Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homosexual Sex Given Green Light in Turkish Court

Post found at Queers United

A suspect caught selling films of group and gay sex was judged by an Istanbul court not to have been selling material portraying "unnatural sex" and was sentenced only for sale of illegal pornographic material.

The Turkish Penal Code demands higher penalties for the sale of movies that include "unnatural" intercourse. The court sentenced the suspect on the lesser charge of selling pornographic films in an illegal location.

Read the rest of the article at Turkish Daily News

Bishop of Ottawa announces a step forward on blessing of same-sex relationships

Post found on Gay News Blog

"Synod 2007 adopted a motion 'requesting the Bishop grant permission for clergy, whose conscience permits, to bless duly solemnized and registered civil marriages between same-sex couples, where at least one party is baptized; and that he authorize an appropriate rite and guidelines for its use in supportive parishes.'
"For a year now I have reflected on how I should respond to the mind of Synod. I have prayed for God's guidance, sought the counsel of fellow bishops, and listened carefully to all who have spoken from various perspectives. In forming my response to this motion I have been strengthened in my conviction that God remains faithful in guiding His Church to the truth, that our chief call on this matter is a pastoral one, and that we are challenged to proclaim a prophetic voice to the Church and to the world.

Read the rest of the article at Gay News Blog

Multigenerational Gay Housing Project Starts in Germany

A multigenerational living project aimed at gays and lesbians got one step closer to being realized when organizers laid a ground stone for the building this week.

Organizers of the building project Villa Anders -- which translates in English as 'A Different Kind of Villa' -- say it is a unique pioneer project in Germany.

Under a rainbow-colored logo and the motto "Better living -- we just went ahead and did it," the project is realizing its plan to build multigenerational, mixed-income living spaces for gay, lesbian and transgender singles, couples and "rainbow" families.

Read the rest of the article at Deutsche Welle

Saturday, October 25, 2008

News from UK: British Government Approves Equal Access To Fertility Treatment For Lesbians

New legislation that will provide equal access to fertility treatment for lesbians has been approved by the House of Commons (British Equivalent of US House of Representatives).

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will now return to the Lords (British Equivalent of US Congress) for a final reading before it becomes law. Peers will not be able to amend it.

Yesterday MPs voted 355 to 129 for the bill.

It will make it easier for lesbians and single women to access NHS fertilisation services and allows a lesbian or gay couple to be named on the birth certificate as the legal parents of their children.

At present the law requires that NHS fertility clinics take account of the "need for a father" when assessing women for treatment.

In practice this can lead to clinics deciding not to accept lesbians. Those women instead have to use "DIY" methods in order to conceive.

Doctors will now consider whether the child will receive "supportive parenting."

"We’ve always thought it scandalous that lesbian couples could lawfully be excluded from the safety of NHS clinics, for which we all pay," said Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay equality organisation Stonewall.

"Often they’ve been forced to use unregulated backstreet services instead.

"We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has supported us over this issue.

"We’ve always remained calmly determined to present the credible scientific evidence that children in lesbian and gay families develop in exactly the same social and intellectual way as any others.

"But this latest step forward for our communities is an important reminder that lesbian and gay families are every bit as loving and tender, and magical, as any other. It will bring a lot of happiness to countless thousands of couples."

Friday, October 17, 2008

News from UK: Exciting Developments in Search for Anti-HIV Microbicides

The last couple of years have seen a series of disappointing results in the search for a new method of preventing HIV infection. While a number of exciting new drugs, including some from totally new classes, were being made available, at the same time there was a series of failures in prevention trials.

The most devastating of these was the closure of the STEP trial of an HIV vaccine. This has sent HIV vaccine research back to the drawing board. Some scientists question whether a conventional vaccine against HIV will ever be possible.
There were some other disappointments too. A trial amongst African women called MIRA found that the diaphragm used in contraception did not protect against HIV. And a trial to see if treating people’s herpes infections would also protect them against catching HIV produced negative results.

Other ideas are still being tested: One is pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP – giving people HIV drugs to stop them catching the virus, rather than to treat it. This is a controversial concept and it’s proved difficult to get trials off the ground. However we now have trials amongst gay men in South America and in heterosexuals in Africa taking place and researchers are hopeful that clear results will be achieved by 2010/11.

Microbicides could eventually be sold over the counter and incorporated into standard sex lubes. They’re the first HIV prevention method that would put the power to prevent HIV into the hand of women and passive gay men. And they could even make sex more fun!

News from UK: Controversy over "De-Gendered Bathrooms" at the University of Manchester

A row has broken out at the University of Manchester after its students' union toilets were "de-gendered".

Temporary signs have made the "ladies" simply "toilets", while the "gents" have become "toilets with urinals".

The changes are in response to an unspecified number of complaints from trans students who are uncomfortable using the men's toilets. A university newspaper criticised the move but the student union said it was needed to tackle transphobia.
There are no figures on the number of transsexual and transgender students believed to be among the university's population of more than 35,000 students. The students' union welfare office declined to reveal the number of complaints, but said it was an important issue.

Women's officer Jennie Killip told the BBC: "If you were born female, still present quite feminine, but define as a man you should be able to go into the men's toilets - if that's how you define.
"You don't necessarily have had to have gender reassignment surgery, but you could just define yourself as a man, feel very masculine in yourself, feel that in fact being a woman is not who you are."

News from UK: Know-Your-HIV-Status Campaign Launched

Gay men's health charity GMFA have launched a new campaign highlighting the benefits of knowing you HIV status following new figures released by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH).

