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Argentina Grants Asylum To Russian Man Subjected To Harassment Based On Sexual Orientation

ArgentinaFor the first time, a person has been granted asylum by the Argentinian government after suffering harassment based on sexual orientation. 'Gene,' the gay Russian man who fled to the South American country, has been given the "condition of refugee" according to the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (FALGBT), who 'Gene' contacted for help two years ago. 

NVO News reports:

Argentina’s National Refugee Commission accepted the petition after acknowledging in a report the harassment suffered by the 28-year-old man and the lack of government protection for sexual minorities in Russia...

We hope that starting with this first case, Argentina will be positioned as a refugee destination,” FALGBT president Esteban Paulon, who took Gene’s case to the government commission, told EFE.

We are sending our well wishes to 'Gene' and our thanks to Argentina and FALGBT.


This Map Shows Where Gay Couples Can Marry Across Latin America: INTERACTIVE

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BY IOAN GRILLO / GlobalPost

Coahuila, a Mexican state near Texas, is the newest place in the region to legalize gay marriage. But there are still some countries that ban homosexuality.

MEXICO CITY — Latin America is a staunchly conservative Catholic region with a deeply entrenched culture of machismo and homophobic attitudes. Right?

Not quite.

After sweeping reforms in the last five years, the region possesses some of the most gay-friendly legislation on the planet.

CoahuilaIn the latest move, lawmakers in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila on Sept. 1 voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

This change in a state known for cowboy hats, cattle farmers and coal mines means gay marriages will be able to be celebrated right up to the Rio Grande.

Like the United States, Mexico's been making these moves locally, rather than federally. But other Latin countries have passed reforms on a national level.

In fact, Latin America is home to three of the more than a dozen nations that have legalized gay marriage worldwide. Same-sex couples can even marry as far south as Argentina — a remarkable feat in the pope’s homeland. The region's reforms are largely passed by leftist governments, but that’s not always the case. Coahuila’s bill was backed by the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), while leftist stalwarts such as Venezuela are falling behind on gay rights.

There are still some strongholds bucking the trend. Take Belize, where even being homosexual remains illegal. Caribbean islands also maintain a ban, with Jamaica punishing male homosexual acts by seven years' hard labor (but allowing sex between females).

Homophobic violence also persists, even in some countries with progressive legislation.

However, overall the map has transformed markedly in favor of gay and lesbian rights, and it looks set to keep changing. Take a tour:

Map by Alex Leff.


2nd And 3rd Pro Boxers Come Out...As a Couple: VIDEO

Esteche and Gimenez

Boxing is one of those sports where people don't typically expect to find gay competitors - well, people who don't actually know gay people don't expect them to be there, anyway. Part of what made Orlando Cruz's coming out so spectacular was that it showed the world that gays really do cover the spectrum and can be found in any sport.

Now we have a second and third boxer to come out while still active in the sport, Blabbeando reports. Argentinian Ana Laura "La Monita" Esteche just won the light welterweight championship for the World Boxing Association, and in the post-competition interview she thanked "her woman and my mother-in-law."

"Her woman" is Johanna "Yoki" Giménez, with the pink hair above. Giménez also just so happens to be a WBA professional boxer, and the two work out together daily, waking up as early as 5am to train. Esteche is confident in coming out, saying: 

It's that it's something that you should not hide, after all happiness is not something you should hide, it's something to be shared and I - we - are happy.

Photo courtesy of Martín Canevaro and the 100% Diversity & Rights collective.

You can see Esteche's Spanish-language interview AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "2nd And 3rd Pro Boxers Come Out...As a Couple: VIDEO" »


News: National Coming Out Day, Alexander Skarsgard, Obamacare, Underwear Models

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RoadGLAAD releases annual list of best and worst TV networks for LGBT inclusion. Fox is at the top with TBS and History at the bottom.

RoadShia LeBeouf shows us his 'O' face.

RoadThe tighty-whities worn by Bryan Cranston in the pilot episode of Breaking Bad just sold for $9,900 at auction.

RoadNew York Comic-Con apologizes after hacking attendees' twitter accounts.

RoadAlexander Skarsgard plays a cult leader in the music video for Cut Copy's "Free Your Mind." Correction: a sexy cult leader.

RoadIn case you missed it, it's National Coming Out Day! Twenty-six years ago, half a million people marched on Washington, DC for LGBT equality. President Obama tweeted his support today: "Today is a day to celebrate being who you are."

