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Title: The Jamaica Outpost
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: unknown
Publisher: GL Publishing
Place of Publication: Kingston, Jamaica
Creation Date: June 2005
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News for the Jamaican lesbian, all-sexual and gay community
ilLmE2 Issue!
Uihi HmttaUa (^xttl^osit
Established in June 2004 | Kingston, Jamaica ISSN 0799-172X
JUNE 2005- FREE COPY
Inside This Issue
West Indian Gay & Lesbian
Literature Features: The Cries
of Men A novel by OBrien
Dennis
[Pages]

Bible Study: Wtiy were
Sodom and GomDrrah de-
stroyed?
[Pages]

Letters to the Editor: Gay
rights, Foreigners and the Ja-
maican Qavernrrent.
[Pages]

Jamaica's Gay Community -
One year later
[Pages]

1st World Outgames Update:
Sponsorship from major Corpo-
rations
[Page 7]

International News: UK Gov't
launches v\eb page for gay
partnerships.
[Pages]

The Jamaica DutPnst
Email: EditDrUjamaicaDutpDst.cDin
Publication Team:
Jason SimmGnds
PublicatiGnManagEr

Anthony Hrnn
Publicatinn Assistant

KEith HGllar
Cnpy Editor
A monthly puhlication hy GL Puhlishing
Visit Ls onlinE at:
www.jamaicaDutpDst.CDm
TRIBUTE TO JAMAICA'S FIRST GAY HERO
By Jason Simmonds, The Jamaica QutPost Contributor
The final interview that
the late Brian Wil-
liamson did was for
this newsletter; a
newsletter for the gay, les-
bian, bisexual and trans-
gender citizens of Ja-
maica. This month. The
Jamaica OutPost joins
forces with members and
friends of Jamaica's GLBT
community who have
made themselves avail-
able to pay tribute to Brian
Williamson, in recollection
of his contributions to our
ongoing struggle for
equality in Jamaica.


There was never a doubt
that this man, with his
genuinely big smile and
his naturally friendly ways,
loved his land and his
people. He defended his
people. He was vocal
The late Brian Williamson (Photo Source: Unknown)

about the injustice being pie kept silent, he pressed
suffered by his people.
Even while most of his peo-
on. He was strong and fear-
(See WILLIAMSON on page 2)
THE DEATH AND LIGHT OF BRIAN WILLIAMSON
By Thomas Glava, Commantapy

This much is true: the
brave, loving man who was
murdered in Kingston on
the morning of June 9,
2004, will not be forgotten.
His name was Brian Ribton
Bernard Williamson. None
of us who are gay, lesbian,
or bisexual will forget him,
and neither will many oth-
ers.
I remember Brian as a
laughing man: a man with
"a head of silver coins," as
I sometimes joked with him
about his head of curly sil-
ver-gray hair. He loved
laughing and laughter;
though it is often said of
the dead even when un-
true, he truly did love life,
and exemplified that love
in his formidable bravery
where sexuality matters
were concerned. He was
not afraid to open and op-
erate, from the late 1990s
until only a few years ago,
the gay and lesbian dance
club Entourage, right in his
home at SA Haughton Ave-
nue, New Kingston. Entou-
rage, a place where so
many of us gays, lesbians,
and bisexuals could go to
dance, laugh, flirt, party,
and share time with friends
and loved ones a place
(See Life and Death on page 4)


The Jamaica OutPost | Kingston, Jamaica June 2005 Volume 2 Issue 1
I 2
(WILLIAMSON... Continued from page l)
less. He chose not to hide. He chose not to speak from
an anonymous podium. His face and his voice were
known and will forever be known by Jamaicans for many
generations to come.


The following is a compilation of excerpts from William-
son's interview with The Jamaica OutPost (then HOT-
NESSI Newsletter), which took place on IVIay 12, 2004
under the coconut tree in his backyard at SA Haughton
Avenue, Kingston S.
Williamson on his involve-
ment in gay rights advo-
cacy

"The reason why I am speak-
ing today and the reason
why I speak at all is because
I want people to question
what they have accepted as
truth about homosexuals."
Williamson on the forward
movement of Jamaica's
GLBT community

Jamaican group of heterosexuals who are saying you
guys are O.K. We are not scared of you; we don't
know what people are scared of and you are perfectly
o.k. in our books. One of them is IVIutty Perkins; [...]
another one is Dr. Cecil Cooper of the University of the
West Indies.[...] A number of people...are saying:
'nothing wrong with you'.


