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Dan Choi and 30 other gay activists arrested at Moscow pride parade | Gay News Asia

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30 May 2011

Dan Choi and 30 other gay activists arrested at Moscow pride parade

Prominent gay rights activists, Americans Dan Choi and Andy Thayer, and France's Louis-George Tin, were among the dozens arrested for trying to hold two unauthorized gay-rights demonstrations in the Russian capital on Saturday.

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According to press reports, Moscow police arrested more than 30 people for trying to hold two unauthorised gay-rights demonstrations in the capital on Saturday. The Associated Press quoted a police spokesman, Maxim Kolosvetov, who told Russian news agencies that 18 gay activists and 14 opponents were arrested.

Among those arrested were Dan Choi, an American Iraq war veteran and gay-rights campaigner; Andy Thayer, a Chicago activist; and Louis-Georges Tin, the founder of the International Day Against Homophobia and president of IDAHO French Committee who were in Moscow to support the rally. The foreign protesters were reportedly released without a charge or fine, but the Russians were held overnight.

"I am here in Russia in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are fighting for the basic right to express their identity," Choi said in a video before his arrest.


Dan Choi being carried to the police van. More photos at Lifenews.ru/gallery/3931

In a video shot by Australian filmmaker Logan Mucha and posted on americablog.com, Choi and Thayer are seen walking on a relatively crowded street when they were suddenly swarmed and violently arrested by the police.

The Moscow authorities, who rarely tolerate anti-government demonstrations, have banned Russia's few gay-rights activists to hold a rally in the capital, though similar events have been permitted in St Petersburg.

Last week the city denied the group a parade permit due to "a number of complaints", Moscow's deputy mayor, Luydmila Shevtsova said, according to reports from national new agency Ria Novosti.

Nikolai Alexeyev, Head of Gay Russia, chief organiser of the Moscow Gay Pride Parade told CNN: "We have been asking for the last six years to gather. We are being deprived of a very simple right that is taken for granted in democratic countries."

Alexeyev said as soon as activists took out their banners and flags, dozens of members of an ultra-Orthodox group attacked the activists. Gay rights groups and members of ultra-Orthodox and ultra-nationalist groups have clashed for years.

Gay rights flags and banners that read 'Russia is not Iran' were displayed in the crowd.

Although the European Court of Human Rights last year fined Russia €29,510 ($39,400) for its refusal to allow gay-rights supporters to hold peaceful demonstrations in Moscow, this year's rally was banned, nevertheless. 

The US State Department has also voiced "concern" over the violent end to a gay rights rally in Moscow, and called on Russian authorities to better safeguard "fundamental freedoms" of assembly. US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement issued on Sunday: "We note with concern... that a peaceable demonstration of Russians advocating for the rights of gays and lesbians, joined by international supporters, was forcefully disrupted by counter-protesters, and that Russian security forces then detained people from both groups... Some protestors were seriously injured according to media reports."

"Freedom of assembly is a fundamental right all members of the OSCE committed to, including in the Moscow declaration and as recently as the Astana summit. As nationwide legislative elections approach, constraints on the ability of Russian citizens peacefully to gather and express their views will be closely watched in evaluating the integrity of the electoral process. We call on Russian authorities to work with municipal officials to find better ways to safeguard these fundamental freedoms."

Reader's Comments

1. 2011-05-30 14:45
Proud of you Dan Choi.
2. 2011-05-30 15:55
Mr. West Point Graduate: Isn't YOUR "5" minutes of "fame" in the USA enough, disregarding US military's "don't ask don't tell" policy in order to get it? Now YOU had YOUR attention in Russia as a foreigner disrespecting a sovereign's law. What's next? YOU having gay sex in the Vatican?

Ultimately it's all about YOU, isn't it, acting up to compensate for something personal - not merely the general non-acceptance of YOU as a gay male, but a specific sexual rejection of YOU as a gay Asian male?

Think for a moment: how many currently active and gay US military personnel are enjoying gay sex and how many gay Russians are doing the same? I doubt your scenes have had much impact.
Comment edited on 2011-05-30 16:04:37
3. 2011-05-30 18:39
Mr. RPPDLIFTER - Dan Choi is fighting for gay rights and courageous enough to show his face openly. I don't see your face here or on your profile - what does that say about you?
4. 2011-05-30 19:49
"Mr. West Point Graduate: Isn't YOUR "5" minutes of "fame" in the USA enough, disregarding US military's "don't ask don't tell" policy in order to get it?"

