Gay marriage on track for Nov. ballot
Same-sex issue may take spotlight
BY DAWSON BELL AND MARISOL BELLO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
Opponents of gay marriage said Tuesday they will submit more than 400,000 signatures to state elections officials next week to place the issue before Michigan voters in the fall.
Marlene Elwell, director of Citizens for the Protection of Marriage, said she is "absolutely certain" the campaign to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman will meet its goal of collecting more than 400,000 signatures.
The group counted 324,000 over the weekend and has been inundated with more from petition circulators since then, she said.
To qualify for the ballot, the proposed amendment to the state constitution needs more than 317,000 signatures from registered voters.
Bid to stamp out gay bullying
HOMOPHOBIC bullying in schools is to be targeted by Waltham Forest Council.
Little is known about the extent of this form of abuse in schools, admitted the council, which started consultation this month to create a strategy to combat the problem.
The council will be surveying 25 per cent of school pupils in the autumn, questioning them about bullying, including homophobic abuse.
Last year there were 217 reported incidents of racist bullying in schools but more information was needed about the extent of homophobic attacks, said social inclusion and behaviour support manager Dawn Gill.
Gays Warned Not To Get Complacent
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(Madrid) Gays and lesbians in the developed must have an obligation to help those struggling to attain rights in the Third World a Spanish Pride audience was told Monday.
Leonardo Fernandez, the coordinator of sexual minority issues for Amnesty International in Spain, said that simply being gay or trans is a criminal offense in 70 countries around the world.
"Some 70 countries still prosecute homosexuals under their law", said Fernandez as he marked World Pride Day in Madrid.
"The majority of Muslim countries have bans in place as does much of sub-Saharan Africa", added Fernandez, noting that the absence of the word homosexuality in a country's penal code does not mean they are not repressed through "legal hairsplitting" methods, such as in Egypt.
Anger as gay couple called 'sexual deviants' by hotelier
Gay couple's fury as B&B refuses double room to 'deviants'
A GAY couple have complained to tourism officials after they were refused a room by a Scottish hotelier who branded them "sexual deviants".
Stephen Nock, 34, and his partner were told they could not stay in a double room in the VisitScotland-recommended guest house because their relationship was "unnatural".
The couple, from London, were hoping to have a four-day walking holiday in Wester Ross and stay at the Cromasaig guest house at Kinlochewe.
But Mr Nock was told in an exchange of e-mails that "two gents" could only book a twin room because the B&B would not "condone perversion". In one e-mail, Tom Forrest, the owner of the three-star Cromasaig, wrote: "We do not have a problem with your personal sexual deviation, that is up to you.
NZ Labour legislates to effect 'same-sex marriage'
by Peter Westmore
As News Weekly goes to press, the NZ Labour Government has rushed legislation into Parliament which will effectively legislate for gay marriage, through what are called "civil unions".
The bill was tabled in Parliament on June 21, and MPs were expected to vote on it on July 23 or July 24.
The bill creates a new form of legal relationship - a registered civil union - that would apply to same-sex relationships and heterosexual couples.
Running alongside the Civil Union Bill will be the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill that removes discrimination based on marital status. It amends over 1000 provisions across more than 100 laws covering commerce, education, health, taxation and social assistance.
The New Zealand Press Association reported that a civil union would run in parallel to marriage and the same rules would apply, journalists were told in a pre-release briefing.
Committee approves proposed ordination of gays in Presbyterian church
JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) --
A proposal that would partly lift the Presbyterian church's ban on gay ministers has gained support from a legislative committee, and awaits a vote by the church's national legislative assembly.
The measure, approved by the committee Tuesday, will go before the larger body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) later this week.
If passed, it would allow individual churches to dismiss a 1978 interpretation of church law that prohibits gays from being ordained as ministers, elders or deacons.
Gays and lesbians in relationships could still be barred from ordination under a separate church law passed in 1997, but liberals said removal of the 1978 restriction would be a major step toward full inclusion for gays in the church.
Homosexual unions slowly gain momentum in Europe
One couple's quest for acceptance led them away from the U.S. and toward the Netherlands, where they are married and treated as `normal people'
By Tom Hundley
Tribune foreign correspondent
DE KWAKEL, Netherlands -- As Earl Carr and Peter Stroex walked down the aisle in their tuxedos, the gospel choir launched into a soulful rendition of "O Happy Day."
"It really was a happy day," said Carr, 41. "My mother was crying the whole time. I was crying for the first half of the wedding, but fortunately Peter was cool, calm and collected. Peter is the stabilizer in our relationship."
Carr and Stroex were married last August in a civil ceremony that has become routine in the Netherlands, the first country to fully legalize same-sex marriages. Since April 1, 2001, when the landmark legislation went into effect, more than 6,000 gay couples in the Netherlands have wed.
Thus far, the dire consequences predicted by many religious conservatives have not come to pass--"God did not flood the Netherlands," joked Carr--and the idea of same-sex marriages seems to be gaining momentum across Europe.