Badpuppy Gay Today

Friday, 11 April 1997


Swaziland, Tasmania, Argentina, and Kuwait

By Rex Wockner


1. Uproar Over Gay Swazi Group
2. Tasmania May Legalize Gay Sex
3. Argentine National Confab Is a Success
4. Kuwaiti Professor Punished For Discussing Lesbians

The formation of Swaziland's first gay group has caused an uproar, reported the Africa Information Afrique (AIA) news service.

Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini responded by calling homosexuality an "abnormality and sickness" and declaring that the government will not accept homosexuals unless society does so first.

Former Prime Minister Prince Bhekimpi, who is also a chief, threatened to evict gays and lesbians from his regions of the country because "homosexuality is regarded as satanic in Swaziland."

He added, however, that if homosexuality is permitted by the Swazi constitution, then he would have no objection to his subjects joining the new group.

The association, GALESWA, is led by 21-year old Mangosuthu Dlamini (no relation) who recently spoke on national TV about his efforts.

That appearance "incited the wrath of the majority of the nation," AIA said, and cost Dlamini his job with a security firm.

"It is a pity that many homosexuals are leaving the country for South Africa," Dlamini told AIA. "This is because their rights are guaranteed in that country's constitution."

South Africa is the only nation in the world that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation via its constitution.

Following a 10-year campaign by gay activists, Tasmania's House of Assembly voted March 27 to legalize gay sex. The bill now moves to the upper house of Parliament. The ban is Australia's only remaining sodomy law. It punishes private gay sex between adults with up to 25 years in prison.

Among those now supporting the measure's repeal is state Attorney General Ray Groom.

"I have mellowed, I suppose," he said. "It has become a negative for Tasmania."

Last month, Australia's High Court accepted an activist lawsuit against the ban.

The court said homosexuals need to know whether the state ban or federal privacy protections take precedence in Tasmania.

Federal legislators enacted a sexual privacy law after the U.N. Human Rights Committee ruled in 1994 that Tasmania's ban violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Australia is a signatory.

Argentina's Second Lesbian, Gay, Transvestite, Transsexual and Bisexual National Conference was a success March 28-29 despite delegates being booted from their conference space and Christian groups threatening "a human chain" to keep attendees from entering their hotel.

The conference took place in northern Salta province.

Two highlights of the gathering, participants said, were a spontaneous gay-pride march--the city of Salta's first--and a protest at a gay disco which had banned local drag queens.

"It was very moving to see local gays, lesbians and transvestites, who just the day before spoke of their panic about being visible, now proudly marching," said correspondent Alejandra Sarda.

TV and newspaper coverage was "serious, respectful and informative," Sarda said.

The Christian "human chain" never materialized but "political pressure" got the conference evicted from its space at the local university, Sarda said. The entire conference was moved to the gay bar Nosotros.

Among much else, conferees decided to launch a national campaign for an anti-discrimination law. Organizing meetings will be held in Rosario in July and Buenos Aries in November.

The 1998 conference will be in Cordoba.

Kuwait University may dismiss Professor Alia Shoaib for saying that lesbianism is rampant among students and that she saw two women having sex in a university toilet, reported London's The Guardian.

Shoaib made the remarks in a casual conversation with a student who then published them in a local magazine.

In recommending Shoaib's firing, university president Fazia Khorafi, a woman, said homosexuality does not exist in Kuwait.

"Ours is a Muslim society and homosexuality is against Islam," she said.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti novelist Leila Otham is facing obscenity charges for her book, "The Departure," which includes two gay-themed short stories--one about two girls in a lesbian relationship and the other addressing homosexuality among immigrant workers.

Rex Wockner's Weekly International Reports dating back to mid-1994 are searchable by word, city, state/province, nation and year and

1997 BEI; All Rights Reserved.
For reprint permission e-mail

GayToday Image Map