Costa Rica

Law inadvertently allows gay marriage

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - Conservative Costa Rican lawmakers are mortified that they may have accidentally approved language making same-sex unions legal when they passed a piece of legislation this week.

President Laura Chinchilla on late Thursday signed the bill governing social services and marriage regulations for young people.

The mostly conservative members of Congress didn't notice that the final version of the bill had changed earlier language that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

After realizing they had approved a bill that "confers social rights and benefits of a civil union, free from discrimination," the lawmakers asked Chinchilla to veto the new law. She refused.


Gay-rights attack on website rebuffed

LAGOS - Nigeria's Ministry of Information said it defeated a cyberattack on the government's website by foreign gay-rights activists.

A statement from press secretary Joseph Mutah said Thursday night's hacking of was traced to activists who have recently attacked other governments' sites.

Local news reports said a message on the hacked site gave President Goodluck Jonathan 72 hours to veto a new law that would jail homosexuals.

Mutah said his ministry is taking measures to stem future attacks.


Church of England to fight gay bullying

LONDON - The archbishop of Canterbury announced a campaign Friday to stamp out anti-gay bullying in Church of England schools.

Archbishop Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the world's Anglican Communion, stressed that the Church of England wasn't changing its teaching on gay relationships, but that it would be "absurd and impossible" to ignore shifting cultural attitudes.

He told the opening of the General Synod of the Church of England that "the majority of the population rightly detests homophobic behavior," adding that "sometimes they look at us and see what they don't like."

He said the church must "demonstrate a profound commitment" to ending stereotyping, announcing that the Church of England is developing a program for use in its schools to stamp out anti-gay bullying.

Prince Harry qualifies as Apache commander

LONDON - Prince Harry has qualified to command an Apache attack helicopter the culmination of his training over the last three years, Britain's Defense Ministry said Friday.

Harry, known as Capt. Wales in the army, earlier this year completed a 20-week deployment in Afghanistan as a co-pilot gunner on an Apache and since then has flown missions in the U.K.

His commanding officer, Lt. Col. Tom de la Rue, called the qualification a "tremendous achievement," saying in a statement Friday that 28-year-old Harry had passed with "flying colors."

The military said Harry had undergone months of training to prepare for the test, which involved a "grueling" six-hour flying assessment that took him all over the U.K.

The Associated Press