Two good bits of news (because we can’t say that often enough!)

// 26 June 2007

From Thailand is the new that the government has now criminalized marital rape. The new crime carries a fine of 40,000 baht, or approx £625 and up to 20 years in jail. The new law also expands the definition of rape to allow male victims of both male-on-male and female-on-male rape to file charges.

This expansion has been applauded as a breakthrough by gay rights activists who have struggled to obtain rights and protection for gays, lesbians, and cross-dressers who are often targeted violently.

From Feminist Daily News

Second Bush’s intent to prevent contraception advice around the world has been stymied by the US legislature who have voted to reverse the ban on giving money to organisations providing contraception and abortion in developing countries. The victory was won in a close vote (223 for, 201 against) on an amendment, authored by Democrat Nita Lowey, to the foreign aid spending bill.

Shortly after taking office, President Bush reinstated the global gag rule, originally adopted by former President Reagan in 1984 and removed by former President Clinton. The policy, also known as the “Mexico City Policy,” bars the US from funding overseas organizations that support abortion in any way — including direct services, counseling, or lobbying activities — even if the groups use their own monies for such activity.

Feminist Daily News

However Bush retains the right of Presidential veto and has previously indicated he would rather stop legislation than allow abortion-related spending overseas. So maybe it’s not entirely good news yet.

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