21st January 2008
Cuban law may recognise same-sex partners, say officials 2
12:08 PM — The Cuban Communist Party is considering granting legal recognition to same-sex unions, as health officials prepare to authorise sex-change operations, the director of the Cenesex sex education centre in Cuba has said.The proposed change to Cuban family law would put members of same-sex unions on a par with heterosexual couples, psychologist Mariela Castro, who is the daughter of acting President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel, told EFE.
Obama references gays in Martin Luther King speech 1
11:10 AM — The only United States federal holiday honouring an African-American is celebrated today, and Democratic candidates in the Presidential races have evoked the memory of Martin Luther King in their bid for the White House.Celebrated on the third Monday in January, Martin Luther King Day will be marked with a debate between the Democratic candidates sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus and broadcast on CNN.Martin Luther King Day was signed into law by a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, in 1983.
Gay Christians warn of evangelical commissioner’s anti-gay crusade 3
10:40 AM — The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has claimed that one of the Equality and Human Rights commissioners should never have been appointed.In a ten-page dossier the LGCM states that Joel Edwards, who is director of The Evangelical Alliance, "has tried to stall or frustrate the passage of almost every single legislative reform or repeal promoting justice and fairness for the UK's lesbian and gay citizens."The EHRC is designed to promote a fair, equal and diverse society and tackling illegal discrimination.
Paddick advertises crime message on PinkNews.co.uk
10:21 AM — The Liberal Democrat contender for Mayor of London is targeting LGBT voters with adverts on PinkNews.co.uk.Brian Paddick, who as Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was the most senior out gay officer in the UK, was chosen as the party's candidate in November.Londoners will go to the polls on May 1st. Ken Livingstone is standing for the Labour party and seeking a third term in office. Boris Johnson, the MP for Henley, is the Conservative candidate. Sian Berry is standing for the Green party.
20th January 2008
Home Secretary won’t walk the streets of Hackney 1
2:50 AM — Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has told the Sunday Times that she wouldn't walk the streets of Hackney (East London), an area with a burgeoning LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) population, at night. Ironically, fellow Home Office Minister, Meg Hillier is the MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch.Asked by the newspaper if she would walk alone in Hackney Ms Smith replied: "Well, no, but I don't think I'd have ever have done."
McCain beats Huckabee in South Carolina 2
2:50 AM — In the South Carolina primaries, John McCain beat Mike Huckabee by 33 per cent to 30 per cent. Mr Huckabee last week compared gay marriage to "a man and an animal."In the Nevada Democratic caucus, New York Senator Hillary Clinton scored 51 per cent of the vote compared to Barack Obama's 45 per cent. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been declared the winner in the Republican Nevada caucus, leading over rival Arizona Senator John McCain by a wide margin.
18th January 2008
Bar staff convicted of vicious assault 2
5:50 PM — The co-owner of the Fridge Bar in Brixton, south London, has been convicted along with members of staff of violent disorder and attempted grievous bodily harm.Bar cashier Victor Reid, 41, from Brixton, doorman Frederick Mallefroy, 43, from Ilford in Essex and bar co-owner Ralph Daley, 45, of Purley, set upon a man in his twenties as he tried to gain entry to the bar in November 2006.The Fridge Bar and adjoining club have in the past hosted many well-known gay events.
NZ commission suggests more rights for trans people
5:30 PM — The Human Rights Commission in New Zealand has recommended that citizens should be able to alter their sex on documents such as passports and birth certificates.Following a two-year study the commission has said the country's Human Rights Act should be amended to make gender identity discrimination illegal."Forms of discrimination and harassment ranged from low-level (avoidance and insults) to very severe (violent physical and sexual assaults)," the commission said.
Jewish leaders back homophobic incitement law 5
3:31 PM — A proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation has been backed by the main body representing British Jews.The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that their community's experience of prejudice was the reason they were supporting the government's proposal.The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill was passed by the House of Commons last week and will now be discussed in the Lords.
Huckabee compares gay marriage to bestiality 19
2:15 PM — Mike Huckabee, one of the leading contenders for the Republican party nomination for President of the United States, has said he wants to change the country's Constitution to ban abortion and compared gay relationships to "a man and an animal."In an interview with an online religious magazine Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, said: "I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal."
