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Author photoAmy Bourke

  • 22nd May 2007

    Lithuanians protest against diversity 2

    This is the latest of many homophobic incidents in Lithuania in the past few months.

    3:28 PM — Anti-gay feeling has reached new heights in Lithuania after a Swedish ambassador called for tolerance towards LGBT people.Ambassador Malin Karre delivered a speech to the Lithuanian Parliament on Wednesday May 16th to commemorate the International Day of Fighting Homophobia.She told the Lithuanian parliament that the Swedish government was "opposed to any goals to trample human rights, including the rights of people with non-traditional sexual orientation."

  • Republican presidential candidates want gay marriage ban 57

    Outsider Sam Brownback wants to ban gay marriage across America

    1:29 PM — Republican presidential candidates Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee have both announced their support for a ban on gay marriage across America.Speaking at a Florida Family Policy Council dinner on Saturday night, the outsiders stuck to a strong message on family values.Kansas Senator Brownback said: "You need to redefine the definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman. It's critical."

  • Church report into homophobia advocates “ex-gay” counselling

    The church also advocates controversial re-orientation counselling that champions the idea of “converting“ gay people.

    11:45 AM — Northern Ireland's largest Protestant church has produced a report on homophobia which has been accused of being homophobic.The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has over 300,000 members and 560 congregations in Ireland.Its controversial report by the Social Issues and Resources Panel will not be published until June, but was leaked to the BBC.

  • 16th May 2007

    IDAHO goes to Westminster

    “Homophobia and transphobia ruin the lives of LGBT people in the UK and around the world. “

    12:25 PM — MPs will be supporting the International Day Against Homophobia with a reception in Parliament this evening.The meeting will be hosted by Stephen Williams, Lib Dem MP for Bristol West, who has tabled an Early Day Motion in support of IDAHO for the second year running.He will be speaking alongside Jason Pollock, Executive Director of London Pride who will explain the links with Riga Pride.

  • VIP bus at Oxford Pride

    The Pride festival will feature a VIP area in an open top bus with views of the main stage.

    12:00 PM — With less than nine weeks to go until Oxford Pride on July 14th, the finishing touches are being put in place.Oxford Pride 2007 coincides with the Oxfordshire Milliennium, so Pride will be a key feature in a summer of spectacular celebrations.Lord Waheed Ali and Peter Tatchell are the patrons of the regional party.

  • 15th May 2007

    First gay mayor of Richmond 57

    Cllr Cranfield-Adams is the first openly gay mayor of Richmond Upon Thames

    5:32 PM — The first openly gay Mayor of Richmond upon Thames, Cllr Marc Cranfield-Adams, will be formally elected tonight.His election takes place at the Council's Annual Meeting in York House, Twickenham at 7pm.The mayor has pledged that his twin themes will be "diversity and inclusiveness."

  • South Africa Pride coming to Johannesburg 57

    5:31 PM — The largest gay pride festival on the African continent will be held on October 6th on the streets of Johannesburg, it was revealed today.A street parade, with the theme "Coming of Age", will be followed by a Mardi Gras at the Zoo Lake Sports Club on Rosebank.It will be a week of celebrations, with the days before the parade including an art exhibition, a cabaret show and fund-raising.

  • Record compensation after sacked for being gay 57

    Ms Durman said that as a result of the allegations both of them have suffered panic attacks and needed counselling.

    4:44 PM — A lesbian couple won a record six-figure compensation claim after they were sacked because of their sexuality have still not received their compensation.The two were wrongfully accused of allowing the physical and sexual abuse of residents at a care centre.An employment tribunal later found them innocent of any wrongdoing.

  • Judges to decide on gay marriage in Connecticut 57

    The judges could order an overhaul of the state's marriage laws which would have national ramifications

    3:58 PM — The debate over same-sex marriage rights in Connecticut could soon be decided by the state Supreme Court.The arguments from both sides were wrapped up in court yesterday, but the decision will probably be months in coming.Eight same-sex couples originally filed the lawsuit in August 2004. They believe that when they were denied the ability to marry, their rights to equality were violated.The couples have been together between 13 and 31 years.

  • Lithuanian bus drivers angered by gay ads 57

    Conservative attitudes are common in Lithuania, where only 17% support gay marriage.

    2:20 PM — Drivers of trolley buses in Lithuania are protesting against advertisements promoting tolerance towards gay men and women.Drivers refused to drive the trolley bus bearing the adverts. The ads have now been removed.Conservative attitudes are common in Lithuania, as homosexuality was illegal in the Soviet Union until 1993. In 2004, the age of consent was equalised to 14 years of age.

