INDIA: One year after India’s colonial era sodomy laws were struck down by the Delhi High Court, the state of Andhra Pradesh has become the first to provide formal recognition of GLBT people by including them among the responsibilities of the state’s Minority Welfare Department. The Department’s principle secretary, Lingaraj Panigrahi, told media, “Sensitisation is required among the general public that [GLBTs] have the right to lead a normal life – this is a social issue and they should not be isolated.”
USA: The US State of Maryland may be the next to legalise same-sex marriage after Democrats made significant gains despite a trend towards Republicans in the rest of the country during recent elections. Democrats now hold 35 seats in the Maryland senate compared to the Republican’s 12, while the number of openly gay politicians in the State House rose from four to seven. Reelected Governor Martin O’Malley has promised to sign a marriage equality bill if passed.
BURMA: The Burmese military regime has ordered 80 HIV patients to leave their care home after they were visited by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi visited the home just days after being released from 15 years of house arrest. The country, in the heroin producing region of South East Asia spends only 0.5 percent of GDP on health and nearly one in three Burmese gay men is infected with the virus.
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UK: The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has called upon the worldwide Anglican community for a show of unity on gay and other issues. Williams seeks to bring to an end the disagreements that have divided the community in the past including same-sex marriage and the consecration of openly gay bishops.