Saturday, March 10, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 10, 2007

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Express Gay News

Dordt College officials apologize to harassed gay activists
Soulforce's bus vandalized
with anti-gay obscenities
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) | Mar 10, 8:12 AM

Officials with Dordt College in Sioux Center have apologized to a gay
organization that was harassed there earlier this week.

One of the anti-guy obscenities written on the Soulforce bus.

The group, Soulforce Q, says it is part of a national organization that
works to end political and religious oppression of gays.

Sioux Center was the group's first stop on an Equality Ride 2007, aimed at
bringing a message of equality and inclusion to Christian colleges like
Dordt. The college's faculty and student handbooks say the school 'holds as
uacceptable sexual relations with someone of the same gender.'

"We're prepared to run into things like this, but we didn't expect it on the
first night," Soulforce Q spokesman Kyle DeVries said.

Shortly after arriving in Sioux Center from Minneapolis Wednesday night, the
group was harassed by people making lewd comments and gestures. The group's
bus was also vandalized with anti-gay slurs.

College officials were "saddened" to learn about the vandalism, said Dordt
spokesman Norlan De Groot. The school apologized to the group and the
incident was reported to police.

"We don't want to see that happen here," De Groot said.


Express Gay News

House passes bill to increase unmarried partner benefits
Measure would extend state and county health coverage to couples
HONOLULU (AP) | Mar 10, 7:49 AM

Same-sex partners and family members who live together could receive similar
health benefits as married couples under a bill passed yesterday by the
state House.

The bill would extend state and county health coverage to couples who aren't
legally allowed to marry. The measure passed by a 34-to-6 vote, with eleven
representatives absent. It now advances to the state Senate.

The measure was proposed as a replacement for legislation that would have
allowed gay couples to enter into civil unions. That proposal failed to make
it out of committee last week.

Gay rights advocates had argued against the reciprocal benefits bill because
they said it undermined their push for civil unions.


Express Gay News

Indiana Univ. faculty council supports same-sex benefits
Constitutional amendment raises concerns
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) | Mar 9, 2:24 PM

The Bloomington Faculty Council has endorsed a resolution expressing support
for Indiana University's policy of offering health care benefits to its
employees' same-sex domestic partners.

The council's leaders said they took the action because some faculty and
staff worry that a proposed state constitutional amendment prohibiting gay
marriage could bar partner benefits.

The resolution passed Tuesday expresses the council's "continuing support"
for IU's domestic-partner policy and its "confidence" that the policy will
continue, regardless of the gay marriage amendment.

IU's trustees adopted the policy in September 2001. Currently, 119 IU
employees have registered their domestic partners with the university, and
most take advantage of university benefits.

Alex Tanford, a law professor and council member, said the proposed gay
marriage ban would have no impact on IU's domestic-partner benefit policies
if it becomes Indiana law.


Nigerian Activist Slams Anti-Gay Bill

By Gilbert da Costa
09 March 2007

da Costa report

A leading gay activist in Nigeria has denounced current government efforts
to ban homosexuality in the country. For VOA, Gilbert da Costa reports the
Nigerian government is facing substantial international pressure over the

A controversial bill that would ban homosexuality in Nigeria could become
law this month.

Among other things, the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act 2007 assigns a
five-year prison term not only for practicing gays, but for those who
support them. The legislation has passed two readings in both houses of the
National Assembly, and will become law if it passes a third reading and is
approved by the president.

The Nigerian parliament will go into recess later this month as the country
prepares for elections in April.

Activists fear politicians will push through the bill to score political
points, despite serious concerns about the implications for human rights.


Gov Quietly Signs Bills on Gay Clubs and Ritalin
Mar 09, 2007 by Julie Rose

(KCPW News) Governor Huntsman quietly signed the so-called "Gay Clubs Bill"
late Friday afternoon. Spokesman Mike Mower says the Governor would have
vetoed prior versions of the bill, "but this legislation simply codifies
items already in the State Board of Education rules and makes clear that it
is not targeting any one club or organization."

Instead, House Bill 236 establishes a list of rules all student clubs must
follow, and empowers a school district to disband a club that does not
comply. It was originally created to prohibit gay and lesbian support groups
from meeting as official school clubs. The State School Board asked Huntsman
to veto the measure. But Mower says the Governor liked the bill because it
requires parental permission for a child to participate in a school club.

