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  WINDY CITY TIMES

World News
by REX WOCKNER
2003-07-02

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SVEND TAKES ON NUNAVUT

Canada's first openly gay member of Parliament, Svend Robinson, traveled up north to Iqaluit, Nunavut, in mid-June to urge passage of a pending territorial gay-rights law and attend gay pride. Nunavut, created in a split from the Northwest Territories in 1999, is the only Canadian province or territory that does not ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

'Gay and lesbian people are everywhere, including in Nunavut,' Robinson told a gay-pride picnic in Sylvia Grinnell Park according to CBC North.

The report said few of the 100 attendees at the picnic were native Inuit people who, picnic organizers said, are afraid to come out. 'I've had phone calls and e-mails from people who say, 'I would just love to come, but it's a small community and I'm just too afraid,'' organizer Allison Brewer told the CBC.

Nunavut's proposed Human Rights Act, which would ban anti-gay and other discrimination, awaits action by the territorial Legislative Assembly. The measure has the support of Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik, who sent a friendly letter to the picnic organizers.

Nunavut has a population of 29,000.

PARTNER BILL IN CHILE

A gay partnership bill was introduced in Chile's Congress June 11.

It would allow same-sex couples who have lived together for at least two years to enter a civil contract and have access to marriage rights in areas such as pensions and inheritance. The right to adoption is not included.

'Our society is not that conservative,' Congresswoman Maria Antonieta Saa told Reuters. 'A small powerful group is holding Chilean society hostage because they don't want to reform the laws so that citizens have the option of choosing their own lifestyle.' Neighboring Argentina has comprehensive gay civil-unions laws in the city of Buenos Aires and the province of Río Negro. Worldwide, three nations let gays get married and several grant same-sex couples most or all rights of matrimony via partnership laws or other means.

TUBE BANS ADS

London's subway system—the Underground, or Tube—has banned further ads by a chain of Caribbean resorts that bars gay couples, the Guardian reported June 5.

Ads for the Sandals chain state that the resorts are for 'mixed sex couples only.'

London Underground took action after Mayor Ken Livingstone denounced the ads as discriminatory.

'I am pleased to say London Underground agreed that it is not acceptable for a company with such an openly discriminatory policy to advertise on public transport in this city,' he said.

A Tube spokeswoman said the ads were 'not appropriate' because they contravened the system's 'social-inclusion policies.'

Twelve Sandals properties in Antigua, Barbados, Cuba, Jamaica and St. Lucia allow only heterosexual couples. The company operates seven other resorts in Cuba, Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos Islands that are open to 'singles, families, groups— everyone.'


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