17th December 2007
Westminster spa ends discrimination against gays 1
4:15 PM — A politics blog has successfully pressured a Westminster City Council spa into giving gay and lesbian couples the same discount as heterosexuals.The Porchester Spa, run by the council, was charging same-sex couples £40.70 for the use of steam rooms and baths instead of the £28.25 straight couples paid.Recess Monkey, a left-leaning political blog, said today that a journalist had informed them that this "gay tax" has been abolished.
Prosecutor wants fascist Hungarian group shut down 6
3:40 PM — Budapest's prosecutor has accused a far-right group recently established in the country of racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism and asked a court to disband it.Magyar Garda, or Hungarian Guard, held an anti-Roma rally earlier this month, where they marched in neo-Nazi uniforms.A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said the group was guilty of generating fear among minority groups, specifically the Roma, who make up 5% of the Hungarian population.
Relationships register proposed by Australian PM 1
3:25 PM — The newly-elected Prime Minister of Australia has denied rumours that his Labour government intends to legalise civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.Several news outlets reported that senior ministers had given assurances that significant legislation would be brought forward.However, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said today that he stands by his comments during the election that he regards marriage as between a man and a woman.
LGBT Noise demand gay marriage in Ireland 4
3:05 PM — Protesting the lack of rights that gay couples have in the Republic of Ireland, a new pressure group took to the streets of Dublin at the weekend to protest.Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered (LGBT) Noise wants full civil marriages for gay people, something the Irish government has ruled out as contrary to the country's constitution.Around 50 members of LGBT Noise were joined by gay choir Gloria at their protest on Saturday.
Congressional opposition to new HIV+ travel restrictions
11:01 AM — Gay rights activists and US lawmakers are crying foul over regulations proposed by the Homeland Security Department that could actually make it more difficult for persons living with HIV/AIDS to travel to the United States.Under current federal law, travel and immigration to the US by HIV-positive people is severely restricted.In fact, at present, foreigners with the HIV/AIDS virus can only obtain visas after receiving a waiver from the Homeland Security Department.
Florida to vote on same-sex marriage ban 1
10:30 AM — Should the Florida constitution ban same-sex couples from marrying? That's the question that will be put before the state's voters next year, thanks to the efforts of Florida4Marriage.org, a coalition of groups led by Orlando lawyer John Stemberger.The coalition announced late last week that after three years they have succeeded in gathering the 611,009 signatures needed to add the question to the November 2008 ballot, assuming all of them are verified.
16th December 2007
Archbishop apologises for persecution of gays 9
1:40 AM — Archbishop Desmond Tutu has apologised to gay people all around the world for the way they have been treated by the Church.He recently criticised Anglicans for being 'obsessed' with homosexuality.In a world exclusive interview with production company Made in Manchester, Tutu spoke to creative director Ashley Byrne.
15th December 2007
Interview: Peter Tatchell’s 40 years of campaigning 4
3:20 PM — Peter Tatchell celebrated his fortieth year of campaigning on 10th December, Human Rights Day.The Australian-born activist began campaigning for human rights, democracy and global justice in 1967, aged 15.Now, at 55, his eyes still have the vividness and energy of a teenager, and he has no intention to retire, because, he says, there is still much work to do.
14th December 2007
Gay bishop not welcome at Anglican meeting 17
4:35 PM — Bishop Gene Robinson will not be invited to next year's Lambeth Conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury said today.Many Anglicans wrote letters of complaint to the Archbishop about the exclusion of the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire and in June it was reported that Dr Williams was reconsidering.However, his office confirmed today that neither Bishop Robinson nor a rogue American priest who was consecrated a bishop by the Nigerian Church, Martyn Minns, will be asked to the 14th Lambeth Conference, the assembly of Anglican bishops held once every ten years.
Clegg favourite among PinkNews.co.uk readers 1
4:20 PM — A survey of readers asking their preference to succeed Sir Ming Campbell as leader of the Liberal Democrats reveals that Nick Clegg is way out on front.82% of PinkNews.co.uk readers who took part in the poll favour the MP for Sheffield Hallam. His opponent Chris Huhne was chosen by 12% of participating readers as their choice.An estimated 65,000 Lib Dem members were sent ballot papers on November 21st, and they must be returned by tomorrow.
