February 2, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 05
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Wednesday, Apr 01, 2020



Rex Wockner
International News
The Mexican state of Coahuila, which borders Texas, passed a civil-union law for same-sex couples Jan. 11.

The state Congress approved the measure 20-13. It was introduced by the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled Mexico for more than 70 years until the election of former President Vicente Fox in 2000.

Expressing support for the bill, Coahuila PRI Gov. Humberto Moreira said "it would be discriminatory not to ... respect the rights of every person regardless of sexual affiliation."

The law extends most of the rights of matrimony to registered same-sex couples.

Coahuila is known for mining and ranching. Its capital city is Saltillo.

The only other locale in Mexico with a same-sex partnership law is Mexico City. That measure passed the city's Legislative Assembly 43-17 with 5 abstentions last November. It grants spousal rights in areas such as property, pensions, inheritance, medical decisions and co-parenting. Heterosexual couples and nonsexual couples also can register under the law.

Other Latin American localities with same-sex civil-union laws include Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Argentine province of Río Negro; and the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The best-known Gay activist in Matamoros, Mexico, was found stabbed to death in his home Jan. 15.

José Ernesto Leal López, 42, was killed just days after staging a press conference calling for the state of Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, to pass a same-sex partnership law similar to those passed in Mexico City and in the border state of Coahuila.

Leal López also recently had demanded that Matamoros police stop allegedly arresting residents because of their homosexual orientation and charging them $84 to be released.

But a police department spokesman said the killing appeared to be solely "a crime of passion," noting that there were no signs of forced entry and that there was blood throughout the house.

On Jan. 19, the Hoy Tamaulipas Web site reported that openly Gay federal congressman David Sánchez Camacho, who serves on a congressional commission concerned with "vulnerable groups," had arrived in Matamoros to challenge the "crime of passion" theory.

"Enough with wanting to solve this crime by saying it was passion and wanting to sweep it under the carpet when we could be facing an antiGay hate crime," Sánchez Camacho said. "We've come all the way to Tamaulipas to learn the realities of life for people like us on this border."

Matamoros is across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas.

The Gay group that worked 17 years to pass a civil-union law in the Czech Republic has closed up shop, saying its work is done.

Gay Initiative chairman Jirí Hromada told The Prague Post, "I don't want to say that everything has been accomplished, but our priorities have been achieved."

More than 200 same-sex couples have taken advantage of the civil-union law since it came into force last July. The statute, which became law after the Chamber of Deputies overrode President Vaclav Klaus's veto, grants many of the rights and obligations of marriage but withholds equality in the areas of adoption, pensions, taxation and joint ownership of property.

Other activist groups, including the Gay and Lesbian League, will pick up the slack resulting from Gay Initiative's dissolution.

"The reality is that the [partnership] law is not ideal," the league's Martin Strachon told the Post.

He said the group will seek parity with heterosexuals in the areas of adoption, property rights, income tax and fast-track immigration.

About 150 Gays and Lesbians picketed the Vatican Jan. 13, protesting against Pope Benedict XVI's outspoken opposition to civil-union and same-sex-marriage laws.

The protest marked the day nine years ago when a Gay man, Alfredo Ormando, set himself alight in St. Peter's Square to protest Roman Catholic homophobia. Ormando died 10 days later from his injuries.

The Vatican has expressed hostility to the Italian government's promise to introduce a civil-union bill into Parliament by the end of January.

The measure is expected to cover areas such as health insurance, health care decisions, hospital and prison visitation, inheritance, immigration, transfer of leases, and alimony.

Prime Minister Romano Prodi told local media that such a law would be a "fundamental step forward."

South Africa became the sixth nation to legalize same-sex marriage on Dec. 1 but many Gay couples have been unable to tie the knot because a government agency is moving too slowly in certifying celebrants.

Reports said some marriage officers have heard nothing back from the Department of Home Affairs six weeks after submitting their applications to take the exam they must pass before marrying same-sex-couples.

Buenos Aires' metrosexual mayor, Jorge Telerman, has again assured the city he's not Gay.

"I laugh at the comments about my being Gay," he said Jan. 15 in an interview with La Nación. "I feel that homophobia is aberrant, but, even so, for those thinking about a dirty campaign [against me], I'm sorry to say that I'm not homosexual."

But, he added, "every time I hear about antiGay discrimination, I have the urge to say that I'm homosexual."

In an earlier interview, Telerman labeled himself "afrancesado," which translates as Frenchified or foofy.

"[The word 'afrancesado'] just came out of me," he told La Nación. "And I never thought it would have the repercussions that it did. But it doesn't bother me. Even when my friends ask me if I'm Gay, I laugh."

Transgender Europe, a new coalition of 66 Transgender and transsexual organizations in 21 nations, was officially registered by Austrian authorities this month.

"This is a major milestone towards the recognition of the rights of Transgender people," said Chairperson Justus Eisfeld. "Now Transgender Europe can apply for funding and make our voices heard on an international level."

The group plans to fight for "legal recognition of the gender of trans people in the gender they live in, as well as nondiscrimination in all aspects of life, equal access to health care, and social acceptance."

For more information:
Quote / Unquote
"I love gay. I wanted to be gay. Please let me be gay."
--Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington on the red carpet at the Golden Globes, Jan. 15, according to the Associated Press.

