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October 2007

  • 12th October 2007

    TURING: What is a gay (wo)man?

    Your columnist knows how supportive the notion of belonging to a community can be in a country where homosexuality is still a punishable criminal offence.

    10:55 AM — After a two-week hiatus, Turing returns to take the patriarchal, heterosexist societies of the world — and that's most, if not all of humanity — to task.There is an old New York joke that self-identified critical theorists often like to quote.'You're a terrorist? Thank God. I understood Meg to say you were a theorist.'The patient reader need not worry - this column is not a careful dissection of Queer Theory, nor is your columnist a student of the arts, specifically literary theory.

  • Comment: Lesbian reflections on Coming Out Day 1

    Now, since queer activists and pioneering celebs like Melissa Etheridge, k.d. Lang, and Ellen Degeneres, who paved the way for the L Word set, I've relaxed into my lesbian identity.

    10:35 AM — At the Lesbian News anniversary party at West Hollywood's trendy Eleven Nightclub last week a hunky, gay man I'd recently befriended looked at my girlfriend and I and paid us a wonderful compliment. "You two make a really good looking couple," he said.As he surveyed the roomful of glamorous Weho lesbians, he said — with the best intention —"Lesbians don't look like they did in the old days," which immediately sent me mentally time traveling to the not-so-distant past.

  • 11th October 2007

    Russian activists lose case against Mayor of Moscow

    The court decided Luzhkov should not face charges of slander as his comments described the concept of a gay rights march as Satanic and not its participants.

    5:00 PM — A Russian judge has thrown out an appeal by Gay Pride organisers that the Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzkhov was guilty of calling gay people "Satanic."The decision was upheld from a previous district court judgement that Luzhkov did not use the term against the organisers and people who were part of the parade but rather the event itself.The Tverskoi court judge Natalya Makarova, who considered the case in the first instance, was said be one of the most homophobic judges in Russia.

  • LGBT groups unite to defend trans workplace protection 21

    Currently before Congress, ENDA was designed to extend federal employment discrimination protections.

    4:25 PM — Nearly 300 organisations representing the full scope and breadth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in America have launched a united lobbying and advocacy campaign to win passage of a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act.Called United ENDA, the campaign builds off the past week's unprecedented efforts by legal groups, political organisations, grassroots activists and many others to maintain protections on the basis of gender identity in ENDA as the measure was originally introduced.

  • Comedy and celebrity underwear at homeless fundraiser 2

    Last year the Albert Kennedy Trust won Community Group of the Year at the Stonewall Awards.

    2:51 PM — The Albert Kennedy Trust, which helps vulnerable homeless LGBT people in finding support and shelter, is holding a fundraiser to raise money and drive awareness for the charity."The Winter Comedy Benefit" will be held on Thursday 1st November at 3 Rooms, a Playstation-sponsored brandspace in Shoreditch's Truman Brewery.There is a minimum donation of £40 to attend the event.

  • PM accused of pandering to homophobes as election looms 5

    Mr Howard, the leader of the Liberal party, has been Prime Minister since 1996.

    2:35 PM — The leader of the Australian Green Party has launched an attack on the attitude of the Prime Minister, John Howard, to gay rights.Senator Bob Brown has spoken out against what he sees as the incumbent government's use of issues such as same-sex marriage to win votes.Mr Howard, the leader of the Liberal party, has been Prime Minister since 1996. It is thought he will choose not to reconvene Parliament next week and instead call a general election.

  • Animation will help parents with LGBT teens 2

    Leeds Animation Network is a co-operative, a business owned by the people who use its services.

    2:10 PM — An animated DVD aimed at aimed at parents with LGBT teenagers will be made by a Leeds studio with lottery funding.Leeds Animation Network will produce and distribute Out to the Family, designed for individuals, families and groups to watch so that they can discuss, communicate and be aware of the issues related to teenagers who are LGBT or questioning their sexuality.The Network will distribute 4000 copies of the 12-minute DVD free of charge to audiences throughout the country, including organisations who work with teenagers and families.

  • Massive cocaine binge killed gay Count

    The Count had injected himself with the drug every hour for nearly 24 hours before he died.

    12:23 PM — A German aristocrat famed for his libertine lifestyle died from a massive overdose of cocaine, an inquest has heard.In July Count Gottfried von Bismarck was found dead in his apartment in Chelsea, west London, by an estate agent selling the property. It is thought he had been dead for up to three days.Professor Sebastien Lucas, who performed the autopsy, told Westminster coroner's court yesterday that von Bismarck's corpse had the highest level of cocaine he had ever seen.

  • Rise in number of prosecutions for homophobic crime 1

    The statistics cover all 42 CPS Areas in England and Wales.

    12:03 PM — The Crown Prosecution Service today released figures which show that 822 cases were identified as having a homophobic element in 2006-07.478 resulted in a guilty plea and a further 124 resulted in conviction after trial.The CPS said the conviction rate rose from 71% to 73.5% and that "homophobic crime is being tackled head on, and with success."The statistics cover all 42 CPS Areas in England and Wales.

  • US accused of funding Ugandan homophobes 1

    PEPFAR is a $15 billion (£7.5bn) Bush administration fund to fight AIDS in Africa.

