Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



by Rex Wockner

This article shared 2474 times since Wed Feb 20, 2008
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Boris Dittrich, advocacy director of Human Rights Watch's LGBT Rights Program. HRW photo


Cuban culture minister supports same-sex marriage

Cuba's culture minister, Abel Prieto, has come out in support of same-sex marriage, the Miami Herald reported Feb. 6.

'I think that marriage between lesbians, between homosexuals can be perfectly approved and that in Cuba that wouldn't cause an earthquake or anything like that,' Prieto, who is a member of the Politburo, told reporters after a screening of a new documentary about folk singer Silvio Rodríguez.

Prieto, 57, also is a member of the Council of State, Cuba's governing body. The Herald noted that he is the only top government official with 'shoulder-length hair.'

Prieto's statement is one of several pro-gay developments in Cuba in the past year.

In November, Mariela Castro Espín, director of National Center for Sex Education ( CENESEX ) , said her dad, Raúl Castro, supports letting open gays serve in the military. Raúl Castro is leading Cuba during his brother Fidel's lengthy illness.

Castro Espín also has said the island will begin offering sex-change operations.

'There are 27 transsexuals waiting for the operation [ and ] the medical team is being trained,' she told the Buenos Aires newspaper Clarín three months ago. 'As soon as it's ready ... they will start to operate.'

In December, two Havana lesbians were symbolically married in CENESEX's courtyard. Mónica, 19, and Elizabeth, 28, tied the knot before 60 friends and supporters in the first-ever same-sex union to receive support from a government agency.

The ceremony was filmed by students from the Cuban Higher Institute of Art.

And last July, the Roman Catholic vicar general of Havana, Monsignor Carlos Manuel de Céspedes García-Menocal, wrote that he supports 'stable same-sex relationships' being 'protected by civil laws.'

'Contemporary Western society is no longer the same as that which arrived at present clarifications concerning marriage,' Céspedes said.

Romania considers


marriage ban

Romania's parliament is considering defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Current law defines it as 'between spouses.'

A bill passed unanimously Feb. 4 by the Senate Judiciary Committee would change the law to read, 'The marriage between a man and a woman is the basis of the family.'

Human Rights Watch denounced the measure.

'There is no excuse for playing politics with families' welfare,' said Boris Dittrich, advocacy director of HRW's LGBT Rights Program.

'These proposals not only deliberately discriminate against same-sex couples but threaten their families, including children. It is an insult to Romania's achievements elsewhere in overcoming discrimination.'

Spaniards support


marriage law

Three-quarters of Spaniards support the nation's two-year-old law that lets same-sex couples marry.

Spain is one of six countries that have opened traditional marriage to gay couples.

A new Instituto Opina/Cadena Ser poll found that 74.5 percent of respondents support the law and only 18.1 percent want to see it repealed. The remainder had no opinion.

President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero recently reaffirmed his support for gay marriage, saying, 'We will not take one step backward in our defense of tolerance and freedom.'

Pollsters questioned 1,000 Spanish adults by telephone on Jan. 8 and reported a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Same-sex couples also have access to full marriage in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa and the U.S. state of Massachusetts.

Swedish court:

Lesbians can

buy puppies

Lesbians must be allowed to buy dogs, a Stockholm appeals court affirmed Feb. 11.

A kennel owner in the Stockholm suburb of Värmdö, Anette Sjöholm, had refused to sell a puppy to a lesbian, Smila Bergström, because Sjöholm had read that transvestites are involved in animal pornography and she believed that made homosexuals untrustworthy.

The court unanimously rejected Sjöholm's defense, as did a lower district court, according to a report in the Stockholm publication The Local.

Sjöholm must pay Bergström $3,085 in damages for discrimination and harassment, and reimburse $6,940 to the state Ombudsman against Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation for its legal expenses.

U.N. turns down

gay groups

The United Nations Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations is again opposing and delaying gay groups' requests for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council ( ECOSOC ) .

On Feb. 11, the committee recommended denial of, or deferred action on, the applications of Spain's State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals ( FELGTB ) ; the Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals ( ABGLT ) ; and the Dutch national gay organization COC ( its former initials are now its full name ) .

'It was a shocking first experience at the U.N.,' said Joyce Hamilton of COC, whose application, along with that of ABGLT, was deferred. 'This blatant structural discrimination against LGBT organizations shows the need for a continued battle.'

FELGTB's application was recommended for rejection in a tie vote. Support for the application came from Colombia, Dominica, Israel, Peru, Romania, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Opposition came from Burundi, China, Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia and Sudan. Four nations abstained—Angola, Guinea, India and Turkey—and Cuba missed the vote.

'Even getting this negative recommendation was difficult in the NGO committee today,' said FELGTB's Toni Poveda. 'Representatives of Egypt, Pakistan and Qatar constantly came up with additional questions for us and claimed that proceeding to a vote on whether or not to grant consultative status to the group—before all questions are answered—would constitute preferential treatment.'

The negative recommendation actually puts FELGTB in a better position than COC and ABGLT.

