Fabricio Alvarado | Google+ | r
An international court ruling saying Costa Rica should allow same-sex marriage has changed the country’s presidential race, turning an evangelical former singer candidate who opposes gay marriage from an also-ran with just 2 percent support into the leading contender in today’s vote.
Fabricio Alvarado, 43, vaulted from 2 per cent to 16.9 percent in a recent survey. His nearest rivals were Antonio Alvarez of the National Liberation Party with 12.4 percent, and Carlos Alvarado of the governing Citizens’ Action Party with 10.6 percent (no relation). If no candidate tops 40 percent in the vote, the first two finishers advance to a second round on April 1.
More than two-thirds of Costa Ricans oppose the court’s ruling, which requires the Catholic country to grant same-sex couples rights to adopt children and receive inheritances and other benefits from their partners. About 76 percent of Costa Ricans identify as Roman Catholic and 14 percent as evangelical, according to the CIA World Factbook.
as the only major candidate openly backing same-sex marriage, Carlos Alvarado also saw his poll numbers rise about 5 percent recently as he attracted socially liberal voters who oppose Fabricio Alvarado’s anti-gay marriage stance.
Sunday’s outcome is very much up in the air with more than two-thirds of likely voters undecided, according to the CIEP poll.
VOA reports that Indonesia’s parliament is to pass a sweeping set of revisions to the nation’s criminal code that would criminalize gay sex. One legislator has told reporters that all 25 members of a working committee have agreed to all the proposed revisions.
There are concerns that the bylaws will increase raids and vigilantism, overcrowd prisons, and further persecute Indonesia’s LGBT community.
Article 484 and Article 496 suggest five years in prison for extramarital sex and imprisonment for same-sex relations with a minor. Article 496 also criminalizes same-sex relations between adults if there is “violence or threat of violence, breaching public morality, publications containing pornography.”
THE first gay weddings in Jersey could take place later this year after the States legalised same-sex marriage today.
The Jersey Evening Post reports:
Members finally approved the proposals – which were lodged by Chief Minister Ian Gorst – to overhaul the Island’s marriage laws after a process which initially began in 2014. The only Member to vote against was St Martin Constable Michel Le Troquer. Senator Sarah Ferguson abstained.
MP Chris Bryant says Bermuda’s move to ban same-sex marriage will damage Britain’s international reputation if it is allowed to go ahead. He will lead a debate on the controversy in the House of Commons next week. He told the Royal Gazette newspaper that the British Government should block the Bermudian bill designed to downgrade same-sex marriages to civil partnerships.
Bermuda’s Domestic Partnership Act aims to reverse the Supreme Court ruling that opened the way for gay marriages in Bermuda, but it has yet to be signed into law by Bermuda’s Governor John Rankin.
Egypt Independent | r
Egypt independent reports that a number of men were arrested in an apartment in Alexandria, Egypt, about ten days ago, for homosexuality.
Police at Dekheila Police Station received information claiming that “weird” young men had frequently visited an apartment on Gameeya Street, Hanoville, in western Alexandria.
Subsequent investigations indicated that a real estate agent rented the apartment months ago, and used it to host group-sex parties.
The men had security measures in place.
…the men – perhaps fearing police repercussions – imposed a wall of secrecy on their activity, and did not allow strangers to approach the apartment or see their personalities, customers were received after using special codes known to members of the community.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt. Since the 1990s, police have been employing a 1950 anti-prostitution law and a 1961 law against “debauchery” to arrest and imprison homosexuals.
Eugene Wojciechowski and Paul Stotzko married in Copenhagen earlier this month and are reported to have had their marriage recognised in Russia where same sex marriage is illegal.
They submitted their passports on their return to Russia with an updated marital status, and said they had been formalised ‘without superfluous questions’.
They told Russian TV it was a “shock” that they did not have to fight for their union to be recognised. According to a survey released this month, 80% of Russians view gay sex as ‘reprehensible’.
MP Ben Bradshaw has had another try at persuading Parliament to outlaw gay cure conversion therapies.
The BBC notes that
The Church of England has been calling for the highly controversial practice to be outlawed, after its ruling body voted for a ban last year.
Ministers condemned the “therapy” but have refused to meet Church campaigners to discuss the issue.
Now, Tory MP and church commissioner Caroline Spelman has vowed to set up a meeting with the minister in charge.
Caroline Spelman said the government had made it clear to campaigners in a letter that it was “strongly against” the practice but did not want to legislate against it because “existing voluntary registers provide safeguards for the public”.
There are many who disagree with that, and are convinced it is time to make such “gay cure therapies” a crime.