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International Gay News Roundup

Gay Maltese want to leave their country ( The poll size is relatively small (150) but so is Malta’s gay community (around 15,000).

74% said they would emigrate if possible and 67% said discrimination was a key factor.

…eight per cent of poll respondents said they had been beaten or attacked in the past two years because of their sexual orientation – two-thirds were young women.

A serial-killer is targetting gays in Sao Paulo (International Herald Tribune)

Police chief Paulo Fernando Fortunato tells the O Globo newspaper that 13 gay men were killed [in a Sao Paulo park] between February 2007 and August 2008.

“Beautiful Thing” opens in Shanghai (

Beautiful Thing, a 1993 play by Johnathan Harvey about two working class London teenage boys coming to terms with their sexual attraction to eachother, was a stage and screen hit in the UK and across the world.

…The play will run for two nights and all proceeds will be donated to an HIV charity that works with men who have sex with men (MSM).

There has been a sharp rise in the number of reported HIV infections among MSM in China’s major cities.

(more below the fold)The Delhi High Court could soon set a date for a verdict in a case that could lead to the

legalisation of homosexuality
(Times Of India) in the world’s largest democracy and second largest nation. Homosexuality is currently legal in two of the eight nations of the Indian subcontinent (Nepal & Bhutan) carries either a life or death sentence in four (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh & Myanmar) and a shorter prison sentence in two (Sri Lanka & the Maldives).

In the months leading up to the verdict – for which a date has not been set yet – the home ministry has fought fiercely to keep the law intact, even as the health ministry called for a more progressive approach in dealing with the issue.

And though [Additional Solicitor General] Malhotra stated that the court is not the authority to decide what should be the law and that that function rests with parliament, gay rights activists have not lost faith in the power of the judiciary.

“In India, the Constitution is supreme. The government may think it is supreme too, but it has to stay true to and work within the parameters of the Constitution.

The US Armed Forces will now admit foreign recruits but only if they’re straight (

America’s military leaders have approved a one-year pilot programme that aims to recruit up to 1,000 foreign nationals to plug chronic staff shortages.

The Defence Department has identified a shortage of doctors, nurses and linguists and will encourage people who are in the US on student and temporary work visas and those granted refugee or political asylum to sign up.

…More than 12,500 gay men and women have been discharged under the current law, at an estimated cost of more than $363 million (£182.6m).

Nigel Owens, the International Rugby referee, says Soccer is much more homophobic than Rugby (BBC Wales)

Raised in the village of Mynyddcerrig in Carmarthenshire, he made his Rugby World Cup debut last year, and is the first openly gay man to referee at the highest level.

…[“]I think when you think of spectators in football – if I was a football referee it would be more difficult to go and referee in football matches than it is in rugby matches.”

Justin Fashanu, elder brother of Premiership footballer John Fashanu and the first Black British footballer to be worth more than £1 million ($1.5 million) committed suicide in 1998; ten years later, homophobia is still alive and kicking (Guardian) in British and International football, and Justin Fashanu remains the only professional footballer in the world to openly admit to being gay or bisexual – despite the fact that many of them are (

And finally, given the British government’s seemingly strong pro-LGBT stance, I was surprised to hear that they opposed Austrian gays’ marriage rights in the European Court of Human Rights (Guardian); although they have since dropped their legal challenge (at the behest of Liberal Democrat peer Lord Lester) they are still arguing that…

the court should not require European states to allow marriage for same-sex couples. It has told the court that the right to marry refers to “the traditional marriage between persons of the opposite biological sex … There is not an evolving convergence to the effect that persons in a same-sex relationship should be allowed to contract a marriage.”

One wonders whether ex-PM Blair’s recent conversion to the Papal faith has anything to do with this? It was almost certainly the major reason why the UK has Civil Partnerships not gay marriage (Labour’s 1997 manifesto pledge) – it took eight years to pass the legislation, and even then the bill wasn’t introduced by a Labour MP.

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