Castro’s girl seeks legal protection for Cuban LGBT 1
4:05 PM — A Cuban sexologist has shocked her communist country by suggesting that gays, lesbians, transsexuals, transvestites and transgender people should be granted legal protection under forthcoming reforms.Mariela Castro, director of the National Centre for Sex Education (CENESEX), is calling for new measures including non-discrimination on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity.She also advocates the introduction of same-sex unions and adoption rights, and major reforms relating to health care and treatment of trans people.
Swing to Greens in Brighton excites election pundits
12:30 PM — The Green party's strong showing in the south coast city of Brighton and Hove was reflected in a by-election for a council seat , which they retained comfortably.The Regency ward was held by the Greens with a 3.5% swing away from the Tories.The significance of the result is that the ward is in the parliamentary constituency of Brighton Pavilion. In 2005 the Greens took 22% of the vote, with the Tories on 23.9% and Labour on 35.4%.
Peru urged to protect LGBT youth 1
12:05 PM — The Peruvian Congress is under pressure from gay rights activists to become a party to a convention on the rights of young people.The Ibero-American Convention on the Rights of Youth seeks to promote and safeguard the rights of young people and remedy the inequality that thousands of young people confront for a variety of reasons, including for having a sexual orientation different from heterosexuality.But the Foreign Relations Committee of the Congress of Peru has raised concerns in this respect.
Top brass speak out against US military gay ban
10:23 AM — 28 retired, high-ranking American military leaders have signed a letter calling for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."In the years since the policy was enacted, over 12,000 men and women have been discharged from the US military under the policy.The letter marks the single largest number of Generals and Admirals from the US Armed Forces to come out against the ban.
13th December 2007
MEPs want to block state funding for hate groups 1
4:54 PM — The European Parliament has called for public funding to be withdrawn from political parties, media organisations or businesses that incite to hate of a group of people on the basis of their race, religion, handicap, sexual orientation or nationality.Meeting in Strasbourg, the parliament today adopted a resolution to show its concern that several EU countries have experienced increased hate crimes against minority groups.The text of the resolution was adopted by 527 votes, with 15 against and 39 abstentions.
Lesbian denied teaching permit in Chile
4:10 PM — Gay rights leaders in Chile have said they are disappointed at the government's stance regarding a lesbian teacher who is being denied re-certification.Sandra Pavez taught religious education at a state elementary school in Santiago for 21 years.The Roman Catholic church revoked her permission to teach religion after finding out she is a lesbian. In Chile religious education teachers legally have to be certified by a religious authority in order to teach.
ANC challenged over equality for LGBT South Africans 1
2:30 PM — As South Africa's main political party prepares for its 52nd congress, LGBT groups have issued a manifesto asking for a clear commitment to equality.The African National Congress, which will meet this weekend to decide the next leader of the party and its future political stance, has been asked by the Joint Workers Group to uphold the Constitution's promise of "freedom, justice and equality for all."The ANC has been South Africa's governing party since 1994. The current party leader Thabo Mbeki is the country's President .
Paisley and McGuinness disagree over gay rights 4
2:15 PM — The First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland are reportedly at loggerheads over the introduction of EU legislation granting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people equal rights.An agreed position on the Gender, Goods and Services Directive must be reached by December 21st or the Northern Ireland Executive faces fines and legal proceedings.A committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly was presented with a letter from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).
Morocco pressured to drop gay convictions 2
12:40 PM — The criminal verdicts in Morocco against six men sentenced to prison for homosexual conduct should be set aside and the men released, human rights activists said today.The court of first instance in Ksar el-Kbir, a small city about 120km south of Tangiers, convicted the men on December 10th of violating article 489 of Morocco's penal code.It criminalises "lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex."
Spain recognises UK civil partnerships 172
12:25 PM — A gay couple who took on the British and Spanish governments over the recognition of their civil partnership have won a major victory.Paul and Martin Ward signed the civil partnership register in Devon on Valentine's Day this year, having been advised that it would be recognised in Spain, where Paul lives.However, when the couple returned to Spain to live, they found out from the British Consul in Malaga that their civil partnership was not recognised in Spain.