26th February 2008
Spanish Prime Minister vows to defend gay rights 2
12:50 PM — In an interview with a gay magazine, the leader of Spain's Socialist party has promised to fight any attempt to remove or weaken gay rights laws he has introduced as Prime Minister.Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for March 9th. During his four years in office he has legalised gay marriage and given same-sex couples the right to adopt.The lead up to the election has been marked by bad-tempered exchanges between the government and the Roman Catholic church.
Mayoral candidates to speak at anti-homophobia day launch 57
12:50 PM — Mayoral candidates, government ministers, students and academics and national and international LGBT campaigners are all gearing up for the launch of International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO-UK 2008), which take place at the London College of Fashion on March 13th.A message of support for the IDAHO campaign will be read on behalf of incumbent Mayor Ken Livingstone. Mayor of London. Richard Barnes the Conservative Leader on the London Assembly, Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor, and Sian Berry, the Green candidate will also be speaking.
International gay rights convention not feasible says minister 2
12:30 PM — A Labour MP has asked a series of questions in the House of Commons about what steps the government is taking to bring about the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality.Ashok Kumar, who represents Middlesbrough South East Cleveland, also asked junior Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister Meg Munn to support the introduction of an international convention which explicitly recognises gay rights as essential human rights.Ms Munn referred to a joint statement she made last year as Minister for Women and Equality.
Jamaican gay cop fears for his life 2
12:01 PM — A 24-year-old police officer is in hiding in Jamaica after being abused and attacked by fellow officers because of his sexuality.Michael Hayden told the Toronto Star that he wants to seek asylum in Canada.A leading gay rights activist from Jamaica, Gareth Henry, did so last week, claiming that thirteen of his gay and lesbian friends had died in the last four years.
Gay rights group makes progress with government
12:01 PM — A gay rights group in Malta on Monday presented a petition to the country's ruling party asking for formal recognition of the rights of same sex couples.The petition presented to Malta's 'Partit Nazzjonalista' (Nationalist Party) by the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) was backed by 1,084 signatures.It also requested the inclusion of an article in the Criminal Code regarding homophobic and transphobic violence, and a clear strategy addressing homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.
Comedian backs “bitch” Hillary for President 1
10:40 AM — 30 Rock star Tina Fey set the bloggersphere on fire this week with a pro-Hillary Clinton rant on the first episode of Saturday Night Live since the Writer's Guild of America strike ended.Saying "bitch is the new black," Fey gave a passionate, thinly veiled endorsement of Clinton on SNL, urging voters on Texas and Ohio to "get on board" and vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate.As a special guest on the show, Tina Fey was quick to step right back into her old place on the show.
Anti-gay harassment project attacked by pro-family group 1
10:40 AM — A pamphlet has been sent out to 16,000 schools across the United States in an effort to protect the well-being of students "at higher risk" because of their sexual orientation.The 24-page pamphlet has been sent to all public school superintendents in a coalition led by the National Education Association (NEA) and American Psychological Association (APA).The initiative has drawn criticism from national pro-family group the Family Research Council, who have said it is a "promotion of homosexuality" in schools.
25th February 2008
Canadian gay groups oppose rise in age of consent
4:10 PM — Gay and straight youth groups in Canada have come out against a change in age of consent from 14 to 16.Richard Hudler of the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario claims that it will unfairly prejudice gay teenagers."My first lover was 17 years older than me. And this is common [among gay people]," he said. "It is dangerous, considering the attitude toward sexual orientation in schools, for a young person to attempt to make sexual contact with a peer."
Gay blood ban row moves to Scottish parliament
12:10 PM — A petition is being prepared for submission to the Scottish Parliament calling for a repeal to the ban the prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood in the UK.Rob McDowall, the creator of the petition, told PinkNews.co.uk: "Being gay doesn't prevent me from paying tax, using public transport or working in a responsible position, so why should it prevent me from giving the gift of life?"The UK Blood Transfusion Service bars men who have had sex with other men from donating blood.
Hillary leads Obama in Texas polls 1
11:50 AM — New York Senator Hillary Clinton is still leading over Illinois Senator Barack Obama in the most recent polls from Ohio and Texas.However, with a little over a week to go until the March 4th Democratic primaries in both states Clinton's lead appears to be shrinking.John McCain, meanwhile, appears to be the preferred candidate over either Democrat in Texas.A poll conducted by the Associated Press between February 16th to 20th gave Clinton a 50 percent to 43 percent lead over Barack Obama in Ohio.
