|BRITISH LESBIAN COUPLE ABANDONS MARRIAGE FIGHT
Two British university professors have abandoned their battle to make the United Kingdom government recognize their Canadian marriage.
In July, the High Court Family Division upheld a U.K. law that automatically converted Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger's foreign marriage into a same-sex civil partnership.
The court also slammed the couple with more than $46,000 in court costs, which is approximately equal to their life savings. As a result, they have no money to appeal the decision, they said.
"This financial penalty is clearly intended to deter us from seeking justice," they wrote in an e-mail. "We will campaign in other ways instead."
Those wishing to help pay the court costs can visit www.equalmarriagerights.org. Canada is one of five nations where same-sex couples have access to ordinary marriage.
SWEDEN GETS A GAY GOVERNMENT MINISTER
Sweden has an openly Gay government minister for the first time.
Andreas Carlgren has been appointed environment minister by new Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. Carlgren and partner Tomas Harila Carlgren live together in an official registered partnership.
Reinfeldt also appointed the country's first black minister, integration minister Nyamko Sabuni, and its first male minister with a ponytail, finance minister Anders Borg.
DUBLIN POLICE SET UP PINK PATROL
A special unit of plainclothes Dublin cops, dubbed the "Pink Patrol," is targeting the city's Gay community to catch Gay-bashers.
Bashing has become particularly problematic in the George's Street area on the city's south side -- especially near the high-profile Gay pub The George.
Several arrests have been made, and the cases are working their way through the courts.
HRW HITS THE NETHERLANDS, SWEDEN OVER IRAN DEPORTATIONS
A decision in Sweden and plans in the Netherlands to deport GLBT asylum-seekers back to Iran came under fire from Human Rights Watch Oct. 9.
"Both ... governments must adhere to their international legal obligations not to send people back to the risk of torture," HRW said. "Human Rights Watch has documented torture and executions for homosexual conduct in Iran."
Iran's penal code, the Code of Islamic Punishments, sets a punishment of "death" for male-male intercourse (lavat). Nonpenetrative sex (tafkhiz) between men is punishable with 100 lashes the first three times one is convicted, then with execution the fourth time. In addition, men who "are not related by blood" and "lie naked under the same cover without any necessity" can be punished with 99 lashes. Sex between women is punishable with 100 lashes for the first two convictions and with execution the third time.
EURO COMMISSION FUNDS GAY YOUTH PROJECT
The European Commission has funded a two-year project called "Family Matters -- Supporting families to prevent violence against Gay and Lesbian youth."
It will be run by the Department of Social Research at Italy's University of East Piedmont and by groups for parents, families and friends of Gays in Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The commission said Gay and Lesbian youth frequently lack support and role models within their families and, as a result, may have trouble accepting themselves and become vulnerable to bullying, harassment and self-harming.
Families of Gays and Lesbians need help to accept their children and assist them in dealing with discrimination, the commission said.
The money will be spent on polling, on identifying public and social-service sector "good practice for families of homosexual young people," and to produce educational material, a documentary video and a Web site.
BUDAPEST TOURISM EXTENDS HAND TO GAYS
Budapest Tourism has set up a Gay page on its Web site.
"Budapest had a significant Gay and Lesbian population all the time," the site says. "The significant aversion against them, the legal and social exclusions, started to decrease after 1990 only. A Hungarian word, 'meleg,' was born for homosexuality without abusive, discriminating content."
The page includes lists of gay bars, gay clubs, lesbian parties, gay-friendly restaurants and cafes, gay accommodations, "gay homepages," "sexshops," and "useful informations."
See http://www.budapestinfo.hu/en/free_time/ and click on "Gay and Lesbian Budapest."
TURKISH GAY GROUP SURVIVES SHUTDOWN ATTEMPT
The office of Turkey's Public Prosecutor has dismissed an attempt by the governor of Bursa to shut down that province's transgender and gay group, the Rainbow Association (Gökkusagi Dernegi).
The governor's office had claimed the group's existence violated laws that ban organizations which promote activities that are illegal or offend public morality.
In its determination, the Prosecutor's Office said "homosexuality is not an offense" and that the Rainbow Association exists "to reach accord with society and defend their rights while explaining their identity."
