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November 2007

  • 6th November 2007

    Los Angeles LGBT workers to get protections after cop test case

    The settlement provides a vast array of protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees and job applicants in Los Angeles, as well as those living with HIV.

    10:54 AM — In what has been called a "momentous" decision, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously last week to approve settlement of the non-damages portion of a lawsuit brought by former Sergeant Mitchell Grobeson, the LAPD's first openly gay officer.The settlement provides a vast array of protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees and job applicants in Los Angeles, as well as those living with HIV.It mandates recruitment from the LGBT community.

  • Gay rabbi hits out at Bible-inspired homophobia 4

    Mr Greenberg is a symbol for the growing Jewish gay movement.

    10:10 AM — An Orthodox American rabbi spoke out against using the Bible to justify prejudice in a sermon yesterday.Steven Greenberg, America's first openly gay rabbi, shared his belief that the Bible is open to interpretation and should not be used to condemn homosexuality.According to The Columbus Dispatch, Mr Greenberg said: "No one can say, 'It says in the Scripture,' to ground any policy."

  • 5th November 2007

    Lesbian group’s transgender ban challenged

    The group only allows those who were female at birth to join.

    4:01 PM — An Australian transgender psychotherapist has taken a lesbian support group to an equal opportunities tribunal on the grounds of discrimination.Tracie O'Keefe in Sydney, claims that she was refused an invitation to an event organised by the gay organisation Sappho's Party because of their strict policy excluding transgender people.The group only allows those who were female at birth to join.

  • Armed Forces hold LGBT conference

    Air Vice Marshal Simon Bryant, Chief of Staff for RAF personnel, addressed the Joint Services LGBT conference.

    3:45 PM — The third Joint Services Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual conference took place last week in London.All three services approved the two day event, at which more than 100 service personnel were updated on developments in diversity training, participated in presentations and workshops, and took advantage of a social networking opportunity for personnel and their partners.In 2000, the UK government removed the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving openly in the Armed Forces.

  • Gay teen couple made to sit apart on bus 22

    The Stagecoach Group bus and train operating company is the second-largest in the UK. photo: Gene Hunt@flickr.com

    3:13 PM — Two gay teenagers from Scotland are considering legal action after being humiliated on a late-night bus journey.Steven Black, 16, and Mark Craig, 19, were told to get off the bus by the driver and then forced to sit in separate seats, according to the Sunday Mail. "If we had been all over each other, I could understand - because that behaviour in public is not appropriate whatever your sexuality. But Mark just had his arm around my shoulder," Steven told the paper.

  • Gaydar abuse leads to restraining order and fine 1

    Matthews has since received a two-year conditional discharge, a restraining order and paid £1,725 in compensation.

    2:35 PM — A gay performer has won his case against an internet bully who hounded him with messages of an "abusive nature" which he claimed were a joke.Thomas Matthews, who pleaded guilty to harassing Miguel Diaz, was issued with an indefinite restraining order by Magistrates Court in Swansea.Mr Diaz, who performs as a woman under the stage name Lady Imelda, met Mr Matthews in a chatroom on the Gaydar website.

  • G-A-Y awards will not be televised

    G-A-Y claim that the awards will bear the G-A-Y club stamp of “irreverence, flamboyance and fun.“

    2:23 PM — The inaugural G-A-Y awards will not now be televised on Sky One on 1st December to coincide with the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day.The awards will be held at the London Astoria on the 29th and 30th November, and were to be filmed by Double Jab Productions.However, a spokesman for the production company has confirmed that an investor has pulled out meaning that TV coverage of the event will not go ahead as planned.

  • Army sexual orientation discrimination tribunal begins 2

    Ms Fletcher is claiming sex discrimination and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

    2:15 PM — A lesbian soldier's life was made hell by a male sergeant who vowed to "convert" her, an employment tribunal will be told.According to Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, 30, the senior officer told her that she had not yet experienced a "real man."He also added, "You don't know what you're missing."Her case is being heard at an employment tribunal in Leeds today. The Ministry of Defence said: "We take allegations of sexual discrimination seriously."

  • Big Brother cleared over homophobic language 6

    Channel 4 had defended itself against accusations that it treats gay slurs less seriously than racist language on Big Brother.

    1:15 PM — A report by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has cleared Channel 4 over the repeated use of the word 'poof' by a contestant on reality TV show Big Brother. There is no indication that housemate Laura Williams intended to be homophobic when using the word, said Ofcom, who ruled the show did not breach any guidelines when it showed contestants using offensive language.Channel 4 was accused of double standards after it treated gay slurs less seriously than racist terminology on Big Brother. 

  • Daughter of homophobic activist is out and proud 1

    Ms Contrada is also starring in a high school production of The Laramie Project.

    12:54 PM — The daughter of a vehemently anti-gay activist has revealed that she is a lesbian.Claudia Contrada, whose mother Amy Contrada forms one half of the US hate group MassResistance, has stood up for young people struggling with homophobia in their homes or communities.In 2005, Mrs Contrada attended a conference which advocated sending gay teenagers to conversion camps. MassResistance is a homophobic organisation in Massachusetts, which has campaigned zealously against all pro-gay developments since its inception in 1995.

  • Howard declines to say who would “turn him” gay 2

    Last month Mr Howard, the Prime Minister since 1996, called a general election for 24th November.

