Saturday, 26 January 2013

Pink News: Polish Parliament rejects three bills to extend rights to gay couples
25 January 2013, 2:17pm by Corinne Pinfold

Gay couples in Poland lack legal protection

Poland’s lower parliamentary house has voted today to reject three separate draft laws which would have given legal rights to unmarried couples, effectively preventing same-sex couples from receiving any such rights.

Washington Post: Police detain 20 as Russia’s Duma approves controversial anti-gay legislation
By Associated Press, Published: January 25

MOSCOW — Russian police detained 20 gay rights campaigners and militant Orthodox Christian activists Friday near the country’s parliament as it overwhelmingly backed a bill that would ban “homosexual propaganda.”

(Mikhail Metzel/ Associated Press ) - A supporter of a bill banning “ homosexual propaganda” tries to grab a poster from the hands of a gay rights activist, during a protest near the State Duma, Russia’s lower parliament chamber, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. A controversial bill banning “homosexual propaganda” has been submitted to Russia’s lower house of parliament for the first of three hearings on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The poster reads: I’m Blind and I’m Gay and I Refuse to be Invisible. P.S. Love is Stronger Then Hate.

Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, voted 388-1-1 for the law that makes public events and dissemination of information on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000. After two more readings, the bill will have to be signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier Friday, three dozen LGBT rights campaigners gathered near the State Duma to protest the law, while militant Orthodox activists started assaulting and pelting them with eggs. Police intervened, but mostly detained the LGBT campaigners.

Independent: Britain Introduces Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Friday, 25 January 2013, 15:00

The British government published a bill to legalize same-sex marriage Friday, and said lawmakers will get their first vote on it in Parliament next month.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill extends marriage to gay couples but excludes clergy in the Church of England — the country's official faith — from having to carry out the ceremonies.

That is intended to placate religious opponents of same-sex unions — though it has not stopped criticism of the bill from religious leaders.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Pink News: Government publishes same-sex marriage bill for England & Wales
25 January 2013, 10:48am by Scott Roberts

Culture Secretary Maria Miller is responsible for the bill

The government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales has officially been published.

It has been presented by Culture Secretary Maria Miller and is supported by Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Chancellor George Osborne, Home Secretary Theresa May, Education Secretary Michael Gove, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone, and equalities ministers Helen Grant and Jo Swinson.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

YouTube: Triple Standard

A homophobic ex basketball star is forced to face the reality that he himself is gay.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Pink News: Nepal introduces gender neutral citizenship documents
22 January 2013, 5:58pm by by Scott Roberts 

Activists in Nepal have welcomed the move

An official says Nepal’s government will begin issuing gender neutral citizenship documents for people who do not wish to be identified as male or female.

Nepal’s Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the government should issue “third gender” citizenship certificates but it took five years to implement the decision.

Gay Star News: Malta’s parties back gay partners’ rights

As Malta prepares for elections in March, campaigners hope for same-sex civil unions in five years and full gay marriage equality in 10

Gay and lesbian couples in Malta are closer to achieving partnership rights after both the island nation’s leading parties backed the idea.

The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) told Gay Star News they now hope to have civil partnerships in the next five years and marriage equality within 10.

Times: PN: We would change the law to allow gay adoption
Monday, January 21, 2013 by Claudia Calleja

‘The important thing is the welfare of the child.’

The Nationalist Party is ready to change the law to allow gay couples to adopt if this would serve the best interests of children, a party spokesman said.

“For the PN the important thing is the welfare of the child and that experts confirm that the child will have a loving and caring family, irrespective of the adoptive parents’ sexual orientation.

Times: Gay people at election-time
Monday, January 21, 2013 by Carmel Bayliss

It is becoming a reality, at least in most of the western world, that the pink vote is given great importance. One particular recent example comes from the USA were President Barack Obama’s victory came about thanks to the pink vote. In fact, Obama and Mitt Romney went neck to neck in the straight vote and the pink vote was the determining factor, over 75 per cent of the gay vote going to Obama.

I dare not say or dream of this happening in Malta, far from it, but, nowadays, political parties take into account, whether for the greed of the vote or because it is their genuine intention, this section of voters that figures about five per cent (if not more).

Times: Gay adoption
Monday, January 21, 2013 by Adrian Buckle, Tarxien

May I congratulate Labour leader Joseph Muscat on his stand on gay adoption. It is indeed a very welcome development.

One obviously hopes that his position of “not being against” develops into “being actively in favour of” gay adoptions.

Let’s face it, if a gay couple can give a child a loving home, then it is a blessing.