Huntsman also signed the so-called "Ritalin Bill," which the State School
Board and many local medical professionals hoped he would veto.


Cinequest Film Chronicles Bay Area Transgender Murder

POSTED: 11:10 am PST March 8, 2007
UPDATED: 4:24 pm PST March 9, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO -- An infamous Bay Area murder is the subject of a documentary
that makes its world premiere in San Jose this weekend.

The film "Trained In The Ways Of Men" follows the case of murdered East Bay
teenager Gwen Araujo. The film screens Saturday and Sunday at the Cinequest
Film Festival.

Araujo was a transgender boy who lived as a girl. Araujo was killed at a
party in 2002 after a group of men -- some she had sex with -- discovered
her secret.

Araujo's story inspired a film directed by filmmaker Sherry Prevost, who is
also transgendered.

"I went from being seen as a man to being seen as a female," Prevost said.

That's the reason she felt she should tell Gwen's story, Prevost said.


March 9, 2007

Ohioans favor gay and lesbian equal rights

Two-thirds would support LGBT anti-bias law, poll finds, but only 34% are
for marriage

by Anthony Glassman

Columbus--The vast majority of Ohioans support at least some rights for
same-sex couples despite a 2004 constitutional amendment banning marriage,
according to a poll released on March 7 by Equality Ohio.

The survey, conducted in mid-November by the Glengariff Group in Chicago,
polled 800 registered voters across the state.

It found that 91% of those polled support hospital visitation rights for
same-sex couples, with only 6% opposed.

Even with the 3.5% margin of error, that means that roughly nine out of ten
people believe that gay men and lesbians should be able to visit their
partners in hospital with the same unfettered access as biological families.

Over two-thirds of those surveyed favored laws banning discrimination by
sexual orientation in housing and employment, with 68% for such laws and 27
opposing them.


Nadine Smith arrest outrages activists
Equality Florida chief taken into custody after handing a flyer to supporter at public hearing

Mar. 09, 2007

The arrest of Florida gay activist Nadine Smith at a public hearing in Largo, Fla., Feb. 27 has brought swift condemnation from two national gay rights groups.

The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign issued a rare joint statement condemning Smith's arrest and calling for the state attorney's office to drop the charges against her.

Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, was arrested at a Largo City Commission hearing after she testified in favor of allowing City Manager Steve Stanton to keep his job. Stanton has been under attack from religious conservatives since it was revealed that he planned to undergo a gender-change operation. At the meeting, the commission voted 5-2 to begin the process of firing Stanton (see related story, page 15).

Largo is a suburb of St. Petersburg with a population of about 75,000.

Smith was arrested after she handed a flyer that said "Don't Discriminate" to a hearing attendee who had requested it, witnesses said. Earlier, Largo police had decided to prohibit the distribution of flyers and the display of placards inside the hearing because they believed it would be disruptive, a police spokesman said. When Smith was asked to stop distributing the flyer, she first asked why and then became disruptive, according to Largo police. She was then taken into a room, where four officers subdued her and arrested her, police said.


Clinton promises gays 'open door' to White House
Dem frontrunner touts ENDA support; silent on marriage

Mar. 09, 2007

In an unannounced speech before the nation's largest gay rights group, Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington last week said gays "would always have an open door to the White House" if she is elected president.

Clinton, who is ahead in the polls among Democrats running in next year's election, told more than 400 Human Rights Campaign leaders and volunteers that she supports gay adoption and wants gays to be able to serve openly in the military.

She also told of how she worked closely behind the scenes with HRC and other gay groups to develop the strategy that helped defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

"I want you to know this is exactly the kind of partnership we will have when I am president," she said, drawing loud applause and cheers.

"I want you to know that just as you always have an open door to my Senate office, you will always have an open door to the White House," she said. "Together, we will continue our struggle against hatred and our stand for equality."


Helping our Jamaican friends

Mar. 09, 2007

Once during an interview, I asked Steve Kane, a local conservative religious activist, if he could name one country with strict prohibitions against homosexuality that is not a violent society. He did not have an answer for me.