Williamson on the needs of the Jamaican society

"Education for everyone so that we can reason prop-
erly. Education for the masses. Education for every-
body that lives in Jamaica. It
should be accessible so that we
can learn to reason. So that we
can learn to read things for our-
selves. So that we learn to un-
derstand that everybody is not
like us neither in colour nor in
thought pattern nor in sexual ori-
entation and without the educa-
tion, I don't think that it is going
to be easy."
Scene at 3A Haughton Ave last year (Tha Jamaica OotPost Photo)
Williamson's vision for gay
Jamaica
"I think it has to. Even sub-
consciously it must. [...] It is taking a long time but there
are a lot working in our favour now. The international
community is very close; the media, you know...and I
think people are beginning to break down this idea...the
idea that they are worthless is breaking down."


Williamson commenting on the involvement of the
younger generation of gay and lesbian Jamaicans

"People are more comfortable with their sexuality and
they are quite prepared to say: "I am O.K"...I remember
when JFLAG opened first and they would pass around a
piece of paper...nobody used to sign it, you know. Or,
they used to put down foolishness on it! Nowadays peo-
ple are putting out their entire name and their phone
number. We would never do it before because we were
ashamed of who we were. We thought that we had some-
thing to be ashamed of."


Williamson speaking on homophobia in Jamaica

"I think that there's a large group of heterosexuals who
are saying "you are ok" also. Jamaicans. There is a large
"I'd have all the churches in Ja-
maica apologize to the homo-
sexual community for the violence they have caused
towards them. That's what I would like to see. I would
like to see, I'd like to wake up one morning and hear a
general assembly where all the churches in Jamaica
are meeting to apologize to the homosexual commu-
nity in Jamaica for the violence that they have caused
towards us throughout the years."
\
f
J\
OL sa

o
1* worklOjtgains
Rendez-Vous
Montreal 2006
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The Jamaica OutPost | Kingston, Jamaica June 2005 Volume 2 Issue 1
I 3
THE CRIES OF MEN Novel by O'Brien Dennis
WEST INDIAN GAY S LESBIAN LITERATURE By Jason Simmonds, Staff Contributor
An interestingly
new novel has
been creating
quite a bit of stir
in the literary cir-
cles. This novel,
which is written
by a Jamaican
gay man, is
about a topic
that is pretty un-
usual: male
rape. Needless
to say, a topic of
this nature is
bound to breed
much contro-
versy. We caught up with the author of this interestingly
titled novel, O'Brien Dennis, to get into his mind a bit
and explore the roots of this novel.


JO: My first question relates to the matter of sexual
abuse against gay men in Jamaica. Do you think our
culture is one that acknowledges this type of abuse?

Dennis: I must first note that male sexual abuse far ex-
ceeds that of Jamaican gay men. IVIale rape is a violent
crime that affects straight men as much as gay men. It
is imperative to note also that male sexual abuse does
not make a man gay or bi-sexual. The Jamaican culture
while it does not acknowledges male sexual abuse it
condones and promotes male sexual violence. Dance-
hall music itself promotes and perpetuates sexual vio-
lence not only against women but against gay men. The
notion of homophobia and false masculinity which is
rampant within the Jamaican culture fuels an atmos-
phere which will put men at risk of both physical and
sexual abuse. The laws of the country which are cultur-
ally embedded and does not provide an environment for
openness, transparency and accountability, thus male
sexual abuse continues unrecognized and underre-
ported.


JO: Since the book and your experience stem from Ja-
maica, how would you address an audience of males
(gay or not) who might be at risk?

