7th December 2007
US Congress drops hate crime bill
10:20 AM — Congressional aides are reporting that a US House-Senate conference committee has dropped the hate-crimes legislation co-sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith and Edward Kennedy from a defence authorisation bill because it did not have sufficient support in the House.The legislation, formally known as the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, would have expanded federal law to include crimes committed against people because of their gender, sexual orientation or disability.
6th December 2007
Donations to Harman were secret to avoid “Jewish conspiracy” 1
7:01 PM — The businessman at the centre of the government's donations scandal says that he secretly donated to the Equality Secretary, Harriet Harman's campaign to become Deputy Leader of the Labour party to avoid accusations of being part of a "Jewish conspiracy."Batchelor, David Abrahams told the Jewish Chronicle that blame for the scandal where he donated £663,975 to Labour through proxies lies with Jon Mendelsohn, Gordon Brown's fundraiser.
EXCLUSIVE: Follett – there are no donations
5:08 PM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveEquality minister Barbara Follett has responded to allegations that she has received donations from her husband that she did not declare."Because I want to give the people of Stevenage the best possible service I can, I spend all of my MP's salary, allowances and some of my personal income running my constituency and parliamentary offices," she said in a statement to PinkNews.co.uk.
Questions over equality minister donations
3:35 PM — The husband of Barbara Follett may have inadvertantly embroiled her in the furore over donations.Ms Follett is the minister for equality, which includes LGBT rights.Her husband, multi-millionaire novelist Ken Follett, is a longtime Labour supporter.In an appearance BBC's Sunday AM with Andrew Marr on 2nd December, he boasted that: "I actually subsidise it to the tune of every year at least a hundred thousand pounds a year."
Irish minister rules out referendum on gay marriage 13
1:02 PM — Ireland's Minister of Justice has rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.Labour Minister Brian Lenihan said civil partnership was easier to achieve, because gay marriage would require a constitutional change that would split the country.Speaking at the annual meeting of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, an LGBT organisation that is campaigning for gay marriage, he said he was keen to guarantee equality to gay people.
Labour fund created to support LGBT candidates 1
12:11 PM — The Labour Party has launched a campaign fund to support LGBT candidates, especially women, at future elections.Dorothy's List was set up with the objective of raising £2,000 to help members of the LGBT community overcome the obstacles which they face when running for political office.LGBT Labour said that they have so far received a positive response both from the LGBT community and from Labour party candidates and members.
5th December 2007
Iran carries out execution for juvenile crimes 34
5:58 PM — Makvan Mouloodzadeh was executed in Kermanshah Central Prison at 5 a.m. this morning, Iranian time.Neither Mr Mouloodzadeh's family or his lawyer were told about the execution until after it occurred.The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) reports that despite an order by the Iranian Chief Justice to nullify his death sentence, he was put to death.
Gay US ambassador leaves over discrimatory treatment
4:45 PM — A former US ambassador left his post at the State Department after criticising Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's treatment of gay people.Michael E Guest retired from the State Department after more than 26 years as a form of protest against regulations that he considered as unfair to same-sex partners of foreign service officers.The 50-year-old, who is openly gay, served as a US ambassador to Romania when President Bush took office.
Cashman’s soap past raised by Cameron 3
3:46 PM — During clashes at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon Tory leader David Cameron lampooned the UK's only out gay MEP.Michael Cashman's ground-breaking portrayal of Colin Russell in EastEnders between 1986 and 1989 saw the first gay kiss in a UK soap.Mr Cashman became a Labour MEP in 1999 and is president of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.
Asian woman is Australia’s first gay Cabinet minister 1
1:31 PM — South Australia Senator Penny Wong Ying Yen has been appointed minister for water and climate change by new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.The 39-year-old lawyer is the first Asian-born person to become a Cabinet minister as well as the first out gay person of either sex.She was elected to the Senate in 2001 and last year slammed the government of John Howard for its gay rights stance.
