Showing posts with label Rainbow Flag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rainbow Flag. Show all posts

December 27, 2018

A Rainbow Holiday Story in Which The Flag Was Stolen and Then The Miracle Happened

A display of LGBT solidarity in an Illinois community is warming hearts around the country. After a gay pride flag disappeared from a home in Barrington, neighbors sprung into action: They put rainbow flags outside of all of their houses, too.

Casey Handel and Zadette Rosado moved to Barrington in May and so are a new couple in the neighborhood. Earlier this month, they were alarmed to discover that someone had covertly gone onto their property and taken down the pride flag they'd been flying behind their home. The thief replaced it with an American flag.

"We were pretty devastated as far as, who would do this?" Handel told WGN-TV. "Why would they do it?" One neighbor heard of the incident and was also disturbed. Kim Filian — who didn't know the couple well — ordered a pride flag herself and stuck it outside her house to show her support.
"I was astounded that this happened in our neighborhood, right around the corner," Filian told ABC 7. "That was just so disturbing to me." Barrington is a wealthy town in the Chicago metropolitan area. The Chicago Sun-Times recently called the Barrington area "heavily Republican," though its most central precincts went for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election (surrounding precincts went for Donald Trump).

ABC 7 Chicago on YouTube

When other community members learned of what Filian had done, they wanted to join in — so she ended up ordering a whole batch of flags and distributing them to neighbors. "The outpouring of support and everything was just immediate," Handel told ABC 7. "Everybody was saying, 'I'm so sorry this happened, this is not reflective of our community.'"

Now pride flags are flying outside homes all around the neighborhood. WGN-TV reports that people also sent Handel and Rosado gifts and paid them visits. The incident has helped bring them and their neighbors together.

"Whenever there's a bad situation, I always remember there's a silver lining, and this was our silver lining," Rosado told WGN-TV.
Handel spoke to the outlet about the effect that the show of solidarity is having on their two daughters. "We said, 'Look at what all the good people are doing, look at all the nice people in the world. For every bad person, there's 100 nice people,'" she explained. "It is a really good lesson for them, and for all the children in the neighborhood, to see that there's good in this world and it always outweighs the bad."

The couple's story spread over the holidays, and many people were moved by the Barrington neighborhood's response to the flag theft. Filian told ABC 7 that the incident made her "angry." When speaking to WGN-TV, she connected it to a broader climate of hostility in the country (hate crimes have spiked in recent years). "Frankly, I've grown weary of this, of all this hate," she said. "It just seemed like there was one thing that I could do that I had control of."

WGN-TV reports that Handel and Rosado are tying the knot at the end of this month.

July 10, 2018

How To Hide The Rainbow flag in Plain View in Anti Gay Russia


In recent years, Russia’s anti-LGBT legislation has made for a toxic environment for the country’s LGBT community. In 2013, a law passed that banned “gay propaganda” in Russia, including the rainbow LGBT flag.
To protest Russia’s homophobic discrimination, six activists from FELGTB decided to display the rainbow flag in plain sight … with soccer jerseys.
The group donned jerseys from Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia and visited iconic sites in Russia. They even stood beside Russian police.

They wrote of the project, called Hidden Flag:
When Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag in 1978, he did so to create a symbol and an icon for the LGTB community. A symbol, recognisable across the world, that people could use to express their pride.
Unfortunately, 40 years later, there are still countries in which homosexuality is persecuted, sometimes even by jail sentences, and in which the rainbow flag is forbidden.
Russia is one of these countries.
Because of this, we have taken advantage of the fact the country is hosting the World Cup at the same time as Pride Month, to denounce their behaviour and take the rainbow flag to the streets of Russia.
Yes, in the plain light of day, in front of the Russian authorities, Russian society and the whole world, we wave the flag with pride.
How? In a way that no one would ever suspect. Football shirts.
Spain, The Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. Six countries. Six brave LGBT activists, that together, form the flag that toured around iconic sites in Russia, traveling to every corner to fight against a struggle that will never be silenced.

