January 19, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 03
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Tuesday, May 26, 2020



Rex Wockner
International News
The Queen of England's official composer, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, has been denied the right to enter an official civil partnership with his longtime partner on the remote Scottish Orkney island of Sanday, where they live.

The Orkney Islands Council blocked the wedding, claiming the local Sanday marriage registrar, Charlie Ridley, who later resigned in protest, was not authorized to perform Gay unions.

Instead, the council said, Davies and partner Colin Parkinson could travel 90 minutes by boat to the Orkney capital of Kirkwall and marry at the central registration office. Later, following extensive media coverage, the council reportedly also offered to send a senior registrar from Kirkwall to Sanday to conduct the ceremony.

Reports varied as to why Ridley allegedly lacked authority to perform civil partnerships, with some saying he was unqualified because he was too new on the job, and others saying the council always intended for the ceremonies to be performed only by one or two Kirkwall-based senior registrars because it didn't expect there to be any demand elsewhere.

Davies initially sought legal help to challenge the edict against Ridley, but gave up on Jan. 10 after Ridley resigned his position.

"Everything has gone so sour, it's spoilt everything for us," Davies told local media. "We are under the impression that a local registrar can conduct civil ceremonies. ... I will not give the council the pleasure of me marrying in Kirkwall. We will do it elsewhere in the U.K."

Meanwhile, the islands council appears to have taken punitive action against Ridley, who operates a small, free tourist attraction called the Sanday Light Railway. In the letter in which Ridley was informed he could not conduct civil partnerships, the council also told him his miniature railway lacks a required $10,000 annual public entertainment license, which Ridley says he cannot afford.

"The council approved the planning application for the railway and we have been operating with no problems," he told local media. "But as soon as I apply for this Gay civil partnership, I get this letter which effectively closes us."

As a result, Ridley has begun dismantling the $100,000 railway.

On Jan. 6, well-known British Gay activist Peter Tatchell called for a tourism boycott of the Orkneys if officials don't stop being obstructionist.

"The Orkney officials seem to be creating no-go areas for civil partnerships," he told Scotland's Sunday Times. "It smacks of sexual apartheid."

Sanday has 521 residents.

Disagreement over Gay issues may destroy the Anglican Communion, says the communion's spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

Church conservatives object to the U.S. Episcopal Church's installation of an openly Gay bishop in New Hampshire, U.S. and Canadian dioceses' support for blessing same-sex unions, and other liberal positions of individual bishops and various national churches that make up the worldwide Anglican Communion.

In the United States alone, at least 22 denominations have disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church and linked up instead with the "Convocation of Anglicans" headed by the powerful, antiGay Anglican primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola.

"I fear the situation slipping out of my control," Williams said in a British ITV network documentary aired this month. "I fear schism. ... We can't take it for granted that the Anglican Communion will go on as it always has been."

More fuel was added to the fire recently when British media reported that as many as 50 Gay or Lesbian priests in the Church of England may have been allowed by their bishops to enter official civil partnerships without the bishops following a church order to confirm beforehand that the relationships are not sexual in nature.

The House of Lords rebuffed an attempt Jan. 10 to block the United Kingdom's new laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services.

The unelected Lords voted down the Christian-backed proposal 199-68.

Opponents argued that it would be unconscionable for the government to punish, for example, Christian owners of a bed-and-breakfast for refusing to rent a room to a Gay couple.

The antidiscrimination protections already have taken effect in Northern Ireland and come into force in the rest of the United Kingdom in April.

The Scottsdale Sister Cities Association in Arizona has come under fire from Gay activists over a plan that would pair Scottsdale and Marrakech, Morocco, as "sister cities."

They say it's contradictory for a city with an official Gay-tourist outreach program to team up with a country that punishes Gay sex with up to three years in prison.

"It wouldn't have been our first pick," said Amy Kobeta, director of public affairs at the Arizona Human Rights Fund and Foundation.

