The Caribbean Island of Nevis‚ÄĒpart of the nation of St. Kitts and Nevis‚ÄĒbarred a cruise ship carrying 110 mostly American gays from docking March 23. A police boat halted the Source Events/Windjammer Barefoot Cruises ship and took the captain to shore for a meeting with port, police, customs and immigration officials, after which the ship was ordered to sail on.
Port authority Acting General Manager Oral Brandy told reporters that Nevis does not want homosexuality ‚Äúto be a part of our culture.‚ÄĚ Two days later, however, Nevis Tourism Minister Malcolm Guishard said the ship was turned away not because the passengers were gay but because they were naked, and Captain Cornelius Plantefaber could not promise they would be clothed on land. Plantefaber reportedly denied he made such a statement.
Gay cruises have stopped at St. Kitts in the past. ‚ÄúWe welcome all visitors,‚ÄĚ government spokesman Erasmus Williams told the AP. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve had gay ships in St. Kitts in the past and the visits have gone off without problems. I‚Äôm surprised that Nevis officials didn‚Äôt let them in.‚ÄĚ
Gay sex is illegal in St. Kitts and Nevis, which has a population of about 42,000.
Korean Transsexual To Star In TV Show
A transsexual actress is set to play a transsexual character in a South Korean major network TV series, The Korea Times reported March 21. Model and entertainer Harisu will be a lead character in the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation‚Äôs 12-part miniseries Ttolinun Kasum (Trembling Heart), which premieres April 2. She will play Park Man-ho, a man who leaves his family for two years and returns as a woman named Park Hye-un.
Gays March Against Iraq War
Members of the British gay direct-action group OutRage! joined a 100,000-strong antiwar march in London March 19. The group believes the U.S. and the United Kingdom should set a timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq‚ÄĒbut take care not to leave so quickly that Islamic fundamentalists or loyalists of Saddam Hussein are able to seize power.
‚ÄúIf the Saddamites or Islamists won power, it would be disastrous for democracy and human rights in Iraq,‚ÄĚ said OutRage!‚Äôs Peter Tatchell. ‚ÄúWomen and gay people would suffer terrible persecution.
‚ÄúThe biggest danger to Iraqi freedom right now is the imposition of a theocratic state, along the lines of neighboring Iran, where an estimated 4,000 lesbians and gays have been executed since the ayatollahs seized power in 1979. ... The Islamist parties in Iraq are pressing for the introduction of an Islamic constitution and Shariah law, which would result in the execution of gay people and women who have sex outside marriage.‚ÄĚ
Lesbians Demand UK Recognize Canadian Marriage
A British lesbian couple married in Canada is demanding that the United Kingdom recognize their marriage, London‚Äôs The Pink Paper reported March 17. Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson have filed a complaint under the Human Rights Act.
Britain routinely recognizes foreign marriages but officials have said the women‚Äôs marriage will be recognized only as a civil partnership, after Britain‚Äôs civil-partnership law comes into effect in December. The couple‚Äôs lawyer, Karon Monaghan, said that‚Äôs not acceptable because civil partners will not receive all the rights of matrimony.
Singapore Will Not Allow Gay Concert¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Singapore‚Äôs Media Development Authority says it will not allow a concert by openly gay U.S. spiritual-pop duo Jason and deMarco. ‚ÄúAlternative lifestyles are against the public interest,‚ÄĚ the MDA said. ‚ÄúBased on the reports about the duo‚Äôs performances in the United States and the duo‚Äôs Web site, the duo uses their musical performance and their own example of being a couple to celebrate and promote a gay lifestyle.‚ÄĚ
The couple was being brought to Singapore by the local gay Christian support group Safehaven, which says more than half of the tickets for the April 3 Action for AIDS charity concert have been sold. But without an ‚Äúarts and entertainment license‚ÄĚ from the MDA, the concert cannot be staged.
Safehaven is appealing the matter to the minister for information, communications and the arts.
‚ÄúThe discrimination that goes on against gay people is not just an issue that goes on in Singapore, it happens everywhere,‚ÄĚ Jason said March 24. ‚ÄúGo to any city around the world, and you will find it. We are very concerned about the intolerance against gay people that is expressed and enforced by the government of Singapore, and we are asking people to speak out.‚ÄĚ
Scottish Episcopal Church OKs Sexually Active Gay Priests
The Scottish Episcopal Church said March 22 that it has no ban on sexually active gay priests. The church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which does have such a ban, though national churches and local dioceses are somewhat free to set their own policies.
The Scottish church‚Äôs College of Bishops said it has ‚Äúnever regarded the fact that someone was in a close relationship with a member of the same sex as in itself constituting a bar to the exercise of an ordained ministry.‚ÄĚ
Some dioceses in the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada have ordained noncelibate gay priests and blessed gay unions, and the Diocese of New Hampshire has an openly gay bishop who is in a relationship with a man. But, as a result, Anglican leaders recently urged the U.S. and Canadian churches to withdraw from the Anglican Consultative Council, a key governing body of the communion.
In the same statement, the Scottish bishops disagreed with that move.
‚Äú[A]s a church we are much indebted in our life both to a significant presence of persons of homosexual orientation, and also those whose theology and stance would be critical of attitudes to sexuality other than abstinence outside marriage. We rejoice in both,‚ÄĚ they said.