Over 3 Million Attend Brazil Gay Pride .
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – Officials estimate that over three million people attended the world’s largest gay pride parade in Brazil on Sunday, June 10, the culmination of a month-long series of events. The 16th annual event included a call from LGBT advocates for an end to homophobic violence in the 192 million-person nation.
In 2011, Brazil’s Supreme Court legally recognized same sex partnerships, a ruling that was applauded as a landmark case for LGBT rights in a country that has the world’s largest population of Roman Catholics. The court ruling gave gay couples most of the rights enjoyed by heterosexual married partners, including retirement benefits, and may soon lead to the legal right to adopt children. Brazil has struggled with recent violence against the gay community, including harassment and beatings in the country’s largest cities.
Alberta Premier Takes Part in Edmonton PRIDE
EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA – The Premier of the Canadian Province of Alberta attended Edmonton Gay Pride last weekend, to the applause of LGBT rights activists. Alison Redford is the first Alberta premier to take part in the annual event, as well as being the province’s first female premier.
“It speaks to the fact that we are a very different province than we were many years ago, and I’m very proud of that,” said Redford, 46, who was elected premier in January. The event, which has been held since the early 1990s, has been attended by other provincial leaders in the past, but this year marks the first time that the nation’s ruling Conservative Party has made an appearance.
“I can’t speak for other people but when I ran to be the leader of this party I talked about change and I believe that we are a party that has changed,” Redford said. “I want to be sure that we’re doing everything we can so that everyone who wants to live in this province and express themselves is able to do that.” Over 1,500 people took part in Saturday’s parade, which was attended by nearly 15,000 people.
Minority of Gay Britons Say Gay Marriage Should Be a “Priority”
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM- In the first survey of its kind conducted in Great Britain, a minority of British gays say they believe marriage equality should be a “priority” for the national agenda, and just half think that getting married is of personal importance. The first poll of its kind in Britain also found that only a minority of gay people believe redefining marriage should be a “priority” and only half said that having the opportunity to marry was important to them personally.
The poll—which was conducted on behalf of Catholic Voices, a conservative activist organization—found that over three quarters of British LGBT persons support marriage equality in principle. It also reported that over 70 percent think that marriage should be “more about love between two people than it is about rearing children.”
But only 39 per cent agree that marriage equality is a “priority for gay people,” while just over a quarter think there is “no need” to legalize same sex unions in the U.K. because civil partnership legislation, which went into effect in 2005, confers a number of the rights and privileges of full civil marriage. Nearly half of gay Britons—49 per cent—disagree that gay marriage is a top “priority,” and 25 percent are unsure.
Gay British Couple First to Hold Church Partnership Ceremony
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM – A British same sex couple is believed to be the first to have held a civil partnership ceremony in a United Kingdom church. Kieran Bohan and Warren Hartley were married last month at the Ullet Road Unitarian Church in Liverpool. They told The Guardian that they waited until literally the last minute to hold their ceremony on hallowed ground, after the Liverpool City Council ruled a day before the event that the church was permitted to register civil partnerships.
Although plans to permit the hosting of civil same sex ceremonies in religious buildings were announced in February 2011, the final legislation allowing its implementation was only finalized in December. The couple have been together for nearly five years, and met in groups organized for gay people of faith.
Kieran, 41, a youth group director, said, “When we booked our blessing over a year ago we had no idea this would be possible. We are delighted to have achieved this milestone on the road to equality.” His partner, Warren, 36, a native of Sydney, Australia, said, “Bringing the two elements together means we are able to integrate our sexuality and our spirituality, to celebrate our love for each other, and our love of God.”
A civil official performed the service, which was attended by around 150 guests. Angela Howard, lay minister at Ullet Road Unitarian Church, said, “We are so pleased to have the first civil partnership on religious premises, but we will continue striving for all couples to have equal access to civil marriages, religious marriages and civil partnerships.”