A lesbian couple who wed in Canada were to learn yesterday whether an Irish court would hear their case to have their union legally recognized in Ireland, where homosexuality itself was outlawed until a decade ago. \nAnn Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone -- who were married in British Columbia in September last year within months of the legalization of same-sex marriage there -- became the first gay couple in Ireland to go to court to seek state recognition of a foreign marriage. \nThey demanded that Ireland's tax collection agency, the Revenue Commissioners, allow them to file as a married couple rather than as two single people, which involves paying more tax. \nHigh Court Justice Liam McKechnie, who sits on Ireland's second-highest court, said he would rule yesterday on whether their claim merits a full hearing. \nZappone, a member of Ire-land's government-appointed Human Rights Commission, and Gilligan, a Dublin philosophy lecturer, have been partners for 23 years and live together in Brittas, a beachside resort south of Dublin. They have worked together on poverty research and feminist rights projects since the early 1980s. \nTheir lead lawyer, Gerard Hogan, argued Monday that neither Ireland's 1937 constitution nor its more recent tax laws explicitly defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman. \nHogan, one of Ireland's most prominent experts on constitutional law, said the Revenue Commissioners "have discriminated against them in an unjust and invidious manner, in breach of their constitutional rights and the European Convention on Human Rights." \nHe conceded that the Irish Constitution drafted 67 years ago by then-Prime Minister Eamon de Valera undoubtedly presumed that "marriage" meant between a husband and wife, but argued that constitutional law should not be trapped within "the permafrost of 1937." \nThe case, if granted a full hearing, could have major implications for Ireland's unmarried couples, both heterosexual and homosexual, in this predominantly Catholic country of 3.9 million. The 2001 census identified 77,600 households involving unmarried partners, among them 1,300 homosexual couples. \nUnder Irish law, married couples enjoy advantages over unmarried couples, who pay higher income and inheritance taxes.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”