Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Armenia participated in ILGA-Asia regional conference

Although a member of European Region of International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), for the first time, Armenia participated in the 3rd ILGA-Asia Regional conference held in Chiang Mai, Thailand - 24 - 27 January 2008.

Acoording to "We For Civil Equality" (WFCE) Armenian LGBT NGO January newsletter, its head participated in this conference of about 160 lesbian, gay and human rights activists from both Asian and non-Asian countries.

"The conference was hosted by the Committee on Lesbigay Rights in Burma (CLRB) and M-Plus, a local gay group which runs a drop-in centre. Armenia was chairing plenary on transgender issues in Asia. A workshop was done on transgender issues and by Armenia’s initiative it was decided that Pan-Asian Transgenders Association will be established. The role of "We For Civil Equality" will be some kind of bridge between Europe and Asia."

"A street parade was held in the city for the first time as over 200 conference attendees, observers and members of the local LGBT community marched from the Buddhist Centre (Puttastan) to Pantip Plaza on Saturday night."

I certainly welcome this participation which indicates an increasing involvement of Armenian LGBT activists in various regional projects and collaborations.

Just one 'technical' remark: WFCE January newsletter states in relation to this news that "Geographically and politically Armenia is a part of Europe but culturally and morality is a part of Asia." While I would not go into debate as to which continent Armenia belongs to "geographically, politically or culturally", it seems everlasting and opinions differ, I find it bizarre the part about "morality". I personally would go for "politically and culturally - Europe", and geographically - Wikipedia description of Armenia as "transcontinental nation". As to "morality", that notion is the vaguest to define, and one could argue that "morality"-wise Armenia is closer to Greece or Balkan countries etc. In any case, I'd rather not mention "morality" at all.

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