17th March 2008
Gay votes may have been pivotal in Malta election 3
11:50 AM — A political party in Malta that campaigns for LGBT rights may have set back their cause by taking votes away from the country's Labour Party.Labour are generally considered to be more liberal than the winning Nationalist Party (PN), who now remain in power.For a decade the Green Party in Malta, Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) and their leader Harry Vasallo have challenged the two-party system in Malta and pushed for gay civil rights, attracting the votes of thousands of LGBT on the island.
14th March 2008
Gay group shocked at ignorance among Euro politicians 1
5:00 PM — Last week's meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe exposed some members' ignorance about gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people, according to the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA).The committee was holding its first hearing on a report on LGBT rights in the member states.The 47-member Council of Europe promotes and protects democracy, educational and sporting co-operation and created the European Court of Human Rights.
Homophobic bishop branded un-Christian by MSP 53
4:25 PM — A Labour member of the Scottish Parliament has echoed comments from gay equality organisation Stonewall and branded the Bishop of Motherwell as un-Christian.George Foulkes MSP tabled a motion condemning Bishop Joseph Devine's comments that gay people attend Holocaust memorial events in order to "create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution" as "unfortunate, outdated and un-Christian."Gay equality organisation Stonewall also criticised the Roman Catholic leader.
PM says Mandelson will only serve one term
3:15 PM — The Prime Minister has quashed speculation that he may re-appoint former Labour Cabinet minister Peter Mandelson as a European Commissioner.Arriving at a European summit last night, Gordon Brown told reporters that Mr Mandelson would only serve one term."Peter Mandelson said he doesn't want to become the next commissioner," he said. "I think it is important to say that Peter Mandelson has done a great job as commissioner and, of course, it is his wish to do something else."
Iranian gays still facing deportation from UK 7
2:25 PM — Gay activists have told PinkNews.co.uk that the government need to reconsider the cases of other gay asylum seekers following the reprieve of Iranian teenager Mehdi Kazemi's.Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced yesterday that in the light of "new circumstances" gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi should have his case reconsidered upon his return from the Netherlands, where he fled when his first application was denied.The 19-year old, who has lived in Britain since 2005, was facing deportation and possible execution in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal.
Galloway claims Iran executes sex offenders, not gays 16
2:00 PM — Outspoken London MP George Galloway has said that the boyfriend of Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for sex crimes.The Respect politician made his claims on Channel Five show The Wright Stuff yesterday morning.Mr Kazemi is claiming asylum in the UK. He claims his boyfriend was arrested by police in Iran for being homosexual, forced to reveal the names of men he had relationships with, and executed.
US Senate will debate ban on HIV+ travellers 6
12:45 PM — A bill authorising billions of dollars of spending on AIDS prevention in developing nations has been approved by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.The legislation includes measures to lift the current US policy which bars people who are HIV+ from entering the country.The bill, which also aims to relax rules that required that one-third of all prevention money be spent on abstinence programmes, will now be debated on the floor of the Senate.
Gay community “right” to recall Nazi persecution 53
12:30 PM — The chair of the Holocaust Educational Trust has defended the right of gay people to commemorate the Holocaust.Lord Janner's comments follow the remarks of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell, who said earlier this week that the "homosexual lobby" attend Holocaust memorial events to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were held in concentration camps by the Nazis as members of an "anti-social group."
Victoria MP fears register will lead to gay marriage
12:10 PM — A leading Australian MP has claimed a relationships register for gay couples would erode the sanctity of marriage as debate over the controversial bill continues.Victorian Nationals leader Peter Ryan was one of the first MPs to express his views on the new register, telling parliament it would inevitably lead to legislating gay marriage.Under the proposed new law, gay couples in the state of Victoria would be able to register their relationship for easier access to entitlements.
13th March 2008
Comment: Hillary and the Eliot Spitzer effect
4:30 PM — On the heels of Samantha Power "resigning" from Barack Obama's campaign for calling Hillary Clinton a "monster" comes news that LGBT Council member Maxim Thorne has been bumped from his post for a similarly tactless use of words.In an email blasting Clinton's "who do you want answering the phone at 3am" rhetoric, Thorne wrote:"At 3am, Hillary said she and Bill were in bed and she knows of all the calls a President gets at different times of the day and night.Really?"
