USA: The GLBTI community in Portland, Oregon have established citizens’ patrols to guard against gay-bashers after a young gay couple was attacked on the city’s Hawthorne Bridge last month. Groups of four organised by the city’s Q Centre will patrol the city’s entertainment district from 11pm to 2am every weekend and will help victims of crime and report attacks to police. Portland police officer Robert King praised the patrols. “They’re seeing things, they’re calling us,” he said. “One of the other things I like about it is that it helps reduce tensions out there — they’re out talking to people.”

KOREA: South Korea’s GLBTI community held the 12th annual Korea Queer Culture Festival in Seoul’s Hanbit Media Park on May 28. This year’s theme was “Viva! Queer” and enjoyed a strong turnout thanks to sunny weather, with the parade led by a traditional women’s drumming group. In 2005 The King and the Clown, a gay-themed historical drama became the highest-grossing film in Korean film history. However, Korea’s GLBTIs have no legal protection from discrimination and its military code outlaws gay sex.

PAKISTAN: A health professional working in AIDS prevention has claimed that homosexuality is caused by childhood insecurities and child abuse, and can be cured. Assistant Professor of Community Medicine at Islamabad Medical College, Dr Abrar Umar, made the statement in relation to a study of gay men he conducted in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, where he said gays were “multiplying”. He made the comments despite all but one of the 50 gay men in his study stating they believed they were born gay. Poverty, broken families, uneducated parents, absence of sex education, and drug addiction were other factors Umar believed could lead to a person being gay.

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