Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gay Iran Pending Deaths Posts Gone: 
JMG & Towleroad - Why?

From the United Kingdom today, prolific gay writer and international human rights activist Paul Canning caused a stir across the pond and elsewhere with his story in the Pink News about Iran getting ready to execute two gay men after their cell phone video of them having sex was discovered.

Two gay blogs with wide audiences, JoeMyGod and Towleroad, picked up on Canning's piece, and Joe Jervis said he expected actions in my hometown, San Francisco, and NYC, and I was intrigued about the story out of Iran and potential protests.

After a busy day and evening, I came home wanting more info on such protests, and have found a screeching halt occurred at those sites. The note below were sent out tonight, and I am taking them in their original formats and showing them here because, as a longtime global gay activist who has organized with his colleagues many actions over gays in Iran, and democracy too in the Islamic Republic, we need some answers from several actors in this drama.

I believe JoeMyGod and Towleroad acted in good faith, and lack the resources to vet every story and press release that comes their way, and they simply ran with what they knew from Pink News.

The actor in all this who must shed light on the situation of the gays facing execution in Iran later this week, if that is indeed true, is Paul Canning. Let's hope he clears up the confusion and mess we now have before us regarding this gay story from Iran.

My note to Towleroad:

hi andy towle,

i feel as if i'm in an episode of the 'twilight zone' with this pending gay iranian executions story that was pushed earlier today by paul canning of the UK, and the subsequent removal of a post about the story on joemygod and now i see you've removed your original post, but have also shared some vague reasons as to why your took it down.

missing from your note above is clear info on what exactly was wrong in your first piece, what new info has come to light, why you believe it is credible, who is the source, why you have omitted the name of the source, info as to whether you have asked paul canning for more info or from the pink news outlet that ran his story. in short, your explanation leaves many new questions unanswered and that is shameful.

please, inform me. what was wrong with the paul canning/pink news story and who is now giving you supposedly better and credible info, and what is the status of the gay iranians who face execution on friday? responsible global gay activism deserves a few answers, especially from paul canning, who is being copied on these notes.

paul canning: why have joemygod and towleroad been forced to remove their earlier post on your story?


The update at Towleroad:

Note on Earlier Iran Report...

Iran Earlier I published a post regarding reports of some planned executions in Iran. Late this afternoon, upon receiving some credible information, I took the post down as the case cannot be understood properly based on the information out there at this time. Obviously, these kinds of cases are very serious and lives are at stake.
Should I get any new information regarding the situation, I'll share it at that time. Thanks. (Source: http://www.towleroad.com/2011/01/note-on-earlier-iran-report.html#comments )

My note to Joe Jervis:

hey joe:
earlier today you blogged about a story from paul canning in the UK about the pending executions later this week of two gays in iran. you also mentioned that you expected groups in SF and NY to stage actions over this matter and that the protests would take place at iran's consulates. there was a small error on your part, because there are no iranian consulates in the US since we don't have diplomatic relations with that country.

on the gays without borders yahoo group, paul canning cited the importance of your picking up on his story, and in the comments on your post and at the GWB listserv

"I have confirmed this. Joe Jervis of 'Joe My God' is calling for NYC/SF protests. Any others I hear of I'll forward to list." soruce: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/gayswithoutborders/message/4516

i found it quite odd that he was not himself organizing any street protest at the UK iranian embassy, nor was he sharing the phone/fax/email info for that embassy and calling for folks to bombard the embassy with messages. that oddness aside, i'm quite used to some folks issuing calls for actions but not doing any such organizing themselves, but i digress.

tonight i went back to your blog to find out if actions were being planned, especially in my city of san francisco, but the post has been removed. i google for a cached version, but only found this:


Joe. My. God.: IRAN: Two Men Sentenced To Death By Stoning For ...

Jan 18, 2011 ... Joe. My. God. JMG: Blog Year Seven JoeMyGod@gmail.com ... Paul Canning reports at Pink News: Two young men who filmed themselves having sex ...

i followed the link back to you site, and this appeared on my screen:


Page not found

Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog Joe. My. God. does not exist.

i'm curious as to why you removed the post and more importantly would like to know if you indeed heard from SF and NYC based orgs about any protests. if there is a protest happening in SF, i'd like to know about it, show up for it and add my voice.

you may know that i care quite deeply about democracy and gays in iran and have organized many protests and vigils and squeezed proclamations out of our board of supes and former mayor gavin newsom, so i take posts such as yours and the story from paul canning quite seriously.

also, i believe there were at least forty messages, mainly very supportive of calls to protest, among the comments at your post before it was deleted. it made my activist heart quite happy to see such interest in a foreign gay issue and indications that some commentators might show up to a street action.

i may blog on wednesday about the pending gay executions and hope you can provide some follow up and answers about where we are with the situation for the condemned iranians and protests. thanks.


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