Italian PM: Gays never to marry, adopt
Embattled Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said gay couples will never be permitted to marry.
Speaking at a Catholic conference in Milan, he said: “Gays will never have marriages equal to traditional family values because there is only one family.”
He added: “This government will not allow singles or gays to adopt.”
The 74-year-old leader told the conference he would not resign, despite his own moral troubles. He has been charged with having sex with an underage prostitute and will go on trial in April.
Police say that Karima El Mahroug, who was 17 at the time, was a guest at one of Berlusconi’s so-called “sex” parties.
He is also on trial for tax fraud.
Last year, Berlusconi angered gay groups by saying: “I have a grueling work schedule and if I happen to look pretty girls in the face now and then, well then, it’s better to be a fan of pretty women than to be gay.”
Gay Zimbabwean fights for amnesty
A demonstration broke out in Finland in support of a gay Zimbabwean man who faces deportation, despite three applications for asylum in Finland.
The man, identified only as Farai, is staying in the Metsälä Reception Center in Helsinki, according to Finnish gay-rights group Seta. He first came to Finland in 2002 to study. He applied for asylum after his first year, stating he feared returning to Zimbabwe because of the government’s antigay actions, but was denied. His most recent application for asylum was Feb. 18.
Antigay couple loses foster-care rights
A British court has ruled that a Christian couple cannot care for foster children because they disapprove of homosexuality.
Judges at London’s Royal Courts of Justice ruled that laws protecting gays from discrimination take precedence over the couple’s religious beliefs.
Eunice and Owen Johns, aged 62 and 65, had previously fostered children in the 1990s, but what one social worker described as their “strong views” on homosexuality raised red flags with authorities in the English city of Derby when they were interviewed in 2007.
Eunice Johns said Feb. 28 that she was “extremely distressed” by the decision.
But the judges ruled that Britain was “a secular state, not a theocracy.”
England cricketer comes out
England wicketkeeper Steve Davies has become the country’s first professional cricket player to publicly come out.
“It is something I have lived for a long time with and I am really comfortable about things right now,” Davies said. “I have got nothing to hide and I am ready to tell people.”
The 24-year-old player made the announcement Feb. 27 in video interviews, saying he told England coach Andy Flower last year before going on tour to Australia.
“It was a tough thing for me to do, to tell him face to face, but I had to do it,” Davies said. “He supported me 100 percent, him and [captain] Andrew Strauss. It was the right thing to do, as I felt I couldn’t live like this any more.”
Gay men outed in Indian TV report
An Indian TV-news broadcast in Hyderabad outed several gay men with a sting operation through an online dating site.
The broadcast, called “Gay Culture Rampant in Hyderabad,” by Channel TV9 Telugu, showed a reporter logging on to the gay website PlanetRomeo.com. The reporter telephoned two men and asked intimate questions about their sex lives and where they lived and worked.
NDTV reported that one young man attempted suicide after his parents saw him on the program that claimed students and white-collar professionals were becoming “slaves” to an “unnatural lifestyle.” The report showed victims’ profile photos and names and called them “deviants.”
Gay-rights advocates have threatened legal action and called for an apology.
Although homosexuality is not widely accepted in Indian society, gay sex is no longer illegal following a ruling of the Delhi High Court in 2009 that struck down section 377 of the British colonial-era penal code. The Indian Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an appeal of the ruling this April.
— compiled by Larry Nichols