BBC newsreader Jane Hill has announced that she will enter a civil partnership with her partner, Sara, according to Pink News. Hill, 42, who came out publicly in 2009, has worked on the BBC's 24-hour channel for 14 years. She tweeted, "Yes, Sara & I are getting hitched. Still a bit shocked I think! (and hungover)."
So far, the Welsh rugby team the Ospreys has not responded to inquiries that one of its players, Kristian Phillips, calling British Big Brother 2011 winner Aaron Allard-Morgan a "faggot" on Twitter, Pink News reported. Allard-Morgan kissed fellow male contestant Jay McKray on the lips as part of a game on the show. The Welsh Rugby Union said it was a matter for the team.
Russian gay-rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev has criticized a measure passed in St. Petersburg that prohibits "propaganda of homosexuality" to minors, according to the Huffington Post. The dominant United Russia party proposed the bill, which passed 27-1 (with one abstention) in the first of three required readings. Alexeyev said the bill could become "the main legal reason to deny any public actions by the LGBT community."
Dr. Carys Massarellawho says she is the first transgender individual to be president of a major hospital medical staff in the worldbelieves the transgender community has to work on its own to have its community accepted, according to TheSpec.com . "Being transgender is no different thanGod forbidbeing heterosexual," Massarella (of Ontario, Canada's, McMaster University) told about 100 people marking the annual Trans Day of Remembrance.
After the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo were fire-bombed after printing a controversial cartoon of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, the satirical publication responded with a depiction of Muhammad making out with an editor of Charlie Hebdo, according to the Huffington Post. The twosome is shown under a banner that reads, "Love is stronger than hate." Muslim groups in France are upset over what they perceive to be the media's continued provocation and discrimination; however, the extremist reaction has played into the French conservatives' skepticism of Islam.
In Switzerland, politician Christophe Darbellay has stirred controversy by comparing gay adoption to drug use, the Huffington Post reported. Darbellay, leader of the center-right Christian Democrats (CVP), made the comment just as the country's Council of States voted to change the law to make same-sex adoption easier. "I wouldn't suddenly legalize cocaine just because half a million people consume it," he told Le Temps newspaper; he since has said, "I simply wanted to say that just because something exists, does not mean that it has to be legalized."
Huarmey, Peru, Mayor Jose Benitez fears that high mineral levels in the area's drinking water might be responsible for a perceived increase in the number of gay men in the town, according to the Huffington Post. Benitez made the statement at the launch of a local water-access project, where he noted elevated levels of the element strontium in the tap water. LGBT Asylum News quoted Benitez as saying, "Unfortunately strontium reduces male hormones and suddenly we'll be as Tabalosos, as other towns, where the percentages are increasing of homosexuality."
Angie Dowds, the popular lesbian trainer who was on the UK version of The Biggest Loser since it started, apparently jumped to her death, according to SheWired.com . Spectators reported seeing a woman who either jumped or fell from a cliff in East Sussex, England. Earlier this year Dowds, 42, was briefly suspended from the show for advising her team to only eat nuts and fruit before a weigh-in.
Denmark's government wants to allow gay and lesbian couples to get married in formal church weddings instead of the short blessing ceremonies the state Lutheran Church offers, according to the Huffington Post. The government plans to propose the change in February. Denmark's Church Affairs Ministry says the statutory change would put Denmark on par with countries such as Iceland and Sweden, which allow full wedding ceremonies for gay couples.
There is controversy in Australia after organizers of the Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have changed the name of the 33-year-old event to the Sydney Mardi Gras, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Mardi Gras Chair Peter Urmson said, "We fought for this day, the day we could embrace the wider community and be inclusive." He added that LGBT individuals will remain the heart of the festival, but he also said that anyone who wants to celebrate diversity is invited.
In Cameroon, three men have been sentenced to five years in prison for engaging in same-sex acts, the BBC reported. Two of the accused were in court in the capital of Yaounde, but a third man was sentenced in absentia because he had jumped bail. The men denied the allegations that they had oral sex in a car; their attorney, Alice Nkom, said they were arrested because they looked feminine.
On Nov. 21, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro met with the leaders of Aguda: The National Association of GLBT in Israel, an umbrella organization that represents LGBT issues in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) and at the local level, according to a press release. The meeting took place at the Gay and Lesbian Center of Tel Avivthe scene of a hate crime in 2009 where a gunman opened fire in the club, killing two people and injuring at least 15.
Members of the pro-LGBT groups Sangama and the Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum have condemned the Delhi government in India for not putting fire-safety systems in place that, they contend, led to the charring to death of 15 hijras (transgender individuals) in a fire Nov. 20, according to the Hindu. The fire blazed through a makeshift tent where a large number of hijras had gathered to honor deceased friends.