AFP | 17101
France welcomed its first gay refugee from Chechnya on Monday on the same day French President Emmanuel Macron pushed Russian leader Vladimir Putin to investigate the treatment and imprisonment of transgender and gay people in Chechnya, which is led by pro-Kremlin leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin visited Paris to hold talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and to open a French and Russian exhibition. Mr Macron said that Putin had promised “the whole truth”.
“I had the chance to bring up how important it is for France to respect all people, all minorities and all sensibilities in a civil society,” he said, as Mr Putin stood beside him listening to the translation.
“President Putin told me… he had undertaken several initiatives on the subject of LGBT people in Chechnya with measures aimed at establishing the whole truth about the activities of local authorities,” Macron said at a press conference with Putin after talks in Versailles. “I spelled out France’s expectations very precisely.”
Mr Macron warned Mr Putin that he would monitor further civil rights violations of gay people in Chechnya. The pair of leaders shook hands for the cameras in front of the Palace of Versailles, but their body language appeared tense.
File photo | Alamy | 17099
People in African countries overwhelming think homosexuality is ‘unacceptable’ compared to those living in Europe according to research by the Pew Centre. People in Spain are the most morally accepting, with only six per cent saying it’s unacceptable; Germany comes a close second with only 8 per cent saying it’s unacceptable.
The research shows that 98 per cent of those in Ghana, 95 per cent of those in Egypt and Jordan say ‘unacceptable’ when asked “Do you personally believe that homosexuality is morally acceptable, morally unacceptable, or is it not a moral issue?”
Canada and France are joint top for not thinking sexuality is a moral issue, with exactly half of the participants in each country asked saying it’s ‘not a moral issue’.
In the UK, 17 per cent of people (or one in six), people think homosexuality is ‘morally unacceptable’, 36 per cent say it’s morally acceptable, and the majority (43 per cent) say ‘it’s not a moral issue’. The Czech Republic have the highest proportion of those saying homosexuality is morally acceptable – with 56 per cent of those questioned saying it is.
Pew sampled a whopping 40,117 respondents in 40 countries worldwide.
Isopix/REX/Shutterstock | 17098
Gauthier Destenay, the husband of Luxembourg’s gay prime minister Xavier Bettel posed alongside the other wives and partners of Nato leaders at their summit this week for a group photo.
He looks as if he is enjoying the occasion. He stood behind a grinning Mrs Trump and Emine Erdogan, the wife of Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey.
It is reported that Russian officials are examining claims that a deadly anti-homosexual purge has been unfolding in Chechnya. Detainees who spoke to the Guardian reported being held in a secret location for days or weeks, beaten and tortured with electric shocks.
After international outcry, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been briefed on the situation by the country’s human rights ombudsman, Tatyana Moskalkova. The Guardian reports there is evidence Russian authorities are investigating the allegations.
Human rights groups have urged Moscow to investigate the reported abuse and alleged deaths of gay men. German Chancellor Angela Merkel confronted Putin about the issue during a recent meeting with him.
Today Human Rights Watch issued details of alleged abuses of gay men at the hands of Chechen authorities. The report says the men who are released face reprisals not only from Chechen security forces, but also from their own families.
Chechnya is an extremely conservative society and homosexuality is considered a “stain” on the family honour.
A spokesperson for Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s strongman leader, again dismissed reports of the purge by saying that there are no gay people in the quasi-independent state. “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,” he said, according to the New York Times.
South Korea’s Rainbow Flag | Yay Images | 17096
A military court in South Korea sentenced an army captain to six months in prison on Wednesday for having sex with other servicemen, igniting an outcry against what rights groups called a homophobic “witch hunt” in the country’s military.
The prison term for the captain was suspended for one year, so if he did not break the law again in the next year, he would not go to prison but he will be dishonorably discharged (unless his conviction is overturned by an appeals court).
The captain, whose name was not disclosed, collapsed when the verdict was announced in military court, and was taken to a hospital after hurting his head, said Lim Tae-hoon, the director of the Military Human Rights Centre.
The South Korean military criminal code outlaws sodomy and other unspecified “disgraceful conduct” between servicemen, whether or not there is mutual consent and whether or not that conduct takes place in or outside military compounds. Those found to have violated the act face up to two years in prison.
In South Korea powerful right-wing Christian groups have intensified a campaign against homosexuality, scuttling a bill that would have given sexual minorities the same protections as other minority groups.
The captain was arrested days before he was scheduled to leave the army. All of his sexual activities were consensual and took place in private spaces, like his home. None of the servicemen the captain had sex with served in his unit.
The Irish Republic’s Charities Regulatory Authority has appointed inspectors to carry out a statutory investigation into GLEN, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network. Glen announced last week it will close following a review of its operations.
The CRA emphasised that the opening of a statutory investigation is not in itself a finding of any wrongdoing, and the scope of the investigation will include the administration, governance and financial management of the charity by Glen’s trustees and whether charitable assets have been used exclusively for charitable purposes and can be accounted for.
Tyrone Siu/Reuters | 17095
A top Taiwan court ruled for of gay marriage today, in a landmark ruling that paves the way for the island to become the first place in Asia to legalise same sex unions.
Twelve of 14 judges in the court, the Judicial Yuan, said current marriage laws violate the constitutional rights of same-sex couples.
Taiwan’s government has two years to implement the ruling.
The Independent reminds us of what being gay is like in Nigeria.
A hangover from colonial rule, anti-gay laws in Nigeria can lead to punishments including 14 years in prison to death by stoning. Gay people are also banned from holding meetings or forming clubs.
Nigerian Michael Ighodaro managed to get to New York where he now lives and s is an Assisant Professor in Global LGBTI Studies at The new School University in New York. The Independent interviewed him.
… The poverty of LGBT people (is an issue) that we don’t talk about so much. A lot of us are made to leave school and can’t get jobs. People are living in very hostile environments that aren’t fit for humans. We talk about HIV and laws, which is great, but these issues are killing gay people more than the law. They can’t even afford to eat and that is a real issue.
Polda Metro | 17094
Indonesian police have arrested dozens of men accused of holding a ‘gay sex party’ at a gym and sauna in Jakarta.
Officers raided a venue called Atlantis in the late hours of Sunday and arrested 141 men including one Briton and one Singaporean.
Police said up to 10 men could be charged under the country’s harsh pornography laws.
Pictures circulating online showed topless men sitting crammed in a room next to gym equipment after the police raid.
Those found guilty of breaking the laws face up to 10 years in jail.
People arrested in earlier raids were forced to have HIV tests.
Metro alleges that a Conservative Party candidate, Kristy Adams, who is hoping to take the parliamentary seat of Hove and Portslade from Labour on June 8, has been accused of being a prominent member of a church linked to so-called ‘gay cures’, the evangelical King’s Arms Church in Bedfordshire for a number of years. The church is alleged to be linked to homophobic exorcisms claimed to ‘heal’ gay people.
A gay former member of the congregation is quoted as saying it was ‘categorically the case that homosexuality in the church was regarded as a sin, the inclination to which could be cured through prayer and counselling’.
Tory candidate linked to notorious ‘gay cures’ church