Maclean’s reports that this year’s Fashion Cares AIDS fundraiser in Toronto featured a striptease in a faux glass of champagne by Dita von Teese. “Sitting close enough to get sprayed” were former Ontario NDP premier and Rosedale Liberal candidate Bob Rae with his wife, Arlene Perly Rae. Also in attendance were Liberal MP and former city councillorMario Silva and his “partner” of 12 years, Martin Forget, as well as Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow, who posed with eight-foot-tall drag queen, Plum Vicious … A study by University of Guelph political scientist Troy Riddell found that of 978 judicial appointments between 1988 and 2003, nearly one-third of the judges appointed by prime ministers Brian Mulroney (Progressive Conservative) and Jean Chretien (Liberal) made donations to the party in power. By comparison, less than 1 per cent of Canadians give to political parties …Andre Boisclair, Canada’s first openly homosexual party leader and an admitted past cocaine user, announced he is stepping down as leader of the Parti Quebecois … CTV’s chief political correspondent Craig Oliver on prostitution in the nation’s capital: “This town has got pages of escort services, mainly to service lonely diplomats and I’m sure there are politicians that use them.” Retired Toronto Daily Star Bob Reguly quoted on CTV.com: “I heard rumours of a thing that years ago, when Trudeau was around, there actually was sort of a whorehouse right in the Parliament buildings, that members could call up and that some of the younger pages were offering their services for a fee” … Maclean’s reports that Montreal has become “a paradise for pedophiles.” Robin Sharpe, who has served 18 months in prison on child pornography charges, tells the magazine, “I love it” in Montreal. “Things aren’t taken as seriously here as they are in English Canada,” he says of his ability to walk down the street without harassment.
The U.S. House of Representatives, by a vote of 237-180, passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, inserting “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into existing hate crime provisions. Senator Ted Kennedy (Mass.), who co-authored the original version of the bill in 2000, promised quick action in moving a similar bill in the Senate. The White House called the bill ‘’constitutionally questionable.” If President George W. Bush were to veto it, the House does not have the votes to override him … An Ohio teenager has sued Planned Parenthood affiliates in Cincinnati, alleging that when she was 16 years old and sought an abortion, its employees failed to report that she was pregnant as a result of repeated rapes from her father. Ohio law requires medical staff to report suspected rape and incest to the authorities. According to Cybercast News Services, Becki Brenner, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, says she feels “sorry for the girl who is suing her organization,” and called her a “victim” of pro-life activists … The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says syphillis is rapidly increasing among the homosexual population. While the infection rate among the public has remained steady – 2.1 per 100,000 in 2000 compared to 3 per 100,000 in 2005 – homosexuals now acount for 60 per cent of cases, compared to 7 per cent in 2000. Reuters reports that Joel Ginsberg, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association in San Francisco, says, “We are seeing that syphillis is on the rise among a very specific subset of gay men: those who are having a great deal of sex with multiple sex partners.”
The Sydney Morning Herald interviewed an unidentified 20-year-old gay man who admitted that he fantasized about contracting the AIDS virus. The paper reported, “The young professional is the first to speak out about ‘bug chasing,’ a behaviour in the gay community in which men seek to become infected with HIV.” Dawn Wilcock, of Positive Women Victoria, a support group for HIV-positive women, said the story is proof that leaders within the Australian gay community need to stop dismissing claims of the subculture as an urban myth and speak out against the irresponsible behaviour … Despite a $2.8 billion, five-year national program to battle AIDS and pressure from the World Health Organization, five Indian states – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka – have banned or refused to implement sex education curricula introduced by federal health authorities last year. The Hindu nationalist government in Madhya Pradesh said sex education had “no place in Indian culture” and plans to introduce yoga in schools instead … About 1.5 million people participated in a protest in Rome against the Italian government’s plans to extend certain family rights to homosexual couples and common-law partners … The United Kingdom’s Labour government will propose, in a new draft fertility bill, to overturn the country’s prohibition on creating animal-human hybrid embryos, thus ignoring the government’s own white paper, which was released in December. Advocates of the move claim animal-human embryos that will not be allowed to grow for more than two weeks, might aid in the discovery of new treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.