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March 2008

  • 17th March 2008

    Russian anti-homophobia week faces nationalist protests

    LGBT activists regularly face intimidation and violence from far right groups.

    1:40 PM — Anti-gay activist have begun preparations to disrupt the planned Russian Week Against Homophobia.It is being held in cities such as Moscow, St Petersburg, Voronezh,Krasnodar, Omsk, Petrozavodsk, Rostov-na-Donu, Samara, Tumen and Cheylabinsk.During the week of March 25th-31st, there will be a series of seminars, panel discussions, meetings and film showings with debates. In addition to this, more signatures for the Manifesto against Homophobia, that was started last year, will be sought.

  • London’s festival of lesbian and gay cinema

    This annual event showcases a wide selection of LGBT-themed films and has grown in popularity in recent years.

    1:35 PM — The 22nd BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival starts on March 22nd 2008.The annual event showcases a wide selection of LGBT-themed films and has grown in popularity in recent years. This year the opening Night Gala Screening film is Love and Other Disasters and will be shown at the Odeon West End.Described as a sharper, gayer version of Love Actually, the romantic comedy features performances from Brittany Murphy, Matthew Rhys and Catherine Tate.

  • Gay votes may have been pivotal in Malta election 3

    Malta's gay community accounts for about 5% of the voting population and many have been won over by the pro-gay AD.

    11:50 AM — A political party in Malta that campaigns for LGBT rights may have set back their cause by taking votes away from the country's Labour Party.Labour are generally considered to be more liberal than the winning Nationalist Party (PN), who now remain in power.For a decade the Green Party in Malta, Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) and their leader Harry Vasallo have challenged the two-party system in Malta and pushed for gay civil rights, attracting the votes of thousands of LGBT on the island.

  • Copenhagen Pride funding restored after media campaign 2

    Copenhagen Pride is a week-long festival attended by tens of thousands of people.

    11:30 AM — Officials in the Danish capital Copenhagen have reversed a decision to withhold funding from the city's gay Pride event.Leading Danish LGBT media outlet PrideRadio.dk has described the reaction to the decision, which cited new procedures, as a "media craze that attacked the city's right-wing 'mayor of culture' Mrs Allerslev."She has now said that "a mistake had been made in rejecting funds for Copenhagen Pride."

  • Complaints about gay billboard ads rejected 12

    The message - 'Some people are gay. Get over it!' - is displayed in giant, tabloid-style capital letters, on a bright red background.

    11:04 AM — The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that an ad campaign by gay equality organisation Stonewall did not breach their code.The "Some people are gay - get over it!" posters were displayed on 600 billboards across the Britain last month.Of the 54 complaints received by the ASA, seven claimed the ad was inappropriate for display where it could be seen by children and five objected that the ad was particularly offensive to Christian and other religious groups.

  • Norway moves to legalise gay marriage 1

    The new legislation, while not full equal marriage, amends the definition of civil marriage in Norway to make it gender neutral.

    10:50 AM — The Norwegian government has introduced legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry and have joint custody over children.The Scandinavian country already allows gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil partnerships, but LGBT rights groups have long complained the law does not go far enough.The Norwegian National Association for Lesbian and Gay Liberation (LLH) said the current arrangements created two classes of citizenship.

  • Petition for men convicted over “gay party” in Morocco 1

    The Moroccan government is being urged to protect the human rights to privacy and to a fair trial.

    10:21 AM — The Moroccan Association for Human Rights, along with Human Rights Watch, is launching a petition following the imprisonment of six men for same sex sexual conduct.Police in Morocco arrested the men in November 2007 after a video circulated on the Internet showing a private party in Ksar-el-Kbir.A Tangiers appeals court upheld the conviction under Article 489 of Morocco's penal code.

  • Hollywood star pays tribute to murdered teen 1

    Actress Portia De Rossi has paid tribute to a murdered teenager in a new public service television advert broadcast in America.

    10:20 AM — Actress Portia De Rossi has paid tribute to a murdered teenager in a new public service television advert broadcast in America.Lawrence King, who was reportedly openly gay and sometimes wore 'feminine' clothing to school, was shot twice in the head while in class at the E.O. Green School in Oxnard, California last month.The 60 second commercial, also featuring Grey's Anatomy star TR Knight, Janet Jackson, Andre 3000 and Ashanti, debuted on America's gay TV network Logo last week.

  • 14th March 2008

    Lesbian couple delighted at birth of quads 1

    At 28 weeks, Gaiennie was admitted to St Joseph Hospital in Orange County.  photo: losiek@flickr.com

    5:45 PM — A lesbian couple who work at the Irvine Police Department in Orange County, California have become the parents to quadruplets.Cristine Gaiennie and Patsy Lovell, who have a 2-year old son from the same anonymous sperm donor, conceived after seven failed attempts at artificial insemination.Gaiennie, 39, who carried the babies, underwent ovulation induction to stimulate egg production before successfully giving birth to two boys and two girls earlier this month.

  • Trans meeting will attract activists from across Europe

    The second meeting of the European Transgender Council is to be held this year in Germany.

