That was quick! Monday, I posted about 16-year-old Liam Finnegan, an openly gay Grade 11 student in Whitehorse, Yukon, who spoke out about a school policy that held to the teachings of the Catholic Church, which stated that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” Tuesday, CBC News reports that the controversial policy on gay students at Vanier Catholic Secondary School is being thrown out immediately. Education minister Scott Kent said the directive doesn't meet the department's requirements. The Vanier policy follows the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, which views it as morally wrong. The policy has angered many parents, teachers and students. Kent met Tuesday morning with Whitehorse bishop Gary Gordon on the issue. He said they both agreed the policy should come down. Kent said a new set of guidelines will be made for the school, adding that the new directive will include input from parents and students, as well as from the Vanier school council. Meanwhile, Kent said an incident where a former Vanier student was harassed is being investigated. In that incident, a 16-year-old lesbian student had obscenities carved onto her school locker. She said Principal Ed Frison minimized the incident and didn't take immediate action. Kent said the department's human resources staff is dealing with the issue.
In Wollongong, New South Wales, police are hunting for the perpetrator of an alleged gay hate attack which left a man with a crushed front tooth and facial injuries. Paul - who does not want his surname published - was leaving a Crown Street nightclub just after 3:20 am on Saturday with friends when a group of men started yelling at him. "As we were walking away they started screaming out 'faggot' and things that were derogatory," he said. "I ignored it but one of the guys I was with said: 'You shouldn't have to put up with this' and started telling them off." Before he knew what was happening, Paul and his friend were attacked. During the assault, Paul, was kicked in the face. "I don't remember much of it," the 26-year-old said. "One of my teeth had to be surgically removed, it shattered inside my gum. Another tooth was chipped. My top lip is swollen and bloodied, I have a black eye and it looks like it's full of blood, it's impaired my vision." Except for medical appointments, Paul has not left his home since the weekend. He has lived in Wollongong for three years and had never encountered the hate he endured last weekend. "I never thought this type of [thing] would happen in Wollongong," he said. Police were called following the attack and are now investigating the matter. Paul appealed to anyone who could assist police with their inquiries as he is keen for his attacker to be brought to justice. Anyone with information about the incident can contact Wollongong police on 4226 7899 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
In Pennsylvania, a Washington councilman is under scrutiny after he called someone gay in an e-mail testing an alert system. City of Washington Mayor Brenda Davis said Councilman Matt Staniszewski sent out a test alert of the city's transit system using an inappropriate word. The email said "Alert: This is a test. Bryan is gay." Davis said, “This is completely inappropriate and unprofessional coming from an elected official.” According to Davis, a person who had signed up to receive the alerts contacted the city and said they were offended. Davis, who confronted Staniszewski at Monday night’s council meeting, also said she doesn’t know why he had access to the pass codes to send the e-mail. “His response was that he sent it out and it wasn’t him saying Brian is gay. He said gay means happy,” Davis said. “Maybe in the 1950s that’s what it meant, but we are in a new era now and that doesn’t represent the City of Washington.” Staniszewski released the following statement about the incident: "It's offensive and unprofessional for the mayor to automatically assume one definition of the word when there are multiple definitions.”
Chris Culliver, who vowed to learn more about the gay and lesbian community after his well-publicized comments about gays in the locker room at the Super Bowl, began making good on that promise Monday. The 49ers cornerback spent the day at the Los Angeles office of the Trevor Project, which provides crisis and suicide intervention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youths. Culliver's public relations representative, Theodore Pal-mer, said Culliver met Sunday with the group's executive director. He also paid to have the organization's national education trainer fly in from New York for Monday's session. "He wants to use his profile as a professional athlete to help," Palmer said. "He wants to become a volunteer for the organization and become more active. He really learned a lot today." Culliver was being interviewed by comedian Artie Lange five days before the Super Bowl when Lange asked him about gay players in the locker room. "No, we don't got no gay people on the team; they got to get up out of here if they do," Culliver responded. "Can't be with that sweet stuff." The comments were widely circulated and criticized, and Culliver apologized and promised to educate himself on the issues involving LGBTQ youth. Others from the 49ers, including vice president of football affairs Keena Turner and public relations director Bob Lange, also met with representatives from the Trevor Project on Monday. Trevor Project spokeswoman Laura McGinnis said Culliver could become a crisis intervention volunteer or work with programs directed at young people. McGinnis said there was no reason to suspect Culliver, 24, wasn't sincere in his desire to understand and help at-risk youth. "Chris is a young guy himself," McGinnis said. "He reached out to the Trevor Project. And that's a good thing."
Super sexy Team Great Britain diver Jack Laugher, sporting a Speedo for a new photo shoot, shows off his massive thighs.