“I’d defend gay rights ‘to the death’.” – Benedict Cumberbatch

"The Imitation Game" Premiere - Arrivals - 2014 Toronto International Film FestivalBenedict Cumberbatch has said he would fight religious extremists to the death in defence of the right to express one’s sexuality.

Cumberbatch, who stars in The Imitation Game as Alan Turing, the brilliant Second World War code-breaker who was persecuted by the British authorities for being gay, lamented the horrors faced by gay people in many countries and fiercely declared his determination to stand with them in an interview with Out Magazine.

“People are being beheaded in countries right now because of their beliefs or sexual orientations,” he said. “It’s terrifying. It’s medieval — a beheading! I’d take up arms against someone who was telling me I had to believe in what they believed or they would kill me. I would fight them. I would fight them to the death. And, I believe, the older you get, you have to have an idea of what’s right or wrong. You can’t have unilateral tolerance. You have to have a point where you go, ‘Well, religious fundamentalism is wrong.’” Continue reading

Gay rights groups laud new Catholic tone

pope-laugh_2629894cGay rights groups are cautiously cheering a shift in tone from the Catholic Church toward homosexuals, encouraged that Pope Francis’ famous “Who am I to judge?” position has filtered down to bishops debating family issues at a Vatican meeting this week.

There is no discussion that church doctrine on homosexuality will change or that the Vatican will soon endorse gay marriage or even gay unions. It will not, as the Vatican’s top canon lawyer made clear Thursday.

But for the first time, a Vatican meeting is discussing gay and lesbian issues and how to provide better spiritual care to Catholic homosexuals. Day after day, bishops have spoken of the need to change the church’s language about gays from words of moral condemnation and judgment to words of welcome and respect.

“I think what we’re seeing is a crack in the ice that we have been waiting for, for a very long time,” said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Catholic gay rights group. “It’s a sign of a first step.” Continue reading

“Frozen” Progress in Gay Rights

Frozen 10Written by Jaime Franchi8, and originally published in jedmorey.com

We might have been the last of the elementary school set to watch the film Frozen. My six-year-old daughter had heard about it from all of her friends, and had even been introduced to the music by her classroom teacher so that when the character voiced by Idina Menzel belted out “Let it Go,” Anna was right there with her last week, singing along to every lyric.

My kids have always been sensitive. My son has a particular reaction to the key of E in music – it’s an immediate guttural response, and renders him to tears without him knowing why. It goes straight to the heart, and is the reason most lullabies are composed in that key. My daughter reacts emotionally to movies, as I do. When she’s older, I’m sure there are PMS-riddled marathons in our future: Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment, etc. We’ll wash down salty popcorn with chocolate and tears and revel in our womanhood. Continue reading

LOVE AND SEX IN THE CITY (Episode 12)

FOREWORD: The latter part of this episode of Love And Sex In The City was informed by an actual occurrence involving two friends of mine, whose rights as a citizen of Nigeria were threatened. Oftentimes, our rights are trampled on and abused by the very same public servants whose job it is to preserve them. And in that rare case when an individual who knows his rights stands up for it – and wins – it begs for stupendous admiration and an ovation. I have applauded that friend. This episode is to let him know of my admiration for his effort as well. Check on it.

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Blog_Love And Sex In The City“Can you just imagine!” Ekene burst out furiously. “Eh? When will we TBs learn to love ourselves in this country, learn not to backstab and cut down and take advantage of our fellow guys in this Nigeria, eh?”

“Honestly, it’s disturbing,” Adebola said. “The lengths some of us go to malign the rest of us is shocking.”

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned is old school,” quipped Biola. “Both hell and a woman scorned have nothing on a vindictive gay guy.”

My friends were still reacting to my news of what transpired at my workplace yesterday. It was Saturday, and Biola, Adebola, Eddie and I were back at Biola’s new place. Ekene and Jonathan were here too; Paschal couldn’t make it because he went on a booty call in Ikoyi (somewhere in Lagos State, a middle-aged, well-to-do queen was getting properly fucked). And Yinka was still away on a job.

“We should teach this Jim guy a lesson,” Eddie said. “Dee, do you have his photo. Give it to me, with his number and Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ll just update his entire shameless profile on my blog, and shame him for all my readers.”

“Eddie!” the rest of us gasped laughingly. Continue reading

Ugandan Court Quashes The Country’s Anti-Gay Law

ugUganda’s constitutional court on Friday overturned tough new anti-gay laws that had been branded draconian and “abominable” by rights groups, saying they had been wrongly passed by parliament.

The law is “null and void,” presiding judge Steven Kavuma told the court, saying the process had contravened the constitution, as it has been passed in parliament in December without the necessary quorum of lawmakers.

Cheering gay rights activists celebrated the ruling, but supporters of the law said they would appeal at the Supreme Court.

“Justice prevailed, we won,” said lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, who led the challenge in the constitutional court. Continue reading

JAIL THE DEVILS, THEY SAID

Here’s something CeeCee wrote during the period that the Nigerian anti-gay bill was signed into law, and the furor this kicked up. Have a read, and let us know your thoughts.

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JAIL THE DEVILSothers 15

It’s been some time now, and one subject has been on the lips of a large swathe of the Nigerian population. Everyone has an opinion on this subject, everyone is eager to thrust forth his opinion strongly, especially if they happen to hold identical views with the majority of the populace. President Goodluck Jonathan signed the same – sex marriage prohibition bill into law, the bill had previously made its way through Nigeria’s upper and lower legislative houses, all the while egged on by the Nigerian populace at the behest of various religious bodies. I shall not bother to go into the minute details of this law as it is safe to assume that you the reader must by now have critically examined this obnoxious piece of legislation. Continue reading

Say Hello To The Bravest Man In Nigeria

Hello, guys, so the response to the advent of this blog has been very mixed. Some folks expressing enthusiasm, and others being wary. Some even have been downright doubtful as to the necessity of this venture. And these reactions have been taken into consideration, the pleasant ones appreciated and the negative ones understandable. After all, na Naija we dey. 14 years is very real (lol). But hopefully, we have providence on our side, and in the same way we pray for life and shelter and provisions and a good man and good sex (:) ), let us pray for the success of this venture.

So, in other news, unless you were kidnapped by Boko Haram’s ancestors and stuck under a rock in faraway Sokoto for many, many years, then, you just must have heard about gay rights activist, Bisi Alimi, the first man to publicly declare his sexuality on Nigerian National Television back in 2004. When I think of that feat, especially in a country such as ours where the hostility toward homosexuals has always been there pre-anti-gay law, I get goose bumps.

13591354923_11303e73a7_b-1Recently, Alimi was in Washington, D.C., where, as an Aspen New Voices Fellow, he had been asked to talk to the World Bank about how they should be handling Nigeria. He also spoke to the Washington Post about his own remarkable circumstances, the realities of LGBT rights in Nigeria, and what, if anything, the international community should do to help.

Read excerpts of the interview below: Continue reading