Friday, January 20 2012 02:32

International News, January 20-February 2, 2012

By  Rachel Roth

New Jamaican PM an Ally

Newly elected Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has called to end discrimination against LGBT people. Simpson Miller, the first female prime minister, said in a recent election debate that "No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation." She also said that she would be open to appointing a qualified gay person to her cabinet.

A 2006 article in Time called Jamaica one of the "most homophobic places on earth."


Zimbabwe Charter Excludes LGBT Rights

Homosexuality will not be recognized in Zimbabwe's new charter, Newsday reports. The issue of gay rights has been a contentious one during the drafting of the new constitution, with the former ruling party Zanu PF openly opposing them and declaring they would never see the light of day. But Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (Galz) Director Chesterfield Samba feels their mission is misunderstood.

"Galz is in no way advocating for same-sex marriage in its submission to [the charter]," Samba said.

Zimbabwe's Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora said the select committee, resolved not to recognize gays and lesbians in the new constitution.

"We have sat down as the select committee and finalized some of the outstanding issues that were parked, like freedom of choice and discrimination of people on grounds of sexual orientation," he said. "We resolved homosexuality is not going to be recognized at law, but the issue we are still discussing is discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation." According to Newsday, Mwonzora went on to say that, while homosexuality was not going to be recognized by law, discrimination of gays and lesbians in housing and employment would not be tolerated.

"Discrimination on the basis of one being gay should not be condoned and as Copac we are still to discuss that issue," Mwonzora said.


Tel Aviv Voted Best Gay City, a travel site specializing in LGBT clientele, has named Tel Aviv the "world's best gay city." calls Tel Aviv "the city that never takes a break," and says the LGBT life is "perhaps the most vibrant in the Middle East." The site also reports that "rarely a month goes by that Tel Aviv isn't celebrating some musical or cultural event," adding that "huge dance parties" host local and European DJs each weekend. They also credit the democratic tradition of Israel, because the gay community enjoys political freedom unparalleled in other middle-eastern countries.


Pope Calls Gay Marriage Threat to Humanity

Pope Benedict XVI warned diplomats from nearly 180 countries that gay marriage is one of several threats to the traditional family unit that "undermines the future of humanity itself." According to the Daily Mail, the pontiff argued that children need to be raised in a "proper setting" and that "pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman." He continued: "Policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself. The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and states."

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