Syphilis, sterilization and the American people

Your Daily Package of newsy and naughty bits from around the world

Blinding syphilis spreads to LA

A potentially blinding form of syphilis affecting mostly gay men is spreading through the US Pacific coast, and has now reached Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Health officials are calling on doctors to keep a look-out for new cases of ocular syphilis, which is usually a rare symptom of the disease but appears more common in this strain.

Read more at the LA Times.

Victoria trans woman protests trans rights amendment

A Victoria trans woman is intentionally using men’s washrooms as a protest against an amendment to a trans-rights bill that would force trans people to use bathrooms contrary to their gender identity. The original bill, introduced by the NDP, would protect trans people under the Human Rights Act, but a Conservative amendment in the senate would give an exemption allowing trans people to be banned from single-gender facilities such as washrooms.

Read more at the Times Colonist.

EU court says Turkey cannot force-sterilize trans people

The highest human rights court of the European Union has ruled that Turkey cannot require a trans man to be sterilized before receiving gender reassignment surgery. Theoretically, the ruling is also binding on 20 other states in the EU that also require sterilization. Trans activists in Europe are fighting a number of provisions that require trans people in many countries to undergo sterilization, divorce or a psychiatric diagnosis before receiving surgery.

Read more at BuzzFeed.

Larry Kramer on American history

At the Advocate, American gay playwright, author and activist Larry Kramer discusses his new historical novel The American People: Volume I. The book, which Kramer says he’s been writing for nearly 40 years, gives a semi-historical account of America from the stone age to the present, focusing on how gay people are written out of the past.

Peru rejects same-sex civil unions

The justice committee of the Peruvian parliament has rejected a proposal to legalize same-sex civil unions in the country after a heated national debate. The proposal was championed by legislator Carlos Bruce, who was called a “faggot” by a high-ranking Peruvian Catholic priest during the lead-up to the vote.


Burkina Faso moves to criminalize homosexuality

A political party in the West African country of Burkina Faso has proposed a new law criminalizing homosexuality. According to a representative of the PAREN party, homosexuality is contrary to natural law and a “deviant result of western individual liberties.” Unlike many of its neighbouring countries, homosexuality is not yet a crime in Burkina Faso.

Read more at Burkina 24.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Niko Bell

Niko Bell is a writer, editor and translator from Vancouver. He writes about sexual health, science, food and language.

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