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This article shared 1630 times since Wed Mar 31, 2004
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Spain's new Socialist prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, said March 18 that the nation will give same-sex couples all the rights of marriage. 'We are going to present a bill to set gay unions on the same footing as marriage,' he told Telecinco TV. 'From a semantic point of view, marriage may be a concept that does not cover this type of union, but it will have the same legal effects.'



Ecuadorian gay activist Patricio Ordóñez Maico was knifed in the chest and back March 12 in the Quito office of the gay group Friends for Life Foundation by an attacker who shouted, 'I'm going to kill you, you son of a bitch.'

The attack happened a week after Ordóñez spoke at an international human-rights meeting about a complaint he has filed against National Police officers who allegedly assaulted him, sexually abused him and threatened to kill him.

On March 19, Amnesty International urged its supporters to appeal for Ordóñez' protection.


Saudi Arabia is blocking access to gay Web sites, including, and, Reporters Without Borders said March 22.

'Officially [Saudi] filtering is only supposed to be applied to pornographic publications or those directly harming Islam,' the group said. 'In fact, the Saudi Internet blacklist extends to other areas, from political sites to non-recognized Islamist sites. ... We condemn this extension of censorship, which is in the process of reducing the country's network to an Intranet, as in Burma or Cuba.' posts gay-related news from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Neither it nor publishes pornography. allows users to post nude photos of themselves in their personal profiles.

''The Kingdom of Censorship' has erected one of the Internet's largest filtering systems,' the reporters said. 'Saudi authorities say that they block access to nearly 400,000 Web pages, explaining that the censorship aims to 'protect citizens from content that is offensive or violates the principles of the Islamic religion and social norms.''



The city assembly of Yame, Japan, in Fukuoka Prefecture, passed a draft antidiscrimination ordinance March 22 but refused to include gays, Japan Today and Kyodo News reported.

A rejected clause banned discrimination 'related to sexual identity disorder and other gender issues,' which city officials said was meant to cover same-sex relationships.

Assembly members said the language was too ambiguous and could have been used to protect pedophiles.


Gays can get fully married in the Canadian province of British Columbia but the government still doesn't like them reading smutty books.

As its 20-year battle against Customs seizures drags on, Vancouver's gay bookstore, Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium, is feeling so beaten down by the fight that it has applied for government funding to continue the struggle.

The store's Mark Macdonald says the owners have spent half a million dollars fighting Customs over the years and probably need another million to push on. The latest skirmish concerns 'The Meatmen' gay SM comic books.

'It boils down to freedom of expression for all Canadians, and in the hands of Customs, it's been handled badly for decades,' Macdonald told the Canadian Press wire service.



The government of the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar, which is part of the nation of Tanzania, has drafted a bill to ban same-sex marriage and punish gay sex with life in prison.

An existing national law punishes gay sex with 14 years in prison, but it is rarely enforced.

The Zanzibari proposal also would punish men who marry men with a 25-year sentence and women who marry women with a seven-year sentence.

'We have heard that same-sex marriages have taken place here and we want to guard against this trend,' Deputy Attorney General Omar Makungu told the BBC.



A Spanish sailor who declared himself transsexual will be allowed to return to work as a woman.

A military medical tribunal declared helicopter mechanic José Antonio Gordo Pantoja, 30, fit for service March 25.

'I am so happy I have screamed for joy,' he told reporters.

Gordo Pantoja has served for eight years and is presently taking hormones in advance of gender-reassignment surgery.

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