The organization has "not acted with a deliberate intention of offense," the ruling said.
SITGES GETS GAY SCULPTURE
The gay resort town of Sitges has become the first Spanish locality to erect a gay sculpture in a public space.
Mayor Jordi Baijet unveiled the pink-triangle stone Oct. 5. It reads: "Sitges Against Homophobia - 'Never again' - October 5, 1996-2006."
In 1996, the city government came under fire for keeping special records on homosexuals who walked along the beach after dark. The then-mayor ordered the documents' destruction, but a right-wing city councilor took offense at the mayor's move and began telling the media that gay men had forced local youths into prostitution. As a result, tensions flared between gay and straight residents throughout the summer, and, in September, a group of neo-Nazis attacked a gay waiter.
On Oct. 5, 1996, gays staged a protest against the attack and to call for the city councilor's resignation. They were met by counterprotesters who bombed them with eggs and assaulted them. Police had to escort the gays to safety.
The antihomophobia sculpture remembers that day. The city government also is distributing antihomophobia posters and has staged a photographic exposition of the Oct. 5, 1996, conflict.
Eugeni Rodríguez of the Gay Liberation Front of Catalonia told Europa Press that the city's new actions "close a wound."
|QUOTE UNQUOTE #341
October 24, 2006
by Rex Wockner
"This is the only drug I've ever thought worth taking. ... This stuff
keeps me sane and happy. I could write without it ... if I were sane and
happy. I'd say it's a great drug -- but obviously it's not very healthy.
You can't afford to smoke it if you've got anything to do. ... You've
got to be in the right position to take it. You've got to have achieved
most of your ambitions because it chills you out to such a degree that
you could lose your ambitions."
--Gay singer George Michael as he lit up a marijuana cigarette during an
Oct. 20 interview in Spain with the British TV program The South Bank
Show. The episode airs Oct. 31.
"The public think I'm a man on the brink of a breakdown because I fell
asleep in my car, I hit a parked car and because I cruise as a gay man.
I feel good. I live in the house of my dreams with the man of my dreams.
I'm happy with the music I'm making -- and I'm still loaded. I'm
enjoying my life. ... I hope my future is very different. I hope I learn
to shut my mouth. If I did, I would probably have all the sex I like,
wherever I like. Which I do anyway. I should learn to shut my mouth and
sing. That would be clever."
--Gay singer George Michael in an Oct. 20 interview with the British TV
program The South Bank Show. The episode airs Oct. 31.
"There was a very, very strong physical attraction, a spiritual
attraction and an emotional attraction. [I was] completely taken aback
by his kindness, his humanity, his compassionate nature, his sense of
fun. We had so many things in common. He asked for my phone number at
the end of the night, and it just went on from there."
--David Furnish on meeting his partner, Elton John, to the Toronto gay
newspaper Xtra!, Sept. 26.
"By and large, we're very happy. There are things about him that, in an
ideal world, I'd love to change, and I'm sure he'd say the same thing
about me, but then that's not the person that I fell in love with. A
relationship isn't about making your partner perfect."
--David Furnish, Elton John's partner, to the Toronto gay newspaper
Xtra!, Sept. 26.
"I'm not an Elton John type of gay. I'm not vanilla. ... If you're a
common or garden homosexual then maybe, but not if you're a fag like I
--Boy George in a new British Channel 4 documentary, as quoted by The
Independent, Oct. 15.
"Madonna ... I just think she's a vile, hideous, horrible human being
with no redeeming qualities. There's nothing nice about her. I've never
heard anyone say anything nice about her at all. And anyone that's ever
met her she's been vile to. Vile, full of herself -- so unspiritual. How
has this woman got away with it for so long?"
--Boy George in a new British Channel 4 documentary, as quoted by The
Independent, Oct. 15.
"I do a lot of Planned Parenthood and NARAL events and I keep trying to
find a way to make the joke like, 'This is why I don't date men anymore.
I'm so concerned about abortion rights in this country. God forbid
something should happen to me. That's why I now have a girlfriend.' I
can't find a way to make that joke."
--Open lesbian Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda on Sex and the City, to
the lesbian magazine Curve, November issue.
