November 10, 2006
In other news…
Posted by: Chris
- In Jerusalem, several thousand gay men and lesbians defied threats of violence and participated in the city's gay pride event. Organizers had planned a march, but after threats of violence from ultra-Orthodox Jews, they negotiated with police to hold the event inside a stadium. Even still, some 3,000 police were on hand to protect the 4,000 gays and their supporters. The right-wing Jews (Judaists?) called on police to scrap the event entirely, a demand that was backed by the Vatican and fundamentalist Muslims. (Photo via AFP)
- In New Jersey, a Democrat has introduced legislation that would open up civil marriage to gay couples but make clear that no religion would be required to perform them. The measure faces long odds: It's opposed by the Democrats who lead both state houses, as well as Gov. Jon Corzine (D). Polls show voters leaning in favor of civil unions in response to the Supreme Court's decision there last month. Civil unions are backed 56-34%; marriage is opposed 41-50%.
- Legislators in South Africa, facing a constitutional court order demanding equal rights for gay and straight couples, is now weighing a measure that would avoid the "M" question entirely, adopting civil unions for all couples. The new approach represents a defeat for conservative elements within the ruling African National Congress who wanted to block marriage for gay couples by amending the country's constitution, which is the first ever to explicitly guarantee equal rights based on sexual orientation.
- Meanwhile in Mexico City, the local assembly is adopting "civil unions" for gay couples, backed by the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and opposed by the National Action Party of President Vincente Fox and President-Elect Felipe Calderon (pictured). It's not clear whether those unions carry all the same rights as marriage, as they do in Vermont and Connecticut, or whether they are really domestic partnerships, with limited legal recognition. Elsewhere in Latin America, legal recognition for gay couples has been adopted in Buenos Aires and the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grade do Sul. Similar measures have been debated in the national legislatures of Brazil, Costa Rica and Colombia, and has been introduced in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila.
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