Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gay News Roundup.

Gay news from around the world.

by Harold C. Jones

Israeli politician faces backlash for stance on same-sex marriage. She supports tax breaks equal to traditionally married couples but not state recognition otherwise.

Presently, “Under Israeli law, the only marriage ceremonies performed in Israel that are recognized by the government are those conducted under the auspices of a recognized religion. The government also recognizes marriages performed overseas.”

While some of the insulting rhetoric directed against Ayelet Shaked seems harsh, the bit about ‘under the auspices of a recognized religion’ is also a bit out of touch with modern secular realities. The part about tax breaks but not recognition seems at odds with conservative views in other countries. (Israel National News.)


U.S. embassy issues same-sex visa although marriages not recognized in Phillipines.

“Although same-sex marriage is not yet recognized in the Philippines, the embassy said gay Americans are now able to petition for family-based visas on behalf of their Filipino spouses, fiancĂ©s, and their children. Noel ‘Aeinghel’ Amaro and Robert Cotterman were the first gay couple in the Philippines to receive a fiancĂ© visa. Cotterman serves in the US military and is scheduled to return from a tour in Afghanistan next month.”


Same-sex marriage, December 8, Canberra, Australia. (Canberra Times.)

A politician and his partner were among the first Australian same-sex couples to be wed when it became legal.

“Just after midnight local time, Stephen Dawson, a member of the opposition Labor Party in Western Australia, and partner Dennis Liddelow, said “I do” in the national capital Canberra. In October, the Australian Capital Territory, which includes Canberra, became the first jurisdiction in the country to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill took effect on Saturday. But the couple’s marriage may be short-lived: the High Court will hear a federal government challenge to the validity of the ACT law on Thursday.”

Might as well get ‘er done while you still can, eh, boys?


Cabinet committee rejects same-sex housing benefit law.

“The ministers saw the proposal as unnecessary, a cabinet statement said Sunday afternoon, since a government regulation in force since 2007 already grants same-sex couples those same benefits.”

So in other words it already exists, they just don’t want to sanction it. Israel is an interesting country because of the mix of secular and non-secular aims, which is represented by the political alliances they form, un-form and re-form with great regularity.


Full benefits extended to Department of Defense staff in S. Korea.

“U.S. Forces Korea last week decided to grant full marriage benefits to same-sex couples, meaning the spouses of gay and lesbian service-members and U.S. civilians living in South Korea can now shop at the commissary and post exchanges. The decision comes after USFK officials deliberated for months on whether granting such benefits to gay couples would violate the status of forces agreement in a country where gay unions are not recognized.”

The privilege of purchase in the base Px aside, this story raises some important issues. In S. Korea, same-sex marriages are not legally recognized, and yet a military base enjoys some degree of extra-territoriality.

Inside the fence would be governed by the laws of the United States, outside the gate, the laws of the host country must be respected.


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