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Law

  • 22nd August 2007

    Legal challenge to pink prison uniforms

    In some jails in the state, prisoners who break the sex act rule are placed in an area where women prison staff do not work.

    3:15 PM — The American state of South Carolina's prisons director has defended a two-year-old policy of making detainees who perform sex acts in front of prison officers wear pink.An inmate has brought a lawsuit, claiming the colour pink puts prisoners in danger.The punishment is designed to protect female prison staff from sexual behaviour.

  • Nigeria ‘gay wedding’ accused will not face death penalty 21

    The case has received considerable press attention in Nigeria.

    11:15 AM — A group of men arrested at a hotel in northern Nigeria and initially accused of sodomy have appeared in court charged with "indecent dressing" and vagrancy.18 men were charged and five were bailed, causing disturbances by Muslim youths on the streets of the city of Bauchi.The men, who were detained by police earlier this month, come from different parts of Nigeria and were allegedly dressed in women's clothes.

  • Gay groups challenge California gay marriage ban

    The 15 represented couples have made life-long commitments to each other.

    10:44 AM — In briefs filed last week with the California Supreme Court, a coalition of gay groups contend that California violates its own constitution by denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry."When two people fall in love and decide to get married, they are saying to the world, 'this is my family; this is my dream for the future,'" Tamara Lange, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU, said in a release.The American Civil Liberties Union, the National Centre for Lesbian Rights and Lambda Legal filed the briefs.

  • 21st August 2007

    Iranian lesbian deportation delayed 57

    If Pegah does return to Iran as planned, her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran may lead to her being executed.

    12:40 PM — An Iranian lesbian who has been denied refuge by the British government is due to be deported to Tehran this month, where she faces almost certain death.Pegah Emambakhsh is currently being detained by British officials.If she does return to Iran on 28th August as planned, her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran may lead to her being executed.

  • Chilean court delivers controversial sodomy conviction 2

    The ruling was the first sodomy conviction to be issued in Region II since the country's criminal law procedures were overhauled in 2001.

    12:05 PM — Gay rights activists in Santiago, northern Chile are outraged by a recent sodomy conviction in a Chilean court, stating that it is evidence of a bias against homosexuals in Chilean law.The Santiago Times reported last week that a panel of judges in Antofagasta, Region II, had found a 47-year-old labourer guilty of sodomising a 17-year-old male.Because the accused had no previous criminal record, the court sentenced him to 41 days in jail - far less than the 541-day jail term prosecutors had recommended.

  • 20th August 2007

    Frisch’s Gaydar millions left to ex-partner

    Mr Frisch, originally from South Africa, established Gaydar with his business partner and then-boyfriend Henry Badenhorst in 1999.

    3:35 PM — Gary Frisch, the co-founder of Gaydar who fell to his death in February, left an estate worth more than £6.5m.Mr Frisch, originally from South Africa, established Gaydar with his business partner and then-boyfriend Henry Badenhorst in 1999. Mr Badenhorst is the main beneficiary from his will.As the couple, who split up several months before Mr Frisch's death, had never entered into a civil partnership, Mr Badenhorst will have to pay inheritance tax of more than £2m.

  • Major law firm settles orientation discrimination case

    Mr Bryceland's settlement is likely to be hundreds of thousands of pounds, to compensate for loss of earnings.

    2:15 PM — One of the best-known names in the 'magic circle' of law firms has settled a claim of sexual orientation discrimination.A former partner at Clifford Chance made his claim in November. The Lawyer today reports that the firm has settled the case for an undisclosed amount of money.It is thought to be the first ever discrimination claim against a law firm on the grounds of sexual orientation.

  • New Jersey voters want gay marriage 1

    61% of those polled said they believe New Jersey will allow gay couples to marry within a few years regardless of their personal beliefs.

    11:12 AM — A new poll suggests residents of New Jersey overwhelmingly favour allowing gay couples to marry.According to the Zogby poll, released late week, 63% of New Jersey voters would not be upset if the state's Legislature upgraded its recently enacted civil unions law to allow for full marriage equality for same-sex couples.Just 31% of those surveyed said they would be upset by such a change.

  • 16th August 2007

    Iranian teenagers spared death penalty for gay abuse 1

    The judges of Branch 74 of Tehran province's general criminal court ruled that the teenagers, Ahad and Milad, had not reached mental maturity and instead sentenced them to ten years in prison.

    11:59 AM — A court in Tehran has spared two teenagers found guilty of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy from hanging.US gay rights activist Michael Petrelis reports that the the judges of Branch 74 of Tehran province's general criminal court ruled that the teenagers, Ahad and Milad, had not reached mental maturity and instead sentenced them to ten years in prison.In front of the five judges, the teenagers first admitted that they lured the boy into a house.

  • Brazilian football’s gay rumours land judge in trouble

    The judge said football was a virile masculine sport and not a homosexual one.

    10:59 AM — Football is for real men, not gays.That was the stance Brazilian judge Manoel Maximiniano Junqueira Filho decided to take when making a ruling in a defamation case appearing before his bench.That may be his sentiments, but the law doesn't call for that sort of ruling and now the judge could face legal actions himself.The case was brought earlier this month by Richarlyson Barbosa Felisbino, a San Paulo player.

  • 14th August 2007

    Birmingham HIV+ rapist imprisoned

    Judge Peter Ross called their rape a “vile and perverted act“ and said that “mercifully“ their victim has tested negative for the HIV virus.

