NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION EQUALIZES GAYS
Gay and heterosexual couples are now treated equally under immigration rules, New Zealand Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel announced Sept. 29.
All couples must prove they have lived together in a genuine and stable partnership for one year when they seek a permanent-residency application for a foreign partner.
In the past, there was a two-year wait for de-facto and same-sex couples and no wait for married couples.
Couples who have been together less than a year can seek temporary permits.
UGANDAN GAYS MAY FORM POL PARTY
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Uganda has informed the government that gays will form their own political party if they are not granted equal rights, Kampala's The Monitor reported Oct. 6.
'We believe criminalizing us because of our nature is unfair,' GALA Chairman S.W.I. Lule said. 'If you fail to honor our request, we will be forced to form our political party to represent our interests.'
In response, Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Janat Mukwaya told The Monitor: 'I would advise them to read the Constitution. I don't think gays have a right in our Constitution.'
EGYPTIAN ARRESTS CONTINUE
Egypt continues to round up and arrest gay men by the hundreds, Human Rights Watch said Oct. 6.
In the latest incident, Cairo police blocked both ends of a bridge known for gay cruising and arrested 62 men found on the structure.
They were held for three days and released on bail after being charged with 'habitual practice of debauchery.' They face up to three years in prison.
'These arrests are only the latest in a two-year official campaign against homosexual conduct,' said Joe Stork, acting executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division. 'Many of those detained in the past have been tortured in detention.'
Stork charged police also continue to entrap Internet cruisers and provided details on several men jailed recently after seeking same-sex partners online.
ILGA TARGETS VATICAN
The European branch of the International Lesbian and Gay Association says the Vatican should be denied membership in organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe because of its hostility to human rights.
'We ... consider its recent attacks on lesbians and gays as incitement to hatred, and its call upon lawmakers and politicians to oppose legislation in favor of same-sex couples as an assault on human rights, disqualifying the Holy See to be a serious part of such organizations,' said ILGA-Europe Co-chair Kurt Krickler.
'The Vatican is one of the fiercest opponents to non-discrimination and equal rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people,' ILGA said. 'We strongly doubt that the Vatican, with such attitudes, can make any credible and convincing contributions to the international human rights and anti-discrimination discourse.'
KOREAN GAY ACTOR IS DE-BLACKLISTED
Well-known South Korean actor Hong Suk-chon, who was blacklisted from the television industry three years ago after coming out as gay, is appearing in a new program.
He plays a gay designer on the SBC network's twice-weekly miniseries Perfect Love.
'The night before [we started taping], I didn't sleep, I was too nervous,' Hong told The New York Times. 'I was terrible. ... I made a lot of bloopers. But the other actors, they understood.
'Before I came out, no one talked about homosexuality in Korea,' Hong added. 'But then everybody was talking about it. I think Koreans are starting to accept homosexuality.'
GAY WEDDING PRIEST DEFROCKED
The Russian Orthodox priest who conducted the nation's first known same-sex wedding was defrocked Oct. 6.
Father Vladimir Enert accepted $450 to marry Denis Gogolev, 27, and Mikhail Morozov, 23, in the city of Nizhny Novgorod Sept. 1.
'I simply wanted to marry the man I love,' Gogolev told Reuters.
The church quickly voided the wedding and suspended Enert. Now it has stripped him of his priesthood altogether.
'We have decided to expel Father Vladimir Enert from sacred office after he voluntarily carried out this blasphemous act,' a spokesman said.
Nizhny Novgorod, previously named Gorky, is 248 miles (400 km) east of Moscow on the Volga and Oka rivers. It is Russia's third-largest city.
TRANNIES DENIED REGISTRATION
The Argentine transvestite-transsexual organization ALITT (Association for the Fight for Transvestite-Transsexual Identity) was denied governmental registration Sept. 23.
In rejecting the application, Justice Ministry Inspector General Ricardo Augusto Nissen wrote: 'I consider that the aims listed by ALITT ... do not fall into the category of 'public good' required of legally registered organizations under Article 33 of the Civil Code. It does not seem to me that 'to fight for recognition of transvestism as an identity by both society and the State' nor 'building transvestite-transsexual citizenship' offer a valuable framework for the development of coexistence.'