International News: October 2014

Volkovat.A.T.u. Singer Doesn’t Mind Lesbians, ‘Won’t Accept’ Gay Men

A singer from Russian duo t.A.T.u., condemned gay men in a recent interview. Julia Volkova, who has identified herself as bisexual, said she “would condemn” her son if he came out as gay, but that women should have the “freedom” to be lesbians.

“A man must be a man,” she said and added that God created man for the sake of “procreation.” Volkova went on to say that she would be OK with it if her daughter was a lesbian.

Ugandan Activist Granted Asylum 

A prominent Ugandan LGBT rights advocate who fled his homeland earlier this year has been granted asylum in the U.S. A letter dated September 11 stated John “Longjones” Abdallah Wambere’s asylum request “has been recommended for approval,” pending the results of a mandatory background check.  Wambere, a member of the LGBT advocacy group Spectrum Uganda arrived in the U.S. in February. Three days after his arrival, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill that sought to impose a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts.

Yu_Mei-nu_from_VOA_(1)Taiwanese Parliament to Consider Marriage Bill

A Taiwanese legislator has promised to put the Marriage Equality Bill on the agenda of the upcoming parliamentary session. According to Gay Star News via the Central News Agency, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yu Mei-nu (left) yesterday drew lots to become co-chair of the committee that sets the agenda for the next session of the Legislative Yuan.

Twice-Cancelled Jerusalem Pride Attracts Low Turnout

This year’s Jerusalem Pride – which was delayed twice due to the Gaza conflict – has finally gone ahead, but attracted a lower-than-expected turnout. Held in Shabbat Square, reported figures show only between 500-2000 people participated.  The city is considered more conservative than other parts of Israel. Tel Aviv Pride drew a crowd of 100,000 people.

injection-needle-4884843-jiCrystal Meth Linked to HIV Rise in Australia

Methamphetamine use is responsible for the rise in HIV infections in the Australian state of Victoria, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by the Prahran Market Clinic in Melbourne, showed that 84% of patients living with HIV said the drug was a significant cause for contracting the disease.

The clinic surveyed 211 gay men between 2011 and 2013, 65 of whom had HIV. In July a report by the Kirby Institute found HIV rate in Australia is at a 20-year high. There were 1,235 new cases last year, 88 percent of which were gay men.

The New South Wales Ministry of Health also released HIV data today that showed the HIV rate had risen 3 percent in the first half of the year. There were 185 diagnoses, 79 percent of which were in gay men.

Islamic State Denounces LGBT Community 

A militant allegedly associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has described gay people as the “worst of creatures.” In an eight-minute clip, a masked man holding a rifle calls upon recruits to leave their countries and join ISIS in a rogue Islamic state where they’ve enacted sharia law, which punishes homosexuality with being stoned to death. Last month Gay Star News reported that the LGBT community in the neighboring country of Lebanon is “terrified of a massacre” if ISIS gets into the country.

michelle(1)One Network Fires, Another Hires Transgender Journalists

Turkey’s only openly-transgender broadcast journalist was fired from IMC TV after a dispute between her and the station’s management. Pink News reported that management confirmed Michelle Demishevich (left) had her contract with IMC TV terminated because of a violation of station ethics. Demishevich believes the termination is because of her gender identity and a “culture of transphobia.”

padmini-prakash-transgender-news-anchorMeanwhile an Indian news network has appointed the country’s first transgender news anchor Padmini Prakash, 31 (right) – who previously worked as a dance instructor and acted in a soap opera – was hired as a news anchor for Lotus News, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. She proved so popular with viewers that she was promoted to a more prominent role, and now heads the channel’s 7PM bulletin.

By Rachel Roth

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