New BASHH guidelines recommend that gay men take an HIV test every year, after news has emerged that almost half HIV positive men are unaware of their condition.

In 2005, the Gay Men's Health Survey showed that 40% of gay men had never had an HIV test at all.

GMFA's new campaign outlines the benefits of being aware of your HIV status, including avoiding transmitting the virus to others, and better health and longer life for HIV positive men.

News from UK: 4 in 10 HIV+ Gay Men are Undiagnosed, say experts

The British HIV Association (BHIVA) Conference last week head that almost half gay men in the UK with HIV are unaware of their condition.

This year, the annual conference had set out to determine why so many men remain undiagnosed. The final session of the conference was held in conjunction with the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASSH).

A survey of men in gay venues in London, Brighton, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh found that 40% of men who tested positive for HIV thought they were HIV negative.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

India a hot spot for gay couples keen on babies

MUMBAI: They don't make a traditional family portrait, but there is steady stream of gay couples coming to the city for infertility treatment to have babies. The ongoing debate in court on Article 377 notwithstanding, India is being seen as an affordable haven for gay couples, whether married or not, who want to be parents.

Read more at Times of India

Millions flock to Rio de Janeiro's gay parade

Hundreds of thousands of gays, lesbians and transsexuals partied down Brazil's world famous opacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday (October 12) to call for an end to homophobic violence and discrimination.

DJs blasted dance music from trucks and colorful floats which drove down the city's main beach avenue as people in the dense crowds danced and celebrated in hot, sunny weather, some wearing wigs, masks or carnival-style outfits.

Read more at LGBT Travel

Gay prince of Rajpipla finds king of his heart

VADODARA: Manvendrasinh Gohil, the prince of the erstwhile state of Rajpipla who made his homosexuality public two years ago, has now declared openly that he has found a lover. Cupid was apparently following shoot-at-sight orders when Gohil first saw Michael Lower, a 35-year-old Briton.

Read more at Daily News and Analysis India

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Found on Gay News Blog

There was a special treat in store for those who went to see Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) on the big screen: prior to the film, viewers were given an exclusive sneak preview of the much-awaited film Dostana. Produced under Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions and directed by his long-time assistant and friend Tarun Mansukhani, the film stars the original Dhoom hunk John Abraham, the dashing Abhishek Bachchan and the beautiful Priyanka Chopra. The film takes its name from the Amitabh Bachchan classic Dostana (1980) which it also borrows a similar theme from.

Following the worldwide success of Kal Ho Na Ho and the varied response received from Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Dostana is likely to raise some controversy with its gay centric storyline (John and Abhishek play two straight guys who pretend to be gay in an attempt to dupe Priyanka’s character).

Read more at InsideDesi.com

Finnish newspaper editor says sacked over homosexuality

Post found on Gay News Blog

Johanna Korhonen, named editor of Finnish provincial daily Lapin Kansa in early September, told the Finnish News Agency (STT) that she had been sacked because of her sexual orientation.

Alma Media, the publisher of Lapin Kansa, had said in a statement it had decided to terminate Ms Korhonen's contract and restart the recruitment process immediately.

Read more at NewsRoom Finland

Activists call for laws to protect gay couples’ rights

Post found on Gay News Blog

Although most people take getting married and renting a house or office space for granted, it might not be so easy for gays and lesbians, activists said at a forum yesterday as they called on the government to adopt bills protecting homosexuals’ rights without delay.

“It’s been 10 years since the first gay marriage was held in public in Taipei, and we’ve taken to the streets to promote gay and lesbian rights several times over the past decade,” Wang Ping (王蘋), secretary-general of the Gender/Sexuality Rights Association in Taiwan, said at the forum on gay rights held in Taipei yesterday.

Read more at Taipei Times

Uganda 'beef up gay laws'

The Ugandan government said on Saturday it would strengthen anti-gay laws and step up police operations against homosexuals amid concern about the "mushrooming" number of gays and lesbians in the East African nation.

"The state of moral health in our nation is challenging and we are concerned about the mushrooming of lesbianism and homosexuality," Ethics and Integrity Minister James Buturo told a news conference.

Article found here.

Originally posted on Cape Argus.

Nick Brown becomes second gay man appointed in reshuffle

Post found on Gay News Blog

As more details of the Cabinet reshuffle are released, it has been confirmed that Nick Brown will replace Geoff Hoon as Chief Whip.

Mr Brown was appointed Deputy Chief Whip by Gordon Brown in June 2007.

Read more at Pink News

Post found on Gay Newsnet

Authorities in Saint Petersburg, Russia have effectively shut down the first-ever gay film festival there as it was set to open Thursday.

The Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival was scheduled to open on Thursday, but now appears postponed at best after fire department inspectors closed the clubs (The Place and Sochi) where the films were to be screened, festival organizer Irina Sergeeva told gayrussia.ru.

Read more at On Top Magazine

Monday, October 6, 2008

Persecuted in Africa, Finding Refuge in New York

Mr. Mbaye, 24, is an entertainer from Dakar, Senegal, known there for his dancing, singing and storytelling. But while his flamboyance may be celebrated in New York, he attracted the wrong kind of attention in West Africa this year, and it nearly cost him his life.

In February, a Senegalese magazine published photographs of what was reported to be an underground gay marriage and said that Mr. Mbaye, who appeared in the photos and is gay himself, had organized the event. In the ensuing six months, Mr. Mbaye said, he was harassed by the police, attacked by armed mobs, driven from his home, maligned in the national media and forced to live on the run across West Africa.

Read the rest of the article at NYTimes.com