That phone interview comes to mind while contemplating the latest news out of Jamaica, where three men were attacked in a pharmacy on Valentine's Day apparently for committing the heinous sin of appearing effeminate. An angry mob of about 2,000 people gathered outside the pharmacy demanding that the men be turned over to them and threatening to kill them. As the men were scorted away by police, one of them was hit in the head with a rock, according to media reports. The men were subjected to anti-gay taunts, and one of the men was rifle-butted by a police officer, according to media reports and a statement by the Metropolitan Community Church's Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale. Two days later, there were two more anti-gay attacks reported in Jamaica, according to the MCC statement. A gay man was beaten in Montego Bay and another was beaten in Kingston.

These latest incidents are just part of a pattern of anti-gay violence on the island. Since 2004, two of Jamaica's most prominent gay activists, Brian Williamson and Steve Harvey, have been brutally murdered. In late 2004, Human Rights Watch published a report titled "Hated to Death: Homophobia, Violence & Jamaica's HIV/AIDS Epidemic." The report documented numerous anti-gay attacks, beatings and murders in Jamaica, including incidents in which police participated or refused to investigate anti-gay hate crimes. One of them was the murder of Victor Jarett in 2004. According to HRW, "police participated in the abuse that ultimately led to this mob killing."

The anti-gay lyrics of Jamaican reggae singers such as Beenie Man, who has been accused of inciting violence against gays, has been blamed for creating a cultural breeding ground for Jamaica's anti-gay neurosis.

But it's not just gay people who are the victims of violence in Jamaica. According to numerous media accounts, Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Is there a link between an obsessively homophobic culture and a high rate of general violence? It would appear so, if you look at the other countries around the world where homosexuality is strictly prohibited and gay people are treated with intolerance. The most homophobic countries of the Middle East, for example, are also racked with violence, sectarian strife and civil wars. Are the conservative religious people who are perpetuating Jamaica's homophobia actually digging the graves of their straight sons? They should ponder that question the next time they denounce the "battymen" among them.


Express Gay News

Don't rush to Hillary's corner
Sen. Clinton's speech on gay rights was a welcome sign of progress but it's far too early for gays to line up behind any '08 candidate.

Friday, March 09, 2007

IT'S NOT CLEAR why Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech to the Human Rights Campaign last week was kept under wraps and closed to the media.

It all seems unnecessarily secretive, especially considering HRC distributed a press release about it just after the speech. A full video of the speech was later posted online.

Whatever the motive, Clinton's remarks represent a welcome call for equality - and specific legislation - from a top presidential candidate. No serious White House contender would have dared to make such a speech in 2004.

In her remarks, Clinton endorsed gay adoption, a federal hate crimes lawinclusive of sexual orientation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and repeal of her husband's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which she rightly described as a failure.


The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


The Advocate

One apology, six arrests for Soulforce members

While one group of Equality Riders received an apology from Dordt College officials in Iowa for antigay graffiti on their bus, another group was subjected to arrest when Soulforce members entered the campus of Notre Dame on Friday.

Officials at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, have apologized to members of Soulforce Q after the bus they were riding as part of this year's Equality Ride was vandalized Wednesday night. The Soulforce members are visiting Christian colleges across the country in an attempt to open dialogue regarding the schools' antigay policies. Dordt College was the first stop on the itinerary for one of two Soulforce buses. The Des Moines Register reports that college officials were "saddened" to learn about the vandalism and apologized to the group after the incident was reported to the police.

On Thursday a second Soulforce Q group, visiting Notre Dame University in Indiana, was cited and asked to leave campus. On Friday, six of the members were arrested for returning to campus in a show of support for gay and lesbian equality. The Soulforce members were joined by two Notre Dame students.

"As a gay Catholic man who was once in seminary," said rider Delfin Bautista in a press release, "I walked onto Notre Dame today to help make my church a universal church. I did as Jesus Christ did and went all the way for love."

The participants who were arrested were released hours after being detained by police with a date set to appear in court. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

March 10, 2007
Rape case spotlights Pentagon policy

As investigators pursued an Air Force officer they suspected of drugging and raping other servicemen, the military's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy hung over their case.

Testimony during the court-martial that resulted in Capt. Devery L. Taylor's conviction revealed an investigation made more complicated by the 1993 law prohibiting the military from asking about the sex lives of its members but equiring the discharge of those who acknowledge being gay.

