October, 2013 / Author:

Compiled by Megan Douglas

Russian government says no discrimination at Olympics

Russian Deputy Prime Minister said the Russian government won’t discriminate at Sochi Olympics Photo from rferl.org
LONDON – The Russian government has sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) assuring they will not discriminate against “homosexuals” during the Sochi Olympics.

The letter, sent by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, ensures Russia will comply with the Olympic Charter’s provision against discrimination of any kind, reports the Associated Press.

Although Russia has agreed not to discriminate against homosexuals at the Olympic games, Kozak did not withdraw the issue of the new law, which penalizes any person who in anyway persuades a minor that “non-traditional” relationships are normal or appealing.

Kozak’s letter came after IOC’s now former president Jacques Rogge asked the Russians for further clarifications on the law and how it could impact the Sochi Games.


“Filthy gays destroy nations”

Zimbabew’s president condemns GLBTQ* people in inauguration speech. Photo from zimbabweelection.com
HARARE, Zimbabwe – President Robert Mugabe condemned homosexuality in his inauguration speech by saying “filthy gays destroy nations.”

Mugabe, who’s serving his 33-year as president, urged people to “not offend nature by having gay sex,” reports Gay Star News.

Mugabe said in his presidential campaign that he would work to amend LGBT laws so that people in the LGBT community would “rot in jail for life.” He has also threatened to decapitate and castrate gay people.

The president has been accused of rigging his voting polls, and his opponent in the last three elections called the election a “huge fraud.”


Gay activist in a coma following beating

Ugandan gay activist (above) is in unstable condition following an attack Photo from Daily Xtra
JINJA, Uganda – A Ugandan gay activist was beaten and left to die. 

Jeniffer Ikanza, 25, is part of the Gender Equality and Health Organization (GEHO), a group in Jinja committed to the safety of people escaping homophobic families and police arrests.

The attack happened on Aug. 18 after Ikanza received a call from a woman in a neighbouring village who feared she might be killed if her husband found out that she’s bisexual.

On her way to rescue the woman, Ikanza was attacked by a group of women who beat her, kicked her, and threw rocks at her, reported the Daily Xtra.

Ikanza joined GEHO when she was 18, after her family kicked her out, believing that she is a curse to the family.


Regulating families in Russia

A drafted bill denies same-sex parents custody over their children. Photo from Bob Jagendorf, flickr.com
MOSCOW – A Russian lawmaker has drafted a bill that would deny same-sex parents custody over their children. The bill would make the “fact of nontraditional sexual orientation” a basis for denying custody, according to the Associated Press

Alexei Zhuravlev drafted the bill to make “homosexual propaganda” not only banned in public, “but also in the family.” 


The first gay protagonist in Arab cinema

A scene from Salvation Army, allegedly the first film in Arab cinema with a gay protagonist. Photo from tiff.net
MILAN, Italy – Writer and director Abdellah Taia believes his film Salvation Army will be the first film in Arab cinema to feature a gay protagonist.

The film follows Abdellah, who lives in a country where his sexual orientation isn’t accepted but still practiced. It’s based on Taia’s life growing up poor and gay in Morocco, where the movie was filmed, reports the Huffington Post.

Taia adapted his book Salvation Army, for film but both are risky considering the condemnation of GLBTQ* people in the Arab world. He hopes his film will help push for more acceptance of GLBTQ* people in Arab countries.


To Russia with love, Amsterdam

A ballet dancer performing at the “To Russia With Love” protest. Photo by Margrier Faber, AP

AMSTERDAM – Over 1,000 gay rights supporters protested Russia’s anti-gay policies by waving rainbow flags and chanting slogans.

The gathering near the end of August was organized in response to the Russian orchestra that was scheduled for later that night. 

Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan spoke at the protest, bringing attention to city’s longstanding tolerance for gay rights, reports the Associated Press. Van der Laan refused to meet with the Russian president when he came to the Netherlands in March.

The supporters named their protest “To Russia With Love”.

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