International News Highlights — May 6, 2022

Share this Post:
Steve Johnson, brother of the victim, hugs his wife at the Supreme Court in Sydney — Photo by Rick Rycroft / AP
Steve Johnson, brother of the victim, hugs his wife at the Supreme Court in Sydney — Photo by Rick Rycroft / AP

Sydney: Man confesses to killing American in '80s hate crime
NBC News reported on May 2 that a man has confessed to killing American mathematician Scott Johnson in 1988 by pushing him off a cliff, in what prosecutors are calling a Gay hate crime. Scott White, 51, pleaded guilty in January to Johnson's murder and will be sentenced by Judge Helen Wilson on May 4, possibly to life in prison.

White said in an interview that he had lied to police when he said he had tried to grab Johnson and prevent his fatal fall, which was dismissed by police as a suicide at first. A coroner ruled in 2017 that Johnson's fall was neither an accident nor suicide, and that he "fell from a clifftop as a result of actual or threatened violence by unidentified persons who attacked him because they perceived him to be homosexual.

White's former wife Helen White told the court that he had "bragged" to their children about beating Gay men at the clifftop, which is well-known for Gay meetups. Helen White read a newspaper report about Johnson's death in 2008, and asked her husband if he was responsible, to which he replied, "It's not my fault. The dumb [expletive] ran off the cliff."

Romania: Rights groups speak against "Gay propaganda" ban
Reuters reported on April 29 that Romanian human rights groups have condemned a bill approved by the country's Senate that would ban "Gay propaganda" in schools. The groups argue it would invite discrimination against the LGBT community, as it did in Hungary and Russia, and they urged the parliament's lower house to reject the bill.

LGBT rights group ACCEPT said, "Censorship in Budapest's education system must not be enforced in Bucharest. Romania must avoid the illiberal drift promoted by Hungary through such measures, which were received harshly by the European Union."

Rights group MozaiQ said, "We urge the lower house to show responsibility and decency and reject any legal proposals which aim to demonize and marginalize the LGBT community. In the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, we believe adopting such a bill in Romania would... fuel Russian propaganda and Moscow's disinformation campaigns."