|Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa.
Sixty-five percent of Ecuadoreans approved a new constitution Sept. 28 that, among much else, grants all the rights of marriage to stable, monogamous same-sex couples who live together. At the same time, the document bans gay adoption and says marriage is only between a man and a woman. The constitution also prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status; imposes upon Ecuadoreans a duty to respect and learn about sexual-orientation and gender differences; and requires schools to teach about sexual rights.
President Rafael Correa has spoken forcefully in favor of equality for gay couples. ‚ÄúJesus of Nazareth never preached hatred, homophobia or segregation; instead he knew to say, ‚ÄėLove one another,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Correa said in July. ‚ÄúIt is false that (the constitution) is recognizing as family the union of homosexuals. What we are doing is recognizing the dignity of all people without discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, etc.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúLet‚Äôs hope, now that there‚Äôs been so much talk about moral incompatibilities between the new constitution and the Gospel, sometimes utilizing falsehoods, that we also can talk with equal force about the profound incompatibility of the social situation ‚ÄĒ of that inequality, of that existing social injustice ‚ÄĒ with the Gospels,‚ÄĚ Correa said.
British Treasury Minister Enters Civil Partnership
British Treasury junior minister Angela Eagle and her partner of 18 years, Maria Exall, entered an official civil partnership Sept. 27. Civil partnerships in the United Kingdom carry the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.
Eagle and Exall tied the knot in South London at the Southwark Register Office, accompanied by about 50 guests. A reception at Eagle‚Äôs home and then a party at a bar followed. Eagle, a Labour member of Parliament and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, is the only open lesbian in the House of Commons.
18,000 at Taipei Pride
Some 18,000 people marched in the rain in the Taipei, Taiwan, gay pride parade Sept. 27. It was believed to be the largest gay pride parade in Asia to date, and was the city‚Äôs ninth pride march. Organizer Wang Ping said it‚Äôs great that more gay people are daring to be out but that they need to also take part in gay rights activism.
Portuguese PM Not Interested In Civil Unions
Portuguese Prime Minister Jos√© S√≥crates is not interested in creating civil unions for same-sex couples. ‚ÄúHomosexual unions are not on the political agenda,‚ÄĚ he said Sept. 27. ‚ÄúIt is not in the government‚Äôs program and the (Socialist Party) will not be instructed by other parties.‚ÄĚ
Two civil-union-related bills were slated for discussion in Parliament on Oct. 10.
Comic Who Blasted Pope Won‚Äôt Be Prosecuted
Famous Italian comic Sabina Guzzanti will not be prosecuted for saying in July that Pope Benedict XVI will go to hell for the church‚Äôs treatment of gay people. The decision not to pursue an investigation was made by Justice Minister Angelino Alfano. A local prosecutor in Rome had suggested Guzzanti‚Äôs comments broke a law that protects the dignity of Roman Catholics.
A Vatican spokesman said the church approved of the decision to drop the matter.
-assistance: Bill Kelley