    11:35 AM — A gay rights organisation claims it has uncovered evidence that the U.S. government has funded groups in Uganda that actively promote discrimination against lesbians and gay men.In a letter to U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul, The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has criticised funding the groups and has asked for assurances that U.S. government funds are not being used to support homophobic organisations anywhere in the world.

  • Michael Cashman wins European Parliament award

    Mr Cashman won in the Justice and Human Rights Category.

    11:10 AM — West Midlands MEP Michael Cashman has won for an award in recognition of his work for human rights.He has been a strong defender of the rights of LGBT across Europe. He is president of the European Parliament Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.The Parliament Magazine launched the awards in 2005 to recognise the work of MEPs in nine areas. Nominations for each of the categories were collected from non-government organisations.

  • Lottery grant will tackle LGBT social exclusion

    The Trust faced stiff competition across the whole country for a BASIS grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

    10:45 AM — A charity operating in the south west of England has been awarded a £370,000 grant for its work with lesbian gay bisexual and trans people in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.The Intercom Trust will use the National Lottery money to provide infrastructure support for independent lesbian gay bisexual and trans community groups and help local LGBT people set up new groups to provide local services through the Lynx South West project.The Trust faced stiff competition across the whole country for this BASIS grants from the Big Lottery Fund.

  • Hate preacher inspires lesbian songwriter

    Fred Phelps has inspired a song by openly gay singer/ songwriter Melissa Etheridge.

    10:31 AM — Fred Phelps, the preacher and activist known for his anti-gay sentiments and the campaign "God Hates Fags," has inspired a song on openly gay singer/ songwriter Melissa Etheridge's new album, The Awakening. The song Kingdom of Heaven is a response to the hatred expressed "in the name of God" by Phelps and other religious fundamentalists.She sings: "A suffering soul on the way to the kingdom of heaven, held up a sign saying 'God Hates America.'"

  • EXCLUSIVE: Police complaints body will tackle homophobia 2

    The IPCC has overall responsibility for the police complaints system.

    10:10 AM — The chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has vowed to extend guidelines to tackle allegations of homophobic behaviour within the police force.The IPCC is holding a public consultation on its draft guidelines on investigating allegations of discriminatory behaviour.The guidelines will replace the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) procedures, Investigating Allegations of Racially Discriminatory Behaviour.

  • 10th October 2007

    Iran admits that it does have gays

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: we do have gays

    10:20 PM — The President of Iran claims he was misrepresented by Western media when he was quoted as saying that there are no gays in Iran. A presidential aide now says that he simply meant not as many as in the United States.Last month, PinkNews.co.uk quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country... In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don't know who has told you that we have it."

  • World-famous advice column advocates gay marriage 5

    Dear Abby will receive the first-ever Straight for Equality award for her promotion of PFLAG as a resource for family members with gay loved ones.

    4:17 PM — One of the best-known syndicated newspaper columns in the work, Dear Abby, has backed gay marriage.The column, which has been dispensing common sense to troubled Americans since 1956, also spoke out against homophobic slurs and parents who disown kids who come out to them."I believe if two people want to commit to each other, God bless 'em," she told Associated Press. "That is the highest form of commitment, for heaven's sake."

  • Suspended sentence for man spying on lesbian couple

    In the UK, non-consensual voyeurism became a criminal offence under the Sexual Offences Act in 2003.

    2:21 PM — A peeping Tom from Stoke has been found guilty of spying on a lesbian couple having sex in their bedroom, and put on the sex offenders register.Dean Burton, 36, was also given a 51-week suspended jail sentence. He had his previous community order for indecent exposure extended for peering through a window and watching the couple naked.Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard that Burton had known the couple previously.

  • Gay actor celebrates National Coming Out Day

    T.R. Knight's coming out caused a media scandal when it was revealed that he had been the subject of homophobic taunts from co-star Isaiah Washington.

    2:03 PM — T.R. Knight, who plays surgical intern Dr George O'Malley in hit TV show Grey's Anatomy, has recorded an advert to mark National Coming Out Day in the US.The Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today premiered the 20-second spot, which features Knight telling viewers how important it is to accept their gay friends and family members.National Coming Out Day is observed in the US every October 11th.

  • Charity warns kids could be prosecuted under incitement law 100

    Stonewall's recent report into bulling in schools found that 92% of gay, lesbian and bisexual pupils have experienced verbal abuse.

    1:35 PM — A leading children's charity has said that playground taunts may lead to arrests under a proposed new law.On Monday the Justice Secretary announced that incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation would become an offence in the new Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill before Parliament.Kidscape, who work with bullied and vulnerable children, said that the use of the word "gay" among children is so prevalent that many did not even understand what it means.

  • Canadian soldiers face “gay bashing” charges

    The Ottawa Citizen revealed that the military have not provided the soldiers with their legal defence.

    1:11 PM — Two Canadian soldiers on leave from Afghanistan have been arrested and charged with beating up a gay man in Amsterdam.The men, both 22, were confirmed by Dutch police to have been arrested on May 26th and charged with attempted manslaughter, attempted criminal negligence causing bodily harm and public violence.Dutch media report that prosecutors have pushed for an eight-month jail term for one of the offenders, while the other soldier faces six weeks in prison.

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