The Null Device


US Citizenship and Immigration Services has denied a Filipino man residency because his wife had had a sex change 24 years earlier, and thus was legally a man, making their marriage unlawful. The funny thing, though, is that the wife had been legally living as a woman in the United States for the past 24 years, and had been recognised as such on her US citizenship certificate.

Meanwhile, the CBS and NBC are refusing to air a church's television advertisement as it's "too controversial". The controversy has to do with the advertisement implying acceptance of gay and lesbian couples.

And in Alabama, a lawmaker has proposed a bill to ban novels with gay protagonists from public libraries, to protect children from the "homosexual agenda". The bill will also prohibit books which suggest that homosexuality, or any lifestyle prohibited by Alabama's sodomy laws, is natural.

Meanwhile, a recent report claims that abstinence-only sex-education programmes, as promoted by the Bush Whitehouse, are riddled with inaccuracies, including claims that touching a person's genitals can lead to pregnancy, AIDS can be transmitted in sweat or tears, half of gay male teenagers in the US are HIV-positive, condoms don't work, and a 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person".

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A modicum of common sense in Canberra; the ruling Tories have rejected a national internet porn filter, as demanded by Family First and Tasmanian religiot senator Brian Harradine, on the grounds that it would drive up costs without necessarily solving the problem. Let's hope they stick with this approach.

Curiously enough, Australia has a notionally more liberal internet regime than Britain; the UK has a national internet firewall, as do Singapore, China and Saudi Arabia, only it is currently only used against child pornography sites. What will happen the next time, say, a former MI6 agent publishes his memoirs abroad and the D-notices start flying, however, may be another matter.

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