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International News - Rex Wockner
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International News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Indian gov't won't appeal ruling that legalized Gay sex
India's national government will not oppose the July ruling by the Delhi High Court that decriminalized Gay sex nationwide.

Other, mostly religious entities have appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, but the government said September 1 that it will not join in.

"This is a really important signal to the Supreme Court on how the government would like this case to proceed," said correspondent Vikram Doctor.

"This doesn't mean it's over," he added. "The Supreme Court case has become a bit of a circus with a whole bunch of people, mostly religious leaders, falling over themselves to file petitions opposing the Delhi High Court verdict. ... Some might have backing from evangelicals abroad."

Given India's huge population - nearly 1.2 billion - the Delhi ruling had the effect of decriminalizing, in one fell swoop, 17 percent of the world's Gay people.

Anti-Gay referendum rejected in Hungary
Hungary's National Election Committee on August 31 rejected a proposed voter referendum that, if passed, would have required Parliament to ban "public advertisement of homosexuality."

The committee said the phrase "advertisement of homosexuality" is unclear and the proposed law would violate constitutional free-speech protections.

It also said that advertising promotes products or services, and homosexuality is neither of those, so homosexuality cannot be "advertised" anyway.

The referendum's supporters can appeal to the Constitutional Court. Should supporters prevail in court, they would then need to collect 200,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

Petition seeks apology to Alan Turing
More than 28,000 people have signed an official petition urging British Prime Minister Gordon Brown "to apologize for the prosecution of Alan Turing that led to his untimely death."

The petition is online at petitions.number10.gov.uk/turing/.

Turing, who was Gay, is considered to be the founder of modern computing and was credited with cracking Nazi military codes during World War II, helping save Britain from German conquest.

"Without Turing and other code-crackers, we might be living in the Third Reich," said leading Gay activist Peter Tatchell. "He helped us defeat fascism and win the war. Turing's arrest and conviction in 1952 for a consenting Gay relationship, and his subsequent chemical castration to supposedly 'cure' his homosexuality, were barbaric, inhuman abuses of a truly outstanding war hero."

"Removing his security clearance and preventing him from continuing his work at GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) was an added insult and humiliation, which ultimately drove him to depression and suicide in 1954. With Turing's death, Britain and the world lost one of its finest intellectual minds," Tatchell said.

Turing was one of some 100,000 British homosexuals convicted in the 20th century under laws that banned Gay sex, Tatchell said.

Manchester city councilor acknowledges HIV infection
A member of the Manchester City Council in England told Gay-pridegoers August 30 that he is HIV-positive.

"I and many other HIV-positive Gay men have experienced rejection and even hostility from within the Gay community, as well as support," Councilor Paul Fairweather said.

"I cannot stand here tonight and talk about being HIV-positive without the love and support of my family, friends and colleagues. Many of us have this love and support, but many of us don't.

"We have to beat the stigma and the nonsense surrounding this," Fairweather said.

Gays resist police harassment in Chinese park
Some 100 Gay men in Guangzhou, China, stood their ground in People's Park on August 25 when police tried to evict them, China Daily said.

Activist Ah Qiang said park guards tried to push the men out of the park, they resisted, police came, the Gays continued to resist, and the police finally left.

A police spokesman told the newspaper that Gays have committed robberies and thefts in the park but Qiang said Gay men have in fact been the victims of park criminals.

Serbia to see first gay film festival
Serbia's first Gay film festival, "Merlinka," takes place September 11-13 in Belgrade.

It is named after the late transgender actress Vjeran Miladinovic ("Merlinka") who starred in Zelimir Zilnik's film Marble Ass.

The festival will screen Kennedy Is Getting Married (Serbia), Marble Ass, Ghosted (Germany), Otto: Or, Up With the Dead People (Germany), An Englishman in New York (United Kingdom), Beyond the Pink Curtain (UK), Queer Sarajevo (Bosnia), The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela (France, Iceland), Love Sick (Romania) and Love Songs (France).

Financial supporters of the festival include the French Cultural Center and the British Council, said GayEcho.com.

Belarusian activist slashed with broken beer bottle
Belarusian Gay activist Maxim Tsarkov was slashed by a Gay-basher August 24, according to website pride.by.

Tsarkov and three friends said they were first accosted by a group of homophobes in the Minsk bar Hall. The men disparaged Tsarkov's group because of their sexual orientation and were evicted from the premises by security guards.

The assailants apparently later followed Tsarkov's taxi and then attacked when he got out of the cab.

Tsarkov said one of the men told him, "You need to answer for your actions ... fag," before breaking a beer bottle and flinging it into his face.

Tsarkov was taken to a hospital and received 18 stitches.

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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pictures - above: India below: Peter Tatchell
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