If anyone is willing to do what Dan Choi has done, not only speaking up against inequality and injustice but putting himself on the line, and drawing attention to these issues that otherwise don't get people's attention or media coverage, I'm quite happy for him to get his 5 or 15 minutes of fame and cheer him on while he's at it.
5. 2011-05-30 19:49
I do think they have an impact, if it wasn't for him many Americans wouldn't have even heard about the problem. The more attention is brought to the violation of human rights the better.
Also, I don't see any reason why anyone should respect laws that are discriminatory, human rights are more important than some narrow-minded law-makers' prejudice.
6. 2011-05-30 20:18
As much as I respect Dan,his cause and all that he has done for the gay community the question I ask is......Knowing upfront that Russia will ban his protest,arrest him and possibly imprison him what is the point?
Comment #7 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-13 17:32
8. 2011-05-30 20:48
The point, #6, is that protests, demonstrations, and (sadly) arrests are what it takes to break down the wall of bigotry. We saw it in the US with the civil rights movement. Black people stood up for their rights, even though they knew they'd be arrested (and/or beaten).

Like #7 said, these things DO, over time, make a difference, as people see their fellow human beings chipping away at intolerance and oppression.

I applaud these activists. Without the sacrifice and passion of them over the years, we'd have even fewer rights than we currently have.
9. 2011-05-30 20:48
Russia is not the best place to be proud... Thanks god I left that country for good!
10. 2011-05-30 21:54
its funny cos the rest of the former Soviet bloc is so much more sexually liberal than Russia is.. oh well. better luck next yr? :(
11. 2011-05-30 22:03
Well said #8
12. 2011-05-30 22:11
Well done! Truth and Love will always prevail in the end.
13. 2011-05-30 22:23
as i see it, if the demonstration was denied a permit and yet they still pushed through with the rally, then they will of course get arrested. i am all for gay rights but it should not be shoved to people's faces especially those who are not yet ready to accept the lifestyle.

14. 2011-05-30 23:37
Until now i dont seem to understand what kind of rights they are fighting for which they term as 'Gay Rights'? I am more concern of Human Rights - i.e. the rights for sufficient food (humanitarian support) for every human and the legal protection of Orphans and the Less Fortunate. These are more serious issues which need to be tackled by the society. And here we are gays still pursuing our 'Gay Rights' when the world has tonnes of more important issues to ponder upon.

I think we should put a stop to this unreasonable demands - we want gay marriage, legitimate gay rights to adopt kids, etc...but within this framework of gay society - we are still tainted by a dozen of more urgent issues like gay abuse of drugs, sexual promiscuity in public, rapid spread of HIV and STD diseases among gays. We should tackle this first and foremost before we can even talk about our gay rights.

Probably we gays have forgotten that at one point in our lifetime, when we were just an infant(baby), we were a product of our parents - both a man and a women. Without them, we will not even exist. As such, by all means, we have to protect the sanctity of marriage - a bond between a man and a woman which brings about us and the human society. Without that, the human population will cease to exist.

Being gay myself, I still believe we can still exist within the norm of the normal society and function as responsible adults. We might be a product of a deformed genetic defect or a result of negative culture influences. But at the end of the day, lets live as responsible adults and think of all the many other issues that affect us humans in general.
15. 2011-05-30 23:37
Until now i dont seem to understand what kind of rights they are fighting for which they term as 'Gay Rights'? I am more concern of Human Rights - i.e. the rights for sufficient food (humanitarian support) for every human and the legal protection of Orphans and the Less Fortunate. These are more serious issues which need to be tackled by the society. And here we are gays still pursuing our 'Gay Rights' when the world has tonnes of more important issues to ponder upon.

I think we should put a stop to this unreasonable demands - we want gay marriage, legitimate gay rights to adopt kids, etc...but within this framework of gay society - we are still tainted by a dozen of more urgent issues like gay abuse of drugs, sexual promiscuity in public, rapid spread of HIV and STD diseases among gays. We should tackle this first and foremost before we can even talk about our gay rights.

Probably we gays have forgotten that at one point in our lifetime, when we were just an infant(baby), we were a product of our parents - both a man and a women. Without them, we will not even exist. As such, by all means, we have to protect the sanctity of marriage - a bond between a man and a woman which brings about us and the human society. Without that, the human population will cease to exist.

Being gay myself, I still believe we can still exist within the norm of the normal society and function as responsible adults. We might be a product of a deformed genetic defect or a result of negative culture influences. But at the end of the day, lets live as responsible adults and think of all the many other issues that affect us humans in general.
16. 2011-05-30 23:39
I know this will cause hate message or whatever but out of this whole thing the one thing that pisses me off the most is Nikolai Alexeyev comment. Seriously fuck him. I don't feel anybody takes our gay rights for granted. (to be somewhat joking) maybe people in San Francisco do...but seriously...that just pissed me off. Even though we may have more right or recognized freedoms than Russia...dont' fucking run your mouth and say we take it for granted.
17. 2011-05-30 23:56
#13 - it states in the article they have been denied the right to gather for six years. How much can you wait?
#14 how does fighting for gay rights stand in the way of fighting for "more basic" human rights? And even if we do choose to act this way, how do you decide that 'ok, life for people is good enough, let's fight for gay rights now'? Besides, Choi clearly states for what the gays in Russia are fighting: it's not marriage, it's not adoption, it's the very basic right for freedom of expression.

