US Military Rolls Out Plan To Repeal Gay Ban
The Associated Press reports that US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has issued a memorandum directing policy staff to move ahead with ending the ban on openly gay service members. Pentagon officials will complete implementation plans, and training will begin in February. Gates called it a milestone for the armed services.
Illinois Civil Unions Become Law
In January, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation that legalizes same-sex civil unions in the state. It gives official state recognition for gay couples that provides many of the same rights granted to married couples, including inheritance and medical decision-making.
Court Denies Request To Dismiss Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Lawsuit
According to the Associated Press, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued an order in January denying the US government’s request to suspend a lawsuit challenging the military’s ban on openly gay service members. It ordered the Department of Justice to file documentation in February explaining why a lower court ruling that the ban is unconstitutional should be overturned. The court did not explain why it rejected the government’s request.
Choi Ordered To Repay Military After DADT Discharge
Huffington Post reports Lt. Dan Choi, who became an outspoken critic of the US ban on openly gay service members after he was discharged for coming out himself in 2009, has been notified that he must repay the US Defense Department in connection with his discharge. According to Choi, the department sent him a letter stating he owed the US government $2,500 for the “unearned portion of your enlistment or reenlistment bonus.” He was told if he doesn’t pay within 30 days, the debt could be referred to a private collection agency. Choi, who’s refusing to pay, has written a letter to the President explaining why.
French Gay-Marriage Ban Is Constitutional
France’s Constitutional Court ruled in January that the country’s law banning gay marriage does not violate the Constitution. The court said any changes to the law are up to the Parliament. Gays and lesbians can form civil unions in France, but they do not provide inheritance rights or joint custody of goods.
Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Found Beaten to Death
CBS reports that David Kato, a leading gay-rights activist in Uganda, was found beaten to death in his home near the country’s capital, Kampala. Police have said they can’t yet conclude that a link exists between his sexual orientation and his death. However, BBC reports some of Kato’s friends state that he received death threats after his name, photograph, and address were printed in a local newspaper as part of the “top 100 homosexuals” in the country.
Man Claims Glaxo Drug Made Him “Gay Sex Addict”
According to Agence France-Presse, a 51-year-old French father of two is suing laxoSmithKline over a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease that the man argues turned him into a gambling gay sex addict. His lawyers argue that his behavior radically changed after he first started taking the drug in 2003. The man claims he became a compulsive gay sex addict, and engaged in risky sexual behavior that eventually led to his being raped. His lawyers assert that the company knew the drug had undesired side effects.
Amsterdam Gay and Bi Men Have More Risky Sex
Reuters reports that a new study has found more gay and bisexual men in Amsterdam are having unprotected sex. Researches believe the trend is related to complacency caused in part by the prevalence of powerful antiretroviral drugs. The study is printed in the journal AIDS.