to do with same-sex marriage and the ordination of homosexual bishops. Once they got into that morass and lost their way from scriptural teaching, they didn’t have much denomination left,” Robertson said.

“There is a very vibrant denomination coming along, it is called the American Anglican Church, and thousands of people are moving toward it. It’s amazing that their presiding bishop is from Rwanda. But nevertheless, they are filled with the flame of the Holy Spirit and we congratulate them.”

“And there will be no tears in my life if the Episcopal Church of America just quietly goes out of business,” Robertson added.

‘The Mormons Are Coming!’

‘The Mormons Are Coming!’

LOS ANGELES — As more states take up the debate on same-sex marriage, some advocates of legalization are taking a very specific lesson from California, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dominated both fundraising and door-knocking to pass a ballot initiative that barred such unions.

With the battle moving east, some advocates are shouting that fact in the streets, calculating that on an issue that eventually comes down to comfort levels, more people harbor apprehensions about Mormons than about homosexuality.

“The Mormons are coming! The Mormons are coming!” warned ads placed on newspaper Web sites in three Eastern states last month. The ad was rejected by sites in three other states, including Maine, where the Kennebec Journal informed Californians Against Hate that the copy “borders on insulting and denigrating a whole set of people based on their religion.”

“I’m not intending it to harm the religion. I think they do wonderful things. Nicest people,” said Fred Karger, a former Republican campaign consultant who established Californians Against Hate. “My single goal is to get them out of the same-sex marriage business and back to helping hurricane victims.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx Dishonored Matthew Shepard’s Death On The House Floor

Planned anti-gay demo falls flat

Planned anti-gay demo falls flat

A threatened mass protest by an anti-gay US church failed to materialise when only one demonstrator turned up.

Fred Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper from the Westboro Baptist Church were banned from entering the UK to protest against a play in Hampshire.

They had urged a picket of Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke over the staging of The Laramie Project, a play about a man killed for being gay.

But only one protester arrived and was heckled away by counter-demonstrators.

Home Secretary bans homophobic church from entering the UK.

Home Secretary bans homophobic church from entering the UK.

As the Westboro Baptists are denied entry to the country, we take a closer look at them and some other notorious homophobes.

On Monday, we reported on how the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church (US) were planning to demonstrate at a performance of the gay play The Laramie Project in Basingstoke (UK) on Friday. For the full story, click here.

Today, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has banned members of the Westboro Baptist Church from entering the UK. Westboro Leader Rev Fred Phelps, Shirley Phelps-Roper and other members of the Westboro Baptists have been told that they will not be allowed access to the country.

A spokesperson for the UK Border Agency told The Sun: “Both of these individuals have engaged in unacceptable behaviour by inciting hatred against a number of communities. The exclusions policy is targeted at all those who seek to stir up tension and provoke others to violence.”

The Conservative MP for Basingstoke – Maria Miller – passed on her constituents requests to the Home Secretary; that members of the Westboro Baptist Church be denied access to the UK.

In a statement Miller said: “The Laramie Project is a serious play with a serious message. It is completely unacceptable for the Westboro Baptist Church or any other organisation to incite homophobic hatred in this way.”

Labour’s gay group asks for ban on God Hates Fags church members

Labour’s gay group asks for ban on God Hates Fags church members

LGBT Labour has written to the Home Office asking that members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church be refused entry into the UK.

The church, a tiny sect with around 60 members, often picket funerals in the US.

They claim God is punishing the world because homosexuality is tolerated.

The group said on their website GodHatesFags.com that they would be protesting at a performance of a gay-themed play in Basingstoke on Friday.

In a letter to Immigration Minister Phil Woolas, LGBT Labour co-chair Simon Wright referred to the Home Office decision to ban a Dutch MP who is critical of Islam from entering the UK because he would harm community relations.

God Hates Fags church threatens to picket Basingstoke

God Hates Fags church threatens to picket Basingstoke

A small religious community from Kansas notorious for picketing funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq have said they are to protest in England.

Westboro Baptist Church is led by Rev Fred Phelps.

Among the events on the ‘picket schedule’ on their website godhatesfags.com is a performance of The Laramie Project in Basingstoke next week.

“In Merry Old England they plan to further enrage the Living God by putting on the farce known commonly as The Laramie Project.

“We will picket them, and see if they actually believe those lies they tell about how tolerant and accepting Brits are.

“RIIIIGHT! Just because you rage against God and make laws that say you cannot use “hate speech” (a/k/a – you may not speak of the Bible standards) in the UK does NOT mean you will not get the message that God Almighty intends for you to get.

“God Hates England; Your Queen Is A Whore; You Hate God; God Hates You; You’re Going to Hell; Matt Is In Hell; Hell Is Real Ask Matt; God Hates Fags (Buggers); Obey God, etc.

Army rabbi ‘gave out hate leaflet to troops’

Army rabbi ‘gave out hate leaflet to troops’

The Israeli army’s chief rabbinate gave soldiers preparing to enter the Gaza Strip a booklet implying that all Palestinians are their mortal enemies and advising them that cruelty is sometimes a “good attribute”.

The booklet, entitled Go Fight My Fight: A Daily Study Table for the Soldier and Commander in a Time of War, was published especially for Operation Cast Lead, the devastating three-week campaign launched with the stated aim of ending rocket fire against southern Israel. The publication draws on the teachings of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Jewish fundamentalist Ateret Cohanim seminary in Jerusalem.

In one section, Rabbi Aviner compares Palestinians to the Philistines, a people depicted in the Bible as a war-like menace and existential threat to Israel.

The rabbi in question has been reprimanded.

Christian registrar’s same-sex discrimination case dismissed

Christian registrar’s same-sex discrimination case dismissed

A London borough has won its appeal against a ruling that it unlawfully discriminated against a Christian registrar who refused to perform same-sex civil partnerships.

The ruling was issued in favour of Islington Council just before Christmas, and has delighted both secular and Christian equalities campaigners.

Ms Lillian Ladele had said that she could not carry out same-sex ceremonies “as a matter of religious conscience”.

In July 2008, an employment tribunal found that Islington Council in north London had discriminated against her. But on 19 December 2008 an appeal tribunal (EAT) upheld the council’s appeal aginst this judgment at a central London hearing.

It ruled that the earlier tribunal had “erred in law” and there was no basis for concluding that any “discrimination had been established”.

The appeals tribunal declared: “The council were not taking disciplinary action against Ms Ladele for holding her religious beliefs; they did so because she was refusing to carry out civil partnership ceremonies and this involved discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. The council were entitled to take the view that they were not willing to connive in that practice by relieving Ms Ladele of the duties, notwithstanding that her refusal was the result of her strong and genuinely-held Christian beliefs.”