LGBT World Roundup.

Africa. “Persecution of gays is intensifying across Africa, fueled by fundamentalist preachers, intolerant governments and homophobic politicians. Gay people have been denied access to health care, detained, tortured and even killed, human rights activists and witnesses say.” (Source: Gays in Africa face growing persecution, activists say)

Australia. A survey by news.com.au has found that opposition to marriage equality is strongest in the suburbs of major cities. (Source: Same-sex marriage: the suburbs that say I don’t.)

Brazil. The Brazilian government has recognized pension rights for gay couples. The country doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, but does recognize same-sex “stable unions,” which confer some of the rights of marriage. Brazil’s National Social Security Institute requires three proofs of stable union, such as joint bank accounts. (Source: Brasil reconoce derecho de pensión para parejas homosexuales.)

European Union. “The European Court of Human Rights has refused permission to appeal in a challenge to the ban on gay marriage in Austria. The effect of the decision is to make the court’s rejection of the same-sex couple’s claim final.” (Source: European states will not be forced to allow gay marriage.)

Mexico. As of this past Sunday, there had been 528 same-sex marriages in the Mexican Federal District, with 29 more scheduled for this week. Marriages included 276 male couples and 252 female couples. Two couples were between 71 and 90 years old. There were 52 same-sex marriages between Mexicans and foreigners, including nationals of Germany, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, United States, Spain, France, Guatemala, England, Ireland, Peru, Panama, Romania and Venezuela. However, there are reports of difficulty in gaining spousal benefits, with the Ministry of Labor opposed to extending Social Security benefits to same-sex spouses. (Source: Se han realizado más de 500 bodas gay en el D.F.)

Paraguay. Paraguay’s Chamber of Deputies, under pressure from conservative Christian groups, has rejected the Iberoamerican Convention on the Rights of Youth. Among other things, the Convention calls for freedom of religion and acceptance of gay people. So far, the Convention has been ratified by Bolivia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Spain, and Uruguay. (Source: Paraguay Won’t Be 8th Country to Ratify Latin American Pro-Gay Youth Manifesto)

Poland. Krystian Legierski Krystian Legierski, “a 32-year old lawyer, entrepreneur, gay activist, and Green Party leader” whose father was from Mauritania, was elected to the city council of Warsaw on 21 November. Legierski is the first openly gay elected official in Poland. Just four years ago, Legierski was the owner of Le Madame, a nightclub in Warsaw that was ordered closed by the City Council. Persecution of LGBT Poles has been led by the Catholic Church and by the fiercely anti-gay Kaczyński brothers — one of whom, President Lech Kaczyński, was killed in a plane crash this April. (Source: Warsaw’s Black Gay Winner)

United States. David Bahati, a Ugandan Member of Parliament who is also the Chief of the Board of the Ugandan Scouts Association, entered the U.S. on Tuesday, 7 December to attend the International Consortium of Governmental Financial Management in Washington, D.C. However, Bahati was denied entrance to the conference and left the country on Thursday, 9 December after giving an interview to Rachel Maddow. Bahati has close ties to the C Street organization also known as “the Fellowship” and “the Family,” the powerful and secretive Christian group that sponsors the National Prayer Breakfast. He became internationally infamous for sponsoring a bill in the Ugandan Parliament that called for the death penalty for lesbians and gay men and for harsh penalties for pretty much anybody who knew about them and failed to turn them in to the authorities. In his interview with Maddow, Bahati maintained that he still supports life imprisonment for homosexuals, to “protect the children.” It was widely reported that the State Department ordered Bahati to leave the U.S., but both Bahati and the State Department denied it. (Sources: Various reports)

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