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COMMENTARY: It gets better? Depends where you are!

First we have Africa: I don’t begin to understand the heart of a man who will trade the life of a human being for a vote.

The President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, did just that last week during an election rally when he said: “If you take men and lock them in a house for five years and tell them to come up with two children and they fail to do that, then we will chop off their heads…”

Then there is Russia. Groups of Russian ultra-nationalists are creating fake social media profiles and gay personal pages to get access to unsuspecting gay teens.

These groups lure these teens to meet them and then proceed to brutally beat them, humiliate them, force them to perform sex acts with inanimate objects, all the while recording the encounters on video and with digital pictures. The video and pictures and then uploaded to YouTube and VK.com groups called “Occupy Pedophilia” and “Occupy Kamensky.” The point of it all is to out the teens to their parents, friends, schools, etc… Some of these teens have been driven to suicide and all have been traumatized – deeply traumatized.

YouTube posted an explanation with one of the video’s which ended with this: “ …Being outed in a small Russian city often equal death, torture, suicide. They track suicides publicly online and brag about those deeds.”

But – you say – that’s Africa and Russia. Things are better here in the United States, right?

The Sheriff in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana has been allowing his deputies to set up stings to target gay men – and then arrest them – for dating or private hook-ups in their home.

Yes, the State of Louisiana has anti-sodomy laws, which were deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court 10 years ago, they simply refuse to repeal the laws.

The law is invalid – but the Sheriff allows his Special Community Anti-Crime Team to arrest at least a dozen men under the invalid and unenforceable crime against nature statute – which for those of you who want to know is: R.S. 14:89.

The District Attorney will not prosecute any of the cases; the Sheriff on Monday said he didn’t know about the famous Supreme Court ruling, Lawrence v. Texas that overturned sodomy laws in the U.S.

Then we have Ken Cuccinelli of the State of Virginia. He is the Republican candidate for governor – and he wants to reinstate the anti-sodomy law, which states the following: “If any person carnally knows in any matter any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.”

Is he anti-gay or does he just not want anyone to have sex? Of this I’m not sure – but the bill would definitely target gay men.

Things are changing all over the world: Some good, some very, very bad. Sadly the old adage applies here: The more things change – the more they stay the same.

SDGLN Contributor Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab, can be found HERE.