7th December 2007
Botswana refuses to register gay advocacy group 1
4:10 PM — The department of civil and national registration in Botswana faces legal action after it refused to register a group called the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo).The country's Attorney General has been informed that lawyers for the group intend to sue the government, reports Mmegi Online.The registration was refused because LEGABIBO was ruled to be contrary to the Botswana penal code, which outlaws male and female homosexual acts.
Gays will continue the fight for hate crimes protection 7
1:40 PM — LGBT rights groups in the United States have expressed their disappointment that new hate crimes legislation will not be passed by the US Senate.The Matthew Shepard Act would have extended federal grants to local law enforcement agencies in order to more thoroughly investigate and prosecute domestic terror crimes that target individuals based on disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.Under existing hate crimes laws, such grants are routinely provided to local agencies.
Tory criticises cuts in London HIV programmes 10
12:45 PM — The deputy chairman of the London Assembly has expressed his shock at planned cuts to HIV prevention programmes aimed at gay men, after receiving official confirmation from the Department of Health.Brian Coleman, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, wrote to Minister of State at the Department of Health, Dawn Primarolo MP, after reports that funding for the London Gay Men's HIV Prevention Programme is to be cut next year by 36%.The funding for this programme is currently grouped with a treatment information programme in a budget of £2.2million.
Presidential candidate defends his Mormon faith
10:50 AM — Mormon Presidential candidate and one time gay rights supporter Mitt Romney took his thoughts on religion public on Thursday morning when the Republican hopeful delivered a controversial speech on faith in America.Intended to address those who have questioned the Mormon faith's place in leading this country, the speech stressed that religious liberty "is fundamental to America's greatness," though Romney has long argued the fact that he is Mormon should have no bearing on his ability to be elected.
US Congress drops hate crime bill
10:20 AM — Congressional aides are reporting that a US House-Senate conference committee has dropped the hate-crimes legislation co-sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith and Edward Kennedy from a defence authorisation bill because it did not have sufficient support in the House.The legislation, formally known as the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, would have expanded federal law to include crimes committed against people because of their gender, sexual orientation or disability.
6th December 2007
Donations to Harman were secret to avoid “Jewish conspiracy” 1
7:01 PM — The businessman at the centre of the government's donations scandal says that he secretly donated to the Equality Secretary, Harriet Harman's campaign to become Deputy Leader of the Labour party to avoid accusations of being part of a "Jewish conspiracy."Batchelor, David Abrahams told the Jewish Chronicle that blame for the scandal where he donated £663,975 to Labour through proxies lies with Jon Mendelsohn, Gordon Brown's fundraiser.
EXCLUSIVE: Follett – there are no donations
5:08 PM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveEquality minister Barbara Follett has responded to allegations that she has received donations from her husband that she did not declare."Because I want to give the people of Stevenage the best possible service I can, I spend all of my MP's salary, allowances and some of my personal income running my constituency and parliamentary offices," she said in a statement to PinkNews.co.uk.
Questions over equality minister donations
3:35 PM — The husband of Barbara Follett may have inadvertantly embroiled her in the furore over donations.Ms Follett is the minister for equality, which includes LGBT rights.Her husband, multi-millionaire novelist Ken Follett, is a longtime Labour supporter.In an appearance BBC's Sunday AM with Andrew Marr on 2nd December, he boasted that: "I actually subsidise it to the tune of every year at least a hundred thousand pounds a year."
Irish minister rules out referendum on gay marriage 13
1:02 PM — Ireland's Minister of Justice has rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.Labour Minister Brian Lenihan said civil partnership was easier to achieve, because gay marriage would require a constitutional change that would split the country.Speaking at the annual meeting of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, an LGBT organisation that is campaigning for gay marriage, he said he was keen to guarantee equality to gay people.
Labour fund created to support LGBT candidates 1
12:11 PM — The Labour Party has launched a campaign fund to support LGBT candidates, especially women, at future elections.Dorothy's List was set up with the objective of raising £2,000 to help members of the LGBT community overcome the obstacles which they face when running for political office.LGBT Labour said that they have so far received a positive response both from the LGBT community and from Labour party candidates and members.
