Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gay Window on the World

My Zimbio
Top Stories

United States:
Bravo to Gay rights activist Cleve Jones for announcing the National March for Equality in Washington, D.C. scheduled for National Coming Out Day October 11, 2009. We need to show up in force and demand full equal rights. Now is the time to book your flight and hotel. With months to spare there are plenty of deals to be had!

In other news from the U.S., President Obama gets a thumbs down from us for his decision to grant partial domestic-partner benefits to federal workers. Obama called the move "only one step" that would be followed by the granting of health care and other benefits, once Congress votes to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. The President gets limited points for this watered down version of his campaign pledge and should have found a way around DOMA to enact full benefits immediately.

Credit for the President, should however, be given where credit is due. According to Gay and Lesbian Leadership Smart Brief, (sign up at
married, same-sex couples have received approval from the Obama administration to apply for passports using their spouse's last name. The issue was cited in a federal lawsuit filed by Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders that seeks to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

South America:
Last month Xiomara Duran, a 27-year old transwoman, was killed by six gunshots fired by an unknown individual on Avenida Libertador in Caracas. This is the fourth murder to affect the Caracas transgender community in the last six months. In the past 10 months, two transpeople were shot to death and another transperson was stabbed to death in Caracas.

Middle East:
Reports of torture in Iraq persist. Among them, gay men are being entrapped. Their persecutors then bring them to undisclosed locations, seal their anuses shut with super-glue and then force them to ingest laxatives.

In Turkey, a prominent 28 year old transgender activist, Ebru Sokan, was stabbed to death in her Istanbul home on June 15, 2009.

We’ve previously covered the Gay Pride Festival held in Phnom Penh this past May. but wanted to share that the organizers have reported that the event has inspired new activism in the region. The five-day event raised awareness of the LGBT community and advanced efforts in education, organizing, health initiatives, the arts and social networking. Plans for next year’s festival are already underway.

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