World Briefs

Posted on 16 Oct 2006 at 5:00pm
By Rex Wockner Wockner News Service

Spanish committee passes bill so transgenders can change documents

The Justice Committee of Spain’s Congress of Deputies passed a bill Nov. 7 allowing confirmed transgender people to change their name and gender on official documents without undergoing sex-change surgery.

Individuals would need to be diagnosed as transsexual and receive two years of medical, surgical or hormonal treatment, but would not have to alter their genitalia.

The measure does not need passage by the full house to become law. It now advances to a similar Senate committee, where it likely will be approved. If it should fail in the Senate, the bill will return to the Congress of Deputies committee, which will have final say.

Vandals burn offices of AIDS service agency for gay men in Scotland

Vandals torched the Fife Men Project in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, on Oct. 31, causing an estimated $37,000 in damages.

The agency provides information, advice and support on gay and gay-health issues, as well as direct support to persons infected with and affected by HIV.

Canadian Parliament to consider reopening marriage debate

Canada’s Conservative government will introduce a motion in Parliament in December allowing MPs to vote on whether to reopen debate on the 2005 legalization of same-sex marriage.

The motion is expected to fail, but the Conservatives pledged during the last election campaign to orchestrate a reconsideration of the issue, and are keeping their promise to do so.

4 men sentenced in gay-bashing attack on U.S. journalists in St. Maarten last April

Four people who assaulted two gay CBS News journalists on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten in April have been sent to prison.

Glen Cockly, Micheline Delaney, Allan Daniel and Michel Javois were found guilty of public violence and causing grievous bodily harm, and given sentences ranging from six months to six years.

Evening News senior producer Richard Jefferson and 48 Hours producer-researcher Ryan Smith, who were on vacation, were beaten with a tire iron outside the Sunset Beach Bar by up to six individuals who identified themselves as gay-bashers. Smith suffered brain damage and had trouble speaking for several months.

British gay activist criticizes ban on blood donations from gays

Prominent British gay activist Peter Tatchell says the National Blood Service’s ban on gay blood donors is “unscientific” and “homophobic.”

Writing in The Guardian newspaper Nov. 3, Tatchell said the gay-rights group OutRage! and the National Union of Students will fight to have the ban lifted.

Tatchell noted that a man who had sex with another man only once, whether it was safe or unsafe sex and no matter how far in the past the sexual contact was, is prohibited from donating blood, while the NBS accepts blood donations from promiscuous heterosexuals who have had unsafe sex with numerous partners.

Police raid meeting to plan LGBT conference in Belarus, arrest 7 activists

Police in Gomel, Belarus, raided a Nov. 8 meeting of the organizing committee of an international conference called Perspectives for LGBT Movements in Repressive Political Regimes, seizing conference materials and arresting gay activists Vyacheslav Andreev, Sviatlana Bortnik, Svyatoslav Sementsov, Tanya Ivanova, Aleksei Filipenko, Natallia Kavalchuk and Viachaslau Bortnik, according to Ivanova.

The activists were taken to the Zheleznodorozhnyi District Police Station and quizzed about the conference’s participants, program and locations.

Four of the individuals were released after a few hours, and the others the following day. No charges were filed.

The conference, scheduled for Nov. 11 in Minsk, the capital, was canceled.

Editorial assistance by Bill Kelley.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, November 17, 2006.

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