"I don't know what it is about Toronto, but for some reason I'm like a
rock star here. I mean, people like me well enough in the States, I'm
not complaining. But in Toronto I get a subtly different response --
there's an actual thrill in the air. It's great, but I never know quite
what to do with it. Like, afterward, some of the people who came up to
get their books signed were so flustered to meet me they couldn't speak
--Dykes To Watch Out For cartoonist Alison Bechdel writing on her blog,
"I do have regrets in my life. I regret that Michelle Pfeiffer was
married when we did 'One Fine Day.' And that Julia [Roberts] and
Catherine Zeta-Jones were married, too. Also Matt Damon, but that's a
different story. I'd like a crack at him."
--Actor George Clooney speaking at an American Cinematheque tribute to
him, as quoted by New York's Daily News, Oct. 17.
"I guess there have been a few questions about my sexuality, and I'd
like to quiet any unnecessary rumors that may be out there. While I
prefer to keep my personal life private, I hope the fact that I'm gay
isn't the most interesting part of me."
--Actor T.R. Knight, who plays Dr. George O'Malley on Grey's Anatomy, to
People magazine, Oct. 19.
"[S]ome gay teenagers, having seen one extremely flattering press photo
of me (I wish I looked like the picture on my Wikipedia page), send
offers, along with pictures or links to MySpace pages. And what do I do
with these e-mails? I delete them. ... I have to admit to having been
tempted -- some of these guys are hot and, like [former U.S. Rep. Mark]
Foley's pages, above the age of consent. But it would be professional
and personal suicide for me to respond to these e-mails. Imagine the
shitstorm if a parent found flirtatious e-mails from the middle-aged,
openly gay author of America's sleaziest sex-advice column on their
kid's computer. And I'm just paranoid enough to suspect that some of
these e-mails -- particularly the ones from very young boys who attach
photos that look a little pornified -- are setups. Ruining Rick
Santorum's good name hasn't exactly endeared me to the knuckle draggers
on the far right."
--Syndicated columnist Dan Savage in his Oct. 10 column. (To understand
the Santorum reference, see Savage's www.spreadingsantorum.com.)
"That this [the Mark Foley scandal] happened to the GOP is too, too
much. ... It was the GOP that cozied up to churches and preachers who
likened homosexuals to the vilest people of all time and called on them
to cease their wicked ways, go from homosexual to heterosexual, which
everyone knows they can do but will not because, apparently, it is
easier to be gay and reviled than it is to be straight and comfy about
--Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, Oct. 17.
"If anything good has come out of the [Mark] Foley scandal, it is surely
this: The revelation that the political party fond of demonizing
homosexuals each election year is as well-stocked with trusted and
accomplished gay leaders as virtually every other power center in
America. ... The split between the Republicans' outward homophobia and
inner gayness isn't just hypocrisy; it's pathology. Take the bizarre
case of Karl Rove. Every one of his Bush campaigns has been marked by a
dirty dealing of the gay card, dating back to the lesbian whispers that
pursued Ann Richards when Mr. Bush ousted her as Texas governor in 1994.
Yet we now learn from 'The Architect,' the recent book by the Texas
journalists James Moore and Wayne Slater, that Mr. Rove's own (and
beloved) adoptive father, Louis Rove, was openly gay in the years before
his death in 2004. This will be a future case study for psychiatric
clinicians as well as historians."
--New York Times columnist Frank Rich, Oct. 15.
"This is an election unlike any other I have ever participated in. For
six years this country has been totally dominated -- not by the
Republican Party, this is not fair to the Republican Party -- by a
narrow sliver of the Republican Party, its more right-wing and its most
ideological element. When the chips are down, this country has been
jammed to the right, jammed into an ideological corner, alienated from
its allies, and we're in a lot of trouble."
--Bill Clinton speaking in Las Vegas Oct. 12, according to AP.
"I used to think that gay visibility was all that was necessary. It
turns out that is not true. Many people know us and even love us, but
still vote for homophobic politicians and for referendums limiting the
legal rights of gays to marry. We must all begin explaining to our
heterosexual friends the various ways in which the law treats gays
unequally and deprives us of rights they take for granted. These things
are familiar to us, but many heterosexuals have never thought about it
because they have no reason to, and won't do so until we bring it to
--Syndicated gay-press columnist Paul Varnell in a September filing.