RAF to take part in Pride parade for first time
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
Manchester's Pride parade is set to feature members of the Royal Air Force for the first time, when it snakes it ways through the city's centre this weekend.
It will be the first time the RAF has attended a LGBT celebration in the UK, and is being used to represent the diversity of the organisation, a spokesperson said today.
"It doesn’t matter what religion, colour, gender or sexual orientation you are, we are looking for the 'Best Person For The Job'," he added.
Additionally, LGB members of the city's NHS organisations will make up the largest walking entry ever seen at the festival.
Judge Hears Bid To Overturn California Domestic Partner Law
by Lisa Leff
The Associated Press
(Sacramento, California) A law granting same-sex couples nearly identical legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses hangs in the balance after a Superior Court judge heard arguments Tuesday on whether the measure should be upheld or overturned.
Lawyers for two sets of plaintiffs opposed to marriage rights for gay couples want the law thrown out, claiming it violates the spirit and intent of a 2000 ballot initiative approved by voters that holds California will only recognize unions between a man and a woman as valid.
But supporters of the new measure, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by then-Gov. Gray Davis last year, said there was nothing in the language of the voter-approved mandate to prevent the state from conferring spousal benefits on the 26,000 gay couples who have registered as domestic partners.
The law is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, but neither side in the debate left court with a clear indication of how Judge Loren McMasters would rule after he took the matter under consideration.
Third SoCal parish breaks off affiliation from Episcopal church
LOS ANGELES - A third conservative Southern California parish broke its affiliation from the national Episcopal Church and linked itself with an Anglican diocese in Uganda.
Tuesday's decision by St. David's Episcopal Church in North Hollywood to leave the 2.3-million-member national church came just a week after two other parishes - All Saints' in Long Beach and St. James in Newport Beach - took similar steps.
Berlin boosts aid to Nazi victims
BERLIN - Compensation for victims of the Nazi Third Reich is to be increased and the number of groups eligible for payment expanded, Germany's ruling Social Democratic and Green Party coalition said Wednesday.
"Germany has a moral responsibility to ensure the dignity of (victims) as they grow older," said a statement, adding that the finance ministry had approved the move.
Monthly payments for people who were forcibly sterilized by the Nazis will be almost doubled to EUR 100.
"Those who were forcibly sterilized have suffered a barbarous life-long injustice. They could not set up families and are often alone in old age," said the statement.
Gay couples denied marriage licenses in Scott County
By David Heitz
Four gay and lesbian couples walked into the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport and applied for marriage licenses Tuesday, but were denied, while Vice President Dick Cheney was blocks away making a statement on the issue of gay marriage.
Cheney’s statement in Davenport that he believes gay marriage is an issue that should be left to the states contrasts with President Bush’s support of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
Scott VanDeWoestyne, executive director of Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity, a gay advocacy group, called the developments “a wonderful day in the Quad-Cities.”
“To have the vice president of the United States in town, talking about his own personal family and the fact that he has a lesbian daughter and coming out against amending the federal constitution, and at the same time having our own loving couples going to the courthouse to get marriage licenses, it’s just wonderful.”
ROCKER ATTACKED AFTER 'GAY SEX OFFER'
A THUG who battered Pogues legend Shane MacGowan in a pub toilet claimed the star offered to pay him for gay sex.
But scaffolder Liam McInerney was jailed for three years yesterday for the attack on the singer - and for punching a woman in the face while high on drugs.
Prosecutors said the assault on MacGowan was 'totally unprovoked'.The star told earlier this year how McInerney lashed out at him for no reason.