Global gay briefs

Global gay briefs

USA: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (pictured) last week urged Republican state senators to vote for a marriage equality bill when one came before them, and put themselves on the “right side of history”. He vowed to support the re-election campaigns of any who did. Bloomberg is one of the biggest donors in New York state election races. He originally won office as a Republican candidate but left the party in 2007 after disagreements with the national leadership and was returned by voters in 2009 as an independent candidate.

KENYA: Nairobi lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui has launched a legal challenge after rival lawyers he claims believe in rights for homosexuals were nominated for judicial positions. Dr Willy Mutunga was chosen for the role of Chief Justice and Nancy Baraza for Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya’s Supreme Court. Mutunga has been the subject of a smear campaign because he wears an earring, something he has said is not indicative of his sexuality but of his tribal roots. Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki must confirm Mutunga and Baraza’s nominations.

MALAYSIA: A judge has ruled that Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial will proceed. Ibrahim was jailed on what were widely considered to be trumped-up sodomy and corruption charges in 1998 after he was sacked from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s Government. He was freed in 2004 and in 2008 he returned to Parliament to lead the opposition. Within months, a former aide claimed Ibrahim had had sex with him and in 2011 a supposed sex tape was leaked to the public. If Ibrahim is convicted he could be jailed for up to 20 years. Analysts in the country now expect the Government to call snap elections to capitalise on coverage of the trial. Malaysia’s ruling party has been in power continuously since the country gained independence in 1973.

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