Gay men kiss as Muslims protest atheist convention in Australia

By David Edwards
Monday, April 16, 2012 11:19 EDT
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Gay atheists Gregory Storer and Michael Barnett kiss during Muslim protest
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A kiss between two gay men angered Muslims who were protesting outside the Global Atheist Convention in Australia over the weekend.

Gregory Storer and his partner, Michael Barnett, were attending the convention in Melbourne when they were confronted by a group of Muslim protesters holding signs that that said, “Atheism is the Cancer / Islam is the Answer” and “Christopher Hitchens Final Destination: Hell Fire.”

“My partner Michael and I took advantage of the moment to kiss in front of the group,” Storer wrote on his blog. “We understand that in some Islamic States gay people are persecuted and executed for their sexuality. It was an ideal opportunity to challenge the notion of acceptance and tolerance. As we began kissing, the Muslims began chanting, burn in hell.”

“It’s crazy that in Australia such bigoted homophobia is allowed to exist,” he added. “It amazes me that these men can hide behind their religion and use it as a weapon to victimise and condemn people without being challenged.”

Civil unions are current legal in Australia, but same sex marriage is not. Three bills which would legalize marriage equality are expected to be defeated in the coming weeks.

According to the Gay News Network, speakers at the convention included Richard Dawkins, A.C. Grayling, Lawrence Krauss, Geoffrey Robertson and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

The kiss comes at about 6:30 in the following slide show, uploaded to YouTube April 15, 2012.

(h/t: Joe My God)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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