International News, May 13 - May 26, 2011By Rex Wockner
Gay Activists Rally for Royal Wedding
Same-sex marriage activists presented a giant wedding card for Prince William and Kate Middleton outside the gates of Buckingham Palace on April 25. The card congratulated the royal couple on their wedding, which took place four days later, and urged them to support legalization of same-sex marriage. The United Kingdom currently offers same-sex couples civil partnerships that carry the same rights as marriage.The card said: “We wish you a happy life together. You can get married, gay people can’t. We are banned by law. We ask you to support marriage equality.” Organizer Peter Tatchell said the action was well-received.
“Everyone outside the palace expressed support for marriage equality. We didn’t get a single negative reaction,” he said.
Liechtenstein to Hold Voter Referendum on Partnership Law
The same-sex registered-partnership law that passed Liechtenstein’s Parliament in March will be subjected to a voter referendum in June. Anti-gay forces turned in enough signatures on April 21 to mandate a vote, gay activists reported. The tiny nation, located between Switzerland and Austria, has about 18,500 voters. The Liechtenstein lesbian and gay organization, FLay, says it needs financial support to mount a campaign to save the law, which is scheduled to come into force in September. For more information or to donate, see www.flay.li. To translate the site, paste the URL into translate.google.com.
Conflicting Reports on Moscow Pride
Several recent reports from Moscow said that officials had greenlighted this year’s May 28 gay pride parade, which would have marked the first time in its six years of existence that the parade wasn’t officially banned. But on April 27, City Hall said those reports were incorrect and that organizers’ application is still being studied. Pride co-organizer Nikolai Alekseev said it would not be surprising if the initial reports had been floated to gauge public opinion. On April 11, Moscow Pride got a final ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that previous years’ pride bans by the city’s ex-mayor were illegal.
Group Targets ‘Sissy Boot Camps’
International LGBT activist group All Out has launched a campaign to convince Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to ban what the group called “sissy boot camps.” According to activist groups, 66 teenage male students whom teachers deemed effeminate recently were sent to a state-government-sponsored camp in the state of Terengganu to unlearn such behavior and not end up gay. All Out said Malaysian activists will deliver a petition to Razak at the 18th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit, which takes place May 7-8 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The group is collecting signatures at allout.org/en/petition/malaysia.
Poland to Stop Blocking Foreign Same-Sex Marriages
Poland will change a form that Poles must obtain before getting married abroad so that it no longer asks the name of the future spouse, the nation’s Campaign Against Homophobia said April 27. The group said some registry offices had refused to issue the required form when both future spouses appeared to be of the same sex.