TBH I am quite appalled by those comments. On the other hand though, I have always wondered why gay rights in Asia are so hugely underdeveloped if compared with Europe or the Americas. I think I undestand it better now.
18. 2011-05-31 01:31
Dan Choi fights for all the guys who will only show their torso pics and not their faces... yes, he is there putting his life on the line so that one day you too don't have to hide in the shadow. Like you Rppdlifter.
19. 2011-05-31 01:39
#13 - You don't understand the current western European thinking.
When it comes to minorities, there is never a time when the majority will simply accept them (any minority, colored skin, women, gays, any "out" group).


Russia has always been a late bloomer. They need another Peter the Great.
Comment edited on 2011-05-31 01:50:32
20. 2011-05-31 01:49
I think its best for the host country people to lead and not foreigners. otherwise the foreigners become the issue instead of equal right for citizens.

I admire Dan Choi very much but let the Russians themselves lead on this issue.
21. 2011-05-31 02:46
RPPDLIFTER...from an older gay man who lived through the dreaded early 80's watching the majority of dear friends die from what was an UNKNOWN disease that was later labelled HIV AIDS ,,,and experiencing hatred and discrimination that u would never know nor judging by ur comments about Dan Choi, ever understand in ur buffed up , all about me world...I have one thing to say......GO FUCK YOURSELF....
22. 2011-05-31 02:47
Rights are rights no matter where. If we place religion or political nonsense in a path against what we view as a common right. It is the right of those who see injustice to fight. One can always bring up the thoughts and writings of John Locke. One can find in his words the understanding of what it means to be free. In the USA many fought long and hard to gain some awareness, some lost much of their lives, monies, and income. But they did it. I have a great deal of respect for those who stood up then and now. So I give a thumbs up to those who were there.

Now in Russia, like many other countries people are making a statement. Will it amount to anything? I am sure it will. For with each action taken in this field, there will be a reaction. It may not always be a positive reaction agreed, but will be something to bring us closer to having us understood, respected, and perhaps finally knitted into our own place in society, the worlds society. We can all have that dream, that will in time be a reality.
Comment #23 was deleted by its author on 2011-05-31 03:03
24. 2011-05-31 03:01
If u look at the great activists of the past, it is not that they go looking for trouble, it is that trouble found them and they rose to the occasion. This is just another no talent american tryin to be the next reality star to replace tbe kardashians. America is not the world. U watch ur propagandha-filled news on tv and think u can change the world into america. Look at ur own house first before u criticize others. Respect other countries' laws. How would u like it if a bunch of foreigners come to americato protest and break the law?
25. 2011-05-31 03:24
I admire what Lt. Dan Choi, is doing. Weather, for its own personal interest or for the LGBT community. According to number 2. I admire him because, it takes a lot of guts to be out there and phrase what you believe weather its for your own personal interest and for the interest of our community. I truly believe Lt Dan Choi, is sincere, he's taking risk for being out there and standing out for the community. I'm thankful for him, because i certainly can't be out there doing what he's doing. And definitely, Mr. number 2 will not do it even for himself or others. He can't even show his face on his profile. That say's a lot about Mr. number 2
26. 2011-05-31 03:43
Way to go, Dan Choi and colleagues! Forget the cowards who refer to "your 5 minutes of fame." You are leveraging your recognition to benefit LGBT people worldwide, and that deserves our support and appreciation. Thank you.
27. 2011-05-31 03:46
#24. They do protest here. They are allowed to. And you don't even have to be a citizen to do it. Sometimes they protest with chants of "Death to America" and burn our flag on our sidewalks. But in our country its allowed and although we may find the words offensive, everyone has a right to express themselves. How about your country?
28. 2011-05-31 03:58
Civic movement is always a tricky thing to do.....like a double edges sword. Good for you for what you do, Dan. Is it truly worthy.....? (Just a thought)

I just wonder what the the big picture here, and what consequences this movement may bring for the Russian...

Ultimately...inequality is ever where (Sad enough), and our community is not the only lucky one to have to face it! Isn't it enough to focus in home instead of going oversea? Just my humble opinion...
29. 2011-05-31 04:14
it's through the activism and sacrifice of a minority, that a majority get to enjoy freedoms they would never had previously had. these actions are courageous and are to be applauded. europe, usa, uk, australasia, taiwan and hk are all examples of how these type of actions have and continue to gradually win more rights and freedoms - take a good look singapore, unless you are prepared to fight for what you want, do not expect to receive what you complain you lack.
30. 2011-05-31 04:21
Is he fighting in Russia because he is not able to fight back home in the so called nation of freedom and justice USA? Please please go home and fight all you want if you so wish before you tell other people what they should do. I am so sick of american fighting everywhere it's just plain annoying!
31. 2011-05-31 04:23
Dan's ordeal shows without doubt the still KGB-influenced totalitarian and draconian clamp-down orchestrated by the puny dastardly despot putin and his sock-puppet medvedev! stalinist russia LIVES in the present day and must be changed!
32. 2011-05-31 04:49
Oh my god!

