World Briefs

Posted on 23 Aug 2007 at 3:26pm
By Rex Wockner Wockner News Service

Canadian MP becomes 1st federal politician to legally marry a same-sex partner

Liberal Canadian Member of Parliament Scott Brison and his partner, Maxime St. Pierre, got married Aug. 18 in Cheverie, Nova Scotia, a town of 200 people on the province’s western shoreline.

Brison is the first federal politician to take advantage of Canada’s legalization of full marriage for same-sex couples, which took place nationally in 2005 after eight provinces and one territory had legalized it on their own.

Prior to the ceremony, Brison’s spokesman told the Canadian Press wire service that the wedding was “a personal matter which is meant to be celebrated in private.”

Attendees reportedly included former Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Joe Clark, Liberal Leader St?phane Dion, former Defense Minister Bill Graham, former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna and former Ontario Premier Bob Rae.

Brison came out in 2002. He has said he is “not a gay politician, but a politician who happens to be gay.”

Critics protest as Italian deputy mayor calls for “‘ethnic cleansing of faggots’

Giancarlo Gentilini, the right-wing deputy mayor of the northern Italian city of Treviso, plans to order police to carry out “ethnic cleansing of faggots.”

Gentilini said he is sick of gays having sex in a particular parking lot.

“I will immediately give orders to my forces so that they can carry out an ethnic cleansing of faggots,” he told local television. “The faggots must go to other [cities] where they are welcome. Here in Treviso there is no chance for faggots or the like.”

A video clip of the outburst was posted on YouTube.

In response to the incident, hundreds of gay and gay-supportive demonstrators picketed City Hall on Aug. 11, calling for Gentilini’s resignation.

The remarks also were denounced by politicians from several parties, and prosecutors said they will investigate whether Gentilini’s language violated criminal law.

Tallinn Pride parade deemed a success as 300 participate, no violence reported

While many Pride parades in Eastern Europe attract aggressive political opposition or violent physical attacks from homophobic citizens, the fourth Pride parade in Tallinn, Estonia, was a success Aug. 11.

About 300 people marched through the historic Old City protected by police officers and private security guards.

At the parade’s midpoint, a small group of skinheads and ethnic Russians began following marchers, chanting, “No Pride!” One counterdemonstrator was arrested.

Last year, around 30 skinheads attacked the procession with sticks, rocks and eggs, injuring some 15 marchers, three of whom required hospital treatment. The parades in 2004 and 2005 were trouble-free.

Thousands of people turned out to watch this year’s march.

3,000 march in Tokyo gay Pride parade, even more attend events in park

About 3,000 people marched in Tokyo’s sixth gay Pride parade Aug. 11.

The procession through the Shibuya and Harajuku neighborhoods featured floats, rainbow balloons and flags, and celebrants wearing G-strings and feather boas, reports said.

Organizers said they hoped to create a climate where fewer GLBT people live in fear of coming out.

Events in a park attracted about 5,000 celebrants for seminars, speeches, a flea market, food, live music and dancing.

Hundreds march for marriage in Sydney; government proposes gay adoption ban

Several hundred people marched on Sydney Town Hall in Australia Aug. 12 demanding legalization of same-sex marriage.

Australia’s national government specifically banned same-sex marriage three years ago, just prior to a federal election.

As another election approaches, the government now has proposed banning same-sex couples from adopting children from overseas.

“It’s a clear pattern of the prime minister trying to garner votes from the conservative religious fundamentalists and in doing so seeking to scapegoat a particular section within our community,” Greens Sen. Kerry Nettle told local media.

Bulgarian gays in “‘Pink Point’ project gather in park to educate citizenry

Members of the Bulgarian Gay Organization Gemini (BGO Gemini) gathered in Sofia’s Actavis Park Aug. 11 to distribute brochures on gay issues and HIV prevention to the general public.

The “Pink Point” project aims to correct “misconceptions” about gay people and deliver “accurate and fair information,” said Gemini head Aksinia Gencheva.

The group also has begun handing out condoms and safe-sex information at gay bars.

Gay church launched in Malaysia

Malaysia’s first gay church held its initial service in a Kuala Lumpur hotel Aug. 12. About 80 people attended.

The church loosely affiliated with the U.S.-based, gay-oriented Metropolitan Community Churches is headed by the Rev. Ou Yang Wen Feng, who is believed to be Malaysia’s first openly gay Christian pastor. He was ordained in May in the U.S.

Advance media reports on the service caused Ou Yang to receive a flood of hate mail and nasty text messages, he said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 24, 2007

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