21st February 2008
Malta’s gay group ask for equal rights
12:50 PM — The gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans communities in the tiny EU nation of Malta have presented a petition asking for a range of measures to be introduced to protect them through the law, and have received the backing of a fringe political party.Alternattiva Demokratika leader Harry Vassallo said yesterday that the recognition of gay rights would be a step forward, according to the Times of Malta.He said he was supporting the petition organised by the Malta Gay Rights Movement.
Black US state legislator comes out
12:10 PM — Democratic Connecticut State Representative Jason Bartlett made the decision on Thursday to come out publicly as a gay man.Bartlett says he has always preferred to keep his personal life private, but felt the announcement was needed to quell the rumours about his sexual orientation.Bartlett's coming out makes him unique in the political world as the first openly gay black state legislator.
Obama’s momentum is a serious challenge to Clinton
12:01 PM — In politics, the operative rule to live by is -"it ain't over till it's over" — and the Democratic national convention is still six months away. Anything can happen.But, and this is a BIG 'but,' with his blowout wins in Hawaii and Wisconsin's open primary on Tuesday, Illinois Senator Barack Obama has now won ten contests in a row in the Presidential race against New York Senation Hillary Clinton, once considered the Democratic party's "inevitable" nominee.
20th February 2008
Israeli politician claims gays cause earthquakes 14
6:25 PM — An outspoken member of Israel's parliament has said recent earthquakes that have hit the country are a consequence of gay rights laws.Shlomo Benizri, who is a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, was speaking in a Knesset (parliament) debate on earthquake preparedness.After reading passages from the Old Testament, he said that in his view one cause of earthquakes is that "the Knesset gives legitimacy, to sodomy.
Focus on next US President’s gay appointments
2:30 PM — Some of America's biggest gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans rights groups have come together to launch the Presidential Appointments Project.Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Stonewall Democrats are all part of the project.It is designed to help grow the pool of openly LGBT professionals who would be qualified and ready to accept politically appointed positions in the next US Presidential administration.
Slovenia to host conference on gay families
1:35 PM — Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans activists, decision makers and experts will attend a conference in Slovenia next month which aims to draw attention to the to the lack of recognition and existing discrimination LGBT families face in Europe.At present only three of the 27 EU member states legally recognise same-sex marriage, six allow equivalent civil registration schemes and a further seven have schemes which provide considerably less rights and protections than marriage.The conference is being held in Slovenia as they currently hold the EU presidency.
Obama continues his winning streak in Wisconsin
8:03 AM — Barack Obama, the 46-year-old African-American running to win the Democratic party nomination for President of the United States, is expected to win two more state competitions held yesterday.He took Wisconsin, his ninth win in a row over his only rival, former First Lady Hillary Clinton.Polling data indicates she is losing support among key groups such as white men and women and lower income voters.
Paddick welcomes poll result 11
7:30 AM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has welcomed a PinkNews.co.uk poll that showed he has strong support in the gay community.Brian Paddick, a former Metropolitan police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, won less first preference votes than incumbent Mayor and Labour's candidate Ken Livingstone in the poll but took more second preference votes.
DUP minister calls gay rugby “apartheid” 7
6:35 AM — The Northern Ireland minister for arts and culture has attacked the formation of a gay rugby team in the province.Edwin Poots said he "cannot fathom why people see the necessity to develop an apartheid in sport."The minister is a member of the Democratic Unionist Party, an organisation notorious for its homophobia.As a councillor in Lisburn, County Antrim, he tried to ban gay and lesbian couples from holding civil partnerships in the town hall.
19th February 2008
Paisley Snr implicated in corruption allegations 5
4:20 PM — The First Minister of Northern Ireland is facing questions about his future following the resignation of his son as a junior minister in the province's Executive.Ian Paisley Snr, 81, has been drawn into the controversy surrounding his son and namesake's lobbying on behalf of a property developer.In May 2007 his son caused outrage with homophobic comments he made in a magazine interview.
