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2008

  • 8th January 2008

    Playing gay characters is not ‘brave’, says Fry 2

    Fry came out at quite a young age and has continually campaigned for gay equality.

    11:40 AM — Gay actor Stephen Fry has said he is not impressed with straight actors who play gay characters.In a Radio Times interview, the QI host expressed frustration at how straight actors was seen as 'brave' for taking on a gay role.He said a gay man would never be considered 'brave' if he played an intimate scene with a woman.Fry's latest role on the small screen is that of solicitor PeterKingdom, in the ITV series Kingdom who is single and straight.

  • Students protest against gay blood donor ban 18

    On their donation form, the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) bar any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, even if only once.

    11:40 AM — Student activists are putting pressure on the Canadian Blood Services to put a stop to its blood donor ban on sexually active gay men, despite the company having recently said it would not lift the ban.On their donation form, the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) bar any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, even if only once.The Canadian Federation of Students began to put pressure on CBS last year and the cause has been taken up by many universities across the country.

  • Trans woman denied breast enlargement surgery

    The hospital does allow female patients who are not transgender the right to breast-enlargement surgeries.

    11:40 AM — A trans woman is suing a Catholic hospital, claiming medical officials blocked her from getting breast enlargement surgery there because she had a sex-change operation.Charlene Hastings, 57, told The [San Jose] Mercury News that when she called Seton Medical Centre, a Catholic hospital in in Daly City, California, to inquire about breast enlargement surgery, an official told her it wasn't "God's will" for her to have such a treatment, because "God made you a man."

  • Gay hate bill returns to Commons 5

    Justice minister Maria Eagle said that Christians will continue to have the right to express their homophobic views.

    11:40 AM — MPs will debate the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill tomorrow, which includes a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.Ann Widdecombe, a Roman Catholic former Tory minister, today defended her opposition to the bill.The government and the frontbenches of the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives both support the legislation, but MPs from the three main parties have signed up to the amendment.

  • 7th January 2008

    Sweden: Gay man’s attacker may have struck before

    Stockholm police have searched the suspect's house and inspected his computer and now think he may have attacked other gay men.

    4:25 PM — A Swedish man arrested last weekend for beating up a gay man might be responsible for more homophobic attacks, Stockholm police said.The suspect, aged 35, allegedly attacked a 44-year-old man who was found injured in his home. The man was arrested at 5pm on Friday.The victim suffered injuries that might leave him permanently disabled, although he is now in a stable condition.The men met on a contact web site.

  • Onscreen lesbian kiss upsets Egyptian academics 1

    Dr Abdel-Sabour Shahin believes the film,  Hina Maysara  (Until Further Notice), promotes homosexuality and debauchery and destroys morality in society.

    4:10 PM — A lesbian sex scene in an Egyptian film has outraged religious scholars, who are telling people not to watch the 'sinful' movie.An Islamic Studies professor at Cairo University wants the Egyptian authorities to prosecute the director and both actresses involved in the scene, Ghada Abdel-Razeq and Sumaya Al-Khashab.Dr. Abdel-Sabour Shahin believes the film, Hina Maysara (Until Further Notice), promotes homosexuality and debauchery and destroys the morality in society.

  • Anti-gay bishop in trouble after inflammatory Muslim comments 30

    Bishop Nazir-Ali regularly generates headlines with his forthright pronouncements on gay issues.

    2:45 PM — A senior Church of England clergyman best-known for his opposition to equality for gay people has been heavily criticised for making inflammatory comments about Britain's Muslim community.The Right Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in a newspaper article that parts of the country have become "no-go areas" because of extremist Muslims and suggested that mosques stop using speakers to broadcast the call to prayer.The bishop has previously spoken out against the Sexual Orientation Regulations and civil partnerships.

  • Ireland to recognise UK civil partnerships 15

    Last month Ireland's Minister of Justice rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.

    2:20 PM — The Republic of Ireland will recognise same-sex marriages, civil unions and civil partnerships from other countries when it legalises same-sex unions later this year.The Irish Times reports that "civil unions or weddings will have the same legal recognition as new civil partnerships in Ireland, as long as they meet a number of conditions."The UK already recognises same-sex unions and marriages from nearly 20 countries, including Canada, the US and France.

  • Amsterdam mayor to clean up red light district

    In September, Cohen sold around one third of the area that makes up the red light district.

    2:01 PM — Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen announced he will clean up the city's red light district in a bid to reduce human trafficking, money laundering and drug abuse, by replacing prostitutes' windows with clothes shops.Cohen said he wanted to put a stop to the criminals taking advantage of the city's prostitutes and corrupting the city centre."The romantic picture of the area is outdated if you see the abuses in the sex industry and that is why the council has to act," he told Reuters. 

  • Barrowman: closeted actors are “just sad” 6

    John Barrowman can be seen in a new series of Cardiff-based sci-fi drama Torchwood which begins on the BBC this week.

    12:37 PM — Torchwood leading man John Barrowman has criticised gay stars who refuse to come out of the closet.The openly gay actor said his sexuality did not influence the kind of roles you got offered as an actor and believes it is "just sad" that someone would deny their sexuality to the world."If it (being gay) has been a problem, no-one ever told me so. I know people who lie about being gay because they think it will affect their work chances."

