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January 2008

  • 8th January 2008

    Dykes on Bikes trademark approved by US court

    The motorcycle club applied for a trademark in 2003 after using Dykes on Bikes for three decades as the moniker of the motorised unit that leads San Francisco's annual Gay Pride Parade.

    3:08 PM — A San Francisco women's motorcycle club on Monday gained long-sought legal approval for its trademark of the name "Dykes on Bikes" when the US Supreme Court turned away a challenge from a lawyer who said the term denigrated men.Without comment, the justices denied review of an appeal by Michael McDermott of Dublin, California, who challenged a decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office to grant the San Francisco Women's Motorcycle Contingent exclusive rights over the commercial use of Dykes on Bikes, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

  • Pope orders continuous prayer to cleanse clergy 2

    When the paedophile scandal erupted in Boston five years ago, Pope Benedict, or cardinal Ratzinger as he was then, accused the media of exaggerating the crisis.

    3:08 PM — Pope Benedict XVI has instructed Roman Catholics to pray "in perpetuity" to cleanse the church of paedophile clergy.All dioceses, parishes, monasteries, convents and seminaries will be expected to organise continuous daily prayers to express penitence and to purify the clergy the Times has reported.Vatican officials said every day each parish or institution should designate a person or group to pray that the church rids itself of the scandal of sexual abuse by clergy.

  • Gay Nobel Peace Prize nominee gets married

    Zackie Achmat and former President Nelson Mandela at a Medecins sans Frontieres camp near Cape Town.

    3:08 PM — South African HIV/AIDS activist Zackie Achmat has married his partner Dalli Weyers.The couple, who met in 2005, wed in front of 300 guests at the Imperial Yacht Club in Lakeside, Cape Town in a lavish ceremony performed by a judge.Mr Achmat was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 in recognition of his activist work.

  • Gay marriage opponents form new advisory group

    Capitol Building in Montpelier, Vermont. Photo: deCadmus@flickr.com.

    2:40 PM — Opponents of gay marriage in the US state of Vermont are to form an advisory council that will expound the benefits of traditional marriage.After spending months boycotting legislative hearings on expanding marriage rights to same-sex couples, now several prominent opponents of gay marriage will announce at a Statehouse press conference Tuesday morning the formation of the Vermont Marriage Advisory Council, a group that will hold hearings on the benefits of traditional marriage.

  • Threesome actor backs gay marriage ban 6

    Threesome concerned the tangled sexual and emotional relationship between three college students, played by Stephen Baldwin (r), Josh Charles and Lara Flynn Boyle.

    2:40 PM — A minor member of one of Hollywood's foremost families has come out in favour of Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and expressed his opposition to gay equality.Stephen Baldwin, who is the brother of actors Alec, Billy and Daniel, is best-known for his roles in the controversial 1994 film Threesome and 1995 thriller The Usual Suspects.He became a born-again Christian after the attacks on New York on September 11th 2001.

  • Openly gay soldiers still serving in US military

    Manzella is an army medic who has just returned from Kuwait. He previously earned a Combat Medical Badge for service in Baghdad.

    2:15 PM — A US Army Sergeant has expressed his surprise that he wasn't dismissed after admitting he was gay on live American TV.Last month Army Sgt. Darren Manzella told CBS 60 Minutes that his army colleagues knew his sexuality. The programme also showed a video of Manzella kissing his former boyfriend."I thought I would at least be asked about the segment or approached and told I shouldn't speak to the media again," Manzella told USA Today .

  • Archaeology museum celebrates LGBT History month 57

    The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is a world class collection of over 80,000 objects from pre-historic, pharonic, Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic Egypt and Sudan.

    11:40 AM — The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is running an open evening as part of LGBT History month to explore sexuality and gender in the ancient world.There will be a discussion on the subject, entitled 'Beyond Isis Osiris: Alternate sexuality in Ancient Egypt', hosted by Dr Debbie Challis, followed by an opportunity to explore the museum, which is located on the University College London Campus in central London.

  • Playing gay characters is not ‘brave’, says Fry 2

    Fry came out at quite a young age and has continually campaigned for gay equality.

    11:40 AM — Gay actor Stephen Fry has said he is not impressed with straight actors who play gay characters.In a Radio Times interview, the QI host expressed frustration at how straight actors was seen as 'brave' for taking on a gay role.He said a gay man would never be considered 'brave' if he played an intimate scene with a woman.Fry's latest role on the small screen is that of solicitor PeterKingdom, in the ITV series Kingdom who is single and straight.

  • Students protest against gay blood donor ban 18

    On their donation form, the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) bar any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, even if only once.

    11:40 AM — Student activists are putting pressure on the Canadian Blood Services to put a stop to its blood donor ban on sexually active gay men, despite the company having recently said it would not lift the ban.On their donation form, the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) bar any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, even if only once.The Canadian Federation of Students began to put pressure on CBS last year and the cause has been taken up by many universities across the country.

  • Trans woman denied breast enlargement surgery

    The hospital does allow female patients who are not transgender the right to breast-enlargement surgeries.

    11:40 AM — A trans woman is suing a Catholic hospital, claiming medical officials blocked her from getting breast enlargement surgery there because she had a sex-change operation.Charlene Hastings, 57, told The [San Jose] Mercury News that when she called Seton Medical Centre, a Catholic hospital in in Daly City, California, to inquire about breast enlargement surgery, an official told her it wasn't "God's will" for her to have such a treatment, because "God made you a man."

