By Associated Press,
BERLIN — Rudolf Brazda, believed to be the last surviving person who was sent to a Nazi concentration camp because of his homosexuality, has died, a German gay rights group said Thursday. He was 98.
The Berlin branch of the Lesbian and Gay Association, or LSVD, said that Brazda died on Wednesday. It didn’t give details of the location or cause of death.
Brazda was sent to the Nazis’ Buchenwald concentration camp in August 1942 and held there until its liberation by U.S. forces in 1945.
Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration that threatened the German race, and convicted some 50,000 homosexuals as criminals. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 gay men were deported to concentration camps, where few survived.
When a memorial to the Nazis’ gay victims was unveiled in Berlin in 2008, the LSVD said the last ex-prisoner that it knew of had died three years earlier. But the group said it was then contacted by Brazda, who visited the memorial at its invitation and became an honorary member.
Brazda was born in 1913. He grew up in the eastern German town of Meuselwitz and repeatedly ran into trouble with Nazi authorities over his homosexuality before being sent to Buchenwald.
Brazda lived in the Alsace region of eastern France after World War II. Earlier this year, he was named a knight in the country’s Legion of Honor.
Berlin’s openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit, who met Brazda in 2008, said he learned with regret of his death.
“He is an example of how important the work of remembrance is for our future,” Wowereit said. “Fewer and fewer people can give information about repression under the Nazi dictatorship authentically and from their own experience.”
In Illinois, the number of same-sex households increased more than 40 percent, according to 2010 U.S. census data released Thursday. The numbers were up in Chicago but also in the suburbs: in Aurora there were 463 same-sex households, an 80 percent increase over 2010; in Oak Park, the number of female same-sex households grew by almost 65 percent.
“There has been a very sharp growth in acceptance,” said Richard Rykhus, who lives in Evanston with Carlos Briones and their 6-year-old son. “I do think there’s a correlation with these numbers when you look at how society now accepts same-sex couples and same-sex parent families. There were a lot of risks before. People now are evidently far more willing to identify that way.”
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Love it!
Time Magazine recently ran a photo of two men dancing at New York City’s Pride Parade, and reader Michael J. Lopez of Nederland, Texas wrote in a letter of complaint. But it’s not the men’s politics he’s worried about, it’s their lack of cowboy etiquette.
Source: The Huffington Post
By this point, most of you have heard about the tragedy in Norway a few weeks ago when a Christian Fundamentalist murdered 77* people and injured another 96. The story has been well-covered by International media and the mainstream press here in the US.
What you probably have not heard about is the married lesbian couple who rescued 40 teenagers during and after the bloody event. Several blogs and gay and lesbian publications are now picking up the story, but the heavy hitters who usually kill for hero stories like this, have remained silent.
The Finnish capital city’s largest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, published this account (translated from Finnish):
Hege Dalen and her spouse, Toril Hansen were near Utöyan having dinner on the opposite shore across from the ill-fated campsite, when they began to hear gunfire and screaming on the island.
“We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake,” says Dale to HS in an interview.
The couple immediately took action and pushed the boat into Lake Tyrifjorden.
Dalen and Hansen drove the boat to the island, picked up from the water victims in shock in, the young and wounded, and transported them to the opposite shore to the mainland. Between runs they saw that the bullets had hit the right side of the boat.
Since there were so many and not all fit at once aboard, they returned to the island four times.
They were able to rescue 40 young people from the clutches of the killer.
“We did not sleep last night at all. Today, we have been together and talked about the events,” Dalen said.
Please share this story and make sure people know the heroism of Hege and Toril.
*Thank you to readers who have provided credible sources as to the actual number of deaths from this tragedy. We originally reported that 92 had been killed, but according to Norwegian sources, the total number is at 77, with many still in the hospital.
Check out our follow-up to this post here: Hege & Toril: Why We Write, which addresses many of your comments and questions about this article.
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Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) donned wedding dresses and morning suits in a bid to urge the Scottish Government to allow same-sex couples to get married.
Their Love Equally campaign, launched on Monday, follows research by the Equality and Rights Commission which shows that the majority of Scottish people support marriage equality.
While civil partnerships have been allowed between couples of the same sex in the UK since 2005, marriage is not legal.
In 2009, the Scottish Government rejected a 1317-signature petition by NUS Scotland calling for the amendment of legislation to allow same-sex marriage and mixed-sex civil partnerships in Scotland on the basis that legalisation of same-sex marriage would require changes on a national level, concerning matters such as pensions and inheritance law.
In February of this year, however, members of the UK Government announced their intention to conduct a consultation on marriage laws.
Grant Costello, 18, chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament said: “Our hope is that the Scottish Government will legislate on equal marriage rights. They have promised to do it at some point during their five year term but I don’t see a reason why they can’t do it now.
“It shouldn’t be something that even needs debated in my opinion; it’s something that quite obviously should be passed into law. Hopefully we’ll convince them that young people want this.”
The SYP voted for the national campaign after consulting with 42,804 young people across Scotland and conducting a debate amongst its 150 elected members.
The group, which involves people aged 14 to 25, now aim to spread their message through a series of events, including festivals, youth group meetings and street activities.
Grant added: “We’ll be doing some really unique and fun things. We are a youth organisation and we do recognise that while people are extremely passionate about politics, it can be a bit boring sometimes, so we like to spice it up a bit and we like to make it entertaining.”
Poll Analysis: Clear Trend for Marriage Equality
Benenson and Van Lohuizen compared national polls over the past decade from Gallup, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, and Pew Research Center, among others. “The remarkable surge over the last two years can’t be explained by generational change alone,” Van Lohuizen concluded. “It suggests that people across the political spectrum are rethinking their positions and deciding in favor of the freedom to marry.”
A poll released earlier this week by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign also found a slim majority — 51% — in favor equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.
I’ve just created a new blog for the LGBT(Q) community of the Carolinas!! With it being a new blog, I’m trying to find a way to reach out to people. Please, will you help me out? I intend for this blog to become a means by which we will be able to create connections between LGBT(Q) individuals across the borders. I hope you will not mind me asking for this promotion.
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