November 19, 2006


I really enjoyed this article on London's gay-friendly mayor Ken Livingstone in Vancouver's gay rag XTRA WEST. The mayor's straight, but has always championed gay rights and recently gave the homos Trafalgar Square for their pride rally. It kind of makes you feel guilty when a straight guy is doing more to champion equality than we're doing ourselves. Of course he's in a position of more power as a mayor to effect changes or donating city squares than you or I, but you get my drift. And it's a fascinating profile wiht broader issues than just London.

Here's an excerpt:

A worldly man, he's also brimming with confidence about the prospect of gay rights progress around the globe.

"I mean, on this march today, we've got people from Venezuela, and you can't have a more macho culture than Latin America," he says. "Yet Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, has written in his constitution rules against homophobia, has declared Caracas a homophobia-free zone.

"And if you can make those changes in Latin America, there's nowhere in the world where eventually we can't change."

Livingstone expects to help make those changes, and does not limit his efforts to his London jurisdiction. Earlier this year, he spoke out against both the mayor of Moscow and the president of Poland. Both leaders attempted to ban Pride marches and later condoned the violence that met gay activists who defied the bans.

After Moscow's Pride ended in bloodshed, Livingstone announced, "To see open fascists and Nazis parading in Moscow, and assaulting lesbian and gay people, is to trample on the memory of all those who fought against Nazism and particularly the 27-million Soviet citizens who died in the fight against fascism."

Livingstone shares with me his recipe for social harmony, whether in diverse London or in places where gay rights are unknown. "You have to actually say to religious fundamentalists, whether they're Christian, Jewish or Muslim, what they're doing and saying is unacceptable," he says unequivocally.

Here, here! The full article is here: XTRA.CA

There's also a sister article following this one about how Mayor Livingstone outraged gays by inviting a fundamentalist muslim cleric, whose official muslim view is to execute gays, to be an honored keynote speaker in London.

Defending his choice, Livingstone has this to say:

"You aren't going to change the Muslim world from outside screaming at it. It will be changed by Muslims from inside. Women who demand power, lesbians and gays who fight for change. And therefore, you need to ally yourself with the most progressive elements of the Islamic world."

(OK, I didn't know there were that many progressive muslim elements, but I suppose that's why it's important to ally ourselves with the ones that exist. On that note, I intend to suck a muslim cab driver this evening.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

gays and lesbians who fight for change....seems like there are a select few working on that -- in the midst of projects that remind me of your beautiful card that you posted -- such as it's quite easy to exist within the myopic shell that has become new york with so many other aspects being forced out....blah, blah, blah....perhaps, that's why i took a vacation from reading many blogs as they'd become similar to citysearch entries and associated press listings with not much more....much like being on a cruise ship albeit there were ports in major cities and that didn't seem very awe-inspiring in relation to collective and inclusive efforts -- blah, blah, blah.

london....isn't very surprising....yet, not many other things come as a surprise in the midst of the giant LIE that foments in the realm of an interfaith brand of discrimination and the other hypocrisy that crosses the false borders within this giant LIE.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

***but has always championed gay rights and recently gave the homos Trafalgar Square for their pride rally.***

i don't find santa monica blvd, 5th avenue, nor civic center plaza to be small venues...unless of course, you're speaking of crusing in the heartland which remains to be plenty of land -- while lacking in the former in relation to location and expression....yet, even in los angeles or san francisco one would be hard-pressed while working on "initiatives" to even be able to enter and make art like your recent toilet posting let alone ask questions pertaining to different resources or programs without getting the shoo-fly shoo....kind of like billie holliday's "strange fruit" indeed!! -- no blogger account

2:24 PM  
Blogger archive said...

Why don't we faggots/such stand up and rally for ourselves? Could it have any to do with the god hates fags/ban gay marriage mob mentality with stones at the ready?

5:44 PM  
Blogger archive said...

Such stigma attached to even the discussion of these topics that the previous commenter did not even feel comfortable to identify herself posting comments on a gay drag queen's weblog

Nice fashion sense, though, when they got their teeth fixed up those Brits won, honey, they're all trim and attractive unlike we buffaloian lot

I'll bet their culture isn't drenched in corn syrup yet

5:48 PM  
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