Badpuppy Gay Today

Tuesday, 07 October 1997

RULING SHOULD GRANT EUROPEWIDE PROTECTIONS

AUTHORITIES SMASH KOREAN QUEER FILM FEST
COURT ORDERS COSTA RICA TO PROVIDE AIDS DRUGS


Rex Wockner's Weekly International News Report

 

RULING SHOULD GRANT EUROPEWIDE PROTECTIONS

A preliminary European Court of Justice ruling in a British lesbian's dispute with her employer likely will result in Europewide protections for gay and lesbian workers.

Lisa Grant sued South West Trains for refusing to give her lover the travel benefits accorded heterosexual employees' partners. She was represented by Cherie Booth, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

In a tentative ruling Sept. 30, the court's Advocate General declared that the train company discriminated against Grant based on her gender in violation of Article 119 of the European Community Treaty.

If, as expected, the advocate's decision is upheld by the full court later this year, it will become illegal throughout the 15- nation European Union for employers to treat employees differently because of the gender of their domestic partner.

AUTHORITIES SMASH KOREAN QUEER FILM FEST

Authorities smashed South Korea's "1st Seoul Queer Film & Video Festival" hours before it was set to open Sept. 19 at Yonsei University.

Officials from Seoul's Soedaemun District, where the university is located, delivered an order canceling the festival for alleged failure to register with the government.

They threatened to seize the equipment and films and fine organizers $22,000 if they went ahead with the program.

At the same time Yonsei University withdrew its support, threatening to cut electricity to the building. The university reportedly came under pressure from alumni whose donations helped build the theater in which the films were to be screened.

The festival was set to run through Sept. 25 offering 85 movies from around the globe. Organizers promise to return in a matter of weeks with a second attempt to stage the event.

Messages of support can be e-mailed to festival organizers at queer21@interpia.net or posted to The 1st Seoul Queer Film & Video Festival, Nakwon-dong 195-1, Midong Building #301, Chongno-ku Seoul, South Korea.

COURT ORDERS COSTA RICA TO PROVIDE AIDS DRUGS

The Costa Rican Supreme Court last week ordered the nation's government-run health-care system to buy anti-HIV "cocktail" drugs for four people with AIDS who had filed suit over the matter.

It is expected that the ruling will extend to other HIV-positive Costa Ricans.

The first and decisive ruling came in the case of severely ill psychology student William Garcia, 29, who launched his suit August 28. Garcia presented the court with prescriptions (for AZT, 3TC and Crixivan) that the socialized medicine system, Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), had refused to fill. He also provided proof that he had paid the required 23 percent of his salary into the health-care system during the years he had been employed.

CCSS continues to claim there is no proof the drugs work, that they have debilitating side effects, and that they are too expensive.

Costa Rica, population 3 million, is prosperous by Latin American standards. According to gay activists, about 300 people, mostly gay men, need the anti-HIV drugs right now.

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Rex Wockner's Weekly International News dating back to mid-1994 is fully searchable at http://www.wockner.com

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1997 BEI; All Rights Reserved.
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