Ireland’s progress on gay rights offers hope

October 23, 2013

A BILL that stigmatises gay people and bans giving children any information about homosexuality won overwhelming approval last week in Russia’s lower house of parliament.Hours before the State Duma passed the Kremlin-backed law in a 436-0 vote with one abstention, more than two dozen protesters were attacked by hundreds of anti-gay activists and then detained by police.

The bill banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” still needs to be passed by the appointed upper house and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, but that is very likely now.

When Paula Rwomushana, an 18-year-old lesbian in Uganda, took her own life in 2003 after being flogged at her school assembly, many people in her country celebrated. Callers to the radio stations and letters to the newspapers all expressed delight that the country was one lesbian less. Women’s organisations failed to talk about it. The government failed to talk about it. So Kasha Jaqueline, founder of an LGBT rights group, Freedom & Roam Uganda (FARUG), decided she would talk about it.

“I have been a lesbian my entire life,” says Jaqueline. “I didn’t know it was illegal until I went to college. The registrar warned all the new students that they would be expelled if they were found consorting with me. But this just let others know that they weren’t alone.”

Full Article, Irish Examiner June 18th 2013


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