The Hill Times newspaper featured a front-page photo of Bryn Hendricks and Glenn Scott, who the paper says are the first homosexual Parliament Hill staffers to get “married.” Inside, the paper showed the newlyweds posing with Liberal leader Stephane Dion and their marriage certificate … Dion told a 25th anniversary celebration of the Charter of Rights that he would reinstate the Court Challenges Program and the Law Commission of Canada, both cut by the Conservative government last year as part of sweeping cost-cutting measures … Former prime minister Jean Chretien, who as federal justice minister in 1982 helped draft the Charter, told the Canadian Press he was surprised the courts extended marriage rights to same-sex couples. He said he had expected them to create a new category of relationships: civil unions … The Western Standard called Justin Trudeau, a candidate for the Liberal nomination in Papineau, the “Paris Hilton of Canadian politics” … Trudeau appeared in The Great War Experience portraying the part of war hero Talbot Papineau, during which he exposed his bare bottom. The Globe and Mail reported that “Trudeau was the first to suggest that he and the other actors run naked into the water for one scene” … Bob Rae, the former Ontario NDP leader and current Liberal candidate for Toronto Centre, made a campaign-style stop at Lub (pronounced lube), a lounge in the gay district in downtown Toronto. Maclean’s openly gay Capital Diary columnist Mitchel Raphael reported that, “All the A-list gays” were there. Rae told the audience, “I’m not perfect. I’m not gay” … The summer edition of Out Traveler, a homosexual tourism magazine, lists Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver as the top five gay-friendly tourist destinations in Canada … The Canadian Press reports that “dozens” of people protested the closing of a Status of Women office in Halifax … Finance MinisterJim Flaherty announced in his federal budget that $5 million slashed from the SOW office last fall will be reinstated, although Bev Oda, the minister responsible for women’s issues, says the money will be re-deployed in front-line organizations that work with women in need, such as women’s shelters, rather than in advocacy … Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman said the province is open to compensating live organ donors for some expenses such as time taken off work … Queen’s University in Kingston will offer a new certificate program in “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies” … The city of Toronto reports that new HIV cases are declining, with 555 new cases in 2005. There were no reported cases of women giving birth to HIV-positive babies.

United States

The U.S. Senate voted 63-34 to extend federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. President George W. Bush has promised to veto the bill. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) said of the vote: “Not every day do we have the opportunity to vote to heal the sick.” As science writer Michael Fumento has often noted, embryonic stem cell research has yet to produce even one successful treatment. The Senate also voted 70-28 to financially support ethical adult (somatic) stem cell research … The Vermont House of Representatives voted 82-63 against the Patient Choice and Control at the End of Life Act, which would have permitted physician-assisted suicide … The Jewish Theological Seminary, a conservative Jewish seminary in New York, has endorsed admitting homosexuals who want to become rabbis … The Centres for Disease Control has urged doctors not to use fluoroquinolone drugs to combat gonorrhea, because the STD has become resistant to the virus … Wal-Mart will require all its pharmacies to dispense the “morning-after pill,” over-riding previous policies that permitted pharmacists with conscientious objections from distributing the abortifacient drug.


Human Life International has criticized Amnesty International for the human rights organization’s consideration of open advocacy of abortion-on-demand: “The failure to see the plight of the unborn for the injustice that it is represents a grave moral blindness … If Amnesty International drops its neutral stance on abortion, they will have become their own enemy and become complicit in one of the greatest human rights abuses of all time” … Human Rights Watch has released a report criticizing the lack of access to condoms in U.S. prisons and jails … The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Poland must pay compensation to a woman who was refused an abortion despite health problems: she had a deteriorating eye condition … The European Union court’s Grand Chamber has declared that frozen embryos cannot be used by Natalie Evans, ending a five-year battle with her ex-fiancé, Howard Johnston. The court said the embryos “did not have a right to life within the meaning of Article 2” of the European Convention on Human Rights … TheJerusalem Post reports that nine months after the Hezbollah attacks against Israel in the northern region.