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Organisers of Bosnia’s fi rst FORTY-FIVE YEARS
ever queer festival, in capital AFTER ITS FIRST
Sarajevo, claim they were MANIFESTATION
forced to prematurely shut – AS THE NORTH-WEST
the event after participants HOMOSEXUAL LAW
were assaulted by an angry REFORM COMMITTEE
mob of around 70 men, – THE CAMPAIGN
5@=C>E/A8CAB=<3=4B63 throwing stones and lobbing FOR HOMOSEXUAL EQUALITY (CHE) IS STILL A
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around 25 Serbians were LIFE-PRESIDENT.
attacked by neo-fascists
after attending the 5th The CHE is still very much relevant today, actively
Queerbeograd festival, in tackling a range of issues – despite us having thought,
Serb capital Belgrade. Both more than once, that it had reached the end of the road
countries are supposedly in that it had helped achieve every reform that seemed
keen to enter the EU. possible at the time.
We worked for three years from 1964 to help convince
IRAQ: GAY “SAVIOUR” provincial MPs that gay law reform was not just the concern
ASSASSINATED of the metropolitan, chattering classes and that the sky
A leading gay Iraqi activist would not fall
and organiser of “safe houses” in if they voted
for gay men, a 27-year old for it, which
simply known as Bashar, they eventually
has been assassinated in the famously did
Iraqi capital, Baghdad. It’s – albeit only in a
believed that he was gunned diluted form.
down by militia whilst in a The progress
barbershop. Said veteran subsequently
UK activist, Peter Tatchell: made since
“Bashar was a kind, generous 1967 was quite
The UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group ( was amongst those honoured and extremely brave young unthinkable BY JUDGES SITTING
at the second Black LGBT Community Awards in London in late September - organised by the man – a true hero who put at the time, as
Black Gay Men’s Advisory Group ( Other winners – judged to have made his life on the line to save the the faint-hearts
a diff erence to the lives of black LGBTs – included health promotion group Big Up; and lesbian lives of others.” then warned:
rapper, Mz Fontaine. More details can be found at “An equal age of
consent? Forget
it. Reform in
Scotland? Not likely. Northern Ireland? With Paisley running
his Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign! Civil Partnerships?
PENN PUCKERS UP Indeed, gays could hardly believe that anything much had
Actor Sean Penn allegedly texted his ex-wife Madonna after his fi rst on-screen gay kiss. changed in 1967. There was no rash of gay clubs opening,
Penn, 48, is taking the lead role in Gus Van Sant’s new movie Milk (pictured right), a biopic no dancing in the streets, no Pride marches. It was fi ve years
about Harvey Milk, California’s fi rst openly gay elected offi cial. He shared an on-screen kiss before the Gay Liberation Front appeared, and 12 before we
with co-star James Franco, and Franco later said in an interview: “After our kiss, Sean texted saw the Labour Campaign for Gay Rights.
Madonna and said, ‘I just popped my cherry kissing a guy. I thought of you. I don’t know why.’”
Harvey Milk was elected a city supervisor of San Francisco in 1977, but only served 11 months However, it was nice to have allies at last, and,
before being assassinated. There is already Academy Award speculation for Sean Penn’s eventually, all the things we hardly dreamed of, and
performance in the fi lm, which is due to be released in the UK in January. more, were achieved. We have equality before the law now,
don’t we? Well, not quite!
LUCAS IN WONDERLAND The law is equal in its enactment, but far from equal in
Little Britain star Matt Lucas has told BBC News that he and comedy partner David Walliams its enforcement. For example, public prejudice leads to
are currently working on the script of their fi rst feature fi lm, which will fi nd the duo playing constant pressure on the police to deal with outdoor
multiple characters. “The two of us will play fi ve or six characters that will go around together, so manifestations of gay sex, whereas more blatant straight
it’ll be technically very challenging… We looked at people like Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy sexual activity is accepted with equanimity. Moreover, this
and how they appear as lots of diff erent characters.” The movie is being developed with US public prejudice is well represented on juries to the extent
studio Dreamworks, and will be produced by Ben Stiller’s production company, Red Hour. Before that I sometimes feel we’d be better off if gay cases were
that, Lucas will portray the roles of Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Tim Burton’s forthcoming heard by judges sitting alone, like the old Diplock system in
adaptation of Alice In Wonderland – due for release in 2010. Northern Ireland!
These are just a couple of the very real issues impacting on
CURRY WEDDING gay lives that will be occupying some of us, as CHE soldiers
Former Blue Peter presenter Mark Curry, 47, has entered into a civil partnership with his long-term partner, Jeremy Sandle. The on - despite a lack of resources or even a suitable offi ce
two, who have been together ten years, tied the knot at Marble Hill Mansion in Twickenham, in front of guests, which included space in London.
Sandle’s daughter and ex-wife. Curry presented Blue Peter from 1986 to 1989, but only talked publicly about his sexuality for the
fi rst time in the run up to the civil partnership. “Jeremy and I are both mature people who care deeply for each other and decided For more on the Campaign for Homosexual Equality’s work,
to formalise our union simply for legal purposes,” Curry told The Daily Mail. “Our families are 100 per cent supportive. and to see how you might help:
“I’ve known that I was gay since my late teens, but I was advised early in the 80s, by a seasoned ex-presenter, that it was best to
keep quiet… thankfully, times have changed and today no one is penalised for being who they are.”
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