Dennis: It is common knowledge that men in Jamaica
have been raped at gun point. It is not so much about
the risk, (though most times we know when we are at
risk) but more importantly it's about sensitizing society
that younger males are more vulnerable to sexual
abuse. In my opinion those greatest at risk, are the
young boys who are fatherless (no male figure in the
home) those who are sexually confused and those
who are curious about homosexual sex. The notion of
false masculinity professes itself once more as a male
who posses any elements of weakness or effeminate
traits are also at great risk. I do not have a solution as
to how to prevent male rape, however boys and grown
men need to foster an attitude whereby they can
openly express their true feelings. It is at this point
men should be able to look beyond machismo and
speak up even before the abuses occur. It is the fear
of death, which is matched with the fear of being stig-
matized as gay, which has forced most men to remain
silent.


JO: How do you feel at this point in relation to homo-
phobia in Jamaica and its role in sexual abuse against
gay men?

Dennis: Homophobia in Jamaica not only affects gay
men it threatens those men who do not live up to the
social code of masculinity. I left Jamaican in 2001 and
it is my belief that the notion of homophobia in Jamaica
is a farce. 90% of men who promote homophobic slurs
are in fact gay men in
denial or closeted. I am
very much disgusted at
the levels of violence
meted out to gay men. I
am more concerned
about the younger gen-
eration and what values
we are promoting to
them. In order for any
society to evolve there
must be deviant behav-
iour and some degree of
tolerance. Homophobia
plays an integral role in
male sexual abuse and it
,GRIESl_j
(See CRIES... page 7)
V\fest Indai Gay aid Lesbiai Utenature is a cdurm decScated to
writers of poems, sixxt staies, no\^s, plays and otiier forms of liter-
ary arts. Lei us know of any literary work thai you would recomrrend
to our readers.
Rease email us: editor(g^amaica.outpost.com
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The Jamaica OutPost | Kingston, Jamaica June 2005 Volume 2 Issue 1
I 4
(Life and Death... Continued from page l)
where we could breathe freely and openly, delivered for a
few hours from Jamaica's otherwise repressive, hateful
anti-gay environment. At Entourage and in other places,
Brian was not afraid to challenge the police, fiercely,
when they attempted to harass him. He was not afraid to
represent J-FLAG on the radio, using his own name, and
to appear on television representing the organisation,
showing his face. He did it all with great humour and
generosity, and lived, until last week, to tell about it. In
that regard, he was truly an example to all of us who are
gay, lesbian, or bisexual an example of just what brav-
ery and risk can accomplish.

We all have faced discrimination and bigotry from friends,
family members, church members, and others; yet many
of us somehow manage to survive that bigotry, and even
triumph. In that regard, we -
male and female homosexu-
als, bisexuals, "queers" are
truly testaments to survival
and the human spirit. Ja-
maica would be much poorer
without our talent, hard work,
skills, and intelligence, and
Jamaica knows it. Jamaica
will be much poorer without
the light of Brian Williamson,
but the gay/lesbian commu-
nity, and J-FLAG, will con-
tinue, and prevail, as Brian
himself would have wanted
us to.
mean the children of any Jamaican, any person, het-
erosexual or homosexual, since we, too, produce and
care for children are we prepared to send them out
into a world that might chop them up, burn them, dash
acid on them, or burn down their house? Or stone
them? Or cause them to flee Jamaica, terrorised and
demoralised, into exile? Or cause them to grow up ly-
ing about themselves? Lying to their parents, to
spouses, children, friends, family to everyone? What
are we all really doing right now, roughly one year after
a brave man's death, to protect our children from that
world?

