Spanish deputy prime
minister: I'm not gay
Spanish Deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega has denied Internet rumors that she's a lesbian and secretly got married to a well-known female sportscaster.
'Man, finally someone asks me!' she told El Mundo newspaper's Sunday magazine Feb. 24, four years after the rumors began circulating.
'Well, look, no,' she said. 'It's a rumor about me that they've invented to do damage, using something that—hear me—I absolutely respect. I have no homophobia. But I'm not homosexual! If I were, I would have no problem in saying so. But it's just that I'm not!'
As for the TV sportscaster, 'What's up with that!' she exclaimed. 'I don't know her, we've never seen each other in our lives, and they have me married to her!'
Fernández de la Vega, who also is the government's spokesperson, said that although her mother always told her she had to get married, she is extremely happy 'being alone on my sofa, relaxing with a little music, without hearing anybody, without telephones ringing!'
Spanish gays picket
Spain's opposition Popular Party is threatening to undo the nation's 2005 legalization of same-sex marriage if it wins the March 9 election.
Gay activists picketed the party headquarters Feb. 16, saying they were appalled at the party's desire to turn back the clock.
They carried signs saying, 'We are for a secular state' and 'No to religious dictatorship.'
Same-sex marriage also is legal in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa and Massachusetts.
Police tear-gassed anti-gay protesters outside the Grande Mosque in Dakar, Senegal, Feb. 15.
The rock-throwing demonstrators were protesting the release from custody of 10 men who were jailed after the sensationalistic magazine Icône published photos of an alleged gay wedding the men supposedly had attended.
The protesters set trash piles on fire, blocked streets and chanted, 'We don't want homosexuals' and 'God is great.'
Penal Code Article 319 punishes homosexual acts with up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.
Most Dutch OK with gay prime minister
Seventy-eight percent of Dutch people would be OK with having a gay prime minister, according to a poll of 21,000 members of TV program EenVandaag's permanent opinion panel, NIS News Bulletin reported Feb. 6.
The panel also would be fine with a prime minister who is female ( 93 percent approval ) , unmarried ( 90 percent approval ) , atheist ( 87 percent ) , Black ( 75 percent ) or Jewish ( 53 percent ) .
But only 27 percent of the panel would support an Islamic prime minister and only 33 percent would be OK with a fundamentalist Christian prime minister.
—Assistance: Bill Kelley