A gay couple in Canada‚Äôs Northwest Territories sued the territorial government May 19 for access to marriage. ‚ÄúColin and I both wish to legalize our relationship,‚ÄĚ Jason Perrino said in the lawsuit filed with partner Colin Snow. ‚ÄúIt is my wish that my stepdaughter will grow up and recognize her dad and I are a real family.‚ÄĚ
The couple is expected to win easily, thereby extending marriage rights to all same-sex couples in the Northwest Territories. The only other jurisdictions that prohibit gays from marrying are Alberta, New Brunswick, Nunavut and Prince Edward Island. A court case is under way in New Brunswick as well.
Swedish Supreme Court Justice Paid For Gay Sex
A 59-year-old justice on Sweden‚Äôs Supreme Court may be forced to step down after admitting he paid a 20-year-old man for sex, local newspapers reported May 19. The situation came to light after the younger man was arrested for robbing a client, and officials found text messages from Justice Leif Thorsson in the man‚Äôs cell phone. Thorsson was fined 4,570 euros ($5,743) for violating Sweden‚Äôs law against prostitution.
Spaniards Support Same-Sex Marriage¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sixty-two percent of Spaniards support recently passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, an Instituto Opina poll has found. The bill also legalizes gay adoption, which 43.4 percent of respondents support and 44.8 percent oppose.
Pollsters quizzed 1,000 adults by telephone on May 12. The poll‚Äôs margin of error is 3.1 percent. The first same-sex weddings should occur by autumn.
In the Central American nation of Panama, meanwhile, a Dichter & Neira poll published by La Prensa newspaper May 23 found that only 7.9 percent of those questioned are supportive of same-sex marriage. It is opposed by 78.8 percent, while 12.4 percent said they don‚Äôt care one way or the other.
The poll also found 89.4 percent of the population opposed to abortion. Pollsters interviewed 1,216 adults and reported a margin of error of 2.9 percent.
China Blocks Gay Web Site
China‚Äôs Ministry of Public Security has been blocking www.gaychinese.net since April 11, says site manager Damien Lu. The site, which is run from Los Angeles, was attracting an average of 58,000 visitors a day, mostly from mainland China, Lu said.
It does not contain political or sexually explicit content, and several similar sites based in China remain accessible. ‚ÄúWe have no content that violates the Chinese government‚Äôs rules,‚ÄĚ Lu told the Agence France-Presse wire service. Public-security officials were not available for comment.
Mayor Vows To Ban Warsaw Pride Parade
Warsaw Mayor Lech Kaczynski says he‚Äôll prevent the city‚Äôs June 11 gay-pride parade from taking place because he is ‚Äúagainst propagating gay orientation.‚ÄĚ He also objects to the date of the event, on which the city plans to unveil a monument to anti-Nazi hero Gen. Stefan Rowecki.
‚ÄúOrganizing a gay parade on that day is a joke,‚ÄĚ Kaczynski told the Polish Press Agency. Parade organizers plan to go over the mayor‚Äôs head and get support from regional officials. Kaczynski is expected to run for the Polish presidency in October‚Äôs election.
Ukrainians Protest Homophobia
Gay activists in Ukraine marked the International Day Against Homophobia May 17 by releasing a huge balloon over Kiev‚Äôs Independence Square decorated with the word ‚Äúhomophobia‚ÄĚ blotted out by the international ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ symbol. They also picketed the International Academy of Personnel Management‚Äôs Economic Juridical School, which expelled a student last fall allegedly for being gay. Students from the IAPM‚Äôs Military Cossack Institute conducted a simultaneous counterprotest to ‚Äúprotect‚ÄĚ the school‚Äôs ‚Äúmoral priorities.‚ÄĚ
Mexico Wants Gay Tourists
The Mexican Secretary of Tourism‚Äôs Touristic Promotion Council has launched a campaign to attract gay tourists from the United States and Canada. It includes an ‚Äúinformative bulletin‚ÄĚ posted in the media area of the council‚Äôs Web site.
‚ÄúOur intention as leaders of the international-level [tourism] sector is to satisfy the needs and tastes of the varied markets we are directed at,‚ÄĚ the bulletin states. ‚ÄúThis is one of the qualities that only the world‚Äôs greatest tourist destinations can aim for.‚ÄĚ
Northern Ireland Sees Big Increase In Hate Crimes
The incidence of antigay hate crimes almost tripled in Northern Ireland in the past year, according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland‚Äôs annual statistical report.
One hundred ninety-six incidents were reported, compared with only 71 in the previous reporting period. Forty-eight percent of the crimes involved injury or assault and about 21 percent involved criminal damage to property.
Swiss Vote On Same-Sex Partnerships
The population of Switzerland will vote June 5 on whether to create registered same-sex partnerships. Although numerous European nations have enacted such laws, this will be the first time the matter was left up to voters.
The measure passed Parliament in June 2004 but religious conservatives then collected enough signatures to force a referendum on it. It extends most marriage rights to registered same-sex couples but withholds rights in the areas of adoption, in vitro fertilization and taking each other‚Äôs last name.
‚ÄúA registered partnership is not a marriage; it is an institution for those people who by definition cannot marry,‚ÄĚ Justice Minister Christoph Blocher told Swissinfo.org on May 25.
Partnership laws already are in force in three of Switzerland‚Äôs cantons‚ÄĒGeneva, Zurich and Neuch√Ętel. Nearly 500 same-sex couples have registered in Zurich canton since the law took effect two years ago.
Polling suggests that more than 60 percent of voters will OK the federal law.