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Rwanda Hub



04/19/2007


News: Sam Worthington, Dubai, Arthur Cores, Rwanda

 road California Assembly Speaker-to-be John Perez talks with the L.A. Times: "This means there's one less barrier for people. When I grew up, there were only a handful of Latino state elected officials and there weren't any openly gay ones. So I never thought I would be in office. . . . It speaks to the fact that California has a sophisticated electorate that struggles with issues of gay rights but really is driven by an overwhelming sense of fairness."

Gaymp roadGay Canadian MP flooded with support over Christmas card controversy. "Letters and phone calls of support, including one from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, have been pouring in for an openly gay Nova Scotia MP whose Christmas card ignited controversy this week because it showed him with his partner."

 roadMadonna and George Clooney went on a very unsuccessful date.

 roadRwandan Justice Minister denies plans to criminalize homosexuality.

 roadChemistry: Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.

 roadHate crime assault reported in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

 roadDustin Lance Black vs. Hope College in Holland, Michigan.


 roadJames Franco does SNL: The skits.

Cores  roadArthur Cores, who founded Boston Market restaurant chain, dies of cancer at 52. "Arthur Richard Cores was born in Brookline, Mass., on Aug. 11, 1957, one of three children of Sidney and Rose Meister Cores. Besides his sister Michelle, of Brookline, he is survived by his spouse, John Yee, whom he married in a legal ceremony in Massachusetts in 2004; and his brother, Steven, of Bradenton, Fla."

 roadBritain's top footballers told to stay in closet: "Britain's foremost PR advisor, Max Clifford, told The Independent on Sunday last night that he has represented two high-profile gay Premier League footballers in the past five years and has advised them to stay in the closet because football 'remains in the dark ages, steeped in homophobia'."

 roadBaggy pants get revenge on killer.

 roadScientists: Earth on track for epic die-off." The study of the fossil and archaeological record over the past 30 million years by UC Berkeley and Penn State University researchers shows that between 15 and 42 percent of the mammals in North America disappeared after humans arrived. That means North American mammals are well on the way - perhaps as much as half way - to a level of extinction comparable to other epic die-offs, like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs."

Calazans  roadMale model fix: Rodrigo Calazans.

 roadPolitico: Left feels left out under Obama. "The disillusion has produced a growing tide of organizing energy — and money — among liberals aimed at dragging the White House back to where many supporters believe Obama’s heart really lies. Union presidents have discarded their talking points and are openly sparring with the White House, while gay rights activists threaten civil disobedience, the ACLU keeps litigating, and congressional Hispanic leaders work to force their issues into the debate. But while those actions may actually create politically useful space to the president’s left, the other consequence of disillusion is what polls have found to be deepening apathy among Democratic voters."

Worthington  roadAvatar stars get LIFE.

 roadCameron sci-fi flick has $232 million opening weekend worldwide.

 roadA photo retrospective of newly-out Wales rugby legend Gareth Thomas.

 roadJohn Amaechi on what's coming for Thomas: "When people learn you are gay, often that can squash your definition so all the good stuff goes and you just become 'some gay rugby player', which is quite difficult for many athletes to deal with."

 roadGay in Dubai — one man's experience: "Walking back to the hotel from the festival’s opening night party I was definitely cruised by a group of guys, not to mention there were a good dozen questionables at the party itself.  Anyway, friend of friend informed that Dubai is actually quite gay, but it’s all underground.  And underground in this unromantic, contemporary way: It’s all sex via the internet.  Apparently Dubaisexuals have also discovered the Hotspot Shield (which I’ve been using for a good year to watch NBC and Hulu in Canada), a device that gives you an anonymous IP address.  Via the Hotspot Shield, all the porn and gay social networking sites in the world are available. "


Rwanda to Vote on Criminalizing Homosexuality This Week

Some more anti-gay news coming out of central Africa. Now it's Rwanda.

Box Turtle Bulletin reports:Rwanda

BTB has just learned that the Rwandan Parliament is scheduled to take up consideration of a change to Rwanda’s penal code which would criminalize homosexuality with a punishment of five to ten years. It would also ban counselling and advocacy that could be interpreted as “encouraging or sensitizing” people to enter into same-sex relationships.

The problematic section in the penal code is article 217 which states that:

Any person who practices, encourages or sensitizes people of the same sex, to sexual relation or any sexual practice, shall be liable for a term of imprisonment ranging from five (5) to ten (10) years and fine ranging from Two Hundred thousand Rwanda Francs (200.000 RwF) to one million (1,000,000)Rwanda francs.”

The fines range from US$350 to US$1750. The average annual income is just US$370.

One key phrase of the proposed penal code, “encourages or sensitizes,” would have the effect of criminalizing advocacy on behalf of LGBT people. It would also severely impact the ability to deliver health services to LGBT people.

Guess who's really involved there too? Pastor Rick Warren, who last week was compelled to condemn neighboring Uganda's "kill the gays" bill, even though he had a hand in helping create it.

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission reports: "Article 217 violates Rwandans' basic human rights and is contradictory to the Rwandan Constitution as well as various regional and international conventions. IGLHRC, the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), and Rwanda's Horizon Community Association (HOCA) will shortly issue a call to action to demand that the Rwandan Parliament withdraw this article. We urge the international community to act against this proposed law and support the equality, dignity, and privacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Rwanda."


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