12th November 2007
Americans warm to same-sex unions
12:45 PM — More than half of Americans support civil unions according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post polls.In total, 55 per cent approve of legalising civil unions and giving same-sex couples the same rights as those who are married in matters such as insurance, inheritance and pensions.The latest figures are up from 45 per cent in the same poll in 2006.
Republican guilty of soliciting gay sex 5
12:25 PM — A senior Florida Republican has been found guilty of soliciting oral sex from an undercover police officer.Bob Allen, a former co-chairman of the campaign to select Senator John McCain as the Republican US Presidential candidate, was spotted by police in Titusville, Florida on July 11th acting suspiciously at the men's toilets in a park.Officers decided to send a policeman undercover to investigate, and within minutes Mr Allen allegedly agreed to pay him $20 (£10) to allow him to perform oral sex.
UN Commissioner backs LGBT rights
11:50 AM — The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has spoken of her support for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.Louise Arbour made her comments after an historic meeting at the UN last week.The event, held in parallel with the session of the third committee of the UN General Assembly, discussed the Yogyakarta Principles.
New Polish PM pressed on civil unions
11:40 AM — Gay rights activists in Poland have asked incoming Prime Minister Donald Tusk to discuss legalisation of civil unions, the introduction of comprehensive sexual education in schools and the ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation.Mr Tusk is head of the centre-right Christian-democratic Civic Platform Party (PO), which won the election on 21st October.According to Catholic World News PO member Stefan Niesiolowski said: "I will not agree to homosexual marriage."
First Minister adviser to take up Stonewall post
11:35 AM — Gay equality organisation Stonewall has announced the appointment of Derek Munn as director of public affairs.Mr Munn was special adviser to the First Minister of Scotland from 2003 until earlier this year and will take up his post on 3rd December."We're absolutely delighted to have secured someone of Derek's background and considerable abilities to fulfil this important role within the organisation," said Ben Summerskill, Stonewall's chief executive.
11th November 2007
Lesbian passed over in election of Bishop of Chicago 1
11:45 AM — An out lesbian was passed over during the Episcopal convention to pick the next Bishop of Chicago.The Reverend Tracey Lind, dean of Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland was one of three women who lost out to Rev Jeffrey Lee, rector of St Thomas Church in Medina, Washington.Bishop William Persell said the vote held yesterday was not a rejection of homosexuals or of women.
9th November 2007
Political party’s anti-gay posters evade prosecution 1
5:30 PM — A Swiss right-wing political party will not face charges over advertising posters which called gay couples infertile.The Swiss People's Party (UDC) was campaigning earlier this year against a proposal to extend tax benefits to same-sex partners in Geneva.The party's general secretary added to the controversy by saying that gay people contribute nothing to society because they do not have children.
Poll results questioned as ENDA fallout continues
4:03 PM — America's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality organisation, Human Rights Campaign, has been challenged by gay journalists over an opinion poll it published in relation to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).The proposed new law was originally framed to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination, but was amended to remove trans people when it became clear that an unamended ENDA would not pass the House of Representatives.
Welcome for evangelical voice on equality commission 39
3:01 PM — A group that examines religion in public life has welcomed the appointment of the head of the Evangelical Alliance UK to the new Commission on Equality and Human Rights (ECHR).The think-tank Ekklesia says that the controversial evangelical taking his place on the commission is "an historic opportunity for evangelicals to shift toward full acceptance of the equalities agenda."Joel Edwards was a controversial choice for many LGBT activists. The Evangelical Alliance are one of the most strident voices against gay rights in the UK.
Gay candidates victorious in elections across the US
12:39 PM — An organisation dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels in the United States has announced that dozens of openly gay and lesbian candidates running in municipal and state legislative races across the country won their elections this week.According to the Gay Lesbian Victory Fund, of the record 71 candidates endorsed by the group in 2007, at least 31 won their races on Tuesday, while 10 were elected earlier this year.
