Day five of hunger strike to legalize gay sex

Three French activists have had only water and no food for five days to force François Hollande to act on gay rights at UN

Day five of hunger strike to legalize gay sex
29 June 2012

Three activists are on their fifth day without food in a bid to force French President François Hollande to act on gay rights in the UN.

The activists from the French committee for International Day Against Homophobia include IDAHO’s global founder, Louis-Georges Tin.

Tin says newly elected President Hollande promised him in May that he would bring a resolution to the UN, demanding the decriminalization of homosexuality worldwide.

A UN declaration asking the same thing already exists, again pushed through by Tin, but a resolution is stronger and would be more likely to be taken seriously by countries who lock up or kill gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Now Tin fears Hollande is backing away from his pledge. He wants action urgently while Barack Obama remains US president with Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state, as he feels US diplomacy is vital to the success of a UN declaration on gay rights and this could not be guaranteed under a Republican government. Clinton has indicated she will step down from her current role even if Obama wins a second term.

As Gay Star News previously reported, the activists started their hunger strike on Monday. Since then they have eaten no food and only drunk water.

The other two activists involved are Alexandre Marcel, and Usaam Mukwaya – a gay Ugandan refugee.

Tin told GSN today (29 June) that all of the activists were still in good health.

‘I went to the doctor the first day and I will go again every week. I might go a little bit more often after a month,’ he said. ‘I think the first symptoms will arrive next week.’

In the first three days of a hunger strike, the body uses calories already stored in it. After that, the liver starts processing body fat for fuel. ‘Starvation mode’ is usually said to start after three weeks.

After around three week, the body ‘mines’ muscles and vital organs for energy. Loss of bone marrow becomes life-threatening. Hunger strikers are at imminent risk of death after 50 days.

Tin added: ‘I am very sad but fine. We [the hunger strikers] are in close contact every day and are trying to find ways to force the government to keep its word. I am not very optimistic.’

He said he faced the same blocks when he successfully brought the first declaration on decriminalization forward in 2008 but this was overcome.

Hearing of the hunger strike, the French government called the activists in for a meeting yesterday morning (28 June) but despite supportive words, no commitment or promise of action was made.

Tin said in the light of these ‘denials, cowardice and betrayals’ the French IDAHO committee felt they had no option but to continue their hunger strike in protest.

Homosexuality is against the law in over 80 countries and punishable by death in seven. A UN resolution is not always viewed as legally binding but states have to take note of it.

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