Catholics unhappy at rights for gay Kosovans 2
10:40 AM — The draft constitution of Europe's newest nation is under attack from a Roman Catholic political organisation because it seeks to protect gay people from discrimination.Kosovo declared independence from Serbia earlier this month, backed by the US, the UK and other leading nations.Its draft constitution contains specific provisions to protect Kosovans from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and enshrines the right to marry but does not limit that right to a man and a woman.
Raul Castro confirmed as Cuban President
10:15 AM — The younger brother of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been approved as the country's President by the National Assembly.Fidel, 81, stepped down last week, but will remain as head of the Communist party and is expected to continue to have a strong influence on his brother.At a two-day discussion on homosexuality in Cuba held earlier this year in Madrid poet Leon de la Hoz said that many people on the island refer to Raul as "the little Chinese man with the sad eyes," a reference to his supposed repressed homosexuality.
Ralph Nader enters US Presidential race 4
9:25 AM — Perennial Presidential candidate Ralph Nader announced on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday that he will be entering the race for the White House yet again.Nader, 73, ran as an Independent in 2004 and as a Green Party candidate in 2000, a race in which he was blamed for spoiling former Vice President Al Gore's chance for a clear victory.Blogger Sandy Sand on OpEdNews.com perhaps summed up the response of many to the announcement by saying: "Just what we need."
22nd February 2008
Australia Debates Same Sex Marriage 6
3:50 PM — Greens senator Kerry Nettle has introduced a marriage equality bill to the Australian parliament calling for recognition of overseas same-sex marriages and the ability to allow local ones.Her party leader, Bob Brown, has united with Liberal Australia Capital Territory (ACT) senator Gary Humphries to condemn the new government's attitudes to the Territorial Government's civil partnerships legislation.
Irish Poet Under Fire For ‘Sexual Grooming’ 2
2:21 PM — The famous Irish poet, Cathal O Searcaigh a staple of second level school syllabuses - has been accused of the "sexual exploitation and grooming" of 16 year old Nepalese boys who he befriended and assisted financially in their education.Allegations about the poet's relationship with the young boys surfaced after the screening of Fairytale of Kathmandu, a documentary on Mr Searcaigh's charitable work in Nepal made by a former friend of his.
China Launches First HIV Prevention Programme for Gay Men
11:38 AM — China's Ministry of Health is set to implement its first ever national programme to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS among gay men, its 2008 work agenda revealed yesterday.The programme marks a subtle new phase in the one-party-state's attitudes towards homosexuality, which - while not overtly discriminatory - have followed the 'Three nos' criteria since sodomy was decriminalised in 1997: No approval, no disapproval and no promotion.
Cry for Help from Refugee Sheds Light on Desperation of Gays in Iran 30
11:08 AM — A poignant plea for help from a gay Iranian refugee in Malaysia is shedding light on the desperation and fear experienced by homosexuals in Iran and those who have fled their home country to seek refugee status in other countries.The letter, penned by a young gay man calling himself Sepehr, contains a heartbreaking tale of life as a homosexual in Iran and the suffering caused by the necessity of fleeing to another land to escape persecution and possible death.
21st February 2008
Presidential candidate denies affair with lobbyist
3:40 PM — John McCain, the US Senator from Arizona who is the frontrunner to receive the Republican party nomination for President, today rejected media reports that he had an extra-marital affair.The New York Times yesterday claimed he had a relationship with Vicki Iseman nine years ago when Senator McCain was also running for President."I'm very disappointed in the article. It's not true," he told a press conference in Toledo, Ohio.
Lesbian may run for mayor of New York City
3:25 PM — A recent speech by Christine Quinn, the Speaker of New York City's council, has sparked rumours that she may run for Mayor.Ms Quinn, a Democrat, is one of the most prominent lesbian politicians in America.In her State of the City address earlier this month she said: "I want every New Yorker to hear me when I say: We are ready."Various commentators have interpreted this to be a clear signal she intends to run for Mayor of the city.
DUP minister’s gay rugby comments “nasty and spiteful” 7
2:40 PM — A Northern Ireland minister responsible for sport has been accused of playing party politics with his recent attack on a gay rugby team.Edwin Poots said earlier this week that he "cannot fathom" why such a team is necessary and said it was a form of "apartheid."Yesterday the executive director of the cross-community Alliance Party claimed that Mr Poots' comments were made because his party, the DUP, lost a recent council by-election.