Britain to count GLBs
The British government will count gays, lesbians and bisexuals in a survey by the Office for National Statistics, The Times reported.
The decision follows lobbying by gay groups and government officials who need the information to adequately provide services.
'LGB individuals and the community as a whole have historically suffered discrimination and there are concerns that this group is currently ignored in terms of policy and service provision,' the office said.
Current government estimates are that 6 percent of the population is gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Officials have hesitated to ask about sexual orientation in the census—as opposed to in a survey—because, said census coordinator Joy Dobbs, 'We're still not sure what it is we are trying to measure—is it behavior, inclination, identity, lifestyle?'
So the research will, instead, likely be part of the General Household Survey, which targets 20,000 homes nationwide.
Meanwhile, the 2011 census will count people who have entered into a same-sex civil partnership or marriage, officials said.
Gay singer 'marries'
Steven Gately, a singer in the defunct British boy band Boyzone, 'married' partner Andy Cowles March 19 in London, under the United Kingdom's Civil Partnership Act. The ceremony was held at the Goring Hotel near Buckingham Palace.
In the 1990s, Boyzone sold more than 10 million records and had six Number One singles in the U.K.
British gay MP to get 'married'
British Member of Parliament Ben Bradshaw and BBC Newsnight journalist Neal Dalgleish will 'marry' in June under the United Kingdom's Civil Partnership Act, the BBC reported.
Bradshaw, who represents Exeter for the Labour Party, was the first member of Parliament to come out as gay before being elected for the first time.
U.K. navy: The closet is unhealthy
It's a good thing that gays in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy can be out of the closet now, personnel chief Vice Admiral Adrian Johns said March 16.
Leading a 'secret life [ is ] an unhealthy way to be ... in the armed services,' he said, according to The Daily Telegraph. 'Those individuals need nurturing so that they give of their best. Our mission is to break down barriers of discrimination, prejudice, fear and misunderstanding.'
Johns spoke at a London conference on gays in the workplace organized by the gay lobby group Stonewall.
The U.K. armed forces dropped its gay ban in 2000.
Cameroon School Expels Gay Students
At least 30 students have been expelled from school in Cameroon's economic capital, Douala, for engaging in homosexual sex, according to AndNetwork.com .
Three prestigious private colleges notified parents of the decision to send away their children on March 12.
College authorities said that they have also reported the students, made up mostly of girls, to the city's justice department.
Ayatollah Calls for Death to Gays
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani of Iraq has issued a death fatwa ( ruling ) against the gay community, according to OutRage! News Service. On his site, he calls for the killing of homosexuals in the 'worst, most severe way.'
'Sistani's murderous homophobic incitement has given a green light to Shia Muslims to hunt and kill lesbians and gay men,' says exiled gay Iraqi Ali Hili of the London-based gay human rights group OutRage, Gay.com .uk reported. Hili also heads the Iraqi LGBT UK Abu Nawas group.
'We hold Sistani personally responsible for the murder of [ LGBT ] Iraqis. He gives the killers theological sanction and encouragement,' said Mr Hili. 'Evidence we have received from our underground gay contacts inside Iraq suggests intensified homophobic abuse, threats, intimidation and violence by fundamentalist supporters of Sistani ... who is not even Iraqi.'
According to Hili, numerous gay and transgender Iraqi men have suffered physical harm and the hands of Sistani loyalists. For example, Haydar Faiek, 40, a transsexual Iraqi, was beaten and burned to death by Badr militias in the main street in the Al-Karada district of Baghdad in September 2005.
A gay-rights group held an anti-war protest in London in response to the fatwa, according to the British Web site PinkNews.co.uk.