FBI ON THE CASE

USA: The FBI has been brought in to investigate the savage beating of a young gay man outside a convenience store by a group of at least eight men in South Carolina. Joshua Esskew was set upon and bashed after he objected to being called an anti-gay slur. “Matters of this sort — hate, civil rights — are one of our highest priorities in the bureau,” said an FBI spokesman. The Gay American Heroes Foundation, a group that monitors homophobic hate crimes, asked the FBI for a full investigation into the beating.

MARRIAGE BAN

HUNGARY: Same-sex marriage has been banned in Hungary’s new constitution in a further sign of the country’s shift to the right under conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Hungarian same-sex couples could already enter into registered partnerships which give them most of the rights of marriage, thanks to the previous Socialist Party government of Ferenc Gyurcsány.

KOBE APOLOGISES

USA: LA Laker Kobe Bryant has apologised for using the word “faggot” when arguing with a referee. “Even though I didn’t mean it that way, I’ve since learned what that word still means to a lot of people,” Bryant told ESPN. “I did my own research and I read about kids who were committing suicide because of being teased for who they are. For people who don’t think my apology is sincere … this isn’t over for me. I really plan to do more.”

OPENING MINDS?

BULGARIA: An influx of Western European gay couples opening their wallets to buy holiday houses in Bulgaria may be opening minds as well. The couples buying properties along the Black Sea coast come mostly from countries where same-sex marriage or civil unions are legal, prompting Sofia University law professor Nikolay Natov to comment, “A very complicated question arises — should Bulgaria recognise as legal these same-sex marriages?”

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