by Rex Wockner -
SGN Contributing Writer
Moldovan anti-discrimination bill under attack
A government-supported bill to ban anti-Gay and other discrimination has come under attack in Moldova's Parliament, where it is being debated.
According to ILGA-Europe, a number of MPs have called for the deletion of 'sexual orientation' from the draft law after being encouraged to do so by 'right wing American evangelicals.'
On March 17, about 150 anti-Gay activists staged a protest outside Parliament dubbed 'Homosexuals stay at home.'
Said ILGA: 'Aggressive homophobic rhetoric by religious organizations and a number of parliamentarians already resulted in threats being made to the members of GenderDoc-M, the leading Moldovan LGBTI rights organization. Alexei Marcicov, president of the organization, was verbally abused and had stones thrown at him near his home. Other human rights defenders supporting the anti-discrimination law have been threatened on the streets and near their homes.'
ILGA-Europe's board co-chair, Martin K.I. Christensen, said Moldova has little choice but to pass the bill with Gays included.
'Moldova committed to passing an anti-discrimination law protecting all minorities under its visa-liberalization agreement with the European Union,' he said. 'We call on the EU to assert its position with the Moldovan authorities and hold them accountable under their obligations.'
ILGA-Europe is the European Region of ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
St. Lucia apologizes to Gay Americans
The Caribbean island of St. Lucia on March 11 apologized to three American Gay men who were violently attacked and robbed inside a vacation villa by assailants who called them 'faggots.'
The apology from the tourism minister came after one of the victims, Michael Baker, posted a graphic account of the nightmarish incident on his Facebook page - tinyurl.com/luc-attac.
Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet said: 'Whether or not this crime was motivated by anti-Gay sentiment, or during the course of a robbery, it is nonetheless unacceptable behavior and Saint Lucia as a destination will not tolerate it. ... Saint Lucia has always been a safe destination, respectful of people's own choices for religion, beliefs and perspectives on life.'
In his lengthy Facebook recounting of the attack, Baker writes: 'He pointed the gun at my head and said, 'Get the fuck down!' As I sat down on the ground the door crashed open, and I put my head between my knees. I wondered if it was going to hurt to die by being shot in the head. I felt so trapped. I wanted to run away with Nick, get him out of there, but there was nowhere to escape. This was going to be it. ... They began to kick me in the back and the side. I was on my side, looking at Nick's face. I could feel warm water running down my back, and realized it was not water, it was blood. I saw the blood flowing out of my forearm. They began to tell us that they hated white people. They hated faggots. They asked where we were from. We told them the United States. They told us again how much they hated us. They asked if we were Gay. Why had we showered together? Todd and I both said it was because the water heater was so small. They said if we were faggots they would kill us.'
According to the U.S. State Department's latest human-rights report on St. Lucia: 'The law criminalizes homosexual relations, and there was widespread social discrimination against Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) persons in the deeply conservative society. There were few openly LGBT persons in the country.'
Guyana keeps Gay sex ban, opposes discrimination
The government of the South American nation of Guyana said March 10 that it opposes both anti-Gay discrimination and advocacy of Gay 'lifestyles.'
Gay activists called the statement inadequate and said that if the government wanted to lessen anti-Gay discrimination, it should repeal laws that ban Gay sex and cross-dressing.
The ban on cross-dressing is being challenged at present in the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds.
Canada inserts Gays into citizenship guide
Canada has added a Gay sentence to 'Discover Canada,' the nation's official citizenship study guide.
According to the national LGBT lobby group Egale, the sentence says, 'Canada's diversity includes Gay and Lesbian Canadians, who enjoy the full protection of and equal treatment under the law, including access to civil marriage.'
Egale criticized the guide for making no mention of Transgender people, and urged Parliament to pass pending Bill C-389, which adds 'gender identity' and 'gender expression' as prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and adds Transphobic crimes to the Criminal Code's hate-crimes list.
Isle of Man passes civil-partnership law
A same-sex civil-partnership law has passed the parliament of the Isle of Man, a self-governing British crown dependency in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland.
The law, which takes effect April 6, includes all the rights and obligations of marriage, the same as the United Kingdom's civil-partnership law.
British Gay activist George Broadhead commented: 'As a Manxman myself who was born on the IOM in 1933 and realized I was Gay at school in the 1940s, I know only too well what a frightful, homophobic place it was - much of it stemming, as elsewhere, from religious bigotry. Activists on the island itself and the rest of the U.K. launched a campaign to get the law changed and I am proud to have played a part in this.'
Frontrunner for Peruvian president supports civil unions
The frontrunner in Peru's presidential campaign, Alejandro Toledo, has expressed support for giving Gay couples the rights of marriage via civil unions. The election is April 10.
Gaga censored in Malaysia
Malaysia's largest chain of non-government-owned radio stations has removed Gay lyrics from Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' for fear of being fined by government censors. The words 'No matter Gay, straight, or Bi, Lesbian, Transgendered life, I'm on the right track, baby, I was born to survive' have been garbled so as to be unintelligible.
With assistance from Bill Kelley
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