Sydney’s Anglican Diocese Gives $1 Million To ‘No’ Campaign on Marriage; and more in Global LGBT Recap


United Nations human rights spokesperson Rupert Colville condemned ongoing anti-gay crackdowns in Azerbaijan, Egypt, and Indonesia, which we’ve been reporting on. ABC News reported on the Egyptian wave of arrests after social media outrage at a rainbow flag being waved at a concert, noting that repression of all kinds “has intensified under Egypt’s military leaders in recent years.” In Indonesia, where some Muslim leaders are promoting polygamy, the Washington Post’s Vincent Bevins reported from Indonesia, where “radical Islamists” have been “playing a larger role” in politics, and where police recently detained nearly five dozen men in a mass arrest:

In Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, homosexuality is legal and the state largely stays out of issues of private morality. But as conservative religious groups become more prominent in political life here, police are increasingly finding other ways to crack down on LGBT communities. …

There have been several public comments that may have led police to believe a crackdown was in order, but the most famous was probably delivered by Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, who said last year that the LGBT agenda was like a “proxy war” threatening national sovereignty.

“This is a kind of modern warfare,” he said, according to Tempo magazine. “It’s dangerous as we can’t see who our foes are, but out of the blue everyone is brainwashed — now the [LGBT] community is demanding more freedom, it really is a threat.”

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said last year that the job of police was to defend LGBT communities and other groups from discrimination, but he has largely stayed on the sidelines of the debate as the crackdown has intensified.

Associated Press reports from Africa that activists who “stepped out of the shadows” with support from the Obama administration now “fear that the Trump administration will undermine those gains, and that their exposure could make them more vulnerable if support fades.”

A gay couple living in the United Kingdom, where their civil union was converted to a marriage, is caught in a nightmarish bureaucratic Catch-22 in which the government of France—where one of the men is from—will not recognize their marriage and thus their adoption of their son. Pink News reports that there are at least a dozen same-sex couples in a similar situation who “have been told that they need to get divorced if they want legal rights.”

The Washington Blade reports that activists in Latin America are watching the Trump administration’s moves on LGBT issues and immigration warily, but some said they continue to get support from U.S. embassies, which “in June received guidance from the State Department that allowed them to recognize Pride month.”

Celebrity Cruises will be able to perform same-sex weddings on their cruise ships thanks to marriage equality legislation in “predominantly Catholic Malta,” where “most of the line’s fleet is registered,” reports the Miami Herald.

Romania: Marriage-Refusing Clerk Kim Davis Joins Liberty Counsel’s Anti-Marriage Crusade

We reported last week on U.S.-based conservative Christian groups supporting Romania’s “illiberal” move to put a ban on same-sex couples marrying into the country’s Constitution. More details have emerged, including the fact that anti-LGBT legal group Liberty Counsel took county clerk Kim Davis, who refused to allow couples to marry after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, on a nine-day trip to Romania to support calls for an anti-gay referendum. Liberty Counsel lawyers also met with Orthodox Church bishops.

Last year, Liberty Counsel submitted an amicus brief to the Constitutional Court urging that the referendum be allowed to move forward to prevent “cultural decline” that “has already wreaked havoc on other European Union members, the United States and Canada.” The brief cites the widely discredited “New Family Structures Study” by Mark Regnerus. It is critical of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Lawrence decision, which overturned state laws that criminalized consensual gay sex.

Australia: Anglican Diocese of Sydney Gives Anti-Marriage-Equality Campaign $1 million

The Anglican Diocese of Sydney contributed $1 million to the campaign that is urging a vote against marriage equality in an ongoing mail ballot, reports Buzzfeed:

Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies announced the hefty donation in his address to the 51st Synod of the Diocese of Sydney on Monday afternoon.

He told the gathering that the diocese had been a founding member of the Coalition for Marriage, along with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, Marriage Alliance and the Australian Christian Lobby.

“The Standing Committee has also enthusiastically backed our participation in the Coalition For Marriage and has taken the bold step of drawing down one million dollars from the Diocesan Endowment to promote the ‘no’ case,” he said.

Davies told the gathering that “the stakes are high and the cost is high”.

“Yet the cause is just and it is a consequence of our discipleship to uphold the gift of marriage as God has designed it — a creation ordinance for all people. By so doing, the wisdom of God is made manifest.” …

“I believe that a change in the definition of marriage is unwarranted, not just because it is in opposition to the teaching of scripture and our Lord himself in Matthew 19,” he said

“But because I believe marriage, traditionally understood as a union of one man and one woman, is a positive good for our society, where marriage and the procreation of children are bound together as the foundational fabric of our society, notwithstanding the sad reality that not all married couples are able to conceive.”

Meanwhile, the Perth diocese offered LGBT people a “heartfelt apology” for “any harm we have done.”

PayPal announced that it would match donations to the Yes campaign up to AU$50,000.

Costa Rica: Conservative Candidate Hopes LGBT Visibility Will Elect More Christians

La Republica reports on the emergence of Vamos, a provincial political party that “responds to the unfulfilled promises of traditional parties that have not wanted to promote a change in the rights of LGBTI people.”

Fabricio Alvarado, the candidate of the National Restoration party, hopes that the growing visibility of the LGBTI movement will encourage anti-abortion and anti-LGBT voters to elect more Christian candidates who share their values. He accused gay-rights supporters of intolerance:

Just stroll around on social networks and really see what’s going on.

They call us intolerant, but in practice they are the fundamentalists, the intolerant.

