Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Suporters of rights for gays and lesbians worldwide secured a major victory at the United Nations this week. The 192-nation U.N. General Assembly voted to restore a reference to killings due to sexual orientation that had been deleted from a resolution condemning unjustified slayings. The shift came after the United States submitted an amendment to restore the reference, which the General Assembly’s human rights committee removed last month from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions that is adopted every two years.
The U.S. amendment that restored the reference to sexual orientation was adopted with 93 votes in favor, 55 against and 27 abstentions. The amended resolution was then approved with 122 yes votes, one against and 62 abstentions. (Saudi Arabia cast the sole vote against the resolution, and the United States was among those who abstained.)
The committee’s deletion of the reference last month — at the proposal of African and Arab nations — had outraged Western countries and human rights activists. Similar resolutions adopted in previous years have explicitly mentioned killings due to sexual preference, along with slayings for racial, national, ethnic, religious or linguistic reasons and killings of refugees, indigenous people and other groups.
Cary Alan Johnson, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), was pleased with the outcome. “The outpouring of support from the international community sent the strong message to our representatives at the U.N. that it is unacceptable to make invisible the deadly violence LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people face because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.”
In many corners of the world, the policy on gays in the military could be labeled this way: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Care.”
In the military establishments of more than 30 countries, including U.S. allies such as Israel, Canada and the United Kingdom, gays and lesbians are allowed to openly serve in their country’s military.
Gay Austrian fashionista Bruno will not be making an appearance on Malaysia’s screens this summer for fear of corrupting this mostly-Muslim nation’s youth.
But Malaysia’s parents will still not have it easy as the country’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is again on trial for sodomy in a re-run of a 14-month case that in 1998 generated endless sexually explicit headlines and questions from curious children.
By Barani Krishnan
A decade ago, Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim was on trial for sodomy and corruption in a trial that exposed the seamy side of Malaysian justice and the anxieties of a young country grappling with a crushing financial crisis and civil unrest.
Anwar is Malaysia’s best known political figure, courted in the U.S. and Europe and probably the only man who can topple the government that has led this Southeast Asian country for the past 51 years.
Just when you thought his story couldn’t get more dramatic — he died on Oct. 11 in a high-speed car crash while drunk — we now learn that Haider, who was married with two daughters, was not only a populist who polarised the public with remarks about Nazism and immigrants, but might have been gay too.