Από Wockner, Rex; Kelley, Bill. Lesbian News, Sep2007, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p12
NEW BRITISH PM SUPPORTS GAYS
New British Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressed his support for gays July 17, answering a series of questions from readers of PinkNews.co.uk.
"I am proud of this Government's record on gay rights," Brown wrote. "I think this Government has made a huge amount of progress: for example, we've equalized the age of consent, repealed [the anti-gay law] Section 28 and made it illegal to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation. I can promise this Government will continue to do all it can to make Britain a fairer and more tolerant place."
Brown said he was "very pleased … to put on record" his support for the UK's civil-partnership law, which grants registered gay couples all the rights of marriage. And he said the government has "announced an international strategy to promote rights overseas, which includes Britain's commitment to the universal decriminalization of homosexuality."
Further, the prime minister promised to do more "to tackle homophobic bullying in schools and discrimination in the workplace."
SPERM DONOR STOPS LESBIAN COUPLE FROM EMIGRATING
A sperm donor in Dublin, Ireland, has stopped the mother of his son and her lesbian partner from moving to Australia.
The Supreme Court ruled 2-1 that the women could not relocate the man's 14-month-old son overseas without the man's consent. The man and the boy's mother had signed a contract agreeing the child would be told who his father is and granting the father visitation rights. But the relationship between the man and the lesbians later soured (the parties have not been named) and the couple began restricting the man's access to the boy and announced they were going to Australia for a year.
The man sued to stop the trip and also is now suing for joint custody.
NO GAY FLAG FOR TRURO
Bucking a trend in nearby cities, the Town Council in Truro, Nova Scotia, refused to fly the rainbow flag at the Civic Building for the town's first gay pride celebration, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported August 3.
The council nixed the gay flag in a 6-1 vote, with Mayor Bill Mills saying, "God says, 'I'm not in favor of homosexuality' and I have to look at it and say, 'I guess I'm not, either.'"
Mills added: "If I have a group of people that says pedophiles should have rights, do we raise their flag too? I don't want to lump them in with homosexuals, but that's the point, the issues and that's my feeling. There doesn't seem to be standards anymore. Everything is OK, everything is a go."
Truro, population 12,000, is about 60 miles (96 km) northwest of Halifax.
ITALY LETS SENEGALESE GAY MAN STAY
Italy's top court for civil and criminal cases, the Supreme Court of Cassation, has ruled that a gay illegal immigrant from Senegal can remain in Italy for now and ordered a judge to examine the man's claim that he faces persecution in Senegal based on his sexual orientation.
The court denied a request to overrule a Turin judge who had annulled the man's deportation order, local media reported July 29.
The new ruling said "homosexuality is a condition of the human being deserving legal protection" and "sexual freedom must be construed as freedom to live without interference and restrictions with reference to sexual preferences."
MEXICO CITY GRANTS GAY PRISONERS CONJUGAL VISITS
At the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission, prisons in Mexico City have granted gay inmates access to conjugal visits. The commission welcomed the change in policy, calling it "an important step in terms of nondiscrimination regarding sexual preference."
A gay prisoner at the Santa Martha Acatitlá facility had filed a complaint with the commission after being denied a sexual visit with his partner.
MOST FINNS OK WITH GAY NEIGHBORS
Eighty percent of Finns have no objection to living next door to gays, people with HIV or immigrants, according to a survey carried out by the Väli-Suomi newspaper.
However, 92 percent do not want to have neighbors who use drugs, 78 oppose living beside an alcoholic, 56 disapprove of criminals as neighbors and 44 percent reject the notion of an emotionally unstable neighbor.
COSTA RICAN GAYS GET OK TO DONATE BLOOD
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has issued an executive order lifting the nation's ban on blood donations by gays and bisexuals, InsideCostaRica.com reported July 28.
Activist Alberto Cabezas, who led the drive to lift the ban, said the move makes it clear that Arias sees gays as "humans who have the same rights" as others.
Numerous countries ban blood donations by any man who has had sex with another man even once since the time that HIV likely first infected humans in the 1970s.
Some gay groups have argued that this is unfairly discriminatory, pointing out that certain other societal groups at elevated risk for HIV infection are not banned from donating blood and that donated blood is screened for HIV with methods that can detect HIV infection nearly immediately after it occurs.
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES STAR DIES
French actor Michel Serrault, who played gay nightclub owner Albin Mougeotte in "La Cage aux Folles," died July 29 of cancer in Honfleur, France. He was 79.
In a statement, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Serrault a "monument of the world of theater, cinema and television."
Serrault, who was straight, appeared in 130 other films and won three César awards, France's version of Oscars.
SINGAPORE BANS PHOTOS OF GAYS KISSING
Singapore's Media Development Authority on July 30 banned a planned exhibition of 80 photos of gay people kissing.
The censors said the exhibit would "promote a homosexual lifestyle and cannot be allowed." Gay sex is illegal in Singapore and punishable with two years in prison.
The photo show was one piece of two weeks of gay pride activities in the city-state."Since the photo exhibition Kissing has been denied a license by the MDA, there will instead be a short talk 'Kiss and tell' on 9 evenings prior to main program, in which a sample of the pictures, shown on PowerPoint, will be discussed," pride organizers said on their Web site