Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Postponed
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has indicated that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the US military’s ban on openly gay service members, is not likely to happen anytime soon. “We have a lot on our plates right now. Let’s push that one down the road a little bit,” he said in a recent television interview. President Barack Obama previously stated he would consult with Gates on how to lift the ban, but according to Gates, the dialogue has not progressed very far on the issue. The Pentagon policy was put in place after President Bill Clinton tried to lift the ban on gay service members in 1993.Bid To Remove Civil-Rights Protections for Gays Fails
Voters in Gainesville, Florida, were asked to decide whether the city should remove its antidiscrimination protections for GLBT residents. The amendment to the city’s charter would have removed protections in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations. Voters rejected the charter amendment 58 to 42 percent.
Gay Men Beaten During Spring Break
Two 22-year-old gay men were brutally beaten at a beach party in Oregon. The victims allegedly were attacked by four males dressed in black, and beaten to unconsciousness. One of the young men suffered a significant eye injury. The men were not able to identify their attackers, and police still are looking for the suspects. Seaside Police Chief Bob Gross said he could not recall such a brutal, hate-motivated assault in the years he has served as chief, adding, “This assault was predicated on the sexual orientation of the two individuals in the attack.”
New York City Changes Birth Certificate Policy for Lesbians
New York City’s Board of Health voted to allow married lesbian couples living in the city to be listed as parents on birth certificates as soon as their children are born. Previously, the women would have had to go through an adoption process to be listed as official parents. The city says married male couples still will need to adopt their children in order officially to be declared their parents.
Catholic Church Testing for Gay Priests
A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia, confirmed that its Corpus Christi Catholic Seminary is “testing” potential priests for homosexuality. The spokesman would not say what the tests involve. The testing follows a recommendation from the Vatican that even celibate gay men should be banned from the priesthood. Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby spokeswoman Hayley Conway told the Melbourne Herald-Sun, “They seem to be moving backwards in a lot of ways, which is really unfortunate.”
GLBT Harassment “Widespread” Throughout Europe
GLBT individuals face widespread harassment, bullying, and discrimination, according to an EU report by the Fundamental Rights Agency. It stated that the discrimination occurs “in all areas of social life,” from schools to the workplace. “These are alarming signals in an EU that prides itself on its principles of equal treatment and nondiscrimination,” Agency Director Morten Kjeaerum said. The report, which compiled studies and surveys from across Europe, found that homophobic abuse usually is carried out by young men in groups, but is also persistent at work, in school, or when trying to get medical care.
Japan’s Justice Ministry Allows Same-Sex Marriage Abroad
Japan’s Ministry of Justice stated that the country will allow Japanese nationals to marry same-sex foreign partners in countries where it is legal. While same-sex marriage remains illegal in Japan itself, the country will issue a key certificate required for citizens to wed overseas. Same-sex marriage is allowed in Belgium, Canada, The Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and some US states.