  • Gay hate bill returns to Commons 5

    Justice minister Maria Eagle said that Christians will continue to have the right to express their homophobic views.

    11:40 AM — MPs will debate the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill tomorrow, which includes a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.Ann Widdecombe, a Roman Catholic former Tory minister, today defended her opposition to the bill.The government and the frontbenches of the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives both support the legislation, but MPs from the three main parties have signed up to the amendment.

  • 7th January 2008

    Sweden: Gay man’s attacker may have struck before

    Stockholm police have searched the suspect's house and inspected his computer and now think he may have attacked other gay men.

    4:25 PM — A Swedish man arrested last weekend for beating up a gay man might be responsible for more homophobic attacks, Stockholm police said.The suspect, aged 35, allegedly attacked a 44-year-old man who was found injured in his home. The man was arrested at 5pm on Friday.The victim suffered injuries that might leave him permanently disabled, although he is now in a stable condition.The men met on a contact web site.

  • Onscreen lesbian kiss upsets Egyptian academics 1

    Dr Abdel-Sabour Shahin believes the film,  Hina Maysara  (Until Further Notice), promotes homosexuality and debauchery and destroys morality in society.

    4:10 PM — A lesbian sex scene in an Egyptian film has outraged religious scholars, who are telling people not to watch the 'sinful' movie.An Islamic Studies professor at Cairo University wants the Egyptian authorities to prosecute the director and both actresses involved in the scene, Ghada Abdel-Razeq and Sumaya Al-Khashab.Dr. Abdel-Sabour Shahin believes the film, Hina Maysara (Until Further Notice), promotes homosexuality and debauchery and destroys the morality in society.

  • Anti-gay bishop in trouble after inflammatory Muslim comments 30

    Bishop Nazir-Ali regularly generates headlines with his forthright pronouncements on gay issues.

    2:45 PM — A senior Church of England clergyman best-known for his opposition to equality for gay people has been heavily criticised for making inflammatory comments about Britain's Muslim community.The Right Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in a newspaper article that parts of the country have become "no-go areas" because of extremist Muslims and suggested that mosques stop using speakers to broadcast the call to prayer.The bishop has previously spoken out against the Sexual Orientation Regulations and civil partnerships.

  • Ireland to recognise UK civil partnerships 15

    Last month Ireland's Minister of Justice rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.

    2:20 PM — The Republic of Ireland will recognise same-sex marriages, civil unions and civil partnerships from other countries when it legalises same-sex unions later this year.The Irish Times reports that "civil unions or weddings will have the same legal recognition as new civil partnerships in Ireland, as long as they meet a number of conditions."The UK already recognises same-sex unions and marriages from nearly 20 countries, including Canada, the US and France.

  • Amsterdam mayor to clean up red light district

    In September, Cohen sold around one third of the area that makes up the red light district.

    2:01 PM — Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen announced he will clean up the city's red light district in a bid to reduce human trafficking, money laundering and drug abuse, by replacing prostitutes' windows with clothes shops.Cohen said he wanted to put a stop to the criminals taking advantage of the city's prostitutes and corrupting the city centre."The romantic picture of the area is outdated if you see the abuses in the sex industry and that is why the council has to act," he told Reuters. 

  • Barrowman: closeted actors are “just sad” 6

    John Barrowman can be seen in a new series of Cardiff-based sci-fi drama Torchwood which begins on the BBC this week.

    12:37 PM — Torchwood leading man John Barrowman has criticised gay stars who refuse to come out of the closet.The openly gay actor said his sexuality did not influence the kind of roles you got offered as an actor and believes it is "just sad" that someone would deny their sexuality to the world."If it (being gay) has been a problem, no-one ever told me so. I know people who lie about being gay because they think it will affect their work chances."

  • Christian registrar refuses to perform civil partnerships 11

    18,000 civil partnerships took place in the UK since they were introduced in December 2005 and the end of December 2006.

    12:05 PM — An official in the London Borough of Islington is taking the council to court because she claims she should be exempted from performing civil partnership ceremonies.The unnamed marriage registrar, who is a devout Christian, has refused to take part in any of the 600-plus civil partnerships entered into in the borough since they became legal just over two years ago.Yesterday an Islington council spokesperson told the Evening Standard:"A claim has been made to an employment tribunal."

  • Sex overshadows De Beauvoir’s contribution to French society

    De Beauvoir, who played a huge role in the feminist and existentialist movement, was ahead of her time with her feminist writings and sexuality.

    11:33 AM — Academics fear novelist and feminist icon Simone de Beauvoir's sex life may overshadow the celebration of her birth in France this week.Critics are concerned with the French press condemning her sex life instead of highlighting her contribution to modern thought.The author and philosopher shocked the Parisian society of the early 20th Century with her threesomes and affairs with women.

  • Erect Jesus statue stirs controversy among Christians 8

    All the art pieces are from the private collection of Newcastle-born Anita Zabludowicz.

    11:23 AM — An art gallery in the North East is under fire after exhibiting a 1ft high statue of Jesus with an erection.The artwork, by gay Chinese-born artist Terence Koh, is being exhibited by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.The gallery has received complaints from Christians and visitors alike who argue the sculpture degrades the Christian faith. Koh's exhibition, entitled Gone, Yet Still, consists of 74 plaster models, ranging from statues of Mickey Mouse to ET, all with full erections.

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