24th July 2007
Elton John still standing with Nepalese gay community 2
3:57 PM — The Elton John AIDS Foundation has expressed its support for the work of the Nepal's only gay rights organisation, the Blue Diamond Society.In a statement to be sent to government departments in the Himalayan country, the foundation's executive director Robert Kay said they were proud to be associated with BDS's work on safe sex education.Mr John today revealed his guilt at not speaking up for gay rights earlier in his career.
University honours MEP for gay rights work
12:41 PM — Michael Cashman, the Labour politician, actor and campaigner for gay rights, has been awarded an honourary degree by Staffordshire University.Before he became an MEP in 1999, his ground-breaking portrayal of Colin Russell in EastEnders between 1986 and 1989 saw the first gay kiss in a UK soap.Mr Cashman co-founded gay equality organisation Stonewall in 1989 and is president of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.
Homophobic judge under investigation
11:50 AM — A Spanish judge who ordered a mother to choose between her partner and her daughters, because "a homosexual environment threatened their education," is under investigation.The woman, from Murcia, south east Spain, was faced with the impossible choice after her husband discovered her in a compromising position with another woman.He filed for divorce and was awarded custody of the couple's two daughters, after 'proving' his wife is a lesbian.
Trans tax challenge trial begins 3
11:12 AM — Rhiannon O'Donnabhain "lived in anguish" as a male, struggling with the sense that she was, in fact, a female.In 1996, she was diagnosed with gender identity disorder and undertook a course of professionally prescribed medical treatments that included her 2001 sex reassignment surgery.O'Donnabhain claimed the cost of her treatment as a deductible medical expense on her federal income tax return, but the Internal Revenue Service denied the claim.
23rd July 2007
Australian laws “discriminate against gays”
5:40 PM — An audit by the Australian National University has revealed that the federal system in the country is proving a barrier for gay equality.The Australian federal government is trailing behind some of its state and territory counterparts, where gay families are accorded the same rights as heterosexual ones.The inquiry considered the impact of legislative and policy frameworks, as well as social attitudes that affect the rights of gay families in Australia.
Home Secretary may consider gay hate crime law 3
12:51 PM — Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, has told the House of Commons she may consider passing new laws creating an offence of homophobic hate crime.She was responding to a question from Labour MP Chris Bryant, who is gay. He drew attention to the murder of David Morley in October 2004.The 44-year old barman was set upon on London's South Bank, close to Parliament, by a gang of four people, one of them a teenage girl.
Extreme protest wins gay asylum seeker a stay in UK 28
12:37 PM — An ayslum seeker who sewed shut his eyes and lips in protest at being returned to Iran has been granted leave to remain in the UK.Shahin Portofeh, 27, an gay Iranian national, was seeking asylum in Coventry, but he was deported from the UK after his application was rejected.Despite his protests that he would be persecuted in his home country because of his sexuality, he was sent back.
LGBT groups get UN recognition 1
11:25 AM — The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has voted to accredit two gay rights organisations.Delegates came down in favour of allowing the Coalition gaie et lesbienne du Québec and the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL) consultative status..22 countries voted in favour of both groups. Thirteen voted against the Quebec coalition and fourteen against the Swedish federation.
Out US general to speak against gay ban 5
10:50 AM — Army Brigadier General Keith H. Kerr, Army Colonel Stewart Bornhoft, Navy Captain Joan E. Darrah (all retired) and five other former military officers will speak out against the US military's anti-gay 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy at a programme benefiting the Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN) in Chicago next month.General Kerr was one of three senior military officers - two generals and an admiral - to "come out" in the New York Times in December 2003.
20th July 2007
Gay Tory makes Mayor of London shortlist 1
5:57 PM — Andrew Boff has been selected as one of four candidates for the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London.The 49-year-old IT consultant and publisher joins former Tory frontbencher and TV personality Boris Johnson on the list, which was chosen from over 40 hopefuls by a selection panel on Saturday.The other candidates are Kensington Chelsea councillors Warwick Lightfoot and Victoria Borwick.