5th December 2007
Iran carries out execution for juvenile crimes 34
5:58 PM — Makvan Mouloodzadeh was executed in Kermanshah Central Prison at 5 a.m. this morning, Iranian time.Neither Mr Mouloodzadeh's family or his lawyer were told about the execution until after it occurred.The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) reports that despite an order by the Iranian Chief Justice to nullify his death sentence, he was put to death.
Gay US ambassador leaves over discrimatory treatment
4:45 PM — A former US ambassador left his post at the State Department after criticising Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's treatment of gay people.Michael E Guest retired from the State Department after more than 26 years as a form of protest against regulations that he considered as unfair to same-sex partners of foreign service officers.The 50-year-old, who is openly gay, served as a US ambassador to Romania when President Bush took office.
Cashman’s soap past raised by Cameron 3
3:46 PM — During clashes at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon Tory leader David Cameron lampooned the UK's only out gay MEP.Michael Cashman's ground-breaking portrayal of Colin Russell in EastEnders between 1986 and 1989 saw the first gay kiss in a UK soap.Mr Cashman became a Labour MEP in 1999 and is president of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.
Asian woman is Australia’s first gay Cabinet minister 1
1:31 PM — South Australia Senator Penny Wong Ying Yen has been appointed minister for water and climate change by new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.The 39-year-old lawyer is the first Asian-born person to become a Cabinet minister as well as the first out gay person of either sex.She was elected to the Senate in 2001 and last year slammed the government of John Howard for its gay rights stance.
African nations urged to embrace LGBT rights
1:07 PM — African and European LGBT organisations have asked all African states to fight homophobia as an EU-Africa summit takes place in Lisbon next weekend.ILGA Europe and its African equivalent Pan Africa ILGA have denounced "state-sponsored" homophobia on the African continent and asked that all African countries adopt the Yogyakarta Principles.Launched in March 2007, the Yogyakarta Principles are a set of principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Senate aide on child sex charges was former HRC staffer
12:58 PM — A 28 year-old Senate aide was arrested on Friday in Washington for attempting to sexually exploit a minor.Mike McHaney had previously been employed for the US largest LGBT rights group, Human Rights Campaign, based in Washington DC.The scheduler for Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington state was arrested on charges that he had arranged to have sex with what he thought was a 13-year-old boy.
Senator denies gay sex allegations from eight men 4
11:10 AM — United States Senator Larry Craig denied late yesterday that he had sexual encounters with several men over the last two decades.Craig, who has vowed to serve out his term in the Senate, said in a statement that the latest allegations against him, which appeared over the weekend in the Idaho Statesman, had "no basis in reality."He also accused the paper of "tabloid journalism" for publishing the article that included eight men who said they either had sex with the Idaho Republican in the past or that he made "sexual advances" toward them.
Comment: A bad election year for Howard and the Belgians
10:20 AM — As 2007 has only weeks left, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what has been a truly outstanding year for those of us who follow general elections around the world.And as we gear up for an equally busy 2008 with high-profile elections in Iran, Pakistan (increasingly unlikely), Russia (unless Putin changes the constitution) and New Zealand, there is the added bonus that the biggest prize of all is now less than a year away: the race for the White House.
Former Italian PM rejects gay marriage 4
10:01 AM — Italy's left-wing Foreign Minister said yesterday he is against gay marriage.Massimo D'Alema, a former Prime Minister who currently holds the highest post at the Italian Foreign office, was addressing high-school students in Rome, when he was asked his view on gay marriage.Mr D'Alema, who is not a Catholic, said that he was against marriage between gay people.
4th December 2007
Gay rights were part of rejected Venezuelan referendum 1
4:55 PM — The President of Venezuela's defeat in last Sunday's referendum on whether to change the constitution also meant that a proposal to guarantee gay rights was swept aside.Hugo Chavez wanted the changes to significantly increase his powers. The new constitutional arrangements would have allowed him to stand indefinitely for re-election.It would have also given him control over foreign currency reserves, more powers over local government and over the declaration of martial law.