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African Country Legalizes Homosexuality

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Mozambique - Google MapsGay sex will officially be legal in Mozambique from 29 June. The southern African nation will officially be added to the list of countries with no law against same-sex relations, 180 days after the government agreed to the revised Penal Code.

Legislators specifically revised the penal code that allowed ‘security measures’ to be taken against people ‘who habitually engage in vices against nature’. This was used to discriminate against and prosecute LGBTI people that could have sent them to a workhouse for up to three years.

But as this was done rarely it was considered by many to be a meaningless clause in the statute books. Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique has said: ‘The new Penal Code sweeps away a great deal of the musty colonial legacy, including the mention of “vices against nature”. ‘Now not even the most contorted of arguments could claim that acts of gay sex between consenting adults are somehow illegal.’

Authored By Joe Morgan – See the Full Story at Gay Star News

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Nepal LGBT Rights Set to Go Backward

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Nepal Gay RightsAfter becoming one of the most progressive Asian countries in the wake of a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, Nepal is preparing to recriminalize gay sex and block same sex marriage.

Gay Star News reports:

Today, the LGBTI community faces fresh opposition as the law ministry under law and justice minister Narahari Acharya of the ruling Nepali Congress is seeking to enact punitive laws to recriminalize gay sex, Sunil Pant, the country’s first openly gay politician and former member of parliament, told Gay Star News in an email. Gay sex was decriminalized in 2007 after Nepal’s parliament voted to abolish the monarchy. Up till then, homosexuality was deemed an ‘unnatural sex act’ that carried a prison term of up to a year. Under the new laws, gay sex acts will be punishable by three years imprisonment. The new laws will also prohibit same-sex unions, oral and anal sex among heterosexuals, and narrow the definition of rape to only apply to women.

It’s extremely sad to see that a country that had made such progress on KGBT rights may be turning its back on its LGBT community. Maybe the ban on oral sex for straights will help stir up some opposition?

It just goes to show that you can never stop being vigilant in the fight for equal rights.

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Lebanon: Judge Rules Gay Relations Don’t Contradict the Laws of Nature

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Lebanon - Apple Maps

Apple Maps

A positive ruling for LGBT rights in Lebanon.

Dot429 reports:

A transgender woman was accused by the state of having a same-sex relationship with a man. However, Judge Naji El Dahdah, of Jdeide Court, Beirut threw out the case on January 28, 2014. The woman on trial was born with an intersex condition but was assigned a male identity. However, after growing up feeling that she was female, she underwent gender reassignment surgery in the 1990s. Despite the surgery, she was still listed as a male on her identity papers, which led to Lebanese authorities believing she had breached Article 534 of Lebanon’s penal code, which criminalizes same-sex sexual intercourse and subsequently same-sex relationships. El Dahdah, however, rejected the case based on a previous ruling by Judge Mounir Suleiman in 2009.

One small step forward in a part of the world that usually sees very little progress on LGBT rights.

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India: New Challenge to Anti Gay Law

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Naz Foundation IndiaThe Naz Foundation, an HIV support group, petitioned the Indian Supreme Court to reconsider its decision about the country’s anti gay law.

Pink News reports:

Campaigners in India have begun a new challenge against the Supreme Court’s decision to recriminalise homosexuality. The Naz Foundation, an HIV support group, yesterday filed a curative petition challenging last December’s verdict. It argues that the court made a “mistake” in its judgment and is guilty of a “gross miscarriage of justice”.

Courts don’t generally like to be told that they were wrong, and with a new conservative government in power, it may be years before this injustice is finally addressed.

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USA, Virginia: Sodomy Law Finally Repealed

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

VirginiaThe House in Virginia finally voted to repeal the state’s unconstitutional “sodomy” ban.

Towleroad.com reports:

Virginia’s House of Delegates on Thursday unanimously passed in a 100 to 0 vote a bill that would eliminate the state’s unconstitutional ban on sodomy that criminalized oral and anal sex since 1950, ThinkProgress reports. Previously approved by the Virginia state Senate in a similar unanimous vote, the bill now awaits Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s signature or veto.

The statute in question, Virginia’s Crimes Against Nature law, technically should have been made defunct after the Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas which found that the state could not infringe on the rights of adult individuals to have consensual sex. However, many Republican legislators in Virginia, including former gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, fought to keep it in place. The sodomy ban was battered in the courts and the Supreme Court made sure to keep clear of the case.

Another victory in Virginia – amazing that the vote was 100 to 0. Now, Virginia really is for lovers.

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Democratic Republic of Congo: Government Considers Gay Sex Ban

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Democratic Republic of Congo – Google maps

from Google Maps

An African nation is considering banning gay sex.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Democratic Republic of Congo — A draft bill has been proposed to criminalize gay sex the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). National Assembly Member Steve Mbikayi, the bill’s sponsor, said Saturday the bill is necessary in order to “preserve African values,” which, he insists, “have never tolerated romantic relationships between persons of the same sex.” DRC-mapSame-sex sexual activity is legal the DRC, as homosexual acts have never been explicitly outlawed in the country’s history.

It’s disappointing to have such a spate of negative news lately, but change comes slowly, and even with our recent victories, we still have to continue the hard work.

