1. Iceland’s Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir is on a 5 day state visit to China, and the gay head of state thanked Chinese premier Li Keqiang for the “friendly reception” her wife Jonina Leosdottir received. The exchange was broadcast on China’s state television network CCTV, and that raised eyebrows all over China. Being gay is legal in China, though talking about it is considered taboo.
2. The Rhode Island General Assembly reconvenes on April 23, 2013, and the state Senate will be considering gay marriage legislation. The marriage equality bill passed in the lower House, and it needs to pass in the Senate to become law. Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has publicly stated that he will sign the legislation. Rhode Island is the only state in New England that doesn’t allow gay marriages, though they do allow civil unions.
3. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that a US Navy ship would be named the Sally Ride - in honor of the first American woman to fly in space. She died of pancreatic cancer last summer, and came out as a lesbian in her obituary. Sally Ride was an astronaut who made 2 voyages to space on the Challenger, and after she retired from NASA, she was an emeritus professor of physics at UC San Diego.
4. Ireland’s Constitutional Convention voted on Sunday, to recommend that the government extend marriage equality to gay couples. The non-binding vote passed with 79% support. Ireland is largely a Roman Catholic country, and homosexuality was illegal until 1993. A civil unions law was enacted in 2011, and most political pundits predict that it will take two years before Parliament considers marriage equality legislation.
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