Greek gays find loophole in marriage law 1
3:40 PM — A gay and lesbian rights organisation is threatening to sue local authorities in Greece who refuse to marry same-sex couples after discovering that a 1982 law on civil wedding ceremonies refers only to "persons."The group, OLKE, has announced its intention to test their interpretation of the law.The Greek government is planning to grant new legal rights to unmarried couples later this year.
Gay Iranian teen’s case will be reviewed says Home Office 21
3:02 PM — An Iranian teenager who was facing deportation and possible execution will have his case reviewed.The decision was announced moments ago. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:"Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr Kazemi's case should be reconsidered on his return to the UK from the Netherlands."
Lords try to stop gay teenager’s deportation 21
2:30 PM — Senior peers, including former Speaker of the Commons Betty Boothroyd and former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf, have asked the government not to deport a gay teenager back to his home country of Iran.More than 60 members of the House of Lords signed a letter to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith urging the government to "show compassion" to Mehdi Kazemi, who fears he will be executed for homosexual acts if he is returned.
Bigot bishop’s comments raised in parliament 53
1:20 PM — The Bishop of Motherwell's recent outburst about gay people and the Holocaust could be debated in the Scottish Parliament.Patrick Harvie, the Green party MSP for Glasgow Region, was so incensed by the bishop's comments that he has tabled a motion condemning his comments.Bishop Joseph Devine, speaking at an event on Tuesday, accused the gay community of "aligning itself with minority groups. It is ever present at the service each year for the Holocaust memorial, as if to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."
Clinton pushes for Florida and Michigan votes to be counted 1
11:40 AM — New York Senator Hillary Clinton is calling on the Democratic National Committee to either seat delegates from Florida and Michigan or hold new primaries in the states.Both states were stripped of delegates for moving their primaries up on this year's election calendar.DNC chairman Howard Dean is in favour of holding new primaries, but says the party will not pay for them. Barack Obama's campaign has concerns, however, about proposed mail-in caucuses.
Obama faces tough questions from the press pack
11:30 AM — Despite pulling off a handy win in Wyoming and running well ahead in Mississippi, the Obama campaign is still dogged by the kind of questions the Senator is said to be growing increasingly weary of answering.According to the Jack McCormick's The Swamp column in the Baltimore-Sun, Barack Obama has been testy ever since suffering stinging defeats in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island.In recent days he has reportedly avoided talking with the press corps on his plane.
12th March 2008
Tory MP hostile to gay rights is sacked from party 3
5:50 PM — A Conservative MP who has attempted to fight gay rights laws is at the centre of a bizarre series of events in the Commons today.Bob Spink has had the whip withdrawn after threatening the Chief Whip with resignation. He accused the party of not doing enough to stop him from being deselected from his Castle Point seat.Since entering the Commons in 1992 Mr Spink has consistently opposed gay rights.
New York’s new Governor is gay rights advocate 1
4:10 PM — The resignation of Eliot Spitzer as Governor of New York today, after he was linked to a prostitution ring, has pushed David Paterson into the limelight.From Monday Mr Paterson will become the first African-American to be Governor of the state and the first blind Governor in US history.He has been actively fighting for gay rights for more than two decades. "David Paterson is a terrific, progressive guy, extremely LGBT-friendly," Ethan Geto, a Democratic analyst and LGBT activist, told The Advocate.
NY Governor resigns over prostitution ring 1
4:00 PM — Apologising for his public involvement in a private matter and saying he doesn't want his personal life to take time away from the people of New York, Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned this morning, saying Lt. Governor David Paterson will take over the post effective Monday.Spitzer has been tied to a prostitution ring after a federal investigation revealed he was recorded on a wiretap arranging to meet with a prostitute.
US ban on HIV+ travellers challenged by MEPs and Senators 6
3:40 PM — The Lib Dems are calling on EU members states to raise the current American policy on HIV+ visitors to the United States at tomorrow's meeting of justice and security ministers.On Friday the same issue will be raised in the US Senate.The Committee on Foreign Relations is due to discuss the ban after Senators John Kerry and Republican Gordon Smith added a provision to repeal the ban to Senate legislation to reauthorising PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.