African nations urged to embrace LGBT rights
1:07 PM — African and European LGBT organisations have asked all African states to fight homophobia as an EU-Africa summit takes place in Lisbon next weekend.ILGA Europe and its African equivalent Pan Africa ILGA have denounced "state-sponsored" homophobia on the African continent and asked that all African countries adopt the Yogyakarta Principles.Launched in March 2007, the Yogyakarta Principles are a set of principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Senate aide on child sex charges was former HRC staffer
12:58 PM — A 28 year-old Senate aide was arrested on Friday in Washington for attempting to sexually exploit a minor.Mike McHaney had previously been employed for the US largest LGBT rights group, Human Rights Campaign, based in Washington DC.The scheduler for Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington state was arrested on charges that he had arranged to have sex with what he thought was a 13-year-old boy.
Senator denies gay sex allegations from eight men 4
11:10 AM — United States Senator Larry Craig denied late yesterday that he had sexual encounters with several men over the last two decades.Craig, who has vowed to serve out his term in the Senate, said in a statement that the latest allegations against him, which appeared over the weekend in the Idaho Statesman, had "no basis in reality."He also accused the paper of "tabloid journalism" for publishing the article that included eight men who said they either had sex with the Idaho Republican in the past or that he made "sexual advances" toward them.
Comment: A bad election year for Howard and the Belgians
10:20 AM — As 2007 has only weeks left, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what has been a truly outstanding year for those of us who follow general elections around the world.And as we gear up for an equally busy 2008 with high-profile elections in Iran, Pakistan (increasingly unlikely), Russia (unless Putin changes the constitution) and New Zealand, there is the added bonus that the biggest prize of all is now less than a year away: the race for the White House.
Former Italian PM rejects gay marriage 4
10:01 AM — Italy's left-wing Foreign Minister said yesterday he is against gay marriage.Massimo D'Alema, a former Prime Minister who currently holds the highest post at the Italian Foreign office, was addressing high-school students in Rome, when he was asked his view on gay marriage.Mr D'Alema, who is not a Catholic, said that he was against marriage between gay people.
4th December 2007
Gay rights were part of rejected Venezuelan referendum 1
4:55 PM — The President of Venezuela's defeat in last Sunday's referendum on whether to change the constitution also meant that a proposal to guarantee gay rights was swept aside.Hugo Chavez wanted the changes to significantly increase his powers. The new constitutional arrangements would have allowed him to stand indefinitely for re-election.It would have also given him control over foreign currency reserves, more powers over local government and over the declaration of martial law.
EU reports show increased awareness of LGBT rights
4:55 PM — Progress reports released by the European Commission last month show improvements in the monitoring of LBGT rights in countries looking to join the European Union.Each year the European Commission monitors the achievements and progress of each of the EU candidate (Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey) and potential candidate countries in fulfilling the obligations of the partnership agreements between the country and the EU.
Irish justice minister’s first speech to gay audience 11
2:35 PM — Brian Lenihan, Ireland's Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, will make his first address to a lesbian and gay audience today when he launches the annual report of the Gay Lesbian Equality Network.The GLEN report outlines the considerable progress towards legal recognition for same-sex couples and the advances made in other areas including community safety strategies with the Gardaí (Irish police).The report also highlights new resource guides for inclusion and safety in education.
Amnesty protests gay convictions in Morocco 1
2:10 PM — A leading human rights group is calling on its members to protest against the conviction of six men in Morocco accused of "lewd of unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex."Amnesty International wants its 2.2 million members worldwide to write to the Moroccan authorities demanding the release of men, who were convicted on 10 December.They have been in jail since they were first arrested by the police between November 23rd and 25th 2007.
Interview: Irish gay rights group takes on partnerships
2:01 PM — Ireland has come a long way since decriminalising homosexuality in 1993.Last week the Republic of Ireland's Minister of State for Equality, Sean Power, reiterated that legislation allowing same-sex civil partnerships will be introduced next year.While ruling out gay marriage as unconstitutional, he did confirm that gay and straight co-habiting couples would get many spousal rights through the Civil Partnership Registration Scheme.