LGBT news in a nutshell: 16-22 July 2012
It’s been a busy week here at So So Gay, and if you’ve been just as occupied as us, then here’s a rundown of this week’s biggest LGBT news stories, in a nutshell, just for you!
Monday 16 July 2012 – Cardinal Keith O’Brien calls for gay marriage referendum.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, called for a vote due to an increase in public interest on the issue of gay marriage. In a statement he said, he said, ‘Clearly, if it is sensible to hold a referendum on independence, it is crucial that we have one on marriage…It is the only way the country can move forward on this issue.’ Scottish ministers were set to reach a decision this week, but it remained to be seen whether Cardinal O’Brien’s influence would force a referendum on the proposals, or not. First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond rejected the Cardinal’s call for a referendum later in the week. Sadly, Tuesday’s Scottish cabinet meeting also reached no conclusion on the law surrounding equal marriage.
Tuesday 17 July 2012– HIV prevention drug Truvada gets approval.
Truvada, a new HIV drug, has been given the go-ahead by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug could be a groundbreaking new treatment to combat the contraction of the deadly disease. Through a series of clinical trials with Truvada it has been reported that when taken daily, the risk of HIV infection was reduced by 42%. Criticism came from The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who believe that the new pill could ‘result in new infections, drug resistance and serious side effects among many, many people’.
Thursday 19 July 2012– Gay still not ‘ok’ for the Boy Scouts of America.
A rule which bans openly gay scouts and leaders from The Boy Scouts of America is to be retained, following a two year review where the organisation debated the future of the policy. According to BSA rules, ‘homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirement in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight’. They also believe that ‘homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts.’ The confidential review reached a unanimous decision that the rule was the ‘best policy’, and will therefore remain in place.
Friday 20 July 2012- Green light for US military to wear uniform at gay pride.
For the first time in its history, the US military revealed that it will allow its personnel to wear their uniforms at a gay pride march in California. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Rene Bardorf issued a statement saying, ‘Based on our current knowledge of the event and current policies, we hereby are granting approval for service members in uniform to participate in this year’s parade’. Although only a one-off decision made for the parade in San Diego this year, it is still a huge triumph for the openly gay service men and women, who – when marching in the parade last year – were only allowed to wear t-shirts showing the name of their service branch.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu called for an end to the criminalisation of homosexuality as an important part of the fight against HIV. ‘In the future, the laws that criminalise so many forms of human love and commitment will look the way apartheid laws do to us now – so obviously wrong’, Tutu wrote in the Lancet. Tutu praised ‘young people’ around the world for distancing themselves from ‘intolerance’, and said, ‘If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn’t worship that God’, adding that he was ‘ashamed’ of the exclusion of people from the church on the basis of their sexuality.
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