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April 2008

  • 7th April 2008

    International pressure on Egypt over HIV arrests

    At least 12 men have been arrested and four have already been sentenced to a year in jail.

    5:10 PM — More than 115 organisations that advocate human rights and the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS have protested to the government of Egypt over a spate of recent arrests.The groups signing the letter represent 41 countries on six continents, among them Human Rights Watch and Amnesty.In a letter to the Health Ministry and the Egyptian Doctors' Syndicate, the groups said that doctors who helped interrogate men jailed on suspicion of being HIV-positive violated their own medical ethics.

  • Interview: The vibrant support network for LGB soldiers

    In the UK the Armed Forces are proud of their LGB colleagues.

    3:30 PM — The issue of gay people serving in the Armed Forces still divides politicians in the US.For the rest of the countries in the NATO alliance, the claims and counter-claims about unit cohesion and the "influence" of gays on fighting men seem like echoes from another time.The Dutch lifted their ban on gays in 1974, Australia followed in 1992 and Canada soon after. In 2008, most of the member nations of NATO have removed their bans.

  • Hillary Clinton repeats desire to end gay military ban

    Senator Clinton was asked if she would use the same method that US President Harry Truman did in 1948 to end racial discrimination.

    3:04 PM — The policy of Don't Ask Don't Tell, which bars openly lesbian, bisexual or gay people from serving in the United States Armed Forces, will most likely have to be repealed by Congress, according to Hillary Clinton.The Senator from New York was First Lady of the United States when the policy became law in 1993.She is now running for the White House in her own right, and is one of two candidates for the Democratic nomination for President.

  • Magistrate investigated after linking gay men to paedophiles 3

    Mr Butler has voluntarily agreed not to sit as a magistrate during the investigation.

    2:35 PM — Comments made in a regional TV documentary about gay people in Wales has led to an investigation into a local magistrate.Byron Butler, a former Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Mid Glamorgan who has been on the bench for 30 years, spoke out on an edition of BBC Wales' Week In Week Out hosted by former Steps singer Ian H Watkins.Mr Butler has voluntarily agreed not to sit as a magistrate during the investigation by the Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace in Mid Glamorgan.

  • Ken campaign to complain about YouGov poll 4

    “YouGov do not take account of the much larger ethnic minority population in London,“ claims the Livingstone campaign

    2:00 PM — Ken Livingstone, the incumbent Mayor of London, has rejected the methodology of an opinion poll company used by Stonewall, the Evening Standard and other papers.The latest poll of 1,000 Londoners from YouGov puts his Tory rival Boris Johnson on 49% with the Mayor on 36%.Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick remains on 10% and Green party hopeful Sian Berry on 2% in the Standard poll. Once the second preferences are factored in, Boris leads Ken by 56% to 44%.

  • Obama challenged over lack of contact with gay press 13

    In an Editorial Letter to Obama last week, PGN said that he has only spoken to the gay press twice.

    1:30 PM — One of America's most respected gay publications has accused Presidential candidate Barack Obama of disrespecting the "entire local LGBT press."Last week Philadelphia Gay News published an wide-ranging interview with his rival for the Democratic nomination Senator Hillary Clinton, ahead of the Pennsylvania primary later this month.In an Editorial Letter to Obama last week, PGN said that he has only spoken with the gay press twice.

  • Gay Iranian faces uncertain future back in UK

    The British government has been accused of being more inclined to believe Iran than human rights groups on the issue of how gay people are treated in that country.

    1:00 PM — Mehdi Kazemi, a teenage Iranian who is fighting deportation to his homeland where he claims he faces execution for being gay, has returned to the UK.He was previously in a detention centre in Holland but was released on Friday from a Rotterdam detention centre and returned to England. He is staying with his uncle.Mr Kazemi, 19, had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.

  • Tatchell held during Olympic torch protests

    The Olympic torch was lit at Olympia in Greece last week and will pass through 20 countries  photo: zoonabar@flickr.com

    12:20 PM — Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was one of scores of people detained by police as yesterday's parading of the Olympic torch through the streets of London descended into chaos.Despite hundreds of police officers deployed on the streets there were repeated attempts to stop the 31-mile procession, as campaigners vented their anger at China's actions in Tibet and its wider record on human rights.At one point a man almost succeeded in grabbing the lit torch.

  • Death of screen icon who opposed gay equality

    Although Heston talked about and praised the “brilliantly talented homosexuals“ he worked with during his career, he was often accused of being homophobic.

    11:50 AM — Legendary actor Charlton Heston died on Saturday at the age of 83.The iconic actor of such films as Ben Hur and Soylent Green died at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife, Lydia Clarke Heston, by his side.Heston is survived by son Fraser Clarke Heston, daughter Holly Ann Heston, and three grandchildren.Heston's family released a statement on Saturday confirming the actor's death.

  • Anger at “laissez-faire attitude” as US HIV infections up 48%

    In the US the number of infections jumped to 52,878 new reported cases in 2006 up from 35,537 reported in 2005.

    11:40 AM — A US Centre for Disease Ccontrol HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, that was quietly released recently, shows a "catastrophic" 48% increase in US HIV infections between the years 2005 and 2006.The number of infections jumped to 52,878 new reported cases in 2006 up from 35,537 reported in 2005.With the lifetime costs of one HIV-infected individual's treatment and care estimated to be $600,000 (£302,000) , the new CDC surveillance numbers suggest a $36 billion aggregate cost for caring for these nearly 53,000 individuals.

