Portrait of Russian gay couple named Press Photo of the Year
A shadowy portrait of a Russian gay couple lying in bed together has been named World Press Photo of the Year. The photo, by Danish photographer Mads Nissen, shows two men, “John” and “Alex,” whom Nissen sees as a “modern day Romeo and Juliet story” of love under harsh conditions.
Italy’s high court rejects same-sex marriage
Italy’s highest court has ruled that gay people have no constitutional right to marry. The court did say, however, that same-sex couples had the right to a “protective law” that would ensure them the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. Neither marriage nor civil unions are currently allowed for same-sex couples under Italian law, but some cities have begun to recognize civil unions.
Obama denies lying, dodges trans question in BuzzFeed interview
In a wide-ranging interview with BuzzFeed Feb 10, US President Barack Obama denied lying about his opposition to gay marriage and dodged a question about sex-reassignment surgery. When asked if healthcare plans should cover the surgery, he said trans people “deserve equal treatment under the law,” then quickly changed the topic to same-sex marriage. In response to former advisor David Axelrod’s claim that he pretended to oppose gay marriage to get votes, he said Axelrod “is mixing up my personal feelings with my position on the issue.”
First gay marriage held in Mexican state of Sonora
Two women are set to become the first gay couple married in the Mexican state of Sonora. Like another couple recently wed in Baja California, their marriage, on Friday, Feb 13, will be the result of an amparo, a direct order from a judge allowing their marriage, but not necessarily any others in the state.
Tokyo district considers symbolic same-sex partnerships
Tokyo’s Shibuya district is considering a law to give symbolic “proof of partnership” certificates to same-sex couples, to raise awareness about LGBT rights. Japan is relatively tolerant of gay people but affords same-sex couples few legal rights and does not recognize marriages or civil partnerships.