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!! OMG, fight for your rights: Madonna shares the stage with Pussy Riot for Amnesty International Human Rights Concert !!

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, and Maria Alyokhina, center, of Pussy Riot appeared Wednesday at Amesty International‘s concert for human rights at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The pair were introduced by key supporter, Madonna, who said she wanted to thank the two women “for making pussy a ‘sayable’ word in my household. Now, my 8-year-olds say it all the time.” Classy! Madonna also talked about the death threats she received during her Russian tour, while Pussy Riot were on trial.

“Eighty-seven of my fans were arrested for gay behavior — whatever that is,” she said.

Nadezhda and Maria chose to speak in Russian with aggression and passion. A translator related the women’s speech.

“Freedom is not a given,” she translated. “It is something we have to fight for every day. It is our duty to speak for those who are still behind bars.”

Others involved in the night included Blondie‘s Deborah Harry who performed, Yoko Ono, who spoke, and Susan Sarandon, who was the evening’s co-host.
[via nydn]

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!! OMG, time to break out the kilts and the bagpipes! Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marriage !!

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Big-ups and a big congrats to Scotland who became the 17th country to approve same-sex marriage yesterday! Very exciting news.

“Today will be remembered in history as the day that lesbian, gay and bisexual people were finally granted full legal equality in Scotland, and given an equal right to marry the person they love,” said Tom French, Policy Coordinator for the Equality Network, a Scottish LGBT advocacy group.
“This is a profoundly emotional moment for many people who grew up in a country where being gay was still a criminal offense until 1980. Scotland can be proud that we now have one of the most progressive equal marriage bills in the world, and that we’ve sent out a strong message about the kind of country we are,” said French.

Now that I think about it, the kilt was kind of made for the gay wedding!

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!! OMG, welcome to the naapuruus: Finnish Olympic swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen comes out (and raises awareness while he’s at it) !!

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Finnish Olympic swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen has come out of the closet. Luikkonen says the timing was very important to him because he wants to raise awareness about Russia’s anti-gay laws ahead of the Sochi Games. Via YLE:

“I wanted to start a broader discussion in connection with Sochi, because it’s sad that the legislation in Russia restricts the human rights of young people and others,” Liukkonen told Yle.
Liukkonen added that the Finnish sporting world was also in need of a more open attitude to sexuality.
“In the future I would hope that elite athletes and other people will not find homosexuality to be any kind of news,” said Liukkonen…
“As the matter wasn’t discussed, I tried to forget about it, but during high school I began to accept that I am made this way,” said Liukkonen. “Acceptance hasn’t necessarily been easy, but it hasn’t been horribly difficult either. This has been a long, slow process for me, but now I’m there.”

Aside from the fact that the immature 5-year old in me cannot WAIT to hear a British newscasters pronounce “Ari-Pekka”, this is obviously a great really thing for Liukkonen to do while at the games — particularly while still active in his sport! Congratulations to Ari-Pekka! And thanks for repping right in Putin‘s face. Face palm, Putin!

“It’s a really great feeling that I can finally be myself.”

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!! OMG, Russia shuts down all theatre for being too gay !!


A group of acclaimed Broadway folk put together a new musical called Love & Punishment that is performed for YouTube in the shadow of Russia’s not-out-of-the-question-that-it’s-forthcoming theatre ban. The video is really well done and features some faces you might recognize, like Jonathan Groff, Andrew Rannells, columnist Michael Musto, comedy legend Harvey Fierstein, and more.
My favorite number is “Russian Lesbians in Space.” (Thanks to Karen for the tip!)

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!! OMG, let’s all just be friends: The Mystery Of Sochi’s DOUBLE MEN’S TOILET !!

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In a country currently ruled by hate and homophobia, a sign of camaraderie has blossomed in one of the most unexpected places! The Double-Men’s-Toilet!
BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg was taking a wazz yesterday while covering the Russian Sochi Olympics when he snapped these twin toilets in a single cubicle. Steve posted the picture via Twitter and said:

“Just to make clear, this is not photo-shopped. You can see my reflection in the mirror.”

Twitter is loving this, and many are tying it in heavily to Russia’s gay-rights issues — which were already in the shitter! It just goes to show that it’s sometimes good to start the conversation, no matter where you might find it!

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