16th December 2011
Christopher Hitchens dies after cancer battle, aged 62 38
1:21 PM — Atheist author and journalist Christopher Hitchens died last night, aged 62, at a hospital in Texas after suffering from pneumonia brought on by oesophageal cancer. In 2009, Hitchens, a vocal supporter of gay rights, revealed in his memoirs he had gay liaisons at Oxford with men who later became Tory politicians.
Labour MEPs pledge support for Equal Love campaign in Europe 44
11:49 AM — All Labour's representatives at the European Parliament have signed their support for the Equal Love campaign, which aims to allow equal access for gay and straight couples to civil partnerships and marriage.
US study: Equal marriage rights improve health of single gay men 13
10:30 AM — A US study of the effect of equal marriage rights claims gay and bisexual men lead healthier lives when those rights are introduced, regardless of whether they have a partner.
UN publishes first global report and recommendations to tackle gay rights abuses 12
9:29 AM — The UN's Human Rights Council has published for the first time a document detailing rights abuses against LGBT people around the world, through violence and through discriminatory laws, and a set of recommendations all countries should adopt.
15th December 2011
House of Lords rejects peer’s challenge to religious civil partnership rules 118
1:50 PM — The motion to reintroduce the ban on civil partnerships in religious premises has been withdrawn by Baroness O’Cathain after it was debated today in the House of Lords.
Former tennis star Margaret Court serves up controversy over gay marriage 94
1:27 PM — Margaret Court, once the world's number one female tennis player, well-known for her anti-gay views, has sparked a heated row with other former champions after saying gays were "aggressively demanding marriage rights that are not theirs to take."
Students lobby MSPs as accuracy of marriage opponents’ petition is questioned 11
12:34 PM — Students from around Scotland have delivered letters to their MSPs today in support of extending marriage rights, while others are questioning how their signatures appeared on the opponents' petition.
Rick Santorum blames lower US wedding rates on marriage equality 46
10:39 AM — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has blamed the fall in numbers of married Americans on gay marriage, referencing a survey which did not draw that conclusion itself.
Filipino gays perform updated Christmas carols for Catholic Bishops 11
9:55 AM — A group of rights campaigners in the Philippines has lobbied the country's Catholic Bishops Conference with an unusual round of carol-singing, including Jingle Bells rewritten with a human rights theme.
14th December 2011
George Clooney to star in second production of Dustin Lance Black’s Proposition 8 play 9
11:51 AM — George Clooney has confirmed he will star in the second one-night-only production of Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black's Proposition 8 play. The show revisits the ballot measure which banned gay couples from marrying in California and its reversal by Judge Vaughn Walker last year.
Australia’s gay finance minister Penny Wong announces daughter’s birth 6
11:14 AM — Penny Wong said her partner Sophie Allouache had given birth to a daughter on Sunday morning, a week after a groundbreaking vote by the Australian Labor Party to formally support equal marriage.
North Cyprus leader: Proposal to repeal anti-gay laws “has been submitted” 10
10:39 AM — A Conservative MEP who lobbied the leader of Northern Cyprus to repeal the self-declared state's anti-gay laws said yesterday he had written to her confirming that the proposal had been drafted.
House of Lords urged to reject challenge to civil partnership rules tomorrow 70
9:05 AM — Religious leaders have written an open letter to the House of Lords calling on them to reject the challenge facing the regulations for religious civil partnerships tomorrow.
13th December 2011
250,000 sign petition against St Petersburg “gay propaganda” law 7
3:18 PM — Nearly a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling on world leaders to hold Russia to account for a draft law in St Petersburg which threatens to silence its gay community. The draft law would punish the promotion of LGBT lifestyles in public alongside paedophilia in Russia's second largest city.
Sister of former Australian PM leaves Labor over marriage equality “nonsense” 64
12:38 PM — The sister of Australia's former Prime Minister and current Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has officially left the party over what she termed the "utter nonsense" of gay marriage. Loree Rudd said: "I couldn't work for a party that had endorsed homosexuals marrying."
Republicans block appointment of US ambassador to El Salvador over pro-gay rights article 26
12:04 PM — Last night, the US senate blocked president Barack Obama's nominee to be ambassador to El Salvador after Republicans expressed outrage at an article she wrote in support of gay rights and unfounded rumours that an ex-boyfriend was a Cuban spy.
12th December 2011
Anti-gay US politician’s ‘secret life’ as sperm donor to lesbian couples 26
4:44 PM — An American politician who has campaigned against gay marriage has been accused of having a "secret life" as a sperm donor to lesbian couples. Bill Johnson, a 2009 conservative Christian candidate for governor of Alabama, has spent the last year in Christchurch, New Zealand, helping relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Rick Perry confronted over anti-gay ad 29
10:06 AM — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry was heckled yesterday over a promotional ad which says there is “something wrong with our country” when gays can serve in the military, but children cannot “celebrate Christmas or pray in school”.
9th December 2011
Comment: Peter Tatchell is wrong to criticise Lynne Featherstone by Evan Harris 77
3:49 PM — Former Liberal Democrat MP, Evan Harris, defends Lib Dem equality minister, Lynne Featherstone, after her stance on marriage equality was questioned by the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
Comment: Why does the equality minister oppose marriage equality? by Peter Tatchell 26
3:22 PM — Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell claims that the Liberal Democrat equality minister, Lynne Featherstone, does not support equality because she hasn't backed religious gay marriages or straight civil partnerships.