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2011 International LGBT Roundup: Backlash and Repression

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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.

Related stories:

Obama Admin to ‘Leverage’ Foreign Aid for LGBT Rights

3 International LGBT Causes to Support at Christmas

‘Ex-Gay’ Myth Hits Caribbean: Newspaper Ad Declares “Truth” About Gays

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Image via Wikipedia: Manifestação contra Homofobia, Brasilia

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8:40AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Lois E. Matthew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

In other words its none of your business who loves who and what they do together! Oh by the way! Do you want to explain what you mean by degrading lifestyle?

6:15AM PST on Jan 6, 2012

i am not hetero, homo, or bi; i am human and of the ALMIGHTY. when i read of people or governments feeling the need to condem, indeed, kill, anyone who is "different", i have big news folks--"different" is all of us..yet by GRACE we are the same. if the need is felt to go forth and spew the foul word of condemnation, please feel most serial killers, abusers, and the like. anyone who feels their doctrine insists he/she bombast another for their general lifestyle, there is sorry news for you....if heaven were full of the saintly, none of us would probably get there. .."Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion--several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven....The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste." mark twain (sc)
- "The Lowest Animal"

7:51AM PST on Jan 4, 2012

Why does it bother anyone who another person loves? I just don't get how it seems to effect them... LGBT people are NOT child molesters... So why does anyone have the right to tell anyone who they may LOVE?

Everyone just should keep their ignorant opinions to themselves. Did't their mothers teach them - "If you have nothing nice to say, SAY NOTHING AT ALL" . Such a waste of energy. HATE is taught. Prejudice accomplishes nothing. Ignorance is intolerable.

LGBT= love. Judgement= HATE. Why would you care who someone else sleeps with ?

9:41PM PST on Jan 3, 2012

Lois E., never in my life have I read such an intolerant, bigoted rambling. First off, the bible says many things and another one of those is "judge not lest he be judged". The problem is people of faith use their religion to justify their hatred and bigotry of those they declare to be sinners. Guess what? All of us are sinners in some shape form or fashion, none of us are perfect, but many Christians walk around with their noses in the air and sure act like it. It's not up to anyone to pass judgement on anybody else since we are all mere mortals and all the same in the eyes of God. Who are you to decide that you're automatically right and better than others just because you're passionate about your religious beliefs? Gay people do not try to push their lifestyles on anybody, they just want the same rights and considerations that are given to any other human being. They know people disagree with their sexual preference but they're against the way that disagreement is manifested (discrimination, violence, hate crimes, homophobic legislation, etc.) They are not demanding anybody accept their lifestyle, but accept them as equals, as living, breathing, thinking, feeling, multi-dimensional human beings and to not discriminate against them. Why is that so hard to understand?

2:20PM PST on Jan 2, 2012

The Gay Liberation Movement seems to be world wide now and that is a good thing.....US took the lead and is making gains despite religiousness because it is the truth that gay people are just people and not the boogyman.

1:10PM PST on Jan 1, 2012

Warren: "Homophobia is the same as racism and should be opposed as such."

Homophobia? racism? Really?! That is just a silly word the homosexuals made up to make Christians, and others who disapprove with their lifestyle, look bad, and label them as prejudice. There is no such word!

Homosexuals don't like those who disagree with their lifestyle because we stand for what is right, and the practice of the homosexual lifestyle is "an enormous sin" according to God's Word, the Bible.

Christians are not against homosexuals, but against their degrading lifestyle, and their agenda to push their lifestyle at our children in public schools, plus a dozen other things they are doing to push their agenda in our faces.

They demand that we accept their lifestyle as acceptable, honest, and good, but the Holy Bible tells us it is anything but! (forgive the pun lol). You know what they say the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

12:12PM PST on Jan 1, 2012


11:11AM PST on Jan 1, 2012

May 2012 be better!

10:51AM PST on Jan 1, 2012

Allan Y.

"How interesting it is that there was more of a hint that Obama has a gay past, yet, it has been eliminated on this site, and in the general media. What do you make of that?"

Not a thing. Obama's sexuality is no business of mine. I am rather more concerned about the extreme legislation that is being passed in several countries around the world. Gay people in the UK, America, Canada and Europe have a less than idyllic existence, but for many millions more in countries such as Russia, Iran, Africa, Turkey and any country you care to name in the Middle East, their situation is desperate. This same legislation also blights the lives of trans and intersex people. I am not gay, but I (and many others) campaign against the abuse of human rights wherever it occurs and whomsoever it affects.

7:15AM PST on Jan 1, 2012

Plainly stated, the distinction between beliefs based on religious dogma -- or any belief system that does not comport with evidence-based reality -- and stark mental illness is one without a difference.

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