RoadPolish archbishop says divorced parents are partly to blame for pedophilia: "Many of these cases of (sexual) molestation could be avoided given a healthy relationship between parents," Archbishop Jozef Michalik, head of Poland's Episcopate told the Polish PAP news agency in Warsaw. "We often hear that this inappropriate attitude (pedophilia), or abuse, manifests itself when a child is looking for love...It (the child) clings, it searches. It gets lost itself and then draws another person into this."

RoadThe Washington Post had a little fun with a Tea Party devotee on Twitter.

BiebsRoadWhat you need to know if you are HIV+ and looking to sign up for healthcare now that Obamacare has arrived.

RoadJustin Bieber does the shirtless, post-workout Instagram selfie thing.

RoadBenedict Cumberbatch looking nicely bespoke.

RoadBeefcake no more for underwear giant 2(x)ist? Company executive: “We are giving the models an identity, so they are not just a piece of meat.”

RoadNYC Police hunt for man suspected of committing a hate crime but who was released because of insufficient evidence after his initial arrest: "Brooklyn resident Ivan Pabellon, 35, was accused of beating David Jimenez, 40, last month while yelling anti-gay epithets. Jimenez, who was walking his dogs at the time, received a broken nose and black eyes in the assault."

RoadT-Mobile eliminates international roaming fees.

RoadNew trailer for Monuments Men, starring Cate Blanchett, George Clooney and Matt Damon, hits. The movie follows art historians in WWII trying to recover stolen works of art from the Nazis before Hitler can destroy them.

RoadColton Haynes does his take on 'Drake Hands.'

RoadThe Argentinian government granted a six-year old transgender girl an ID card that corresponds with her gender identity.

More on the New Pope's Civil Union Request: An Act of Humanity or Pragmatism?

Last week I mentioned that Pope Francis, then Cardinal Borgoglio, had floated the idea of civil unions when faced with the unstoppable passage of same-sex marriage, according to his authorized biographer. The NYT has more on that today:

FrancisFaced with the near certain passage of the gay marriage bill, Cardinal Bergoglio offered the civil union compromise as the “lesser of two evils,” said Sergio Rubin, his authorized biographer. “He wagered on a position of greater dialogue with society.”

In the end, though, a majority of the bishops voted to overrule him, his only such loss in his six-year tenure as head of Argentina’s bishops’ conference. But throughout the contentious political debate, he acted as both the public face of the opposition to the law and as a bridge-builder, sometimes reaching out to his critics.

“He listened to my views with a great deal of respect,” said Marcelo Márquez, a gay rights leader and theologian who wrote a tough letter to Cardinal Bergoglio and, to his surprise, received a call from him less than an hour after it was delivered. “He told me that homosexuals need to have recognized rights and that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage.”

Mr. Márquez said he went on to meet twice with Cardinal Bergoglio, telling him of his plan to marry his partner and discussing theology. The man who would become pope gave him a copy of his biography, “The Jesuit.” 

Cardinal Bergoglio’s readiness to reach out across the ideological spectrum and acknowledge civil unions for gay people could raise expectations that he would do the same as pope. But some of this strategic flexibility may have stemmed as much from Francis’ position at the time as from his personal ideology.

Still, LGBT rights groups aren't swayed:

“The reality, beyond what he may have said in private meetings, was that he said some terrible things in public,” said Esteban Paulón, president of the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals. “He took a role, in public, that was determinedly combative.”

Read the full piece here.


Rachel Maddow on the New Pope's 'War of God' Against Gay Marriage in Argentina: VIDEO

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Rachel Maddow took a look at Pope Francis (then Cardinal Borgoglio)'s war with the Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over same-sex marriage in Argentina in a segment that aired last night, noting that "Cardinal Borgoglio called on God to get Argentina's senators to vote against gay marriage."

WargodWatch, AFTER THE JUMP...

The AP posted a related article today, noting:

According to the new pope’s authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin, Bergoglio was politically wise enough to know the church couldn’t win a straight-on fight against gay marriage, so he urged his bishops to lobby for gay civil unions instead. It wasn’t until his proposal was shot down by the bishops’ conference that he publicly declared what Paulon described as the “war of God” — and the church lost the issue altogether.

Despite his conservatism, “Bergoglio is known for being moderate and finding a balance between reactionary and progressive sectors,” Paulon said. “When he came out strongly against gay marriage, he did it under pressure from the conservatives.”

Andrés Duque at Blabbeando looked into it a bit more, adding, "I have yet to find independent reports that Bergoglio did indeed back civil unions in Buenos Aires back in 2002."

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow on the New Pope's 'War of God' Against Gay Marriage in Argentina: VIDEO" »


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