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Big Gay News from the United States:
APA Removes “Gender Identity Disorder” From Updated Mental Health Guide

The San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reports that the American Psychiatric Association’s board of trustees approved changes to the latest version of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) that removed the term “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID) which has historically been used by mental health professionals to diagnose transgender individuals.

Many transgender advocates see this change as an important step in removing stigma against transgender people based on false stereotypes about gender identity and expression, as well as the word “disorder.”

 

BigGayNews from Detroit:
Teacher In South Lyon Suspended For Playing Song About Being Gay In Class

The Detroit News reports that a Detroit-area middle school teacher says she’s been suspended for playing a song about being gay during class.

Susan Johnson alleges that the principal and assistant superintendent delivered the news to her last week after a student complained because she allowed the song “Same Love” to be played during her eighth-grade performing arts class at Centennial Middle School in South Lyon at the request of another student.

Johnson states that she was told her suspension would last three days and that she wouldn’t be paid for two of those days.

 

BigGayNews from the United States:
Married Gays, Lesbians Still Viewed As “Single” By Military

Progress-Index.com reports that, even with the repeal last year of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law, the Department of Defense has kept in place policies that bar spouses of same-gender couples from having military identification cards, shopping on base, living in base housing or participating in certain family support programs.

Unfortunately, some disparities of treatment for GLBT couples won’t end unless Congress repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as solely between a man and woman, or unless the U.S. Supreme Court rules that DOMA is unconstitutional.

While this law remains in effect, it will prohibit the extension of many federal benefits, including military allowances, travel reimbursements and health coverage to same-sex spouses.

 

BigGayNews from New York:
West Point Chapel Hosts First Same-Sex Marriage

USA Today reports that the ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy’s Cadet Chapel comes a little more than a year after President Obama ended the military policy banning openly gay people from serving.

Penelope Gnesin and Brenda Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate, exchanged vows in a ceremony conducted by a senior Army chaplain.

Fulton said that when she initially requested the West Point chapel, she was told that none of the chaplains who preside there come from a denomination that allowed them to celebrate a gay marriage. Therefore, their marriage was officiated by a friend, Army Chaplain Col. J. Wesley Smith of Dover Air Force Base.

 

BigGayNews from Israel:
Israeli Court Grants First Gay Divorce

JTA.org reports that for the first time a gay Israeli couple was granted a divorce by an Israeli family court.

According to Haaretz, the divorce of Tel Aviv University Professor Avi Even, the first openly gay Knesset member, and Dr. Amit Kama was granted on Sunday by the Ramat Gan Family Court, which then ordered the Interior Minister to register their status as divorced.

The couple were married in Canada in 2004 after living together for more than a decade, but legally, only Canadian citizens can be divorced in Canada. They were also the first same-sex male couple in Israel to have their legal right of adoption recognized.

 

BigGayNews from London:
London Butler Battles To Have Archaic Gay Sex Conviction Quashed

Gay Star News reports that a 73-year-old man from London who was convicted in the 1950s for being in a gay relationship is among the first to apply to have his criminal record wiped clean.

John Crawford was convicted of two counts of buggery in 1959 and received a conditional discharge at Winchester Crown Court, but was ‘horrified’ to discover he had a criminal record after applying for voluntary work to help gay prisoners at Wormwood Scrubs Prison in Shepherd’s Bush, west London.

The former butler will now apply to the Home Secretary to have the conviction overturned via The Protection of Freedoms Act, passed in May 2012, which means that convictions made under Section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824 can be erased from gay men’s criminal records.

 

BigGayNews from Poland:
Polish Court Approves Same-Sex Couple Inheritance

ABC News reports that Poland’s Supreme Court said Wednesday that a same-sex partner can inherit the right to a deceased’s rented apartment.

The decision extends a right that previously had been granted only to spouses, children, grandchildren or unmarried heterosexual partners of tenants who had died.

Poland, which joined the European Union in 2004 does not currently allow gay marriage, although Prime Minister Donald Tusk, along with some prior officials, have said that inheritance or social security could be secured to same-sex partners through lawfully registered agreements between them.

 

BigGayNews from Cuba:
Transgender Woman 1st To Win Office In Cuba

Pride Source reports that Adela Hernandez, a biologically male Cuban who has lived as a female since childhood and served two years in prison in the 1980s for “dangerousness” after her own family denounced her sexuality, made history this month by becoming the first known transgender person to hold public office in Cuba.

In a country where gays have been persecuted for decades and sent to grueling work camps in the countryside, Hernandez, 48, hailed her election as yet another milestone in a gradual shift away from macho attitudes.

Hernandez won office in early November by taking a runoff vote 280-170. Her position is the equivalent of a city councilor, and will make her eligible to be selected as a representative to Parliament in early 2013.

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