Badpuppy Gay Today

Tuesday, 17 February 1998


British Columbia Couples Measure Takes Effect

By Rex Wockner
International News Report



Christian preachers and 50 of their supporters marched through downtown Nassau, Bahamas, February 3 to protest a planned stop by a gay cruise at a private island owned by Norwegian Cruise Line.

The group prayed and sang hymns in Rawson Square across from Parliament Square. The cruise ship, meanwhile, aborted the visit due to bad weather. It was the same Atlantis Events cruise that earlier was banned from docking in the Cayman Islands setting off a gay boycott of the Caymans.

"The Bahamas has almost become a mecca for these rear-admirals," protester Rev. Stunce Williams told the Caribbean News Agency.

But Tourism Minister C.A. Smith was unmoved by the demonstration.

"Last year, the islands of the Bahamas welcomed more than 3.4 million vacationers of all ages, religions, races and sexual preferences," Smith said. "The people of the Bahamas do not discriminate against nor judge other people of the world."


British Columbia's groundbreaking law giving gay and lesbian couples the same rights and obligations as heterosexuals in the areas of child support, custody and access took effect February 4.

It is the first law of its kind in North America.

If a same-sex couple breaks up, children will be entitled to spend time with and receive support from both parents. The partners can seek child-support payments from each other and the kids can sue for support.

"Children have the right to expect adequate support, appropriate custodial access and continuing caring relationships with both parents regardless of sexual orientation and marital status," said provincial Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh.

British Columbia has adopted several other gay-inclusive measures. Partners of civil servants receive spousal benefits, welfare officials recognize same-sex households when calculating benefits, gay couples have equal adoption rights, and gay partners are recognized under provisions regulating insider trading of securities.

Rex Wockner's weekly international news reports dating back to May 1994 can be searched at

The reports in their original form are archived at, which also archives Wockner's Quote Unquote column and some of his longer gay-press articles.

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