January 13th, 2014

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Gay Equality Day Wednesday January 15th! Think, Reflect, Create

Pictured is Kirill Kalugin, 21, is a student at St Petersburg’s Polytechnic University. He became famous for holding a one-man protest at Palace Square during celebrations of Russian Airborne Troops Day on 2 August 2013, when he unfolded a rainbow banner reading: ‘This is promotion of tolerance’ and was attacked and arrested by uniformed veteran paratroopers within seconds. ‘The protests should make people think, reflect, and create discussions in our society,’ he says. ‘Protests that are seen by no one are useless.’

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From this set of Gay and Lesbian people in Russia. His statement "This is promotion of tolerance" and "The protests should make people think, reflect, and create discussions in our society." Really struck a chord with me.

Next month, February 7th I will focus exclusively on the Olympics and Russia. This month, let's see what's going on around the world.

Just today I read here that the president of Nigeria signed a law criminalizing same sex relationships. "The bill, which contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison and bans gay marriage, same-sex "amorous relationships" and membership of gay rights groups, was passed by the national assembly last May but Jonathan had delayed signing it into law." Finally, it seems, the United States is saying something to a country that passes such laws. Secretary of State John Kerry said in part, "It is inconsistent with Nigeria's international legal obligations and undermines ... democratic reforms and human rights protections."

In Cameroon a man was sentenced to 3 years in jail for sending a text to another man saying he loved him. In prison he developed a hernia, was released to the hospital and then his family took him home and let him die because they objected to his homosexuality. Cameroon is unapologetic with it's homophobic laws. A quote from the article I read: "Appearing before the council in September 2013, Anatole Nkou, Cameroon's ambassador to Geneva, testified that a prominent gay rights activist found tortured and killed last year died because of his "personal life," prompting outcry from international rights groups."

In Uganda in December a bill was passed, but not yet signed by the president, that can send a gay individual to jail for life. People can also be sent to jail for NOT reporting homosexual behavior. It also bans the promotion of homosexuality (they must have picked that one up from Russia). I agree with president Obama's comment about this, calling it "Odious". The article I read here and taken from that article is this map of Africa denoting gay rights in each country (or lack of).

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In India, their government is asking the supreme court to overturn the ruling so that being gay would NOT be illegal. From the article: "Gay sex had been effectively legalised in 2009 when the Delhi High Court ruled that a section of the penal code prohibiting "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" was an infringement of fundamental rights. But in a shock judgement on December 11, a panel of two Supreme Court judges ruled that the High Court had overstepped its authority and that a law passed in 1860 during British colonial rule was still valid." I could find no update on this, so their court must still be mulling this over.

Ignorance about the LGBT community continues around the world also, unfortunately.

From last month here, a professor at Newham College in London was terminated for comparing gays to the kkk, nazis and free masons. He also believed that gays wanted to indoctrinate children. This is an alleged educated individual?

Also in the United Kingdom, Andrea Minichiello Williams, founder of Christian Concern, said that lack of a father could lead to homosexual feelings and used Olympic diver Tom Daley as an example. Yes, apparently if your father passed away, it'll turn you gay, that's basically what she said. Let that sink in. Here's the article I read.

In the United States we have potential GOP Senate candidate from Iowa Bob Vander Plaats blathering on how if same sex married is allowed parents could end up marrying their children! Audio of his interview included with this story. I wonder if he even knows Gay marriage is allowed in Iowa? Shhhh....don't tell him! :)

Of course also in the United States there was a short window of time that Utah was allowing same sex marriages, now they are on hold. For those couples who DID get married though, whereas the State has said their marriages aren't valid, the Federal government has stepped in and said they will recognize them. Article here.

Promoting tolerance SHOULD make people think, reflect and create discussions within society. Out of that, eventually, WILL come acceptance and most of all equality.