Scottish bishop’s threat over gay adoptions 1
3:08 PM — The Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell said yesterday that the Church in Scotland would close its biggest adoption agency rather than help same-sex couples to adopt children.Bishop Joseph Devine said that St Margaret's Catholic Adoption Agency in Glasgow would close rather than abide by the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Catholic agencies place around 40 of the 200 children adopted in Scotland every year.
Sperm donor stops lesbian parents taking their baby abroad 5
3:05 PM — A court in Dublin has ruled in favour of a man who wants to stop a lesbian couple leaving Ireland with their child. The man is the biological father of the 14-month-old baby.The High Court ruled that the child's birth mother may not holiday in her home country of Australia with the child and her partner.The lesbian couple have entered into a civil partnership in the UK and are considering moving to Australia permanently.
UN votes today on accreditation for gay rights groups 1
2:45 PM — The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is due to vote today on whether to accredit two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who address human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.It is thought nine countries are going to vote against accrediting the groups.ECOSOC accreditation governs whether NGOs can attend UN meetings, submit written statements, make oral interventions, host panels and get access to UN buildings.
Analysis: The bishop, the youth worker and the tribunal 8
12:30 PM — This week saw a landmark victory for a gay youth worker against the might of the Anglican Church.An employment tribunal decided that Kevin Reaney, a gay man, had been discriminated against by the church on grounds of his sexual orientation.Mr Reaney brought his claim under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, which make it unlawful to discriminate against employees or prospective employees (such as Mr Reaney) because they are gay.
TURING: Of homosexuality and the church 2
11:06 AM — Love or hate it, it's hard to ignore organised religion.While your columnist is of the opinion that religion should strictly (and I do mean strictly) restricted to consenting adults in private, and while some leading intellectuals want religion completely wiped off the map of the earth, it is hard to reconcile these opinions with the fact that more than 90% of the world's population subscribe to some form of organised religion.
19th July 2007
Moscow police protect gay protest against Iranian hangings 1
6:20 PM — More than twenty Russian activists protested outside the Iranian embassy in Moscow today, the second anniversary of the execution of two gay teenagers in Iran.A group of nationalists and religious activists who turned up to counter-demonstrate were stopped by police and dispersed.While this was seen as a positive step after the bloody police actions at a gay Pride demonstration earlier this year, it emerged that the application for the Iran protest did not mention gay rights.
The tribunal bishop and his gay organist 8
1:09 PM — The news of yesterday's landmark employment tribunal ruling that the Bishop of Hereford discriminated against a man by refusing to employ him as a youth worker because he is gay overshadowed another eccentric decision by the church leader.The Rt Revd Anthony Priddis, who is facing calls that he resign his post, has found time to wish his organist and his gay partner congratulations on their civil partnership.The Bishop asked a gay job applicant a series of intrusive personal questions during an interview.
Gay veterans hold ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ roadshow
12:45 PM — A group of former US servicemen are touring America to share their experiences of life in the military, where being openly gay is against the law.The campaign, called Legacy of Service, aims to demonstrate to Americans the hardships and unfairness of a policy, 'Don't Ask Don't Tell,' that keeps soldiers, sailors, air force and coast guard personnel in the closet.No-one knows how many gay, lesbian or bisexual servicemen and women are currently serving in the US military.
Irish urged to be courageous over gay eqaulity
11:25 AM — A prominent Australian judge has urged Ireland's Law Reform Commission to be strong, courageous and bold when pushing forward gay equality.Justice Michael Kirby, a Justice of the Australian High Court, has lived openly with his gay partner for the last 37 years.He was in Dublin yesterday to address the commission. The judge spoke about his experiences of discrimination.
Fight for benefits after death of partner
10:40 AM — Gay rights group Lambda Legal filed its opening brief last week in the Court of Appeals of Virginia on behalf of a 48-year-old Keysville man improperly denied death benefits stemming from an accident that ultimately led to the death of his same-sex partner in 2005."This case is about making sure that the rules are applied fairly to everyone," Greg Nevins, senior staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office, said.