Friday
May 5, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 18
 
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Rex Wockner
International News
POLISH GAY MARCH ATTACKED

The Gay pride march in Krakow, Poland, was attacked by members of the rightwing All Poland Youth Group on April 28, the BBC reported.

The counterdemonstrators threw rocks and eggs, and chased after the marchers even when they deviated from the planned route.

Police with riot shields and clubs prevented a more direct clash. Several counterprotesters were arrested.

More than 1,000 GLBT and other people took part in the march.

Poland has seen a sharp increase in overt homophobia since the conservative Law and Justice Party came to power last year - including antiGay statements by President Lech Kaczynski, party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz.

President Kaczynski reportedly has called Gays "perverts" and Marcinkiewicz said that if a homosexual "tries to infect others with their homosexuality, then the state must intervene in this violation of freedom."

Authorities have tried, usually unsuccessfully, to block several Gay pride parades in recent years and the Krakow march was not the first to see violence.

POLICE RAID BUENOS AIRES GAY BAR

The Buenos Aires Gay bar Zero Consequence was raided by Argentina's Federal Police April 18 while the venue was hosting a private party.

According to the group CHA (Argentine Homosexual Community), the cops turned on the lights, stopped the music and forced the 120 people present to stand with their hands against a wall for an hour without telling them why. Information from the individuals' identity cards was recorded in a notebook.

When CHA activists arrived on the scene, the police responded by calling for backup, doubling their presence.

"It was like the worst times of the military dictatorship ... 30 years ago," said CHA President César Cigliutti.

The police occupation continued for nearly four hours. In the end, no one was arrested.

Some journalists speculated that the club may have failed to pay routine expected bribes.

"Perhaps there was pending 'business' between the cops and the owners of the bar," said correspondent Mariano Lago. "The fact that it was a Gay bar only made it worse, as military and police forces are deeply homophobic. Anyway, what happened was absolutely illegal. These people were taken hostage."

CHA said it planned to file criminal charges alleging "illegal deprivation of freedom," meet with the Interior Ministry, and file a complaint of "police violence" with the Secretary of Human Rights.

GAY PRIDE TO BE HELD IN ANTIGAY PASTOR'S TOWN

Sweden's National Federation for Sexual Equality (RFSL) will stage a Gay-pride festival this summer in the town of Pentecostal pastor Åke Green, who made headlines when he was sentenced to prison for a hate crime after preaching that homosexuality is "a deep cancerous tumor on the body of society" that leads to bestiality and pedophilia.

The Supreme Court later acquitted Green, saying his homily was protected by freedom-of-speech and -religion provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.

RFSL's Reine Medelius told Barometer magazine that Green's town of "Borgholm is seen as the original town of prejudice. We want to change that."

The historic seaside resort is near the royal family's summer home.

BRITISH GROUP DOCUMENTS IRAN'S EXECUTIONS OF GAYS

The Iranian government is executing Gay and Bisexual men under the cover of rape and kidnapping charges, according to the British Gay group OutRage!.

A nine-month investigation by group member Simon Forbes, who accessed "credible, verified sources inside Iran," uncovered evidence of lynchings by Iran's security forces, "honor killings" by families in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, secret hangings in prison, and "a pattern of framing Gay people on charges of kidnap, rape and pedophilia."

"[Our] research confirms a pattern of framing same-sex lovers ... in order to discredit them, discourage public protests and deflect international condemnation," said OutRage! leader Peter Tatchell.

The Iranian exile Gay group Homan has claimed that 4,000 people have been executed for sodomy since 1979. The OutRage! report said an attempt to set up a Gay organization in the early 1980s led to 70 executions, and that around 100 Gays were sentenced to death following a raid on a private party in 1992.

"A very large number were executed, or rather lynched without trial, as the Ayatollahs began to hijack the Iranian Revolution by the end of 1979," Forbes said. "That year Gay activists from the Lavender Crescent Society in San Francisco were taken from the airport in Tehran shortly after their arrival and summarily shot dead. Gay and Bisexual men were quite literally hanged from trees at that time."

The 5,000-word report is online at http://petertatchell.net/international/iranstatemurder.htm.

SPANIARDS SUPPORT MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Sixty-one percent of Spaniards say the government was right to legalize full marriage for same-sex couples, according to a new Instituto Opina poll.

Thirty-two percent think it was a mistake and about seven percent are unsure or refused to answer the question.

Pollsters quizzed 1,000 adults by phone on March 30. The margin of error is 3.1 percent.

Same-sex marriage also is legal in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands and Massachusetts. A court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in South Africa will take effect Dec. 1 unless Parliament makes the change sooner.

BELGIUM OKS GAY ADOPTIONS

Belgium OK'd Gay adoption April 20. A narrow 34-33 vote in the Senate followed an earlier 77-62 vote in the House.

European Gay couples also can adopt in Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, and England and Wales.

Some other European nations allow Gay people to adopt only a partner's biological children.

JAILED CAMEROON GAYS RELEASED

Nine men jailed for 11 months in Cameroon on charges of practicing homosexuality were acquitted by the High Court April 21 and released from prison April 24.

The judge said prosecutors had offered no proof of the men's alleged crimes. The trial lasted 10 minutes.

The men had been adopted by Amnesty International in March as prisoners of conscience. They were arrested in May 2005 at a nightclub in the capital city, Yaoundé.

"Today's verdict was ... a major victory for human rights in Cameroon," said the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission. "While nothing can return to these men the year of their lives spent locked in a cell, we are hopeful that rule of law and respect for human dignity are re-emerging ... in Cameroon."

IGLHRC added that Cameroon "has become famous this past year for detention of its citizens on 'sodomy charges,' sanctioning the expelling of young women from secondary schools for their stated sexual orientation, and for 'Gay baiting' high level officials and public personalities with charges of homosexuality in local papers."

Section 347 of Cameroon's penal code bans the practice of homosexuality under penalty of five years in prison.
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