Moldova: Reverse Ban on Gay Rights Demonstration
(New York, May 20, 2006) The mayor of Chisinau, Moldova must affirm human rights by overturning his ban on a lesbian and gay-rights demonstration, Human Rights Watch said today. In a letter sent today, Human Rights Watch called on the mayor and on the Moldovan government to ensure that peaceful demonstrations proceed without interference, and that legislation outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is passed as a matter of priority.
"Chisinau's mayor has surrendered to prejudice instead of defending basic freedoms," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "Attempts to ban pride marches in Latvia, Poland and Russia have drawn world condemnation. Moldova should draw lessons from these experiences by opting to stand on the side of rights rather than repression."
Mauritius sees first gay rights march
ROSE HILL, Mauritius (Reuters) - Hundreds of gays and lesbians staged the first gay rights march on the largely conservative Indian Ocean island on Saturday, shocking afternoon shoppers in the bustling town of Rose Hill.
Mauritius, located off the southeast coast of Africa, has a population of 1.2 million made up of Hindus, Catholics and Muslims.
The gay community, which activists say makes up about 10 percent of the population, is mostly underground as many face persecution and discrimination.
Panel bars UN links to two more gay rights groups
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A U.N. panel this week barred two more gay rights groups from having a formal voice at the United Nations after blocking two others earlier this year, diplomats said on Friday.
Votes to deny the groups "consultative status" at the world body took place in the U.N. Economic and Social Council's Committee on Nongovernmental Organisations, which wrapped up its latest eight-day session on Friday.
A total of 2,870 nongovernmental organisations have such status, enabling them to distribute documents and speak at meetings of some U.N. bodies and conferences.
The committee, which holds sessions twice a year, this week rejected applications from The Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany and ILGA-Europe, a chapter of the International Gay and Lesbian Association.
During its first 2006 session, which took place last January, the committee rejected the Belgium-based International Gay and Lesbian Association and the Danish National Association for Gays and Lesbians.
Judge Strikes Down Okla. Gay Adoption Law
OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge struck down a 2-year-old law that prohibits Oklahoma from recognizing adoptions by same-sex couples from other states and countries.
U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron ruled Friday the measure violated due process rights under the U.S. Constitution because it attempted to break up families without considering the parents' fitness or the children's best interests.
Gay-rights organization Lambda Legal had challenged the law on behalf of three same-sex couples.