25th February 2008
Raul Castro confirmed as Cuban President
10:15 AM — The younger brother of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been approved as the country's President by the National Assembly.Fidel, 81, stepped down last week, but will remain as head of the Communist party and is expected to continue to have a strong influence on his brother.At a two-day discussion on homosexuality in Cuba held earlier this year in Madrid poet Leon de la Hoz said that many people on the island refer to Raul as "the little Chinese man with the sad eyes," a reference to his supposed repressed homosexuality.
Ralph Nader enters US Presidential race 4
9:25 AM — Perennial Presidential candidate Ralph Nader announced on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday that he will be entering the race for the White House yet again.Nader, 73, ran as an Independent in 2004 and as a Green Party candidate in 2000, a race in which he was blamed for spoiling former Vice President Al Gore's chance for a clear victory.Blogger Sandy Sand on OpEdNews.com perhaps summed up the response of many to the announcement by saying: "Just what we need."
23rd February 2008
Rowan Williams holding “secret” talks to avoid gay split 4
4:00 PM — Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury is understood to be backing plans that would create a "parallel" conservative Church in America in a bid to for American conservatives to avert prevent further splits over the ordination of gay clergy and wider attitudes to homosexuality.The Daily Telegraph reports that Dr Williams has held talks with senior American bishops who oppose some of the more liberal approaches taken by the Episcopal Church.
22nd February 2008
Australia Debates Same Sex Marriage 6
3:50 PM — Greens senator Kerry Nettle has introduced a marriage equality bill to the Australian parliament calling for recognition of overseas same-sex marriages and the ability to allow local ones.Her party leader, Bob Brown, has united with Liberal Australia Capital Territory (ACT) senator Gary Humphries to condemn the new government's attitudes to the Territorial Government's civil partnerships legislation.
Man Charged In Toilet Murder
3:29 PM — A 29 year old man appeared in court today, charged with the murder of Jeff Akers, who was knifed to death in a cruising spot in Surrey on Tuesday.Mark Malone, who is unemployed, turned himself in to a Newsbury police station in Berkshire a day after the attack.In a brief meeting, Mr Malone spoke only to confirm his address and date of birth.
Irish Poet Under Fire For ‘Sexual Grooming’ 2
2:21 PM — The famous Irish poet, Cathal O Searcaigh a staple of second level school syllabuses - has been accused of the "sexual exploitation and grooming" of 16 year old Nepalese boys who he befriended and assisted financially in their education.Allegations about the poet's relationship with the young boys surfaced after the screening of Fairytale of Kathmandu, a documentary on Mr Searcaigh's charitable work in Nepal made by a former friend of his.
Lesbian Police Officer Wins Day in Court 1
12:01 PM — A lesbian police officer's lawsuit against her police department can go trial, a Los Angeles judge has said.Shelby Feldmeier claims male officers made frequent and offensive remarks about homosexuality while she was working as a probationary officer at Wilshire Station.Superior Court Judge Edward A. Ferns rejected a defence motion to dismiss the case on Wednesday and set a trial date for May 12th.
China Launches First HIV Prevention Programme for Gay Men
11:38 AM — China's Ministry of Health is set to implement its first ever national programme to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS among gay men, its 2008 work agenda revealed yesterday.The programme marks a subtle new phase in the one-party-state's attitudes towards homosexuality, which - while not overtly discriminatory - have followed the 'Three nos' criteria since sodomy was decriminalised in 1997: No approval, no disapproval and no promotion.
Cry for Help from Refugee Sheds Light on Desperation of Gays in Iran 30
11:08 AM — A poignant plea for help from a gay Iranian refugee in Malaysia is shedding light on the desperation and fear experienced by homosexuals in Iran and those who have fled their home country to seek refugee status in other countries.The letter, penned by a young gay man calling himself Sepehr, contains a heartbreaking tale of life as a homosexual in Iran and the suffering caused by the necessity of fleeing to another land to escape persecution and possible death.
21st February 2008
Presidential candidate denies affair with lobbyist
3:40 PM — John McCain, the US Senator from Arizona who is the frontrunner to receive the Republican party nomination for President, today rejected media reports that he had an extra-marital affair.The New York Times yesterday claimed he had a relationship with Vicki Iseman nine years ago when Senator McCain was also running for President."I'm very disappointed in the article. It's not true," he told a press conference in Toledo, Ohio.
