Former Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was cleared of sodomy charges after the validity of DNA evidence was questioned, Pink News reported. In 2008, Ibrahim ( who is married with six children ) was arrested after a male aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, accused him of sexual assault. Judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah ruled that DNA found on and in Azlan's body was inadmissible.
An unidentified individual brutally attacked Indian artist Balbir Krishan during an exhibition of his homoerotic paintings in Delhi, India, according to a Huffington Post item. Krishan told Times of India that the assailant entered the exhibition space as the artist was talking about his collection, "Out Here and Now." The person ( who concealed his face with a handkerchief ) vandalized a piece before kicking and pushing Krishan, a double amputee who now has artificial limbs. The exhibition is still running.
Research has shown that Finland has deported asylum-seekers to countries where they could be put to death because of their sexual orientation, according to YLE.fi. Pentti Visanen of the Interior Ministry said that Finland is responsible if those deportees are harmed in their home countries. Most of the cases took place between 2008 and 2010; more than 70 countries criminalize homosexuality.
Transgender individual Shahana Abbas Shani, president of Pakistan's She-male Association, has announced a political run, according to Care2.com . Shani will compete as an independent candidate for the city of Muzaffargarh for the Punjab provincial assembly. Shani said she made the decision because she wants to discuss problems faced by her community.
In Zimbabwe, Bulowayo Mayor Thaba Moyo said that the city council will use 20 pink dustbins a pro-gay organization donated, according to Pink News. Moyo denied complaints had led to the receptacles being pulled from circulation, saying he was trying to find prominent places for them. The Sexual Rights Centre in Zimbabwe, who donated the bins, is "focused entirely on upholding international recommendation and standards on sexual rights," one of which is the right to "freely express one's sexuality."
Pope Benedict said Jan. 9 told diplomats from almost 180 nations that same-sex marriage was a threat to the traditional family that could undermine "the future of humanity itself," according to the Huffington Post. "This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself," he said. One leading opponent of gay marriage in the United States is New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan; the pope will elevate him to cardinal next month.
In England, male prostitute Michael Peacock, 53who sold DVDs of violent gay pornographyhas been cleared of publishing obscene material, according to London24.com . Peacock, who wasn't in any of the films, had been arrested in 2009 after a sting operation in which he sold six DVDs to undercover officers via the classified website Craigslist. During the four-day trial, jurors watched almost three hours of sadistic pornographic material to decide if the footage would "deprave and corrupt" people likely to watch them.
In Turkey, the nation's first so-called gay honor killing has launched a new film that aims to shed light on hate crimes based on gender, sexual identity, religion or ethnicity, according to Advocate.com . One of the characters in the movie Zenne Dancer is based on the story of Ahmet Yildiz, an out gay Istanbul student who was reportedly shot and killed by his father. The father remains a fugitive.
In Scotland, 17-year-old student Jamie Love won his battle to return to classes after he was sent home for dressing as a girl, according to the Daily Record. The development took place because of, in part, a campaign by other students to have him reinstated. Love said, "It is a major victory for me and all the other kids who are confused about their sexuality. ... I am happy they have finally accepted me for who I am."
A new report by the Human Rights Watch concluded that, in Kuwait, transgender women have been arrested, tortured and sexually assaulted in increasing numbers, Advocate.com reported. The report, "They Hunt Us Down for Fun: Discrimination and Violence Against Transgender Women in Kuwait," documents abuses since 2008. The report recommends, among other things, repeal of a law that criminalizes "imitating the opposite sex."
In Saudi Arabia, a man was reportedly arrested for using Facebook to date other men, according to Advocate.com . The unnamed 30-year-old was arrested in late December by religious police, and faces corporal punishment, fines and, possibly, death. Religious leaders will select the punishment, with social class, religious standing and citizening being determining factors.
At the Australian Open tennis tournament, player Laura Robson wore a rainbow ribbon in her hair to support gay-rights activists, according to The Australian. Robson, a 17-year-old Brit who was born in Australia, said she was aware of anti-gay comments legendary Australian tennis champion Margaret Court made recently. In making the fashion statement, Robson said she believes "in equal rights for everyone." Activists had planned to stage a protest at the event.
In Cuba, gay-rights activist Mariela Castro said that legislators will consider same-sex civil unions this year, the Huffington Post reported. Castrothe daughter of President Raul Castrosaid a preliminary proposal to modify the Family Code is on the legislative schedule.