Pasta maker backs down (Italy)
Italian pasta producer Barilla has made an about-face on its attitude toward gay people. Last year, the company’s chairman, Guido Barilla, told an Italian radio host that the company would never do an ad with a gay family, saying that “if they don’t like it, they can go eat another brand.” After a year of backlash, however, Barilla seems to have come around. Not only has the company displayed a gay couple on one of its websites; it has donated money to gay charities and expanded health benefits for gay and transgender workers. “I am proud to say that, as a result of these discussions, we have all learned a great deal about the true definition and meaning of family,” Guido Barilla says.
Marriage, sure. Kissing? No.
Many Americans are okay with gay marriage but balk at the idea of gay people kissing in public, according to a study from Indiana University. Heterosexual respondents were much more likely to approve of “formal rights” for gay couples, such as marriage or health insurance, than “informal rights,” such as kissing in public. Notably, gay respondents were also slightly more likely to approve of straight people kissing in public than gay people, a result the authors say may show “internalized stigma.”
ISIS a lethal risk to LGBT people (Iraq)
Gay Iraqis are “at imminent risk of death” in ISIS-controlled Iraq, according to a report from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Not only does ISIS see gay people as “animals” worthy of execution, but the report says recent breakdown of social order means that “those who translate societal hostility towards LGBT compatriots into violence, today do so with near total impunity.”
Jason Collins retires (United States)
The first openly gay man to play in one of the four major North American sports leagues, basketball player Jason Collins, has retired. Collins announced he was gay in a Sports Illustrated story last year. He has now played in the NBA for 13 years. “After last season, especially over the summer, my body was talking to me like it does to all professional athletes after a certain while,” he said. “It’s a young man’s game and Father Time is undefeated.”
Montana gay-marriage ban struck down
A federal judge in Montana has struck down the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The ruling was expected, since the higher 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Montana, had already struck down similar laws in Nevada and Idaho. Montana became the 34th state to legalize gay marriage and was promptly followed by the 35th, South Carolina, where a similar ruling took effect on Thursday.
How easy is it to catch HIV?
The US Centers for Disease Control has calculated the risk per 10,000 exposures of contracting HIV from an infected partner for various exposure methods. For example, unprotected receptive anal intercourse causes infection 138 times per 10,000 exposures, meaning the chance of contracting HIV per time is 1.38 per cent.
Half of young trans people have attempted suicide (UK)
Forty-eight percent of trans people under 26 have attempted suicide, 30 percent in the last year, according to a study done by a UK mental-health charity. For comparison, only about six percent of all respondents had attempted suicide. The report also found that nearly 60 percent of young trans people had deliberately hurt themselves. The authors say the results indicate a wide mental-health crisis among trans youth.
Image Credit: Barilla