Welcome to a weekly roundup of news related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise “other” community.
- If you really need your heart broken today, check out the state of Iraqi LGBT, a group that has been running safe houses in Iraq for people who’d otherwise be targets for brutal anti-gay violence. Two of their shelters are scheduled to close due to lack of funds, and a recent attempt to raise money yielded relatively slim results. The situation in Iraq is dire:
Violence against all the gay community has intensified sharply since late 2005, when Iraq’s leading Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, issued a fatwa (religious decree) which declared that gays and lesbians should be “killed in the worst, most severe way”.
Though there are many crises in Iraq, this is a rare one that we can have a direct impact on, since the houses provide shelter for victims under threat of violence. Read through the site if you have the stomach for it, and please consider making a donation to maintain the shelters.
- Congratulations to Singapore, which just decriminalized sodomy…. Whoops: only if you’re straight! The Singapore parliament finally released legal restrictions on oral and anal sex, provided the participants = one man + one woman. In a seriously bizarre statement, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the government could not allow decriminalization of anti-family homosexuality, but then delivered this nugget:
Gays “are free to lead their lives and pursue their social activities,” the Prime Minister said, citing the existence of gay websites and gay bars…
Lee said keeping the statute unchanged, while not aggressively enforcing it, remained the best option.
- In happier news, I’m sure you’ve heard that some character in some ludicrously popular series was apparently gay. Major props to author J. K. Rowling, who just assured that her novels will be burned in schools for many decades to come.
Seriously, major props to her: there’s no reason she had to go back and announce that a dead character in a completed series was gay, other than to stick it to the fundies. Maybe I’ll actually read her books now, in gratitude!