Thursday, January 23, 2014

World News

Scottish parliament's final vote on same-sex marriage announced
EDINBURGH -- The Scottish Parliament announced Tuesday that it scheduled the final debate and vote on its same-sex marriage legislation for February 4th.  The bill passed its initial debate and first reading last November 98-15. Last week the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee unanimously voted to pass an amendment  removing the spousal veto from the bill last week that grants married transgender people legal recognition of their gender without being forced to obtain written consent from their spouse. Stage two of proceedings for the marriage bill were then completed.
According to a spokesperson for the Scottish Equality Network,  the group is not seeking any stage 3 amendments to the bill, because the amendments proposed by the group were made at stage 2. 
Tom French, policy coordinator for the organisation said;
“After six years of campaigning for equal marriage there is now less than a fortnight to go until the final vote. Scotland can be proud that we have produced one of the most progressive equal marriage bills in the world, and it vital that everyone who supports LGBT equality now contacts our MSPs to protect against any negative amendments being made and to make sure this bill passes into law with the strong majority it deserves.”
However French warned that that opponents of equal marriage, such as the Scotland for Marriage campaign, "will be promoting amendments that would roll back LGBT equality, and introduce unnecessary and discriminatory special legal “protections” for opposition to same-sex marriage." 
A recent poll last month showed a majority of Scotland’s population, 56%, support the legislation and marriage rights for same-sex couples. 35% are opposed, while 8% were undecided.

Leading Indian psychiatrist says  homosexuality is unnatural
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MUMBAI – The former head of the national India Psychiatric Society described homosexuality as "unnatural"  in an interview Monday with major Indian daily newspaper The Times of India.
The paper reported that Dr Indira Sharma had also told her colleagues at the society's annual conference  last week that “homosexuals uncomfortable with their sexuality should seek psychiatric help.”
"The manner in which homosexuals have brought the talk of sex to the roads makes people uncomfortable. It's unnatural. Our society doesn't talk about sex. Heterosexuals don't talk about sex. It's a private matter," Sharma said
Sharma, a faculty member of the the Banaras Hindu University teacher had participated in a panel discussion at the IPS annual conference regarding the Decmebr 2013 ruling by the Supreme Court had overturned a ruling of the Delhi high court decriminalizing same-sex relations. 
When asked about the discussion, Sharma said her main concern was for homosexuals aren't comfortable with their sexuality.
"There are some who are comfortable, but there are many who are not. The latter should realize they can get help (from psychiatrists). Some of them may even be able to change their orientation," Sharma said.
She added that those comfortable with their orientation should be made aware that their behaviour was causing a lot of uneasiness in society.
One of her colleagues disagreed;
"Same-sex orientation needs to be accepted as normal. Sexual orientation has different dimensions and should be tackled compassionately.” Psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty said adding, “ This will help many come out of the closet. Mental health professionals need to accept the differences and bring down distress."
LGBTQ activist Palav Patanka said, "Many doctors in India graduated when medical curriculum hadn't been updated. Psychiatrists need to keep abreast of social changes. Doctors should go back to books and stop doing disservice to society."