European HIV problem "worsening"
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is worsening across the European Union, according to a new report from the European Commission.
The report says that while new cases of the virus that causes AIDS can be mostly found in Eastern European states, Western Europe is failing to address the problem effectively enough.
New member states in the east of the region are now seeing some of the highest amount of new infections in the world it suggests, many due to intravenous drug use.
MPs call for gay pension equality
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
An MP has called on the government to ensure pension equality for lesbian and gay couples, in a motion that has received cross party support at the House of Commons.
The Early Day Motion, put down earlier this week when MPs returned from summer recess, comes as the Civil Partnership bill enters the chamber. A second reading, the first time the bill can be debated by the House, is scheduled for next week.
Tabled by Desmond Turner MP for Brighton Kemptown, the motion has received support from 50 MPs across the major parties.
"This House welcomes the introduction of the Civil Partnership Bill, believing it gives long-overdue recognition to committed same-sex couples," the motion reads,
Anti-gay group plans protest in Bay Minette
(BAY MINETTE, Ala.) - The horrible murder of a local teen is something worth celebrating: that is according to a group out of Kansas that plans to come here for that very purpose.
Several years ago, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas made national headlines when it celebrated the murder of a gay man in Wyoming.
Scottie Weaver was beaten and burned in July. Prosecutors say in part Weaver was murdered because he was gay. The crime has sparked a call for a more inclusive hate-crime law in Alabama.
Soc Dems split over gay adoption rights
The right of homosexuals and single parents to adopt children is one of the leading topics up for debate at the Social Democratic party congress in Aalborg
Social Democrats will debate the ethics of allowing single people and gay couples to adopt children at their party congress in Aalborg over the next four days. Daily newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad reports that the issue has already sharply divided the party's base.
A proposed Social Democratic party platform, "Hand On Heart," would strengthen party efforts to guarantee the right of childless singles and gay couples to have children, either through artificial insemination or adoption.
Several local party chapters have angrily rejected the proposal, and the chairman of the Rødovre Social Democrats, Helge Møller, has threatened to quit the party if the proposal is passed at this weekend's congress.
Gay Tory candidate survives vote
A gay Conservative candidate has survived a deselection vote within his local party after winning support from Tory leader Michael Howard.
The vote of no confidence in Ashley Crossley was overwhelmingly defeated in Falmouth and Camborne, Cornwall.
Mr Howard earlier stepped in after press reports that Ashley Crossley had been the victim of homophobia.
Bid To Ban Gay Marriage 'Social Engineering Court Told
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) A proposed amendment to the Oklahoma constitution to prevent gay marriage is an attempt at "far-reaching social engineering" an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union charged Wednesday.
Lawyer Mark Henricksen told a state Supreme Court referee the court should remove the referendum on same-sex marriage from the Nov. 2 ballot because the language is "vague, ambiguous and flawed" and would discriminate against gays and lesbians. In addition, it could also be used to ban civil unions and other kinds of domestic partnerships.
The Oklahoma House voted 92-to-4 in April to ask voters to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The referendum also seeks to prohibit the state from recognizing unions performed in other states.
Labor Battles Oregon Gay Marriage Amendment
by Sarah Linn
(Portland Oregon) A proposed ban on same-sex marriage would mean unfair and unequal treatment for gay workers and their families, Oregon Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner said Wednesday.
Gardner joined about a dozen members of building and trade unions to oppose Measure 36, which would amend the Oregon Constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
If approved by voters on Nov. 2, the measure would eliminate health insurance and other benefits for the spouses and children of married gay and lesbian workers.
"It literally puts unequal treatment, unfairness, in the law," Gardner said of the measure, sponsored by the Defense of Marriage Coalition. "Is that what the constitution is about? I don't think so."
California Domestic Partner Law Ruled Valid
by Mark Worrall
San Francisco Bureau
(Sacramento, California) A California law granting same-sex couples nearly identical legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses Wednesday was ruled valid.
The law, which is slated to go into effect January 1, 2005 was passed by the Legislature last year and signed into law by then-Gov. Gray Davis last year.
Lawyers for two sets of plaintiffs opposed to marriage rights for gay couples sued to have 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.
One suit was filed by the late Senator Pete Knight and the other by Randy Thomasson of Campaign for California Families.