November 29, 2017

Egypt in an Act of Terror to its Own People Sentences 16 Men to 3 yrs For Displaying The Rainbow

Sixteen men arrested last month during a crackdown on homosexuality by the authorities in Egypt have been sentenced to three years in prison.
A court in Cairo found 14 of them guilty of "inciting debauchery" and "abnormal sexual relations" on Sunday. The other two were convicted on Monday.
However, they have reportedly been freed on bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($282; £211) each pending an appeal.
The verdict for the 17th man on trial in the same case has been delayed.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) says at least 75 people have been arrested since rainbow flags were raised at a concert in the capital on 22 September, provoking a public outcry in the socially conservative country.
Only 10 of the arrests are believed to have been related to the flag-raising. Most of the others were entrapped through online dating apps, according to the EIPR. At least five men were subjected to anal examinations.  
Homosexuality is not explicitly criminalized under Egyptian law. Instead, the authorities have relied on a 1961 prostitution law to charge people suspected of engaging in consensual homosexual conduct with "habitual debauchery".
The bill defines "homosexuality" for the first time and sets penalties of up to five years imprisonment. "Promoting or inciting homosexuality" is also punishable by up to five years in prison. But someone convicted on multiple charges under different provisions of the law could face up to 15 years in prison.
The public promotion or advertising of any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) gatherings or parties would also be punished by up to three years in prison, as would the display, promotion, sale or marketing of LGBT signs.
The bill also includes a clause that licenses the authorities to publicly "shame" individuals convicted of a related offense by publishing their names and sentences in national newspapers.
"This deeply discriminatory bill would be a huge setback for human rights and another nail in the coffin for sexual rights in Egypt," warned Najia Bounaim, Amnesty's North Africa campaigns director.
The draft bill is expected to be reviewed and discussed by parliament during its current session and if voted for, it would be sent to the president for sign-off.

October 31, 2017

The Rainbow with the American Flag Will be Displayed Permanently in a Michigan City

The Rainbow Flag flies beneath the American flag at the Stonewall National Monument, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in New York. The Rainbow Flag, an international symbol of LGBT liberation and pride, was flown for the first time at the monument. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) 

I thought this small step deserved a mention because it is only a beginning representing a community full of heroes and heroines that have shown the world not only how to die but more importantly how to live and this is only a few years since the revolution of StoneWall. Adam

The City of Ferndale has become one of the first government municipalities in the United States to officially and permanently display the LGBT Pride flag in its city council chambers.

According to a news release issued by the city in Metro Detroit, the "historic" move was approved by Mayor Dave Coulter and city council on Oct. 23.

"Our motto in Ferndale is 'Good Neighbors,' and we interpret that to include the diversity of our residents and guests and the benefits of inclusive decision-making," Coulter said in a statement. "My fellow Council members and I strive to act in ways reflective of Ferndale's shared values."  

Ferndale was recently recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly communities in America. 

These are the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in Michigan
Three Michigan cities received perfect scores in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's report identifying the most LGBTQ-friendly communities in the United States.

A short ceremony honoring key Ferndale LGBT community leaders, past, and present was held on Monday, city officials said. 

"I hope our residents will see this as an opportunity to once again embrace the differences in all our 'good neighbors'," Coulter said.

"In doing so, I believe we will see that the flag represents more than LGBT rights. The rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple--representing life, healing, sunlight, nature, art, and spirit--stand as vibrant symbols of hope for the entire community. As mayor, I can think of no better symbol of the power of unity and what our town stands for than the values symbolized in this flag."

Detroit News

October 7, 2017

The First Time The Rainbow Will Fly Permanently on Federal Land

It’s a rainbow-colored triumph whose meaning is compounded by the shadow President Donald Trump’s administration has cast over LGBT rights. A rainbow flag will soon fly at the Stonewall National Monument in Manhattan, the first such flag to be permanently placed on federal land and maintained by the National Park Service, activists announced on Thursday.
“It is a victory for our community to have these symbolic colors flying majestically over our Stonewall, designated as a National Monument by President Obama, even as our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are under attack by the current regime in power,” Michael Petrelis, the LGBT and AIDS activist who initiated the effort, said in a statement. The rainbow flag will replace the New York State flag on the nautical flagpole outside Stonewall, says Ken Kidd, a friend of Petrelis's and a long-time New York City activist who is helping plan the unveiling ceremony.

