Academics quarrel over Shakespeare’s bisexuality (UK)
How do you start a fight in a room full of literary scholars? Ask them if Shakespeare liked men, apparently. When professor Brian Vickers at King’s College in London wrote a letter to the Times Literary Supplement condemning theories that Shakespeare’s sonnets are full of gay undertones, academics piled on to criticize his reasoning, and even more piled on to criticize their reasoning. Either way, Sonnet 116 does make a pretty good case for gay marriage.
Homosexuality may have evolved as social bonding, scientists say (UK)
A group of scientists at the University of Portsmouth say they have discovered a link between homosexuality and social bonding, which they suggest could be an explanation for the evolutionary function of gay sex. The researchers showed that women with higher levels of progesterone, a hormone linked to social bonding, were more open to the idea of homosexual behaviour and that men who were psychologically primed to think about friendship were also more open to gay sex.
Lawyer attacked after defending gay client (Russia)
A Russian human rights lawyer was leaving a courtroom after defending a gay client when a man threw a corrosive liquid at him, according to the Moscow Times. The lawyer says the man’s assailant was an Orthodox activist and an aide to anti-gay arch-nemesis Vitaly Milonov. Milonov denied the connection, then called the lawyer scum and denigrated his client’s sexuality. Meanwhile, a Russian senator has asked Russian law enforcement to prosecute Milonov for extremism and aiding terrorist activities, due to his connections to far-right Orthodox groups.
Gay activist responds to Duggars’ hashtag by supporting safe house (Arkansas)
After celebrity couple Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar donated $10,000 to fight a gay civil rights ordinance in Arkansas, LGBT activist Scott Wooledge decided to repair the damage. He hijacked the Duggars’ Twitter hashtag, #DefendtheDuggars, to ask for $5 donations to an Arkansas safe house for LGBT kids kicked out by their families. So far, the safe house has received $4,500 in donations, which is almost equivalent to its yearly budget.
Slovakia to hold referendum on same-sex marriage
Slovakia’s president has announced the country will hold a referendum on same-sex marriage in February. The referendum is supported by conservative groups, who hope to seal their victory after the country amended the constitution to ban same-sex marriage earlier this year.
China tiptoes toward gay rights
Homosexuality may no longer be illegal in China, but subtle discrimination, sham marriages and conflicted feelings still abound. CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout talks to some of China’s gay rights leaders about their struggles in a special program on China.