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by Rex Wockner

This article shared 2056 times since Wed Nov 5, 2008
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Trans people and GLBT activists arrested in India

Police in Bangalore, India, arrested more than 40 transgender people and GLBT activists, and mistreated several of them Oct. 20, Human Rights Watch ( HRW ) reported.

The events began with the arrests of five 'hijras' ( transgender people, intersex people and eunuchs who have no precise corollary in Western cultures ) .

When five activists from the Bangalore sexual-minorities organization Sangama then went to the Girinagar police station to assist the hijras, the activists were sent to a second police station where they were beaten and kicked. They were then returned to the first station, where two of the activists were sexually abused, HRW said. The five were charged with 'unlawful assembly' and 'obstructing a public servant,' and jailed.

Later, about 150 activists staged a protest outside the second police station. Six activists who entered the police station were arrested, beaten and sexually harassed, HRW said.

After that, police targeted the remainder of the group outside, beating the individuals with batons and arresting 31. The activists were kept in a van for seven hours and were not fed or allowed to use a toilet for 18 hours, HRW said.

All arrestees appeared before magistrates on Oct. 21 and 22 and were released. But some still face charges ranging from extortion ( in the case of the hijras ) to unlawful assembly and rioting, HRW said.

Bangalore, one of India's most modern metropolises, is the nation's third-largest and fastest-growing city. It is nicknamed the Silicon Valley of India.

Australian activists

seek apology from

Jerry Lewis

The Australian Coalition for Equality called on U.S. comedian Jerry Lewis to apologize Oct. 26 for using the word 'fag' at a press conference in Sydney two days earlier.

Asked his opinion of the game cricket, Lewis said: 'Oh, cricket? It's a fag game. What are you, nuts?'

He then reportedly flounced about effeminately handling an imaginary cricket bat.

'Mr. Lewis owes an apology to the gay community, to cricketers, and to comedians for debasing their trade with his cheap homophobia,' said ACE spokesman Rodney Croome.

Last year, during his annual Labor Day muscular-dystrophy telethon, Lewis referred to a production crewman's imaginary son as an 'illiterate faggot.'

He later apologized, saying, 'I obviously made a bad choice of words.'

Comic who blasted

pope won't be


Famous Italian comic Sabina Guzzanti will not be prosecuted for saying in July that Pope Benedict XVI will go to hell for the church's treatment of gay people.

The decision not to pursue an investigation was made by Justice Minister Angelino Alfano. A local prosecutor in Rome had suggested Guzzanti's comments broke a law that protects the dignity of Roman Catholics.

A Vatican spokesman said the church approved of the decision to drop the matter.

Former UK soccer

star cites 12 gay

current players

Former UK professional soccer player Paul Elliott, who was the Scottish Player of the Year in 1990-1991, said Oct. 16 that he knows 12 current top players who are gay but not out.

Elliott spoke at a forum called 'Homophobia—Football's Final Taboo' organized by the group Kick It Out, which is funded by soccer's governing bodies and 'works throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge racism and work for positive change,' according to its Web site.

Elliott said the players are reluctant to come out for fear of homophobic chanting at games and other negative reactions.

'I've known a dozen players who are gay,' he said. 'I understand why they do not want to come out. Like racism, there is no place for homophobia in sport.'

Trans marriage case

begins in Malta

A Constitutional Court case began in Malta Oct. 22 challenging a Civil Court decision that a post-op transsexual woman could not marry her fiancé because she is still male.

The Malta Gay Rights Movement said the case is the last stop before an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

—Assistance: Bill Kelley

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