National News

Oklahoma House Won’t Cite Member for Antigay Talk
Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern will not receive legislative punishment for antigay comments she made earlier this year, House Speaker Chris Benge said. Thousands of e-mails and phone calls began flooding the offices of Kern and other legislators after she told a group of fellow Republicans that gays are “the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam,” The Oklahoman reported. Benge, a Republican, stated she does not plan to punish Kern for the remarks made in January. Several organizations reportedly requested that Benge punish Kern, or require her to apologize. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is examining a large number of alleged e-mail and phone death threats Kern has received.

Mayor’s Column Axed for Remarks on Gays

The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, city commission axed the Mayor’s column in a city-funded magazine after he complained in print about gay cruising areas. In the column in Focus on Fort Lauderdale, Mayor Jim Naugle complained of finding a Fort Lauderdale park touted as a place where gay men could find sex partners. He also asked residents to complain to police if they witnessed illegal activities. Naugle, who also brought up the issue in his state-of-the-city message, refused to apologize. In his column, he used the term “homosexual” rather than “gay,” arguing that not all homosexuals are happy.

World News

Sexual Preference Affects Health Care
Gay men are more apt to consult a doctor than heterosexual men, but lesbian women are less likely to see a doctor than heterosexual women, a study found. Published by Statistics Canada, it found health care services differ depending on self-identified sexual preference of gay, lesbian, or bisexual, independent of other factors such as age, income, education, and health status. The study used 2003 and 2005 data from the Canadian Community Health Survey for adults ages 18 to 59. About 29 percent of gay men had consulted a medical specialist in the 12 months prior to the survey, compared with 19 percent of heterosexual men; 8 percent of gay men consulted a psychologist, compared to 3 percent of heterosexual men; 77 percent of lesbians had seen a family doctor in the 12 months before the survey, compared with 83 percent of heterosexual women.

Canada Reaffirms No Gay Blood Donors

Two Canadian agencies responsible for blood donations have ignored scientific appeals to accept blood from gay men, Montreal’s Gazette reported. Mark Wainberg and Norbert Gilmore of Montreal’s McGill University AIDS Center filed data with Hema-Quebec and Canadian Blood Services that the nucleic acid test used to screen for HIV in donated blood is 10,000 times more sensitive than the serological tests used in the 1980s, when the gay-donor ban went into force, the newspaper said. Gilmore told a news conference that if the ban were lifted, the Canadian blood supply would gain about 136,000 additional donations each year from gay men. However, Canadian Blood Services spokeswoman Anne Trueman stated the group’s board “just wasn’t satisfied that all the science was in place” to make guarantees of blood safety, according to the newspaper. She said the nucleic acid test still can miss the presence of HIV in someone who was infected only two weeks earlier.

Lesbian Lovers Get Life for Killing Teen
Two young Australian women were sentenced to life in prison for sealing their own relationship by killing a teenage girl. Valerie Parashumti, 19, and Jessica Stasinowsky, 21, must serve at least 24 years before they will be eligible for parole, The West Australian reported. The lesbian couple, who lived in Perth, were convicted of battering Stacey Mitchell, 16, with a chunk of concrete. They kissed over her body, then filmed themselves using a cell phone, and showed the video to some of their friends. Justice Peter Blaxell said he was horrified by the pleasure they showed. “It is also very troubling that you do not show any remorse or shame for what you did, [but] instead, appear to be amused and jubilant,” he told them.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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