The Daily Package
2 min

Alibaba, surrogacy limbo and a terrible neighbour

Your Daily Package of newsy and naughty bits from around the world

HRC warns neighbours of anti-gay dictator

The Human Rights Campaign has run an ad in a Potomac, Maryland, newspaper warning locals about the anti-gay dictator who lives next door. Yahya Jammeh, the president of Gambia, owns a $3.5 million home in the area. In a press release, the HRC says it wants to raise awareness about Jammeh, who has launched a campaign of arrests and persecution against Gambian gay people.

Alibaba hosts gay Valentine’s competition

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced a Valentine’s-themed competition in which it will send Chinese gay couples on marriage vacations to California. Alibaba owns Taobao, a Chinese analogue to Amazon, and is valued at more than $150 billion, giving it significant clout in China. The company’s We Do campaign uses the tagline “Go ahead and love them,” using a deliberately gender-neutral pronoun.  

Read more at Tech Crunch.

Spanish gay couple trapped in Mexican surrogacy limbo

A Spanish gay couple and their surrogate-born twins are trapped in Mexico because of a legal loophole. While the Mexican state of Tabasco recognizes surrogacy, the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs does not, meaning the twins cannot get Mexican passports to leave the country. Spanish authorities, meanwhile, will recognize the twins only if the mother’s name is on the birth certificate, leaving the family stuck, for now, in Mexico.

Read more at El Pais.

Doctors’ assumptions raise lesbian cancer risk

Researchers at the University of Washington say that lesbians are at a higher risk of HPV infection because doctors assume they have sex only with women. HPV is most frequently transmitted through heterosexual sex, so doctors recommend HPV screening to lesbians less frequently, even though many lesbians occasionally have sex with men.

Read more from Reuters.

Open bisexual set to replace governor of Oregon

Kate Brown, the openly bisexual secretary of state in Oregon, is likely to take over as governor, a first for the state. The current governor, John Kitzhaber, is set to resign in an influence-peddling scandal involving his girlfriend. Brown has been in Oregon politics more than two decades, as a state representative, as state senator and as secretary of state.

Read more at The Washington Blade.

Chelsea Manning allowed hormone therapy

WikiLeaks informant Chelsea Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking state secrets, has been granted permission to take hormone therapy to help her transition to a woman. Manning will be the first to be approved for the therapy by the US military, which still bans trans people from service.

Read more at The Guardian.