Never give up Dan...
33. 2011-05-31 05:25
That's a pretty bad story, but I'm not remotely surprised - not one little bit.

After all, every year, we see the same stories about Anything to do with gay rights in Moscow; year in, year out, you could just re-run the same old news story and change the date at the top:

"Gay rights protestors attacked in Moscow... Rightwing groups and neo-Nazis involved... Police watched the attacks but did nothing... international media witnessed riot police joining skinheads to attack the marchers..."

As I said, it's the same stuff Every year - anyone trying to do Anything for gay rights in Moscow, at least (though the situation is barely better, elsewhere) is firstly, refused permission to do anything by various Moscow officials; and then, inevitably, secondly, attacked by thugs AND also by the police if they do go ahead.

Unfortunately, modern 'Russia' (or Whatever the Confederation is called, these days) has absolutely returned to being an Iron Curtain state, ruled with an iron fist by Putin, and his cronies - who, don't forget, also have a hand in how Moscow is run, and these sort of anti-gay policies very much fit into Putin's style of governance.

He's very much Putin the homophobia back into Russian politics and her cultural outlook - not that (to generalise for a moment) Russians are thought of as a friendly, open-minded people to begin with. Just as modern-day Russia is seen as one of the world's most dangerous places for reporters and the media to work in (on account of journalists' unfortunate habit to accidentally catch bullets in the back of their head, or accidentally disappear and Accidentally become decapitated in forests), so too it's seen as one of the worst places for gay rights.

I feel sorry for gay Russians, of course I do. But... sometimes... I can't help but wonder if trying to help is Almost a waste of time - Dan Choi, and the others, will now be painted as "foreign troublemakers", and will be accused of "trying to whip up trouble" etc etc. Whether in Russia, Zimbabwe - or, indeed, China or Singapore - some governments will do Whatever they can get away with to crush dissent, which includes stamping down on any gay rights...
34. 2011-05-31 05:42
Oh, and I don't want to read all the comments above, seeing as I've seen some choice words that seem to suggest gay people are the product of defective genes (charming); that gay rights don't matter and aren't important (although we live in a world where teenagers and children can be - and Are - publicly hanged in some places, simply because someone, Anyone has just Accused them of being homosexual) but, more than anything, I will get MAD if I see someone saying that Mr Choi etc should Not get involved in affairs in another country (and his being American is irrelevant to that).

What are Some people saying, above? That unless you come from Country A, and live in Country B, you can't take an interest in Countries A, C, D, E, F...? That's... crazy!

Just this week, I was editing a story about a young Irish guy who was So moved by the plight of orphans in Nepal, he moved there and has set up a couple of schools, as well as an orphanage - thus being just one ordinary man, but having a positive impact on the lives of Hundreds of people in another country.

Or what about the thoroughly decent middle-aged Irish woman - whose child was murdered by terrorists, here - who was on last year's Peace Flotilla bringing medicines and aid to Palestine, yet who was arrested and branded a 'terrorist sympathiser' by Israeli authorities?

It's a fundamental, and vitally important, part of being Human to care about other people, and to try and make a difference for the better. And, yes, sometimes that Does mean sticking your nose into other countries, other political systems, and asking sharp questions about The Way Things Work. (So, should I not be interested in that Saudi woman currently in Big trouble there for - shock - daring to drive a car by herself? Should I not wonder where the hell Ai Weiwei is in China? Or all of his associates who also 'disappeared' at the same time?)

If we all didn't, as a species, get involved in other countries - and sometimes jump up in them to 'cause trouble' - the world would be a Much worse place, as charities would collapse, aid would be withdrawn (as Ireland, with just 4.5 million people, now has a debt of €380 Billion to repay, which seems Impossible - yet, even so, we are Still sending aid and money to other countries, and we Still support many Thousands of charities here, ranging from building hospital homes for dying children to, yes, rehousing kittens) and, as bad as - say - Libya is at the moment, given the 'Arab Spring' revolts, there would be even bigger bloodbaths than the world has seen in the past, messy and violent decade.

Involvement Matters, and it's Right to 'interfere' with other countries, while at the same time trying to sort your own affairs out. I think, this week, Amnesty International celebrates its 50th birthday - an organisation whose sole focus is to look around the world at what organisations, governments and dictators don't Want the world to see, and to create awareness and a fuss about what it finds.

