Thursday, December 21, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - December 21, 2006

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Stop Delaying Gay Partner Benefits Court Tells Alaska Lawmakers
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: December 21, 2006 12:01 am ET

(Juneau, Alaska) The Alaska Supreme Court has chastised state lawmakers forattempting to delay implementation of a court ruling ordering the state toprovide health benefits to the same-sex partners of state workers.

The court this week said the benefits must be available on the January 1deadline it originally set.

Last month outgoing Gov. Frank Murkowski called the legislature into specialsession to approve a benefits package worked out by the Department ofAdministration to comply with the court order declaring the lack of healthand pension benefits violated the Alaska constitution.

But rather than approving the plan the House and Senate passed legislationprohibiting the Alaska Commissioner of Administration for implementing thecourt ruling.


The New York Times

December 21, 2006
N.J. Gov. to Make Gay Unions Official
Filed at 7:16 a.m. ET

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's gay couples are gaining all the rightsand responsibilities of marriage under state law as New Jersey moves tobecome the third in the nation to institute civil unions and the fifth tooffer some version of marriage.

Gov. Jon S. Corzine planned to sign the civil unions bill on Thursday.

When the law takes effect Feb. 19, New Jersey will join Connecticut andVermont as states that allow civil unions for gay couples. Massachusettsallows gay couples to marry, while California has domestic partnerships thatbring full marriage rights.

Gay couples granted civil unions in New Jersey will have adoption,inheritance, hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights and theright not to testify against a partner in state court.


The New York Times

December 21, 2006
California: Reviewing Same-Sex Marriage

The California Supreme Court unanimously agreed to decide whether the state'sban on same-sex marriage violates a constitutional ban on discrimination.The justices' move sets aside a lower court's decision that upheld statelaws banning gay men and lesbians from marrying one another. The outcome isnot likely until late next year. The justices are reviewing an Octoberdecision by the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco, which ruled2 to 1 that California marriage laws do not discriminate because gay men andlesbians get most all the rights of marriage the state confers toheterosexual married couples. The case was brought by about 20 same-sexcouples and the City of San Francisco.


Gay Nigerian deported by Labour

New evidence dismissed without hearing

London - 21 December 2006

Twenty year old gay Nigerian asylum seeker, Emmanuel Obahiaghbon, wasdeported back to Nigeria on Monday 4 December 2006, on the orders ofthe Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne MP.

Mr Obahiaghbon had claimed asylum on the grounds of persecutionbecause of his homosexuality. A psychiatrist had visited him indetention and confirmed that he had symptoms of trauma consistent withhaving suffered physical and sexual violence.

Acting at Mr Obahiaghbon's request, gay human rights group OutRage!had presented Home Office Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne MP, newevidence corroborating Emmanuel's claims of persecution - including aNigerian police warrant for his arrest on charges of homosexuality anda solicitor's letter stating that he was likely to be sentenced todeath by stoning. Emmanuel's region of Nigeria is subject to IslamicSharia law, which stipulates the death penalty for gay sex.


The New York Times

December 20, 2006
Furor in Italy Over "Gay Nativity" in Parliament
Filed at 11:38 a.m. ET

ROME (Reuters) - Two leftists in Italy's ruling coalition on Wednesdayoutraged fellow lawmakers by placing four dolls representing homosexualcouples near the baby Jesus in the official nativity scene in parliament.

The two parliamentarians from the small ``Rose in the Fist'' party saidtheir gesture was to promote the legalization of gay marriage and grantinglegal recognition to unmarried couples.

Bruno Mellano and Donatella Poretti placed the Barbie and Ken-type dolls inthe parliamentary nativity scene, each couple lying down embraced among theshepherds witnessing the birth of Jesus.

Each of the two doll couples, which parliamentary ushers removed after a fewminutes, wore miniature placards with slogans in favor of gay rights.


Lesbians barred from adopting partners' children

Published: 20th December 2006 15:23 CET
The Local


They are married to the biological mothers, but a court in Sweden hasrefused to allow two lesbian women to adopt the children they consider to betheirs.

The case concerns two women whose partners were inseminated in Denmark,where sperm donors are guaranteed anonymity. Both women applied for adoptionin Sweden.

But a Swedish district court has rejected their application, saying thataccording to Swedish law all children have the right to find out who theirbiological parents are.

"I can't understand how they are thinking," one of the mothers told TheLocal.

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