|The cover of ArgentinaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Noticias magazine featuring Buenos Aires Mayor Jorge Telerman.
The mayor of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jorge Telerman, has said he isn’t gay, he’s just “Frenchified.” “The other day, a daily [newspaper] insinuated that I was gay,” Telerman told Noticias magazine. “But afterward they stopped screwing around, maybe because they saw that it didn’t bother me. I wouldn’t have any problems in saying that I’m gay, but I’m not. I’ve been called ‘afrancesado’ [Frenchified], and the truth is that I am Frenchified. I love everything French.”
The magazine then asked Telerman if he’s a metrosexual. “This word doesn’t appeal to me,” he said. “I am coquettish. Since I was a little boy, I’ve liked to be well-dressed.”
(Original Spanish: Telerman: “El otro día un diario insinuó que era gay. Y después se dejaron de joder, quizá porque vieron que no me molestaba. No tendría problemas en decir que soy gay, pero no lo soy. Antes se decía ‘afrancesado’, y la verdad es que yo soy afrancesado, me encanta todo lo francés.” Noticias: “¿Es un metrosexual?” Telerman: “Esa palabra no me convence. Yo soy coqueto. Desde chiquito me gusta estar bien vestido.”)
Cop Wins Mr Gay UK Contest
West Yorkshire police officer Mark Carter, 23, is the new “Mr Gay UK.” Carter triumphed over 24 regional finalists as 50 of his police colleagues cheered him on Sept. 30 at Blackpool’s Flamingo Club. In an official West Yorkshire Police statement, Superintendent Nigel Hibbert said: “It’s a great achievement and we are all proud of Mark. He’s done very well and we are pleased that he has won.”
Carter described himself as “absolutely over the moon” about the victory. “I am happy that people will be able to see that there are police officers who are gay and we are not necessarily the usual people that they see on TV programs like Big Brother,” he said. “It will be good for other young gay men to see someone like me who has been successful in a professional job like policing.
“I thought telling people I was gay would mean no one would want to know me, but at the Mr Gay UK final I had more people together, supporting me, in one place than I’ve ever had in my life.”
Carter received approximately $9,500 in prize money.
Danish Lesbians Granted Access To Fertility Treatment
Starting Jan. 1, Danish lesbians and single women will have the same access to publicly funded fertility treatment that married women have. Activists fought a nine-year battle to change the assisted-conception laws.
Same-sex couples who unite under Denmark’s groundbreaking 1989 registered-partnership law have all other rights of marriage with the exception of access to adoption. More than 3,000 couples have tied the knot.
ILGA and ILGA-Europe Shack Up
ILGA and ILGA-Europe have moved in together. The 28-year old International Lesbian and Gay Association and the 10-year-old European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association now operate out of the same offices in Brussels. “Closer collaboration between ILGA and its most structured region ... means we’ll be able to use the experience and the success we’ve had in Europe to allow faster development for other regions of the world,” said ILGA Co-Secretary General Philipp Braun.
Founded in 1978, ILGA is the only international federation of GLBT organizations. It has 550 members. Created in 1996, ILGA-Europe pushes GLBT equality at the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and other European-level institutions. It also is a main network for gay organizations throughout the continent.
For more information, see www.ilga.org and www.ilga-europe.org.
Sweden To Deport Gay Iranian
Sweden is preparing to deport a gay Iranian who had sought asylum. Citing a report from Sweden’s Foreign Ministry, a migration court ruled Sept. 29 that most Iranian gays are not persecuted if they live “discreet and withdrawn” lives. The man claimed he had been assaulted and jailed because of his sexual orientation, and raped at a police station.
Sören Andersson, head of the Swedish national gay group RFSL, told The Local, a Stockholm English-language publication, that the man could be executed in Iran. Some human-rights activists believe they have enough evidence to assert that Iran enforces its death penalty for male anal sex, but Human Rights Watch and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission have expressed skepticism.
Influenced by that evidence, 138 members of Britain’s House of Commons signed a motion in August commemorating “the anniversary of [Iran’s] public hanging on 19th July 2005 of two gay teenage boys.” The motion also claimed that “as many as 4,000 Iranians have been executed for their homosexuality since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.”
Two teenage boys, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, were indeed hanged on July 19, 2005, in the city of Mashad, but some Iranian and foreign media reported that the executions were punishment for rape of a boy, not for the crime of consensual sodomy. HRW and IGLHRC say they have been unable to determine which version of the events is true.
The claim that 4,000 Iranian homosexuals have been executed since the revolution is put forth by the Iranian exile gay group Homan. Docu-mentation for the claim is lacking, but Peter Tatchell of the British gay group OutRage!, which says its extensive research confirms that Iran executes gays, explained: “Homan [based the figure] on Iranian media reports of LGBT executions and personal reports from people who had gay friends executed or arrested at private parties who were never seen again and presumed executed.
“They told me of cases where 20 or 30 or more people were arrested in a single raid and who subsequently disappeared forever. This was mostly in the early 1980s and again in the late 1980s. Tens of thousands of people were executed in the early 1980s alone for all kinds of reasons — mostly students and leftists. So the idea of 4,000 LGBTs executed does not seem wildly off the mark.”"
All sides in the activist debate agree that Iran tortures, harasses and mistreats the nation’s gay population.
Amnesty Launches Filipino Campaign
Amnesty International on Oct. 3 appealed to Philippines lawmakers to pass pending legislation that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. “Adoption of this law is very significant for the entire region because only one other Asian country — Fiji — currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” said Michael Heflin, director of Amnesty International USA’s gay OUTfront program. The legislation would ban anti-GLBT discrimination in public services, public accommodations, the military, employment, education and health care, among other areas.
Fiji is a South Pacific island republic east of Australia and north of New Zealand. Although its 1998 Constitution forbids antigay discrimination, religious groups recently have begun agitating for repeal of the protections, and political support for the GLBT community may not be solid. In recent years, some legislators have said they were surprised to learn the Constitution protects gays and that they would not knowingly have supported such safeguards.
-assistance: Bill Kelley