6th November 2007
US Congress to vote on workplace protection law
2:11 PM — After weeks of delay, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will be voted on today by the US House of Representatives.It is unclear if an amendment to re-introduce protections to trans people along with lesbians, bisexuals and gay men will be considered by lawmakers.The decision to remove trans people from the scope of the legislation caused anger among the LGBT community in the US, with many demanding an "all or nothing" stance on ENDA.
Rising gay populations in America’s “red states”
1:40 PM — An American sexual orientation think-tank has released a report that reveals a "gay demographic explosion" in some of America's most conservative regions.The Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA released the report yesterday.The report used data from the 1990 and 2000 censuses and the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) from 2002 to 2006.
Top law firm establishes LGBT staff network
1:21 PM — One of the best-known names in the 'magic circle' of law firms has decided to set up a network for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans staff just months after settling a claim of sexual orientation discrimination.A former partner at Clifford Chance made his claim in November last year and the firm settled the case for an undisclosed amount of money.Michael Bryceland's claim involved direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of his sexual orientation.
Scottish Parliament considers gay hate crime law
1:10 PM — Scotland's lawmakers will today discuss new laws making violence towards gay and disabled groups be treated as seriously as violence incited on religious or ethnic grounds.The Sentencing of Offences Aggravated by Prejudice (Scotland) Bill, proposed by Patrick Harvie, a Scottish Green MSP, would bring Scotland into line with England and Wales, where courts have been able to impose tougher sentences for offences committed due to the victims disability or sexual orientation since April 2003.
The Queen’s Speech in full
12:39 PM — My Lords and Members of the House of CommonsMy Government will take forward policies to respond to the rising aspirations of the people of the United Kingdom; to ensure security for all; and to entrust more power to Parliament and the people.My Government's programme will meet people's aspirations for better education, housing, healthcare and children's services, and for a cleaner environment.
British man arrested at Malaysian orgy 2
12:30 PM — Police in Malaysia, where sodomy is a crime, have raided a gay sex party and arrested 37 men, including a Briton.According to AP, police chief Azam Abdul Hamid said officers acting on a public tip-off had raided a fitness centre in northern Penang island on Sunday while a sex party was in progress. The men arrested were aged between 20 and 45.Apart from the Briton and a Chinese national, all the men were ethnic Chinese Malaysians, including three who worked at the centre.
Legal recognition for same-sex parents in Queen’s Speech
12:23 PM — The government has announced in the Queen's Speech a major change in the status of gay and lesbian couples who have a child through donated sperm, eggs or embryos.Her Majesty opened Gordon Brown's first session as Prime Minister this morning, and also revealed plans for a draft bill on citizenship and the establishment of a new agency to increase the number of affordable homes.The new Human Tissues and Embryos Bill, one of 28 bills announced today, has angered "family values" campaigners.
Los Angeles LGBT workers to get protections after cop test case
10:54 AM — In what has been called a "momentous" decision, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously last week to approve settlement of the non-damages portion of a lawsuit brought by former Sergeant Mitchell Grobeson, the LAPD's first openly gay officer.The settlement provides a vast array of protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees and job applicants in Los Angeles, as well as those living with HIV.It mandates recruitment from the LGBT community.
Gay rabbi hits out at Bible-inspired homophobia 4
10:10 AM — An Orthodox American rabbi spoke out against using the Bible to justify prejudice in a sermon yesterday.Steven Greenberg, America's first openly gay rabbi, shared his belief that the Bible is open to interpretation and should not be used to condemn homosexuality.According to The Columbus Dispatch, Mr Greenberg said: "No one can say, 'It says in the Scripture,' to ground any policy."
5th November 2007
Lesbian group’s transgender ban challenged
4:01 PM — An Australian transgender psychotherapist has taken a lesbian support group to an equal opportunities tribunal on the grounds of discrimination.Tracie O'Keefe in Sydney, claims that she was refused an invitation to an event organised by the gay organisation Sappho's Party because of their strict policy excluding transgender people.The group only allows those who were female at birth to join.
