Gay living center underway
COLOGNE — A multigenerational gay living center is under construction in this German city. Organizers claim it will be a first of its kind living center in which a variety of LGBT and straight families will live together.

Several cities around the world are now home to elderly care and retirement centers marketed to the growing population of older LGBT people. This living center will include singles, families, the elderly and straight people.

“Some people who live here will be students, others will spend their working years here, and still others will spend their golden years with us. We want all generations,” reads a brochure for the project.

The development will include 34 apartments. Individuals and families will live separately but contribute to a sense of community, organizers said.

There will be a state-determined quota of 30 percent of homes set aside for the elderly. Organizers also said a 15 percent quota will be set aside for heterosexual families.

Filmmaker drops gay kiss scene
NEW DELHI — An Indian filmmaker has dropped a gay kissing scene in an upcoming movie to avoid rejection from his conservative nation’s censor board.

Madhur Bhandarkar said he’ll drop the scene between male actors Samir Soni and Anil Kumar in his film “Fashion.”

“What a beautifully-shot scene of intimacy it is between Samir and Anil. You forget their gender. They’re just two people in love expressing their feelings,” said Bhandarkar. “I took it out before taking it to the censor board. I thought portraying a homosexual couple was bold enough. The kiss would have been too much. But now I’m planning to restore it on the DVD.”

Priest escapes discipline
LONDON — A Church of England priest under investigation for performing marriage rites between two male priests has escaped discipline from the church.

The Rev. Martin Dudley performed the marriage with the complete traditional rites and vows in May. An investigation followed after bishops and archbishops condemned the ceremony.
A church panel cleared Dudley of any wrongdoing after he apologized for the decision and promised not to do it again.

Dudley wrote, “I regret the embarrassment caused to you by this event and by its subsequent portrayal in the media. I now recognise that I should not have responded positively to the request for this service, even though it was made by another incumbent of your Diocese, who is a colleague, neighbour and friend of us both, nor should I have adopted uncritically the Order of Service prepared by the him and his partner.”

In a statement, the Rt. Rev. Pete Broadbent, Assistant Bishop of London, said: “The Rector has made expressly clear his regret over what happened at St. Bartholomew the Great and accepted the service should not have taken place. Bishop Richard has considered the matter and has decided to accept the Rector’s apology in full. The matter is therefore now closed.”

Remarks cast doubt on sexuality
VIENNA — Remarks made at the funeral of a far-right Austrian leader killed in a car crash are leading some to question whether he was gay.

A political protegé, Stefan Petzner, tearfully called Freedom Party leader Joerg Haider “the man of my life.” Petzner, 27, did not expressly state whether he had a sexual or romantic involvement with the 57-year-old Haider.

A father of two, Haider was pictured in a gay bar the evening before his crash on Oct. 11, ironically the day the U.S. gay community celebrates National Coming Out Day.

“This can’t go on,” Michael Fleischhacker, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Die Presse, wrote in his blog. “Stefan Petzner needs to make a decision: Either he describes what was so special about his relationship with Joerg Haider, or he stops publicly playing the role of Haider’s successor and widow.”

Haider was known for praising aspects of Adolf Hitler’s labor policies and often attacked immigrants. Neither he nor his party ever made public derogatory remarks about the LGBT community.

The political leader’s widow and family have not made any comment to the press and the Freedom Party says the relationship between Haider and Petzner was platonic.

Gay porn not ‘unnatural’
ANKARA — A Turkish pornographer has skirted punishment for portraying “unnatural sex” after a court cleared him of wrongdoing and charged him only with sale of illegal pornographic material.

The pornographer came under legal scrutiny after his sale of DVDs portraying gay and group sex. Turkish law prescribes higher penalties for the sale of movies including “unnatural” intercourse. In its ruling, an Istanbul court referenced rights of privacy and equity in the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights.

The Istanbul court ruled: “Most European countries have given gay relationships the equivalence of marriage, and in Holland gay marriages were made legal a few years back. In a world of modern societies, it is not possible to say intercourse among members of the same sex is unnatural.

“Since the action happens in private places and does not include children it is not criminal. The term ‘unnatural sexual behavior’ should be seen from a narrow perspective; otherwise there is the risk of judging every sexual relationship outside of certain limitations unnatural. It is without doubt that the images are eccentric. Although this kind of sexual activity is not common in societies, it is a fact that in every society collective sexual relationships exist.”

Matt Comer

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