Uganda cancels Pride week again

The Ugandan government has cancelled a week of gay pride celebrations in the country for a second consecutive year.

On 16 August Simon Lokodo, the state minister of ethics and integrity, issued a directive shutting down a gala in Kampala, accusing the organisers of attempting to stage an illegal gathering aimed at the “recruitment, exhibition and promotion of homosexuality”.

“It’s true I ordered the police to stop and shut down all the gay pride events. No gay gathering and promotion can be allowed in Uganda. We can’t tolerate it at all,” said Lokodo. “We know they are trying to recruit and promote homosexuality secretly. But it’s worse to attempt to stand and exhibit it in public arena. This is totally unacceptable. Never in Uganda.”

Your Activist invites readers to join in his own and long standing personal total boycott of any goods and foods from Uganda.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/aug/21/no-gay-promotion-can-be-allowed-uganda-cancels-pride-events-lgbt

Pride in Nepal

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Today | Uncredited photographer | Agence France Press | 17148

Nepal’s gay community marched through Kathmandu today, in an annual pride parade timed to coincide with the Hindu festival of Gai Jatra, which honours people who have died.

The gay community uses the festival to call attention to its demands for equal rights. About 1,500 people took part in the parade, paying tribute to members of LGBTI community who had died in 2017.

“Every year we celebrate a pride festival to show that we want to be recognised in this society with our different identity, that we are a part of this society,” said Pinky Gurung, president of the Blue Diamond Society, which is a gay rights organisation in Nepal.

Nepal has some of South Asia’s most progressive laws on homosexuality and transgender rights, but members of the community continue to face discrimination and live on the margins of society.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4771494/Nepal-hosts-gay-pride-parade-demanding-equal-rights.html

How much progress has there been, then?

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Copyright control | 17141

Pink News reports the result of a You Gov poll checking the attitudes towards homosexuality and gay relationships.

The poll of 1,609 adults found that 42 per cent believe that gay sex is not natural, 48 per cent believe that primary school children should not be taught about gay relationships in school, and 36 per cent disapprove of gay men becoming parents.

78 per cent of people aged 18-24 believe that gay sex is natural while 69 per cent of people aged 65 and above believe that gay sex is unnatural.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/07/26/exclusive-50-years-after-decriminalisation-over-40-of-brits-believe-gay-sex-is-unnatural/

German gay marriage legal, but faces legal challenge

The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, signed the “marriage for all” bill into law on Thursday. The new law will come into effect after 1 October 2017.

The final step in the legalisation of gay and lesbian marriage comes three weeks after the country’s Bundestag approved the law at the end of June.

The law was controversial, and was rushed through both houses of parliament before the summer break.

Lawmakers who are opposed to “marriage for all” have threatened to have the legality of the new law checked by the Federal Court of Justice, which is Germany’s highest court.

The main change between civil partnerships and marriage equality in German law means same-sex couples will be able to jointly adopt children.

http://www.dw.com/en/german-president-signs-gay-marriage-bill-into-law/a-39795137

Mrs May backs gay marriage in Churches

The Prime Minister has told the Church of England to “reflect” on allowing same-sex couples to marry in church. She also said her father, the Reverend Hubert Brasier, would have supported church blessings for gay couples. She believed her father “very much valued the importance of relationships of people affirming those relationships and of seeing stability in relationships and people able to be together with people that they love”.

Church of England priests are currently not allowed to marry gay couples in church or bless same-sex marriages, an issue which has split the church – progressives are pushing for greater inclusion of gay people while conservative evangelicals are resisting change.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/19/prime-minister-church-should-reflect-allowing-gay-couples-marry/

Pensions equality suddenly comes nearer. At last

John Walker has won a landmark ruling which if implemented will give his husband the same pension rights as a wife would receive.

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that if John Walker dies, his husband is entitled to a spouse’s pension, provided that they remain married. The ex-chemical company worker said it would “drag” the government “into the 21st Century”, while human rights group Liberty said “thousands” could benefit.

A government spokesman said it would review the implications of the ruling.

The decision will effect the entitlement of thousands of civil partners and spouses in same sex marriages, who will now enjoy the same pension rights and entitlements as people in a heterosexual marriage.

For example, Mr Walker’s husband would be entitled to a spousal pension of about £45,000 a year in the event of Mr Walker’s death, rather than around £1,000 a year he would currently expect.

Your Activist first campaigned for pensions equality more than fifteen years ago.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40580596

More claims of gays being killed in Chechnya

It is hard to verify news coming out of Chechnya, so Gay Activist reports them as allegations, not facts. The situation seems to be deteriorating rapidly, and details take some time to emerge.

A secret mass execution of up to 56 people was carried in the volatile Russian region of Chechnya on 25 January, says the Novaya Gazeta, which published a list of names of 27 people who it alleged were wiped out in the alleged extra-judicial killings which are alleged to have taken place in the capital, Grozny.

None of the alleged executed were given a trial, which is a gross betrayal of their human rights under international law.

The mass arrests and executions were triggered by the alleged killing of a policeman on 16 December 2016.

Dozens of gay people executed in Chechnya ‘without ever going to trial’

Yu did it

A gay man in central China, Mr Yu, has damages from a psychiatric hospital over forced “gay cure” conversion therapy. In China it is the first such victory for the LGBT rights movement which is gradually emerging in the country.

A court in Zhumadian ordered a city psychiatric hospital to publish an apology in local newspapers and pay the 38-year old man 5,000 yuan – £570 – in compensation.

Mr Yu had been forcibly admitted to the hospital in 2015 by his wife and relatives. He was diagnosed with “sexual preference disorder” and forced to take medicine and receive injections. He walked free after 19 days.

China removed homosexuality from its list of recognised mental illnesses more than 15 years ago but it is reported that families do admit their relatives for conversion therapy.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/04/chinese-man-wins-forced-gay-conversion-therapy-lawsuit

Malta to say Yes

Malta is on the verge of legalising gay marriage after the government brought forward legislation to scrap gendered references to marriage in the country’s laws. Gendered terms such as “husband”, “wife”, “mother” and “father” will be removed from the country’s Marriage Act and other laws and be replaced with gender-neutral terminology.

It will also become legal for gay couples to adopt children.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/malta-gay-marriage-same-sex-legalise-gendered-word-ban-legislation-law-a7822226.html

Singapore turned pink

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CNN | 17131

Thousands of Singaporeans on Saturday rallied for gay rights at the annual Pink Dot celebration, despite a new government policy banning foreigners from participating.

Pink Dot, which plays on Singapore’s “Little Red Dot” nickname, is a non-profit organisation set up to promote LGBT equality in Singapore which has held an annual celebration for the last eight years.

Pink was chosen because it is the mix of the colors of Singapore’s national flag – red and white. Pink Dot stands for an open, inclusive society.

Under Singapore law, sex between men is punishable by up to two years in jail.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/01/asia/singapore-gay-pride-rally/index.html