Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
Some 400 LGBT leaders from 35 countries attended the fifth Latin America and Caribbean regional ILGA conference Jan. 26-31 in Curitiba, Brazil.
Now known as the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, ILGA is composed of some 670 organizations from 110 nations. It was founded in 1978.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sent a message to the delegates saying “the fight against intolerance and discrimination, and the consequent efforts to respect human nature, including sexual orientation, have guided our government since its first mandate.”
He also expressed support for the government’s third National Human Rights Plan, which favors a national civil union law.
Delegates heard that 11 nations in the region still criminalize gay sex – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Gay activists from eight of those nations were in attendance.
A number of “pre-conferences” dealt with matters such as HIV, homophobia in schools, lesbian and bisexual women’s issues, transgender issues, youth issues, racism, health matters, art and culture, the media and the United Nations.
The opening ceremonies of the main event were attended by several public officials, including Paul Vannuchi, Lula’s secretary for human rights.
Conference support came from the United Nations, the Pan American Health Organization, the Global Fund for Women, the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the Parana state government, the Curitiba city government and Brazilian governmental secretariats concerned with women, human rights and racial equality.