International news

School’s Mention of Homosexuality Blocked
GREENBELT, Md. A federal judge has blocked a county school system
from instituting a new health curriculum that includes discussions of ho-
mosexuality and religion and a demonstration on how to use condoms.
U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams issued a temporary restraining
order Thursday that prevents the Montgomery County school system in
suburban Washington, D.C., from using the pilot program in six schools.
The program had been scheduled to begin Monday. During the 10-day
restraining order, another hearing will be held on whether to extend it, the
judge said.
But school Superintendent Jerry D. Weast said in a statement after the
ruling that he was suspending use of the curriculum for the rest of the
school year and had ordered a review of its materials before deciding the
future of the program.
«The court is extremely troubled by the willingness of the defendants to
venture, or perhaps more correctly, bound, into the crossroads of controver-
sy where religion, morality and homosexuality converge,» Williams wrote.
New Study Finds Evidence Homosexuality Is
A Trait, Not Learned Behavior
The results of a new Swedish study provides evidence that homosexuality
is a physical trait rather than a learned behavior.
The study looked at how brains in gay and straight people react to sexual
Scientists found that the brains of gay men clearly reacted more like wo-
men’s brains.
The study tested how people responded to such sexual chemical as testos-
terone, as well as non-sexual scents, such as lavender.
Researchers say everyone responded to the non-sexual smells in approxi-
mately the same way, but when exposed to testosterone, only gay men and
straight women reacted in the sexual regions of their brains.
One of the study’s lead researchers told CNN Monday that the results do
not answer the question of whether homosexuality is the result of nature
rather than nurture, but said the study does show a unique biological res-
ponse among gay men in an area of the brain, which animal studies show
is highly involved with sexual activity.
The study appears in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences.
Spanish Prime Minister Defends Gay Mar-
riage Against Catholic Church
(Madrid, Spain) — Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
has defended a new law allowing gay couples to marry this week, in a
veiled counter-attack on the Roman Catholic Church, which has urged
Bishops and Catholics to resist the new law.
Spain’s parliament gave initial approval to the law last month, causing
an immediate backlash at the Spanish Bishops’ Conference to step up its
campaign against the measure.
“I will never understand those who proclaim love as the foundation of life,
while denying so radically protection, understanding and affection to our
neighbors, our friends, our relatives, our colleagues,” Zapatero told par-
liament in a «state of the nation» address. “What kind of love is this that
excludes those who experience their sexuality in a different way?”
The Church, traditionally powerful in Spain, says gay marriage harms
society by threatening the notion of the family unit. It has urged mayors to
refuse on grounds of conscience to preside over same-sex weddings.
The government says it is not up to bishops to rule on a measure that af-
fects only civil marriages, not church marriages.
“I am aware that this measure is one of the most controversial we have
approved…(but) we cannot deny a right to many of our compatriots when
the exercise of that right does not harm anyone else,” Zapatero said.
While 95 percent of Spaniards identify as Catholic, surveys show in-
creasingly liberal attitudes in society and many admit they don’t follow
all the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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