EURO COURT RULES FOR TRANSSEXUALS
The European Court of Justice said Jan. 7 that transsexuals
must have equal access to marriage and pension rights.
The court was responding to a request for advice
from Britain's Court of Appeal in a case where a woman is contesting her partner's ineligibility to apply for a
The case now faces further consideration in England, but could soon become
irrelevant there since legislation to allow transsexuals to change their birth certificates and marry is presently
moving through the House of Lords.
The Euro court's opinion applies to the other 14 European Union
nations as well.
In 2002, the European Court of Human Rights—the court of final appeal for citizens of the
45 nations that make up the Council of Europe—also ruled in favor of transsexuals' right to
SINGAPORE MAY CHANGE SEX LAWS
Singapore is considering decriminalization of oral
sex but only for opposite-sex couples.
The move follows the arrest and jailing of a 27-year-old policeman
for receiving fellatio from a 15-year-old girl.
Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee
said Penal Code Section 377 may be revised within three months to permit heterosexual oral sex between
people age 16 and above.
Current law criminalizes 'whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the
order of nature with any man, woman or animals.' The punishment is up to life in prison.
Penal Code Section 377A, specifically bans sex between men. It states, 'Any male person who, in public or
private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male
person of, any gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term
which may extend to two (2) years.'
Ho said that law, too, is being looked at, but gave no details.
Meanwhile, Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Jan. 6 that the nation may lift its ban on
gay activist groups. The remark came during a speech to the local Harvard Club.
Russia has a new gay magazine, KVIR (Queer). It launched in August and distributes 15,000 copies
in clubs, saunas and bookstores from Moscow to Vladivostok. All of Russia's other gay magazines had gone
out of business.
Advertisers include dentists and travel, hair-removal and security companies, but the
publication is still losing money, reported the Moscow Times.
Surveying indicates that the typical KVIR
reader is between 30 and 35, has an above-average income, and is 20 percent more likely than the average
Russian to have a car, apartment and credit card.
The magazine emerged from the Gay.ru Web site
founded by Ed Mishin, who also has set up a small gay center.
'When people come to [the center's]
support group, they often say in the feedback session that the most important thing that they got out of the
group was the realization that it's possible to be gay and normal,' Mishin told the Times. 'They say, 'I saw
normal people, and it just astounded me.''
Sky TV will reportedly pay about $925,000 each to six men who threatened to sue over their participation in a
reality show where they did not know the woman they were courting was a transsexual.
There's Something About Miriam, was postponed after the men issued their threat but now reportedly will be
aired. The suitors said they were traumatized and devastated upon learning they had kissed and cuddled a
woman who used to be a man.
They alleged breach of contract, deceit, personal injury and sexual
nation of Trinidad and Tobago, which bans male-male sex, has nonetheless passed a bill that protects gay
and transgender people, Trinidad & Tobago Newsday reported Jan. 11.
The House of Representatives
included 'gender or sexual preference' among the protected categories in a measure that restricts when
someone can be extradited to another nation to face criminal charges.
The law would apply to crimes in
other nations that are punished with death or imprisonment for more than one year.
The measure amends
the Extradition Act 'to prevent an accused person's return to a declared Commonwealth territory or a declared
foreign territory if it is determined that the request for his return is based on his sex, gender or sexual
preference,' according to the official notes attached to it.
The bill now moves to the Senate.
COP HONORED BY QUEEN
The chair of the United Kingdom's Gay Police Association, Inspector Paul Cahill, was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's annual New Year's honors list. The award recognizes Cahill's 'services to diversity in the police and the wider community.'
Another MBE went to Anne Patrizio, 63, who runs the Parents Enquiry Scotland hotline for people with gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender children.
A detailed explanation of the British honors system can be found online at www.cabinet-office.gov .uk/ceremonial/.