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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 18, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 20
International News - Scott Wittet
Section One
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International News

by Scott Wittet - SGN Contributing Writer

EX-ALTAR BOY BEAT LOVER TO DEATH; EXCUSE: 'KILL SEX OFFENDERS'
Gay Star News reports that a court in London heard how 28-year-old Christopher Hunnisett from Hastings, in southern England, claimed he had been the victim of sex abuse and wanted to rid the world of sex offenders.

So he beat Peter Bick, 57, to death with a hammer even though there was no evidence that Bick was a pedophile. Hunnisett then went to a nearby police station and confessed to the killing.

Bick and Hunnisett had met online and started a sexual relationship.

Hunnisett had already been convicted of a previous murder in 2002, again of an alleged pedophile, the Rev. Ronald Glazebrook, 81.

He had known the priest, whom he had met through church, since his youth and had later become a tenant in the priest's home.

Hunnisett initially claimed he had found Glazebrook dead in the bathroom, panicked, and then dismembered and disposed of his body.

He later changed his story to say he punched the vicar for trying to grope him in the bathroom, and asserted that Glazebrook then fell in the bathtub and died.

An appeals court acquitted him in September 2010, after he had served eight years, when Hunnisett alleged that the cleric sexually abused him throughout his teens.

Just four months after he was acquitted, Hunnisett killed Bick.

After being found guilty of Bick's murder, Hunnisett tried to flee the courtroom, but was prevented from doing so by guards.

AUSTRALIAN VICTIMS OF FACEBOOK HATE GROUP SUE MILITARY
Just as Australia marks the 20th anniversary of allowing Gay men and Lesbians to serve openly in the military, the victims of a Facebook hate page that outed and threatened Gay service members have filed a lawsuit over the army's handling of the scandal, according to Pink News.

Australia lifted the ban on Gay service in 1992. However, Stuart O'Brien, an advocate for Gay soldiers in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), told The Sunday Age of Melbourne that many recruits were still concerned about serving openly.

Two years ago, five ADF personnel, including army psychologist Paul Morgan, were outed on a Facebook page for making what the page called 'a filthy lifestyle decision.' The page was created by former soldier Marcus Andrew Georgiou to expose current and former soldiers for being what he called 'bum bandits.'

Australian media report that the page also had links to violent and pornographic YouTube videos showing Gay men being executed.

Georgiou was acquitted after a court found him to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, due to his having seen a fellow soldier fall to his death in the Solomon Islands.

The army merely placed a note on the files of the 31 serving members who accessed the website, a punishment that was 'less than a slap on the wrist,' said John Harvey, a lawyer for the victims. This outcome, he added, was 'symptomatic of indifference to Gay hate language in the army.'

COSTA RICAN VICE PRESIDENTS ENDORSE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR GAY COUPLES
The two vice presidents of Costa Rica, Alfio Piva and Luis Liberman, said recently that Gay couples deserve the same rights as heterosexuals, though they stopped short of endorsing equal marriage.

The two men also oppose Gay adoption rights, but they said Gay people should have the same rights regarding inheritance, social security, and loan applications. The president of the country, Laura Chinchilla, has not commented on the issue, merely saying that it isn't currently a priority for the government.

Two years ago, Costa Rica's constitutional court blocked a referendum that would have allowed voters to decide on civil partnerships for Gay couples. This contrasts with countries like Uruguay and Colombia, where civil unions are legal.

MAN WHO PUT UP 'GAY FREE ZONE' POSTERS IN LONDON SENTENCED FOR HAVING AL-QAEDA MATERIAL
Mohammed Hasnath, the man fined for putting up stickers in east London declaring it a 'Gay free zone,' has been jailed for possessing material from the terrorist group al-Qaeda.

Hasnath had copies of the group's Inspire magazine on a memory stick, AP reports. He was sentenced to 14 months' imprisonment under the U.K.'s Terrorism Act.

Hasnath, 19, was also given a concurrent one-month sentence for painting burkas (full body coverings) over images of women in deodorant ads.

Last year Hasnath was fined £100 plus £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after he put up the stickers, which showed a rainbow flag with a black line through it and the words 'Gay free zone.' Above the flag was printed 'Arise and Warn' and below it read 'And fear Allah: Verily Allah is severe in punishment.'