Among other things:

- Taylor says that to save his career, he initially lied in denying he was gay, and that made him look guilty to investigators. He also claims some of his victims saved their careers by falsely accusing him of rape rather than admit they had consensual sex.

- Military investigators had to step around the law, telling servicemen they interviewed that their job wasn't to uncover consensual gay activity but that their answers would be reported to their commanders.

- One of Taylor's victims and another man left the military after being interviewed by investigators. The first man testified that he was gay and that Taylor raped him. The second man was forced into early retirement after he told investigators he had a consensual relationship with Taylor.


The Advocate

March 10, 2007
Foreman: Sanchez is not the hypocrite

Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said he saw "no inherent contradiction between Matt Sanchez being pro-military and being part of the adult film industry."

"I don't see any hypocrisy in Matt Sanchez's actions," Foreman said Thursday in a written statement on the marine reservist outed this week by bloggers as a gay porn actor. "As is his right, he spoke out against what he believed was bad treatment by Columbia's 'radical anti-military students.'

"Porn-gay or straight-has no ideology. Porn stars and porn consumers are Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, atheists and evangelicals," Foreman said.

Rather, he said, the real hypocrisy lies in "the failed 'don't ask, don't tell,' [which] requires Matt Sanchez and thousands of other loyal Americans to hide their sexual orientation to serve in the military," and in right-wingers "who lift a man to hero and spokesperson status until-gasp!-he is found out to be a 'faggot.' "

"The important 11 inches in this story?" Foreman asked, referring to Sanchez's reputed porn qualifications. "That is the approximate distance between berths on U.S. naval submarines, so defamatorily measured in front of TV cameras by then-senator Sam Nunn in 1993, who immorally intimated that openly gay service members could not be permitted to bunk next to straight service members.


Hawaii House Passes Gay Partner Benefits Bill
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: March 9, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Honolulu, Hawaii) A bill that would extend health coverage to the unmarried artners of state and county workers who are part of the state health fund has been passed by the Hawaii House.

The legislation passed 34-6 vote, with 11 representatives absent. It now advances to the state Senate.

In addition to covering same-sex partners the bill also would provide coverage to interdependent pairs not in a domestic relationship.

The bill was introduced after the legislature effectively killed a proposal to create civil unions for gay couples by declining to vote on the legislation

Civil unions had been suggested as a way for the state to sidestep a controversy over gay marriage, but they proved to be nearly as contentious.


Gay Villages Disappearing
by The Associated Press

Posted: March 9, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(San Francisco, California) Even on a weekday in winter, the Castro district vibrates with energy, most of it male. Men holding hands, walking dogs and lounging at cafes have long been the main attraction in a neighborhood known as a gay mecca the world over.

Yet where visitors see a living monument to gay pride, longtime community leader Brian Basinger sees a cultural enclave at risk of becoming a faded museum piece _ or worse, a place where men who love men may one day feel like they don't belong.

"When I see a stroller now, I see it as someone who evicted a person with AIDS, right or wrong," said Basinger, president of the Harvey Milk Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transexual Democratic Club.

For more than 30 years, most big cities have had a district either explicitly or implicitly understood to be the place to go if you were gay _ the West Village and Chelsea in New York City, Washington's Dupont Circle, Boston's South End.



Opposes Gay Marriage But Newt Admits To Extramarital Affair
by The Associated Press

Posted: March 9, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Washington) Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged he was having an extramarital affair even as he led the charge against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, he acknowledged in an interview with a conservative Christian group.

"The honest answer is yes," Gingrich, a potential 2008 Republican presidential candidate, said in an interview with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson to be aired Friday, according to a transcript provided to The Associated Press. "There are times that I have fallen short of my own tandards. There's certainly times when I've fallen short of God's standards."

Gingrich argued in the interview, however, that he should not be viewed as a hypocrite for pursuing Clinton's infidelity.

"The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge," the former Georgia congressman said of linton's 1998 House impeachment on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. "I drew a line in my mind that said, 'Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept ... perjury in your highest officials."

Widely considered a mastermind of the Republican revolution that swept Congress in the 1994 elections, Gingrich remains wildly popular among many onservatives. He has repeatedly placed near the top of Republican presidential polls recently, even though he has not formed a campaign.