I doubt Very much that anything will change in Russia/Moscow any time soon, but I still recognise that it's better for the international media to pick up the 'angle' of Mr Choi's involvement, and look at what happened, than to let it slip by, as just Yet Another news story of gay rights protestors being beaten in Russia.

Rant over. :-P
Comment edited on 2011-05-31 05:46:25
35. 2011-05-31 07:18
I see... so Mr Dan is fancy to be carried around in hands of strong Russian hunks! No wonder he broke the law- love is in the air :)

PS. If he was so irrespectively (to the law) brave would he really go va-bank next time say... in Saudi Arabia? and the answer is:

I DON'T THINK SO!

You can be gay for all you want ludicrously pro-/ bio-/ or hyper-active but please play by the host's rules when abroad- this is basic courtesy. Or get your ass kicked.
36. 2011-05-31 07:36
Mr D.Darko,
If you all play by the rules, then in countries where the lack of rights are the rules, nothing ever gets better.
37. 2011-05-31 08:14
@maximillian

I respect the fact that Russians break their own laws in order to change them. I won't respect the fact if Mr Dan would try to break our laws, no matter how bad they are. My sympathy is with Russians, not with him.

And come on- if he was a real hero figure then we would see him not in Russia (when he might get slapped and deported back home) but in Nigeria or Iran (where situation with LGBT right is a real disaster). Would he dare- nah. So, please no Bulls*** here. This guy is cheepo and performed publicity stunt. No more no less.




38. 2011-05-31 09:06
I agree totally with #37.While I do greatly respect what Dan has been fighting for IN AMERICA( and have donated to his cause)I question the need of having to do PR work around the world. He may want to change the world but does he know how big the world is? It is a parallel situation same as America trying to be big brother and interfering with other governments and their internal problems.
39. 2011-05-31 09:29
really this is not a show for the Americans! Support all you want but step aside and stop trying to be the "hero"because you are not. Now that you are in the limelight, all the efforts made by the Russian are thought to be just another bad influence from the USA - and in a way it is! We need a Russian hero here, not you. Go home and take care of your own business. Gay marriage is still not legal in the US, Arizona is kicking out people separating families, your president was humiliated because of his race. It is clear to everyone that America is not what you guys advertise. Really, stop telling others what they ought to do like you know it all.
40. 2011-05-31 10:05
I heard Mr Choi even get caught in his own country, a country where always like to tell others to follow her ways.

Ironic is that when a country's own ppl want to have freedom, the world keep a distant, eg Myanmar. Probably if Myanmar has plenty of oil, the story will be different. the big brother will go and "free" their ppl.

Let their own country men play the right card.

Now most Middle east ppl want to have their beloved country democratic, their ppl fight for it.
41. 2011-05-31 10:16
Bravo to #39 comments.
42. 2011-05-31 10:35
I agree with #39, sometimes people need to mind their own nose. go back to your country and do your campaign there.
what do you really know about the laws there?

let's say, im indonesian, then I go to the US, demonstrate and wrote, "USA is not IRAN", do you think I wont be jailed?
they have their head gay there, let them do the business.
43. 2011-05-31 11:05
No. 42, as a matter of fact, you WON'T be jailed for peaceful demonstrations in the US, unlike your own Indonesia.
44. 2011-05-31 11:14
The "European Court of Human Rights last year fined Russia €29,510 ($39,400) for its refusal to allow gay-rights supporters to hold peaceful demonstrations in Moscow..." - demonstrating is a right in Russia!

Also, the rights of opposition political parties to protest in Moscow have been stopped using police refusal to allow organized, peaceful demonstrations... are these demonstrations legal? Yes... with a permit... who is acting illegally by not issuing the permit? The police and Moscow authorities...

The civilian thugs who turn up to use violence against demonstrators are members of Putin's Nashi youth league, nationalist pro-Kremlin youth. They have been likened in the media to Hitler's Youth League...

The story for the last 6-years has been the same for gay people protesting... BUT the story has been the same for all Russian citizens, since Putin gained power... and it highlights that Russia is not a democracy anymore; and Russia's justice system is as it was in Soviet days: e.g. persecution of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and death in custody of Sergei Magnitsky...

So it isn't just about Australian filmmaker Logan Mucha, Andy Thayer, France's Louis-George Tin, or Dan Choi, nor the Russian protesters (unnamed), who were held overnight in jail... it's about Russian law; it's about citizens' legal right to be themselves and occupy a space that the law says they can occupy... and to occupy that space in Moscow without getting the shit beaten out of them!

How much will Russia be fined at the European Court of Human Rights this time? And will it change their behavior?