Brian Paddick tops PinkNews.co.uk poll 11
3:20 PM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has come top of a poll of PinkNews.co.uk's London readers.Incumbent Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone won the most first preference votes, but was overtaken by Brian Paddick when valid second preference votes were counted.The Mayor of London is elected by the Supplementary Vote (SV) system, and PinkNews.co.uk used the same system to calculate which candidate won the poll.
Castro’s departure brings hope for gay Cubans 1
2:30 PM — Fidel Castro today announced his resignation as the political and military leader of Cuba, 49 years after he seized power and installed a Communist regime in the Caribbean island nation.The 81-year-old's poor health in recent years has sparked a renewed national debate about the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Cubans.Sexual diversity was seen by Fidel Castro as a corrupt consequence of capitalism.
Gay Iranian teen faces deportation 23
2:30 PM — A gay teenager from Iran who fled the UK for the Netherlands last year after his appeal for asylum was refused by the Home Office has been arrested by Dutch authorities.He is reported to be due to be returned to the UK next week, where he may face deportation back to Iran.19-year-old Mehdi Kazemi is currently being held by police in Rotterdam pending his return to the UK.
Interview: Mayoral candidate wants London free of the EU
12:20 PM — The UK Independence Party is misunderstood and misrepresented, their candidate for Mayor of London tells me when we meet.Gerard Batten is a somewhat unusual politician, in that he is a member of a parliament that he desires to have no power over the lives of his constituents.As an MEP for London since 2004, he spends his days in Brussels trying to think up new ways to discredit and dismantle the European Union (or "ferment rebellion" as he describes it).
Charity welcomes landmark cyberbullying conviction 6
12:20 PM — An anti-bullying charity has welcomed a landmark ruling on cyberbullying handed down by a court in Brighton.A 17-year-old was convicted of harassment after creating a fake profile on the social networking site Bebo and driving his former friend to attempt suicide by luring him into an online relationship and then telling friends and teachers intimate details of their online conversations.The 16-year-old victim, from Brighton, East Sussex, swallowed 60 painkillers. Brighton Youth Court was told the victim's life was saved by his mother, who took him to hospital.
Russia to hold anti-homophobia week
11:30 AM — Major cities across Russia are to hold events in support of Russian Week against Homophobia next month, as a reaction to the homophobic attitudes which still prevail within the country.It has been 15 years since criminal prosecution of male homosexuality was repealed in Russia.Russian Week against Homophobia is an attempt to attract public attention to the problem of homophobia in Russian society.
Clinton campaign accuses Obama of plagiarism 1
12:40 AM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama is not troubled by accusations he plagiarised portions of a recent speech from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson accused Obama of unabashed plagiarism in using Patrick's words without credit and said his actions "raises questions about the premise of his candidacy." The latest brouhaha between the Obama and Clinton campaigns emerged over a recent speech.
18th February 2008
Spanish gays protest at party’s homophobia
5:55 PM — Spain's Federation of Gays and Lesbians held a protest outside the headquarters of the country's main opposition party on Saturday.Mariano Rajoy, who leads the conservative Partido Popular (PP), said in an interview last week that he is ready to take the right to adopt away from gay couples.Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for March 9th.
Gay groups welcome Paisley resignation 5
4:00 PM — Ian Paisley Jnr's announcement today that he is to resign from the Northern Ireland Executive has been welcomed by groups working for gay equality in the province.Mr Paisley Jnr was a junior minister in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, the department responsible for equality in the power-sharing executive.He resigned today amid allegations that he lobbied on behalf of a property developer in relation to a £50m government land deal.
Homophobic minister Ian Paisley resigns from government 6
1:02 PM — A junior minister in the Northern Ireland government who was heavily criticised last year for calling gay people repulsive has resigned.Ian Paisley Jnr has come under pressure over his links with property developers and lobbyists."With a certain degree of sadness I have informed the First Minister of my intention to resign from ministerial office," he said.