Entries in Homosexuality (4)


Vladimir Putin Signs Anti-Gay Law

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Standing in sharp contrast to the victories achieved by gay rights activists in the United States this past week, on Sunday Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law imposing fines for disseminating “homosexual propaganda” around minors.

Organizations that spread alleged homosexual propaganda to children face now fines of up to $30,000, while individuals can be charged with up to $1,500.

Putin’s signing of the bill was preceded on Saturday by an unsanctioned rally in which dozens of gay rights activists were assaulted in St Petersburg.

Putin defended the bill on Tuesday.

“It’s not about imposing some sort of sanctions on homosexuality,” he said. “It’s about protecting children from such information.”

Russia has a history of intolerance regarding homosexuality. It was illegal in the Soviet Union, and the Orthodox Church has been very vocal with its opposition. Requests for sanctioned pride parades have been denied, and in 2012 the musician Madonna was threatened with a fine for speaking out against the anti-gay bill.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Russia: ‘Gay Gag Rule’ Now Law in St. Petersburg

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ST. PETERSBURG, Russia) -- An anti-gay law has gone into effect in St. Petersburg, prompting fresh concern from gay rights advocates that it will be used to promote hate crimes against homosexual and transgender individuals.

The new law penalizes what proponents say is the promotion of homosexual activity among children, but detractors say it is part of a wider effort to persecute homosexuals in Russia’s second largest city.

The law, which took effect Sunday, in part prohibits “the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.” Gay rights activists say it would criminalize even reading, writing or speaking about gay, lesbian, or transgender people. Violations carry hefty fines up to $16,700.

“This law has little to do with protecting minors,” said Polina Savchenko, director of the St. Petersburg LGBT organization Coming Out, in a statement Monday.

The law has prompted large protests in front of Russian embassies around the world in recent weeks. Homosexuality was outlawed in the Soviet Union and was only decriminalized by President Boris Yeltsin in 1993.

Activists are quick to point out that Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the famed composer and St. Petersburg native, was gay and suggests that even mentioning that fact is now illegal.

“We are offended and outraged by this act by city authorities and will continue fighting for the rights of LGBT citizens until the barbaric law is repealed,” Savchenko said.

She said she fears the law will only “encourage hate” towards the LGBT community.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


India's Health Minister Under Fire; Called Homosexuality a "Disease", India) -- India's minister of health, Ghulam Nabi Azad said he was misquoted after saying that homosexuality was "unnatural" at a HIV/AIDS conference in Delhi on Monday, according to BBC News.

Although homosexuality was legalized in India in 2009, discrimination against the homosexual community in the country is still common.

Azad was criticized by activists for calling homosexuality "a disease which has come from other countries."

"Even though it is unnatural, it exists in our country and is now fast-spreading, making it tough to detect," the health minister said at the conference Monday.

Gay rights activists are now calling for Azad to apologize for the remarks, one even telling BBC News that Azad is "ill-informed" and "living on another planet."

But Tuesday, Azad said in a news conference that his quotes were taken out of context.

"My reference was to HIV as a disease," Azad said, according to BBC News. "As health minister, I know [male homosexual sex] is not a disease."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


South Africa Task Force to Fight 'Corrective Rape' of Lesbians

Ablestock/Thinkstock(NAIROBI, Kenya) -- South African law enforcement officials Wednesday said a new task force will be formed to address crimes against homosexuals after the gang rape and murder of a young woman believed to have been a victim of "corrective rape," or men attacking lesbians to "turn them straight" and punishing the women for being gay.

"The team will be charged with developing a legislative intervention plan, a public awareness strategy, and LGBTI sensitive shelters," Tlali Tlai, the chief of staff for the Ministry of Justice, told reporters. The announcement came after a parliamentary meeting involving senior officials from the country's law enforcement, legal and social program departments.

More than 170,000 people from all around the world signed a petition calling for the South African government to act after Noxolo Nogwaza, a 24-year-old lesbian, was gang-raped, stoned and stabbed to death using shards of broken glass nearly two weeks ago. The petition was sponsored by, a global human rights campaigning website.

"South Africa: Take Action to Stop 'Corrective Rape," the petition states in bold letters. "We demanded that the South African government take 'corrective rape' seriously, and they have agreed to do...and then some," said after Wednesday's announcement.

The new task force will tackle issues such as whether crimes against the homosexual and transgender community should be considered hate crimes, whether a rape motivated by sexual orientation should receive a harsher sentence and increased sensitivity training for police, social workers and judiciary officials. The team is scheduled to begin work in July.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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