Gay rights conference staged in Belarus

by Rex Wockner

Bay Windows Contributor

More than 100 people from nine Belarusian cities and 10 other countries gathered at the Crowne Plaza in Minsk, Belarus, on Sept. 26 for an LGBT rights conference, reported.

Twenty-three reports were presented at the meeting, which was titled "LGBT Movement and NGOs: Prospects for Cooperation With Active Civil Society to Overcome Homophobia in Belarus."

The reports addressed such issues as public activism, GLBT identity, gay history, homophobia in politics, psychological aspects of homophobia, education of journalists, gay business, and homosexuality and religion.

The gathering was organized by and

"You are making history today," Louis-Georges Tin, president of the International Day Against Homophobia Committee, told the delegates.

Jean-Eric Holzapfel from the European Commission's Belarus delegation told delegates: "The human rights situation in Belarus is of particular interest to us. This applies of course to the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."

At the conference's conclusion, delegates adopted a resolution that will be sent to Belarus' government and parliament urging passage of laws banning anti-gay and -trans discrimination, criminalizing hate speech, and extending spousal rights to same-sex couples.

Representatives attended from the French, Hungarian and Swedish embassies, and the Swedish Embassy hosted an evening reception.

Later, Lika Milovski was crowned "Miss Trans Diva Belarus" at a local nightclub.



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