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International news

Taking a look at some news going on outside of the U.S. this AM, it reminds you that in many ways, we’re fortunate, despite the AmTaliban onslaught..

Romanian anti-gay protesters clash with police.

Ten people were injured and dozens detained when militant protesters trying to break up a gay rights march clashed with riot police in the Romanian capital on Saturday, police said.

Hundreds of activists marched through downtown Bucharest to protest against discrimination in the largely conservative society and call for the legalisation of same-sex marriages.

But the parade was disrupted by more than a thousand protesters, who threw eggs, stones and plastic bottles at the activists, who were shielded by police in trucks.

Some protesters, including Orthodox nuns and a priest, carried crosses and chanted “Romania does not need you”

* CNN interviews gays in Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

We were filming an interview on a Beirut street with Youssef, a 21-year-old Lebanese man from a conservative Shia family. A car slowed down. “Foufou!” the driver screamed in our direction. “He called you foufou?” I asked. “Yes,” Youssef answered. “Foufou means ‘fag.'”

Youssef then told me that when he came out to his family, two of his brothers kidnapped him at gunpoint and held him hostage in the family home for weeks. “It was their honor in the garbage,” he said.

Youssef is a rarity in the Middle East. He is openly gay and says he doesn’t care who knows it. Most gays and lesbians in the region would only agree to speak to us anonymously. It took months to find willing participants. Often, we would meet in hotel lobbies and film interviews in silhouette, hiding identities and distorting voices.

* Failure to extend human rights protections for gays meets with demonstrations in Bermuda.

Bermuda’s MPs had to face off hundreds of protestors today in one of the biggest demonstrations in recent years. The huge crowd snaked the grounds of the House of Assembly with signs calling the MPs cowards for failing to discuss a proposed change in the law last week that would have given gays protection under the Human Rights Act.

Bermuda is a majority black country yet most of the protestors were white. The island’s black church leaders were vociferous in their opposition to the amendment, uring MPs to vote against it.

* The toll of AIDS hits developing regions hard.

AIDS could kill 31 million people in India and 18 million in China by 2025, according to projections by U.N. population researchers. By then in Africa, where AIDS likely began and where the virus has wrought the most devastation, researchers said the toll could reach 100 million.

“It is the worst and deadliest epidemic that humankind has ever experienced,” Mark Stirling, the director of East and Southern Africa for UNAIDS, said in an interview.

Hat tips to PageOneQ and 365gay.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding