World Briefs

Posted on 23 Oct 2006 at 12:32am
By Rex Wockner Wockner News Service

Canadian government auditors say first World Outgames lost more than $5 million

The First World Outgames, staged in Montreal last summer, lost $5.3 million, Quebec government auditors said Nov. 14.

Organizers had reported a $200,000 surplus, but provincial accountants claim to have set the record straight.

Games Co-Chair Marielle Dup?r? blamed “a lack of public support, and the competing Gay Games in Chicago” for the deficit.

Montreal was supposed to host the Gay Games, but a fight between Montreal organizers and the Federation of Gay Games led to the founding of the World Outgames and relocation of the Gay Games to Chicago.

The Chicago games also lost money.

Organizers there have been selling off assets and marketing Gay Games DVDs to recoup the loss.

“We owe about $190,000 in vendor bills and expect all to be paid off by end of first quarter 2007,” said Chicago Games Inc. Co-Vice Chair Tracy Baim.

The next Outgames is scheduled for 2009 in Copenhagen and the next Gay Games is slated for 2010 in Cologne.

Reports claim that Iranian officials have hanged another gay man for sodomy

A Web site called Iran Focus reported Nov. 14 that “a gay Iranian man was hanged in public on Tuesday in the western city of Kermanshah on the charge of sodomy.”

The report said “Shahab Darvishi was charged with organizing a “‘corruption ring,’ deliberate assault and “‘lavat,’ which means homosexual relationship between two men or sodomy.”

The report credited “the official news agency IRNA” as a source for the story.

The Islamic Republic News Agency’s version of the story said the Kermanshah Province Justice Department Communications Department said Darvishi was “found guilty of forming a coterie of corruption rings, physical assaults and the despicable act of sodomy.”

IRNA said the death sentence was issued by the Second Court of the town of Sahneh, and upheld by the Second Appeal Court of Kermanshah and the 27th Branch of the Supreme Court.

“Hundreds of Kermanshah’s residents were present at the scene of the execution,” IRNA said. “They were supportive of the judicial system’s decision and called for adopting a tough stance against criminals and disturbing elements.”

Iran’s version of Islamic law does punish gay sex with execution, and many human-rights activists say, with varying degrees of certainty, that the nation has executed numerous men for the crime since the 1979 religious revolution.

But it is notoriously difficult to fact-check news that comes from Iran, and skepticism of any one report is always warranted, as Iran does not have a free press.

Proposed amendments to Singapore’s penal code still bans gay sex

The final version of government-proposed amendments to Singapore’s penal code will legalize oral and anal sex for straight people but not for gays.

The amendments, hammered out over a three-year period, were made public on Nov. 9.

A note from the Home Affairs Ministry that accompanied the amendment proposals said Singapore is “a conservative society [and] many do not tolerate homosexuality.”

But the government said it will not be “proactive” in enforcing the remaining ban on male-male sex, which carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.

Another clause set for repeal punishes “unnatural” sex of any sort with up to life in prison.

Argentinian legislators repeal law that threatened cross-dressers with jail time

Crossdressers in Argentina’s Mendoza province can now go out in public without fear of being arrested.

Legislators repealed Article 80 of the Code of Misdemeanors which punished with 15 days in jail people who “in daily life wear clothes or attempt to pass as someone of the opposite sex.”

Thirty-three people have been arrested under the law this year, and 19 were arrested last year.

Editorial assistance by Bill Kelley.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, November 24, 2006.

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