Gays and Lesbians in the Muslim World Equality Forum 2008 - International Focus
PHILADELPHIA, April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The international focus of Equality Forum 2008 is Gays and Lesbians in the Muslim World. Equality Forum presents the largest annual national and international GLBT civil rights forum. Equality Forum 2008 (April 28-May 4) in Philadelphia has 34 panels, 14 parties and 15 special events. On April 3, 2008, Equality Forum called on Presidential candidates Clinton, McCain and Obama to contact British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to revoke the deportation orders of gays and lesbians in the UK to Iran. There are no fewer than 12 gay and lesbian Iranians living in the UK who are at risk of deportation including 19-year-old Iranian Mehdi Kazemi, and Pegah Emambakhsh, a 40-year-old lesbian whose partner in Iran was arrested, tortured, and stoned to death. Kazemi's boyfriend, Parham, who was the same age as Kazemi, was arrested, tortured, and executed for being gay by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Equality Forum 2008 presents three programs, which explore the unique challenges faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens in Muslim nations. Gays and Lesbians in the Muslim World will be held on Thursday evening, May 1 at the Prince Music Theatre. Panelists include:
Michael Luongo, (moderator) author of Gay Travels in the Muslim World and freelance contributor to The New York Times, Out Traveler and Gay City News. Luongo has interviewed gay men in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other Muslim nations. El-Farouk Khaki, founder of Salaam, the world's first queer Muslim group. Khaki is a cofounder and Secretary-General of the Canadian Muslim Nation. Arsham Parsi., a founding member of IRQO (Iranian Queer Organization). Parsi works for the advancement of gay and lesbian civil rights. John Scagliotti, an award-winning filmmaker and TV producer. Scagliotti directed Dangerous Living: Coming Out in the Muslim World, a documentary film on the GLBT human rights struggles. Parvez Sharma, director of "A Jihad for Love," a documentary film on gay, lesbian and transgender Muslims. A Jihad for Love, the Philadelphia premiere of the critically-acclaimed documentary film, on Friday evening, May 2 at the Prince Music Theatre, followed by Q & A with director Parvez Sharma and producer Sandi DuBowski. A Conversation with Irshad Manji on Sunday afternoon, May 4 at the National Constitution Center. Manji is the best-selling author of The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith. The Jakarta Post in Indonesia calls Manji one of three women making a difference in Islam today. Anne Stockwell, Editor in Chief, The Advocate, will facilitate the conversation. There is no registration fee for Equality Forum 2008 and all substantive programs are free. For detailed information about all Equality Forum 2008 programs, visit http://www.equalityforum.com/2008. Equality Forum is a national and international GLBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates GLBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high impact initiatives and presents annually the largest national and international GLBT civil rights forum. http://www.equalityforum.com
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