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Lisbon Mayor Supports Gay Efforts

Belgian Gay Youths More Likely to Commit Suicide

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

Lisbon Mayor Supports Gay Efforts

lisbon.jpg - 17.68 KThe mayor of Lisbon, Portugal, Joao Soares, attended the unveiling of the new headquarters of the group Opus Gay September 12 and the kickoff of Lisbon's Second Gay and Lesbian Film Festival September 14. The festival screened over 100 films.

Soares said he was "very proud that Lisbon is a city of freedom, tolerance and openness."

Opus Gay President Antonio Serzedelo, 53, told Spain's El Pais newspaper, "After the blacks and the Gypsies, it's our turn [for freedom]."

Opus Gay (the name is a takeoff on the extremely conservative worldwide Catholic organization Opus Dei, which is Latin for the Work of God) is one of three main Portuguese gay groups along with ILGA Portugal and the Revolutionary Socialist Party Homosexual Workgroup.

Belgian Gay Youths More Likely to Commit Suicide

BELGIUMFLAG.GIF - 6.22 KGays and lesbians aged 15 to 25 in Belgium's Flanders region are two to five times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth, according to researchers at Ghent University.

Sociologist John Vincke and psychologist Kees van Heeringen studied 404 young people -- half gay and half straight. Their report was presented at the 7th European Symposium: The Suicidal Process: Challenges for Treatment and Prevention, held September 9- 12 in Belgium.

Twenty-five percent of young lesbian/bisexual women had attempted suicide at least once compared with 5.4 percent of straight female youths. About 13 percent of gay male youths had tried to kill themselves compared with 5.9 percent of straight male youths.

The report found that 45 percent of young lesbians and one-third of young gay men had considered suicide, compared with 24 percent of straight females and 16 percent of straight males.

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