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Vatican Apology Sought by International Lesbian & Gay Association

Dutch Partnerships Proving to be Unpopular

Ontario Marches Attract Thousands

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

Vatican Apology Sought by International Lesbian & Gay Association

popesmile.gif - 18.50 KThe International Lesbian and Gay Association wants the Vatican to apologize for Catholic persecution of homosexuals during the Inquisition and the Holocaust.

"Letters should be sent ... to Vatican ambassadors and nuncios in each country, as well as the Pope himself," the group said. "Request [the Pope] issue a document of apology for the part played by a substantial number of Catholics in their active contribution or passivity for the persecution of gays and lesbians throughout history -- especially for the role played by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition and the Nazi Holocaust."

To join the protest easily and automatically, e-mail, including your name and postal address in the body of the message.

Dutch Partnerships
Proving to be Unpopular

Few gays and lesbians are taking advantage of The Netherlands new registered-partnership law.

The measure, which took effect Jan. 14, grants same-sex couples all rights of matrimony, including the right to adopt children.

But only 94 couples have registered in Amsterdam and figures from other top cities are equally low.

The newspaper De Gay Krant speculated that people may be waiting for marriage itself to be opened up to homosexuals, which is expected within a couple of years.

Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden also have registered-partnership laws. In general, the laws grant all rights of matrimony except access to adoption, artificial insemination and church weddings. Hungary recognizes a type of common-law gay marriage, withholding only the right to adoption.

Ontario Marches Attract Thousands

Following their success using the provincial Human Rights Commission to force the city to proclaim Pride Week, 1,800 gays and lesbians marched in London, Ontario, July 12.

The same day, 10,000 people marched in Ottawa, Ontario.

"A lot of people are still in the closet, in a living hell," said marcher Richard Grunstone. "We have to show them that they can come out and the world won't crumble around them."

In Fredericton, New Brunswick, meanwhile, there's a distinct feeling of deja vu. Mayor Brad Woodside was hauled before the provincial human-rights tribunal last week for refusing to proclaim pride week. A ruling on whether Woodside violated the New Brunswick Human Rights Act is pending.

When London Mayor Dianne Haskett lost her case, she was personally fined $10,000 (US$7,000).

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