October, 2010 / Author:

Flogged for wearing women’s clothes


Khartoum, SUDAN–A group of young Muslim men have been publicly flogged in Sudan after they were convicted of wearing women’s clothes and make-up. A court heard the 19 men had broken Sudan’s strict public morality codes. Police arrested them at a party where they were found dancing “in a womanly fashion”, according to the prosecutors. The men were not represented in court and said nothing in their defence. Some hid their faces from hundreds of people who watched as they were lashed.

Jughead’s got a gay friend


Mamaroneck, NEW YORK–Archie Comics has introduced an openly gay character for the first time in the September issue of Veronica.¬† Kevin Keller is a hunky gay blond with a V-neck and perfectly quaffed hair.¬† Archie Comics Co-CEO John Goldwater said, “The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. Archie’s hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone.”  In his first appearance Kevin finds a polite way to turn down the persistent come-ons of Veronica. He also challenges Jughead to a burger eating contest at Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe.

London calling the underground


London, ENGLAND–One in seven men on Britain’s capital gay scene is believed to be infected with HIV – markedly higher than the rate for the general gay male population. Government Health Protection Agency figures estimate that one in 20 gay men nationally and one in 10 in London are living with HIV, but a recent sample of 1,251 men in gay bars and clubs found that 15.2 per cent were carrying the virus. Health experts believe that up to a quarter of gay men with HIV do not know they’re carrying the virus. London’s Terrence Higgins Trust is running an advertising campaign in London gay magazines, bars, clubs and sexual health clinics over the next three months to increase condom use.

Female singer infects partner


Darmstadt, GERMANY–The lead singer in a German girl band has been given a two-year suspended sentence for  infecting a former sex partner with HIV. Nadja Benaissa, 28, of the band No Angels, admitted in court in Darmstadt that she had failed to tell her partner she was carrying the virus.  The court also heard from another man to whom she failed to disclose her HIV status and with whom she had unprotected sex. He was not infected. Benaissa, who contracted the virus when she was 16, was accused of causing grievous bodily harm and attempted aggravated assault.

Wyoming couple sue for marriage


Cheyenne, WYOMING–A gay couple has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Wyoming law that defines marriage as existing only between a man and a woman. David Shupe-Roderick and Ryan W. Dupree of Cheyenne say the Laramie County Clerk’s Office has refused to issue them a marriage license. They’re asking U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson to stop the state from enforcing any laws that block gays and lesbians from access to civil marriage. 

Bush’s political director comes out


Washington, D.C–Ken Mehlman, former chair of the Republican National Committee and former White House political director under George W. Bush,  has come out as gay  in The Atlantic magazine. He supported several homophobic measures under Bush. Comedian Bill Maher referred to Mehlman as a closeted gay man in a 2006 appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live, but  CNN edited out Maher’s comments in later taped editions of the appearance. Mehlman always denied  he was gay.  “I’m not gay,” he told the New York Daily News in 2006, “but those stories did a number on my dating life for six months.” Now it’s official: he is.

– Peter Carlye-Gordge is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer, former producer for CBC and former Maclean’s writer. To comment on this or any other article in Outwords, write to editor@outwords.ca

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