October 31, 2005


Some 200 people, including representatives from gay organizations from many European countries (who were in town for the annual conference of the International Gay and Lesbian Association), demonstrated in front of the Polish Embassy in Paris on Saturday, October 29, against the new Polish president Lech Kacyzynski and his Polish_embassy_demo homophobic attitudes and statements.

Among the speakers was Tomasz Szypula (left, with bullhorn) representing the largest Polish gay organization, the four-year-old, all-volunteer KPH (Kampania Przeciw Homofobii, or Campaign Against Homophobia), who said that "Poland is sensitive about its image abroad, and the Polish media do report on appeals to vigilance against homophobia in Poland from from elsewhere in Europe -- even if it is often only to criticize those protests," the daily e-bulletin of the French gay magazine Tetu reported. . ILGA's secretary-general, Kursad Kahramanoglu, promised that "we will bring Poland to account before all the institutions of the European Union, to remind Poland of its responsibilities to assure the rights of its gay citizens."

Pes_logo The virulently homophobic declarations of the new Polish government's leaders are but one good reason to salute the creation of an LGBT caucus within the Party of European Socialists (logo left), which Homosexualites_et_socialisme_logo_3 regroups elected democratic socialist Eurodeputies in the European Parliament at Strasbourg and PES members in the other institutions of the European Union. There are 201 socialist deputies affiliated with the PES in the Europarliament, making it the second largest political force in that body -- and seven members of the powerful European Commission in Brussels are also PES membrs. An open letter to the Eurosocialists of the PES, demanding the creation of a European-wide gay rights platform for the PES, was released this past weekend, and co-signed by representatives of gay caucuses from 9 different European democratic socialist parties in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Sweden. The appeal followed a meeting this past weekend of Eurosocialist gay groups held at the French Socialist Party's headquarters in Paris, and hosted by the French group Homosexualites et socialisme (logo upper right). The meeting was addressed by former French Culture Minister Jack Lang and former Economics and Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn, both candidates for the French Socialists' 2007 presidential nomination. The creation of this new, cross-national alliance of gay socialists will help unify lobbying and pressure for enforcement and expansion of gay rights throughout Europe -- a crucial task, since many of the newer member countries now being admitted into the European Union (like Poland) don't have a gay rights tradition, or gay movements as well-organized as those in Western Europe's democracies.

A Must Read: 'BABES IN BUSHWORLD' The new issue of In These Times (of which I'm a contributing editor) has a terrific piece by Laskshmi_chaudry Lakshmi Chaudry (right), "Babes in Bushworld," This is first-rate analysis and reporting, and witty writing. Says Lakshmi: "Raunch is Republican. The sexuality that reigns supreme in Bush World bears the basic imprimaturs of right-wing ideology: gross materialism, sexual hypocrisy and acquiescence in the name of empowerment. It is in every sense a conservative wet dream come true....." Don't miss this original and powerful article, which you can read in its entirety by clicking here.

For West Coast readers: A PASOLINI SYMPOSIUM Pasolini_trenchcoat_best_4 To help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of Pasolini (left), there will be an all-day symposium on "Pier Paolo Pasolini and the City" on Saturday, November 5, in Los Angeles at UCLA. It begins at 11 AM, with the last panel starting at 5:15 PM, and will be held at UCLA, School of Theater Film and Television, Melnitz Hall, room 1422. For Directions to Hypermedia Studio and Melnitz Hall, CLICK HERE. A half-dozen Pasolinians will be featured speakers, including the excellent John David Rhodes from the University of York, author of "Stupendous, Miserable City: Pasolini, Rome, Cinema." For more information, contact Chiara Ferrari at 310.349.7645, or Alessandro Marianantoni at 323.337.7410....And, if you missed DIRELAND's publication -- for the first time ever in English translation -- of Pasolini's last great poem, "Victory," you can read it by clicking here.....And for my long L.A. Weekly article on Pasolini's life and murder, "Restoring Pasolini," click here.

For NYC area readers: IRAQ: THE CASE FOR IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL  Gilbert Achar, the French expert on Middle Eastern affairs (who was raised in Lebanon) and who is a frequent contributor to Le Monde Diplomatique, will make the case for immediate withdrawal from Iraq at a forum on Thursday, November 3, at 7 PM, to be held at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, 208 West 13th Street  (Between 7th and 8th Avenues) To get there, take A, C and E trains  to 14th Street/8th Avenue, or the 1, 2, or 3  trains to 14th Street/7th Avenue. The meeting is sponsored by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy, with which I've long been associated -- indeed, it is one of the few organizations to which I regularly lend my name.

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my names marcos i have problem homophobic prejudice about gay mr chairman globo tv dont like gays then he put police to gays he dont likes he a person prejudice peoples gays

Posted by: marcos | Nov 22, 2005 9:38:08 AM

Hi Doug,

It's been decades. Your piece on France is the best I've seen anywhere.


Posted by: Frank Browning | Nov 9, 2005 10:33:46 AM

Hi there,

this isn't an attempt to spam your blog, simply an invitation to visit Persistence of Vision: an online community for political discussion.

Open access, no passwords, no registration. People of all political persuasions welcome: robust and courteous debate encouraged. Also feel free to post links to your blog entries.



Posted by: Mickey Rose | Nov 1, 2005 6:15:33 PM

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