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India: Supreme Court Re-Criminalizes Gay Sex

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

India Taj MahalIn a stunning turnaround, India’s Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling, basically reinstating the country’s sodomy ban.

The Washington Blade reports:

The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday ruled consensual same-sex sexual activity remains illegal in the country. This decision overturns a 2009 Delhi High Court ruling that decriminalized homosexuality in the world’s second most populated nation. India’s top court also said only lawmakers can repeal the colonial-era sodomy law that has been in place since 1860. NDTV reported LGBT rights advocates who had gathered outside the court began to cry when they heard the ruling. Others gathered in the streets of Mumbai to protest the decision.

LGBT rights groups are stunned.

Joe.My.God reports:

We are deeply disappointed at the decision of the Supreme Court in Suresh Kumar Kaushal v. Naz Foundation. The decision by overturning the historic Delhi High Court judgment which recognized that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) persons are full citizens of India, attempts to stem the tide of history. By overturning the Naz Foundation judgment, the Supreme Court has, in one fell stroke again reduced LGBT persons to the status of what the Delhi High Court memorably called ‘unapprehended felons’

If you ever start to forget that you are a second-class citizen, don’t worry – someone will come along to remind you.

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Seriously? Marriage Equality Opponents Sound Off – 5/1/13

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Time for our every-coupla-days installment of the crazy things the anti-gay crowd is saying.

We’ll start with Ben Shapiro at Breitbart.com, who says there aren’t enough gays being beaten up and killed in the USA to merit paying attention to newly out NBA player Jason Collins. or something like that. Joe.My.God reports:

“Approximately 1,300 hate crimes based on ‘sexual orientation bias’ were reported by the FBI in 2011. There are approximately 9 million gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the United States, according to a UCLA study. That would mean that about one of every 7,100 LGBT people in the United States became a hate crime victim in 2011. That same year, there were some 935 Jewish victims of hate crimes according to the FBI. There are approximately 5.5 million Jews in the United States. That means that one out of every 5,900 Jews became a hate crime victim in 2011. Yet no one suggests that America remains a massively anti-Semitic country, requiring massive media coverage every time a Jewish person reaches a position of power or influence.”

Wow, who knew the gays outnumbered the jews? Ann who else lumped gays and jews together in a negative way? Hmmmm…

Uncle Pat is sounding off, too, supporting a bigoted ESPN sportscaster who objected to Jason Collins’ announcement that he was gay. Joe.My.God reports:

“Somehow we’ve said if it’s heterosexual fornication, it’s bad; if it’s homosexual fornication — that used to be called an abomination in the Bible — now it’s a protected civil right. And so somebody that says that that kind of conduct is sinful is now being pilloried in the press. He’s telling the truth! This is what the Bible says! These media types have chosen a lifestyle that takes them outside the protection of God. But don’t tell somebody that he can’t speak specifically about what the Christian faith says about certain conduct. There isn’t anything bigoted about that. So, our hat’s off to somebody who’s brave enough to say it. But, whew, let’s hope the people at ESPN will man up and defend their guy for speaking what is truth.”

In Tasmania, Australia, they’re distributing fliers citing another long-running lie about the LGBT community – that hays die at a younger age than everyone else. This is happening just ahead of a vote by Tasmania’s Upper House this weekend on marriage equality. Gay Star News reports:

Over three-thousand flyers displaying statistics showing that gay people have a lower life expectancy than straight people have been distributed in the Tasmanian capital of Hobart ahead of a key gay marriage vote this Saturday. State electoral commissioner Julian Type described the flyers as ‘hateful and scurrilous’ and said they could be a breach of the Electoral Act because they are not authorized.

Singapore: Gay Couple Uses Kickstarter to Fund Repeal of Sodomy Law

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Singapore - google maps

from Google Maps

A gay couple in Singapore is fighting to decriminalize gay sex. LGBT Weekly reports:

In the short time they have been online, the project -which aims to raise funds for a legal challenge to what is universally known in Singapore as 377A – has raised more than USD 84K, a whopping 50 percent increase from only a few days ago when they had already raised USD 54K. Moreover, the original goal of USD 50K was met within one day of coming online. Unlike, Kickstarter, another popular crowd funding site, Indiegogo allows groups and individuals to raise money for causes. Indiegogo will collect four percent of all funds raised and charge three percent for credit card processing. So, if the activists raise the USD 150K they believe they will need to challenge 377A, Indiegogo will collect USD 10.5K.

The government has show no interest in repealing this abhorrent law, but maybe this effort will finally gain some traction.

Guyana: US Diplomat Encourages Country to Improve on Gay Rights

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

US Ambassador Brent HardtThe US ambassador to Guyana said that the country needs to improve its record on LGBT rights. Gay Star News reports:

The US Ambassador to Guyana, Brent Hardt said that country’s government take action and repeal anti-gay laws and introduce LGBT rights. Hardt told a media workshop held over the weekend in Georgetown, Guyana’s capital, that he believes there could be more cooperation to increase support for LGBT rights in the country, reported the portal News Source. He said that Guyana’s government took a positive step with a recent National Consultation on LGBT issues, but noted that ‘conversation and dialogue must lead to action and specifically to legislation that replaces antiquated colonial laws with modern, national laws that advance the rights of all Guyanese people’.

Guyana is the only country in South America that still criminalizes gay sex.