ROMANIAN DISCO RAIDED
Police in Bucharest, Romania, raided the gay Casablanco Disco Club Jan. 19.
Thirty patrons who were not carrying identification were taken to Police Station 14 and photographed and fingerprinted, activists said.
The raid followed by two days public allegations by the gay organization ACCEPT that a gay activist had been insulted and abused after being summoned to a police station.
GAYS MARCH IN MELBOURNE
About 35,000 people and 80 organizations joined in Melbourne, Australia's Midsumma Pride March Jan. 21.
The parade went down Fitzroy Street in the St. Kilda area.
The biggest cheers went to the People Living With AIDS contingent and to GALPEN, the gay police employees group.
State Health Minister MP John Thwaites was also a crowd-pleaser, local media reported.
GUYANA RIGHTS BILL DELAYED
A bill that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and other factors that passed Guyana's National Assembly 55 to 0 has been returned to the parliament by President Bharrat Jadgeo for reconsideration.
The unprecedented move followed a Jan. 25 meeting between Jagdeo and religious leaders who oppose protecting gays.
If the Assembly passes the measure a second time&emdash;by a two-thirds vote&emdash; then Jagdeo must sign it or dissolve parliament.
Guyana&emdash;site of the infamous 1978 mass suicide by more than 900 followers of People's Temple cult leader Jim Jones &emdash;is on the north coast of South America.
ANTI-GAY VICAR WITHHOLDS FUNDS
The Rev. Charles Raven of St. John the Baptist church in Kidderminster, England, is withholding $22,000 of his congregation's annual $58,700 contribution to the Church of England's Worcester diocese because Raven disagrees with Bishop Peter Selby's stance on homosexuality.
Selby supports ordination of open gays, including those with lovers.
DUTCH PRIESTS SUPPORT GAY UNIONS
Roman Catholic priests in The Netherlands are surprisingly pro-gay, a survey by De Gay Krant magazine has found.
The magazine mailed a questionnaire to 783 parishes and got a response from 339 of them. Forty-two percent of the responses were anonymous.
All but one priest said gays are welcome in his church. Ninety-five percent said sexually active gays are welcome to take communion&emdash;a violation of church teaching. Fifty-six percent said they would bless a homosexual union in their church and 83 percent said they would do so in private.
Catholic teaching maintains that sexually active gays are living in "mortal sin." The soul of an individual who dies without confessing and being absolved of a mortal sin is condemned to Hell, the church teaches. During life, anyone who has committed a mortal sin and has not been absolved of it is barred from receiving communion. Receiving communion while living in mortal sin is itself an additional mortal sin.
The church's anti-gay doctrines are based on its beliefs that sexual acts are permissible only between opposite-sex spouses and that those acts must be open to the possibility of pregnancy. As such, birth control, oral sex and masturbation are also mortal sins.
HIV DIAGNOSES UP IN BRITAIN
HIV diagnoses were up in Britain last year by seven percent&emdash;2,868 new cases were recorded.
Self-described gay or bisexual men accounted for 1,096 cases, heterosexuals for 1,315.
Government AIDS chief Barry Evans said many of the diagnoses were not new infections but rather people infected in earlier years who only recently were tested.
"Many of the diagnoses, however, are new infections which indicate that transmission of the virus continues to occur," he said.