What we are dealing with here is the child’s well-being and a gay couple can guarantee it as much as the next straight couple.

The problem is not having two fathers or two mothers. The problem is an immature society that frowns on such a family. But family it is.

Malta Today: ‘Consensus’ on gay adoption turns out to be mere defence of status quo

Both larger parties claim to have placed gay rights at the centre of their campaigns; but on closer scrutiny it turns out that all they’re really promising is to keep things exactly as they are – loopholes and all.
Tuesday 22 January 2013 - 09:00 by Raphael Vassallo

There was a sense of elation in some quarters this week, when both Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Opposition leader Joseph Muscat indicated that they would not be averse to allowing adoptions by same-sex couples: an initiative that would be considered 'progressive' even by the most liberal of global political standards.

Independent: Russida moves to enact anti-gay Law Nationwide
Monday, 21 January 2013, 14:24

Kissing his boyfriend during a protest in front of Russia's parliament earned Pavel Samburov 30 hours of detention and the equivalent of a $16 fine on a charge of "hooliganism." But if a bill that comes up for a first vote later this month becomes law, such a public kiss could be defined as illegal "homosexual propaganda" and bring a fine of up to $16,000.

Sunday Circle: Gay Adoption: What you need to know
January 2013

Child adoption by gay couples shot to the top of the electoral agenda last week with politicians of the different parties all giving their views and the general public chiming in on the message boards. We give you all the facts you need to know.
PL leader Joseph Muscat can claim credit for putting LGBT issues on the agenda this general election and has said that a Labour government would introduce civil partnerships for gay couples, and expressed his personal opinion in favour of joint adoption by gay couples. But you probably shouldn’t hold your breath: the Labour leader refused to commit to actively change legislation to make it possible, while his party last year supported a controversial IVF bill that limited access to the technology for gay parents. 

“We don’t need to change any laws because what there is at present is a policy. What is crucial to me is the well-being of the child. If a social worker says it is in the child’s interest, then so be it….the State will no longer discriminate because we will seek the child’s best interest which for me means a loving and caring family.” – Joseph Muscat

Washington Post: Russia moves to enact anti-gay law to protect minors from Western ‘homosexual propaganda’
Associated Press, Published: January 21 2013

(Misha Japaridze, file/ Associated Press ) - FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 file photo Russian gay right campaigner Pavel Samburov (center left) and five other gay rights activists kiss during a protest near the State Duma, Russia’s lower parliament chamber, in Moscow, Russia. A controversial bill banning “homosexual propaganda” has been submitted to Russia’s lower house of parliament for the first of three hearings Tuesday, Jan. 22. 2013.

MOSCOW — Kissing his boyfriend during a protest in front of Russia’s parliament earned Pavel Samburov 30 hours of detention and the equivalent of a $16 fine on a charge of “hooliganism.” But if a bill that comes up for a first vote later this month becomes law, such a public kiss could be defined as illegal “homosexual propaganda” and bring a fine of up to $16,000.

Times: ‘I’ve been fighting for a human right for seven years’

Transsexual is still facing abuse from strangers because of who she is
Sunday, January 20, 2013 by Claudia Calleja

[Click on the hyperlink above to watch the video.] Video: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Every weekend, when Joanne Cassar gets ready to go out with her friends, she prepares herself to be stared at, insulted and pushed around by complete strangers.

In the past the 31-year-old, who underwent gender reassignment surgery nine years ago, has even been beaten up because of who she is. The latest violent episode was three years ago when she was at a carnival party in Gozo.

Malta Today: AD manifesto founded on social justice, environmental protection, civil rights

Alternattiva Demokratika launches manifesto based on three pillars: social justice and minimum wage, environmental protection and less development, and increased civil rights for minorities and LGBT.
Saturday 19 January 2013 - 12:33 by Nestor Laiviera

Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Michael Briguglio and spokesperson on energy Ralph Cassar.

Alternattiva Demokratika has unveiled a 28-chapter-long electoral manifesto which AD chairman Michael Briguglio described as founded on three pillars: social justice, environmental protection, and civil rights.

Launching the manifesto during an AD AGM that approved the manifesto at the Osborn Hotel, Valletta, Briguglio said that the manifesto was the fruit of two years' worth of consultation with AD members and spokespersons.

Malta Star: Parties 'closer' to recognise gay couples
Sunday, 20 Jan 2013, 09:22

Both political parties appear closer to recognising the rights of gay couples, MGRM coordinator Gabi Calleja said.

