Editor's Note: Progress regarding LGBT civil rights in the Western World, including the US, has enjoyed many successes in the last few years. Those successes are now being challenged in the US. The success the LGBT community has enjoyed have never come to pass in other nations. In the US, we openly celebrate Pride events even though others disagree. First amendment rights protect our community and those who disagree with our progress. Here's a sample of what's going on in Turkey, Tanzania, Poland, Ireland, and Serbia.
Turkish police reportedly used tear gas and fired rubber bullets to disperse civilians trying to stage a gay Pride march in Istanbul in defiance of a ban. Activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights had vowed to hold the event on July 2 despite being it being officially forbidden by the governor's office for a third year running.
50,000 people took part in Warsaw Pride June 29 compared to some 20,000 in previous years, Andrew Rettman reports. Last year, when anti-gay protestors smashed the windows of a Polish gay-rights NGO, KPH, in Warsaw last year, police put guards outside for a few months. Even with police protection, KPH office had two more attacks. Windows were smashed again this year. KPH helps gay people to prosecute attackers, but there is no such thing as a homophobic crime in Polish law.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addressed thousands of people attending the annual Pride festival in Dublin. He said he will use the office of Taoiseach to advance the cause of LGBT rights and to press for marriage equality across Ireland. Organizers of Dublin LGBTQ Pride Parade said 30,000 people took part in this year's event.
About 100 Serbian LGBT marchers and their supporters held a World Pride event June 24 in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, under heavy police protection. The event was Serbia’s second Pride march. Banners said "We want life worthy of humans" or "Support Matters." Organizers issued a declaration calling for no tolerance of violence, improved official documents for transgender persons, and better implementation of the country's antidiscrimination laws.
Tanzania has threatened to arrest and expel activists, as well as deregister all non-governmental organizations that campaign for gay rights. Homosexuality is a criminal offence in the East African nation, where the law states that suspects convicted of having "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature" could face up to 30 years in jail.
At a rally July 2, Tanzania's Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said both domestic and foreign campaigners for gay rights would now face punitive measures in the country.