Queer Notes, Nov.-Dec. 2013

From the November-December 2013 issue of News & Letters:

Queer Notes

by Elise

A bill to require removal of children in Russia from GLBT parents was recently withdrawn, but just for rewording. Russia already bans adoption of children to parents in countries where same-sex marriage is legal. Queer rights advocates were stopped by a mob from rallying on Coming Out Day. Still the International Olympic Committee gave its go-ahead for the Winter Olympics to take place in Sochi in 2014, saying Russia’s ban on “propaganda” of nontraditional sexual relations to minors would not violate the Olympic Charter because Russia has promised to “promote social inclusion without discrimination of any kind” during the Olympics.

* * *

Since Nov. 1, parents of Intersex children in Germany have the option of leaving the gender section of their children’s birth certificates blank for their children to fill in later, or leave undesignated all their lives.

* * *

Former Victory Fellowship Church youth pastor Brent Girouex of Council Bluffs, Iowa, will not spend one day in prison for raping four boys, in his words, to cure them of homosexuality. The judge suspended Girouex’s 17-year prison sentence and mandated only sex offender treatment and five years probation. Eight more youths have accused Girouex of rape.

* * *

In 1987 Iran’s then-ruler Khomeini issued a fatwa in favor of transition surgery. The recommendation to anyone thinking they are Gay is to transition to the opposite gender. Iran ranks third among nations in transition surgery, offering government subsidies.

* * *

Eric Ohena Lembembe, who directed the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS, was discovered in his home in mid-July tortured and murdered. Weeks earlier, the headquarters of Alternatives-Cameroun, AIDS services provider to the LGBTQ community, was burned down.

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