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16 November 2007

  • 16th November 2007

    Singapore reverses ban on Xbox game with lesbian scene

    Gaming site Joystiq had previously questioned why designers of Mass Effect have allowed lesbian sex but not gay male encounters between characters.

    6:07 PM — Computer game Mass Effect will now be sold in Singapore with an M18 rating, it has been announced.On Tuesday the deputy director of Singapore's Board of Film Censors said that because of "a scene of lesbian intimacy" the game has been "disallowed."Now the board has said that some "highly anticipated" games will be allowed on sale in Singapore ahead of the introduction of a new ratings system in January.

  • Gay rights group suggests sending flowers to Ahmadinejad 1

    The Islamic Sharia law followed in Iran makes gay sex illegal, with penalty of death for offenders as young as 14 years old.

    5:31 PM — The Iranian Queer Organisation IRQO is asking people to send two flowers to the President of Iran as a protest against the treatment of gay and lesbian people under his regime.The idea grew out of the campaign to stop Iranian lesbian Pegah Emambakhsh being deported from the UK.Her supporters sent thousands of bunches of flowers to her while she was in detention, which caused disruption and helped highlight her case.

  • Nicaragua to decriminalise gay sex 2

    José Pallais, president of the Nicaraguan Parliament's Commission of Justice and Legal Issues, said the changes marked a modernisation.

    5:11 PM — Consensual gay sex will no longer be a criminal offence in Nicaragua under a new penal code due to come into effect on March 2008.The surprise news was announced earlier this week by the Nicaraguan National Assembly, reports La Prensa.Under old legislation passed in 1992, "anyone who induces, promotes, propagandises or practices sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex commits the crime of sodomy and shall incur one to three years' imprisonment."

  • New York leader wants gay marriage within two years 1

    Spitzer repeatedly endorsed gay marriage during his election campaign last autumn.

    4:30 PM — The Governor of New York has said that he wants a Democrat controlled state Senate to legalise gay marriage as one of it's priorities in 2009.Eliot Spitzer made his remarks on Wednesday at a fund-raising event for the Senate Democratic Committee in Greenwich village, where guests had paid up to $10,000 to attend.A witness told The New York Post that Governor Spitzer said:"One of the first things we're going to do when [Senate Minority Leader] Malcolm Smith is [majority] leader is gay marriage."

  • Republican guilty of soliciting gay sex avoids jail 4

    Allen was facing 60 days in jail, but instead was given six month's probation and fined $250 (£122) plus $245 costs.

    2:00 PM — A senior Florida Republican has been escaped a custodial sentence after being found guilty of soliciting oral sex from an undercover police officer.Bob Allen, a state representative and former co-chairman of the campaign to select Senator John McCain as the Republican US Presidential candidate, was spotted by police in Titusville, Florida on July 11th acting suspiciously at the men's toilets in a park.Officers decided to send a policeman undercover to investigate.

  • LGBT community upset at closure of only gay bar in Jerusalem

    Gays and lesbians frequently face violence and religious hatred in Jerusalem.

    1:53 PM — After weathering religious disapproval and arson, the only gay and lesbian bar in Jerusalem closes this week.Shushan, which has served customers for four years, contained the unlikely sight of drag queens mixing with Palestinians and Orthodox Jews.Yan Carmel, a 21-year-old student at Hebrew University, told The Times: "Shushan was one of the few places where we could feel that we were in a free world."

  • Anger at new US restrictions on HIV+ visitors 7

    The DHS has finally issued proposed regulations which Immigration Equality claims will make it even harder to get a short-term waiver.

    1:45 PM — New regulations issued by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which claim to offer a "streamlined," "categorical" waiver for HIV-positive people visiting the country have been criticised by American AIDS activists and immigration reform advocates.The White House used World Aids Day last year to announce a change in the rules relating to people with HIV travelling into the USA.Nearly a year later, the DHS has finally issued proposed regulations which activists claim will make it even harder to get a short-term waiver.

  • Ocean’s Eleven star sorry for faggot comment 1

    Caan is not the first high profile actor to have made such a public apology for using homophobic language.

    1:01 PM — Scott Caan has apologised for calling a photographer a "faggot."The 31-year-old son of Hollywood legend James Caan, who starred in all three of the Ocean's movies alongside George Clooney and Brad Pitt, also offered $10,000 (£4,890) to fight the reporter who had taken pictures of him eating a cheeseburger.He told website TMZ.com, who hosted footage of the incident: "I am sorry for using such a derogatory word."

  • Minister launches anti-bullying week

    Members of Young Anti-Bullying Alliance told the Prime Minister at a special meeting at Downing Street how important it was for young people to be supported in supporting one another.

    12:45 PM — The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls launched Anti-Bullying Week 2007 yesterday at the Victoria Apollo Theatre, home of WICKED the musical.Anti-Bullying Week 2007, from 19th to 23rd November, is run by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), who this year are focusing on 'bullying in the community.'Gay equality organisation Stonewall and LGBT education group Schools Out are members of the ABA, which is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

  • Tribunal told of lesbian encounter in Army stables 2

    Gunner Yeats explained that explicit talk of sexual activity was common amongst soldiers.

    12:00 PM — A young soldier told a tribunal yesterday how he saw two lesbian colleagues sharing a passionate kiss, one with her hand down the others trousers.Gunner Ashley Yeats said he felt 'embarrassed' after catching Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, 31, and Corporal Louise Ashman, 29, in the army stables of 40 Regiment Royal Artillery in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, where they were all working in early spring 2005.

  • Russian judge backs another gay demo ban

    Organisers planned to picket the office of the representation of the European Commission.

    11:30 AM — A Moscow court has dismissed a complaint from the organisers of the picket in support of the EU visa ban for Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov for his violations of human rights and particularly the right to freedom of assembly.The picket, organised by several organizations including LGBT Human Rights Project, GayRussia.Ru and movement LGBT Rights, was supposed to take place on 27th June, the day Mr. Luzhkov was being confirmed by the City's Duma (parliament) for other term in office.

  • Barrowman backs theatrical AIDS day collection 4

    2007 World AIDS Week Theatre Bucket Collection Appeal will be fronted by stage and screen stars John Barrowman and Connie Fisher.

    11:10 AM — Following on from a hugely successful collection in 2006, which raised a record-breaking £120,000, Theatrecares is soon to launch their 2007 World AIDS Week Theatre Bucket Collection Appeal, again fronted by stage and screen stars John Barrowman and Connie Fisher.Each year, the vast majority of West End theatres participate in the appeal, which is reliant on the goodwill and support of actors, theatre management, crew and producers.In 2006, the Lyceum alone (home to Disney's The Lion King) raised over £13,000.

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