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Brazil Presidential Candidate Reverses Support For Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO

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Marina Silva, who is expected to oust Dilma Rousseff as President of Brazil in an October election, has backtracked on an earlier promise to support same-sex marriage, reports Yahoo! News.

In May, Brazil authorized notaries to begin approving same-sex marriages nationwide.

Silva is an ecologist and evangelical Christian who holds conservative views on abortion and same-sex marriage.  Last Friday, her campaign team published a manifesto that included a direct pledge to “back proposals defending civil marriage.” However, the following day her team sent out a “clarification” removing the word “marriage” and asserting that she will “defend rights relating to civil unions between same-sex couples.”

Blaming an “editorial error,” Silva said the text published was not the text which had been discussed.

According to Telesur, the new version of the text also substitutes the objective of “eliminating obstacles to child adoption for homo-affective couples" with demanding “equal treatment to couples who adopt.”

However, Silva reiterated that she remains “committed to the defense of the lay state, defence of personal freedom and the respect of religious freedom. The lay state is there to defend the interests of all, the interests of those who believe or do not, independent of their social standing or sexual orientation."

Although Rousseff called Silva's government manifesto “adventurous, obscurantist, and backward,” the incumbent previously backtracked on a plan to distribute anti-homophobia kits to schools.

Watch an interview with Silva, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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Sporting History Made At Gay Rugby's Bingham Cup - VIDEO

Bingham cup

Sporting history was made last week at the launch of The Bingham Cup - the World Cup of gay rugby - in Sydney, Australia.

Two Rugby World Cup-winning Wallabies captains joined senior federal politicians from every major Australian party, the International Rugby Board (IRB) publicly endorsed the event and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) adopted a range of policies aimed at eliminating homophobia.

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The IRB is believed to be the first major international sporting federation to publicly endorse a gay sporting event.

Other international sporting organisations including world soccer governing body FIFA - which came under pressure following homophobic incidents at this year’s World Cup - were challenged to follow rugby’s lead.

John Eales, the most successful captain in Australian rugby history and a board member of the ARU, said:

“We should commend and celebrate the support around the world to address homophobia and discrimination in sport. There is still a great deal of work to do, but I’m hopefully we’ll soon see a time when athletes at all levels feel comfortable being open about their sexuality and playing the sports they love without fear of discrimination.”

IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper said:

“Rugby recognises sport’s wider responsibility to society and its ability to drive social change. Sport can cross barriers. Sport boosts self-esteem and Sport promotes inclusivity and celebrates diversity. We are proud as Rugby grows across every continent that the sport’s strong values of solidarity, integrity, discipline, respect and passion still make a real difference in modern society.”

Senior Australian federal cabinet minister Malcolm Turnbull, a long-time advocate for LGBT equality, added:

“A person’s sexuality should be completely irrelevant whether they are playing sports or doing anything else in life.  I’m proud Australians are playing such a significant role in highlighting the need for change. We need to continue working proactively to find effective approaches to address homophobia and change sporting culture.”

The tournament, which was won by the Sydney Convicts, is named in honor of rugby player Mark Bingham who is known internationally as one of the heroes of 9/11.

Watch a report on the tournament launch and the official tournament video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Jamaican Activist Fears Reprisals, Ends Legal Challenge To Anti-Sodomy Law - VIDEO

Javed Jaghai

A gay rights activist has withdrawn a legal challenge to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy laws after growing fears of violent backlashes, reports WTOP.com.

Last year, Javed Jaghai initiated a constitutional challenge to an 1864 law that bans sex between men.  He argued that the law fuels homophobia and violates a 2011 charter of human rights that guarantees a right to privacy.

Jaghai is the Education and Outreach Officer at the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (J-FLAG).

As it stands, the law bans anal sex and sets a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and hard labor. Anything interpreted as "gross indecency" between men is punishable with two years in prison.

When Jaghai initiated the legal challenge in 2013, several church pastors led crowded revival meetings to oppose overturning the anti-sodomy law.

However, Jaghai has issued a statement saying he is no longer in a position to continue pursuing the case because of fears of a backlash against his family.

Janet Burak of New York-based advocacy group AIDS-Free World said the fear that pushed Jaghai to end his court challenge is "the same fear that keeps gay men in Jamaica underground, away from effective HIV testing, prevention treatment, care and support interventions.”

Although Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller spoke in favor of gay rights in 2012 and has vowed to put the anti-sodomy law to a "conscience vote," there has as yet been no movement in that area.

Watch Jaghai discuss human rights in Jamaica, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Russian Reps Under Investigation For Homophobic Conchita Wurst Cartoon - VIDEO

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Two Russian politicians are under investigation after using a video depicting Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst to announce their anti-gay platform, reports The Moscow Times.

The six-second video by Murmansk city council representatives Oleg Guz and Almaz Gismeyev - which has since been deleted - depicted several cartoon figures resembling Wurst gathering a sign reading “There will be a parade!”  The video then shows Guz and Gismeyev shaking hands while a voice-over announces their names and the slogan “Against Loudmouths and Gays.”

Although GayRussia.eu said that Guz and Gismeyev uploaded the video themselves, it is unclear whether it was an official campaign video for the upcoming municipal elections on Sept. 14.

Prosecutors in the city are investigating the video for evidence of incitement to hatred.

Check out Conchita Wurst's showstopping winning Eurovision performance, AFTER THE JUMP...

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St. Louis Cop Retires On Full Pension Following Vile Homophobic Rant - VIDEO

Dan page

Dan Page, a St. Louis police officer who was last month suspended after a homophobic, racist, misogynist and Islamophobic video came to light, has retired on his full pension and benefits, reports New York.

Discussing what he sees as the persecution and prosecution of Christians in the U.S. today, Page said:

“There are three phases that a society goes through. One is persecution. That means your faith is being challenged, everybody mocks you, everybody ridicules you. They stand for nothing. If you stand against sodomy and abortion - you are a terrorist ladies and gentlemen. The next phase is prosecution. There's a couple out there in New Mexico that are being prosecuted and put out of business and were arrested because they refused to take pictures of sodomites. What about my freedom of religion from that? And the military right now - you have open sodomy. People holding hands, swapping spit together. It's sick. It's pitiful.”

Page, who first caught the media’s attention when he pushed CNN anchor Don Lemon during a demonstration in Ferguson, decided to retire in order to avoid an internal review set to begin last week.

However, despite his vile rant, the 35-year veteran is expected to receive his full pension and benefits.

Watch an excerpt of Page's homophobic rant and a video of Page confronting Lemon, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Christian Group Fasts Against Same-Sex Marriage (But Continues Eating) - VIDEO

Family foundation

Virginia-based anti-gay group Family Foundation has announced a fast in opposition to same-sex marriage - but participants will be be allowed to eat, reports Pink News.

The group’s 40 Days of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance For Marriage started on August 27th and runs until October 5th, the day before the Supreme Court begins its next session and hears the first in a series of same-sex marriage appeals cases.

However, not wanting to expend too much energy on hatred, the group announced “we are asking the entire Body of Christ to join us for this feast – giving up physical food isn’t necessary – but feeding on the spiritual food provided is vital.”

Watch the group’s apocalyptic fast introductory video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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