  • Christian registrar refuses to perform civil partnerships 11

    18,000 civil partnerships took place in the UK since they were introduced in December 2005 and the end of December 2006.

    12:05 PM — An official in the London Borough of Islington is taking the council to court because she claims she should be exempted from performing civil partnership ceremonies.The unnamed marriage registrar, who is a devout Christian, has refused to take part in any of the 600-plus civil partnerships entered into in the borough since they became legal just over two years ago.Yesterday an Islington council spokesperson told the Evening Standard:"A claim has been made to an employment tribunal."

  • Sex overshadows De Beauvoir’s contribution to French society

    De Beauvoir, who played a huge role in the feminist and existentialist movement, was ahead of her time with her feminist writings and sexuality.

    11:33 AM — Academics fear novelist and feminist icon Simone de Beauvoir's sex life may overshadow the celebration of her birth in France this week.Critics are concerned with the French press condemning her sex life instead of highlighting her contribution to modern thought.The author and philosopher shocked the Parisian society of the early 20th Century with her threesomes and affairs with women.

  • Erect Jesus statue stirs controversy among Christians 8

    All the art pieces are from the private collection of Newcastle-born Anita Zabludowicz.

    11:23 AM — An art gallery in the North East is under fire after exhibiting a 1ft high statue of Jesus with an erection.The artwork, by gay Chinese-born artist Terence Koh, is being exhibited by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.The gallery has received complaints from Christians and visitors alike who argue the sculpture degrades the Christian faith. Koh's exhibition, entitled Gone, Yet Still, consists of 74 plaster models, ranging from statues of Mickey Mouse to ET, all with full erections.

  • Analysis: Hillary and Barack excite gay voters 2

    With all the state's 1, 781 precincts reporting, Obama won 38% of the delegates, to Edwards' 29.8% and Clinton's 29.5%.

    11:10 AM — That was then, this is now.Less than 24 hours after the stunning victories of Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, in the Iowa caucuses, the Presidential campaigns and the accompanying national media shifted attention from cold Iowa to the colder tiny Granite state of New Hampshire.And where there are politicians, especially New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, the other leaders in the Democratic Party contest, there are LGBT folks trying to influence them and their voters.

  • Wyoming win proivdes small comfort to Romney

    Romney took seven of the state's 12 delegates with almost all precincts now reported in.

    10:40 AM — He wasn't even present, but Republican candidate Mitt Romney took home the top prize in the Wyoming caucuses on Saturday anyway.Although a small win in the overall election 2008 run-up, the result lends more strength to Romney's campaign going into New Hampshire for Tuesday's primary."Today," former Massachusetts governor Romney said in a statement to the press, "the people of Wyoming took the first step towards bringing true conservative change to Washington."

  • Obama endorsed by former Presidential candidate

    Bradley said Obama's ability to bring people together for change makes him the best Democrat to reclaim the White House.

    10:25 AM — Former US Senator Bill Bradley has officially announced his endorsement of Illinois Senator Barack Obama for president.A former Democratic Presidential candidate himself, Bradley will campaign with Obama on Monday in New Hampshire.Bradley said Obama's ability to bring people together for change makes him the best Democrat to reclaim the White House.

  • 6th January 2008

    Facebook “exposes” bisexual, boozy friends of Bhutto’s son 7

    Bilawal and bisexual couple Kirini Kopcke (left) and Julia Hartley

    4:00 PM — Lesbian relationships are illegal in the country where he is a leader of a major political party but Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is friends with a couple in a lesbian relationship.Mr Bhutto Zardari, son of the murdered Pakistani opposition leader, Benazir is a student at Christ Church College, Oxford and his Facebook profile has been highlighted by The Mail on Sunday. The 19-year-old's profile now appears to have been removed.

  • Elton John likely to hold fundraising dinner for Paddick 1

    Sir Elton John  and David Furnish are the most high profile gay couple in Britain

    3:20 PM — Sir Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, are thought to be preparing to hold a fundraising dinner for Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London.Brian Paddick, previously the most senior openly gay police officer in Britain told LBC last month that he was likely to be backed by the celebrity couple. They have an enviable address book and have consistently shown their stellar ability to raise money, particularly for Sir Elton's AIDs foundation.

  • 4th January 2008

    Spanish PM slams Church over “family” rally comments 40

    The Zapatero government introduced full gay marriage in Spain in 2005.

    6:00 PM — The Prime Minister of Spain has responded to Roman Catholic leaders after they criticised government policy supporting gay marriage and abortion.José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero spoke out during a speech in the Huelva town of Almonte yesterday following comments made last Sunday in Madrid at a Catholic Church rally led by Cardinals and Bishops.Clearly angry, Mr Zapatero defended his government's policies, saying they were supported by the "immense majority" of the Spanish population and that everyone had rights in Spain, whether they belonged to a religion or not.

  • Gay Tory to star in TV comedy

    In 1997 he was chosen to contest the safe Labour seat of Tottenham but withdrew after a conviction for drink-driving in the US.

    5:04 PM — A former Big Brother contestant who was once a Conservative parliamentary candidate may star in a remake of a controversial 1970s television programme.Derek Laud, who also worked as a speechwriter for several leading Tories and as a lobbyist at Westminster, is an unusual figure in the party, a black, camp and openly gay man.He was a contestant in the sixth series of reality show Big Brother, which was eventually won by Anthony Hutton.

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