A fundamentalist seeks to pulverize his opponent, those who are against him or think differently and I do not pretend that, they do. They demand to close churches, that there are no more Christian deputies and that for me is a contradiction; They ask for tolerance, but they are not tolerant of those who think differently. …

I am a retaining wall in the country. I am the voice of the people who are against abortion and the recognition of the right of the same sex.

In contrast, National Assembly of the PAC candidate Carlos Alvarado supports a platform that includes marriage equality and secular sex education in schools.

India: Legal Proposals to Recognize Marriage Equality, Protect Inter-Religious Marriage

A group of lawyers and public figures have submitted a proposed progressive revision of the Uniform Civil Code to the Law Commission of India:

It defines marriage as “the legal union as prescribed under this Act of a man with a woman, a man with another man, a woman with another woman a transgender with another transgender or a transgender with a man or a woman”.

Partnership has been defined as living together of a man with a woman, a man with another man, a woman with another woman a transgender with another transgender or a transgender with a man or a woman.

It also provides that any two person who have been in partnership for more than two years shall have same rights and obligations towards each other as a married couple. The draft also bars more than one such partnership at a time.

According to the draft UCC, 20 years is the legal age for marriage and it prohibits marriage to a sibling, real uncle or aunt, or direct lineal ascendant descendant.

It also recommends compulsory registration of all marriages, something which the panel itself had recommended to the government earlier in the year.

“In case of non-heterosexual marriages, the fact that the religious or customary practices do not permit such marriage or prohibit such marriage, will not be a bar and the registrar of marriages will have all such powers to ensure solemnisation of such marriage,” says the draft. …

“All married couple and couples in partnership entitled to adopt a child. Sexual orientation of the married couple or the partners not to be a bar to their right to adoption. “Non-heterosexual couples will be equally entitled to adopt a child,” it says.

The Hindustan Times reports that a group of students alarmed by reports of “honor killings” has proposed a law protecting inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, and include marriage equality for same sex couples in their draft. From one of the students:

“Our draft applies to not only inter-caste and inter-religion couples but also to different cults like Shia and Sunnis, within religions. Further, we have also included same sex marriages and crimes against them under our draft, although it is still illegal in the country. It is because we believe it is the basic liberty of an individual to choose their partner.”

Kosovo: President Attends Peaceful First-Ever Pride Parade

“A few hundred people held the first ever pride parade” in the capital of Pristina, reports Associated Press in a story titled, “Pride comes out into the open in tiny, Muslim-majority Kosovo.” The event was peaceful in spite of some threats that were received in advance.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci also took part at the start to express the support of the country’s institutions to the community and to insist that everyone was equal.

“We shall not let anyone in Kosovo exert fear and threats on any individual or any grouping,” he said.

AFP tweeted video of the parade.

Algeria: Growing Trend Toward ‘Rainbow Weddings’ as Alterative to Coming Out

FRANCE 24 reports on gay Algerians who marry people of the opposite sex in response to social and familial pressure as an alternative to coming out.

Taiwan: Admin Court Gives Legislature Time to Comply with Constitutional Court Marriage Ruling

Tapei’s administrative court rejected a lawsuit brought by a lesbian couple that has been seeking to register a marriage. The Constitutional Court ruled earlier this year in favor of marriage equality but gave the legislature two years to implement the ruling.

Mexico: Some State and Local Officials Resist Federal Marriage Equality Rulings

Ongoing resistance to marriage equality is taking the form of a kind of civil disobedience by some civil officials in Puebla refusing to grant marriages to same-sex couples in defiance of orders from the country’s Supreme Court. The same is reportedly true in the state of Guerrero.

Germany: Gay Couples Adopts Foster Son

DW reports that a gay couple that was married a day after the country’s marriage equality law went into effect on October 1, has become the first same-sex couple to adopt a child, a two-year old who they have served as foster parents for since he was born.

Uruguay: First Transgender Senator Sworn In

Michelle Suarez was sworn in as the first transgender senator.

Hong Kong: Gay Man Challenges Anti-Gay Laws

A gay man is legally challenging seven sections of law that criminalize sex between men:

Yeung Chu-wing, a volunteer from local sexual minorities rights group Rainbow Action, argued that such laws were discriminatory since they targeted only gay men without providing equivalent criminal sanctions against heterosexuals or lesbians for the same or comparable conduct.

Chile: Presidential Candidate Rejects Abortion, LGBT Equality

AND Radio reported, “Presidential candidate Jose Antonio Kast not only rejects abortion, but also opposed homosexual marriage and homoparental adoption.”

Nigeria: Canadian Catholic Finds Home For Anti-LGBT Op ed

Paul Kokiski, a Canadian Catholic writer who has published anti-LGBT op eds in various countries, had a commentary published in the Standard Times Press praising legislation to “ban gay marriage and outlaw any groups actively supporting gay rights” approvingly quoted a U.S. cardinal saying the LGBT movement has begun to “morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan.” Author Paul Kokoski writes, “Under no circumstances should [homosexual acts]be approved.”

To chose someone of the same sex for one’s sexual activity is to annul the rich symbolism and meaning, not to mention the goals, of the Creator’s sexual design. Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.

The commentary repeats quite a few of the rhetorical claims of anti-LGBT activists around the globe, including an attack on “gender ideology.”

This new “gender ideology” which is increasingly being imposed on society by Western governments, undermines the fundamental understanding of what it means to be a human. In seeking to make every individual completely autonomous, it destroys the understanding of the family as a community designed for the rearing of children. In this radical new understanding of sexuality, children lose their own rights and become mere objects of adult possession.

The above paragraph is identical to one appearing in a Kokoski commentary that appeared in the Bahamas in 2013.