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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

G&LH, June 2009

The latest issue of G&LH is now available FREE by clicking here.

Gay Liberation

Although the fight for gay rights can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century, 27 June 1969 marks the birth of the modern gay liberation movement that has continued to the present day.

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.

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 antiwar movement, a far cry from the UK’s Stonewall organisation, that undemocratic, unaccountable corporate lickspittle of the New Labour establishment.

That said, perhaps GLF was a little too radical as it rapidly decayed into disarray, as JOHN LAURITSEN describes in our keynote feature “Gay Liberation”, which recalls the Stonewall riots and what followed.

WARREN ALLEN SMITH also writes in “Gossip” of his memories of the Stonewall riots and the setting up of the Stonewall Riot Veterans. 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 the Stonewall riots theme in our “Out of Print” article, which first appeared in the print edition of G&LH in 2004.

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 “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 groundbreaking 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 cultural 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”.

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 over religion in “Kirk Session”, where he takes a look at Scotland’s principal God botherers at their annual jamboree on The Mound.

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.

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”.

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 family 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, of course, ANDY ARMITAGE takes his regular look at what’s been happening right here 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, go to our archive.

Finally, as always, we hope you’ll feel the urge to write for us if you have something to say. Please see our Contact page for details of how to get in touch. We would be particularly interested to hear from you if you have an article or letter you would like published.

Whatever you have to say, we’d love to hear from you.

The latest issue of G&LH is now available FREE by clicking here.

Happy reading!

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