Pictured A TALE OF TWO CITIES, LEFT: The July hangings in Iran. Photo courtesy of the Iranian Students News Agency. RIGHT: The Netherlands' first-in-the-world same-sex weddings, in 2001. Photo by Rex Wockner
Iran reportedly hangs more gays
Two more gay men have been executed in Iran, the Iran Focus Web site reported Nov. 13, quoting the daily newspaper Kayhan.
Mokhtar N., 24, and Ali A., 25, were hanged in Shahid Bahonar Square in the northern city of Gorgan for the crime of 'lavat' (homosexual relationship).
According to Iran Focus, 'The newspaper said the 'criminal past' of the two young men included kidnapping and rape, but the report made it clear that the 'crime' for which they were hanged was lavat, which means homosexual relationship between two men or sodomy.'
This wording suggests that Iran Focus may be aware of the international controversy surrounding the hangings of two gay teens in the city of Mashad in July.
The government claimed the teens were executed for raping a boy, but some human-rights groups have said they have reasons to believe the two were hanged solely for engaging in gay sex.
'Underground gay groups inside Iran tell us that the two teenagers were lovers,' said the British gay-rights group OutRage!.
'Iran often pins false charges of rape, kidnapping, spying, alcoholism and adultery on people it executes, in order to minimize public sympathy for the victims and discourage public protests.'
HIV+ blood donors charged with crimes in Singapore
Five HIV-positive Singaporean men are in trouble for allegedly lying to blood banks about their sexual histories, the Straits Times reported Nov. 10.
The men face charges of violating the Infectious Diseases Act by declaring on blood-donation questionnaires that they, variously, never had sex with a man, had not had more than one sex partner, or had not had sex with anyone they'd not known for at least six months.
The newspaper published the men's full names and ages.
They face up to two years in prison if convicted. They are due in court again on Dec. 12.
More Dutch gay couples are cohabiting
There are 14,000 more same-sex couples living together in the Netherlands than there were 10 years ago, Statistics Netherlands reported this month.
The number of cohabiting same-sex couples has risen from about 39,000 to 53,000, Expatica.com said.
Ten percent of the couples are registered partners and 12 percent are married. The Netherlands is one of four nations where gay couples have access to regular marriage.
About 29,000 of the couples are men and 24,000 are women. Eighteen percent of the female couples and one percent of the male couples have a child or children living with them.
The same-sex couples amount to just over 1 percent of all cohabiting Dutch couples.
Same-sex marriage also is legal in Belgium, Canada, Spain and the U.S. state of Massachusetts.
Malaysia won't recognize sex-change marriage
Malaysia will not recognize a marriage between a man and a postoperative transsexual woman, Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said Nov. 15.
Jessie Chung and Joshua Beh tied the knot before 800 friends and relatives Nov. 12 in Kuching, Sarawak. Pastors from three Protestant churches presided over the ceremony.
But Malaysia doesn't allow citizens to change the gender on their identity card for any reason.
'If they apply [for a marriage certificate], we definitely will ask for their identity cards,' Azmi's assistant, Datuk Tan Chai Ho, told the Star newspaper. 'I think that is why they did not apply for it.'
2010 Gay Games
go to Cologne
Cologne, Germany, beat out Paris and Johannesburg to host the 2010 Gay Games, the Federation of Gay Games announced Nov. 13.
The 2006 games are being held in Chicago, from July 15 to 22. A competing event, the 1st World Outgames, is being staged in Montreal from July 29 to Aug. 5.
Montreal originally was to host the 2006 Gay Games but local organizers and the federation could not agree on financial matters and attendance expectations, and Montreal set off on its own.
The 2006 games then relocated to Chicago.
Assistance: Bill Kelley