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Mexican Gays Challenge U.S. Immigration Falsehoods

Cyprus: Amnesty International Blasts New Anti-Gay Laws

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

Mexican Gays Challenge U.S. Immigration Falsehoods

mexico2.gif - 15.09 KMexican gay activists have sharply denounced a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service report which states that since 1995 "there have been no further reports that homosexuals have been murdered with the apparent complicity or tolerance of government authorities."

"[It's] a U.S. tactic so that they don't have to give asylum [to Mexican gays]," said Jose Maria Covarrubias of the Mexico City gay group Circulo Cultural Gay. "You can't say that there is no homophobia in Mexico, that these murders are not happening."

Research conducted by Mexico's Citizens' Commission Against Homophobic Hate Crimes found 38 anti-gay killings nationwide in 1995, 42 in 1996, 37 in 1997 and eight so far this year. The statistics were based on news reports in one Mexico City newspaper "where the sexual orientation [of the victim] is clearly indicated by the journalist, neighbors or police."

But the author of the INS report, World Policy Institute Latin America Specialist Andrew Reding, told the Washington Blade he stands by the accuracy of the document.

Mexican gay groups are "crying wolf when there's no wolf there," he said. "When [violent anti-gay attacks are] occurring, there's no mistaking it. It's not like you've got to hunt. ... Recently in Mexico, that's not been the case."

Cyprus: Amnesty International Blasts New Anti-Gay Laws

Under pressure from the Council of Europe and the European Union, Cyprus legalized gay sex May 21 but Amnesty International said last week the new laws are unacceptable.

Behind-the-scenes negotiations with the Orthodox Church resulted in anti-gay amendments that ban advertising for a gay partner, prohibit gay "indecent" proposals, and attach higher penalties to sex offenses that are homosexual in nature. In addition, the age of consent for gay sex is set higher than for straight sex.

"The application of the revised Article 171 which carries a sentence of up to five years imprisonment for 'unnatural acts between males performed in public or which involve one of the persons being aged under 18' and which includes in its definition of acts performed 'in public' those which take place 'between more than two people or in presence of a third party,' could continue to lead to the imprisonment of male adults solely for engaging in consensual homosexual relations in private," Amnesty said.

"Amnesty International is also concerned that the wide scope of the provisions of the recently adopted Article 174(A) (which carries a sentence of one year's imprisonment for 'indecent behavior or invitation or provocation or advertisement aimed at performing unnatural acts between males') could lead to the imprisonment of individuals solely for having exercised their right to freedom of expression and to freedom of assembly and association."

Rex Wockner's weekly international news reports dating back to May 1994 can be searched at The reports in their original form are archived at, which also archives Wockner's Quote Unquote column and some of his longer gay-press articles.