Army sexual orientation discrimination tribunal begins 2
2:15 PM — A lesbian soldier's life was made hell by a male sergeant who vowed to "convert" her, an employment tribunal will be told.According to Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, 30, the senior officer told her that she had not yet experienced a "real man."He also added, "You don't know what you're missing."Her case is being heard at an employment tribunal in Leeds today. The Ministry of Defence said: "We take allegations of sexual discrimination seriously."
Howard declines to say who would “turn him” gay 2
12:32 PM — The Prime Minister of Australia was asked an unusual question on the election campaign trail yesterday: Who would you turn gay for?68-year-old John Howard was campaigning at a shopping mall in Gosford, New South Wales, when "jeans shop worker" Danielle tackled him about that particular big issue.The PM laughed off the question, but his consistent refusal to grant equal rights for gay and lesbian Australians has been less easy to avoid.
4th November 2007
Former Equality Minister apologises for misspending public money 2
11:20 PM — Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly, formerly Tony Blair's controversial choice as Equality Minister has been forced to apologise after misspending taxpayer's money on Labour party publicity.MPs are allowed to spend £10,000 of public funds on neutral leaflets but are not allowed to use them to make party political statements. A newsletter published this Autumn distributed to constituents in Ms Kelly's marginal Bolton West seat and paid for from her allowance, repeatedly refereed to 'Labour', 'Labour Party' and 'Labour Government'.
Aide had sex with royal father- new claims in blackmail plot 17
11:35 AM — The aide at the centre of the alleged royal blackmail plot has now appeared to claim that he also had a gay relationship with the royal's father and a well known Conservative MP. The claims were made on a recording seized by police investigating the case.The Sunday Times reports that the allegations are contained in 16 audio and 24 video files contained on two computer discs.Ian Strachan, 30, was arrested along with Sean McGuigan, 40, last month after police mounted a sting operation.
2nd November 2007
No comment from Bigot of the Year 6
5:59 PM — A bishop who asked a gay job applicant a series of humiliating questions and then rejected him for the post on the grounds of his sexuality was named Bigot of the Year at the Stonewall Awards last night.The gay equality organisation's chief executive Ben Summerskill told an audience of 400 gathered at the Victoria Albert museum in London that the Bishop of Hereford had been invited but claimed to be on holiday.
Royal “blackmail plot” man refused bail 17
5:35 PM — One of the two men charged with attempting to blackmail a minor member of the Royal Family was refused bail at a hearing at the Old Bailey today.Ian Strachan, 30, was arrested along with Sean McGuigan, 40, last month after police mounted a sting operation.They are alleged to have demanded £50,000 not to release a video showing an aide to a member of the Royal Family discussing engaging in oral sex with his employer.
Dead parents better than gay ones says Romney 134
5:20 PM — A candidate for the Republican party nomination for President of the United States has said that he thinks a child would be better off with a dead parent rather than a gay one.Mitt Romney, a former Governor of Massachusetts, was speaking at a college in rural Iowa.Asked what he would say to a gay couple wanting to get married, he pointed out his support for a change to the US Constitution to bar gay and lesbian Americans from marriage.
Prison for tennis coach who had sex with 13-year-old 1
1:45 PM — A former tennis protege turned coach has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison.Last month Claire Lyte, 29, was convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child at Liverpool Crown Court.During her three week trial, the court heard testimony from the mother of a 13-year-old girl, who caught them in bed together in 2005.Lyte's worked as a coach at the Lawn Tennis Association academy in Loughborough, Leicestershire and the girl was one of her pupils.
Commonwealth meeting could promote homophobia 10
12:48 PM — Members of Parliament in Uganda have urged the country's government to speak out against gay rights at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) next month.One MP, demanding a "clamp down" against lesbian and gay Ugandans, said that the international event, to be held in the capital later this month, would be a good opportunity to "send a clear message that gays are not welcome in Uganda."Ishaa Otto, speaking at a press conference earlier this week, claimed that the gay community is growing.
Foster couple agree to council diversity policy
12:05 PM — A Christian couple have agreed to abide by the local council policy on diversity, despite previously resigning as foster carers over a row about homosexuality.65-year-old Vincent Matherick and his 61-year-old wife Pauline attracted the attention of the press when they stood down after six years of providing foster care, claiming that Somerset County Council was asking them to "promote" homosexuality.They have now issued a joint statement with the council and signed the Equalities Promise and may be allowed to continue fostering.