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.
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.