The stickers caused outrage in the local community, with one Jewish resident saying it reminded him of Nazi signs his mother had faced in the 1930s declaring an area a 'Jew free zone.'

Others said it made them fearful for their safety.

When told of the allegation that he had been using threatening or abusive words or behavior, Hasnath reportedly said, 'But I just put up stickers, I didn't harass or swear at anybody or anything.'

Hasnath, who was representing himself, pleaded guilty to the offense.

When asked by District Judge Jeremy Coleman what he had to say for himself, Hasnath replied, 'Basically, some people just handed them to me so I just put them up. I didn't say anything, it doesn't say that I am going to punish them, it just says what God says in the Quran.

Having already spent 206 days in custody pending today's ruling, Hasnath is expected to be released soon.

COLOMBIA: PARTNER OF GAY CATHOLIC PRIEST WINS PENSION RIGHTS
The Gay partner of a deceased Catholic priest has been told he will receive his lover's pension, despite the cleric's vow of chastity.

The Constitutional Court of Colombia found in favor of the partner, who lived with the priest for 28 years before his death in 2009.

The court dismissed the rulings of previous judges who accepted the argument that the deceased was a sworn Catholic priest who took a vow of chastity and that benefits therefore should be denied, as he broke this vow.

Instead the court ruled that for all legal intents and purposes, same-sex couples constitute a family. It also stated that Colombia is a secular state and civil servants must exercise the principle of 'religious neutrality' in their judgments.

It is understood that the ruling would have applied equally regardless of whether the priest's partner had been male or female.

While a civil partnership bill introduced by President Álvaro Uribe was defeated in 2007 in the Colombian Congress, the court has repeatedly ruled and intervened in favor of LGBT rights for same-sex couples. But this is the first time a court has granted pension rights to a same-sex couple consisting of a priest and a layperson.

CASTRO'S NIECE PRAISES OBAMA'S SUPPORT FOR MARRIAGE
Cuba's most prominent LGBT rights activist praised U.S. President Barack Obama after he came out in support of equal marriage rights for Gay couples.

Pink News reports that Mariela Castro, niece of ex-President Fidel Castro and daughter of current President Raul Castro, said she hoped Obama's announcement, making him the first sitting U.S. president to support marriage equality, would have legislative repercussions around the world.

According to the AP, in her role as head of the National Center for Sex Education, Castro said that Obama's position was 'humane [and] understanding, in which he even recognizes that he too has been changing his opinion in favor of marriage, the free union of same-sex couples.'

Under Fidel Castro's nearly five-decade rule, many Gay men suffered in Cuban labor camps as the regime 're-educated' homosexuals, with same-sex attraction seen as a symptom of capitalist decadence.

Castro believed that hard work would rid the men of their 'counter-revolutionary tendencies.'

But in 2010 he admitted that he was wrong, saying his persecution of Gays was 'a great injustice.'

CHILE PASSES HATE CRIME BILL FOLLOWING GAY MAN'S MURDER
In the wake of a national outcry over the homophobic killing of a young man, the Chilean Congress has approved an anti-discrimination bill that outlaws discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation, according to Pink News.

The bill had languished in Congress for over seven years, but was finally fast-tracked for approval by President Sebastian Pinera and cleared its final hurdle with a 25-3 vote in the Senate.

The anti-discrimination measure had been blocked by religious groups, who contended that it would constitute the first step toward 'Gay marriage.'

The killing of Daniel Zamudio earlier this year by a neo-Nazi group provoked national soul-searching in Chile.

Zamudio was attacked on March 3, and sustained severe head injuries and a broken leg. His body was covered in cigarette burns and carved swastika symbols. He died three weeks later, and thousands attended his funeral in Santiago. Four men have been arrested and prosecutors will be pressing for murder charges, it is reported.

Chilean Sen. Alberto Espina said in a statement: 'It's an enormous culture change for our country. & Chile is a country that discriminates a lot for being [indigenous] Mapuche, for being Gay, for your nationality, for having disabilities. We have to acknowledge this and not sweep it under the carpet.'

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