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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 17, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 24
International News - Rex Wockner
Section One
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International News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Croatian Gay pride parade attacked
The Gay pride parade in Split, Croatia, was attacked June 11.

Activists said thousands of opponents hurled rocks, bottles, firecrackers, flares, tear gas, eggs, tomatoes, glass, bricks, shoes, paint, cigarette lighters, and flowerpots at the 200 marchers.

They reportedly shouted, 'Kill the Gays.'

Up to a dozen people were injured, including some reporters.

Hundreds of police officers arrested at least 135 people and escorted the marchers away from the conflict.

Organizers faulted the authorities for failing to protect LGBT marchers' right to freedom of assembly.

'None of it would have happened if they cleared the route properly,' said one participant.

Australians accept marriage equality
A national poll has found that 75% of Australians believe legalization of same-sex marriage is inevitable.

Marriage-equality advocates responded by calling on political leaders to act immediately.

'The tide of history is running towards equality and nothing can turn it back,' said Alex Greenwich, national convener of the group Australian Marriage Equality. 'Our plea to the nation's leaders is to get on with this reform instead of unnecessarily prolonging a debate.'

National polls show about 60% support for amending the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage. The new poll, conducted May 27-29 by Galaxy Research and commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality and by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, found that 80% of women, 79% of people under age 50, 78% of people with young children, 71% of men, and 68% of people over age 50 see legalization of same-sex marriage as inevitable.

The question asked was, 'Do you believe it is inevitable that eventually the law will change in Australia to allow same-sex couples to marry?'

'Australia is ready for equality for our Gay and Lesbian children, so it's time for political leaders to act,' said Shelley Argent, PFLAG's national spokeswoman.

Argent has launched a national TV ad campaign in which she is seen decorating her son's wedding cake while expressing concern 'we may never get to eat it.'

'I'm ready, and so is the cake,' she says. 'Please, Julia & give my son the choices and rights to emotional security and instant respect that comes from marriage.'

Julia Gillard is the Australian prime minister. The ad is online at tinyurl.com/4397qys.

Galaxy Research questioned 1,052 Australians over age 18. Afterward, the data was weighted by age, gender, and region to reflect the makeup of the country.

Transsexual takes seat in Madrid Assembly
Actress Carla Antonelli took her seat in the Madrid Assembly June 7, becoming the highest-ranking openly Trans elected official in Spanish history.

'It's very exciting to be here, to see the room, and be seated on the bench,' Antonelli said.

Spain's State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals, and Bisexuals said, '[We] hope that this appointment will serve as an example and is supported by companies so they get used to Transsexual reality and permit Transsexual people to compete for jobs on equal terms with everyone else, without their gender identity being a factor.'

Antonelli ran as a party-list candidate for the Madrid Socialist Party-Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.

Public opposition to Moscow Pride drops
A new poll has found that 61% of Russians agree with the Moscow city government's annual ban on the Gay pride parade, down from 82% support for the ban a year ago.

The poll also found that 53% of Russians have heard about the efforts to stage the parade, up from 33% in a similar poll at the end of April.

The FOM poll, conducted nationwide June 4-5, found that 9% of Russians oppose the pride ban and 30 percent don't have an opinion on the matter.

'These results & show that over the last years, 30 of us managed to make our voices heard by 75 million in a country which is well-known for its lack of free media,' said activist Nikolai Alekseev.

Undeterred by an April ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that banning Moscow Pride is illegal, the city blocked the May 28 Gay parade for the sixth time this year.

Activists responded by trying to rally near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and City Hall. They were violently arrested.

The Euro Court declared that banning Pride violates the European Convention on Human Rights in the areas of freedom of assembly and association, the right to an effective remedy, and prohibition of discrimination.

Samoa may decriminalize Gays
Samoa's Law Reform Commission has told the government to legalize male-male sex and cross-dressing. Current law bans Gay sex and men's wearing women's clothes.

The government is likely to express support for the moves this month, after which repeal measures could be included in a bill updating criminal law.

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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picture (above) - Nikolai Alekseev
picture (below) - Argent-and-Greenwich
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