Canadian Tories Ahead In Polls
by The Canadian Press

Posted: March 9, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Ottawa) A new poll suggests the federal Conservatives have regained support among women and city-dwellers, crucial demographic groups that are key to any hope of a Tory majority.

The Decima survey, provided to The Canadian Press, suggests the trend is the reason for the Conservatives' six-percentage-point lead nationally over the Liberals _ 35 to 29.

There is one silver lining for the Liberals, who are far ahead of the Tories in Quebec and in a virtual tie with the Bloc Quebecois after having trailed the sovereigntist party for three years.

The poll conducted last weekend placed the NDP at 15 per cent nationally, the Green party at 11, and the Bloc Quebecois at seven.

Most of the survey's findings will come as good news to the Tories, who for the first time since last fall matched the Liberals in support among women, with the parties tied at 31 per cent.


From HRC

Demand That Fox News, NBC, CNN
Stop Promoting Ann Coulter

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today urged community members and allies to call on NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox News Channel to publicly state that they will refuse to continue providing a platform for Ann Coulter's vulgar anti-gay prejudice.

During her March 2 appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. - which aired on C-SPAN - Coulter said, "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I'm - so, kind of at an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards, so I think I'll just conclude here and take your questions."

This was the second time in the past year that Coulter, who is represented by the William Morris Agency, had used this slur against a public figure. After claiming during a July 2006 appearance on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews that former President Bill Clinton is gay, Coulter said, "He may not be gay, but Al Gore, total fag."

Following considerable public condemnation of Coulter's on-air use of the slur at the Conservative Political Action Conference - including criticism by three leading Republican presidential contenders - Coulter used her March 5 appearance on Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes to defend her use of the slur and claim that the epithet is not offensive or anti-gay: "It's a schoolyard taunt."


For the full article, contact


ILGCN Information Secretariat - Stockholm
(International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network)

PRESS RELEASE March 5, 2007

Applications for 2008 stages coming from North America, Eastern Europe:

ILGCN World Conferences 2007 to Start in Vilnius

Vilnius/Stockholm - The 2007 ILGCN (International Lesbian & GayCultural Network) world rainbow cultural conference stages in 2007 willbegin with Vilnius on May 18th , continue to Toronto for the "Iran-inExile" stage in June and to Paris/Marseille in October for the"Algeria in Exile"stage.

The Mauritius stage originally planned for 2007will be postponed for a future date.

"We're happy to see applications already coming in for 2008 worldrainbow cultural conference from Eastern Europe and North America,"says Bill Schiller, secretary general of the ILGCN InformationSecretariat in Stockholm. "This is in keeping with our desires tosee stages shared by both East and West -- and to share with differentcities on a large geographic scale knowing that many do not have theability to organize a mega event on their own."

ILGCN "titles" Without Payment

"This is also why we fully support the Polish initiative to shareEuro pride 2008 between Stockholm and Warsaw, and plan to give our fullsupport to the crucial Polish event," adds Schiller.


The Guardian - Comment Is Free - 7 March 2007

Why is much of the left and the liberal media ignoring the struggle for democracy and women's rights in Iran?

Tomorrow - 8 March - is International Women's Day and the women of Iran are growing bolder and more defiant than ever. Last Sunday, a group of courageous women's rights activists staged a vigil outside the Engelab Court in Tehran. They held banners demanding: "We have the right to hold peaceful rotests".

These gentle, unthreatening women - armed only with words, ideals and paper placards - were violently attacked by the police, on the orders of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime. One woman had her head battered against the side of a police bus, shattering her teeth.

Another demonstrator, Nahid Mirhaj, accused the police chief of "using obscene words and describing us as 'misfits'".

The BBC correspondent in Tehran, Frances Harrison, says police and plain-clothes security men arrested at least 32 women, including nearly all the leaders of Iran's women's movement. They were shoved into curtained buses and driven away. Unbowed, they are now on hunger strike in Evin prison, which is notorious for torture and deaths in custody. Their families and friends have begun a vigil outside the jail.


Italy's Gays To Rally For Rights

02:07 PM, March 9th 2007
by Playfuls Team

Tens of thousands of gay activists plan to gather in a Roman square onSaturday to campaign in favour of a bill granting new rights to same-sexunions that has split Romano Prodi's centre- left government and CatholicItaly, reports said Friday.