Biological mom found in contempt in child custody case
A family court judge in Vermont has found a woman in contempt for going to Virginia and disobeying a court order involving the breakup of her civil union and the custody of a child. Judge William Cohen's decision continues a legal dispute that pits the courts of Vermont against those in Virginia, where competing decisions have been issued. In the latest, Cohen granted a request by Janet Miller-Jenkins that he hold her former partner, Lisa Miller-Jenkins, in contempt for failing to abide by a temporary visitation order he handed down earlier this year. "Lisa chose to bring her action initially in Vermont because of the rights and benefits Vermont's law provides her," the judge wrote in an eight-page decision. "But when she realized that there were obligations and burdens to go along with those rights and benefits and decided that under the specific order issued by the Vermont court the benefits were outweighed by the burdens, she changed her mind and decided to go elsewhere."
Michael Savage: "radical homosexuals" and "radical Islamists" are "one and the same"; FOX is the "best we have"
On the September 3 broadcast of his radio show, Savage Nation, nationally syndicated right-wing host Michael Savage spewed homophobic vitriol, stating that "radical homosexuals" and "radical Islamists" are "one and the same, they're all terrorists." Minutes later, Savage praised FOX News Channel as "the best we have."
Savage is not alone in his praise of FOX News Channel. Vice President Dick Cheney is on the record plugging FOX News Channel; Media Matters for America has extensively documented the network's numerous distortions.
Same-sex listings OK'd for publication
BY JULIE EDGAR
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
When the Detroit Jewish News began including interfaith couples in its popular lifecycle pages some 15 years ago, reaction ranged from righteous outrage to gushing approval. So controversial was the move that even today, the paper hears from the occasional reader about the announcements.
The Southfield-based weekly recently decided to publish engagement, union, anniversary and birth announcements for same-sex couples. And at least one Orthodox rabbi says readers in the religious community might find it impossible to bring the paper into their living rooms.
Oregon Catholics to back same-sex marriage ban
The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Catholic church has traditionally opposed or stayed neutral on anti-gay initiatives in Oregon.
But the Oregon Catholic Conference, which represents the state's 425,000 Roman Catholics, will support a ban on same-sex marriage when its board meets Friday, said Robert Castagna, general counsel and executive director.
"The church is not telling people how to vote," Castagna told The Oregonian on Wednesday. "The church offers its moral teaching and better judgment not only to Catholics, but to all people of good will."
Leaders said neutrality is not an option on this issue because it deals with marriage, a holy sacrament for Roman Catholics.
Gay dads get daughters plus praise from judge
The state was trying to remove two girls, 6 and 7, from foster parents who had been awarded long-term custody.
By CURTIS KRUEGER, Times Staff Writer
LARGO - Two young girls from Florida's foster care system should be allowed to live permanently with the two gay men they call "Dad and Daddy," Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Irene Sullivan ruled Wednesday.
Denying a motion that could have moved the girls away, Sullivan said the state owes the two men "a debt of gratitude" for the way they took in two troubled foster children, now ages 6 and 7, and transformed their lives.
"I'm going to personally thank Dad and Daddy here, for in their way, stopping the cycle of abuse," Sullivan said. She even suggested the state use the men to train other foster parents.
"It's not just love, it's love, experience, background, intelligence. They seem to have it all," Sullivan said of Curtis Watson, 40, a licensed foster parent, and his life partner, who is in his 40s and works for a health facility.
Rural courts host battle over gay marriage vote
By JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
BRYAN - The battle over whether Ohioans will vote Nov. 2 on a proposed state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a union between one man and one woman has moved to rural county courthouses.
Melanie J. Essig, a lesbian worried about protecting domestic partner insurance benefits, and her mother, Sandra K. Essig, both of Columbus, have filed protests in 37 county common pleas courts. They claim that some signatures counted by local election boards to put the issue on the ballot are invalid.
Yesterday morning, one of their lawyers was in Williams County Common Pleas Court opposing a lawyer representing three people who helped organize the drive to put the proposal on the ballot. By afternoon, the two sides had met for another trial in Mercer County Common Pleas Court in west-central Ohio.
In the next few weeks, the two sides - one backed by Ohioans Protecting the Constitution, which opposes the amendment, and the other by the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage, which favors it - are likely to meet in most of the state's county courthouses.