Lesbian may run for mayor of New York City
3:25 PM — A recent speech by Christine Quinn, the Speaker of New York City's council, has sparked rumours that she may run for Mayor.Ms Quinn, a Democrat, is one of the most prominent lesbian politicians in America.In her State of the City address earlier this month she said: "I want every New Yorker to hear me when I say: We are ready."Various commentators have interpreted this to be a clear signal she intends to run for Mayor of the city.
DUP minister’s gay rugby comments “nasty and spiteful” 7
2:40 PM — A Northern Ireland minister responsible for sport has been accused of playing party politics with his recent attack on a gay rugby team.Edwin Poots said earlier this week that he "cannot fathom" why such a team is necessary and said it was a form of "apartheid."Yesterday the executive director of the cross-community Alliance Party claimed that Mr Poots' comments were made because his party, the DUP, lost a recent council by-election.
Toilet murder victim is named 9
1:15 PM — A gay man who was fatally stabbed in a public toilet in Surrey known as a cruising spot has been named as Peter Jeffrey Akers.The 50-year-old from Wallington was attacked with a large carving knife at around 3pm on Tuesday in toilets near Walton Bridge that police said are "a popular meeting place for men."He was taken by air ambulance to St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey where he died at 5.30pm.
Malta’s gay group ask for equal rights
12:50 PM — The gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans communities in the tiny EU nation of Malta have presented a petition asking for a range of measures to be introduced to protect them through the law, and have received the backing of a fringe political party.Alternattiva Demokratika leader Harry Vassallo said yesterday that the recognition of gay rights would be a step forward, according to the Times of Malta.He said he was supporting the petition organised by the Malta Gay Rights Movement.
Stonewall advert vandalised in Blackburn 5
12:35 PM — One of 600 billboard adverts questioning homophobia in schools that have been displayed across the country has been attacked by vandals.The poster in the town of Blackburn, was "covered in abusive graffiti," the Lancashire Telegraph reports.Advertising space in England, Scotland and Wales was donated to gay equality organisation Stonewall by Titan Outdoor Advertising Ltd.The message - 'Some people are gay. Get over it!' - is displayed in giant, tabloid-style capital letters, on a bright red background.
Black US state legislator comes out
12:10 PM — Democratic Connecticut State Representative Jason Bartlett made the decision on Thursday to come out publicly as a gay man.Bartlett says he has always preferred to keep his personal life private, but felt the announcement was needed to quell the rumours about his sexual orientation.Bartlett's coming out makes him unique in the political world as the first openly gay black state legislator.
Obama’s momentum is a serious challenge to Clinton
12:01 PM — In politics, the operative rule to live by is -"it ain't over till it's over" — and the Democratic national convention is still six months away. Anything can happen.But, and this is a BIG 'but,' with his blowout wins in Hawaii and Wisconsin's open primary on Tuesday, Illinois Senator Barack Obama has now won ten contests in a row in the Presidential race against New York Senation Hillary Clinton, once considered the Democratic party's "inevitable" nominee.
20th February 2008
Israeli politician claims gays cause earthquakes 14
6:25 PM — An outspoken member of Israel's parliament has said recent earthquakes that have hit the country are a consequence of gay rights laws.Shlomo Benizri, who is a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, was speaking in a Knesset (parliament) debate on earthquake preparedness.After reading passages from the Old Testament, he said that in his view one cause of earthquakes is that "the Knesset gives legitimacy, to sodomy.
Man arrested on suspicion of cruising murder 9
5:50 PM — A 29-year-old man handed himself in at a police station earlier today and has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 50-year-old gay man.The murder suspect will be questioned by detectives about a knife attack in a public toilet in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey yesterday afternoon.The victim was stabbed at 3pm yesterday in toilets near Walton Bridge that police said are "a popular meeting place for men."
Spanish judge suspended over lesbian ruling
4:45 PM — A judge in Spain who ordered a mother to choose between her partner and her daughters, because "a homosexual environment threatened their education," has been suspended.The body which supervises the judiciary in that country, the General Council for Judicial Power, has suspended Fernando Ferrín Calamita and a complaint about his behaviour 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.