Nigeria's "Jail All the Gays Bill" may still not have been passed to President Goodluck Jonathan for his signature, signaling some possible delays before he signs the measure after it was passed Dec. 18, 2013, according to Gay Star News. It adds to the country's criminalization of homosexuality, which already sees harsh jail penalties and the death penalty in northern states. Speculation now ranges from Jonathan being forced to sign the measure to him possibly referring the bill to the National Human Rights Commission.
The Calendario Romano, or Roman Calendar, has garnered a lot of attentionbecause it features younger, handsome Italian priests. However, photographer Piero Pazzi said the portraits are solely intended to promote the Eternal City and inform visitors about the Vatican, according to TheLocal.it. The subjects are all genuine priests, usually snapped in Rome during Holy Week, Pazzi added, although he also travels to Seville to capture clergymen during the Spanish city's Holy Week procession.
In a new Care2 petition, 11,000 people are asking the British government to extend pardons to all men charged under the Labouchere Amendment, which punished any act of homosexuality with jail time, hard labor or, in the case of Alan Turing, chemical castration, according to a media release. The petition's author, activist Steve Williams, writes that being gay should never have been a crime, and it's time for all of those innocent people ensnared by this law to receive pardons.
Two trans men working for the government in Bahrain have been given initial approval for gender reassignment, Pink News reported. This development is expected to lead to them being allowed to undergo gender-reassignment surgery abroad, and to be legally recognized as male. Both will be asked to see the medical examiner before and after the surgical procedure. The attorney representing them, Fawzia Janahi, is reportedly the only lawyer specializing in gender-identity cases in the region.
Coca-Cola included a same-sex marriage in the anthem spot for its new global campaign; however, gay-rights advocates say the brand is already backing down on its support by editing the scene out of an Irish version of the ad, according to Ad Week. The "Reasons to Believe" anthem spot posted online and running in The Netherlands, Norway and Great Britain features several happy moments, including a male same-sex couple getting married. A Coca-Cola spokesperson said the marriage was removed from the Irish ad because "while civil partnership for gay people is legal, gay marriage currently is not."
Maria Maksakovaan opera star and a member of Russia's parliamentis speaking out against the nation's controversial "gay propaganda" legislation, The Wall Street Journal reported. Maksakova, a mezzo -soprano soloist with St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater, said, "We are seeing extremely negative consequences as the result of this law with the growth of hate crimes. ... Our country has suffered a colossal loss to its image around the world." Maksakova added the effect of the law was being felt more keenly by lesser-known musicians who were seeing themselves lose gigs abroadbecause of the measure.
A former member of the Swiss Guard, the pope's security force, has alleged that during his tenure many Roman Catholic clergy members, including bishops and cardinals, solicited him for sex, Advocate.com reported. The guard told Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag that he had received as many as 20 "unambiguous requests" from clergy for sexual liaisons. Spokesmen for the Vatican and the Swiss Guard said they did not believe the former guard's report.
In Australia, the Migration Review Tribunal has postponed the deportation of Ali Choudhry, a gay Pakistani man, while considering his case, according to Gay Star News. Choudhry had been due to be deported on Jan. 8, which was also his birthday. Choudhry and partner Dr. Matthew Hynd were one of the first couples to enter into a civil union in 2012 under Queensland law before the incoming Liberal-National Party state government abolished the law. However that, Choudry was told he was not in a "long-standing relationship" after he forgot to renew his student visa when his documents were sent to the wrong address.
The Democracy Council ( www.democracycouncil.org ), a civil-society organization, will celebrate the launch of its new LGBT Global Rights Initiative at a party in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, according to a press release. The new initiative will work directly with LGBT activists in repressive societies, including Russia and Iran, providing resources, tools and training to grassroots organizations. Greg Louganis, the Olympic gold medalist who has been outspoken regarding the safety of LGBT athletes at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, will be among the speakers at the launch event. Activist Dr. Jay Michaelson is coordinating the initiative.
After 13 years, shock jock Dean Blundell's radio show has been permanently pulled from Toronto's 102.1 The Edge in the wake of troubles that included anti-gay remarks, according to CBC.ca. The show had been suspended Dec. 12, 2013, after Blundell producer Derek Welsmanwho was the jury foreman on a sex-assault casejoked about the sexual orientation of those involved in the case. Blundell apologized but was suspended, nonetheless.