Anti-gay laws were passed or proposed in Russia and in Ukraine. Pro-gay demonstrations in Russia, and in Belarus, were banned and violently broken up — whilst vicious anti-gay ones were permitted, though Russians finally won a European Court of Human Rights ruling that the ban on Moscow’s gay pride march was illegal.
There were reports of arrests of gay men in Tanzania, Kurdish Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
The Serbian gay pride march was banned, reportedly for political reasons. The gay pride march in Split, Croatia was attacked, video of which ensured worldwide attention but in the capital, Zagreb, pride went ahead with no problems — and little attention. In Montenegro, the government publicly backed LGBT rights.
The fake ‘Syrian lesbian blogger’ scandal in June created a huge international storm, outraging real activists participating in the revolution there. Local LGBT in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region report mixed feelings about the potential outcomes of the ‘Arab Spring’ for them — in Syria, gays are reportedly divided on participation in that country’s revolt. The devastating impact of the Iraq war on LGBT continued to be felt. A new project documented those who have fled to Jordan, but the year went by with almost no media attention to these ‘forgotten people.’
A criminalization attempt in the DRC (Congo) parliament was started then put on hold.
The UK’s foreign aid policy relationship to LGBT human rights became the focus of a major backlash following an anti-aid story in a right-wing British newspaper, particularly in Africa and including from some LGBT activists. In a messy PR foul up, the UK was forced to clarify it wasn’t planning to remove aid but redirect it.
The so-called ‘curing’ of LGBT people continued to spread worldwide from its US origins with a backlash in Ecuador leading to closure of some ‘clinics’ and the discovery of supposed ‘conversion therapy’ being paid for by Hong Kong’s government. In the US itself, ‘cure the gay’ drew both ridicule and outrage, the latter in particular highlighted by a media expose about the suicide of some gay people forced when they were children to go through it and the discovery that a Republican presidential candidate’s camp husband was selling ‘conversion’ therapy.
Image via Wikipedia: Manifestação contra Homofobia, Brasilia
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