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HRC pressures John Kerry; Brazilian gay teen tortured
World news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-01-22

This article shared 5510 times since Wed Jan 22, 2014
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The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) issued a statement asking U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to "direct a strong and proactive American response to the humanitarian crisis" to Nigeria in light of the African country's anti-gay law, according to a press release. HRC President Chad Griffin said," This law bars LGBT people from safe access to health care in a country that faces the second-largest HIV rate globally. That is simply unconscionable." Reportedly, many of those who have already been tortured and arrested in conjunction with the law were affiliated with local HIV/AIDS organizations.

In Brazil, authorities are looking for a gang who pulled a gay teen's teeth out, tortured and murdered him, Gay Star News reported. Kaique Batista dos Santos, 16, was found in Sao Paulo battered and bruised with an iron bar still pierced in his leg. It is alleged authorities originally believed the gay teen committed suicide. The body was so disfigured, his family were only allowed to identify the gay teen three days after being found.

A British study has revealed that same-sex couples are much more likely to be happier and more positive about their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts, according to The Huffington Post. The new survey—which polled about 5,000 people and was published by the Open University and funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council—aimed to find out how modern couples maintain their relationships despite challenges.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has attacked parliament for passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, saying gays are "abnormal" but could be saved, Gay Star News reported. Museveni has joined the critics of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, who was instrumental in forcing the measure through—even though some claimed not enough members of parliament were present to make a quorum. Museveni added that suggested "rescuing" gay and lesbian people is best done through revitalizing the economy—that is, industrializing and improving the agriculture of Uganda.

Hoping to ease international concern over a Russian law banning gay propaganda, President Vladimir Putin has vowed no athlete will face discrimination at next month's Winter Olympics, according to Gay Star News. He said, "The Olympic Games will be held in full compliance with the Olympic charter, without any discrimination on any basis. Russia will be rooting for its own athletes of course, but we wish success to all the athletes." The International Olympic Committee has not commented on Russia's gay-propaganda law, but has said it has "received assurances" no gay athlete or tourist will be arrested during the Games—as long as people don't express LGBT-related views to minors.

Virgin CEO and British billionaire Richard Branson will be working with Nigerian government leaders on gay rights, according to Gay Star News. The bill, signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan, makes it illegal to have same-sex marriages or even LGBT-related meetings. Branson—who has also spoken out against the Ugandan anti-gay bill that country's president has yet to sign—hopes to "change attitudes for the better" in Nigeria, according to a blog post.

Almost 5 percent of all marriages of New Zealand residents were between same-sex couples in the first four months after gay marriage became legal, The New Zealand Herald reported. Civil unions between same-sex couples accounted for only 1.1 per cent of all marriages and civil unions in the period from 2005, when civil unions became legal, to the end of 2012, before the gay-marriage law was passed. Including foreigners, there were 335 same-sex marriages in New Zealand in the four months to Dec. 19, 2013—with 178 between women and 157 between men.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the Jan. 12 killing of trans teen Joseph Sanchez in Belize. The statement reads, in part, "We send our condolences to Joseph's friends and family and the entire LGBT community in Belize. We are encouraged by the Belizean authorities' swift investigation into the killing, and we echo the government's commitment to ensure that all citizens, without exception, enjoy the full protection of the law." There are no arrests so far even though police believe the motive is armed robbery, Channel 5 Belize reported.

Roger Jean-Claude Mbede—a symbol for gay rights in Cameroon, where homosexuality is illegal—has died at the age of 35, according to Raw Story. Mbede suffered from testicular cancer and had an operation in July 2013. Mbede was arrested in March 2011 for sending a text message reading "I'm very in love with you" to an official in the Cameroonian presidency. He was sentenced to three years behind bars in April of that year, but was freed pending an appeal and returned to his village.

A gay Russian protester was detained Jan. 18 for unfurling a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay as it passed through his hometown of Voronezh, according to Newser.com . Photos uploaded by his friends show Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and then being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the snow as they wait for police to arrive. Voronezh is 560 miles north of Sochi, where the games will begin Feb. 7.

UKIP ( the UK Independence Party ) has suspended councillor David Silvester, who claimed that the floods to have hit the United Kingdome in December and January were caused by same-sex marriage and that homosexuality can be cured by Christian prayer, Pink News reported. Silvester also claimed in an interview that more children have been "murdered" as a result of abortion laws than the number of Jews killed in by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

In response to Nigeria and Uganda passing strict anti-gay laws, Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina has outed himself as gay, according to The Guardian. The author and founder of the influential Nairobi-based literary journal Kwani said he would continue to travel to Nigeria, where gay and lesbian people face arrest and up to 14 years in prison under new legislation, and Uganda, where MPs have passed a bill imposing life sentences for same-sex acts. Wainaina wrote the op-ed "I Am a Homosexual, Mum" in The Guardian to coincide with his 43rd birthday.

Frank Mugisha, a prominent gay activist in Uganda, has voiced fears of an AIDS setback due to the country's clampdown on gays, according to www.globalpost.com .


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