The first rainbow LGBT pride flag to fly permanently on federal land in the U.S. will be unveiled at Stonewall National Monument in New York City on October 11.  
The flag will officially go up at noon October 11, which is both National Coming Out Day and the 30th anniversary of the March on Washington for LGBT Rights. On that day in 1987, hundreds of thousands of people gathered to call for an end to discrimination and more federal funding for AIDS research and treatment. The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt was unfurled and displayed for the first time on the National Mall with 1,920 panels covering a space larger than a football field to commemorate those who had died.
The Stonewall Inn, a bar located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, was the site of protests that started on June 28, 1969, that are credited with sparking the modern LGBT rights movement. Then-President Barack Obama designated the bar a national monument on June 24, 2016. “Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights,” said Obama, who had recognized June as Pride Month for several years. 
But a lot can change in a year. Obama’s successor broke with tradition and failed to acknowledge Pride Month in 2017. Kidd says he was surprised the flag project even got approval under the current administration.
The rainbow flag will be “flying on this national monument during a time when we have a president who is not particularly kind or loving to the LGBT community,” Kidd says. 
The first decision Trump made when he snagged the Republican nomination, Kidd says, was to name a “high-profile anti-LGBT” politician as his pick for vice president, citing Mike Pence’s track record in Indiana. That record includes vehement opposition to same-sex marriage and alleged support for gay conversion therapy. He’s not the only one. “If you look categorically at all of the appointments that 45 has made, who he has chosen to lead agencies in his Cabinet,” Kidd says, “one thing they all consistently have in common is an anti-LGBT agenda.” Trump himself hasinstructed the Pentagon to move forward with a ban on transgender individuals in the military, and his Justice Department filed an amicus brief in support of so-called “religious exemptions” that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT Americans.
“Stonewall is the site where Americans who had been oppressed, who had been told by their governments they were second class, finally said enough is enough,” Kidd says. “That was a spark that caused a wildfire that gave great inspiration not only to their contemporaries but to the next generations,” he adds. “Our rainbow colors flying in tandem with the stars and stripes is a source of inspiration, a recognition of equality, a recognition of a struggle for equality that is not over by any stretch of imagination.”


September 27, 2017

Seven Men Arrested in Cairo for Raising The Rainbow Flag at Concert

The raising of the rainbow flag was a rare public show of support for the LGBT community in the conservative Muslim country.

Egyptian authorities have arrested seven people they accuse of being gay and promoting homosexuality for allegedly raising the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement at a concert last week, even though there is no law banning the practices.
The flag was a rare sign of support for highly marginalized homosexuals in conservative Egypt. It took place at a Cairo performance on Friday by popular Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou' Leila, a jazzy, electro-Arabesque group whose lead singer is openly gay.
The seven were arrested on Monday and charged with "inciting immorality," security officials said, adding that the Supreme State Security Prosecution acted after authorities discovered the seven had "raised the flag of homosexuals." The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.
Homosexuality is highly taboo in Egypt among both majority Muslims and the Christian minority, but it is not explicitly prohibited by law. In practice, however, the state regularly seeks to prosecute individuals under alternative charges, including "immorality" and "debauchery," which are normally reserved for prostitution.
Prosecutors also sometimes charge gay people with "blasphemy," which is also considered a crime in a country with severe limits on free speech.
Shortly after the concert, images and videos of the flag-raising went viral, with some praising the move but others posting virulent attacks on social media. An exasperated host on one television channel urged Reza Ragab, the deputy head of the official musicians union, to explain how such a thing could have happened "on Egyptian soil."
"We are against gay art," Ragab said in a phone interview on AlAssema TV. "It is depraved art."
He said the band had all the necessary permits, including approval by the ubiquitous state security services, but added that the union would ban the group from further performances.
Mashrou' Leila has played in Egypt before, although the group was twice banned from performing in Jordan over allegations its musicians violate the kingdom's traditions and commit blasphemy. It is one of the Arab world's few rock acts to gain significant resonance in the West, playing its Arabic-language fusion to a growing number of fans in Europe and the United States.
The band on its Facebook page called the Cairo show, held in a mall in an upscale suburb, one of the best they had ever played, and that it had been an "honor to play to such a wonderful crowd." The feed became a culture war battle zone in subsequent posts, however, with some users hurling insults while others defended the group.
Egypt regularly arrests gay men, with large police raids on parties or other locations such as bath houses occasionally creating media sensations.
The most famous raid was in 2001, when 52 men were arrested at a dance party on a floating nightclub moored on the Nile called the Queen Boat. The men were put on trial in a highly publicized proceeding during which they were mocked in the media, which published photos of them as well as names and addresses. Almost half were sentenced to prison after a trial that was widely criticized by human rights groups and Western governments.

August 6, 2017

The British Ordered The Rainbow to Fly on Northern Ireland Public Buildings This Weekend

The British government on Friday ordered a rainbow gay rights flag to be flown above its main office in Belfast - Stormont House - to coincide with the largest gay pride festival in Northern Ireland, the only British region where gay marriage is illegal.

