Africa / Asia / Middle East / North Africa

LGBTI news briefs 2: India, Gambia, Kenya, Lebanon

News briefs about countries with anti-gay laws, excerpted with slight modifications from the Equal Eyes recap of the world’s LGBTI-related news. (This is the second of two posts. The first one reported on news from Belize, Russia and Sweden.)

 

The Indian newspaper Mid-Day published this

The Indian newspaper Mid-Day published this “groom wanted” ad for the mother of LGBT activist Harish Iyer. The phrase “IYER preferred” refers to members of the Brahmim caste of Tamil origin. (Harish Iyer photo courtesy of BuzzFeed)

Mother gets ‘Groom Wanted’ ad for her son

Fulfilling his mother’s wishes, an Indian gay activist contacted all the local papers until he found one willing to publish his “Groom Wanted” ad. After other papers rejected the ad on legal grounds, Mid-Day accepted the ad saying:

A marriage is a meeting of minds, of souls. At Mid-day, we believe that human rights should be applicable to all, regardless of religion, caste, colour, sexual orientation, etc. Therefore, a mother seeking a union for her gay son is perfectly normal.”

Gambian dictator ratchets up the rhetoric of hate

Despite continuing violently anti-gay speeches by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, he was warmly greeted by President Obama during the U.S.-Africa summit in early August 2014.

Despite continuing violently anti-gay speeches by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, he was warmly greeted by gay-friendly President Obama during the U.S.-Africa summit in early August 2014.

Gambia‘s notorious dictator Yahya Jammeh recently intensified his anti-homosexual rhetoric, threatening to slit the throats of gay men living in the small West African nation while seeming to claim that the West could do nothing to stop him.

“If you do it [in the Gambia] I will slit your throat — if you are a man and want to marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it,” he said to a crowd in the town of Farafeni as he spoke about fostering a healthy atmosphere for the country’s youth.

The U.S. and the European Union have both slashed aid to the country in the last year, citing general concerns over continued human rights abuses.

[In his previous diatribes, Jammeh has called homosexuality “satanic,” a threat to population growth, “anti-god, anti-human, and anti-civilization.” People convicted of homosexual activity, he said, “will regret why you are born.”  He labeled homosexuals “vermin” and said his government would fight them as it fights malaria-causing mosquitoes.]

Hope for Kenya’s future

Check out this series of videos about growing up gay in Kenya from activists, lawyers, chefs, and scientists. The interviews all include advice and messages of hope to the next generation.

On the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, celebrities speak for tolerance in Lebanon. (Click on the image to see the video.)

On the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, celebrities speak for tolerance in Lebanon. (Click on the image to see the video.)

Lebanon: ‘Being different isn’t shameful’

As Lebanon‘s gay community kicks off a campaign to counter discrimination and the social taboos against homosexuality, its message is simple: “Being different isn’t shameful. What’s shameful is fighting diversity.”

The group, Proud Lebanon, has roped in celebrities such as actors Christian Chueiri, Zeina Dakash and Fouad Yameen for its campaign. While Lebanon is sometimes dubbed the “gay paradise” of the Arab world, the community still remains vulnerable to exploitation.

Article 534 of the Lebanese penal code says sex “contrary to nature” is a criminal offence that can lead to jail time for the gay community. The campaign is trying to build on a 2013 decision by the country’s psychiatric board to remove homosexuality from a list of mental illnesses.

For more information, read the full edition of Equal Eyes.

3 thoughts on “LGBTI news briefs 2: India, Gambia, Kenya, Lebanon

  1. Pingback: LGBTI news briefs 1: Belize, Russia, Sweden | 76 CRIMES

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