In England, Beck Laxton and partner Kieran Cooper have revealed the sex of their child, Sasha, who was raised gender-neutral: The 5-year-old is a boy, according to the Huffington Post. "I wanted to avoid all that stereotyping," Laxton told the publication the Telegraph. "Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid. Why would you want to slot people into boxes?" The couple revealed Sasha's gender after it became harder to conceal once he started primary school. Last year, a Toronto couple refused to reveal the gender of their child, Storm, so the infant could be "free of societal norms regarding gender."
In Scotland, Craig Roy, 16, is on trial for allegedly killing a schoolmate who was blackmailing him, according to Advocate.com . Roy admitted to repeatedly stabbing Jack Frew, 16, but denies murdering him. Roy told authorities he performed oral sex on Few before the incidentand that Frew threatened to tell Roy's boyfriend about the sexual encounter.
LGBT travelers may appreciate the new Spartacus app. According to a media release, the app ( available in German or English in three versions, starting from $8.99 ) can instantly provide articles on a country's political situation, local sights or other info. In addition, users can rate every location with a special star system. See www.SpartacusWorld.com .
The United Nations World Tourism Organization unveiled its first report on LGBT tourism during FITUR, Spain's leading international tourism trade fair, according to a press release. The inaugural 40-page "Global Report on LGBT Tourism"created in partnership with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association ( IGLTA ) includes case studies and commentaries documenting the economic and social impact of LGBT travel. IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella said, "This is a major leap forward in our efforts to educate tourism leaders worldwide on the impact of LGBT travel."
The Orthodox Jewish community of Amsterdam suspended U.S.-born Chief Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag for co-signing a declaration that said homosexuality was a "treatable" inclination, according to the Jerusalem Post. The document, "Declaration On The Torah Approach To Homosexuality," called on "authority figures" to "guide same-sex strugglers towards a path of healing and overcoming their inclinations." Ralbag said he found it "scandalous that a chief rabbi cannot state the Torah viewpoint for his community without being penalized."
In Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador's education department will announce plans to help schools across the province create safe environments for gay students, CBC News reported. Minister Clyde Jackman said, "There will soon be a new teacher resource in Grades 7 to12 entitled My Gay-Straight Alliance ( MyGSA ) . MyGSA will provide support for administrators, teachers and students who wish to establish gay-straight alliances in schools."
Gay member of Parliament Chris Bryant has criticized the Church of England, writing that it "needs to forget its silliness about homosexuality," according to Pink News. Writing about The Very Rev. Jeffrey Johnwho has twice been blocked from becoming a bishop because of his sexualityBryant penned that the Church "teaches that homophobia is immoral," and that "it's fine and dandy to be gay just so long as you don't do anything about it."
In Australia, hackers acquired and even tampered with almost 100,000 Grindr users' information, Advocate.com reported. The hacker could also sign in as any user, change the user's profile and intercept items sent to the user. Security experts reported that the app had "no real security." The app uses a smartphone's global-positioning system to help gay men find other gay men in their area; users can then exchange messages or photos, or decide to meet.
In Costa Rica, leading gay-rights activist Abelardo Araya had died at 42, according to Blabbeando. Authorities ruled out foul play and believe that he died of a heart attack. Among the groups he was involved in was Movimiento Diversidad ( the Diversity Movement ) , a nonprofit LGBT-rights organization that sought to make the Costa Rican LGBT community more visible.
In Finland, Pekka Haavistothe first out presidential candidate in that country's historyhas reached a runoff election slated for February, Advocate.com reported. The first round of voting took place Jan. 22; Haavisto, a member of the Green League, came in second after Finance Minister Sauli Niinisto of the conservative National Coalition Party. The men are attempting to replace Tarja Halonen, the country's first female president, who cannot run again because of term limits.