NORWEGIAN AUTHOR MARRIES GIRLFRIEND
Norwegian best-selling author Anne Holt, 41, married her girlfriend, editor Tine Kjaer, Jan. 14 at the Norwegian embassy in Stockholm.
Norway's gay registered-partnership law grants nearly every right of matrimony except in a couple of areas related to children.
Holt, who is also a lawyer, was also Norway's justice minister from 1996 to 1997.
Until her marriage, Holt had refused to come out. In March of 1999 she told the newspaper Dagbladet: "For a long time, the Norwegian media has wanted me to say that I'm a lesbian. But that will never happen. Swedish, French and German newspapers have stated that I am a lesbian. But it has never come from my mouth. I don't give a damn about other people's private lives and they should not care about mine."
Following the wedding, Holt commented: "It's a pleasure for me to confirm that I got married on Friday. Getting married is a public event. Everything else is private and I will not comment on it."
Gay activists found Holt's attitude frustrating.
"Anne Holt has been asked about her sexual orientation numerous times. She has always answered that it is a private matter. But when she ... goes down the church steps with a white-clad bride by her side and afterward she still refuses to comment, it's laughable," said Arne Walderhaug, editor of the gay newspaper Blikk.
"It is a paradox to me that she registered her partnership at all," he said. "Anne Holt has never supported the gay-rights movement."
Lise Blyverket, vice president of the National Organization for Gay Liberation ( LLH ) , commented: "Anne Holt is not exactly the most positive supporter we have had in our work. ... We should not give her too much credit. What the gay movement needs is that as many [ people ] as possible come out."
LLH President Knut Sverre Roang added: "Privileged people like Anne Holt should have led and been honorable enough to come out with their orientation. Anne Holt has made it more difficult for others to come out by not having declared her orientation. This is not a good sign for young gays and lesbians around the country. They must now believe that it really is difficult to come out of the closet."
GROUP CALLS TRANSPORT BOYCOTT
The British activist group OutRage! has called a boycott of Stagecoach buses and trains owned by Scottish millionaire Brian Souter.
Souter has donated $1.6 million to a campaign to derail Scottish plans to locally repeal the anti-gay British law Section 28, which prohibits cities from "intentionally promot [ ing ] homosexuality" and bans teaching "the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship" in schools.
"Brian Souter wants to buy political influence and sustain discrimination," said OutRage!'s Peter Tatchell. "Using money from his bus and train operations, he is committed to funding a high-profile campaign to pressure the Scottish Parliament to ditch its promise to repeal Section 28.
"It is apparently Mr. Souter's intention to use his immense wealth to subvert the public and parliamentary majorities in favor of equality. If we allow millionaires like him to distort the balance of public debate, democracy is finished. No one should be able to spend their way to political victory."
NEWS ANCHOR FIRED
The Canadian all-news network CTV fired anchor Avery Haines Jan. 17 after she flubbed a line of copy and then, thinking she was off-the-air, made a joke which offended minorities.
After stumbling over her script, Haines said: "I kind of like the stuttering thing. It's like equal opportunity, right? We've got a stuttering newscaster. We've got the black, we've got the Asian, we've got the woman. I could be a lesbian, folk-dancing, black woman stutterer."
CTV News Vice president Henry Kowalski said: "The nature of her comments did not leave CTV News with any alternative [ but to fire her ] . Her remarks were disrespectful and unprofessional and cannot be excused."
TO COME OUT
Most homosexual men in the state of Western Australia are afraid to come out of the closet, according to a new study by Edith Cowan University researcher Christopher Churchouse.
They remain in relationships with women because they fear physical violence, mental abuse, discrimination and being cut off from their children.
As a result, they experience feelings of anger, hopelessness and powerlessness, and become socially isolated, the study found.
Churchouse reached the men via advertisements he placed in the mainstream media seeking anonymous taped interviews.
POLICE WON'T PROTECT SALVADORAN
El Salvador's National Civil Police ( PNC ) has declined to assign officers to protect gay leader William Hernandez and his family, who have been targeted with death threats.
Police Chief Mauricio Sandoval agreed that Hernandez, his family, and some other members of the gay group Entre Amigos qualify for assistance under the nation's Protection for Important People program, but Sandoval said he would not actually assign any cops to Hernandez' case because the officers do not share Hernandez' "sexual tastes" and thus would be uncomfortable.
Sandoval suggested instead that Entre Amigos hire private security officers which the PNC would train, or that the gay group give the PNC a list of names of gay and lesbian cops who could be considered for the assignment.
The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission is "appalled at the casual insensitivity and callous indifference of the Salvadoran police" and urges activists to fax Sandoval at 011— 503— 271— 4422 and Attorney General for the Defense of Human Rights Eduardo Penate Polanco at 011— 503— 271— 2886. Fax a copy of the letters to Entre Amigos at 011— 503— 225— 4213.
Two Hong Kong teenagers are distributing 3,000 copies of the newsletter of the gay group Rainbow to students at the island's high schools.
Abra Lee, 16, and Yip Yee-man, 19, have been denounced by some school officials for their efforts, but they remain undeterred.
"We hope that people are aware that homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual relationships exist," Yip told the South China Morning Post. "We feel some teachers do not have enough knowledge about the issue. They immediately relate homosexual people to AIDS and say gay people are very casual about sexual relationships. Some teachers believe a person is taught to be homosexual rather than born to be one."
* The Canadian gay erotica Web site chisel.com was named "Best Gay Site" at the 2000 Adult Internet Awards Jan. 11 in Las Vegas.
* The city of Rome has provided $180,000 to fund cultural activities during World Pride Rome 2000, which is scheduled for July 1— 9 and is being promoted as the first "world pride."