Local, National, and World News
Lawyers Argue Craig Entrapped
Lawyers for US Senator Larry Craig (Republican-Idaho) say the police officer who arrested him in a gay-sex bathroom sting at the Minneapolis airport entrapped him. In a filing with the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Craig’s legal team argued the undercover officer initiated foot-tapping—a possible signal for gay-sex solicitation—by tapping his foot on the wall of the bathroom stall Craig occupied.
Long-Term AIDS Treatment May Cause Illness
AIDS-infected patients are living longer, only to discover they are prematurely susceptible to a host of aging-related illnesses. Though research into the links between antiretroviral drugs and premature aging is just beginning, anecdotally, many who have lived relatively healthily with AIDS for decades are experiencing heart disease, kidney failure, osteoporosis, cancer, and depression, The New York Times reported. Experts are not certain, but they suspect severe aging symptoms are caused by a combination of damage from years of AIDS before treatment was available and drug side effects. Several long-term studies are under way to test that theory, which eventually may help eliminate such complications, the Times reported.
US Military Mum on Gay Policy
The US military apparently is not enforcing its policy of discharging gay soldiers who speak of their sexual orientation, USA Today reported. It cited the case of Army Sgt. Darren Manzella, who appeared on the CBS program 60 Minutes. In the interview, he said his fellow soldiers knew he was gay and showed a home video of him kissing his boyfriend. He told USA Today that he informed his commander he was gay in 2006, and the Army investigated and saw the kissing home video. “They found ‘no evidence of homosexuality,’” Manzella said.
Gay Seniors Rely on Friends When Ill
Older adults who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual have a “history of caregiving,” creating networks to support each other when sick or aging. A US survey found that 67 percent had provided care to others: 30 percent to someone with HIV/AIDS; 29 percent to someone with cancer; 21 percent to someone with muscular/skeletal illnesses; 19 percent to someone with cardiovascular disease; and 26 percent to someone with other chronic illnesses. The findings are published in the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services. The survey of 199 gay, lesbian, or bisexual US adults found that more than two-thirds of the participants had provided care to one or more people during the previous five years.
Same-Sex Divorce Following Marriage
The legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and civil unions in other states has led to confusion over a new phenomenon: same-sex divorce. Gay couples have many of the same problems splitting up that straight ones do, such as dividing assets, and settling child custody and care. But the issues can become more complicated, and courts are uncertain how to proceed when no precedents exist, The Washington Post reported. Almost 10,000 same-sex couples have married in Massachusetts since 2004. So far, a few dozen are believed to have filed for divorce, although no one keeps those statistics.
More Young Men in NYC Getting AIDS
The number of young men with AIDS who have been infected through unprotected homosexual sex is rising in New York City. Many of the latest victims are black and Hispanic, The New York Times reported. The increase in cases has occurred while the city’s overall rate of HIV infection and of AIDS has been declining. Experts see a number of reasons for the new wave of AIDS cases. Drugs have made many of those infected more reckless and more likely to have unprotected sex. AIDS infection among gays also has a greater stigma than 10 or 20 years ago, when the disease tended to unite the gay community. That makes young men less likely to admit infection, or to ask sex partners about their HIV status.
Ireland May Recognize All Same-Sex Unions
The Irish government is considering a law that could result in the nation recognizing same-sex unions, including those from other countries. Senior sources have said if the civil partnership proposal is implemented, it could mean any same-sex unions that took place outside Ireland automatically would be legally recognized by the government, The Irish Times reported. Gay and Lesbian Equality Network Director Brian Sheehan said the measure would be a dream come true for many gays and lesbians. The Times noted that the plan would give gay and lesbian couples nearly identical rights to those of married couples.
Gay Muslim Photos Prompt Controversy
An exhibit of photographs in the Netherlands featuring gay men adorned with masks of the prophet Mohammed has provoked a growing controversy. Officials at The Hague’s municipal museum removed the photos after the artist received death threats. But now, the photographer has challenged the facility’s decision, The Sunday Times of London reported. The artist, who goes by the pseudonym Sooreh Hera, said, “The museum director was very afraid. He gave in to pressure from the Islamists. It is censorship.” The Iranian exile said she had intended her artistic works to bring attention to the “hypocritical” attitude in many Middle Eastern countries toward homosexuality. She said that though her works met with hostility and controversy, such reactions occasionally are associated with real art.
Legg Stands to Win “Breeder” Case
A 33-year-old woman in England won a discrimination case for derogatory language directed at her when she was employed as a heterosexual bouncer at a homosexual bar. Sharon Legg, who worked the front door at a gay club, claimed her manager took to calling her a “breeder” following her promotion to head of security, The Times of London reported. Legg’s legal counsel used England’s Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations Act 2003 to get her an award of nearly $7,000 in compensation for unjust dismissal. Legg said her boss kept saying, “Urgh, you’re a breeder,” when she showed for work. She added, “If the shoe was on the other foot, and I was saying things like, ‘Urgh, you’re gay,’ I don’t think he would have stood for it.”
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