2nd April 2008
Gay rights advocate resigns as Irish Prime Minister 17
6:30 PM — The Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland has announced his resignation following an investigation into corruption.Bertie Ahern, 56, has been Taoiseach since June 1997 and has been a strong supporter of gay rights in Ireland. In 2006 he told the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN):"Our sexual orientation is not an incidental attribute. It is an essential part of who and what we are. All citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, stand equal in the eyes of our laws."
Arts Coucil finds sexual orientation controversy “ironic”
6:01 PM — Artists seeking funding for their work are being asked to reveal their sexuality.Any individual or group who apply for Arts Council funding will be asked whether they or any of their management committee are bisexual, gay, heterosexual or lesbian.The Arts Council is compiling the information so that they can report to the government the success rate of different applications.
Chat show host admits gay crack was “dumb thing to do”
5:30 PM — Emmy Award-winning American comedian and television host Jay Leno has apologised for on-air remarks he made during a chat with Ryan Phillippe that were then criticised by gay activists and others.The 58 year old host caused offence when he asked the Hollywood heartthrob to give him his "gayest look."Phillippe started his acting career playing a gay character in hit US soap One Life To Live .
Boris Johnson rejects BNP support 13
3:50 PM — The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London has slammed the British National Party after they told their supporters to choose him as their second preference candidate on May 1st."I utterly and unreservedly condemn the BNP and have no desire whatsoever to receive a single second preference vote from a BNP supporter," said Boris Johnson.Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, told PinkNews.co.uk: "The BNP obviously recognise Boris' reputation for causing offence and creating division."
Gays embrace innovative car rental schemes
3:20 PM — Car Club schemes, a service popular among the gay community, have today been given support from Green Party candidate for Mayor of London Sian Berry.According to company City Car Club, a large amount of gay and lesbian drivers are signing up to the scheme, where members rent the use of a car by the hour.City Car Club has a fleet of more than 300 cars. It claims that once signed up to the scheme members cut down on unnecessary car journeys by as much as 35%.
Thailand joins gay blood ban 2
2:00 PM — The Thai Red Cross Society has decided to reject blood donations from homosexual men in a move which has met with strong opposition from human rights organisations.It said it had large amounts of unused blood that had tested HIV-positive.Most of the infected blood was reportedly from men who were having unprotected sex with other men, according the director of the National Blood Centre, Soisaang Pikulsod. Thailand is not the first country to ban gay men from donating blood.
Military u-turn over lesbian Congresswoman’s partner
1:45 PM — The US Secretary of Defence has intervened after a lesbian Congresswoman's partner was barred from accompanying her on a military aircraft during an official trip.It is reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, phoned Defence Secretary Robert Gates to ask him to intervene.Tammy Baldwin, who represents Wisconsin's second district, is the only openly gay woman in Congress.
Irish civil partnerships to exclude parental rights 3
1:05 PM — Gay rights groups in Ireland have expressed disappointment that the government may not extend parental rights to same-sex couples as part of new legislation to legally recognise lesbian and gay relationships.On Monday MarriagEquality, a group formed to campaign for full civil marriage, released the details of a poll it commissioned which shows the number of Irish people who support partnerships only has fallen from 33% to 26%.Overall 84% of those polled support either gay marriage or civil partnerships.
Greeks consider recognising same-sex couples 1
12:45 PM — Greek authorities are considering adopting a law that would allow same-sex couples to be recognised by a civil ceremony, the country's NET TV said on Monday.The Greek Justice Ministry pledged to establish a working group on the rights of gay couples living together, which would "analyse all aspects of the issue, international practice and the existing domestic legal and social framework."The New Democracy-led government is expected to introduce legislation later in the year that will offer several rights to unmarried couples.
Gay and lesbian groups awarded equality grants
12:25 PM — Ethnic minority and LGBT groups are among 286 organisations who have been awarded grants by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.The Equality Act 2006 allows the EHRC to give financial assistance to organisations concerned with promoting equality and diversity, good relations and human rights.Stonewall, the Bristol Lesbian Gay Bisexual Forum, the Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Voluntary and Community Organisations and The Lesbian and Gay Foundation are among the recipients.
Gay MEP worried about EU discrimination directive 2
12:01 PM — A British Member of the European Parliament has spoken of his concerns that there is a lack of commitment to gay rights from the European Commission President Jose Manuel Borroso.Michael Cashman, who represents the West Midlands, has voiced his concern over reports that the Commission is backtracking on its commitment to tackle discrimination."Barroso gave the Parliament assurances that it would bring forward a Directive to combat discrimination on the remaining grounds of Article 13," said Mr Cashman.
Dutch MP questions deportation of gay teenager to UK 2
11:30 AM — A social-liberal MP in Holland has secured a debate in the country's parliament about Mehdi Kazemi, a gay Iranian teenager who is due for deportation back to the UK.Boris van der Ham of the D66 party is unhappy at the lack of assurances from the British government that Mr Kazemi will be allowed to remain in the UK.If he is returned to Iran he claims he faces execution.