26th November 2007
Government “split” over homophobic incitement law 5
10:45 AM — The government's chief law officer does not support a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, according to a report in The Times. Baroness Scotland, the Attorney General, has privately clashed with Justice Secretary Jack Straw over the proposals, which form part of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill which is before Parliament.The Times reports that Baroness Scotland is concerned the homophobic incitement proposals will be blocked or watered down by the House of Lords.
Interview: Maria Eagle defends homophobic incitement law
10:00 AM — The government's proposal to create a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation has not been met with approval by some leading gay commentators.Well-respected opinion-formers such as Times columnist Matthew Parris and Independent journalist Johann Hari have questioned the need for new laws.Parris said that the gay community does not need protection from ridicule.
24th November 2007
Howard loses his seat as Australia votes for change 1
2:30 PM — John Howard has admitted that he's lost the Australian general election to the the Labour leader Kevin Rudd. Mr Howard became only the second Prime Minister in Australian history to lose his own Parliamentary seat.He said he had telephoned Mr Rudd "to congratulate him on an emphatic victory."Mr Rudd said the country had "looked to the future" he said he will be a Prime Minister "for all Australians."
23rd November 2007
Howard upbeat as Australians go to the polls 1
6:18 PM — Just hours before Australians go to the polls in a federal election, it looks like the predicted landslide win by Labour could turn out to be a close-run thing.The opposition party, out of power since 1996, has seen a consistent lead over the incumbent Liberals halve in one recent poll to 4%.Prime Minister John Howard, seeking a fifth term in office and widely expected to suffer a catastrophic defeat, was upbeat today.
Protests ask Commonwealth to “fight” gays 10
3:25 PM — A group of anti-gay activists has protested in Uganda against gay rights and accused Europeans of trying to change the law to decriminalise homosexuality.The demonstration by the Rainbow Coalition against Homosexuality took place at Kololo airport yesterday, and was led by Pastor Martin Sempa, who has generated large amounts of publicity through his attacks on gay people in Uganda.Her Majesty the Queen is in the African nation to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Greens launch campaign for Mayor of London
2:09 PM — Sian Berry today launched her campaign to become Green Mayor of London.Earlier this year the 33-year-old won 45% of the party member's votes to become her party's candidate.Among the Green pledges unveiled at the launch of her campaign at City Hall was a "living wage" of £7.20 an hour for all Londoners working for public employers, cuts to off-peak travel fares and an increase in affordable housing across the capital.
Tatchell to celebrate 40 years of activism 2
12:40 PM — One of the best-known gay rights advocates in Britain will soon be celebrating his 40th year of human rights campaigning.Peter Tatchell began his first campaign in 1967 in his native Australia against the death penalty and opposition to conscription and the Australian and US war against the people of Vietnam."It is a great honour and privilege to have been part of the international human rights movement," said Mr Tatchell.
22nd November 2007
Labour peer defends lesbian sister’s parental rights 20
5:05 PM — The House of Lords continued its debate on the second reading of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill yesterday.During the debate a leading Labour peer revealed that his sister is a lesbian who had a child with her partner.Conservative elected hereditary peer Lord Elton said it was "extraordinary" to remove the need for a father. "It seems to me grotesque and unpleasant," he said.
Echoes of Diana as Queen shakes hands with HIV+ man 10
3:50 PM — Her Majesty the Queen visited a clinic for people with AIDS for the first time today.During a state visit to Uganda the monarch shook hands with Steven Wakodo, who is HIV+, echoing the famous handshake between Diana, Princess of Wales and an HIV+ person in April 1987.The Princess's gesture helped overcome the fear of AIDS, demonstrating that the HIV virus cannot be transmitted by touch.
21st November 2007
Catholic MPs to vote for same-sex parent rights 20
5:10 PM — Labour MPs will not be given a free vote on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, it has emerged.Traditionally members are given a free vote on issues deemed to be a matter of conscience.However, growing backbench unease about the proposals has led government sources to confirm that the bill will be subject to a three-line whip, meaning all Labour MPs must vote in favour of it.
British government releases Iran hanging documents 1
3:15 PM — Information has been released for the first time from the Foreign and Commonwealth office regarding the execution of gays in Iran.The documentation takes the form of correspondence sent between embassies throughout the EU and dates back as far as May 2005.It refers specifically to the case of two boys, Mahmoud Asqari, who was under 18 at the time the alleged offence was committed, and Ayad Marhouni who were hung in public.
Lords debate more rights for same-sex couples 20
12:50 PM — Today the House of Lords will continue to debate the second reading of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.During Monday's debate bishops and peers disagreed on the role of fathers.For the government, Lord Darzi of Denham explained the purpose of the bill is to "ensure that the law remains effective and fit for purpose in the 21st century."
Trans candidate faces legal challenge
12:30 PM — Two city council candidates in the US have filed petitions against a transgender candidate accusing her of committing fraud.Georgia Fuller and Stanley Harris, who both lost their bids for seats, have filed the lawsuit in Georgia claiming that Michelle Bruce falsely identified herself as female in the election earlier this month.The case, which identifies her as 'Michael Bruce', has asked the judge to rule the election invalid.
Would you vote Clegg or Huhne for Lib Dem leader? 1
10:20 AM — Today 65,000 members of the Liberal Democrat party are being sent a ballot paper to vote for a new leader.Nick Clegg, 40, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesperson, and Chris Huhne, 53, the party's environment spokesperson, are the candidates.Much has been made in these first few weeks of the race to become leader of the Liberal Democrats about the similarities between the candidates.
19th November 2007
Senate blocks backdoor appointment of Bush nominee 3
6:15 PM — Suggestions that the President of the United States was to use Congress' two-week Thanksgiving recess to appoint a new Surgeon General without Senate approval have been quashed by a legislative manoeuvre.Dr James Holsinger, the President's nominee for the post, last week reportedly told friends that he will be appointed during the recess, side-stepping the need for Congressional approval.He has been criticised by gay rights groups, physicians and politicians for writing in 1991 that gay sex is unnatural and unhealthy.
First gay Somali website launched 74
6:15 PM — A website aimed at improving communication between Somalian gay men has now gone live.The site, the first of its kind for the Muslim East African nation, is aimed at the UK Somalian gay community but it is hoped that it will reach those who feel trapped in the homophobic country and show that there are others like them.
Peer collapses during gay parents debate 11
6:15 PM — A Lords debate on a proposed new law that would make gay and lesbian parenting easier was adjourned after a peer collapsed in the House yesterday.The move was aimed at making the need for a father at IVF children unnecessary.Some peers however said it should uphold the importance of both parents.
Police offficer cautioned in cruising crackdown 6
6:15 PM — A total of 32 people, including a police officer, have been cautioned as a result of a crackdown on cruising in a toilet block in Wallasey, Liverpool.Six people were charged under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for the alleged sexual activity that happened in the toilets on Harrison Drive in the New Brighton area of the city earlier this year.
Arizona city vows to protect LGBT people 57
6:15 PM — A city in Arizona's Personnel Board has voted unanimously to recommend the city protects gays and transgender people from discrimination.This is the first of Scottsdale's three part ordinance, including a proposal requiring all of the cities businesses to offer protection for the LGBT community.There were a few objections to the board's approval.
Australian opposition leader vows he won’t turn gay
6:15 PM — Front runner in the up-coming Australian elections, Kevin Rudd, agreed to answer a question about who he would turn gay for on a TV show last week.The Labour leader became the first political leader to brave the popular youth variety show Rove Live.During the programme Mr Rudd admitted to being a "nerd" and also said he could beat current Prime Minister John Howard in a bar fight.