"I apologize to T.R. [Knight], my colleagues, the fans of the show and especially the lesbian and gay community for using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance. I marred what should have been a perfect night for everyone who works on Grey's Anatomy. I can neither defend nor explain my behavior. I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I've asked for help."
--Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington apologizing Jan. 18 for telling reporters backstage at the Golden Globes: "No, I did not call T.R. a faggot. Never happened, never happened." Washington later admitted calling Knight a faggot on the show's set last October.

"It made all the difference in the world [when you came out]. It's just very moving and it just meant so much."
--Openly gay Grey's Anatomy actor T.R. Knight to Ellen DeGeneres on her Jan. 17 show.

"What's gay rehab? .... Is he watchin' Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? Is Rosie givin' him a good talkin' to? Gay rehab, that sounds like traffic school. You should be able to do that online."
--Comedian Wanda Sykes discussing the Isaiah Washington "faggot" brouhaha with Ellen DeGeneres on her Jan. 26 show.

"Being black, usually we're on the receiving end of bigoted and discriminatory remarks, so for him to say it, I guess we have overcome. Maybe gay is the new black now."
--Comedian Wanda Sykes discussing the Isaiah Washington "faggot" brouhaha with Ellen DeGeneres on her Jan. 26 show.

"There are no rules anymore. The squeamishness and the sting of saying someone is gay is removed and now anything goes. [But] it's just weird that the media feel that they have to protect an Anderson Cooper. But the media goes along with the deception. The press is willing to out Clay Aiken or David Gest because it's okay to out a freak or an oddball. [But] they protect their own prejudices by not saying someone like them is gay."
--Village Voice columnist Michael Musto in an interview with syndicated Canadian gay columnist Richard Burnett, Jan. 18. Musto has just published a book of some of his more memorable columns.

"I'm the only one that goes [to gay pride nowadays]. No one thinks it's a cool place to be spotted at anymore."
--Village Voice columnist Michael Musto in an interview with syndicated Canadian gay columnist Richard Burnett, Jan. 18.

"I'm delighted I'm about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf, and obviously think the world of both of my daughters and all of my grandchildren. And I think, frankly, you're out of line with that question. ... I just fundamentally disagree with your perspective."
--U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney Jan. 24 when CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked him: "Your daughter Mary, she's pregnant. All of us are happy. She's going to have a baby. You're going to have another grandchild. Some of the -- some critics, though, are suggesting, for example, a statement from someone representing Focus on the Family: 'Mary Cheney's pregnancy raises the question of what's best for children. Just because it's possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father, doesn't mean it's best for the child.' Do you want to respond to that?"

"I have contributed to Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign because she has a mind of her own and a very strong one at that. I like the way she thinks. She is very savvy and a smart leader with years of experience in government, diplomacy and politics."
--Elizabeth Taylor in a Jan. 25 statement.

"The Age of Aquarius meant free love for everyone except gay people. I felt isolated and remember asking girls who wanted me to sign their breasts if they had any paper. I always had this feeling if I outed myself too soon and we sold one less album that they would blame me. It's better [now]. Sony has a gay label. In my time, the only gay label was faggot."
--'70s rock star Chuck Panozzo, the bass player in Styx, to POZ magazine, February issue. Panozzo also is openly HIV-positive.

"'Civil union' is the almost-right word, but not the right one. It constitutes a separate status. This is not equality. Yes, the status gives same-sex couples state legal rights that married couples enjoy. But civil unions do not bestow upon them that all-important word, married, a universally understood sign of commitment and social acceptance."
--The Hartford (Conn.) Courant newspaper in a Jan. 21 editorial.

"'Gay' is the new 'Straight'. All across the country so many of us are striving to be the models of heteronormativity. Instead of demanding access to public services for which we all pay taxes, there is increasing pressure to commit ourselves to standards set by the people who deny us our very rights and privileges. Fidelity between two (or three or four) partners is a great thing; there is a lot to be said for developing that kind of love. I'm a one-at-a-time kind of a guy and I love my one guy dearly. Still, I am not going to present any relationship of mine as a 'marriage'. Marriage is an institution devoted to establishing inequalities. Let's not forget that here in America, the 'tradition of marriage' is boosted by followers of a book that is anathema to treating gays as people."
--A Texas college professor writing on his blog at, Jan. 25.

"I have no desire to have children of my own. My civil partner is equally happy childless. As a result, for us, the question of gay adoption is academic. Indeed, we often wonder why some of our friends, intent on adopting, can't settle for a Shih-tzu and a couple of Persian cats like any normal gay couple."
--David Self, author of the Lion Encyclopedia of Christianity, writing in Britain's Telegraph, Jan. 28.

"Oral and anal sex are not pleasurable and have no benefit at all to those who take part in it. Most of them [gays], if they are to be honest, will admit that the parts with which they engage in the unnatural sexual acts are always painful."
--Kenya Anti-Rape Movement founder Fatma Anyanzwa to the Sunday Nation newspaper Jan. 28 after African gays and lesbians made a big, groundbreaking splash at the recent World Social Forum in Nairobi.

"Go ahead and vote for the same-sex marriages. You won't be glad you did when you start noticing more natural disasters or epidemics! Why do you think homosexuals get AIDS? It's judgement sent to them from God. God sends judgement to those who commit sin, and that's everyone, including myself. I thank God for sending me judgement so I can be reminded from day to day that I am a sinner. For those who don't know God sent Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans because that city is what I call 'Sin City of the U.S.' Did you know the name Katrina means purifier?"
--Reader Michael Guyer of Neoga, Ill., in a letter to the Journal Gazette in Mattoon, Ill., Jan. 20.

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