'There is clearly a group of countries in this committee which insists on blocking the applications of LGBT groups from one session to another, preventing them to reach the full ECOSOC, where [ this committee's ] position does not have a majority,' said FELGTB's Sylvia Jaén. 'We were successful in overcoming this situation but unfortunately our Dutch and Brazilian friends were not.'

Groups that have succeeded in achieving ECOSOC consultative status in recent years include the Swedish national gay group RFSL ( its former initials are now its full name ) , Canada's Coalition gaie et lesbienne du Québec, the Danish National Association for Gays and Lesbians, the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany, International Wages Due Lesbians, Australia's Coalition of Activist Lesbians, and the European branch of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

The status allows nongovernmental organizations—some 2,900 in all—to access U.N. meetings, deliver oral and written reports, contact country representatives and organize events.

Israel OKs

gay adoption

Israel's Justice Ministry announced Feb. 10 that same-sex couples can adopt children.

'When it is for the good of the adopted child, it is possible to agree to requests from same-sex couples to adopt a child who is not the child of one of the partners,' the ministry announced on behalf of Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.

Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog welcomed the move, saying: 'There is no reason why same-sex couples who meet the criteria for adoption should not be able to join the process of adoption and of parenthood. We must adapt to the spirit of the times and the changes that are afoot.'

Ultra-Orthodox lawmakers denounced the decision, saying it will lead to children being placed in an unnatural environment.

—Assistance: Bill Kelley

This article shared 2474 times since Wed Feb 20, 2008
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

NATIONAL Foster-parent case, stars speak out, Texas youth, 'Queer Eye,' HIV
Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Lambda Legal, together with the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along ...

Gay News

WORLD Plus magazine, The Guardian, Dutch princess, anti-trans ruling
The largest circulated HIV publication in the country, Plus, unveiled its 25 Amazing People of the Year, per a press release. Just a few of the individuals are actor Billy Porter; Mandisa Nikita Dukashe: South African ...

Gay News

Jury selection in Smollett trial starts Nov. 29
The Jussie Smollett saga continues. Almost three years since out actor Jussie Smollett (TV's Empire; the film Alien: Covenant) was allegedly attacked in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, Cook County Judge James ...

Gay News

Attorneys general file pro-transgender brief
A coalition of 20 attorneys general, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and New York counterpart Letitia James, filed an amicus brief in the case of Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, opposing the plaintiffs' efforts ...

Gay News

Chicago Plumbing Code allows all-gender multiple occupancy restrooms
--From a Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP) press release - CHICAGO — The Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP) applauds passage Thursday by the Chicago City Council of the plumbing code modernization ordinance that will allow businesses and building owners to ...

Gay News

WORLD Japan politics, video games, lesbian tennis player, Mr. Gay World
LGBTQ+-rights activists were hoping Japan would finally allow same-sex marriage if Taro Kono, who has publicly supported same-sex marriage, became the country's next prime minister—but their hopes were dashed. Japan's ...

Gay News

SAVOR Adorn Bar & Restaurant, take two
The last time I stopped by Adorn Bar & Restaurant—in the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware St. (which was also the first time I went there)—I encountered one of the most innovative brunch menus ever, ...

Gay News

Appeals court reinstates Texas abortion law
On Oct. 8, a federal appeals court put a temporary hold on a judge's order that had blocked Texas' six-week abortion ban, reported. Just two days earlier, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued an order ...

Gay News

Toni Preckwinkle addresses security incidents
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle released a statement regarding two recent situations connected with her security detail. "In the past few months, there have been two separate incidents when members of my Executive Detail have ...

Gay News

Ex-NU professor found guilty of murdering boyfriend
On Oct. 7, Cook County jurors deliberated for less than two hours before finding former Northwestern University Wyndham Lathem guilty in the gruesome stabbing death of his boyfriend, The Chicago Tribune reported. Jurors heard about a ...

Gay News

Federal judge blocks strict Texas abortion law
On Oct. 6, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued an order blocking the state's six-week abortion ban, according to Texas Lawyer. Pitman, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, granted the department's request for ...

Gay News

Equality Now's virtual global gala Oct. 12
Equality Now announced that its annual Make Equality Reality Gala will be held Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT. Since 1992, Equality Now has worked to ensure that laws treat men and women ...

Gay News

"I can't be silent": Michael O'Connor discusses his longtime activism
By Kayleigh Padar - Years ago, longtime activist Michael O'Connor heard that some Black legislators in Illinois didn't want to support the Marriage Equality Act because they didn't believe Black people would benefit from same-sex marriage. He decided to prove ...

Gay News

New Supreme Court session: Religion dominates
First in the spotlight as the U.S. Supreme Court begins its new session Monday (October 4) is the seemingly precarious state of the right to abortion, an issue LGBT groups have long considered to be of ...

Gay News

Out state Sen. Mike Simmons aims to 'prioritize people' in economic, healthcare equity fight
Each week, Illinois state Sen. Mike Simmons' constituents pile into his office to share ideas about how to improve their lives. Through conversations with single mothers raising young children in poverty, residents facing displacement and teenagers ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.