imageQueen of Mean dishes to her gays, impending Congress votes on military’s gay ban as conservatives freak the hell out, Elton defies protests to play Morocco, and study finds 61 percent of gay men reticent to hold hands in public, and more.

Congress nears vote on military gay ban. House roll call to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” could happen as soon as Thursday night. The Senate Armed Services Committee likely has the backing it needs to do the same sometime Thursday or Friday. Joint Chiefs Chair reiterates support. Adm. Mike Mullen (top photo): “Personal opinion? I believe it’s time.”

Anti-gay group: End of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” = more soldier rapes. At least the Family Research Council’s “increase in forcible sodomy” warning is a new argument in the opposition.

Zimbabwe court frees two held on homosexuality charges. One gay man and a lesbian were detained for six days after a raid on their gay rights group offices. They are out on bail and have complained of police torture while incarcerated.

image Joan Rivers dishes before her Gay Days appearance. Among other bon mots, the comedian (middle photo) says she can fix the lack of longterm relationships in America: “Anybody that breaks up, send me a dollar. Gay or straight.”

More than half of gay men uncomfortable with public displays of affection. A U.K. study of 3,200 gay men found 61 percent reticent to even hold hands.

Experts debate lifting blood-giving ban for gay men. A federal panel began meetings today to consider overturning a 27-year-old policy initiated under the AIDS scare of the early ‘80s.

image Elton John concert wows Morocco despite Islamic protests. The knighted singer (bottom photo) went on with his planned show even after death threats and some asking the government to deny his entry into the country.

Moscow activists to defy Pride ban. Despite a refusal to grant licenses for a rally and march, organizers say they will hold the event planned for Saturday.

Israel apartheid group insists on marching in Toronto Gay Pride parade. Organizers have warned to drop references to “Israel apartheid” or not be allowed to march.

Two months after coming out following a DUI and gay bar scandal, California state senator talks gay rights before key votes. Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) says past votes against gay rights were his “constituents’ votes,” but he supported gay marriage and repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Wednesday.