International anti-gay violence on the rise: reports
Some worry hate attacks becoming an ‘epidemic’
By BRYAN ANDERTON
While gay activists in the United States fight for the right to marry, one global gay rights group issued a reminder this week that in many countries, gay people are fighting just to be treated humanely.
There has been a recent rash of international anti-gay violence including incidents in Jamaica, India and Nepal, according to the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Officials from the group say the violence has increased as a result of more individuals and organizations lobbying for gay rights.
“Increasingly, gay people are unwilling to be the subject of abuse,” said IGLHRC Executive Director Paula Ettelbrick, adding that the violence in recent months is most likely a “backlash” resulting from gays becoming more vocal.
Nepal: Sexual Rights Group at Risk of Closure
(New York, July 23, 2004) -- The Nepalese government should respond to a threatened judicial ban on an organization that defends lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights by affirming the freedoms of association and expression, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Nepalese authorities.
On June 18, a private lawyer petitioned the Nepalese Supreme Court to shut down the Blue Diamond Society, a nongovernmental organization working in the areas of sexual health and human rights. The petition accused the group of trying to “make homosexual activities legal,” and demanded it be banned because homosexual conduct is criminalized in Nepal.
In response to the petition, the Supreme Court gave the Ministry of Home Affairs until July 27 to show why “open homosexual activities” should not be banned in Nepal. Pointing to recent allegations of police abuse in Nepal based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Human Rights Watch urged the ministry to confirm its commitment to protecting human rights without discrimination.
“In trying to stifle the voices of sexual minorities, Nepal demonstrates its indifference to basic rights of expression and assembly,” said Scott Long, Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. “In trying to silence those who document police abuse, the Nepalese government shows its
Sex education group meets gay activists
'Homophobic' site tops talks agenda
By Sarah Brett, Belfast Telegraph
A controversial sex education group accused of promoting homophobia on its website, has met gay rights campaigners in Londonderry, it emerged today.
Love for Life, an abstinence-based sex education group, sat down with members of the Rainbow Project to discuss the content of the site and the group's overall approach to homosexuality.
Development co-ordinator for the Rainbow Project, David McCartney, said the meeting with the group's chief executive, Dr Richard Barr, was satisfactory, but produced no guarantees that perceived homophobic references would be removed from the site.
Mr McCartney was informed this morning that Love for Life will not meet them again until September.
Anti-gay Senate candidate has two gay advisers
Martinez advisor led Florida’s Christian Coalition; finance director is gay
By MUBARAK DAHIR
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — On a humid day in Tampa last month, John Dowless could be seen passing out cards at Landry’s Seafood House to a group of about 40 of Florida’s most conservative religious leaders, including members of Family First of Tampa and the Pinellas Crisis Pregnancy Center, an anti-abortion group.
Dowless arranged the lunch on behalf of Mel Martinez, the former housing secretary who is now one of eight Republican candidates trying to get his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate race this fall.
As Martinez railed against the threat of same-sex marriages to the traditional family, Dowless handed out cards to the religious leaders imploring them to “pray for Mel Martinez” and to get involved in his campaign.
Dowless was just doing his job. Formerly the executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, Dowless is now a private political consultant in Orlando.
Shepard: colleges should welcome diversity
By ANDREA FALKENHAGEN
Star-Tribune staff writer
No child can learn in an atmosphere of fear, Judy Shepard told college administrators on Wednesday morning, so colleges need to train staff and faculty to welcome diverse student populations.
"This isn't just a gay thing, we're still facing hate in our country," said Shepard. "For example, let's add to the list the Muslim population -- it's becoming a bigger issue."
Shepard is the mother of slain University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard and the founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which focuses on the prevention of hate crimes.
She addressed the conference of the Rocky Mountain Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, hosted by Casper College.
House votes to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over gay marriage
MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer
Gay marriage opponents wanted more, but House Republicans gave them at least a symbolic election-year victory.
Republicans passed legislation in the House on Thursday, 233-194, to prevent federal courts from ordering states to recognize same-sex unions that took place in other states. Democrats objected to the bill as an unconstitutional attack on gays and the federal judiciary to satisfy the GOP's political base.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said the legislation is a welcome interim step. "It provides us the opportunity to isolate some of these judicial rewrites of marriage. Until we can get an amendment to the Constitution, this will keep it from spreading," Perkins said.
Supporters said the House legislation would protect the institution of marriage by reining in federal judges who might otherwise impose gay marriage on states that have banned it. "Marriage is under attack," said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., referring to the Massachusetts state court decision allowing same-sex marriages
SIUC LOOKS AT EXTENDING HEALTH CARE TO SAME-SEX PARTNERS
BY CALEB HALE
CARBONDALE -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale officials say they are looking at how they could extend their benefits policies to people with same-sex partners, but it is essentially up to the university system leadership to make the final decision.
While discussions are just getting started, university officials expect to tackle the matter this fall. Duane Stucky, SIU vice president for financial and administrative affairs, said officials at both the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses are reviewing the options available to individuals should the university extend medical benefits to gay and lesbian employees' partners.
"It'd be too early to describe what the outcome will be at both campuses," Stucky said.
Stucky said the idea for the change came from SIU President James Walker and the board of trustees, and SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler said that is where he'll get his orders.