Worldwide struggle for LGBTIQ rights: More news from the front lines

News in brief from Kenya, Swaziland, Malaysia, Liberia, Indonesia, Egypt and Russia.

 

Kenya: Evangelist and pastor Jacinta Nzilani Kilonzo gave a radio interview in which she shared her story as a “proud” lesbian. “When I was 16 I realized that I was attracted to women more than men. It is not a habit, it is something that is inside me,” she said.

eSwatini (formerly Swaziland): Openly gay Pastor Fana Lukhele spoke at the Eswatini Sexual and Gender Minorities conference and reassured people that the “LGBTI community was suitable and good in the eyes of the Lord”. God has a purpose for everyone in this world, he said, adding that the world would not be complete without LGBTQI people.

Liberia: In Sinkor, Liberia, angry crowds disrupted a private event that they suspected as being “LGBT party” or “gay wedding”. Journal Rage reported that a birthday party held at a center operated by the nonprofit Population Services International (PSI) was violently attacked by a mob and several attendees were wounded.

Indonesia: At a time when job-seekers are applying for some 200,000 civil service jobs nationwide, the Indonesian government announced that it would only hire “normal” job applicants — none that are pregnant, color blind, disabled or LGBT. (Agence France-Presse)

Egypt: Six international human rights organizations called on Egypt to release Eman Al-Helw and Hossam Ahmad, Egyptian defenders of LGBTIQ+ rights. (Statement in English)

Maksim Pankratov is seen in a video posted to YouTube answering questions from children about his life as a gay man in Russia.
Russia: A gay man’s YouTube Q&A with Russian children has sparked a police investigation into whether his answers constituted sexual assault. An administrative investigation also looked into whether he violated the Russian law against “gay propaganda” in the presence of children. In earlier episodes of the show “Real Talk,” children interviewed a woman with an eating disorder, an African man and a former porn actress. (CBS News)

Malaysia: Police raided a private residence and arrested 11 men for “attempted” gay sex. Six of the men have been sentenced to six months in jail, six strokes of the cane, and a 4,800 ringgit ($1,163) fine. The others are awaiting trial. “These vicious punishments against LGBTI people are the actual crimes being committed here,”  said Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, executive director of Amnesty International Malaysia.

More news from Malaysia: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the prime minister of Malaysia, declared that same-sex marriage does not respect family values. (Malay Mail)

And another news item from Malaysia: Tourists convicted of having gay sex in Malaysia (just.equal and New Straits Times)

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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