12 April 2012-NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI Rights

Articles

LGBT High School Opens in Phoenix
Michelle Garcia, Phoenix, advocate.com, 12 Apr 2012

Phoenix, Arizone, opened the doors to the state's first high schools targeted toward LGBT students last month, join a small group of other LGBT schools across the U.S.
Everyone here is open and welcoming," Tyler, a junior, told a local ABC affiliate. "Everyone says hi, everyone wants to know you." The school operates mainly as a Arizona Virtual Academy, so students take academic classes online. The school also operates as a youth center that provides resources for LGBT youth, including a class on coming out. Currently 14 students are enrolled, but the facility can handle 25 students.

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18 men, presumed to be gay, charged with indecency after Gambia dance for tourists
Banjul Gambia, The Miami Herald, 12 Apr 2012

A court in Gambia has arrested 18 people and accused them of organizing an "indecent" dance ceremony for tourists.
The 18 men each pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges of "indecent practice contrary to the law of the country." The criminal charge is applied toward people who are accused of taking part in homosexual acts in Gambia. In 2008, President Yahya Jammeh told gays and lesbians to leave the country or have their heads cut off. Gays and lesbians face threats of violence and discrimination across the continent.

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Brazil: Gay-murders more than double in five years
Troy Petenbrink, Examiner.com, 12 Apr 2012

As the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association plans to hold its 2012 Convention in Brazil April 12 to 14, violence against gays in that country is making headlines - again.
"Murders of gays and lesbians [in Brazil] are on the rise," according to the online news site The Daily Beast. “Attacks against gays have climbed steadily for most of the last decade, with 272 murdered in 2011—one every 36 hours, according to Grupo Gay da Bahía, a leading gay-rights group that tracks antigay violence. This year, GGB reports, it’s even worse, with 75 murders in just the first 10 weeks. That’s one every 24 hours.”

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The gay community still persecuted in Namibia
Clemans Miyanicwe, informanté, 11 Apr 2012

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-sexual and Intersex community (LGBTI) believes that they are still treated as second-class citizens, despite Namibia gaining independence from the apartheid regime of South Africa more than 20 years ago. I spoke to a few LGBTI activist and human-rights defenders. ‘‘The anti-homosexuality laws that make sodomy a crime have to be abolished, because after 22 years we don’t still have to live under such laws. The politicians who claim that homosexuality is un-African must know that it has been part and parcel of our society before the colonisers arrived on the African soil,” said Nicodemus ‘Mama Africa’ Aochamub, a proud transsexual and Director of Namibia’s biggest sex-workers’ organisation, Rights not Rescue

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KONY 2012 Effort a Ministry in Antigay Evangelical Barnabas Group, Reports LGBT Rights Nonprofit
Bruce Wilson, Huffington Post, 10 Apr 2012

 
Mounting suspicions about the evangelical nature of the Invisible Children nonprofit, which released the blockbuster KONY 2012 viral video hit in early March, have now been confirmed. As reported by the LGBT rights nonprofit Truth Wins Out, in 2007 Invisible Children officially applied to become one of the elite Christian ministries supported by the politically right-wing, evangelical Christian nonprofit the Barnabas Group -- which accepted IC's application.

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Police officers to testify in anti-gay law activists case
St. Petersburg, Rapsinews, 09 Apr 2012

 A St. Petersburg court will continue to hear on April 16 the case against two gay rights activists for protests against the law prohibiting gay and pedophilia promotion among minors.
The court will hear the testimony of police officers who detained activists Sergei Kondrashov and Igor Kochetkov.
The bill, setting fines for “gay propaganda,” came into force in St. Petersburg on March 30. It faced criticism from the LGBT community and rights activists in Russia and abroad, but was also proposed to be made into a federal law. The law proposes to fine violators.
The court added to the case a letter addressed to St. Petersburg City Council member Vitaly Milonov, the author of the notorious law. In his letter sent via online social networks, Kondrashov condemned the law.
 

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When will Asean protect gender rights?
Purple Romero, Manila, rappler.com, 06 Apr 2012

 
It’s one of the promises of the leaders in Southeast Asia this year – to come up with a human rights declaration for the region’s 600 million people.
Advocates of gender rights have to ask, however: what did the authorities mean when they spoke of human rights? Were they referring only to the rights of the heterosexual citizens of the region, or did they also consider the rights of the members of the lesbian, gay and transgender community across the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations?
This question surfaced as the draft of the Asean human rights declaration (copies of which were obtained by the media in February) did not contain any clause ensuring that the rights of everybody – regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity – would be upheld.

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Gay Activists Say Uganda Becoming More Tolerant
Kampala, Voice of America, 05 Apr 2012

 Life is not easy for Uganda's embattled homosexual community, which is still fighting against a harsh bill in parliament that could mean life in prison for some of them. Gay and lesbian activists say that in many ways, Uganda is becoming a more tolerant place.
The plight of Ugandan homosexuals has been grabbing international headlines for years. In 2009 the country’s parliament introduced a bill that would make some homosexual acts punishable by death, and would make it a crime not to report gays and lesbians to the police. Last year, gay activist David Kato was murdered in his home.
But despite everything, gay activists say that living openly in Uganda is actually these days than it was before. They are ferociously fighting the controversial bill, from which the death penalty clause has reportedly been removed. And in terms of public opinion, they say, things are looking up.

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