3rd December 2007
Equalisation of age of consent angers Northern Ireland politicians 2
12:00 PM — Gay rights groups in Northern Ireland are at loggerheads with the Roman Catholic Church and the Democratic Unionist Party over proposed legislation to lower the age of consent from 17 to 16, bringing it in line with the rest of the UK.Justice Minister Paul Goggins MP, who unveiled the draft Sexual Offences (NI) Order, said that there is no convincing reason for the age to be different than it is in the rest of the UK.The change to the age of consent is a matter for the British government and not the Northern Ireland Assembly or Executive.
2nd December 2007
LGBT Labour “furious” at party support for Grell 130
3:10 PM — Labour's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender society has revealed that it complained about the backing a councillor convicted of homophobic slurs against her opponent received from the party.In a statement issued shortly after Miranda Grell's appeal against her conviction for making false allegations of paedophilia against her gay opponent was rejected by Snaresbrook Crown Court, LGBT Labour said they were furious.
Brazilian president calls national LGBT conference
3:10 PM — Gay rights activists have praised Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the President of Brazil, for announcing that he is convening the first national conference of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and trans persons (LGBT).New York-based Human Rights Watch has urged people to write to Mr da Silva to congratulate him on his decision to call the conference. His decree was published in the Official Gazette last week.700 people are expected to take part, 60% civil society and 40% government.
Councillor loses paedophile slur appeal 130
2:05 PM — A Labour party councillor convicted of making false allegations of paedophilia against her gay opponent has had her appeal rejected.In September Miranda Grell was barred from public office for three years, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.Last week at Snaresbrook Crown Court her appeal against her conviction was unsuccessful.
30th November 2007
Homophobic incitement law moves forward 100
4:15 PM — A committee of MPs yesterday approved amendments to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill that will make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation an offence.None of the Conservative MPs on the committee voted against the proposals. The Bill will now proceed to a report stage and third reading in the Commons before being sent to the Lords.Justice minister Maria Eagle told the committee that the proposal is to outlaw only threatening words and behaviour.
Iraq and Afghanistan vets organise against gay ban
3:35 PM — A group of young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, veterans of the broader American "war on terrorism" and their active duty allies and supporters was launched today in the US.Servicemembers United was formed to aggressively educate both the public and policymakers about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" issue and to give a stronger voice to the majority of servicemen and women who support strengthening the US Armed Forces by repealing the discriminatory law.
Herbert blasts Labour over illegal donations 3
2:45 PM — Shadow Justice Secretary Nick Herbert has accused the government of breaking the trust of the public just months after Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister.He added that the Conservative party is confident that they have not received any donations through a third party.Yesterday the Electoral Commission announced that it has referred the illegal "anonymous" donations to Labour from property developer David Abrahams to the police.
Ireland to legislate for gay partnerships next year 13
2:45 PM — Ireland's Minister of State for Equality, Sean Power, said this morning that legislation allowing same-sex civil partnerships could be introduced by early next summer.He was speaking at the National Lesbian and Gay Federation's (NLGF) symposium on Full And Equal Rights: Lesbian And Gay Marriage And Partnership Rights In Ireland. The symposium is part of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All 2007Mr Power added that the government was keen to pass the new laws as soon as possible.
63% of LGB Americans will vote to nominate Hillary 2
9:45 AM — A new survey of likely American voters suggests Senator Hillary Clinton will have the overwhelming support of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGBs) Americans in the upcoming Democratic primaries.Sixty-three percent of those who participated in the Hunter College poll said they planned to cast their votes for the former first lady, while Senator Barack Obama and John Edwards received 22 percent and 7 percent of the vote, respectively.
29th November 2007
Ministers praise LGBT History Month at launch event 5
5:03 PM — The palatial surroundings of the Royal Courts of Justice in London served as a fitting backdrop to the pre-launch event for LBT History Month 2008.Representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service and the London Criminal Justice Board hosted Monday night's event along with Channel 4.Two government ministers addressed a crowd of more than 400 invited guests and praised the annual February event.
