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February 2008

  • 25th February 2008

    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."

  • 23rd February 2008

    Rowan Williams holding “secret” talks to avoid gay split 4

    Rowan Williams will aim to avoid more splits

    4:00 PM — Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury is understood to be backing plans that would create a "parallel" conservative Church in America in a bid to for American conservatives to avert prevent further splits over the ordination of gay clergy and wider attitudes to homosexuality.The Daily Telegraph reports that Dr Williams has held talks with senior American bishops who oppose some of the more liberal approaches taken by the Episcopal Church.

  • EastEnders to air new bisexual storyline

    Steven Beale played by Aaron Sidwell will leave the soap shortly

    12:10 PM — EastEnders star Aaron Sidwell is believed to being written out of the hit television programme as his character Steven Beale comes to terms with his bisexuality.His character, who has also been labelled as mentally ill, residing in a psychiatric hospital for a time will kiss both his female friend Stacey Slater and then his step-mother's brother, Christian Clarke ,played by John Partridge, in a story line that develops over the coming weeks.

  • 22nd February 2008

    Gays and Lesbians ‘Have Less Life Insurance’

    Gays and lesbians are less likely to take out life insurance, the findings show

    4:25 PM — Gays and lesbians are far less likely to take out life insurance than their heterosexual counterparts, a new study has shown.The study of 2,514 US adults found 49 percent of gay and lesbians had no life insurance, compared to just 32 percent of heterosexuals.They are also considerably less likely to have homeowners' or renters' insurance, with only 59 percent of gays and lesbians buying it compared to 70 percent of heterosexuals.

  • Australia Debates Same Sex Marriage 6

    The new prime minister's views on marriage equality are proving controversial

    3:50 PM — Greens senator Kerry Nettle has introduced a marriage equality bill to the Australian parliament calling for recognition of overseas same-sex marriages and the ability to allow local ones.Her party leader, Bob Brown, has united with Liberal Australia Capital Territory (ACT) senator Gary Humphries to condemn the new government's attitudes to the Territorial Government's civil partnerships legislation.

  • Man Charged In Toilet Murder

    Mr Akers died of a single stab wound to the back

    3:29 PM — A 29 year old man appeared in court today, charged with the murder of Jeff Akers, who was knifed to death in a cruising spot in Surrey on Tuesday.Mark Malone, who is unemployed, turned himself in to a Newsbury police station in Berkshire a day after the attack.In a brief meeting, Mr Malone spoke only to confirm his address and date of birth.

  • Swansea Pride Announced

    The event hopes to make up for the loss of Cardiff Mardi Gras this summer

    3:01 PM — A gay "Pride in Swansea" festival is set to be held at the tail-end of summer, it has been revealed.The announcement follows the cancellation of Cardiff Mardi Gras earlier this week, after the popular event was unable to find enough financial support. "It is sad to learn that Cardiff Mardi Gras will not be happening this year but this has made us more determined," Peter Martin of GaySwansea.com told PinkNews.co.uk.

  • Irish Poet Under Fire For ‘Sexual Grooming’ 2

    Mr Searcaigh denies the accusations

    2:21 PM — The famous Irish poet, Cathal O Searcaigh a staple of second level school syllabuses - has been accused of the "sexual exploitation and grooming" of 16 year old Nepalese boys who he befriended and assisted financially in their education.Allegations about the poet's relationship with the young boys surfaced after the screening of Fairytale of Kathmandu, a documentary on Mr Searcaigh's charitable work in Nepal made by a former friend of his.

  • US Big Brother Housemate’s Gay Porn Past Revealed

    The US version of Channel 4's Big Brother is a special match-making edition

    12:19 PM — America's Big Brother 9: Till Death Do Us Part has only been on air a few weeks, but already the hope for the first ever gay "showmance" seems to have been dashed.Sexy Neil Garcia was forced to leave the show—and his partner Joshuah Welch because of still unnamed personal reasons outside of the house. However, there may still be a possibility of a gay hook up on the show, as it was recently revealed house mate James Zinkand is an ex-stripper who has appeared in several gay adult videos.

  • Lesbian Police Officer Wins Day in Court 1

    The trial is set for May 12th

    12:01 PM — A lesbian police officer's lawsuit against her police department can go trial, a Los Angeles judge has said.Shelby Feldmeier claims male officers made frequent and offensive remarks about homosexuality while she was working as a probationary officer at Wilshire Station.Superior Court Judge Edward A. Ferns rejected a defence motion to dismiss the case on Wednesday and set a trial date for May 12th.

  • China Launches First HIV Prevention Programme for Gay Men

    China is said to operate a 'three nos' policy towards gays

    11:38 AM — China's Ministry of Health is set to implement its first ever national programme to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS among gay men, its 2008 work agenda revealed yesterday.The programme marks a subtle new phase in the one-party-state's attitudes towards homosexuality, which - while not overtly discriminatory - have followed the 'Three nos' criteria since sodomy was decriminalised in 1997: No approval, no disapproval and no promotion.

  • Cry for Help from Refugee Sheds Light on Desperation of Gays in Iran 30

    President Ahmadinejad claims there are no gays in Iran

    11:08 AM — A poignant plea for help from a gay Iranian refugee in Malaysia is shedding light on the desperation and fear experienced by homosexuals in Iran and those who have fled their home country to seek refugee status in other countries.The letter, penned by a young gay man calling himself Sepehr, contains a heartbreaking tale of life as a homosexual in Iran and the suffering caused by the necessity of fleeing to another land to escape persecution and possible death.

  • LGBT Community Sweep Up Theatre Awards

    The musical Hairspray was recently made into a successful Hollywood movie

    10:45 AM — The LGBT community has swept up major prizes at the annual whatsonstage.com awards - the only theatre awards decided by the public.Hairspray, which features male actor Michael Ball in the lead female role, won seven awards - including best new musical, best director and best actress in a musical. Michael Ball won the best actor in a musical award for his portrayal of Edna Turnblad.Gay activist Sir Ian McKellen snatched the best actor award for his performance in King Lear.

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