"It makes me curious about what guidelines they used in selecting a sister city," she told the East Valley Tribune. "[O]ur hope is that they would look at other areas of the world that are more tolerant."

According to Amnesty International, about 80 of the world's 193 independent nations criminalize Gay sex.

Singer Kylie Minogue is the greatest Gay icon of all time, according to the British market-research company OnePole. The company questioned more than 5,000 Gays and Lesbians on the topic.

Dolly Parton took second place, ABBA was third, Judy Garland fourth and Marilyn Monroe fifth.

David Beckham placed sixth, Madonna seventh, Audrey Hepburn eighth, Peter Andre and partner Katie Price (aka the model Jordan) ninth, and Liza Minnelli tenth.

Numbers 11-50 were, in order: Cary Grant, Victoria Beckham, Girls Aloud, Barbra Streisand, Pink, Sharon Osbourne, Take That, Cher, Will Young, Elton John, Barbie, Richard and Judy, Cilla Black, Simon Cowell, Julie Andrews, Sister Sledge, Wham!, Rupert Everett, The Cheeky Girls, Fern Britton, Westlife, Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani, Prince, Morrissey, Blondie, Boy George, Charlotte Church, the Village People, Ant & Dec, Doris Day, Gloria Gaynor, Gerri Halliwell, Donna Summer, Steps, The Human League, French and Saunders, Scissor Sisters, Gavin Henson, and Gordon Ramsay.
Quote / Unquote
"I'm 53 years old. I grew up in a small town in the rural South. I was raised in the Southern Baptist church. And so I have a belief system that arises from that. It's part of who I am. I can't make it disappear. ... Do I believe they [Gays] should have the right to marry? I'm just not there yet -- me, I'm not there yet."
--Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards to ABC News, Dec. 31.

"I guess I come from a more eclectic background [than my husband] and so it's [same-sex marriage] less problematic, I think, probably for me. But I think both sides of this argument understand the desire for equality and equal treatment. I don't think there is anybody who is for or against it who doesn't understand it and I don't think there's anybody who is for or against it who doesn't understand the trouble people have. ... [I]t just seems something that they've not been around. Of course, they haven't because we haven't had it in this country."
--Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, to ABC News, Dec. 31.

"I now believe that if Gay men and Lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces. Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job."
--Retired Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993 to 1997, writing in The New York Times, Jan. 2.

"It is amazing how many politicians claim they support equal rights and oppose discrimination against Gays, but then favor a ban on same-sex marriage, oppose allowing Gays to serve openly in the military, even oppose adoption by Gay couples. ... I don't know about you, but I am getting a little tired of people who say they are for Gay legal equality -- except when they are against it, or saying they are against discrimination -- except when they are for it, and then using all sort of verbal evasions to wriggle out of acknowledging how anti-Gay they are."
--Syndicated Gay-press columnist Paul Varnell, Jan. 3.

"Senator John Edwards ... described same-sex marriage as 'the single hardest social issue' for him and said he had had a lot of 'personal struggles' over the issue. Oh, John, John, we feel your pain! How hard it must be for you to grant others the same right you have to marry the person you love. Edwards said he favored civil rights for Gays but that it was a 'jump for me to get to Gay marriage -- I am not there yet.' ... Apparently a civil marriage is not a civil right. And he has the effrontery to teasingly imply that he might change his position ('I'm not there yet') but suggests no sorts of reasons or criteria he would use in reevaluating his position. Apparently it is all just a mucky ooze of subjective feelings."
--Syndicated Gay-press columnist Paul Varnell, Jan. 3.

"Equal treatment of Gay couples will be a hallmark of the 21st century, just as racial equality before the law was a sea change in 20th-century America. Someday we'll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, the same way we now shake our heads at laws that once banned inter-racial marriage. ... The whole threat-to-marriage argument against Gay unions never made sense. Stable, monogamous relationships are an important building block of a strong society, and we ought to support them. Why shouldn't that premise apply to Gay couples? How can extending legal protections to them cause harm to anyone else?"
--The San Jose [Calif.] Mercury News in a Jan. 8 editorial.