45. 2011-05-31 11:20
#39, before you lecture Americans on our country, take a good hard look at yours.
46. 2011-05-31 11:28
first of all this story is NOT about anyone lecturing your country, it is about your people going to another country and make mess.

like you say our country has its problems, however, the world has already learned that america is nothing better than anyone of us - the only difference is that american think that they can lecture others anyway they want but absolutely not the other way around. no offense, but if you get upset because of what i said, you should understand why so many want the americans to shut up when it comes to their own affairs.
Comment edited on 2011-05-31 11:32:11
47. 2011-05-31 11:33
Since when do demonstrations have to be authorised? One demonstrates because one disagrres with an issue that's being forced on people. To require authorisation for a demonstration is robbing people of human rights!
48. 2011-05-31 12:25
I relish reading everyone's responses, including those directed at me, but find Maunako's @9 and chadm252's @8 especially thought-provoking. Maunako's has a depth I am unable to reach and chadm252's is arguably sane :)

Right now I just want to conclude by saying that being militant is not the way to change people's minds around the world; being extremely wealthy and/or politically powerful is, unless you go the route of Jesus Christ.
49. 2011-05-31 12:59
just as I thought rppdlifter (#48), your just another right wing christian infecting this forum. You say on your so called profile your best asset is your HEART !!!! TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT YOURSELF and what you write. No one is fooled, I bet you profile shot is also as fake as you.
50. 2011-05-31 13:51
When you see things that are wrong, speak out. Be it my country or yours. Parade in my streets, parade in yours. But call it out when you see things that are wrong. Dan Choi did it here and affected change for the good. Whatever the motivation, the guy has courage and its for a cause that is right.
51. 2011-05-31 14:47
wow happy that be asian you the best
52. 2011-05-31 14:58
i dont think this is appropriate but i am thinking i will probably get a massive erection if i got manhandled like that.
of course, it will be more arousing if i get to wrestle some cute guys in police uniforms first before they can cart me off.
my bad.
53. 2011-05-31 14:58
proud of u Choi.
54. 2011-05-31 16:37
Dbie said,
" Really, stop telling others what they ought to do like you know it all."

Heheh. Oh, the irony. And how did this get to be about bashing Americans or America? Did you American bashers happen to notice he was not the only foreigner involved?


Rppdlifter, your statement against Dan Choi sounds so personal. You sound like a bitter, jilted ex. Why so much contempt? What is up with that?


Bobochan88 said,
"As much as I respect Dan,his cause and all that he has done for the gay community the question I ask is......Knowing upfront that Russia will ban his protest,arrest him and possibly imprison him what is the point?"

The article says that they had been asking for the right to gather for the past six years. That is the whole point. It is called civil disobedience, and that is how civil rights struggles have been successfully carried out from Gandhi to Stonewall to Tunisia to Egypt and beyond.


ShawS said,
"Being gay myself, I still believe we can still exist within the norm of the normal society and function as responsible adults. We might be a product of a deformed genetic defect or a result of negative culture influences. But at the end of the day, lets live as responsible adults and think of all the many other issues that affect us humans in general."

Are you joking? No, of course you are not. But instead of dwelling on what would be the natural inclination to feel angered or exasperated by your opinion, we should instead see that it is sympathy that we should feel towards you --for your self-loathing. But, do consider that while you are fine with minimizing or dismissing gay issues for yourself, maybe there are plenty of the us who have no interest in drinking from the coolaid that you have drunk from yourself. You need to cleanse yourself of the homophobia that you have, sadly, expressed in your above statement...for your own health.


Tingatanga said,
"If u look at the great activists of the past, it is not that they go looking for trouble, it is that trouble found them and they rose to the occasion."

That is incorrect. Tell that to Gandhi. Tell that to Martin Luther King. Tell that to the gay rights activists who, enraged by the Stonewall riots, organized the first Gay Pride March -which was unwanted by the powers-that-be- and gave birth to the Gay Pride Movement. Tell that to the Arab Spring. None of those folks simply sat around and minded their own business. They all practiced what is known as civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is what is required to get things done, that is, protection of minorities' rights and social justice. Otherwise, the powers-that-be could not be bothered.


Ddarko, let me see if I can restate your argument so that it is more clear. You argue that because Dan Choi would not try to provide this sort of moral support for citizens engaging in this kind of civil disobediance in an even more backward country where he might be flogged, stoned, hanged, or otherwise tortured or killed he is therefore a cheepo and a publicity whore. That is a nonsequitur if there ever was one. And you say that your sympathy is with the Russians. What Russians do you mean? What other Russians can you mean but the Russians who deny gay Russians the right to assemble peaceably. That is a pretty ugly sympathy to hold.


Bravo, Vercoda. :)
Comment edited on 2011-05-31 17:24:50
55. 2011-05-31 17:35
FREEDOM..RIGHTS..Courageous man.
56. 2011-05-31 19:57
Mr Lifter you give yourself away you are simply jealous of dan choi. You would love to have the courage to do what he did but sadly you do not. Well done Dan Choi.