Gay general confronts military ban at Republican debate
3:15 PM — Last night the candidates for the Republican party nomination for President of the United States participated in a CNN-YouTube debate, hosted by Anderson Cooper.But the silver-haired presenter was not the only gay to ask a question - an out retired brigadier general called Keith Kerr wanted to know: "Why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians."Republicans immediately seized on the information that Mr Kerr is a member of the Clinton campaign gay rights steering committee.
Lithuanian authorities use security to ban gay events 2
2:30 PM — New rules passed by the city council in Vilnius will effectively outlaw gay marches and other events, according to Lithuanian gay rights advocates.Amendments to the public order and cleanliness regulations mean that the police or a special commission will be able to ban any event where they think a riot might occur.The Lithuanian Gay League is attempting to appeal this decision in court.
Harman and May clash over campaign donation 3
2:00 PM — Two women who speak on equality issues on opposite sides of the House of Commons had a heated exchange earlier today over party donations from a controversial businessman.Secretary of State for Equality Harriet Harman, who is also Leader of the House of Commons and chair of the Labour party, faced her Tory shadow Theresa May this morning at Business Questions.A £5,000 donation to Ms Harman's deputy leadership campaign, in the name of Janet Kidd, actually came from businessman David Abrahams.
Prime Minister hosts reception for HIV charity
1:45 PM — Gordon and Sarah Brown held a reception at Downing St last night in honour of the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT).The charity, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is the leading HIV and AIDS charity in the UK, and the largest in Europe.Mr and Mrs Brown were joined by singer Dannii Minogue, THT ambassador for young people, and people working with the charity to devise a new style of sex education for 13 to 19-year-olds.
US hate crimes bill in “serious jeopardy” 7
12:55 PM — American gay rights campaigners have warned that there could be less than a week to save a new bill before Congress that extends federal hate crime laws to LGBT people.In April the proposed new federal law, that would grant protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the United States, was named after the murdered gay teenager who brought the issue of hate crimes into the American consciousness.Matthew Shepard was beaten and left for dead, tied to a fence in freezing Wyoming in 1998.
Will Clegg or Huhne get the pink vote?
12:31 PM — 65,000 members of the Liberal Democrat party have been sent ballot papers 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.
Equality minister faces questions over donation
11:20 AM — Cabinet minister Harriet Harman will face questions in the Commons this morning over what she knew about an illegal donation to her campaign for deputy leader.As Leader of the House, she will make a statement about forthcoming business and take questions from MPs.She was expected to appear yesterday in her role as minister for women during a debate on rape law but did not do so.
Comment: Gay voters could hold the keys to the White House 2
11:15 AM — If you haven't checked your calendar lately, there are exactly 418 days left in the Bush Presidency, and one of the most interesting and perhaps ground breaking elections is right around the corner.While many American voters are split on perennial election issues such as the war in Iraq, abortion, education and immigration, next year's election could offer up a whole new issue that ultimately decides who the next president of the United States will be.With so many gay issues circulating Washington lately, it could just be that the gay vote is what sways the way the administration will be run.
Tribute to thousands of dismissed gay soldiers
10:35 AM — Tomorrow gay activists will mark the 14th anniversary of the ban on openly gay, lesbian or bisexual people serving in the US military.The Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers United, Log Cabin Republicans, Servicemembers Legal Defence Network and Liberty Education Forum are to host a three-day tribute, 12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots, on the National Mall.The events recognise the 12,000 men and women kicked out of the military since the signing of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
28th November 2007
MEPs call on Poland to approve human rights charter 13
3:15 PM — The European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights has urged the Polish government to maintain its post-campaign promise to have the country become a full party to the Charter of Fundamental Rights alongside other EU member states.In an address to the Polish parliament last week new Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he will honour the commitment of the previous government and join the UK as the only nations in the 27-member EU to opt out.The charter will become legally binding on EU institutions.