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January 2008

  • 17th January 2008

    Shock at male rape estimates in Sydney

    The hospital claimed that attackers are usually straight males who have sex with men but do not necessarily identify themselves as gay.

    11:10 AM — New figures have revealed that hundreds of men are being raped in Sydney and its eastern suburbs every year.A report from the Eastern and Central Sexual Assault Service at Royal Alfred Hospital stated that although 44 male victims complained of being sexually assaulted last year, this number was just "the tip of the iceberg".Experts claim that as much as 95 per cent of male victims did not report such crimes to the police. Manager Lisa Simpson said: "There is a huge denial about same-sex sexual assault."

  • Scotland’s LGBT footballers to play historic match

    Although based in Edinburgh, membership is open to players  fans from across Scotland.

    11:05 AM — The first gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans football team in Scotland are to play their first 11-a-side game in Haddington this weekend.HotScots FC was founded in February 2007 with the aim of organising socials and regular kick-abouts and to provide a social outlet for LGBT people who wish to watch and participate in football with other like-minded people.The club now boasts more than 75 members and hold kickabouts every Thursday and Sunday.

  • Protesters halt Papal visit to university 1

    Protesters had planned to mount loudspeakers on a truck and create a “sonic siege“ if the Pope set foot on campus.

    10:50 AM — Science students and academics at the University of Rome La Sapienza have successfully stopped Pope Benedict XVI from visiting the campus today.Vatican Radio accused them of censorship, while the Italian Prime Minister said their determination to block the Pope from speaking "provoked an unacceptable tension and a climate that does not honour the traditions of civilisation and tolerance in Italy."LGBT students also planned to protest the Papal visit.

  • Lesbian soldier wins claim against Ministry of Defence 3

    “The MoD is considering the lengthy judgment issued by the tribunal. We don't wish to comment further,“ said a spokesman.

    10:20 AM — A 31-year-old Lance Bombadier has won a claim of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and sex discrimination at an employment tribunal.Kerry Fletcher, who is a lesbian, was the victim of unwanted sexual advances from a male sergeant who claimed he could "convert" her.She could win more than £400,000 damages representing lost earnings and hurt feelings. Ms Fletcher had intended to stay in the Army for another 12 years but her career was cut short by campaign of harassment she suffered.

  • 16th January 2008

    Cameroon men get six months jail for being gay 7

    More than 30 people have been arrested in Cameroon in the last two years on charges of homosexuality,

    6:35 PM — Three men have been sentenced to six month hard labour for being homosexual.The men were arrested in Bonapriso, Douala, on August 31st 2007 by police officers making random arrests in search of armed robbers.After being beaten at the police station, one of the men confessed to being homosexual and implicated his two colleagues.The three men's lawyer said she would appeal the convictions and none of the men had been found guilty of homosexual acts.

  • George Michael to write “authentic” autobiography 4

    Although neither publisher nor publicist would reveal how much Michael is being paid for the book, industry watchers said it was certain to be millions of pounds.

    6:30 PM — Publisher HarperCollins today confirmed that they have secured the rights to an autobiography by pop star George Michael.The 44-year-old, who has sold in excess of 80 million records in a career spanning three decades, said through his publicist that the book would be "no holds barred."Although neither publisher nor publicist would reveal how much Michael is being paid for the book, industry watchers said it was certain to be millions of pounds.

  • Toilet sex carries “expectation of privacy” says ACLU 1

    The ACLU brief cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that people having sex in a closed toilet cubicle in a public toilet have an “expectation of privacy.“

    5:14 PM — The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday filed court papers in support of US Senator Larry Craig's fight to have his conviction for soliciting sex in an airport toilet overturned.The ACLU brief cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that people having sex in a closed toilet cubicle in a public toilet have an "expectation of privacy" and if the Senator was attempting to engage an undercover police officer for sex he was not acting illegally.The Senator from Idaho arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room.

  • Presbyterian church allows lesbian ordination

    The San Francisco Presbytery encompasses nearly 80 churches with 28,000 parishioners.

    5:01 PM — In the first test of a new policy allowing local Presbyterian churches the right to welcome into the clergy candidates who object to church teachings, the Presbytery of San Francisco has granted a lesbian deacon her wish of becoming a minister.The regional body yesterday voted 167 to 151 in favour of Lisa Larges, who had twice before been denied ordination.Since 1978 the US Presbyterian denomination bans sexually active gay or lesbian people from the ministry.

  • Gay link to theft of Irish Crown Jewels

    The Order of St Partick is an order of chivalry founded in 1783 by George III.

    4:30 PM — Just four days before King Edward VII arrived in Ireland for a state visit, his Crown Jewels were stolen from Dublin Castle.The 1907 theft angered the monarch, scandalised the Irish press and has remained one of the unsolved mysteries of modern times.The star and badge of the Order of St Patrick, laden with rubies, emeralds and diamonds, were never recovered.Now an historian has blamed the daring heist on Francis Shackleton, brother of the famous polar explorer Ernest.

  • Samaritans claim 80% have been bullied at work

    Occupation has a major influence on stress, with over 40% of IT workers, retailers, caterers and engineers feeling unsupported at work.