Brian featured on the bottom of his outgoing emails a
quote often attributed to Gandhi: "We must become
the change we wish to see in the world." The idea is
useful, but the achievement of its sublime essence re-
quires a tremendous amount of
human bravery: brave heart,
brave mind and soul, and the
courage to expand the mind be-
yond the prejudices that make
us feel happy, comfortable, su-
perior. Are we prepared to try
and live this way, if only to keep
other people from being killed as
Brian was killed, and to save
ourselves from such a (literal
and spiritual) death as well?
WilliamsDn with his dog, Tesha (Photo souroe: unknown)
Make no mistake: years from
now, the world will regard Jamaica in this context the way
much of the world regards Nazis today. The future world
will rightly view Jamaica's hatred of homosexuals as the
equivalent of Nazis' hatred of Jews, as the equal of racist
whites' hatred of blacks, as the equal of all hatred every-
where just as ugly, just as destructive and self-
destructive, just as ignorant and narrow. Just as evil.
Jamaica's hatred of lesbians and gay men is its own es-
pecial Nazism (and most nations have or have always
had at least one); Hitler's fury, however, did not obliterate
all the Jews, and Jamaica's rage won't kill all of us. It will
not even kill those of us who are most vulnerable those
of us who hate ourselves so much precisely because Ja-
maica has taught us to hate ourselves and other gay peo-
ple.

But it should teach us something else, even more impor-
tant: it should teach us that we, and no one else, will
have to make the kind of world we want our children to
live in. If one of our children turns out to be gay and I
Light a candle, then, for this
man who was loved. Light
many candles, and remember
his name. Remember how
much power, love, and life he brought us in Jamaica.
Remember how much braver he made so many of us,
and how he expanded our entire country. You, dear
Brian, whom we will continue to hold right here, deeply
in our hearts closest to our very selves where the
earliest breath begins, where memory never ends.
Where, amid recurring dreams and sorrow and light,
you will always be very, very loved.
Tliis is an edited version of tlie original essay, whicli was first pub-
lished in slightly different form in The Sunday Gleaner, June 20,
GET A PDF CDPY DF THE JAMAICA DUTPDST dElivEPEd
tD you via email free of copy.

This HEW CDmplimEntary SErvicE alJDWs ynu tD rEsd Each cnpy of
thE HEWsJEttEr, whEf] yDU want and wharE ynu want. Sign up to our
mailing list anlina or sand us an amail with your raquast.
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The Jamaica OutPost | Kingston, Jamaica June 2005 Volume 2 Issue 1
I 5
SODOMITE
BIBLE STUDY By Shane Hicks-Lee, Guest Columnist

Each person's soul is his or her own responsibility. I
encourage you to pray and clothe yourself with the full
armor of God. (Ephesians 6:13) When you arm your-
self with the truth, you can fight against common lies.
Why were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed?

Many honest preachers teach and believe that God
hates sodomites. They believe the Bible is crystal
clear that homosexuality is the reason for the destruc-
tion of the cities. It is my hope that through a careful
study of Scripture I will be able to show you that the
Bible does not support this common misconception.

If I chose not to try hard, I could claim that since
Strong's Concordance defines "sodomite" as "male
temple prostitute," Sodom must have been destroyed
for male temple prostitution. However, this seems to
be flawed logic. Just because learned folks more intel-
ligent than I am chose to translate "male temple prosti-
tute" as "sodomite" indicating that Sodom was de-
stroyed for that particular sin, doesn't make it so. Al-
though there may be some support historically for such
a conclusion, I have not done a great deal of study re-
garding the religious practices of the Dead Sea area
prior to the time of Moses. Therefore, I choose to look
more closely at what the Bible has to say about this
topic.

Since it is God's explanation of why He destroyed
Sodom and Gomorrah, I started with Ezekiel 16:49-50,
"'Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom:
pride, fullness of bread, and careless ease was in her
and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the
hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty,
and committed abomination before Me; therefore I re-
moved them when I saw it.'" The Geneva Bible Trans-
lation Notes says, "He alleges these four vices, pride,
excess, idleness and contempt of the poor as four prin-
cipal causes of such abomination, wherefore they were
so horribly punished."

Next time, I will go through the cross references listed
in my study Bible to get a clearer understanding of
what God is saying here.
Notice of Disclaimer

Tha viaws and apinians axprassad in this nawslattar ara nut a ra-
flactian af thasa af tha publishar. Tha publishar cannat ba hald
liabla far any affanca as a rasult af any such viaws.
ETTERS TO THE EDITOR
GAY RIGHTS, FOREIGNERS AND THE
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT

Dear editor.