  • Partygoers arrested and tortured in Iran 57

    The maximum punishment for gay sex is death, and teenage boys as young as 15 are eligible for the death penalty.

    1:47 PM — Eighty young men have been arrested at a birthday party in Iran under suspicion of being gay.Last Thursday, security forces in Isfahan stormed a birthday party and arrested every person there. The partygoers were beaten with batons before they were taken into custody.As yet there is no evidence to support the idea of the men being gay. The men are being held for participating in a party with alcoholic drinks, music and dancing.

  • IDAHO preparations well under way 57

    One of the main themes of this year's IDAHO campaign is “No to homophobia, yes to education.“

    1:08 PM — With the International Day Against Homophobia fast approaching on May 17th, preparations have been taking place for 80 events in Britain.Four students have won a competition after designing posters to celebrate LGBT History Month and the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO.)Tracy Smith, Jillian Burr, Patricia Ofuno and Annel Christopher, all from the University of the Arts, designed four posters which won the acclaim of judges.

  • Students suspended for gay film 57

    The students claim “Secret Minds“ wanted to portray the reality that gay people exist in Indian society.

    12:39 PM — Four students have been suspended from their college in India for making a short film on homosexuality.The director, producer and actors in the five minute film have all been suspended from St Joseph's College of Communication in the state of Kerala.The students claim that this disciplinary action is an infringement of their rights of free expression.

  • Police institutionally homophobic, says report 57

    Although the situation at Scotland Yard has improved since the 1990s, more still needs to be done.

    12:38 PM — Police detectives investigating murders and violent crimes in the gay community are influenced by institutional homophobia, a report claims.The report by the independent Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Group (LGBT IAG) looked at 10 homophobic murders between 1990 and 2002, including five murders by serial killer Colin Ireland.Four of the cases investigated remain unsolved.

  • 1st May 2007

    Green MSP attacked over opposition to Catholic schools 2

    The paper also claimed Mr Harvie, who is bisexual, had been branded a fascist by an un-named source.

    4:37 PM — An MSP who could be a member of the Executive in the next Scottish Parliament has been branded a militant homosexual.Patrick Harvie, a Green Party MSP, has campaigned for gay adoption and for homophobic abuse to be made a hate crime.The party has called for a ban on state funding for Catholic schools, and Mr Harvie is in the firing line because he supports the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA.)

  • Human rights award for gay rights group

    In February 2007, the Nepalese authorities legally recognised transgender identity by issuing the first citizenship ID for a transgender person.

    3:36 PM — The Blue Diamond Society, Nepal's first gay rights organisation, will receive an international award for human rights today.The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission will present them with the Felipa de Souza Award for 2007 at a ceremony in New York.In recent years the Blue Diamond Society (BDS) has reported many cases of harassment and abuse of LGBT people.

  • HIV and hepatitis crisis in UK prisons

    Prisoners are vulnerable because they are more likely to be injecting drugs and sharing needles.

    3:20 PM — Prisoners in the UK are 15 times more likely to be infected with HIV than the general population in the UK, experts say.The most recent figures, from 1997, show that prisons in the UK are facing a health crisis due to inadequate health services.The figures show that prisoners are 20 times more likely to have hepatitis C than the general population, but ten years on experts predict that prisoners are even more likely to be infected.

  • 44% of HIV+ men in London undiagnosed

    Large numbers, especially in the UK's major cities, have HIV and don't know it

    11:52 AM — More than one in three HIV positive gay men say they have unprotected sex, a survey reveals.The surveys were carried out at 90 gay bars, clubs and saunas in London, Manchester and Brighton.Over 2,000 men provided saliva samples. Of these, one in three of the men with HIV did not know they had the virus.

  • “Piano Man” was a victim of gay heartbreak

    Andreas Grassl, 22, is completely recovered and living in Basel, Switzerland, where he studies French literature at university.

    11:12 AM — The mute "Piano Man" who walked out of the sea in a suit two years ago had a nervous breakdown because of a split with his gay lover, it has been revealed.The man spent months in a British psychiatric clinic after he was found in Sheerness, Kent, on April 7th 2005.He was wearing a suit with the labels cut out and had no passport.

  • 24th April 2007

    Gays find more acceptance in the City

    The government estimates that 6% of the UK population is lesbian or gay, but London's gay population is thought to be nearer to 10%.

    5:13 PM — London's financial heart is moving away from its homophobic reputation and becoming more gay friendly, according to new research.The number of gay people employed in City careers such as banking, finance or insurance has risen significantly since new initiatives designed to promote diversity were put in place.Two years ago, 5.9% of City employees anonymously identified themselves as gay or lesbian.

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