  • Pope to face gay protests during US visit 26

    Pope Benedict XVI's pastoral visit to the United States takes place between April 15th to 20th.

    11:30 AM — DignityUSA will sponsor a series of public events and witnesses during Pope Benedict XVI's pastoral visit to the United States April 15th to 20th.Events will be held in both Washington, D.C. and New York City.The oldest and most progressive organisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, DignityUSA has fifty chapters and local contacts in every state.

  • New social network for gay adoptive parents 1

    Mr May founded the group after using online message boards to communicate with other adopters

    11:00 AM — A gay couple have created a new online social network aimed at lending support to same-sex couples going through the adoption process.The New Family Social group has been set up by Andy May and gives lesbian, gay and bisexual adopters around the UK a chance to chat online and meet with other couples in the same situation.There are currently 60 families registered on the site, which offers free membership and a private discussion board where users can contact other adopters in their area.

  • 4th April 2008

    Court rules website cannot ask sexual orientation question

    Three judges disagreed with the ruling, stating that the court was creating a dangerous precedent and future confusion for internet firms.

    5:50 PM — A roommate-finding site is prohibited from asking users to disclose their sexual orientation, a US appeals court has ruled.Arizona-based website Roommates.com came under fire by The Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley and the Fair Housing Council of San Diego, who claimed the site violated the Fair Housing Act by demanding users list their sexual orientation as part of their application form.It is the latest dispute over whether anti-discrimination rules apply to the web.

  • MEP’s campaign against US policy on HIV travellers 6

    Baroness Ludford has called for action to use this opportunity to get genuine equality for all EU citizens.

    5:40 PM — Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford has launched an online campaign to end an American policy which effectively bars HIV positive people from entering the country.Under current US immigration law, any foreign national who tests positive for HIV is "inadmissible," meaning he is barred from permanent residence and even short-term travel in the United States.There are waivers available to this rule, but obtaining them has always been difficult.

  • Europe concerned about gays in Lithuania

    A Luxembourgian member of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly, Jean Huss, complained to the committee about the actions of the Vilnius Mayor, Juozas.

    5:15 PM — A leading European organisation has reminded the government of a new EU nation that rallies and public events cannot be banned just because some people are homophobic.The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe expressed concern about the situation in Lithuania, where sexual minorities are barred from holding Pride marches by the authorities in the capital Vilnius.A Luxembourgian member of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly, Jean Huss, complained to the committee.

  • Kennedy pushes LGB but not T workplace protections 2

    Senator Kennedy commented that Senate approval of the bill could pave the way for extending protection to transgender workers.

    4:50 PM — A US Senator has caused outrage among the gay community by refusing to advocate a federal ban on job bias against transsexuals and cross-dressers, despite lending his support to homosexuals.Edward M Kennedy, who represents Massachusetts, is currently leading the push for a ban on employment bias against gays, lesbians and bisexuals, but will not extend the campaign to include others whose outward appearance does not match their gender at birth.Kennedy, who has previously campaigned for the gay community, has said it will be an "uphill struggle" to pass the bill.

  • Sir Ian McKellen: coming out politicised me 5

    The highlight of the evening was the speech by Sir Ian McKellen.

    4:10 PM — Last night veteran gay rights campaigner and co-founder of Stonewall Sir Ian McKellen gave the keynote speech at the gay equality organisation's annual Equality Dinner.540 guests attended and more than £320,000 was raised.For many people, the highlight of the evening was the following speech by Sir Ian, exploring the history of Stonewall and what its priorities are for the future. "It was 20 years ago. The biggest story regarding gay people in this country was about AIDS."

  • Hillary Clinton will make gay rights US foreign policy 1

    Senator Hillary Clinton answered questions on gay marriage, immigration policy for same-sex couples and the ban on openly gay people serving in the US military.

    3:50 PM — One of two contenders for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States has said that if elected she will be "strongly outspoken" on the executions of gay people in countries such as Iran.In an interview with Philadelphia Gay News ahead of the Pennsylvania primary later this month, Senator Hillary Clinton answered questions on gay marriage, immigration policy for same-sex couples and the ban on openly gay people serving in the US military.

  • Gay chatline calls cost NHS Trust £1,000

    The bill was discovered by a telecoms consultant who was reviewing telecommunications at the Havering Primary Care Trust.

    3:30 PM — A health trust employee ran up a £1,000 calling a premium rate gay chat line from work.The bill was discovered by a telecoms consultant who was reviewing telecommunications at the Havering Primary Care Trust (PCT), which runs GP and dentist surgeries across the borough as well as St George's Hospital in Hornchurch.He estimated the employee had been calling the line for up to a year during 2006,.

  • Gay rights group pays tribute to Bertie Ahern 17

    Bertie Ahern at the opening of GLEN's new premises on 3rd April 2006. photo: GLEN.

    2:06 PM — Politicians from across Europe have spoken about the impact departing Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern had during his decade in office.His tireless work and legendary charm helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, and like his close friend Tony Blair he led his country through a period of economic growth and prosperity.But for some Irish people, his commitment to equality for his gay and lesbian fellow citizens marks him out as one of the most important of the country's political leaders.

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