Mexico City to try to overturn gay marriage
Federal prosecutors in Mexico City announced Jan. 27 they would seek to overturn the city’s new gay-marriage law on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.
A statement from the federal Attorney General’s Office said the law “violates the principle of legality, because it strays from the constitutional principle of protecting the family.”
The law is due to come into effect in March, after being approved in December. It also includes specific rights for gays to adopt and is the first such law in Latin America.
Mexico City previously allowed civil unions but did not allow gay couples to adopt.
Mayor Marcelo Ebrard of the progressive Democratic Revolution Party refused to veto it, despite calls for him to do so from the Mexican Catholic Church and the conservative National Action Party, which said it would appeal to Mexico’s Supreme Court.
The Roman Catholic archbishop of Mexico, Cardinal Noberto Rivera Carrera, deemed the bill “immoral” and “reprehensible” last month.
City officials have said action from the Attorney General’s Office would not prevent the law from coming into force.
According to On Top Magazine, city legal advisor Leticia Bonifaz told the Excelsior newspaper that she was “totally confident that this is an issue of fundamental rights.”
In December, two gay men from Argentina had Latin America’s first gay marriage.
Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre married in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego state, where sympathetic state officials backed their bid.
Italy opens first transgender prison
Italy will open its first prison especially for trans inmates.
The building, a former halfway house for women, is in the town of Empoli, Tuscany. It will open in late March.
It will house 30 prisoners who are currently being held in a special section of a prison outside Florence.
Trans prisoners, especially those transitioning from male to female, can often find their treatment postponed while in jail.
In the United States, there have been several cases of inmates taking legal action after being refused hair-removal treatment or state-funded surgery.
Authorities are reluctant to house them in women’s prisons and they often have to be housed separately in men’s prisons.
Maria Pia Giuffrida, a detention administration official, said the building was “very satisfactory.”
The move was welcomed by LGBT groups and Vladimir Luxuria, a former MP and Italy’s best-known trans advocate.
She said that such prisoners were often punished for their trans status along with their crimes, adding, “It’s a question of dignity.”
Film touted as India’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’
Although several gay scenes have featured already in Bollywood productions, an upcoming film is being touted as India’s answer to “Brokeback Mountain.”
Promotional posters for “Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyun” were recently released showing two topless men embracing.
Few details about the film have been disclosed but it is expected to be a high-profile release. The director is Anil Sharma, who is well known in India’s film industry.
“The only thing I was particular about was that this character should not come across as a caricature or just as an object of mockery,” Sharma said. “I am truly happy with what I have chosen.”
The film will be in English with subtitles, which may help it to pass censors.
Actor Kapil Sharma will play a would-be gay model who begins a sexual relationship with another man. It is not yet clear whether this will be a romantic relationship, as reports say the central character is forced to “compromise” his morals to further his career.
Bollywood has rarely mentioned homosexuality in the past and even heterosexual kisses are still unusual.
But since the Indian capital Delhi legalized homosexuality last year, it is very slowly becoming more accepted in the culture.
A recent film, “Dostana,” showed two men pretending to be gay in order to win over a female love interest, but “Dunno Y ... Na Jaane Kyun” is the first big release to tackle the issue of homosexuality seriously.
One upcoming small film, “I Am,” depicts male prostitutes being harassed by homophobic police officers. It is currently being shown at the Rotterdam Film Festival.
“Dunno Y ... Na Jaane Kyun” is expected to be released in May.
Lesbian albatrosses welcome chick
A pair of lesbian royal albatrosses in New Zealand have welcomed their first chick into the world.
The couple, who live at Royal Albatross Colony on South Island, are not unique, but it is particularly unusual for lesbian albatrosses to successfully incubate an egg.
Royal albatrosses are an endangered species and the new chick is one of just 17 new additions to the colony this year. The colony has had three lesbian couples in the last 70 years.
It is not known who the father of the chick is.
Robin Thomas, spokesperson for the Department of Conservation, said, “One of them obviously mated so their egg was fertile. Only one egg was laid and that’s now hatched.”
He added that all three were doing well, after the chick initially struggled.
The female birds reportedly take turns looking after it, after they share incubation duties.
When the pregnancy was announced last month, the local tourism board encouraged members of the public to send in name suggestions for the new baby.