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February 2008

  • 7th February 2008

    Dutch OK with gay, atheist, female Prime Minister 1

    Given the Dutch reputation for tolerance, some of the figures are surprising. photo: thepatrick@flickr.com

    1:10 PM — 78% of voters in Holland would be comfortable with a homosexual leader, a wide-ranging opinion poll has revealed.Under a third would find an Islamic Prime Minister acceptable, while just 33% would be happy with a fundamentalist Christian.21,000 members of popular TV programme EenVandaag's opinion panel gave their views.34% would accept a PM who visits prostitutes and 26% one who took hard drugs such as heroin.

  • Christians present petition opposing gay adoption 9

    Andrew McClintock, a leading member of the CPA unsuccessfully tried to opt out of gay adoptions on religious grounds.

    12:55 PM — A lobby group called the Christian People's Alliance (CPA) has presented a petition with 838 signatures to Sheffield City Council protesting that gay people can adopt.The action was inspired by the case of former magistrate Andrew McClintock, a leading member of the CPA, who tried unsuccessfully to opt out of approving gay adoptions on religious grounds.A key part of his case was that as a magistrate he has to act in the best interests of the child and that placing them with gay people was detrimental to them.

  • Judge reduces hate church compensation payout 1

    Members of the church have led over 22,000 demonstrations since 1991.

    12:35 PM — Westboro Baptist Church must pay $5m (£2.5m) in compensation to a soldier's father who sued them for protesting outside his son's funeral a judge has ruled.At an earlier hearing last October Albert Synder was awarded $10.9m for emotional distress and invasion of privacy.The Kansas church, led by Reverend Fred Phelps, is known for its protests at military funerals where its members attribute America's problems to its liberal stance towards homosexuality.

  • Met Police host History Month conference

    The Met will be holding two internal film screenings in February at New Scotland Yard to celebrate LGBT History Month.

    12:20 PM — February is Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) History Month, and among the hundreds of events across the country, the Metropolitan Police Service hosted a one day conference at New Scotland Yard on Monday.Met staff and officers joined others from the Crown Prosecution Service, youth workers and local LGBT forums to discuss compound discrimination, homophobic bullying and hate crime research.A number of events including MPS LGBT community forums will be taking place across London.

  • Hate preacher refused UK entry visa 19

    al-Qaradawi is banned from entering the United States, but has visited Sweden and France in recent times.

    12:05 PM — An Islamic preacher who has called for gay people to be put to death has been denied entry into the UK for medical treatment.Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 80, was at the centre of a row in 2004 when he spoke at an event in City Hall as a guest of London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who was then heavily criticised by gay rights campaigners and Jewish organisations for inviting him.The spiritual leader of Islamicist organisation the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr Qaradawi is known to have supported suicide bombings in Israel.

  • 6th February 2008

    Clinton retains slight lead in delegate count 7

    Counts are on-going and GayWired.com will continue to update these numbers throughout the day.

    10:00 PM — Every delegate counts, Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are finding, as the fight for the Democratic nomination continues the morning after Super Tuesday.According to CNN.com, at current count, Clinton has the slight edge over the Senator from Illinois—823 total delegates to his 731.And while Clinton took several key states—among them California, Massachusetts and New York.

  • Kids drama that introduced gay teachers is axed

    After eight head teachers and exactly 30 years, Children's BBC has decided to axe the show.

    5:15 PM — A children's television programme that tackled gay themes is to cease production after 30 years on air.Grange Hill caused controversy by introducing a gay teacher in 1992. Mr Brisley remained part of the fictional staff until 1999.However, it was not the first controversy the show had stirred.In the late 1970s it was tackling the dangers of paedophiles and in the 1980s it found unparalleled popularity with its campaign against heroin.

  • Coroner concludes Ledger died of accidental overdose

    Ledger is survived by his 2-year-old daughter Matilda.

    4:30 PM — The New York City Medical Examiner has determined that 28-year-old actor Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose of prescription medication.Ledger was discovered in his New York apartment on January 22nd, setting into motion a media firestorm of speculation and accusation on the actor's apparent drug use.Now autopsy results have found Ledger died of a lethal combination of anti-anxiety pills and sleep aids.

  • Poll exposes high levels of Russian homophobia

    In December's poll 84% of respondents said they find homosexuality morally unacceptable.

    4:30 PM — New data released yesterday in Moscow has found that just 5% of Russians do not view homosexuality as morally unacceptable.The Levada-Centre, a well-respected polling organisation, held a poll last year and found that negative attitudes to gay people are on the increase.Just last year 47% of people condemned LGB people. In December's poll 84% of respondents said they find homosexuality morally unacceptable reports Kommersant.com.

  • HIV infections up 20% in Sweden 2

    Across the UK 1 in 20 gay and bisexual men are now living with HIV and estimates suggest this figure is as high as 1 in 10 in London.

    4:21 PM — 500 people were newly diagnosed as HIV positive in Sweden in 2007 according to data published by the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI).That number represents a rise of 20% on 2006.There has been a 70% rise in the number of people infected within Sweden, though the majority of new HIV patients still come into contact with the virus abroad.

  • Gay couple make GQ’s power list

    The March edition of GQ is on sale from tomorrow.