The so-called Dico bill would allow de facto couples of any sex toofficialize their relationships and access a series of rights andobligations, including inheritance and mutual assistance in case of need.

The bill is strongly opposed by the Vatican and Catholic lawmakers, whoargue that it will undermine traditional family values and encouragehomosexuality. Gay activists say it doesn't go far enough.

Its approval by the Senate is highly uncertain as Prodi enjoys only awafer-thin majority in parliament's upper house and faces strong resistancefrom Catholics within his nine-party coalition, which ranges from communiststo Christian Democrats. Italy's centre- right parties also oppose the bill.


Latvia's homophobia hard to explain: Minister

Mar 05, 2007
From wire reports

The Baltic Times

The Latvian Special Minister for Society Integration, Oskars Kastens, saidhe found it difficult to explain why gay rights issues have become sotopical in recent years.

"It is hard to explain this phenomenon. The gay issue has not been sotopical in Latvia since the restoration of Latvia's independence. Iremember, in the mid-1990s a Latvian and a German girl holding a weddingceremony by the Freedom Monument in Riga, people were watching, but therewas no fuss about it," Kastens said in an interview with the Latvian dailynewspaper Neatkariga on Mar. 5.

He said he believed it was a mistake for gay activists to attend a churchservice as part of the first pride parade in 2005. Such a move may havestirred up antagonism amongst Latvians, 80 percent of whom claim to beChristian believers, he said.

"I think it insulted the believers and aroused a negative reaction."


From Scott Long
Human Rights Watch

Following on yesterday's partial analysis, here is a rundown of referencesto abuses based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV status inall country sections of the US State Department's 2007 report. Apologies inadvance for anything we may have overlooked. Again, the usefulness of thiswill very much depend on how much credibility the US's own human rightsrecord leaves it in your own country or community. If there are significantoversights here that you feel should have been addressed, or references leftout that you would have been able to use for advocacy purposes, please letus know and we will raise them with the State Department.

Thanks to Jessica Robertson, HRW's intern extraordinaire, for conducting theanalysis.

Scott Long
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program
Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY USA 10118
Tel. +01 (212) 216-1297
Fax +01 (212) 216-1876

All excerpts from US Department of State 2006 Report, alphabetized by regionand country.

key word searches: homosexual, lesbian, gay, msm, wsw, sodomy, HIV

Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination

The law criminalizes sodomy. HIV/AIDS was openly discussed. In December 2005President Dos Santos inaugurated a new building for the National Institutefor HIV/AIDS and was supportive of HIV/AIDS awareness and preventioncampaigns. However, discrimination against homosexuals and those withHIV/AIDS occurred. The government promulgated a law that criminalizesdiscrimination against those with HIV/AIDS, but lack of enforcement allowedemployers to discriminate against and treat unfairly those with thecondition. There were no reports of violence against those with HIV/AIDS.Local NGOs had been established to combat stigmatization and discriminationagainst people living with HIV/AIDS. The FAA implemented educationalprograms to discourage discrimination against HIV-positive militarypersonnel and prevent the spread of the disease.

No Mention

The following human rights problems were reported during the year: poorprison conditions, lengthy delays in the judicial process, restrictions onpress freedom, violence against women, child abuse, discrimination againsthomosexuals and persons with HIV/AIDs, and restrictions on trade unions.

Contact for the full list (attachment) in WORD or goto the website for the fulllist.


Russia's flawed democracy

The struggle for the right to free expression and the right to protest

Talking With Tatchell - TV

Russian democracy is flawed and failing, as evidenced by the suppression of
Moscow Gay Pride

Russia's transition to pluralist democracy is at best shaky and at worstbeing reversed. The relatively liberal Yeltsin era has been eclipsed by anew wave of authoritarianism. The electoral system is fixed to block theemergence of new parties and anti-establishment candidates. Press freedomis constrained by threats, intimidation and even the murder of journalists.Human rights abuses are widespread and often unchecked.

Symptomatic of these abuses is the banning of the Moscow Gay Pride march bythe city's Mayor, Yuri Luzhkov. He has denounced the march as "satanic."

The first attempted Moscow Gay Pride march in 2006 was violently set upon byriot police, far right extremists, ultra-nationalists and Russian Orthodoxfundamentalists.


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