CHINA BANS SOUTH KOREAN MOVIE
Chinese censors have banned South Korea's top-grossing film because of language and implied gay romance. The "King and the Clown" failed to pass muster with the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television. The censors reportedly objected to longing glances between the king and an effeminate clown during a puppet show they perform together.
SWEDISH ANTIGAYS CONVICTED OF HATE CRIME
Four Swedish antigay activists were convicted of illegal agitation against a minority group July 6 for distributing pamphlets that, among other things, blamed gays' "promiscuous lifestyles" for the "plague" of AIDS.
The literature was passed out near a school in Söderhamn, 150 miles north of Stockholm.
The Supreme Court punished three of the men pended sentence and a fine of 100 days' salary; the fourth was given a year of probation.
NORWEGIAN POLITICIAN, NEWSPAPER CHARGED WITH DISCRIMINATION
A municipal councilor and a newspaper in Farsund, Norway, have been accused of discrimination over a letter to the editor the politician wrote calling for a straights-only beach, the Aftenposten daily reported July 11.
Odd Djøseland, a member of the right-wing Progress Party, maintains his letter was a joke. In it, he claimed heterosexual beachgoers are uncomfortable when gays "drool" over them. "I therefore want a beach in our community that's free of gays and lesbians, a place where we normal, heterosexual people can sunbathe and swim in peace and quiet," he said.
But some readers didn't see the humor. Local bisexual Bent Sandvand was "offended and insulted," and filed a complaint against Djøseland with police. And reader Steinar Spjelkaviknes filed a complaint against the newspaper, Farsunds Avis, alleging violation of press rules concerning respect for people's identities.
MAURESMO WINS WIMBLEDON
French lesbian Amé1ie Mauresmo won the Wimbledon title July 8, thereby becoming the No. 1 women's tennis player in the world. She beat Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
"I wasn't playing my best tennis, far from it. That kind of day happens," Henin-Hardenne explained.
Mauresmo said of her win: "It is very sweet. Maybe if it came seven years ago it would not have had the same taste. Things come when they have to come.
"It seems I have finally found how to handle the nerves a bit better," she added. "I really know more now how to play tennis than a few years ago. I think everything is really coming together."
CHILE MAY REPEAL ANTIGAY LAWS
Chile's Congress is considering repeal of laws that have been used to harass gays. The regulations, which ban "offenses to morals and good customs," have been used against GLBT people who express their sexual orientation in public.
Lawmakers also are debating gay-inclusive hate-crimes legislation. Gay activists think there is a better chance of advancing their agenda under Chile's new president, socialist Michelle Bachelet.
CANADIAN GOV'T ACCUSED OF BLOCKING OUTGAMES VISAS
Canada's government is denying and delaying visas for some people planning to attend the 1st World Outgames July 29-August 5 in Montreal, Liberal members of Parliament charged July 11.
Quebec MP Raymonde Folco said more than 250 individuals -- mostly participants in an associated human-rights conference -- lack entry visas, and that the new Conservative government's antigay sentiments may be to blame. "I would like to be generous and say there may be another common denominator, but I don't see it," she said.
A spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Minister Monte Solberg dismissed the accusation, telling the Winnipeg Sun that "most of the applicants are still in the normal review process." At the same time, the spokeswoman, Lesley Harmer, told the Montreal Gazette that more than half of the individuals in question have yet to submit a visa application.
Outgames Press Secretary Pascal Dessureault said he is "really worried" about the delays.
PORTO SEES FIRST PRIDE PARADE
About 300 people marched in the first gay pride parade in Porto, Portugal, July 8. The city, Portugal's second largest, has had pride events since 2001, but never a parade.
The march started at the location where a transgender woman was killed this year, then proceeded through the narrow streets of the old city to a rally point in a central square near City Hall.
In February, "Gisberta" was beaten, stoned, stomped, burned and sexually assaulted with a stick for two days, then thrown alive into a deep pit at the abandoned building where she lived. Fourteen boys admitted involvement in the crime. Their trial, closed to the public, is under way.
By Rex Wockner