    12:15 PM — A judge at Birmingham Crown Court has given two men convicted of robbing and then raping their male victim indeterminate sentences.Daniel Myers, 20, of Barry Jackson Tower in Aston, was found guilty alongside Nikos Johnson, 26, of Rawling Street, Ladywood, of one charge of robbery and two of rape.The Birmingham Post reported that during the trial Myers revealed under cross-examination that he is HIV+.

  • 13th August 2007

    Catholic church cannot sack gay headteacher 2

    photo: nicdafis@flickr.com

    5:05 PM — Legal advice given to the Roman Catholic Church has made it clear that they cannot dismiss a primary school headteacher who has entered into a civil partnership.The Daily Telegraph reports that Charles Coyne, headteacher of a church school in Liverpool, last year was legally partnered with a fellow teacher at a nearby school.Some parishoners in the local area have reacted badly, and wanted action taken against him.

  • Ban on homosexuality in Uganda “unenforceable”

    In 2004 Uganda became the first country in the world to introduce a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

    1:10 PM — Ugandan laws prohibiting homosexual activity have resulted in no arrests of couples despite people being open about their sexuality and the fact that there are more than 160 members of leading gay organisations.According to the Monitor.co.ug, Oscar Kihika, the president of the Uganda Law Society said: "You can't just arrest someone for saying they are gay."That's like arresting someone just because he says he stole something, with no proof," he said.

  • 10th August 2007

    “Not gay enough” refugee loses his appeal

    Mr Orozco was given permission to appeal, but a second assessment has agreed that he should be returned to Nicaragua.

    4:17 PM — A refugee from Nicaragua who was denied asylum in Canada because he could not prove he is gay has been deemed safe to return for a second time by immigration officials.As Alvaro Antonio Orozco was not sexually active as a teenager, it was impossible to verify his sexuality.He has gone into hiding, and his only hope of remaining in Canada is an intervention from the Immigration Minister.

  • Nigerian men could face death penalty for ‘gay marriage’ 21

    In Bauchi state alone there are 40 people awaiting amuputation of one or both hands for theft.

    1:35 PM — 18 men have been arrested at a hotel in northern Nigeria and charged with sodomy.The men, who were detained by police on Sunday, come from different parts of Nigeria and were allegedly dressed in women's clothes. They had come together to celebrate a gay 'marriage,' according to the NAN government news agency.The arrests took place in Bauchi city, the capital of a Muslim state in the centre of Nigeria with a population of 316,000.

  • 9th August 2007

    Lesbian murders overshadow National Women’s Day 1

    Thokozane Qwabe, 23, was found in a field in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal with multiple head wounds. She was naked and it is thought she was also raped.

    3:35 PM — While South Africa celebrates National Women's Day, the debate about homophobia in the country has intensified since the recent murders of several lesbians.Sizakele Sigasa, 34, an activist for HIV/AIDS and LGBT rights, and Salome Masooa, 24, were discovered dead at field in Soweto, Johannesburg, on July 8th.Human Rights Watch has sent a letter to Thabo Mbeki, the South African President, stating that recent killings have highlighted that the constitution's promise of equal protection is not being fulfilled.

  • 8th August 2007

    YMCA family membership dispute not resolved

    There are 2,617 YMCAs in the USA and they are the largest not-for-profit community service organisation in America.

    3:13 PM — A YMCA in Des Moines, Iowa has expanded their definition of a family to include those who they consider to "function as a family," after a five-year dispute with a lesbian couple was ruled on by the city's Human Rights Commission.In 2002 Sandra Patton-Iman and her partner had their family membership revoked when a YMCA employee decided that they did not to conform to the organisation's definition. The YMCA offered them a 'member plus' form of membership instead, at the same cost as a family membership.

  • 7th August 2007

    Gay flirting and homophobic abuse upset fire fighters 1

    The men claim their battalion chief ordered them to ride in the July 21st parade through San Diego's Hillcrest neighbourhood.

    3:52 PM — Four firefighters have filed sexual harassment charges against the San Diego fire department after they were taunted while driving a fire engine in a gay Pride parade last month.The men claim their battalion chief ordered them to ride in the July 21st parade through San Diego's Hillcrest neighbourhood, according to their attorney, Stephen Stirling.The fire fighters said they had objected to driving a city firetruck in the parade while on duty, but did so to avoid disciplinary action.

  • US court overturns homophobic adoption law

    The ruling is important not only in Oklahoma, but also to families across the United States.

    11:09 AM — In a 35-page decision, a panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit rejected the Oklahoma Department of Health's challenge to a lower court decision striking down an Oklahoma law so extreme that it threatened to make children adopted by same-sex couples in other states legal orphans when the families are in Oklahoma.The ruling is important not only in Oklahoma, but also to families across the United States, including in Seattle and Houston, home to two of the families who joined in the suit.

  • Ex-gays win right to leaflet schoolchildren

    PFOX has campaigned against sex education in schools, and says it wants to leaflet children with information about ex-gays and contact  details for 'questioning youth.'

    11:00 AM — A group who advocate 'conversion therapy' for gay people will be allowed to distribute literature to children promoting their beliefs.Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) took a local school board in the US state of Virginia to court for refusing to distribute their leaflets to high school students.An agreement was reached last week which allows PFOX the same access as other groups to children as young as five.

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