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25 February 2008

  • 25th February 2008

    Canadian gay groups oppose rise in age of consent

    Under Canada's Criminal Code, anal sex is only legal if both individuals are 18 years old.

    4:10 PM — Gay and straight youth groups in Canada have come out against a change in age of consent from 14 to 16.Richard Hudler of the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario claims that it will unfairly prejudice gay teenagers."My first lover was 17 years older than me. And this is common [among gay people]," he said. "It is dangerous, considering the attitude toward sexual orientation in schools, for a young person to attempt to make sexual contact with a peer."

  • Sir Elton’s Oscar party raises millions for AIDS

    the Elton John AIDS Foundation has raised more than $125 million to support HIV/AIDS prevention.

    3:55 PM — In what has become a Hollywood tradition, a host of A List stars turned out for an Oscar Night party in aid of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.The annual gala featured performances from Mary J Blige and Jack Shears of Scissor Sisters as well as Sir Elton himself. It was one of the night's most attended parties and raised a record breaking $5.1 million (£2.6m).The singer-songwriter hosted the event with his partner David Furnish.

  • Gay conspiracy theory surfaces in Senegalese media 6

    Public reaction in the mainly Muslim former French colony has been stridently anti-homosexual. photo: erik kristensen@flickr.com

    3:30 PM — The release from prison of several men arrested on suspicion of homosexuality following the publication of photographs of a same-sex "marriage ceremony" led to riots, acres of print and media coverage and now a conspiracy theory.The fact the men were released has led local media to speculate that they were threatening to reveal "high-ranking state officials" are gay.Afrol News reports that "dozens of Senegalese homosexuals" have left the country to escape death threats.Homosexual acts are punishable in the country by imprisonment of between one and five years.

  • Burrell reported to be in crisis talks after gay revelations 4

    It was claimed yesterday that Burrell, 49, trawls gay saunas hunting for young men to bed behind his wife's back.

    3:15 PM — Allegations that former Royal employee Paul Burrell is secretly gay have led to crisis meetings between the former butler and his advisers.He has amassed a sizable fortune in the United States, reported to be in the region of $25 million (£12.7m). His projects there include books, a home furnishings line and etiquette classes as well as presenting a number of popular television programmes such as American Princess.

  • Interview: Gays and the United States military 3

    The United States continues to operate under the “Don't Ask Don't Tell“ law, a messy compromise reached in 1994.

    2:45 PM — It is almost eight years since the British government moved to allow openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve in our Army, Navy and Air Force.We were by no means the first. The Dutch lifted their ban in 1974, Australia followed in 1992, Canada soon after.In 2008, most of the member nations of NATO have removed their bans, with one glaring exception. The United States continues to operate under the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law, a messy compromise reached in 1994.

  • Sri Lankan gays protest at newspaper stereotyping

    Homosexual acts between men, regardless of age, are prohibited in Sri Lanka, with a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.

    12:50 PM — Gay activists have launched a campaign to obtain a rebuttal of a story printed by the Sri Lankan newspaper The Island that portrays homosexuality as a psychological disorder.Equal Ground, an LGBT rights organisation based in Sri Lanka, has joined forces with the Sri Lankan society of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to express "their deep regret and shock" at the article entitled Treating alternative forms of sexual expression.

  • Gay blood ban row moves to Scottish parliament

    The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) bars men who have had sex with other men from donating blood, even if they used a condom.

    12:10 PM — A petition is being prepared for submission to the Scottish Parliament calling for a repeal to the ban the prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood in the UK.Rob McDowall, the creator of the petition, told PinkNews.co.uk: "Being gay doesn't prevent me from paying tax, using public transport or working in a responsible position, so why should it prevent me from giving the gift of life?"The UK Blood Transfusion Service bars men who have had sex with other men from donating blood.

  • Hillary leads Obama in Texas polls 1

    Clinton previously held a much larger lead over Obama in Texas and Ohio.

    11:50 AM — New York Senator Hillary Clinton is still leading over Illinois Senator Barack Obama in the most recent polls from Ohio and Texas.However, with a little over a week to go until the March 4th Democratic primaries in both states Clinton's lead appears to be shrinking.John McCain, meanwhile, appears to be the preferred candidate over either Democrat in Texas.A poll conducted by the Associated Press between February 16th to 20th gave Clinton a 50 percent to 43 percent lead over Barack Obama in Ohio.

  • Story of lesbian cop’s pension struggle wins Oscar 3

    Publicity photo: Lieutenant Films Inc.

    11:10 AM — Director Cynthia Wade and producer Vanessa Roth were among the winners at the 80th Annual Academy Awards yesterday, taking home a statue for Best Documentary Short Subject for the short film Freeheld.Freeheld documents the struggle of New Jersey Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester in her effort to transfer her pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree.With less than six months to live as cancer spreads to her brain, Laurel battles the Ocean County Freeholders and her elected officials.

  • Catholics unhappy at rights for gay Kosovans 2

    Kosovo declared independence from Serbia earlier this month, backed by the US, the UK and other leading nations.

    10:40 AM — The draft constitution of Europe's newest nation is under attack from a Roman Catholic political organisation because it seeks to protect gay people from discrimination.Kosovo declared independence from Serbia earlier this month, backed by the US, the UK and other leading nations.Its draft constitution contains specific provisions to protect Kosovans from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and enshrines the right to marry but does not limit that right to a man and a woman.

  • Raul Castro confirmed as Cuban President

    The 76-year-old had been Cuba's acting president since Fidel fell ill in July 2006.

    10:15 AM — The younger brother of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been approved as the country's President by the National Assembly.Fidel, 81, stepped down last week, but will remain as head of the Communist party and is expected to continue to have a strong influence on his brother.At a two-day discussion on homosexuality in Cuba held earlier this year in Madrid poet Leon de la Hoz said that many people on the island refer to Raul as "the little Chinese man with the sad eyes," a reference to his supposed repressed homosexuality.

  • Microsoft millions form largest ever gay donation

    A wide range of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans organisations will benefit from his generosity.

    9:45 AM — A gay man who was one of the founding employees of computer company Microsoft has bequeathed $65m (£33m) to the Pride Foundation of Seattle.Ric Weiland joined the company started by two of his high school classmates Bill Gates and Paul Allen. He died in died in June 2006, at the age of 53, committing suicide after struggling with depression.He is survived by his partner, Mike Schaefer of Seattle and his nieces and nephews. $160m of his estate was donated to charitable organisations. He also left $60m to Stanford University.

  • Ralph Nader enters US Presidential race 4

    Nader said on Sunday anyone who believes he should not run for President is displaying “political bigotry.“

    9:25 AM — Perennial Presidential candidate Ralph Nader announced on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday that he will be entering the race for the White House yet again.Nader, 73, ran as an Independent in 2004 and as a Green Party candidate in 2000, a race in which he was blamed for spoiling former Vice President Al Gore's chance for a clear victory.Blogger Sandy Sand on OpEdNews.com perhaps summed up the response of many to the announcement by saying: "Just what we need."

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