Around the World Over the Week
Around the World Over the Week:
Pretty self-explanatory—clerics of England’s Anglican church called for an end of the ban on gay marriage at religious locales. They cited that gay couples are denied the same rights as straight couples in this regards.
A 72-year-old man celebrates his birthday by recalling the shift in attitudes towards homosexuals in China over the course of his life. Chinese policy is still inconsistent, but shifting in the direction of toleration and education.
The US Defense Chief voices his concerns about lifting the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy in the military. His rationale being that being in two wars over the span of eight years is not the proper time for such talk…essentially.
Being Episcopalian myself (the US part of the Anglican Church), the first article is something of interest. The US media has a tendency to expose anyone from beauty pageant contestants to Republicans that can claim the Bible specifically states something against gay marriage—you know, minus the whole “clear-cut citation” part. Over in Great Britain, Anglican clerics are calling for a repeal of bans preventing gay couples to marry in their church, labeling it as “discriminatory.” Waheed Alli, the first openly gay member of Britain’s House of Lords is to propose an amendment to the equality legislation to allow gays to marry on a religious premise, and to allow religious contexts to appear in civil union ceremonies. As far as Christian communions go, Anglicans are the third largest group behind Catholics and Eastern Orthodox.
On the other side of the other ocean bordering the US, a man celebrates the progress China has made towards gay rights. Ba Li (pseudonym) has faced hardship and oppression in his country from family members to public humiliation. He was sentenced to a hard labor camp in the late 70s until the mid-80s for sodomy. When he was released, he was jobless, but volunteered within the increasingly active gay community to promote AIDs prevention. He witnessed the laws forbidding sodomy repealed in the 90s, and in 2001 homosexuality was officially no longer labeled a mental illness in China. Family pressure and public distaste still is a cause for concern, with many admitting to having suffered abuse over their sexuality. Secrecy is another seeming popular call, with the Chinese favoring silence. The government has, however, taken some measures to study the spread of HIV and AIDs and to educate the public on tolerance.
Meanwhile in the US, high-ranked officers express their concerns over allowing gays to serve openly in the military. With vague words, they believe that it would be upsetting in the midst of two wars that have lasted eight years to “complicate” matters. Those are the details they have given. The “how/why/what” in regards to details is a little unclear.