    12:32 PM — The Prime Minister of Australia was asked an unusual question on the election campaign trail yesterday: Who would you turn gay for?68-year-old John Howard was campaigning at a shopping mall in Gosford, New South Wales, when "jeans shop worker" Danielle tackled him about that particular big issue.The PM laughed off the question, but his consistent refusal to grant equal rights for gay and lesbian Australians has been less easy to avoid.

  • Offensive licence plate must be removed

    Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has ordered Mr Phillips to remove the poofter plates because they are offensive.

    12:14 PM — A gay man in the US state of Virginia may be forced to remove his car licence plates because they spell out the word 'poofter.'David Phillips has had the plates for eleven years, and has complained that the word is only offensive to English people and Virginians would not understand its meaning.According to the Washington Post, he first heard the word used by performer Boy George in a TV interview and liked it.

  • Gay teenagers are homecoming couple 1

    Principal Michael Cawley, who declined to comment on the election, only said that he hoped the issue would remain “low-key“.

    11:45 AM — A gay couple have made school history in the United States by being the first-ever elected homecoming prince and prince.Brandon Raphael and Kiernan Gatewood, both 16, wore sashes proudly proclaiming their royalty as they rode through the city of Davis, California, in the school's annual homecoming parade.According to the Sacramento Bee, "They stood in the back of a pick-up truck, arm-in-arm, smiling warmly despite the rain."

  • Homophobic bullying to feature on Teachers TV

    “Homophobia may be banned from our workplaces, but unfortunately it is still rife in the playground.“

    11:35 AM — A special week of programming from a digital channel for teachers will explore ways to stamp out bullying in schools.Highlights of the Anti-Bullying Week on Teachers TV later this month will include Coming Out To Class,a documentary presented by gay British rapper Marcos 'QBoy' Brito.Originally broadcast by Channel 4 earlier this year, it investigates the realities of coming out in Britain's schools.

  • Comment: How to get your partner into gayming

    You know who Mario is, right? Yeah, the little plumber dude who starred in the most recognisable video game ever.

    11:05 AM — This probably sounds funny, especially to anyone who knows me even remotely, but I knew I was a video gamer long before I knew I was gay.That's quite a feat when you consider I surrounded myself with Strawberry Shortcake dolls before the Nintendo Entertainment System caused me to throw them in the trash.It's funny how both childhood interests garner similar responses from my gay friends and acquaintances: confused looks, barely contained chuckles, catty under-the-breath comments.

  • Can Singapore Airlines really ban the mile high club?

    Singapore Airlines is the first airline to begin commercial flights with the A380.

    10:55 AM — All the elements are there for those who have been dying to enter the "mile-high-club" in style, but Singapore Airlines has put the kibosh on any plans randy passengers might have for raunchy trysts at 35,000 feet aboard its new A380 superjumbo jets.Though their new A380 offers private first class suites featuring the world's first airborne full-sized beds, Singapore Airlines has made it clear that inflight sexual relations in the new luxurious cabins are not welcome."All we ask of customers, wherever they are on our aircraft, is to observe standards that don't cause offence to other customers and crew," the airline told Reuters in a statement.

  • 4th November 2007

    Former Equality Minister apologises for misspending public money 2

    Ruth Kelly's offending leaflet (thanks to ConservativeHome)

    11:20 PM — Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly, formerly Tony Blair's controversial choice as Equality Minister has been forced to apologise after misspending taxpayer's money on Labour party publicity.MPs are allowed to spend £10,000 of public funds on neutral leaflets but are not allowed to use them to make party political statements. A newsletter published this Autumn distributed to constituents in Ms Kelly's marginal Bolton West seat and paid for from her allowance, repeatedly refereed to 'Labour', 'Labour Party' and 'Labour Government'.

  • Aide had sex with royal father- new claims in blackmail plot 17

    As yet, the royal at the centre of the claims has not been named

    11:35 AM — The aide at the centre of the alleged royal blackmail plot has now appeared to claim that he also had a gay relationship with the royal's father and a well known Conservative MP. The claims were made on a recording seized by police investigating the case.The Sunday Times reports that the allegations are contained in 16 audio and 24 video files contained on two computer discs.Ian Strachan, 30, was arrested along with Sean McGuigan, 40, last month after police mounted a sting operation.

  • 2nd November 2007

    No comment from Bigot of the Year 6

    The bishop joins last year's “winner“ Chris Moyles in the Hall of Shame.

    5:59 PM — A bishop who asked a gay job applicant a series of humiliating questions and then rejected him for the post on the grounds of his sexuality was named Bigot of the Year at the Stonewall Awards last night.The gay equality organisation's chief executive Ben Summerskill told an audience of 400 gathered at the Victoria Albert museum in London that the Bishop of Hereford had been invited but claimed to be on holiday.

  • Royal “blackmail plot” man refused bail 17

    Buckingham Palace has refused to comment on the alleged blackmail plot, saying only that it is a matter for the police.

    5:35 PM — One of the two men charged with attempting to blackmail a minor member of the Royal Family was refused bail at a hearing at the Old Bailey today.Ian Strachan, 30, was arrested along with Sean McGuigan, 40, last month after police mounted a sting operation.They are alleged to have demanded £50,000 not to release a video showing an aide to a member of the Royal Family discussing engaging in oral sex with his employer.

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