What you wrote here is absolutely superb! I love the way
you politely told Jamaican gay people to 'get off their
arses because foreigners can never influence the Jamai-
can Government'. They could, in fact if enough pressure
were put on them to create sanctions but how many years
did it take Gadaffi to listen to reason? Only when his peo-
ple were virtually dying of starvation. The only reason
there were any sanctions in place, is because everyone
wanted their oil. It really must be done from within. One of
the best aspects of West Indians is their passivity and
peaceful nature but in the case of demanding their human
rights, it makes them complacent and that isn't good. It's a
fault of most gay people everywhere. It's wonderful that
we have equal rights in England now but I feel so guilty
when I think about places like the Caribbean. Maybe
there's some selfishness there because my partner and I
would be living in Trinidad if we could. What is so sad, is
that if gay people don't know how it feels to be free and
equal, they often don't see any need to put pressure on
the Government for it because they get set in their ways
and accept their conditions. Is anywhere Jamaicans can
take grievances for human rights abuses? It is now a pub-
lished, scientific fact that homosexuality is an innate, bio-
logical condition. Therefore, anyone or any government
who treats gays as less than equal is contravening their
human rights. Once you have that facility, there'd be thou-
sands suing the Government, individuals and compa-
nies (like they did here) and they would have to do some-
thing about it.

I am etc.,
Edward Hales.
United Kingdom.
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The Jamaica OutPost | Kingston, Jamaica June 2005 Volume 2 Issue 1
I 6
JAMAICA'S GAY COMMUNITY ONE YEAR LATER
By Anthony Hren, The Jamaica DutPost Contpibutop
As this anniversary issue approached, I began to reflect
upon the past year. It is surprising how much can change
in a year and also how things can stay the same. Of
course, the murder of Brian Williamson has been a major
change for many. We may never know the full motives of
his murderer(s). Robbery was clearly involved, but be-
yond that, it is merely conjecture. This has not stopped
GLBT activists on both sides of the Atlantic from capitaliz-
ing on his murder and making him a martyr of sorts, using
his name and image to agitate for change in Jamaica. I'm
not sure he would have approved of this at all. Brian al-
ways wanted Jamaican gays to overcome their fear and
demand equality themselves. That is why he was always
eager to speak out himself and act as a role model. It is
sad that his murder seems to have had the opposite ef-
fect. Jamaican GLBT activists seem less visible locally
(though there was an extensive publicity campaign con-
ducted in the US) as foreign advocacy efforts have stirred
up increased anti-gay sentiment and quite possibly vio-
lence that no one wants to talk about. Nine gay men were
found dead between last June and January of this year,
including the gay son of a Member of Parliament. The av-
erage GLBT Jamaican would have no visible sign that
any advocacy on their behalf was being conducted at any
level despite the increased funding that has poured in
from abroad, due in part to Brian's untimely demise. This
is the last thing he would have wanted. We can only hope
that behind the scene, local activists are diligently at work
and making strides that will one day bear visible fruit.

In the meantime, the inequality experienced by LGBT in-
dividuals in Jamaica continues unabated. Discriminatory
laws still remain on the books and constitutional protec-
tions are no longer even mentioned as a viable goal. The
gay community continues to remain rigidly divided along
class lines; with those at the top able to live relatively
comfortable lives and those at the bottom just the oppo-
site. Fear still seems the hallmark of gay existence lead-
ing to lifestyles of duplicity and apathy regarding change.
www.geocities.com/sasod_guyana
One year later, it doesn't seem that any progress has
been made, at least on the surface. But who knows?
Maybe this year of hyper publicity followed by back-
lash, followed by silence will provide a necessary ges-
tation period for the next phase of locally visible advo-
cacy efforts. Let us hope this vision, one that Brian
would surely embrace, will unfold as another year
comes to pass.
IMPORTANT NOTICE
Effective irrmediately. The Jamaica OutPost will reduce its ptblica-
tion from mDnthiy to quarterly. Alitionally, the format of our web-
site will also change. Articles will no longer be ptblished on the
website. Instead, a PDF version of the newsletter will be made
available. Our website users will therefore, required to have a copy
of Adobe PDF installed on their corrputers in order to read the
newsletter online.
V\fe also continue to invite our readers to send in corrments and or
editorials for the benefit of the greater corrmunity. V\fe thank you
for your SLqxrt over the past year.
Results of Last DutPoll
Do you think that filing a civil suit in Jamaica's Siprerre Court
could pave the way for gay rights in Jamaica?

