Friday
July 14, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 28
 
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Eighteen cities worldwide join July 19th Iran protests
Eighteen cities worldwide join July 19th Iran protests
Seattle rally to be held at Seattle Central Community College at 7 PM

[by Doug Ireland Special to the SGN

[Editors Note: For more information about the Seattle protest, see ad in this week's edition of the SGN.]

At least 18 cities around the globe will hold demonstrations, vigils, and other events to mark July19, the International Day of Action Against Homophobic Persecution in Iran. The latest cities to join the list are Mexico City, Warsaw, Poland, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The date of July 19 was chosen to commemorate the first anniversary of the execution of two teenage Gay Iranian boys, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, in the city of Mashad.

The slogan for the global demonstrations is, "Stop Killing Gays! Stop Killing Kids!" The July 19 Day of Action has now been endorsed by the International Lesbian and Gay Association-which has called on all its 400 member groups in 90 countries to organize events on that day-and by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). Also joining in the call to action are the International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network, as well as COC in the Netherlands (the world's oldest LGBT organization), the Nordic Homo Council (covering the Scandinavian countries), HOSI (Homosexuelle Initiative) in Austria, the Web sites GayRussia.ru and Gay Egypt, and the Gay cultural workers' association Tupilak in Sweden.

The original call for the global demonstrations was jointly issued by the London Gay rights group OutRage and the Paris-based International Day Against Homophobia.

In Mexico City, a July 19 rally is being organized by the Gay magazine Enkidu. Asked why Mexican Gays considered it important to do so, the magazine's editor, Lars Ivar Borge, told Gay City News, "In Enkidu magazine we gave extensive coverage to the execution of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni last year, and many of our readers expressed deep distress at that gruesome and violent act."

Borge added, "That news from Iran reached us at a time when the Mexican society was still digesting the homophobic murder of Octavio Acuna, a Mexican activist who had been a contributor on several occasions to Enkidu magazine. Iran may be far away geographically, but homophobia is everywhere& We cannot remain silent."

In Warsaw, Gay activists are organizing a candlelight vigil that will also protest the Iran-Poland friendship pact, with the slogan "Pamietamy!" meaning, "We remember!" In Moscow, Nicolas Alexeyev of GayRussia.ru, the principal organizer of the banned Moscow Gay Pride demonstration in May who was arrested for doing so, is planning a demonstration at the Iranian embassy. Other cities where July 19 events will be held include Vienna, Brussels, Marseille, London, Stockholm, Toronto, and Vancouver.

In Fort Lauderdale, a demonstration is being organized at the initiative of the local Gay newspaper, Independent Gay News. Its editor, Michael James, told Gay City News, "we'll be working with local Gay organizations to bring attention to this outrage and hopefully send a wake-up call to the LGBT community locally."

Other U.S. cities participating in the July 19 action so far include Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Provincetown, and Sioux Falls.

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