International News - 6/20/19

International News - 6/20/19

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Serbian police intervene to protect gay pride parade

Police in Serbia briefly clashed with far-right supporters who tried to prevent a gay pride parade attended by the country’s openly gay prime minister on September 15.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and her partner joined several hundred activists in the annual march through downtown Belgrade. The center of the capital was sealed off by police during the event.

Hours before the march, around 150 far-right supporters gathered in protest. Some held Orthodox Christian banners and crosses and sang religious songs, and some were dressed as Orthodox monks.

At least five protesters were taken away by police after they refused to move from the route of the march that ended without any major incident.

Brnabic is the first openly gay prime minister in the traditionally conservative Balkan state.

Hundreds parade through London for first ever Trans Pride march

More than 1,500 people filled London’s streets with color for the capital’s first ever Trans Pride march.

Organizers said the September 14 parade was both a protest against a perceived lack of rights and a celebration of the community.

It was set up because many trans people feel they are side-lined by the wider LGBT-plus community.

Speaking at the event, organizer Lucia Blayke said: “The sun’s out and the sky’s blue, if you look at everyone’s faces it’s just big smiles. For trans people it’s a lot different being out in public. Usually we’re scared, we’re having things shouted at us, we’re humiliated and just really embarrassed. Social interactions aren’t usually that relaxing so today is all about being together in public and keeping each other safe and uplifted. It’s the one day we’re not outcasts.”

The march, which ran from Hyde Park Corner to Soho Square, ended with speeches at various LGBT-plus venues.

 Ethiopian church-affiliated group urges action against gays

A group affiliated with Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church is condemning what it calls the government’s silence on homosexuality in the country.

Speaking at a conference on September 8 in Addis Ababa, the capital, Dereje Negash of the Orthodox Church group dedicated to an Ethiopian saint, said the government’s indifference on the issue is helping the LGBT movement.

Dereje charged that foreigners are spreading homosexuality “using aid, politics and technology.”

He urged authorities to enact strong laws against same-sex relations.

A local LGBT activist said he fears for his safety, citing widespread misconceptions such as the belief that gays are rapists.

Ethiopia has a deeply religious society, with Christianity and Islam having many followers.

Under Ethiopian law, homosexual acts are punishable with jail terms of up to 15 years.

Brazil court overrules Rio mayor on gay kiss book ban

 A Brazilian Supreme Court justice blocked efforts by Rio de Janeiro’s conservative mayor to have a book fair remove a comic book showing two men kissing.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella ordered the Bienale to remove the “Avengers” comic that included the kiss, saying he was acting to protect children against “sexual content.”

That set off a legal battle as federal Attorney General Raquel Dodge challenged the move by Crivella, a former evangelical pastor. She said allowing the mayor to remove books goes against freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas.

A lower court sided with Crivella. But chief justice Jose Dias Toffoli ruled in favor of Dodge on September 8, blocking the mayor from removing any books. Crivella’s office said he will appeal to the full court. 


Reporting via Associated Press

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