‘EastEnders’ kiss enrages viewers
LONDON — Some viewers of the popular British soap “EastEnders” are enraged over the BBC’s decision to include a kiss between a gay male couple.

The kiss was between characters Christian Clarke and Lee Thompson, played by actors John Partridge and Carl Ferguson, respectively. The kiss occurred in the Oct. 7 episode.

“I am appalled by the display of homosexual kissing before the watershed shown on ‘EastEnders’,” read on comment left on the BBC’s “Points of View” website. “This is disgraceful whilst young children are watching and sets the wrong example.”

A BBC statement read, “We approach our portrayal of homosexual relationships in the same way as we do heterosexual relationships. We believe that the general tone and content of ‘EastEnders’ is now widely recognised. Parents can make an informed decision as to whether they want their children to watch.”

Parliament rejects marriage bill
LISBON, Portugal — On Oct. 10, the parliament in this western European nation rejected legislation that would have permitted same-sex marriage, a bill originally reported on in Q-Notes’ Oct. 4 issue.
During a debate on the bill more than two weeks ago, Prime Minister José Sócrates spoke out against the proposal.

“Homosexual unions are not on the political agenda,” Sócrates said.

The Socialist Party, the majority of the nation’s parliament, stood firmly opposed to the bill. Only two of its members voted in favor of the proposal. The Social Democrat Party took no official stance on the legislation, but only one member of its party voted in the affirmative.

Sócrates said the issue had not yet been sufficiently discussed in order to offer approval to such a bill.

Gay author’s school lecture nixed
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, New Brunswick — A gay young adult novelist’s lecture in this eastern Canadian province’s school district has been canceled after some parents raised concerns and discomfort over the talk.

Alex Sanchez, author of the “Rainbow Boys” trilogy, was set to speak to 1,500 students in the Charlotte County schools. Parents pressured school officials to cancel the event, according to Charlotte County Rainbow Support Group spokesman Jay Remer.

Sanchez’s talk was to address gay youth and the issues they face in schools and communities. Schools Superintendent Keith Pierce said that the district changed course from its original decision after meeting with principals who had heard from parents.

“A few of them were getting pressure from a few parents, and they just weren’t comfortable going in that direction,” Pierce told the CBC.

‘Tattoo’ vicar to keep paper column
DARLINGTON, England — An Anglican vicar will keep his position as a columnist for a local newspaper despite his anti-gay comments.

The Rev. Peter Mullen said on his blog, “Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan SODOMY CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH and their chins with FELLATIO KILLS.”

Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo, made the decision to keep Mullen, but called the vicar’s words “ill-advised comments.” In other blog entries, Mullen has called LGBT people unnatural and perverse. In others still, he has used derogatory language regarding gay relationships and civil unions.

Mullen is 66 years old and currently serves as rector of St. Michael’s Cornhill and St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate in London. After meeting with Diocese of London officials, Mullen offered an apology:

“I did not intend to cause offence when I made some joking remarks about homosexuals. I was not actually meaning to criticise individual homosexual persons, but the promoters of gay culture.
“However, my remarks have caused offence and for this I am sorry and make a full and complete apology.”

He told The Daily Telegraph, “Anybody with an ounce of sense of humour or any understanding of the tradition of English satire would immediately assume that they’re light-hearted jokes.”

Teacher presses charges over joke
PRETORIA, South Africa — A former vice principal has pressed charges and pursued civil action over a gay joke made about him and the head principal by three students.

Louis Dey told a court that a doctored picture showing him and principal Dr. Christoff Becker naked was put up on a school bulletin board and that it humiliated him. The photo showed the two sitting naked on a couch. One of the men appeared to be masturbating. The school’s logo was used to cover each man’s genitals.

The students, Christian Gildenhuys and Reinhard Janse van Rensburg, also faced school disciplinary actions. One minor student involved has not been named.

Dey is asking for R600,000 ($64,038) in damages.

Incest concern for gay moms’ kids
ADELAIDE, Australia — Concerns over accidental incest are being raised after unregulated sperm donation led to the birth of 29 children to lesbian parents by one man’s sperm.

In one case, lesbian parents organized picnics with their children, raising the fear that many of the children might one day have relationships with their half-siblings without knowledge.

Under current regulations, sperm donation is anonymous.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.