Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rights and Wrongs

Gay protester with police officer in China

Guangzhou, China:
The Associated Press reports that on August 25, 2009 when 6 or 7 police officers descended upon People’s Park to “sweep it clean of homosexuals” they encountered an unexpected surprise. Typically, when gay men spot Chinese law enforcement arriving in the park they scatter quickly. Not this time. One brave man stood fast and was soon joined by more than 50 others who faced off with the cops. Seeing they were outnumbered the police made a hasty retreat. It’s already been a good year for LGBT defiance in China. last June, the first LGBT march was held in Shanghai, the nations commercial capital.

Uruguay gay rights front and center

Uruguay, South America:
In another bold move by the Uruguayan socialist government, this South American country is poised to become the first in the region to legalize gay adoption. The action must yet pass the Senate but is expected to do so. This is the third such legal action taken by the Uruguayan government in the last two years to extend more rights to homosexuals. As we have previously reported, in December 2007, the Congress legalized civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. In May of this year, Tabare Vazquez, the first leftist president in Uruguayan history, opened access for homosexuals to military schools. The Roman Catholic Church voiced disapproval. Big surprise.

A woman is disciplined in public

Banda Aceh, Indonesia:
In the last elections the people of this devoutly Muslim province voted to install a more moderate government. In the final days before the transfer of power, the outgoing hardliner’s pushed through new laws with steep punishments targeting adulterers and homosexuals. The legislation includes that offenders may be “stoned to death” for violating moral and religious codes common in Shariah law, a hard line interpretation of the Quran, the Muslim Holy Book.

Drop 377

The government of India decided on September 17, 2009 that it will not oppose the Delhi High Court verdict on Section 377 of the Penal Code, which decriminalizes homosexuality by “reading down” the section pertaining to same-sex relations between consenting adults in private. Indian activists are praising this decision as a symbol of tacit support for decriminalization in this landmark case.

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