Kuwaitis arrested for “impersonating opposite sex” 3
11:10 AM — A leading human rights charity has drawn attention to the plight of more than a dozen people arrested and jailed under new "dress code" laws in Kuwait.Human Rights Watch has called for them to be released.The law was approved by the National Assembly on December 10th 2007. It criminalises people who "imitate the appearance of the opposite sex."
Teletubbies makers pay compensation to “faggot” actor
12:20 AM — Ragdoll Limited, who make the Teletubbies have been ordered by an employment tribunal to pay 2000 pounds to an actor who was called a "faggot" by a fellow cast member.However, Issac Blake, 28, from Cardiff lost the majority of his case after being sacked as an actor for the BBC children's programme In the Night Garden. Mr Blake had told the hearing that he was unfairly dismissed from his role playing a Tombilboo (pictured), a doll in the programme.
17th January 2008
Orthodox bishop links homosexuals to paedophiles 6
4:40 PM — A senior Russian church leader has condemned social acceptance of homosexuality, declaring that it is the church's "duty" to correct public opinion.In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegal, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who is head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, said that not viewing homosexuality as a sin will lead to a variety of other sexual perversions."If you excuse homosexuality, why not excuse paedophilia?" he said.
Gay delegates to hold key positions at Democratic convention
4:10 PM — The executive committee of the US Democratic party's National Committee has approved seven LGBT delegates to three important standing committees.The convention in Denver in August will formally choose the party's candidate for President of the United States.The Advocate reports that prominent LGBT party members have been appointed to the platform, rules, and credentials committees.In all 25 delegates have been selected to serve on the standing committees.
Robbers who posed as gay jailed for five years
12:50 PM — Two men who pretended they were gay so that they could rob a man they met in a nightclub have been sentenced to five years at Bristol Crown Court.Benjamin Butler, 29, and Matthew Wyatt, 33, duped John Gibbs at the Vibe club in Bristol before going back to his flat where they threatened him with a knife, stole his money and tied him up.The pair then fled, leaving Mr Gibbs imprisoned in his flat. A few days later he spotted the thieves in the city. He called the police and they were arrested.
US gets first black lesbian mayor 5
11:45 AM — The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has made history after the city council chose Denise Simmons to serve as the first black lesbian mayor in America.The city's more famous namesake in England made history last year when its councillors chose a woman who had transitioned sex as mayor.Gay political activists in the US praised Ms Simmons' selection by her fellow city councillors. Her predecessor, Ken Reeves, was also gay and black.
Gay airport guard claims sexual harassment
11:20 AM — A gay security guard at Heathrow airport was harassed by a female colleague for sex, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.Allwyn Rondeau, 46, who lives in Feltham, Middlesex with his partner of 15 years, told the tribunal how he had rejected 42-year-old Lucy Chilton's persistent advances time and time again because he was gay, but she would not give up.The tribunal heard that on one occasion Miss Chilton "stuck her bum in the air saying 'come on give it to me'", according to The Daily Express.
Shock at male rape estimates in Sydney
11:10 AM — New figures have revealed that hundreds of men are being raped in Sydney and its eastern suburbs every year.A report from the Eastern and Central Sexual Assault Service at Royal Alfred Hospital stated that although 44 male victims complained of being sexually assaulted last year, this number was just "the tip of the iceberg".Experts claim that as much as 95 per cent of male victims did not report such crimes to the police. Manager Lisa Simpson said: "There is a huge denial about same-sex sexual assault."
Protesters halt Papal visit to university 1
10:50 AM — Science students and academics at the University of Rome La Sapienza have successfully stopped Pope Benedict XVI from visiting the campus today.Vatican Radio accused them of censorship, while the Italian Prime Minister said their determination to block the Pope from speaking "provoked an unacceptable tension and a climate that does not honour the traditions of civilisation and tolerance in Italy."LGBT students also planned to protest the Papal visit.
Lesbian soldier wins claim against Ministry of Defence 3
10:20 AM — A 31-year-old Lance Bombadier has won a claim of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and sex discrimination at an employment tribunal.Kerry Fletcher, who is a lesbian, was the victim of unwanted sexual advances from a male sergeant who claimed he could "convert" her.She could win more than £400,000 damages representing lost earnings and hurt feelings. Ms Fletcher had intended to stay in the Army for another 12 years but her career was cut short by campaign of harassment she suffered.