Gay marriage has been repeatedly blocked in Northern Ireland by the powerful Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

The DUP is currently backing British Prime Minister Theresa May's government after her Conservative Party lost its majority in the UK general election in June.

The Conservative Party was heavily criticized by opposition parties and the British media for doing a deal with a party as socially conservative as the DUP.

"Flying the flag during this week demonstrates our department's recognition and support of the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland and across the rest of the UK," a British government spokeswoman said.

The UK government's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, earlier told the Irish News newspaper that he hoped Northern Ireland's devolved parliament would change its position on gay marriage.

"Whilst policy on equal marriage is entirely a devolved matter for politicians within the Assembly, I voted in support of equal marriage in England and Wales and like the Prime Minister hope this can be extended to Northern Ireland in the future," Brokenshire was quoted as saying.

Leo Varadkar, the Republic of Ireland's first openly gay prime minister, was visiting Northern Ireland on Friday and is due to attend an event connected with the Belfast Pride festival on Saturday morning, though he said he would not attend Saturday's parade.

Reporting by Ian Graham; Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Andrew Bolton

April 4, 2017

Where Our Rainbow Colors Originated

It was 1978, and San Francisco’s gay community was on the hunt for a symbol that represented their fight for equal rights. So Gilbert Baker, a 27-year-old artist and drag queen, began brainstorming. He felt his people needed an icon that would simultaneously communicate beauty, diversity, and power. It also had to be easily replicable. Then it hit him.

Armed with sewing skills he had honed while assembling costumes for his lady alter ego “Busty Ross,” Baker pieced together the world’s first rainbow flag. It had eight brilliantly saturated stripes—pink for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for peace, and purple for spirit—that could be flown proudly in the air.

Before long, it would become the most prominent symbol of the international gay rights movement.

This past week, Baker died at the age of 65 at his home in New York City. And while his death was premature, he lived long enough to see the rainbow flag proliferate across the globe as a rallying cry for equal rights—and even enter into the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, where it’s been lauded as a crowning example of effective social design.

At the urging of Paola Antonelli, MoMA’s senior curator of architecture and design, and Michelle Fisher, the department’s curatorial assistant, the museum purchased one of Baker’s flags in 2015. To some, the acquisition was an anomaly for a major museum, where Picasso paintings valued at seven-figure sums also reside. Versions of Baker’s flag, on the other hand, can be purchased for $75 and less in the MoMA shop and on

But Antonelli and Fisher believe the flag’s accessibility—and ubiquity, in some areas of the world—are precisely what make it an influential and historic cultural object. “Baker wanted everyone to have it and to benefit from it,” says Antonelli of the flag. “And from this generosity was born a design success,” continues Fisher.

Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag attends the 27th Annual Night Of A Thousand Gowns at the Hilton New York on April 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
Indeed when Baker introduced the rainbow flag in 1978, he didn’t trademark it, as many designers and corporations do with logos and brand identities. Instead of restricting its use, he wanted his community to brandish the flag freely, whether at protests or flapping behind cars, bikes, or out of apartment-building windows.

At the time, Harvey Milk—then a city supervisor for San Francisco and California’s first openly gay politician—was encouraging the gay community to come out, and Barker hoped the flag would amplify his friend’s call. “A flag really fit that mission, because that’s a way of proclaiming your visibility, or saying, ‘This is who I am!,’” said Baker in a 2015 interview with Fisher.

The flag’s bold color scheme and simple layout also served to spread the symbol and its message. Both were easily replicable, whether with strips of colored fabric or a simple marker or paint pack. And it became even simpler several years later, when Baker reduced the flag from eight to six colors.

In the 1970s and early ’80s, pink and turquoise fabrics were pricey, as was eight-color photo printing. Baker knew that the accurate representation of the flag in photographs was essential to its proliferation, and he wanted to ensure that it was easy and inexpensive to recreate.

And even with fewer colors, the flag’s impassioned message of diversity remained clear and strong. The multihued stack of stripes, according to LGBTQ+ scholar Mary Bernstein, “is a powerful and flexible symbol which enables it to represent the movement as a whole, despite the multiplicity of identities and strategy and goal preferences held by movement members.”

Photo by Tony Webster, via Wikimedia Commons.
Baker and his friends flew the flag for the first time on June 25, 1978, in San Francisco’s United Nations plaza. “We picked the birthplace very carefully,” he remembered. “Even in those days, my vision and the vision of so many of us was that this was a global struggle and a global human rights issue.”