    2:55 PM — New research from emotional support charity Samaritans has revealed that one in four people it is a weekly or even daily stress caused by workplace bullying.More than 80% of workers have been bullied during their careers and a third of people are so stressed they have dreamed of quitting for a life abroad.Over half say their jobs are getting more stressful and that work is overtaking their home lives.

  • Plymouth plans a bigger and better Pride in 2008 6

    plymouth prideevent 2008 takes place in The Guildhall on Saturday, June 7th.

    2:45 PM — The nation's most popular lower-case gay day out, plymouth pridevent, has been granted charity status.Supported by, among others, Plymouth City Council and Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, the charity's committee has adopted a new constitution and appointed a new chairman, Mark Ayres.The committee can now make donations to other organisations which also work with Plymouth's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) community.

  • International match to honour lesbian football hero 2

    The Lily Parr Exhibition Trophy will be held in Regents Park on Saturday 9th February  2008 as part of LGBT History Month.

    2:25 PM — She was a footballing genius who lit up the game in the 1920s and 1930s with her antics on and off the field.Lily Parr, who lived openly with her partner Mary and insisted on being paid in Woodbine cigarettes, was the first woman to be inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.30 years on from her death, lesbians from around the globe will come together on the pitch to celebrate her brilliant life of this star of the game.

  • Florida gay marriage ban short on signatures

    There is already a ban on same-sex marriage in Florida.

    2:02 PM — An initiative to ask Florida's citizens to ban gay marriage in the state is more than 20,000 signatures short of the required number, despite claims last month that the target had been reached.Florida4Marriage.org want a question on the 2008 ballot on following amendment to the state's constitution regarding civil marriage.Revised numbers show that the group is 21,989 signatures short of the required 611,009. There are two weeks left until the deadline.

  • Ken launches campaign for third term as Mayor

    The row over pensioner travel is the first in what looks set to be a fractious campaign for Mayor of London.

    1:35 PM — The Mayor of London kicked off his campaign for a third term in office yesterday with a pledge to extend free travel for pensioners.The Freedom Pass for the over 60s and disabled people cannot currently be used before 9am on weekdays.In a bid for the votes of the million pass users in the capital, Ken Livingstone said the new policy "is part of my central goal of ensuring that London's public transport system is reliable and open to every Londoner."

  • Gay.com parent company up for sale

    PlanetOut floated in October 2004 at a share price of $9 (£4.48), it quickly rose to $14.26 (£7.10) in November that year.

    12:40 PM — Shares in one of the largest gay media companies in the world, PlanetOut, fell 23.4% yesterday to $4.75 (£2.42).A spokesman for the NASDAQ-listed company confirmed they are looking for potential buyers. It has been a rocky year for the company. It is now trading at 13% of its value in January 2007.In May high operating costs and declining sales resulted in a considerable first-quarter loss and a resulting slide in share price.

  • Photos of gay icons bought by National Portrait Gallery

    The portraits will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery, St Martins Place, London, from February.

    11:55 AM — Four portraits by acclaimed gay photographer David Gwinnutt have been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London.Mr Gwinnutt, who has photographed many well-known gay celebrities, said he was honoured that his work will become part of the national collection of portraiture.The portraits of film director John Schlesinger, playwright Neil Bartlett, performance artist and club legend Leigh Bowery and photographer Corinne Day are candid and intimate.

  • Aide to Latvian MP convicted of Pride attack

    The court found that he threw a bag of excrement at the car of a gay rights activist.

    11:30 AM — A 32-year-old man who works as an aide to a homophobic Latvian MP has been convicted of "gross public disorderliness" during Riga Pride in 2006.Janis Dzelme is an assistant to the Latvia First Party MP Dainis Turlais.The court found that he has throw a bag of excrement at the car of a gay rights activist.

  • Morocco ‘gay party’ convictions upheld 1

    The prosecution failed to present any evidence that the men actually had engaged in the prohibited conduct in the first place.

    10:55 AM — A leading human rights organisation has called on the authorities in Morocco to release six men jailed for "lewd and unnatural acts."They were arrested by police between November 23rd and 25th 2007, after a video circulated online, including on YouTube, purporting to show a private party, allegedly including the men, taking place in Ksar el-Kbir on November 18th.Press reports claimed the party was a "gay marriage." At an appeal yesterday the men's sentences were reduced but their convictions upheld.

  • Romney and Clinton win in Michigan

    Romney remained in Michigan on Tuesday to drum up last minute votes in the state primary.

    10:25 AM — Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has pulled off a strong win in the Michigan primary results, beating out his rivals, Arizona Senator John McCain and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.Although pre-voting polls had the two top Republican candidates at a virtual tie, Romney pulled off the win with a significant margin.Hillary Clinton, virtually uncontested, won in the Democratic primary.With 77 percent of precincts reporting in, Mitt Romney has been declared the projected winner in the Michigan Republican primary.

  • 15th January 2008

    Swedish opposition may force gay marriage vote 5

    Gay and lesbian couple can register their partnership through a civil ceremony.

    4:45 PM — The three opposition parties in Sweden have said they may force a bill through parliament to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples.Under current laws, dating back to 1987, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.Gay and lesbian couple can register their partnership through a civil ceremony, a process introduced in 1995 which gives same-sex couples the same rights as married couples.

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