Definitely: 40% MAYBE: 50% Not Sure: 0%

No: 10% Absolutely Not: 10%

This month's question:
Wien was the last time you did an HIV test?

CfiST YOUR VCFTE ONUNE:
vwwv.jamaicaoutpost.com
aickon:OutPbll
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The Jamaica OutPost | Kingston, Jamaica June 2005 Volume 2 Issue 1
I 7
1ST WORLD OUTGAMES MONTREAL DRAWS MAJOR SPONSORS
By Jason Simmonds, The Jamaica QutPost Contributor

The 1st World
Outgames
Montreal 2006
will be the larg-
est event ever
organised by
the LGBT
(lesbian, gay,
transgender
and trans-
Bell Canada- DutgamEs sponsor qender) com-
munity. The Outgames will be held in Montreal from
29 July to 5 August 2006, preceded by the "The Right to
Be Different" International Conference, from 26 to 29 July
2006. The International Conference will be a worldwide
first for the advancement of LGBT rights around the
world. Montreal 2006 is working in direct collaboration
with GLISA (the Gay and Lesbian International Sport As-
sociation), holder of the World Outgames trademark. The
event is expected to draw some 16,000 participants,
250,000 visitors and an estimated 2.3 million spectators.

Surely, an event of this magnitude could not have been
made possible without the financial backing of many part-
ners. To date, Outgames has successfully attracted the
financial support of many sponsors including the Govern-
ment of Canada, the Government of Ouebec, the City of
Montreal, Tourisme Montreal and the Greater Montreal
Hotel Association. Additionally, many public and private
sponsors have joined their original group of partners in-
cluding many LGBT media organisations have pledged
their support to this extraordinary and ground-breaking
project. Among the list of major sponsors are Air Canada,
Radio Canada, Gay Crawler, Mi Brasil, Canada Gay
Guide and FunMaps.
The most recent top player to pump corporate funding
into the Outgames is Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE),
Canada's largest communications company. For over
a hundred years now, BCE, which is simply called
"Bell" by its millions of customers, has been providing
local and long-distance telephone, wireless communi-
cations, Internet access, data, satellite television and
other services to residential and business customers
through some 27 million customer connections.

In a statement from the company, Mr. Mark Bruneau,
Executive Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer
said that the company chose to become a sponsor of
the 1^' World Outgames Montreal 2006 in order to
"promote the values that inform our involvement in
Canada's communities by recognizing the economic
and cultural contribution an event of this scale will
make." Mr. Bruneau will also preside as the Honorary
President of la Nuit d'Or Gala, a fundraising gala for
the Montreal 2006 bursary programme to benefit ath-
letes with limited financial resources to be held on the
evening of September 1, 2005.
Visit the official Outgames website:
www.montreal2006.org
(CRIES...Continued from page 3)
also forces these men in denial, guilt or confusion about
sexuality, which brings about greater dysfunction within
the society.

JO: What would you want readers to come away with
from reading your book?
Dennis: The book is a love story, a story about denial,
trust, guilt and most of all forgiveness. I want readers to
understand that male rape is a crime and like, racism,
genocide, hate crimes and global warming it affects us
all, may be not directly but the ripples will. Though the
book speaks directly bout Jamaican male victims of sex-
ual abuse, other victims across ethnic, cultural, race and
religious lines will recognize that they are not alone. It is
also important for readers to understand that male rape
does not make a man gay or bi-sexual and though it may
steal a man of his dignity he is still a man. The resources
and recommendations can be both helpful to both vic-
tims and their family members and friends. In the end I
want readers to understand that love is a healing ele-
ment in life. To be happy one must love themselves and
ultimate and true happiness comes only from within.
www.obriendennis.com
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The Jamaica OutPost | Kingston, Jamaica June 2005 Volume 2 Issue 1
I 8
Global Headlines
Indian society is show-
ing signs of growing toler-
ance for homosexuals in
big cities according to
finding by the BBC.

