Neighbors Destroy Bathhouse In Egypt, Mikhail Baryshnikov Blasts Russian Homophobia: Today In Gay


A scene from “Steam: The Turkish Baths”

A gay bathhouse in Cairo was destroyed by neighbors, who broke in after more than a dozen men were arrested Friday for practicing “immorality” inside the sauna-gym, located in the city’s El Marg district.

Reports claim up to 14 men, ages 18 to 57, were marched naked or partially undressed to the local police precinct, and the club’s staff and manager were also detained. A prosecutor has called for the suspects to be held for testing to determine if they have engaged in anal sex, similar to procedures being called for in Kuwait.

While the business was breaking Egyptian law, it’s been an open secret for a long time. “It was a small gym and sauna, converted from a private apartment and operating as a business for years,” activist Scott Long told Gay Star News. “It’s well known in the surrounding streets; when my friend went there about three years ago – before the Revolution – and asked directions, the neighbors said “Oh, the hammam!”, or baths, and pointed the way.’

wedding ring source Jupiter ImagesMichigan might be the next state to embrace marriage equality: District Court Judge Milton Friedman is expected to rule tomorrow on DeBoer v. Snyder, a case involving a lesbian couple unable to adopt each other’s childrenThe ACLU, Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal are among the groups that signed a joint brief supporting the couple’s suit, which challenges the constitutionality of state laws barring same-sex couples from marrying and adopting. Don’t pop the champagne just yet, though:  Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is expected to seek a stay and appeal if the ruling knocks down the state’s gay-marriage ban.

Nevertheless, clerks in at least seven Michigan counties are ready to begin issuing marriage licenses should Friedman strike down the ban.

confederate flag

Two students in Washington State have been suspended for wearing Confederate flags to school as part of of what’s believed to be an anti-gay demonstration.

The two unnamed juniors, both 16, wore the Stars and Bars around their neck at Tacoma High School last week, and administrators suspect it was in response to a classmate wearing a rainbow flag around his neck throughout October, in honor of LGBT History Month.

Both teens suspended for causing a disturbance and violating the school’s dress code.

“It’s just a way of showing our Southern pride, [there’s] nothing racist at all,” said one of the perpetrators. “If he can wear his flag in support of what he believes, we figured we could do that as well.”

Okay, so tomorrow wear a swastika around your neck and see what happens. 

Mikhail_Baryshnikov_2010Dancer, choreographer, actor and eternal hottie Mikhail Baryshnikov told the No More Fear Foundation that he finds the persecution of LGBT people in his native Russia “unacceptable”:

My life has been immensely enriched by gay mentors, colleagues and friends and any discrimination and persecution of gay people is unacceptable. Equal treatment of people is a basic right and it is sad that we still have to even speak about this in [the] 21st century.

I salute the No More Fear Foundation for stepping in so quickly to provide the much necessary assistance to gay and lesbian people who are fleeing prosecution and help them lead a proud life in their new country.”

No More Fear works to help LGBT emigres find asylum in the U.S.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.