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Rex Wockner
International News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Moldovan pride parade thwarted by violent mob
The Gay pride parade in Chisinau, Moldova, was canceled May 11 after the bus carrying the 60 marchers was halted by hundreds of screaming anti-Gay protesters who tried to pry open the door, smash the windows and disable the engine.

Police stood by and watched for more than 45 minutes.

In the end, protest leaders boarded the bus and agreed to let it pass if the activists destroyed all their banners and flags, and popped all their rainbow balloons.

The activists did so as the homophobes cheered.

"After ceasing of all materials, the two men ordered to unblock the bus and let it go," said Boris Balanetkii, head of the pride organizing group, GenderDoc-M. "The bus headed towards GenderDoc-M office, followed by a car with members of the crowd. Participants left the office in dispersed groups on alert of possible repeated attack by the crowd. Another crowd of approximately several hundred people surrounded GenderDoc-M office demanding that pride participants exit the office. ... The office remained blocked for several hours."

All other pride events also were canceled. Gay activists attempted to stage the march even though Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca had banned it "to avoid any tensions in society."

He cited objections from religious people, schoolchildren, people posting on the internet and others who "accuse sexual minorities of aggressiveness and violation of spiritual and moral values." Chirtoaca's ban was illegal, under a 2007 Moldovan Supreme Court ruling that followed the city's ban of the 2006 parade.

The court determined that GenderDoc-M's activities are legal and said it "considers unjustified the refusal of the Chisinau city hall to authorize a march of solidarity by GenderDoc-M reasoning that it is a possible threat to the public order, as this motive is disproportional with the right to freedom of assembly, guaranteed by ... the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms."

Euro Commission: OK to fire Gays for religious reasons
In a case brought by Irish unions, the European Commission ruled that schools, hospitals and other institutions owned by religious bodies can discriminate against Gay people in hiring and firing, the Irish Examiner reported May 8.

The ruling, which affirmed existing Irish law, also affects other groups of people whose behavior or beliefs clash with a church's ethos. More than 90 percent of primary schools in Ireland are owned and run by the Roman Catholic Church, which considers Gay sex objectively disordered and mortally sinful.

Bounty Killer banned from Guyana
Authorities in the South American nation of Guyana have banned Jamaican singer Bounty Killer from performing there because his lyrics promote violence, including against Gay people.

The singer has experienced protests and concert cancellations in Europe for the same reasons.

His lyrics include: "Bun a fire pon a kuh pon mister fagoty ... Poop man fi drown a dat a yawd man philosophy ... You know we need no promo to rub out dem homo ... Mi ready fi go wipe out this fag wid pure laser beam."

In April, iTunes deleted tracks by fellow Jamaican dancehall singers Buju Banton, Elephant Man and T.O.K. from its North American service because their songs promote violence toward, or murder of, Gays.

Banton's 1992 hit "Boom Bye Bye," for example, advocates shooting Gay men, dumping acid on them and setting them alight.

Its lyrics include: "Boom bye bye / Inna batty bwoy head / Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man / Dem haffi dead / ... Send fi di matic an / Di Uzi instead / Shoot dem no come if we shot dem / ... Guy come near we / Then his skin must peel / Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel."

Tel Aviv to erect monument to Gays persecuted by Nazis
An official monument in memory of the Gay men and women persecuted and murdered by the Nazis will be erected in Tel Aviv's Meir Garden, according to Ynet News.

The report said the Third Reich killed tens of thousands of homosexuals and persecuted a quarter of a million. The project was spearheaded by openly Gay Tel Aviv City Council member Itai Pinkas with strong support from Mayor Ron Huldai.

There are similar monuments in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen and Sydney, Ynet said.

Hong Kong regulator interfered with freedom of speech
Hong Kong's Broadcasting Authority wrongly restricted freedom of speech when it reprimanded Radio Television Hong Kong for airing a program called Gay Lover, High Court Judge Michael Hartmann ruled May 8.

The authority claimed the program lacked balance.

Hartmann disagreed, saying: "RTHK did no more than faithfully record the fears, hopes, travails and aspirations of persons who happened to be Gay. It did so faithfully, in an unprejudiced manner."

He added: "It is now recognized in our law that the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex refers not only to gender but also to sexual orientation."

Broadcasting Authority rules require programs on controversial topics to be impartial, but Hartmann said the authority should not have embraced the discriminatory notion that homosexuality may be offensive to some viewers.

Gays sue Swedish tax authority
A Swedish Gay couple who got married in Canada are pushing forward with their suit against Sweden's taxation agency for categorizing their union as a registered partnership instead of a marriage.

Lars Gårdfeldt and Lars Arnell, who both are Lutheran ministers, lost twice in lower courts but now hope the Supreme Administrative Court, which has agreed to hear the case, will make them Sweden's first fully married same-sex couple.

Sweden has had a registered partnership law that grants same-sex couples all the rights and obligations of marriage since 1995.

Malaysian police raid sauna
Police in Penang, Malaysia, raided a sauna May 10 and arrested 14 men and confiscated 1,800 condoms, the local Star newspaper reported.

Six of the men were found naked in bathrooms, the report said.

Police have raided the venue twice before and now plan to recommend that local authorities shut it down, a spokesman said.

The raid was part of a crackdown on immoral activities, the spokesman said.

With assistance from Bill Kelley

picture top: Moldova;

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