    5:25 PM — The second meeting of the European Transgender Council is to be held this year in Germany, it was announced today.The council, comprised of Transgender Europe (TGEU), the Transgender Network Berlin (TGNB) and TransInterQueer Berlin (TrIQ) will be meeting in Berlinfrom 2nd to 4th May, following their last successful event held in Vienna in 2005.The programme will feature representatives from international activists and experts such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

  • CPS want Royal blackmail trial in private 25

    Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, pleaded not guilty to making demands with menaces, contrary to the Theft Act 1968, at the Old Bailey in December.

    5:20 PM — The Crown Prosecution Service has requested that the trial of two men charged with attempting to blackmail a member of the Royal Family be held without the public being allowed into court.Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, pleaded not guilty to making demands with menaces, contrary to the Theft Act 1968, at the Old Bailey in December.They were arrested in October after police mounted a sting operation.

  • Gay group shocked at ignorance among Euro politicians 1

    A panel of four experts addressed the committee, including an ILGA-Europe representative.

    5:00 PM — Last week's meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe exposed some members' ignorance about gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people, according to the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA).The committee was holding its first hearing on a report on LGBT rights in the member states.The 47-member Council of Europe promotes and protects democracy, educational and sporting co-operation and created the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Homophobic bishop branded un-Christian by MSP 53

    Mr Foulkes said that the bishop had caused hurt to gay people and enlightened Catholics reject all forms of prejudice including racism, sectarianism and homophobia.

    4:25 PM — A Labour member of the Scottish Parliament has echoed comments from gay equality organisation Stonewall and branded the Bishop of Motherwell as un-Christian.George Foulkes MSP tabled a motion condemning Bishop Joseph Devine's comments that gay people attend Holocaust memorial events in order to "create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution" as "unfortunate, outdated and un-Christian."Gay equality organisation Stonewall also criticised the Roman Catholic leader.

  • PM says Mandelson will only serve one term

    Hated by many in his own party and dubbed the “Prince of Darkness,“ Mandelson was appointed to the Cabinet twice, but had to resign both times.

    3:15 PM — The Prime Minister has quashed speculation that he may re-appoint former Labour Cabinet minister Peter Mandelson as a European Commissioner.Arriving at a European summit last night, Gordon Brown told reporters that Mr Mandelson would only serve one term."Peter Mandelson said he doesn't want to become the next commissioner," he said. "I think it is important to say that Peter Mandelson has done a great job as commissioner and, of course, it is his wish to do something else."

  • Iranian gays still facing deportation from UK 7

    Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced yesterday that in the light of “new circumstances“ gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi should have his case reconsidered.

    2:25 PM — Gay activists have told PinkNews.co.uk that the government need to reconsider the cases of other gay asylum seekers following the reprieve of Iranian teenager Mehdi Kazemi's.Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced yesterday that in the light of "new circumstances" gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi should have his case reconsidered upon his return from the Netherlands, where he fled when his first application was denied.The 19-year old, who has lived in Britain since 2005, was facing deportation and possible execution in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal.

  • Galloway claims Iran executes sex offenders, not gays 16

    The Respect politician made his claims on Channel Five show The Wright Stuff yesterday morning.

    2:00 PM — Outspoken London MP George Galloway has said that the boyfriend of Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for sex crimes.The Respect politician made his claims on Channel Five show The Wright Stuff yesterday morning.Mr Kazemi is claiming asylum in the UK. He claims his boyfriend was arrested by police in Iran for being homosexual, forced to reveal the names of men he had relationships with, and executed.

  • New rules on HIV prosecutions released 4

    The CPS is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

    1:10 PM — New guidelines on how prosecutors should deal with cases involving the intentional or reckless transmission of STIs have been published by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today.The CPS has devised a public policy and guidance statement that covers the Code for Crown Prosecutors and how it should be implemented in all cases.The guide also outlines offences the CPS will consider in relation to cases of the intentional or reckless sexual transmission of infection.

  • US Senate will debate ban on HIV+ travellers 6

    The legislation includes measures to lift the current US policy which bars people who are HIV+ from entering the country.

    12:45 PM — A bill authorising billions of dollars of spending on AIDS prevention in developing nations has been approved by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.The legislation includes measures to lift the current US policy which bars people who are HIV+ from entering the country.The bill, which also aims to relax rules that required that one-third of all prevention money be spent on abstinence programmes, will now be debated on the floor of the Senate.

  • Gay community “right” to recall Nazi persecution 53

    Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were held in concentration camps by the Nazis as members of an “anti-social group.“

    12:30 PM — The chair of the Holocaust Educational Trust has defended the right of gay people to commemorate the Holocaust.Lord Janner's comments follow the remarks of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell, who said earlier this week that the "homosexual lobby" attend Holocaust memorial events to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were held in concentration camps by the Nazis as members of an "anti-social group."

  • Victoria MP fears register will lead to gay marriage

    Under the commonwealth's proposal, a relationship will cost $180 (£73) to register and $59 to revoke.

    12:10 PM — A leading Australian MP has claimed a relationships register for gay couples would erode the sanctity of marriage as debate over the controversial bill continues.Victorian Nationals leader Peter Ryan was one of the first MPs to express his views on the new register, telling parliament it would inevitably lead to legislating gay marriage.Under the proposed new law, gay couples in the state of Victoria would be able to register their relationship for easier access to entitlements.

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