Maltese press question MEP over gay club visits
12:28 PM — A leading newspaper in Malta has questioned the gay-hostile voting record of one of the country's Member of the European Parliament in light of revelations that he is a regular at Brussels gay bars.LGBT activists are angry that David Casa, 38, voted against motions in the parliament that condemned homophobic violence and discrimination.Newspaper Il Torca reported: "Many homosexuals commented with this newspaper that David Casa was seen a number of times in gay clubs in Brussels."
US grants asylum to gay Jamaican 4
11:59 AM — A gay man who feared persecution because of his sexual orientation if forced to return to Jamaica has been given asylum in the United States.The grant of asylum to Ven Messam was issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and comes at a time when conditions for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in Jamaica are getting more dangerous by the day.International human rights organisations have described Jamaica as one of the most homophobic places in the world.
Canadians mark 40 years of gay rights activism
11:22 AM — On November 7, 1967, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the appeal of George Everett Klippert, who had been condemned to indefinite imprisonment for consensual sexual relations with other men.The next day, Tommy Douglas, the first leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, rose in the House of Commons and called for homosexuality to be decriminalised.Since then, the NDP has led the pack in defense of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
Same-sex couples fight for equal health benefits
10:58 AM — The Michigan Supreme Court currently is weighing whether a constitutional amendment barring gay marriages also prohibits public agencies and schools from offering health care benefits to the same-sex partners of employees.According to the Detroit Free Press, the state's high court heard arguments from both sides on Tuesday, with lawyers representing Attorney General Mike Cox saying such benefits are unconstitutional because they mirror benefits available only to married couples.
8th November 2007
Interview: The Lib Dem fighting youth with experience 2
4:20 PM — Much has been made in these first few weeks of the race to become leader of the Liberal Democrats about the similarities between the candidates.Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne are both Westminster School-educated former MEPs with near-identical views nearly all the key issues.Both became MPs as part of the Lib Dems strong showing in the 2005 elections. Both are English and will appeal to voters in key south and south east seats where the resurgent Tories are a major threat.
Dutch focus on international gay rights abuses
12:55 PM — LGBT rights organisation COC Netherlands has welcomed research initiated by the Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation into gay rights.The report, published yesterday, found that homosexuality is still a punishable crime in half of the 36 countries that have a development relationship with The Netherlands.Penalties in those countries range from imprisonment to death penalty.
US workplace protection bill passes 3
12:35 PM — After weeks of delay, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has been passed by the US House of Representatives.It passed by 235 to 184 - 35 Republicans joined 200 Democrats and voted for the bill.159 Republicans were joined in voting against by 25 Democrats, many of whom were angry that protections for trans people had been removed from the bill.
Republican candidate advertised on gay dating site
11:30 AM — Being the Presidential hopeful with the heaviest Web advertising presence can be a difficult position to be in - sometimes it means your campaign ads will show up in unexpected places.Republican candidate Mitt Romney is finding that out the hard way, according to a recent article in The New York Times. Apparently, banner ads saying "Mitt Romney for President — Vote Team Mitt!" appeared on website gay.com for two days in August, appearing at least 32,000 times.
7th November 2007
Australian leader concedes gay equality in superannuation 13
4:29 PM — A leading member of the Australian Liberal party who is fighting to retain his parliamentary seat has announced a small change in policy in an attempt to win vital gay votes.Malcolm Turnbull last night promised that if re-elected his party will allow interdependent gay couples to share each other's public pensions and super benefits.It may prove to be too little too late for the minister, who is fighting to retain the Sydney seat of Wentworth in the November 24th general election.
Police investigating Stagecoach bus incident 21
3:45 PM — Grampian police have told PinkNews.co.uk that they are investigating an incident on a bus involving a gay couple.It was reported on Sunday that two gay teenagers were threatened with ejection from a bus and then made to sit separately after a fellow passenger complained about their behaviour.Steven Black, 16, and Mark Craig, 19, were travelling on the bus from Aberdeen to Old-meldrum, Aberdeenshire. The route is operated by Stagecoach.