"It's a decidedly American concept that in America, it's still perceived that being Gay is bad and that being Gay and out in Hollywood will hurt your career. That's a false concept that I don't believe. I don't buy into it. I'm not going to perpetuate it because it's not true. I dare you to name one person who came out and their career went to the ---- after. If anything, it will help. All the comings-out have helped."
--Mario Lavendeira of fame to the Los Angeles Daily News, Jan. 6.

"Coming out and being Gay may actually help some [actors] who don't have careers. At least it's something to promote and you have an audience to start with. You can get work at one of the Gay networks and have something to bring to the table instead of being another out-of-work actor in Los Angeles or New York."
--Paul Colichman, creator and CEO of the here! TV pay channel, to the Los Angeles Daily News, Jan. 6.

"[F]or so long, everyone was so worried about it [coming out]. 'Will it hurt my [Hollywood] career?' 'Is that all people are going to talk about?' 'Will the audience care?' The fact of the matter is, we are now at a place where it now doesn't matter. You can come out, acknowledge your sexuality and move on."
--Actor Chad Allen (Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, End of the Spear) to the Los Angeles Daily News, Jan. 6.

"I've marched on Washington three times: twice for reproductive freedom and once for Gay and Lesbian rights, and it was very empowering for me. The political side of this has been important to me for a very long time."
--Actress Cybill Shepherd, now starring on The L Word, to Los Angeles' Lesbian News, January issue.

"First of all, my brother is Gay. So I grew up with a Gay brother and nothing surprised me about the issues in the script. I know how it feels to be thought of as 'different' as a deaf person, and I also know my brother's experience. No one should tell us who we should be with or shouldn't be with. It's as simple as that. There should be no judgment, no attitude toward the community because we all live the same life. The only difference is who we choose to be with."
--Actress Marlee Matlin, now starring on The L Word, to Los Angeles' Lesbian News, January issue.

"I have come to realize, having played the part, the inequality is striking. It is actually shocking to me. I had no idea about the rights that are not afforded to Gays and Lesbians. I think that because I am playing a Gay woman, I started to take it really personally when I read stories about it to become aware of issues."
--The L Word actress Jennifer Beals to Los Angeles' Lesbian News, January issue.

"I bike everywhere. It can be kind of amusing, arriving on a bike in black tie -- but it's just so enormously efficient. You're never late to anything on your bike. It's the only exercise I really have. ... I can't exist in LA. I don't drive. ... I am always waiting for a friend to come pick me up. It's too frustrating. I am just too much of a control queen."
--Village Voice columnist Michael Musto to, Jan. 6.

"I've had a few [boyfriends] and had one earlier this year for about six months and it was pretty sweet. But the more he was looking for a life partner, the more frightened I became -- and it kinda destroyed the whole thing. I could have a more casual relationship, but he basically wanted a wife. You know, I am the last person for that. I've spent too many years developing my way of life -- and my hours."
--Village Voice columnist Michael Musto to, Jan. 6.

"I don't even want Kevin Spacey to come out anymore. He's not really a noteworthy celebrity anymore. So he really missed the boat. And as much as Jodie Foster has never come out and said, 'Hey, I am straight,' she has never come out and expressed her private issues. I would just love for her to take a stand. That would make a huge difference in the world."
--Village Voice columnist Michael Musto to, Jan. 6.

"It is urgent that pro-family citizens -- Republicans, Democrats and independents alike -- contact their U.S. Representative and Senators, as well as President Bush, to state their opposition to passage of all pro-homosexuality 'sexual orientation' bills in the new Congress. At the top of the 'Gay' wish-list is ENDA, which we are calling the 'ENDA-Our Freedom' Bill because it would use federal power to force businesses to support and subsidize homosexuality and gender confusion ('Transgender' lifestyles: think men in dresses, using female restrooms)."
--From a Jan. 5 e-mail alert from "Americans For Truth."

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