Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gay Argentine Couple to Wed on Tuesday

On Tuesday, Alex Freyre and partner Jose Maria Di Bello, Latin America's first same-sex couple to be granted a marriage, will be wed in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Freyre and Di Bello's forthcoming nuptials have been debated on television, in churches and on the street. Hostile posters can be found on billboards across the city. But, in Di Bello's words, nothing can now prevent him and his partner becoming "husband and husband".
Not surprisingly, the marriage is already being hailed by equality activists as a significant triumph against the odds in a traditionally macho society. Argentina – and Latin America in general – is not known for a tolerance of sexual diversity, and violence against gays is an everyday occurrence.

"This marriage is bigger than José María and I," Freyre told the Observer. "It is a victory for all who face prejudice and discrimination across Latin America and the Caribbean. It is proof that at last the grip of the Catholic church is slipping across Latin America, the system that has kept gay communities silent and fearful is crumbling. What is happening on Tuesday is a strike against those attitudes that have repressed sexual rights across this continent for too long."

Freyre and Di Bello say they will be relieved when the spotlight moves elsewhere after Tuesday's ceremony. "We have people calling us every day saying we are their heroes, people we don't know crying on the phone saying that Tuesday will be the best day of their life," said Freyre. "But we won't want to be heroes, all we wanted to do was get married. And now we've brought a little rainbow to Latin America, it's time for others to take up the banner as well and make us not the exception but the rule."

Read the full article at The Guardian UK.

New Disease Among HIV+ Gay Men

A rare parasitic disease, which normally only is transmitted by contaminated water, has been shown to be transmitted by gay sex between hiv-positive men. In the industrial world the disease is virtually absent, but from now on that could change. For this observation, Taiwanese researcher Chieng-Ching Hung received a doctorate from the University of Antwerp and the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp.

Read the rest of the article at Medical News Today.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Will Annise Parker make Houston the country's largest city with an LGBT Mayor?

Decision Day is rapidly approaching in Houston, Texas. In just over two weeks, December 12th, voters in Houston have the chance to make history by electing Annise Parker to be their next mayor. If elected, Houston would become the largest city with an openly gay or lesbian mayor.

Although a victory by Annise would be historic and a victory for the LGBT community at large, a win would also be a big victory for the citizens of Houston. Annise is not new to this city; she has been an elected official for years and she is currently the city's Comptroller.

She has received the enthusiastic endorsement of the Houston Chronicle, the city's largest newspaper, and a recent poll shows Annise Parker with a tiny edge:

Annise Parker 37%
Gene Locke 34%
Margin of Error +/- 4.4%

Want to connect with the campaign or help with time or money? Here are your links:

and most importantly:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Election Roundup from November 3rd

We have been away for a few months, but now we are going to get back to regularly updating this blog.

There was a lot of LGBT news from Election Night around the country.

The biggest story of the night was that voters in Maine vetoed the marriage equality law. Politico had a thoughtful analysis of what went wrong. You can read it here.

But there were many bright spots:

Kalamazoo, Michigan voters chose to keep an existing ordinance banning discrimination against LGBT persons.

Annise Parker finished first in the Houston mayoral election, although she fell short of the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff. If she wins the runoff election, Annise will be the city's first openly LGBT mayor.

Charles Pugh will become Detroit's first openly gay councilmember. He finished in first place and will also become the city council president.

Steve Kornell won his race for St. Petersburg City Council. Now St. Pete will be Florida's largest city with an openly gay councilmember.

Sandra Kurt overcame anti-gay attacks to become the first openly LGBT councilmember.

Mark Kleinschmidt was elected mayor of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.