U.K. antidiscrimination laws survive challenge
The House of Lords rebuffed an attempt Jan. 10 to block the United Kingdom’s new laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services.
The unelected Lords voted down the Christian-backed proposal 199-68.
Opponents argued that it would be unconscionable for the government to punish, for example, Christian owners of a bed-and-breakfast for refusing to rent a room to a gay couple.
The antidiscrimination protections already have taken effect in Northern Ireland and come into force in the rest of the United Kingdom in April.
Trouble for Scottsdale/Marrakech sister-city plan
The Scottsdale Sister Cities Association in Arizona has come under fire from gay activists over a plan that would pair Scottsdale and Marrakech, Morocco, as “sister cities.”
They say it’s contradictory for a city with an official gay-tourist outreach program to team up with a country that punishes gay sex with up to three years in prison.
“It wouldn’t have been our first pick,” said Amy Kobeta, director of public affairs at the Arizona Human Rights Fund and Foundation.
“It makes me curious about what guidelines they used in selecting a sister city,” she told the East Valley Tribune. “[O]ur hope is that they would look at other areas of the world that are more tolerant.”
According to Amnesty International, about 80 of the world’s 193 independent nations criminalize gay sex.
Kylie Minogue is top British gay icon
Singer Kylie Minogue is the greatest gay icon of all time, according to the British market-research company OnePole. The company questioned more than 5,000 gays and lesbians on the topic.
Dolly Parton took second place, ABBA was third, Judy Garland fourth and Marilyn Monroe fifth.
David Beckham placed sixth, Madonna seventh, Audrey Hepburn eighth, Peter Andre and partner Katie Price (aka the model Jordan) ninth, and Liza Minnelli 10th.