In comments to local newspaper Malta Today, Calleja said that both parties have defined the civil union or partnership which is closer to the position of the MGRM, which is that couples should be granted the right to marry.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Pink News: Australia: Scientists have found ‘potential cure for AIDS’
by Joseph Patrick McCormick
17 January 2013, 3:25pm

Scientists in Australia say they have found a way to alter a protein in the HIV virus to impede it from spreading around the body, rather than assisting it, which could “potentially cure AIDS.”

Associate Professor David Harrich of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research said that they had been able to modify a protein within the virus to impede it from being able to spread, reports Queerty.

Are gay marriage and Malta compatible?

20.1.13 by Rachel Bonavia

9th December 2012, Washington, U.S.A. Jessica Lee and Ashley Cavner said “I do”, completing their wedding vows – but do these words also ring true when it comes from a gay couple? They are the state’s first lesbian couple as Washington joined Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont in legalising same-sex marriage in the U.S.

For every U.S. state legalising such marriages, there are others that prohibit it. Indeed on the same day, Tory MP David Davies labelled the UK government’s gay marriage plans as “barking mad”. Gay marriage is legal in eight European countries.

YouTube: Boda Gay (The Edge of Glory)

L-Orizzont: L-omosesswali persuni daqsna
19.1.13 (?) minn Evarist Bartolo

Is-sibt li għadda l-mexxej Joseph Muscat ħabbar li Gvern ġdid:

- se jagħti d-dritt li koppji tal-istess sess jistgħu jingħaqdu f’unjoni çivili rikonoxxuta mill-istat;

- se jdaħħal liġi tal-ġeneru li tagħti d-dritt lill-persuni ‘transgender’ li jkollhom l- identità li jħossu li għandhom;

AD 2013 Manifesto - Sexual Orientation [Malti / English]

Orjentazzjoni Sesswali - Lesbjani, Gays, Bisesswali u Transesswali (LGBT)

Għandu jkun hemm ugwaljanza sħiħa bejn koppji tal-istess sess u koppji eterosesswali f’kull aspett tal-hajja. L-istat għandu jiftaħ l-istituzzjoni taż-żwieg ċivili għall-koppji tal-istess sess u għaldaqstant jagħti l-istess drittijiet u obbligi lil kull koppja (kemm dawk eterosesswali kif ukoll dawk tal-istess sess).

Ugwaljanza sħiħa ghandha tkun garantita ukoll, fost oħrajn, għad-dritt għall- IVF u għall-adozzjoni, irrispettivament millorjentazzjoni sesswali u l-istat ċivili ta’ dak li jkun.

Times: Updated: AD approves manifesto and candidates
Saturday, January 19, 2013, 11:22 by Kurt Sansone

AD members meeting to approve electoral manifesto. Photos: Kurt Sansone
[Click on the hyperlink above to watch the video.]

Alternattiva Demokratika has approved its electoral manifesto that makes reference to gay marriage, drug decriminalisation, a vacant property tax and a higher minimum wage.

Party members gathered at the Osborne Hotel in Valletta this morning unanimously approved the 94-page manifesto, in Maltese and English, and the election candidates.

Times: Bishop’s warning against adoptions by gay couples

‘We must strive to give them a family that resembles the natural one’
Saturday, January 19, 2013 by Claudia Calleja

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Allowing gay couples to adopt is not deemed to be in the best interest of children since the very aim of adoption is to provide the child with the mother and father figure they do not have, according to Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna.

Times: Facebook campaign against gay marriage and adoptions in Malta
Friday, January 18, 2013, 06:57

Anti-abortion campaigner Paul Vincenti has started a campaign against gay marriage and adoption on Facebook.

Reacting to commitments made by the political parties, Mr Vincenti set up a Facebook group to object, particularly over the legal adoption of children by same-sex couples.

Times: Adoption IS in a child’s best interest
Thursday, January 17, 2013, 17:01 by Alison Bezzina

Whenever a child is adopted from all over the civilised world, the best interest of the child is always given utmost importance.

When potential adoptive parents apply to adopt a child they are put under huge scrutiny. Their personal backgrounds, their relationship, their financial situation is put under the spot light. They also have to get references to support their parenting competence, and they have to attend a six week course to get them prepared. They also pay through their teeth and have to wait and wait until they’re finally matched with a child.

Malta Today: Anti-abortionist invites Facebook users to oppose gay adoption

Anti-abortion frontman Paul Vincenti seeks to put gay adoption 'consensus' into political agenda.
Friday 18 January 2013 - 09:44 by a Staff Reporter

Paul Vincenti

The president of the Gift Of Life foundation Paul Vincenti has set up a "virtual demonstration" against the legal adoption of children by same-sex couples, in the wake of comments from the main political leaders which indicate a consensus on gay adoption.

