Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gay rights in Ukraine amidst a broader geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West

Ukraine’s LGBT activists were hoping a new pro-EU government would distance itself from a homophobic Moscow. Yes, the revolution of last year was about the European Union and a European lifestyle…European values include the LGBT rights.
When the revolution succeeded in ousting Yanukovych, many gays were hopeful that Ukraine would further distance itself from Moscow, where homophobia has become official state policy. But now Ukraine’s activists are facing an unanticipated obstacle in their quest: the European Union itself.
This week, Ukraine’s Justice Minister announced that the EU had dropped a demand requiring the inclusion of sexual orientation in an anti-discrimination bill. Passage of such a law should be necessary in order for Ukrainians could travel freely throughout the 28-nation European bloc.
This has put Ukrainian gay activists in a bind. Committed to creating a society more accepting of homosexuality, they fear that raising the specter of gay rights, particularly at this politically sensitive moment, gives Moscow an easy propaganda hand to play.
Since the Russian Parliament’s unanimous passage of a law last summer banning the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors, Russia's President Vladimir Putin has articulated a vision for his country leading an alliance of conservative nations.
To take a case in point, a pro-Russian organization put up posters declaring that association with the EU means to allow same-sex marriage and pride parades in Ukraine.
The fight over gay rights within Ukraine is playing out amidst a broader geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West, in which attitudes towards homosexuality are moving towards center stage. Remember that homophobia is deeply ingrained in Ukraine, where a 2013 poll found a full 80% of citizens holding negative attitudes towards homosexuality.
Gay activist were murdered by Yanukovych's security forces as other many fellow protesters during revolution for the same goals, I only hope that now their struggle was not in vain.

Revolution's reason was to build a new Ukraine
where the rights of ALL citizens were respected

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Crowded rainbow run in Taiwan for equal marriage

Over 4,000 LGBT people and allies participated in a rainbow run to support gay marriage and equal rights in Taiwan. They wrapped up in rainbow scarfs for the 15 km morning run in Taipei, despite the cold weather.
The event hoped to bring attention to social issues related to gender diversity, anti-discrimination and changing the family system to better understand and in support of same-sex marriage.
Last october tens of thousands rallied in Taipei's gay pride parade to support equal marriage and rights for LGTB people in Taiwan.

Every year Taipei's gay pride parade attracs thousands of people

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

US swimming champion Tom Luchsinger comes out

US swimming champion Tom Luchsinger has come out in a letter which he reflects emotionally on having tried to refuse his homosexuality, and a long struggle around trying to accept who he is.
Luchsinger has written: "For years, my sexuality was the quality I was most ashamed of about myself. But now it seems that being gay is one of the characteristics I’m most proud of. I have accomplishments linked to my name that most heterosexual men will never have. I’ve overcome the fear of being rejected from the people I love the most".
At the 2013 US national championships, he won in the 200m butterfly and qualified for the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona. The Atlantic Coast Conference named him Swimmer of the Year in 2013.
Last July, another swimming champion Ian Thorpe came out as gay too.
Luchsinger with Michael Phelps