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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 11, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 24
International News - Rex Wockner
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International News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

British treasury secretary resigns in Gay housing scandal
British Treasury Chief Secretary David Laws, 44, resigned his job May 29 after it was revealed that he had been giving his second-home allowance to his secret male partner.

Since 2006, British MPs have not been allowed to take the allowance for a London residence if they stay with a family member, spouse or partner in London. "Partner" is defined as someone an MP treats as a spouse.

Laws, who reportedly is wealthy, suggested he accepted the allowance because to not do so would have raised questions as to why he wasn't taking it, which could have led to his being outed. He was not openly Gay until the scandal broke.

He also said he and his partner have separate lives and have not lived as spouses, though "this was open to interpretation."

"The last two days have been the longest and the toughest of my life," Laws said in his resignation statement. "While my recent troubles have been caused by my desire to keep my sexuality secret, I cannot now escape the conclusion that what I have done was in some way wrong even though I did not gain any financial benefit from keeping my relationship secret."

"I have pursued a political career but I have too often put this before the interests of those I love most and it is time to redress that balance," he said.

Euro Parliament to look at Polish anti-Gay policy
The European Parliament's Committee on Petitions has OK'd an investigation into Poland's alleged refusal to issue certificates of marital status to Poles who wish to enter into same-sex unions in countries where they are legal.

To get married or civilly united elsewhere, a Polish citizen may have to prove he or she is not married in Poland, but Polish officials have refused to give the certifications to known Gays and Lesbians, according to the Warsaw organization Campaign Against Homophobia, or KPH.

KPH and its lawyers argue that the practice violates European guarantees of freedom of movement and respect for privacy and family life.

The Committee on Petitions voted unanimously to examine the matter and requested a report from the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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pictures - David Laws MP
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