Today is the International Day Against Homophobia. In observance of the occasion, the Human Rights Watch has listed five world leaders to its Hall Of Shame because of their anti-gay actions in the last year:
1. Pope Benedict XVI: for undermining families. The leader of the Holy See has gone well beyond expressing the Church’s theological views on homosexuality.
2. US President George W. Bush: for jeopardizing public health. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) requires that one-third of HIV-prevention spending go to so-called “abstinence-until-marriage” programmes.
3. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: for creating public and private scandals. President Ahmadinejad has overseen a widening campaign to “counter public immorality,” arbitrarily arresting thousands of Iranians for dressing or behaving differently.
4. Roman Giertych, Polish Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister: for endangering children. Part of a right-wing government that has made homophobia a centerpiece of policy.
5. Bienvenido Abante, Member of the Philippine House of Representatives: for trying to force his sexual orientation on others. Representative Abante has urged that homosexuals be “cured” and turned into heterosexuals.