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The worldwide Anglican Communion—70 million Christians in 164 nations—began disintegrating Nov. 3, the day after the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of Anglicanism, consecrated openly gay and openly non-celibate Gene Robinson as the bishop of its New Hampshire diocese.

National Anglican churches in Kenya, Uganda, Egypt and Nigeria either declared themselves no longer in full union with the Diocese of New Hampshire, no longer in full union with the entire U.S. Episcopal Church, or unwilling to recognize Robinson's bishopric.

'The Devil has clearly entered the church,' said the head of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi. 'God cannot be mocked.'

Archbishop Peter Akinola, head of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), stated: 'The overwhelming majority of the Primates of the Global South cannot and will not recognize the office or ministry of Canon Gene Robinson as a bishop. We deplore the act of those bishops who have taken part in the consecration, which has now divided the church in violation of their obligation to guard the faith and unity of the church.'

Seventeen million of the world's 70 million Anglicans live in Nigeria.

The head of the Episcopal Church of Egypt and North Africa, Bishop Mouneer Hanna Anis, declared: 'Those who participated in the consecration of this gay bishop are considered among the violators of the teachings of the Holy Book, and therefore, they have become dissociated with Jesus' church. Homosexuality is a clear sin.'

Southern Cone of America Anglican leader Bishop Gregory Venables warned: 'The United States have declared independence. I think the chances of consensus are very slim.'


One hundred thirty-nine same-sex couples have gotten married in Belgium since it became the second nation in the world to redefine matrimony last June.

The number represents only weddings that took place in the cities of Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Charleroi, Ghent and Liége. A few weddings may have occurred in smaller towns, said the gay group Holebi, which gathered the figures.

Antwerp saw the most gay weddings, 64. Same-sex marriages constituted 4.7 percent of all Belgium marriages between June and September.

The Netherlands extended full marriage rights to same-sex couples in 2001, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia did so this past summer. Canada has no residency requirement for marriage. Foreign same-sex couples can travel to the two provinces, buy a license, and marry the same day.


About 4,000 people joined in Buenos Aires, Argentina's 12th gay-pride parade Nov. 1, marching from the Plaza de Mayo to Congress.

A scuffle broke out between cops and marchers at the Metropolitan Cathedral, seat of Argentine Roman Catholicism, when demonstrators spray-painted the building with graffiti reading 'Church = dictatorship,' 'Rapist priests' and 'Nazi priests' while chanting, 'Here is the repression of the Holy Inquisition.'

'We're not attacking the faith but rather the attitude of the church of meddling in our beds and our elections,' said activist Lohana Berkins.

Newspaper editorial writers denounced the vandalism and Archbishop Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio commented: 'In a pluralistic society when minority groups express themselves, it would be logical that they do so respecting the religious sentiments of the majority.

'We hope it is understood that when we express our doctrines around sexual conduct, we do so within the standard of truth we believe, but never without an attitude of respect and understanding toward individuals.'


Taiwan's government is planning to legalize gay marriage.

The legislation is being drafted jointly by the cabinet and the office of the president.

'The human rights of homosexuals have been gradually recognized by countries around the world,' the president's office said. 'To protect their rights, [gay] people should have the right to wed and have a family based on their free will.' Gay activists cheered the news. The measures are expected to be sent to parliament in December.

Meanwhile, the island saw its first gay-pride parade Nov. 1 in Taipei.

About 1,000 people, some wearing masks, walked from the cruisy 228 Peace Park to a theater in the entertainment district.

Organizers called it the Chinese world's first gay march.

Mayor Ma Ying-jeou agreed with that assessment and promised attendees, 'If you live in Taipei city, we will not commit any discrimination or harassment against you because of your sexual orientation.'

Marcher Lee Ming-chao, director of the Tongzhi Hotline, told the Taipei Times, 'I certainly wish we could go on [and march] for three hours across the city, but this is already a good start.'

The word 'tongzhi' encompasses gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. Literally, it means comrade.


Spanish gays launched a drive for same-sex marriage Oct. 22.

Backed by the Socialist Workers and United Left parties, three couples applied for marriage licenses in Madrid and Valencia.

A registry judge was expected to respond to their request by Nov. 5.

If the request is rejected, the couples will file suit in Spain's constitutional court and, if necessary, at the European Court of Human Rights later.

'We are going to try to win in the courts as happened in Canada,' one of the six individuals, Boti García, told the newspaper El Mundo.

Another of the activists, Pedro Zerolo, also is a member of the Madrid city council, for the Socialists.

Some of Spain's autonomous regions already grant some spousal rights to same-sex couples in areas such as taxes, health care and adoption.

This past summer, the highest courts in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia legalized same-sex marriage, effective immediately. The federal government agreed with the rulings, which declared the heterosexual definition of marriage unconstitutional, and has moved legislation to open up the institution nationwide. ----------------------------------------

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