International Gaze

Protesters occupying Beijing’s Tiananmen Square work on the statue of the Goddess of Democracy, May 30, 1989. The makeshift statue, modeled after the Statue of Liberty, was destroyed, and hundreds of people were killed when Chinese soldiers overran the square in the early morning hours of June 4, 1989. -Photo: Jeff Widener/AP

On June 4, Chin and his husband solemnly marked the anniversary of one  of the most significant protests of the 20th century — the 25th anniversary of the pro-democracy demonstrations in China’s Tiananmen Square and the bloody government assault that killed hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed citizens.

Anglican minister ostracized in Uganda for accepting gays

Written by Rodney Muhumuza,
AP writer
Sunday, 30 March 2014 08:03

Rev. Christopher Senyonjo -Photo: believemccchurch.com

Young men sing hymns and recite the Bible before the Rev. Christopher Senyonjo gives a sermon on human sexuality. When the service is over some go to his desk, one by one, for counselling no other Ugandan religious leader is known to offer gays.

Police join mob in mass 'cleansing' of gays in Nigerian capital

Written by The Associated Press Saturday, 15 February 2014 17:13

A mob armed with wooden clubs and iron bars, screaming that they were going to "cleanse" their neighborhood of gay people, dragged 14 young men from their beds and assaulted them, human rights activists said Saturday.

Policy shift: UN to recognize same-sex marriages of staffers

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 10 July 2014 01:09

The United Nations announced this week that it will recognize the same-sex marriages of all its staffers, in a major policy shift that opens the door for the spouses of gay and lesbian employees to enjoy the same benefits as the husbands and wives of their heterosexual colleagues.

Previously, the United Nations only recognized the unions of staffers who came from countries where gay marriage is legal. Now anyone who marries in countries where gay marriage is legal is included.

Pope urges UN on ‘legitimate redistribution’ of wealth

Written by NICOLE WINFIELD,
AP writer
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 12:36

Pope Francis has called for governments to redistribute wealth and benefits to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the “economy of exclusion” that is taking hold today.

Francis made the appeal during a speech to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies meeting in Rome.

Gay rights group wants Kerry to recall ambassadors to Uganda, Nigeria

Written by lisa neff Thursday, 20 February 2014 09:25

The Human Rights Campaign is calling on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to recall the nation’s ambassadors to Uganda and Nigeria.

The nation's largest LGBT civil rights group says that urgent consultation is required before regular diplomacy can proceed with nations that recently enacted some of the world’s most virulently anti-LGBT laws.

Mexico City may legalize marijuana possession, sales

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 14 February 2014 09:35

Leftist lawmakers on Feb. 13 proposed allowing the sale of marijuana within Mexico City, seeking to join Uruguay and the U.S. states of Washington and Colorado in creating legal markets for the drug.

The bill is vague on many key points and faces legal hurdles that may be impossible to overcome but it creates at least the possibility of an island of legalization of one drug in a nation that has been devastated by the fallout from the U.S.-backed fight to stop the northbound flow of recreational narcotics.

Despite pushback, Obama promotes gay rights in hostile regions of the world

Written by The Associated Press Sunday, 29 June 2014 06:41
Gays_in_Cities_around_the_world-e1372125462916

President Barack Obama’s administration has taken the U.S. gay rights revolution global, using American embassies across the world as outposts in a struggle that still hasn’t been won at home.

Bearded Austrian drag queen wins Eurovision Song Contest

Written by The Associated Press Sunday, 11 May 2014 07:38

Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst won the 59th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday with a James Bond-inspired entry that had unleashed a wave of protests in eastern Europe before the competition.

Obama: Anti-gay bill a step back for Ugandans

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 17 February 2014 08:57

President Barack Obama warned Uganda Feb. 16 over its plans to further criminalize homosexuality, saying it would "complicate our valued relationship."

Defending gay rights around the world, as he has done at home, Obama said a bill that President Yoweri Museveni has pledged to sign will mark a "step backward" for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on the country's commitment to protect the human rights of its people.

Drag queen's speech fuels gay rights debate in Ireland

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 12 February 2014 06:47

Ireland's top drag queen, Miss Panti Bliss, has driven a stiletto heel through this nation's long-running debate on gay rights. Panti has riled up conservative Catholics and won global admirers in a social media tour de force that is dominating Irish water-cooler talk.

How and why has Panti - a.k.a. 45-year-old Rory O'Neill - become a YouTube sensation in a dozen languages, thanks to a single, celebrated speech on anti-gay prejudice in Ireland? AP explains.