Later that year, rainbow flags flew at gay pride parades in San Francisco—and soon began to pop up at similar protests around the country, and later, the world.

Today, per Baker’s hopes, it is an international symbol for the LGBTQ+ community and its continued fight for equality. It has appeared everywhere from Russia, where same sex marriage is illegal, to Uganda, where homosexuality itself is illegal.

But while Baker’s rainbow flag has traveled far and wide, he acknowledged that it still has work to do. “We are still dealing with huge, massive resistance, even here in our own country, even here in our own city, even in our own families,” he said in 2015.

The reality rings especially true now, in Baker’s home country of the United States, as LGBTQ+ rights are under threat from the Republican administration. And in step, Baker’s rainbow flag again becomes a source of hope and strength, and a crucial tool to rally and organize those who want to fight back.


July 10, 2015

Straight Russians Wanted a Pride Flag of Their Own-Today they Got It


If, for some reason, you've ever wanted to show off your straight pride, Russia has finally given you the symbol you've been waiting for.
Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party has created a ‘straight flag’ to fly in their fight against “gay fever.”
The flag shows what might be considered a ‘traditional’ family, with one husband, one wife and three children. Across the bottom, in a font that looks suspiciously like Comic Sans, reads a hashtag that translates to #RealFamily. It comes in red, white and blue, one version for each of the colors on the Russian flag.
It was unveiled in Moscow on Wednesday, according to Russia Today, and was officially presented Wednesday at The Day of Family, Love, and Faithfulness, a day that celebrates the Orthodox patron saints of marriage and family.
“This is our response to same-sex marriage, to this mockery of the concept of the family,” said Andrei Lisovenko, the deputy head of the United Russia branch in Moscow to a reporter for Izvestia.
Homosexuality isn’t illegal in Russia, but it certainly is frowned upon, and there are laws that prevent promoting “nontraditional” sexual relations to minors.
The new flag comes in the wake of a surge of positive opinion that came after the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage last month.
On the internet, many accused the flag’s creators of plagiarism, pointing out similarities between the #RealFamily flag and the flag of La Manif Pour Tous, a French group that vocally opposes gay marriage. The only difference between the two flags seems to be that the Russians tacked on an additional child in their version.
La Manif Pour Tous flag, the group is against gay marriage Lisovenko defended the flag on the Russian radio station RSN, saying that they had the approval from the French designers, and decided to add an additional child because “it is a Russian tradition to have many children in a family.”
Lisovenko said that he wants to ban the use of the rainbow flag anywhere in Russia — including on the internet — shortly after the people began covering their profile pictures on social media with rainbows.
The flag was immediately the butt of jokes by social media users worldwide.
 Kierran Petersen

October 8, 2013

Straight Community Offended Seeing The American Flag with Rainbow Colors

There’s a debate at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., over an American flag that has been repurposed to include the colors of the rainbow.
The flag was posted by MT Lambda, a student group for gays and lesbians on campus. It’s part of a display to mark LBGT Month and the organization’s 25th anniversary. But it’s doing more than that — it’s also sparking some pointed arguments.
Some people are calling the rainbow flag — which includes 50 stars but replaces the traditional red and white stripes with rainbow colors — offensive and “un-American,” Nashville’s WTVF-TV reported.
Ralph Drye, an MTSU graduate, told WMSV-TV he believes changing the flag is wrong.
“To take that flag and to change it is what’s wrong,” he told WMSV. “I don’t care if they’re right, left or center.”
And one WTVF viewer wrote an email accusing the student group’s flag of being “against the law.”
MT Lambda members deny these accusations and say they’re perplexed by the response they’ve received.
“It’s really caught us by surprise that this flag has caused so much controversy, because in essence it’s not an American flag, it’s symbolic of that,” group president Joshua Rigsby said.
Is This American Flag Offensive? MT Lambdas Interesting Tweaks to Red, White and Blue Spark Debate
The gay rights display at Middle Tennessee State University (Image source: WTVF-TV)
MT Lambda says the flag isn’t a violation of the law, and in fact is a design that’s been around for a while — and one the group has used before.
“Desecrating an American flag would entail ripping, or shredding, or burning an actual 13 red and white strip American flag, and that’s not what this is,” Rigsby said.
The university took concerns to lawyers and to the state attorney general’s office. It was advised that as a registered student group, MT Lambda’s flag display is constitutionally-protected speech — and here to stay.

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