Di-ve: AD –Same sex couples can adopt
Last Updated 17 | 01 | 2013 at 10:44, Elections 2013
Article By:Charlene Mifsud,

Same sex couples should be given the right to marriage and adoption, said AD Chairperson Michael Briguglio this morning at a press conference at the Msida Marina.

AD is the only party that fully supports MGRM proposals regarding civil unions, adoptions and IVF procedures said the party’s spokesperson for social policy and civil rights, Angele Deguara. She spoke about the need for a change in legislature to eradicate discrimination against the LGBT community. “This change must be at constitutional, moral and social level to ensure that the same rights are given to everyone,” she held.

Malta Today: Greens to support gay marriage, adoption and non-discrimination in IVF

Alternattiva Demokratika: ‘We’re the only party to support full equality on LGBT rights’
Thursday 17 January 2013 - 09:30

Green party Alternattiva Demokratika is pledging to work for the legislation of same-sex marriage if elected in parliament, a major policy plank it announced today together with proposals for non-discrimination for IVF treatment and equal adoption.

Independent UK: Cervical cancer vaccine for girls must be given to gay men due to increase in anal cancer, says BMA

Doctors urge minister to take action over sexually transmitted virus that causes cancer in both men and women

The national programme to vaccinate young girls against a sexually transmitted virus which can cause cervical cancer should be extended to gay men, doctors say.

The British Medical Association has written to Anna Soubry, minister for Health, urging her to introduce HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccinations for young gay men attending sexual health clinics. They warn that there is an “alarming increase in anal cancer in gay men”. Anal cancer is rising at one to three per cent a year in most developed countries.

Malta Star: Italian court decides gay couple can adopt
Tuesday, 15 Jan 2013, 09:56

The Italian Supreme court has confirmed the custody of a child to the mother who lives with another woman. The judges ruled that society should put an end to this prejudice.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Malta Today: Gay adoptions – experts should decide what is in children’s best interest

Experts' evaluation on adoption must be guided by what's in best interest of children and not prejudiced by sexual orientation - PM
Tuesday 15 January 2013 - 11:48 by Karl Stagno-Navarra

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi at Villa Arrigo this morning

Times: AD for full equality on LGBT rights
Thursday, January 17, 2013, 09:22

Alternattiva Demokratika is the only party for full equality on LGBT rights, Angele Deguara, spokeswoman for social policy and civil rights said this morning.

Malta Today: [WATCH] On adoptions, Muscat doesn't see 'need' for change in legislation

Labour leader Joseph Muscat says he doesn’t see the need for a change in legislation as it is a public policy issue.
Tuesday 15 January 2013 - 13:04 by Miriam Dalli

Labour leader Joseph Muscat.

Times: Gay rights activists welcome consensus on adoptions
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 06:50

Gay rights activists have welcomed the common position of the Labour and Nationalist parties after they both declared that adoption should be based on the child’s best interest and not the sexual orientation of adoptive parents.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday echoed Dr Muscat’s view that adoptions should be based on the child's welfare, not the sexual orientation of the adoptive parents.

The Malta Gay Rights Movement said it would be seeking meetings with the political groups to seek further clarifications.

MGRM president Gabi Calleja said the MGRM was campaigning for marriage equality as it was the only form of recognition to grant equality in rights, obligations and status.

Full story in The Times.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Times: Muscat favours gay adoption

Muscat Q & A with Times journalists
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 by Matthew Xuereb

Labour leader Joseph Muscat is not against gay couples adopting children because he believes the underlying principle is the child’s best interests.
What is crucial is the well-being of a child. If a social worker says it is in the child’s interest, then so be it
Dr Muscat said the most important thing was for a child to be in a loving and caring family, irrespective of the adoptive parents’ sexual orientation.
“This situation is much better than being in an institute or abandoned in any way,” he added.

Times: Protesters take to Paris streets

Thousands demonstrate against gay marriage
Monday, January 14, 2013 by Reuters

Thousands of demonstrators gather on the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower in Paris to protest France’s planned legalisation of same-sex marriage. Photo: Reuters

Times: Time for another breakthrough in gay rights - Muscat
Monday, January 14, 2013, 19:59 by Kurt Sansone

Gay partners were not siblings and their rights as a couple had to be safeguarded, Joseph Muscat said tonight.