Three religions target gays in Jerusalem
A dozen Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders ganged up on gays in Jerusalem March 30, strongly denouncing August's planned Jerusalem WorldPride 2005 march and festivities.
'We are shocked to have received notice that a worldwide assembly of ten days including an immodest parade devoid of minimal propriety is scheduled to be held in Jerusalem this summer, which will offend the very foundations of our religious values and the character of the Holy City,' said the group, which included Israel's chief rabbis, the Latin patriarch, the Vatican ambassador to the Holy Land, three Muslim sheiks and representatives of the Armenian and Greek Orthodox patriarchates.
'Such an event would constitute a severe affront to the hearts and souls of adherents of all religions—Jews, Christians and Moslems alike,' the declaration said. 'We call upon and demand ... the Israeli government and all responsible officials and Israeli police to realize the full implications of their plans and to prohibit any march of this kind, and especially in the Holy City of Jerusalem.'Read more story below....
At a press conference to release the statement, Yehuda Levin, who said he represents more than 1,000 U.S. Orthodox rabbis, called the parade 'spiritual rape,' and said: 'This is not the homo land. This is the Holy Land.'
Vatican Ambassador Archbishop Pietro Sambi suggested the parade would provoke violence.
'No one can be sure it will go on in a peaceful way,' he said.
Muslim Sheik Abdel Aziz Bukhari said the parade could cause God to destroy Jerusalem to express disapproval of sodomy.
The last WorldPride was in Rome in 2000. The event is a project of InterPride, the International Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Coordinators.
Two gay Israeli couples who got married in Canada filed a petition with Israel's High Court of Justice March 28 demanding the Interior Ministry's Population Registry recognize their marriages.
Full same-sex marriage is legal in eight of Canada's 13 provinces and territories, and there are no residency requirements or, except in Quebec, waiting periods.
In their petition, Yossi Ben-Ari and Lorn Shomen, and Yosef Bar-Lev and Yaron Lahav, argue that previous court rulings prohibit the registry from using religious concerns to ignore a request to change a person's status based on an action abroad, according to a report in the Ha'aretz newspaper.
university gay group
Vandals scrawled 'Kill all fags' and 'All fags must die' on the walls and doors of the University of Adelaide's 'Queer Space' room, Australia's Advertiser newspaper reported March 28. The room also was trashed. Posters were ripped down and literature was stolen.
'We seem to be living in a society which is not progressing anymore but regressing into bigoted, homophobic attitudes,' said David Kavanagh, one of the Students' Association's sexuality officers. 'I went in there personally after the vandalism had occurred and felt quite violated.'
The office's door is always left unlocked so that first-time visitors struggling with their sexuality will face one less obstacle on the road to coming out.
In a second and final vote, Honduras' National Congress unanimously amended the constitution March 29 to ban same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.
The amendment also forbids recognition of same-sex marriages or civil unions from other nations.
Gay activists said they may respond with an outing campaign.
Swiss Army officers form gay club
Gay officers in Switzerland's Army have formed a gay officers' club, London's Gay Times reported in its April issue.
Founder Lt. Silvan Amberg, 22, believes it may be the first such official club in the world.
There are about a dozen members so far.
to help gays
Protocol 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which should be of help to gays, came into force April 1.
It grants individuals the right not to be discriminated against and requires public authorities not to allow discrimination. Sexual-orientation discrimination is not explicitly listed as prohibited, but European Court of Human Rights case law has found such discrimination to breach the convention.
'This is a very significant legal development in European antidiscrimination legislation which has great potential for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe who still experience discrimination in many areas of their lives,' said Patricia Prendiville, executive director of the European arm of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.
To date, only 11 of the 46 European countries that are signatories to the convention have ratified Protocol 12: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Georgia, Macedonia, Netherlands, San Marino, and Serbia and Montenegro.
Uruguay gets gay
Latin America's first gay public space and monument was unveiled in Uruguay by Montevideo Mayor Mariano Arana on Feb. 2.
The Plaza de la Diversidad Sexual ( Sexual Diversity Plaza ) is located in the historic city center and is marked with a granite pink-triangle plaque sitting atop a concrete base.
The plaque reads, 'Honoring Diversity is Honoring Life: Montevideo for the Respect of all Genders, Identities and Sexual Orientations.'
'I want nothing more of this night than to remember the countless men and women who where persecuted, burned, mutilated and killed, condemned for the crime of simply being themselves, and to praise the numerous activists who have had the courage to publicly say 'Yes we are different, and so what?'' said writer and activist Eduardo Galeano at the ceremony.