Britain inducts Chris
Smith into the House of
Lords, the second openly
gay man to do so. He is
also the first openly gay
man to serve in the British
Parliament.

British gay clergy to be
allowed to register as do-
mestic partners by the
Church of England when
the new laws takes effect
in December. Both part-
ners must remain chaste,
however, in order to ad-
here to church principles
regarding sexual practices
out of wedlock.

Massachusetts Su-
preme Judicial Court re-
jects attempt by Roman
Catholic group to have to
suspend the law legalizing
gay marriages in the U.S.

Pope Benedict XVI at-
tacks gay marriages and
adoption of children by
gay couples at a confer-
ence on family in Rome.
In his address, the Pope
said allowing gay couples
to adopt is "doing violence
to these children."
Swiss voters approved
marriage-like rights for
same-gender couples in
matters relating to taxes,
social security, pension
and inheritance. The ref-
erendum follows an objec-
tion by a religious party of
an earlier parliamentary
vote that approved the
law.
IntErnatiDnal News
UK GOV'T LAUNCHES WEB PAGES FOR GAY CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS
LONDON, June 7 There is no doubt
that December 5 and 21 will be two
dates that will go down in "gay history" in
the United Kingdom.

On December 5, the Civil Partnership Act
2004 will come into force and from this
date same sex couples will be able to
give "notice of intent" that they will be
registering a civil partnership. Then from
December 21, same sex couples will be
able to actually register their partner-
ships, which will be legally recognised.
While the wording of the Act itself has
been know for more than six months,
there are still many questions that those
couples considering a civil partnership
want answered as the make the big deci-
sion as to whether or not they wish to
register.
So the Government has set-up a special
section of its Women and Equality Unit's
website.

Meg Munn, the Deputy Minister for
Women and Equality announced the web
pages today. She said she was
"delighted" to be the Minister with re-
sponsibility for bringing the Civil Partner-
ship Act into force.

"It is a much needed social reform which
will, for the first time, enable same-sex
couples to obtain recognition for their re-
lationships," she said.

"In the run up to the Act coming into
force, the Women and Equality Unit will
be publishing regular e-bulletins on its
website to highlight the arrangements
being made for civil partnership. This will
provide vital information including the
procedures for registering.

"I am pleased to tell you that the first of
these bulletins has now been published
on the website," she said.

This first page contains such items as:
Registering your civil partnership;
Changes to tax law;
Occupational pensions;
Changes to Employment regulations;
Secondary legislation
In addition, anyone can sign-up for email
alerts of new pages about the Civil Partner-
ship Act as and when they become avail-
able.

The Civil Partnership Act will recognize
same-sex couples who have entered into a
marriage or civil partnership in another
country, as long as long as their overseas
relationship meets the requirements set out
in the Civil Partnership Act (Schedule 20).
To date, the following will apply from De-
cember 5 (in Canada, territories and in
USA, states):

Belgium (marriage);
Canada Nova Scotia (domestic partner-
ship); Ouebec (civil union);
Denmark (partnerskab registered part-
nership);
Finland (rekisteroity parisuhde regis-
tered partnership);
France (pacte civile de solidarite civil
solidarity pact);
Germany (Lebenspartnerschaft life part-
nership);
Iceland (staSfesta samvist confirmed
cohabitation);
Netherlands (geregistreerde partner-
schap registered partnership);
Netherlands (marriage);
Norway (partnerskap registered part-
nership);
Sweden (registrerat partnerskap regis-
tered partnership);
United States of America Vermont (civil
union).

New relationships will be added to Sched-
ule 20 as more countries or territories bring
in gay marriage or civil partnership
schemes. Recent developments include
civil union legislation in New Zealand and
Connecticut (USA).

In Spain, a government backed gay mar-
riage bill passed through the lower house of
Parliament on 21 April 2005, and now goes
before the Senate. These and any other
new overseas schemes will now be consid-
ered for inclusion in Schedule 20.

Courtesy of UK Gay News
www.ukgaynews.org.uk