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07 June 2008

Gays In The Military: Two Brazilian Sergeants Come Out; Exposes Ten Year Relationship; Government Arrests One For "Desertion?"

Story from BBC NEWS: Gay soldier's fate grips Brazil
By Gary Duffy

BBC News, Sao Paulo~ Brazilian military police have arrested an army sergeant who revealed that he was gay in an interview with a national news magazine at the weekend. The ministry of defense says the sergeant is to be questioned about alleged desertion from the military and there is no question of discrimination. Sgt Laci Marinho de Araujo, who suffers from ill-health, was moved from a Sao Paulo hospital to the capital Brasilia.

Human rights groups say they are concerned about his welfare.

The arrest happened just as Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was due to address the country's first national gay rights' conference. Sgt Laci Marinho de Araujo and his partner, who is also a sergeant in the Brazilian army, featured on the front page of Epoca magazine. They gave an interview in which they talked openly about living together as a gay couple. The two soldiers said they had been in a stable relationship for 10 years. However, while they were taking part in a television interview on Wednesday, Sgt de Araujo was arrested by military police who surrounded the TV station until he came out.

Health problems

The sergeant, who says is being treated for a variety of medical problems including multiple sclerosis, was recently absent from his unit, and the army says he is accused of desertion. A human rights group which has been in contact with the couple says they called in desperation asking for help, and it is concerned for his welfare.

Brazil's first national gay rights conference is taking place over the next four days.

President Lula's government has hailed the event as historic. However, despite staging what is thought to be the biggest gay pride demonstration in the world in Sao Paulo, which this year attracted an estimated three million people, gay groups in Brazil say they still face enormous problems of discrimination and violence. Between 1963 and 2007, activists say that more than 2,800 people were killed in Latin America's largest country because of their sexual orientation.

Brazilian soldier arrested after discussing gay relationship
By Tony Grew

A gay Brazilian army sergeant has been arrested just as the country's first national gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans rights conference takes place. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is due to address the conference today, which is being credited as an important historic event in the history of Brazil. Sgt Laci Marinho de Araujo was taken into custody after he and his partner took part in a television interview on Wednesday. He was arrested by the military police who surrounded the TV station until he came out, and has now been taken to an Army prison. The sergeant had been featured on the cover of this month's Epoca magazine, where he and his partner Sergeant Fernando Alcantara de Figueiredo had given an interview. In it they talked openly about being in a stable relationship for 10 years, and how they had been living together.

Sgt de Araujo had been missing from his unit since April as he was suffering for a number of health and mental problems. He claims he has been a victim of 'sexual discrimination.' The ministry of defense has denied this, claiming that he had been arrested on the grounds of his desertion from the military. "This is not a problem of sexual discrimination, but rather one of discipline," Defense Minister Nelson Jobim told newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo. In spite of the positive shift of attitude towards gay men and lesbian women serving in the army, the arrest of the sergeant raises some serious doubts about how real and substantial the shift really is.

Gay News Watch | British Broadcasting Company | By The Fault by Charles Lemos | Pink News |

Made In Brazil Post 1, Post 2, | You Tube (note: in portuguese) News Follow Up | Epoca |

F6's RESOURCES: Posts: Gays In The Military | Links: Inclusive Military |

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give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?
thanks to the sacrifice of many the scourge of Dont Ask Dont Tell in the land of the free and home of the brave will be gone by the end of June!!!!