Grindr Blocked In Turkey, Mass Wedding In Caribbean: Today In Gay
Grindr has been blocked by the government of Turkey, meaning our access to swarthy hot guys is that much more limited.
Dan Littauer reports that users trying to access the ubiquitous hookup app receive a message from the 14th Criminal Court of Istanbul stating that it's been blocked as a "protective measure" as a result of a court decision on August 26.
Turkey has long been held as a more progressive Islamic country—one with a long history of same-sex romance—but Ömer Akpınar from Turkey's main LGBT group, KAOS GL, says the Grindr ban "is the last step in arbitrary limitations of freedom in Turkey. Any lifestyle or identity, which does not fit to the state's ideology, is being deprived of their rights and freedoms."
In May, a plan to turn Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park into a shopping mall sparked riots that eventually grew to represent protestors' frustrations with limitations on the freedom of expression and assembly, and attacks on the basic secularism of Turkey.
Openly gay MP Nigel Evans has resigned as deputy speaker of the British House of Commons after being arrested in conjunction with his arrest on eight counts of sexual assault, indecency and rape. Evans, 55, has denied all of the charges made against him, which all involved men in their 20s.
The Caribbean isn't always a welcoming place for gays, but one of Florida's major cruise lines is launching a gay-themed "Sea of Love" cruise there next September, and inviting hundreds of same-sex couples to partake in a mass commitment ceremony. Coral Springs' 4,028-passenger cruise aboard the Norwegian Getaway will depart from Miami and make stops in St Maarten, the Bahamas and St Thomas, where the big event will take place. If you want to join in, though, it ain't cheap: Packages for couples start at $2,600 per person.
Speaking of weddings, Village People cowboy Randy Jones will make it legal with his Will Grega, his partner of 30 years, in a massive three-day Big Apple blowout this weekend. The big day will include a public proposal in Columbus Circle, a rooftop reception, a "true Italian banquet" in Little Italy and more. Yes, but will the couple make "YMCA" their first dance?
Not all the wedding news is good: Advocates of gay marriage in Arizona have given up the fight to get a marriage-equality referendum on the ballot next year, citing a lack of interest from the local gay community. “We got a substantial amount of pushback for a variety of reasons from the various LGBT groups,” said Warren Meyer of Equal Marriage Arizona, which had organized the campaign. “They don’t want a failure in 2014 to hurt momentum.” But it sounds like the division was coming from inside the ranks: EMA co-founder Erin Simpson, a Republican, says Grand Canyon State gays weren't getting on board because she and Meyer are conservatives: “It was more... of a need to control the message and to be seen as the group that brings equal marriage to Arizona rather than people who start on the right.”
After a Russia-style "gay-propaganda" ban failed to pass, the Lithuanian government is considering five new anti-LGBT bills this fall. One measure would ban all gender reassignment, while others would stop adoptions by gay people and remove " criticisms of homosexual behavior’" from the definitions of hate speech.
Oh shoot, and we so had our heart set on a Lithuanian honeymoon.