Compiled by Meg Crane
Gay Pride parade protected
PODGORICA, Montenegro – The Guardian reported that Montenegro is making an effort to show its support for the GLBTQ* community in its attempt to join the European Union.
In October, about 150 people took part in the southeastern European country’s second Pride parade in the city of Podgorica.
The group was protected by 2,000 police officers from 1,500 opponents to the parade. Twenty officers were injured by protestors throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. About 60 protestors were arrested. All the parade participants safely finished the march and were evacuated to a safe location.
The next parade has already been scheduled for June 2014. According to the government website, the country wants to show it is dedicated to protecting the GLBTQ* community’s rights and freedoms.
Same-sex marriage in Asia-Pacific
TAIPEI, Taiwan – The Huffington Post reported that the most recent GLBTQ* Pride parade in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, was intended to put pressure on the government to legalize same-sex marriage. The government began reviewing a gaymarriage bill on Oct. 26 that had support from 53 per cent of the public. Taiwan could become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage and is already ahead of other Asian countries in terms of GLBTQ* rights. The country’s primary school curriculum includes sexual-orientation education and the GLBTQ* community is protected from prejudice, such as hiring discrimination. New Zealand became the first Asia-Pacific country to legalize same-sex marriage just this year, followed by the Australia Capital Territory (a self-governing territory in the southeast of Australia).
Verbal abuse taken seriously
PLYMOUTH, United States; LONDON, MANCHESTER, United Kingdom – Homophobic verbal abuse is not being tolerated by some officials around the world. According to PinkNews, Reginald Brayford was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison for harassing his neighbours in the U.S. Brayford admitted to shouting at a gay couple who lived on his street. His sentence was reduced to 12 weeks. A restraining order prevents him from contacting his soon-to-be-former neighbours. Brayford is selling his house and moving to prevent re-offending. In London, police are looking for a man accused of making homophobic comments towards a same-sex couple on a train. Nurse Laura O’Shea of Manchester was taken to court for directing homophobic language at a police officer.
Seeking asylum in the EU
EUROUPEAN UNION – According to The Telegraph, sexuality is now a grounds to apply for asylum in any European Union country. People with justified fear of persecution or human rights violations because of the social group they belong to and the country they live in can apply for European asylum. Europe’s highest court decided last month that people of certain sexual orientations can fit into this category.
The cases in question which led to this ruling were of three gay men from African countries fearing imprisonment. Next year, the
Dutch courts are expected to decide how authorities should verify sexual orientation in such claims.