I find it amazing that in this forum the consistently biggest critics and cynics of the gay lliberation and anti discrimination movement are gay people themselves...
Comment #57 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-13 17:31
58. 2011-05-31 23:59
I love the 2nd point of #56. It seems that too much self-denial creates a defective gene in a gay person. He morphs into a nasty white blood cell and attacks his own kind.
59. 2011-06-01 00:06
:)
Comment edited on 2011-06-01 01:18:27
60. 2011-06-01 00:33
"Real heroes are not loud and hardly on Youtube. They just DO things in court rooms, via charities and engaging themselves in endless time-and resources-consuming paperwork, effective PR (not street-level debosh)."

Dan Choi has probably generated tens of thousands of media stories over the years by doing the things he has done, probably much more effective than a thousand people writing press releases.

Anyway, there's plenty of room for everyone to do their part, activists, lawyers, lobbyists, fundraisers, etc.
61. 2011-06-01 00:33
Wow, so many comments. Nonconstructive discussion i guess over here.

Thus, I shall reserve from commenting this.

But, would like to highlight that every activism must start from a wise platform with all standing together. Despite we are divided in opinions, we shall stand strongly in a common bond of relations, it's rather a divided group to the society if we tend to divide.

62. 2011-06-01 02:19
The guy who said people should only worry about their own country is right.
I mean think of it this way, had America only worried about itself rather than taking part in WWII Indonesia would probably still be under colonial rule by Japan....then we wouldn't have to listen to his bitchy comment.

But alas...we did....sigh...what were we thinking.
63. 2011-06-01 02:48
Perhaps we should start to list down what do we mean by 'Gay Rights' here....If we refer gay rights as the rights of gays to choose their partner and to indulge in their own sexual preferences, I would think its a right which all gays enjoy in every country subject to exercising it in private and respecting the rights of the vast majority who still want to maintain a normal male:female relationship.

Of course, as gays we have our rights but once our rights start to intervene and meddle into the mainstream of public life, it is no longer accorded a right. It becomes a public nuisance, regrettably, this will remain as such. And as long as we dont respect the views of the vast majority, and continue to be hard headed with our own unreasonable demands, we will still continue to believe that our 'Rights' are not met. Fulfilling our own rights might offend the rights of the vast majority who still value the male:female bond and the sanctity of marriage which is not merely just a certificate to fight for legal rights over properties etc.

As an Asian who has been living in Singapore and having a few gay relationships, I dont see my rights as a gay and a Singaporean being meddled with. Unless I am a gay who is a 'public nuisance' - cruising and having sex in public places, or exposing myself as a druggist at clubs, or spreading unhealthy 'gay' cultures in full view of the public, then I wouldnt be having any problem carrying on living happily in any Asian country.

Sorry to say the western/european fight for gay rights dont exist here in Asia. Grow up and lets live as fellow humans !!
Comment #64 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-13 17:31
65. 2011-06-01 13:56
wow.....

all I can say, let the world to be the world ought to be......
66. 2011-06-01 14:53
Hi Roadfor,

I had planned to end my comments on this article with my last entry, but you asked a question that I would like to answer.

First of all, thank you for your question and your very funny comment. No, I am not his, or anyone’s, jilted ex :), but you are correct, I find his actions contemptible.

Let me begin with West Point. West Point is not UCLA (aka University of Caucasians Lost Among Asians) with about 25,000 undergraduates according to Answers.com. I was there for two years. There were a lot of undergrads. Contrast that with West Point. According to its website, West Point’s entire student body numbers 4,400 and about 1,000 cadets graduate each year and they become second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. It is not easy getting admitted to West Point. To get the training at West Point and a degree from them and to serve the country is an opportunity many would be honored to have. What did Choi do? He was good enough to get into West Point, graduated and served in the U.S. Army. Presumably neither West Point nor the U.S. Army made him gay, so he was gay before he entered West Point. He could have become a gay activist then, giving someone else the chance to be educated at West Point and serve the U.S Army proudly and honorably and earn a living. He did not. The fact that he wasted his education does not bother me as much as the fact that he squandered an opportunity that could have gone to the next qualified candidate, but because Choi was admitted, this person was not. This rejected candidate could have been another Asian American who with a West Point education could have become a respectable leader and be able to affect change as he moves up the ranks within the military, or as a politician or perhaps even as President of the United States.

What has Choi done so far? He failed to serve the United States as a military officer, he failed to change the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy (perhaps he used Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to avoid being sent to Afghanistan), and he failed to do whatever he set out to do in Russia except getting himself arrested.

He being a failed Asian male in America affects my image as an Asian male in America and around the world. On top of that, being gay and Asian does not improve the situation. His disgrace has become my disgrace. Even though the shame is much attenuated on my end, it’s there. The image of a failed gay Asian male is now well known and unerasable. This image cannot be good for any gay Asian male anywhere, especially for one applying to West Point or for a visa to go to Russia who perhaps could now be negatively stereotyped as a result of the actions of another gay Asian male, a predecessor by the name of Dan Choi.