    4:00 PM — Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish have been recognised as among the most powerful men in Britain by GQ.They are jointly listed at number 30 on the magazine's 100 most powerful men list, the only joint entry.The magazine says the couple, who entered into a civil partnership in 2006, are worth £225m. GQ chose Tory leader David Cameron as the most powerful man in Britain.

  • Keep up to date with Stonewall’s work for gay equality 2

    Stonewall's campaigning has led to a catalogue of legislative changes.

    3:00 PM — Stonewall, the UK's leading gay, lesbian and bisexual equality organisation is actively involved in a range of areas, from campaigning for legislation to working towards workplace equality, from media monitoring to tackling homophobia in schools.Now you can keep up to date with Stonewall's work by signing up to their monthly e-bulletin. Sent straight to your inbox, it provides a regular update of progress in the charity's vital work for justice and equality. To sign up, simply click here.

  • Obama and Clinton both win on Super Tuesday

    42% of the total delegates to the Democratic convention were apportioned yesterday.

    3:00 PM — With the results from yesterday's primaries and caucuses in nearly half of the United States counted, it appears that the Republicans have chosen their candidate for President while the Democrats are still unable to choose between a woman and a black man.Senator John McCain, the 71-year-old war hero and former Vietnam prisoner of war, took nine of the 21 states voting in the Republican contests.The big surprise of the night was former Governor of Arkansas Mike Hucakee.

  • Questions over MrCain’s eligibility for Presidency

    Where do we draw the line at who can run for the highest office in America?

    2:50 PM — With Arizona Senator John McCain finishing on Super Tuesday as the likely Republican presidential front runner, a strange new question about his eligibility for the office has bubbled up on the internet.As someone born in the Panama Canal Zone, is McCain a "natural born" US citizen, as required of the President by the country's Constitution?In an op-ed piece posted this week, American Voice Radio's Francis Steffan states that John McCain is not eligible for the position of President of the United States, because he is not a "natural born citizen."

  • Condoms still vital in fight against HIV says UNAIDS 3

    UNAIDS recommend a comprehensive package of HIV prevention approaches, including the use of condoms.

    2:23 PM — A report that asserts that HIV positive people undergoing effective anti-retroviral treatments carry "no relevant risk of transmission" has been greeted with caution by UNAIDS.Last week the Swiss Federal Commission for HIV/AIDS announced that "an HIV-infected person on anti-retroviral therapy with completely suppressed viremia ("effective ART") is not sexually infectious, i.e. cannot propagate HIV through sexual contact."The commission said: "residual risk can not be scientifically excluded, but is ... negligibly small."

  • Egypt accused of criminalising HIV positive gay men

    On Saturday a Cairo appeals court upheld their one-year prison sentence.

    1:11 PM — Four men convicted last month by a court in Cairo of consensual homosexual sex are the victims of state prejudice against people with HIV, according to a leading human rights organisation.A series of arrests began when one man, challenged by police during a street altercation with another man, told officers he is HIV positive.Both were arrested and investigated for homosexual conduct and had to undergo anal examinations that would be used as "proof" they had sex, says Human Rights Watch.

  • April elections likely in Italy after dissolution of parliament

    If new elections bring Mr Berlusconi and his allies back into office the gay rights agenda is likely to be abandoned completely.

    12:25 PM — The President of Italy today formally dissolved the country's parliament after the coalition government fell apart last month.Romano Prodi, who resigned as Prime Minister but remained in a caretaker role, is expected to hold a cabinet meeting later today to fix a date for new elections.Reports from Rome indicate that April 13th or 14th are the most likely dates. Romano Prodi's government fell after he lost a vote of confidence in the Italian Senate last week.

  • Fundamentalist Christian poster breached advert code 27

    The ASA ruled that the statement was “likely to be understood to represent the prevailing view of the gay community.“

    12:10 PM — A advertising poster for the Christian Congress for Traditional Values which claimed that gay people want to abolish families has been found to breach the advertising standards code.In an adjudication released today the Advertising Standards Authority judged the poster to be in breach of rules on social responsibility, decency, substantiation, truthfulness and matters of opinion.A mobile poster for the CCTV showed a family consisting of a man, a woman and a young son and daughter. Body copy beside it stated "GAY AIM: ABOLISH THE FAMILY."

  • Alleged rape victim is HIV positive 1

    Mr Wrench's defence barrister, Sarah Forshaw QC, told the court that the alleged victim did not mention his HIV status.

    11:50 AM — A court at the Old Bailey has been told that a 26-year-old man who accused a BBC Radio 4 reporter of raping him is HIV positive.Nigel Wrench, 47, was open about his status and had made a documentary, Aids and Me about his experiences living with HIV and a later diagnosis of AIDS.He is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting the 26-year-old after inviting him back to his flat in north London after meeting him at a New Years party.

  • Abercrombie store accused of displaying “obscene material” 1

    A police spokesman said the seizure was “prompted by several customer complaints, and the management of Abercrombie  Fitch was notified of those complaints.“

    11:30 AM — An Abercrombie Fitch store in Virginia Beach, Virginia, will soon be decked out as it always has been, with black and white photos of half-naked boys and girls frolicking in fields.That's because the city officials plan to return a pair of promotional photographs, one of which shows a shirtless man wearing jeans that reveal the top of his buttocks and another which shows a topless woman whose hand is covering a portion of her breast, that were taken from the store last weekend after a police officer cited its manager with violating city code.

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