Big Gay News: 494


BigGayNews from Massachusetts:
More Than 1,500 Support Derrick Gordon, Gay/Lesbian Community At UMass-Amherst Rally

MassLive reports that more than 1,500 rallied Wednesday at the University of Massachusetts in support of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and Derrick Gordon, the UMass basketball player who came out as gay last week.

The rally was organized after Westboro Baptist Church announced a planned protest at the university because of the school’s support of Gordon.

Five members of Westboro Baptist Church showed up, while the UMass group consisted of more than 1,500 students, community members, school officials and members of Amherst’s faith community.


BigGayNews from Washington:
Boy Scouts Ban Church From Hosting Troop Led By Gay Man

NBC News reports that the Boy Scouts organization has told a Seattle-area church that it can no longer host a troop because the church has vowed to keep a gay man on as troop leader.

Ranier Beach United Methodist Church had vowed to stand by Geoff McGrath, the openly gay man who oversees the troop that the church sponsors, and Revered Monica Corsaro stated that, while the BSA’s move was not unexpected, she is disappointed that her congregation’s stand on anti-discrimination is not being respected.

According to a BSA leader, sponsorship of the troop and its affiliated Cub Scout pack will likely be taken over by a local community center.


BigGayNews from Italy:
Italian Court Orders Town To Recognize Gay Couple Married Abroad

Reuters reports that an Italian court has ordered a town to recognize the marriage of a gay couple who were wed in the United States, a move that advocates of gay marriage, which is not allowed in Italy, is hailed as a first step toward legality.

The town hall of Grosseto in Tuscany was ordered by the court in the city to list the marriage of Stefano Bucci and Stefano Chigiotti, who were married in New York in 2012, which would give the couple the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Although the state prosecutors’ office has said it will challenge the ruling, Sergio Lo Giudice of Arcigay stated: “This is a unique precedent for our country. It is the first time that a gay marriage has been recognized in Italy.”


BigGayNews from Crimea:
Crimea’s Gay Community Fears For Life Under Russia

The Huffington Post reports that Yelena, an openly gay teacher in Crimea who is raising four children with her partner, fears she could lose her family and her job now that her home has been taken over by Russia.

Many in the GLBT community on the Black Sea peninsula share her fears, considering the strict laws recently passed by Russia last year that have resulted in a rise in persecution of and hate crimes against homosexuals.

Yelena, who asked that her last name not be used, is also very concerned that Russia’s laws against gays adopting children will result in her family being destroyed, but says that the current political and economic crisis in the Crimea makes it very difficult for GLBT people wishing to move to be able to do so.


BigGayNews from New Zealand:
Future King Of England Has Playdate With Child Of Gay Couple During Tour Of New Zealand

GayStarNews reports that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, better known as William and Kate, took their son on a playdate in New Zealand on Wednesday, April 9th that included the daughter of a gay couple.

The royal couple is currently on an official tour of New Zealand, with one of the tour stops being at the The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society which offers free parental support services to families in the country.

Jared Mullen and Ryan Tunstall’s daughter Isabella was one of the ten babies invited to play with the heir to the British throne. Mullen told reporters that the invitation to be part of the experience was a “huge privilege”.


BigGayNews from Turkey:
Turkey Is Building The World’s First Openly Gay Prison

Business Insider reports that the GLBT community in Turkey is in an uproar over the weekend announcement by Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag that the government has come up with a plan to “protect convicts” by constructing separate prisons for openly gay or transgender inmates.

Ostensibly, the move is to protect GLBT prisoners from abuse by other inmates, but Murat Koylu, a spokesman for the gay rights group Kaos GL, said that it was little more than “a medieval-age practice” meant as a punishment to segregate and ostracize homosexuals.

Turkish law does not specifically outlaw homosexuality, but it is frowned upon by many and can be punished under “public morality” laws.


BigGayNews from Malta:
Malta Legalizes Gay Partnerships, Adoption Rights

The Huffington Post reports that the Maltese parliament approved a law late on Monday to recognize same-sex partnerships on a legal par with marriage, including allowing gay couples to adopt.

Nearly 1,000 people gathered in the square outside of the parliament building in the country’s capital of Valletta, and greeted the news with enthusiastic celebration.

The Nationalist Party, who abstained from the vote, said that it had no problem with allowing civil unions, but that it was less sure about allowing gays and lesbians to adopt.

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