In Australia, the ruling Labor Party has pushed up its vote on same-sex marriage from the end of the year to as early as August, in hopes of putting the issue to bed sooner rather than later, as its not expected to pass. Meanwhile, MP Adam Bandt of the Green Party is introducing his own marriage-equality  bill, but delaying a vote until late 2012 or early 2013. “I’m optimistic of achieving reform within the life of this Parliament, with some more discussion and more persuasion,” said Bandt. [Sydney Morning Herald]

In Kampala, Uganda, police in riot gear broke up a meeting on Monday because organizers were training gay-rights activists how to report human-rights abuses. “It was very clear that we were targeted because of that,” said Sari Naskinen, deputy director of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. “The police just came—they did not identify themselves as police. They were in civilian clothes, and they basically just dragged them out to the reception area.” [Voice of America]

Charges of pinkwashing leveled at Cuba’s Castro regime: “[Mariela] Castro’s talk of gay rights is just a pretext for her broader defense of the Castro family’s dictatorship.” [New York Daily News]

Northern Ireland‘s health minister, Edwin Poots (right), defended his country’s lifetime ban on blood donation by gay men, saying it should be extended to those who have have slept with prostitutes or people from Africa. “I think that people who engage in high-risk sexual behaviour in general should be excluded from giving blood. And so someone who has sex with somebody in Africa or sex with prostitutes, I am very reluctant about those people being able to give blood.” Poots also rejects evolution and thinks the Earth is only 4,000 years old. [BBC News]

As gays and lesbians prepare for Pride in Sofia, Bulgaria, they’re expressing outrage over comments by Father Evgeniy Yanakiev that people should throw stones at participants during the June 30 parade. Activists have asked leaders of the 6.5-million-member Bulgarian Orthodox Church to condemn Yanakiev’s remarks. Instead, the Holy Synod issued a statement saying, “homosexuality is an unnatural passion that undoubtedly harms the personality, the family and the society.” [Pink News]



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