As pro-LGBT-rights protests and anti-LGBT initiatives continue in dozens of countries, here’s a sampling of the news and commentary about what’s going on. Coverage of new international faith-based activism is below. See also the furor over Russia’s anti-gay crackdown as the Sochi Olympics approach and a sampling of coverage of events in Africa and the Caribbean.
WORLDWIDE ADVOCACY FOR AND AGAINST LGBT RIGHTS
Focus on Cameroon
A delegation of African and American faith-based activists is in Cameroon this week, pleading for tolerance, justice and improved health care for lesbians, transgender people and other sexual minorities during and after this week’s women’s health conference in Cameroon. Based on their experiences in Africa and internationally, the activists from Cameroon, Uganda and the United States will meet with clergy, government officials and health-care providers to propose ways to reduce stigma against LGBT people that leads to denial of health services to sexual minorities and increased rates of HIV infection.
The group was invited to Cameroon by Camfaids (the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS) and organized by the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation. Follow its progress on this blog [During the trip, journalist Andy Kopsa’s reports will appear at the top of the blog’s right-hand sidebar] and on her Cameroon blog.
Global Interfaith Network supports LGBT rights
In January 2014, the Global Interfaith Network (GIN) was established. A gathering of LGBTIQ religious leaders, activists and allies came together in South Africa to build a network that integrates sexuality and spirituality. See the report on YouTube.
America’s Ambassadors of Hate
The global battle for LGBT rights will not start, or end, with rainbow flags in Sochi. American activists are spreading anti-gay fear and anger around the world, The Daily Beast says:
“The messaging is coming from the United States,” Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign told an attentive audience at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. “We are exporting the hate from our country to their countries.”
The messengers are pretty far out, even by Tea Party standards, but they’re taken all too seriously when they go abroad, and they use that to try to regain credibility in the United States. “They have this access to policymakers overseas that they just don’t have here,” says Rebecca Parks at the HRC office in Washington. “We laugh them off as members of the fringe at our peril.”
Take American evangelist Scott Lively author of The Pink Swastika, blaming the Holocaust on Nazi homosexuals. He is also the co-founder of a group that the hate-trackers at the Southern Poverty Law Center, calls “the virulently anti-gay” and “currently active more in Eastern Europe than in the U.S.” And Lively proudly takes credit for his role campaigning since 2006 for the law passed last year by the Russian Duma, which ostensibly bars homosexual “propaganda” targeting children. “Go Ruskies!” he proclaimed at the time.