| Swedish Member of Parliament Fredrick Federley was gay-bashed at a hot-dog stand after leaving a gay club in Stockholm on Dec. 8. Federley, 29, and two friends were attacked by six or seven men in their 20s who called them â€śfags.â€ť Federley was hit four times. â€śThey screamed that we were disgusting and a threat to Sweden and that they were going to beat us up,â€ť he told The Local newspaper.
Federley spent the night at a friendâ€™s house rather than take the bus home. He did not seek medical treatment.
Botswana Gay Group To Sue Government
Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) is suing the Department of Civil and National Registration for refusing to register the organization. Lawyer Duma Boko served Attorney General Athaliah Molokomme with a notice of intention to sue on Dec. 6. The department reportedly rejected LEGABIBOâ€™s application because of Penal Code Section 164, which states: â€śAny person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature, has carnal knowledge of an animal, or permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature is guilty of an offense and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.â€ť
Boko called the departmentâ€™s rejection â€śimproper and unlawfulâ€ť and demanded that it be â€śnullified.â€ť â€śThis matter implicates a whole array of constitutional rights and protections not least of which are the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association as well as the right to the equal protection of the law,â€ť he said.
Men Jailed For Gay Sex in Morocco
Six men were sentenced to prison in Ksar el Kbir, Morocco, on Dec. 10 for alleged violation of Penal Code Article 489, which bans â€ślewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.â€ť The men were arrested and jailed in late November after media reports identified them as attendees at an alleged â€śgay marriageâ€ť party that was the subject of an amateur video uploaded to YouTube.
Following the arrests, hundreds of people marched in Ksar el Kbir calling for the men to be punished.
Lawyers for the men, who were sentenced to between four and 10 monthsâ€™ imprisonment each, complained that prosecutors presented no evidence that any crime had taken place, and Human Rights Watch denounced the verdicts.
â€śThe menâ€™s rights to privacy and freedom of expression have been violated, and the court has convicted them without apparent evidence; they should be set free,â€ť said HRWâ€™s Sarah Leah Whitson, who directs the groupâ€™s North Africa programs.
â€śThese men are behind bars for private acts between consenting adults that no government has any business criminalizing in the first place,â€ť she added.
The one individual who received a 10-month sentence also was convicted of selling alcohol.
Article 489 punishes gay sex with imprisonment for six months to three years and a fine of $15 to $150.
Dramatic HIV Increase Among Chinese Gays
The percentage of Chinese gay men infected with HIV jumped from 0.4 percent to 3.3 percent between 2005 and 2007, according to a new report from the State Council AIDS Working Committee Office and the U.N. Theme Group on AIDS in China. But the overall rate of HIV infection has slowed, said the report, â€śThe Joint Assessment of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment and Care in China (2007).â€ť
While there were 70,000 new infections in 2005, only 50,000 are expected this year, the report stated. In all, around 700,000 of Chinaâ€™s 1.32 billion residents are believed to have HIV. Heterosexual sex is expected to account for 45 percent of new infections, intravenous drug use for 42 percent, and gay sex for 12 percent.
The report claimed that 70 percent of gay men have multiple sexual partners and that only 30 percent use condoms.
HIV Travel Report Released
The European AIDS Treatment Group and the German AIDS Federation have produced a report on â€śTravel and Residence Regulations for People with HIV and AIDS.â€ť â€śThis latest edition reflects the most up-to-date information available in 2007 and includes a specific section on entering the United States of America in spite of state-sponsored discrimination still in vigor,â€ť the groups said in an English-language press release.
The report is online at eatg.org/hivtravel. It also is available as a PDF document â€” in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish â€” at tinyurl.com/2e25l9. Corrections are invited and should be sent to David Haerry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The authors also seek feedback on â€śpositive and negative experiences regarding traveling as an HIV+ person.â€ť They said, â€śThis information helps us provide practical information on how to travel in spite of the various regulations.â€ť
Aussie PM Chooses Lesbian Minister
New Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has selected lesbian lawyer Penny Wong, 39, as minister for climate change and water. Wong, 39, was born in Malaysia and is one of only a handful of openly gay Australian politicians. She will help lead the governmentâ€™s effort to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.
Assistance: Bill Kelley