It is ironic, and sad, that Dan Choi's success could be the stereotyping of a gay Asian male in a bad way. Others have argued that Choi was brave to take a stand. I disagree. Ddarko @37 was absolutely right. If he were truly passionate about making a difference, he would not have picked an easy target like Russia. Ddarko suggested Nigeria or Iran. I suggest that he go to Uganda instead, if he could even get a visa to go there, and follow the footsteps of Ugandan gay activist David Kato to decriminalize homosexuality there. We all know what happened to David Kato. If Choi were to go to Uganda, and if he could convince all his supporters to join him, those on Fridae and elsewhere around the world, and they were successful in decriminalizing homosexuality, I would apologize for my comments and make him my personal hero. I doubt that would ever happen because Dan Choi is too smart to pick a dangerous time and place to stage his events. He had demonstrated that he was able to have drama without risk of death. He had calculated well and played it safe. In Ddarko @37's words: “This guy is cheepo and performed publicity stunt. No more no less." I couldn't have said it better.
Comment edited on 2011-06-01 15:34:47
Comment #67 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-13 17:31
Comment #68 was deleted by its author on 2011-06-01 17:21
69. 2011-06-01 17:41
For the benefit of the straight troll upset about gays taking action….The ban on the march was illegal and in breach of court order….Choi served as an infantry officer in Iraq with the 10th Mountain Division in 2006 and 2007…Taking part in a demo that was going to be attacked by neo-fascists (who according to Peter Tatchell were bussed in by police bus) was hardly a soft option, Tatchell suffered some serious brain damage when assaulted on a previous demo….Participating in such demos is not for everyone, particularly in a country as brutal and fascist as Russia, where dissenting journalists have been murdered with a bullet to the head, but whatever a person's view on the wisdom of demos in oppressive countries, it should be recognised that it takes considerable courage to step up and publicise that oppression by volunteering to take a beating.
Comment edited on 2011-06-01 18:07:23
Comment #70 was deleted by its author on 2011-06-01 22:41
Comment #71 was deleted by its author on 2011-06-01 22:46
Comment #72 was deleted by its author on 2011-06-02 00:17
73. 2011-06-01 22:41
#66, It's ironic that you will only show your torso and not your face. I understand how some are simply afraid to show their face and wish they could. That's why we need the advocates and the protesters like Dan Choi and others like him to show up, and stand up to the thugs and the laws that make frightened people like you want to remain hidden in the shadows.
74. 2011-06-02 23:58
#66, fortunately there are many gay Asians like me who don't subcribe to your warped perpective of Dan and how gays should fight in dangerous countries to prove their passion. It's as ridiculous as saying those who do volunteer work in peaceful countries are faking their concern for the underprivileged because they are not doing in dangerous countries. Everyone has been pointing out to you how you come across as a sour grape who seemed to have wanted to be a Dan Choi but couldn't stand up to it and is now turing self-hatred against Dan. It's a pretty glaring side of you, really.
75. 2011-06-03 00:10
#63, I'm sure our Singapore government will love you to death because with gays like you, criminalising gay sex will continue for generations with your support. I won't be surprised if you ever saw a gay being beaten by straight thugs along Geylang road for displaying gay affection to his buddy, you'd turn away, not for fear of your own safety (which is still understandable), but because you think the poor chap deserved it. Now that's a big nasty white blood cell that I was talking about in my post #58.
76. 2011-06-03 14:14
#74 - Russia does not criminalize homosexuality. Uganda does. So does Nigeria and Iran. And I come across as a sour grape wanting to secretly be a drama queen and protest in Russia (for what again)? Your comment mimicks your intellect.
77. 2011-06-03 21:19
Long live the Queer Revolution around the world!!!
78. 2011-06-04 00:47
#76, I guess my intellect (or lack of) finds again another warped logic in your argument. What has criminalizing homosexuality got to do with setting priority on where to fight for gay rights? Your country has decriminalized homosexuality eons ago. Do gay people NOT have to fight for their rights now? Does decirminalizing homosexuality single-handedly solves all gay rights issues? Why must a gay activist choose to demonstrate in a rogue country before his fight changes from drama to heroic? This logic utterly escapes me.

Much as you want to deny it, your documented arguments here reek of sourness that are too strong to escape my (and others') nose.
79. 2012-01-21 00:21
What an incredibly smart, articulate passionate caring man. Thank goodness he is on our side!

And the guys who say he is only looking for publicity, what stupid comment. Do you think he wants to donate his life to being harassed, arrested verbally attached and ridiculed for no thanks whatsoever, when with his intelligence and obvious skills he could get a well paid easy job and a quiet life, no. He is doing it for himself sure but for all of us and that includes many guys in countries where you cannot even just be gay. He is only trying to change that. And if there is a ‘local hero’ he has yet to emerge.

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