Gays Welcome in Bahamas Military

Bahamas Prime Minister 
Hubert Ingraham
Canadian Definition of ‘Spouse’ Unconstitutional 

Mugabe Erupts Again 
By Rex Wockner
International News Report
Gays Welcome In Bahamas Military 
In light of the recent uproar over gay-cruise visitors, Bahamas National Security Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson has announced that the Bahamas military, prison service and police force do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. Anti-gay activists have staged three rallies in the Bahamas this spring, the most recent on April 13 as an Olivia Cruises ship sailed into port filled with 800 lesbians. Calling themselves "Save the Bahamas," the protesters have demanded new laws banning gay sex, gay venues, gays in government and "open sodomites," and have declared May 8 a "National Day of Repentance. " Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham supports gay tourism.  

In a recent televised speech devoted solely to gay issues, he said: "Homosexuality is not a contagious disease and it is not a crime in the Bahamas. ... Whether a private sexual act between consenting adults is homosexual or heterosexual is not my business and I do not think it is your business either. We cannot, and ought not try to, dictate or to legislate morality.... I believe that the hysteria is, as is usually the case with hysteria, unfounded. It is also un-Christian. "Homophobia began coming out of the closet in the Caribbean in January when the Cayman Islands denied docking privileges to a cruise ship carrying 900 U.S. gays, explaining, "We cannot count on this group to uphold the standards of appropriate behavior expected of visitors." Partially in response, Britain asked its Caribbean Dependent Territories to decriminalize gay sex ,provoking outrage on several other islands. 

Canadian Definition Of 'Spouse' Is Unconstitutional 

Ontario's highest court, the Court of Appeal, rewrote a piece of the federal Income Tax Act April 23 to recognize same-sex couples. The ruling came in a case where Canada's largest union had been prevented from paying pensions to same-sex couples due to Revenue Canada's heterosexist definition of "spouse." Pension plans must be registered with Revenue Canada to be tax-free. "Differences in cohabitation and gender preferences are a reality to be equitably acknowledged, not an indulgence to be economically penalized," Madam Justice Rosalie Abella wrote for the court. "The only rational solution is to include them."   

John Fisher, spokesman for the national lobby group Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere said, "It opens the door for same-sex pension benefits, certainly, but ... clearly the broader impact of the ruling is the federal government must reconsider the definition of spouse in all federal laws to ensure it doesn't discriminate against gays and lesbians."  

Real Women of Canada and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada denounced the ruling. Revenue Canada has not decided whether to appeal to Canada's Supreme Court. 

President Mugabe Erupts Again 

The world's most vocally homophobic head of state has erupted again. "Animals in the jungle are better than these people [homosexuals]because at least they know that this is a man or a woman, "Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said April 22 at the wake of Herald newspaper owner Charles Chikerema, who died April 21. In earlier outbursts, Mugabe called homosexuals "repugnant to my human conscience ... immoral and repulsive." He declared gay sex "an abomination" and "sub-animal behavior" and urged citizens to "hand [gays] over to the police. ... I don't believe they have any rights at all," he stated in 1995. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's highest court ruled March 26 that former President Canaan Banana will go to trial for allegedly forcing himself sexually on several male aides .Banana, who was president from 1980-1987, had claimed he could not receive a fair trial because of extensive media attention but the court disagreed. He is charged with 11 counts of sodomy, attempted sodomy and indecent assault on seven aides, a cook, a gardener and a bodyguard.  In yet more Zimbabwean gay drama, some local church leaders are outraged that the upcoming World Council of Churches conference in Harare, the capital, will allow participation by the group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe. "We cry shame that it should be sanctioned by a body claiming torepresent Christians," said Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe President Andrew Wutawunashe. "We roundly condemn such blatant perversion of the Christian faith." 

Contributing to this week's report: David Olson, Alejandra Sarda. 

Rex Wockner's weekly international news reports dating back to May 1994 can be searched at The reports in their original form are archived at, which also archives Wockner's Quote Unquote column and some of his longer gay-press articles.