20th February 2008
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.
Gay Congressmen defends his record on trans rights 2
11:30 AM — The only out gay man in the US Congress has rejected accusations that he was responsible for the removal of trans people from a workplace protection bill.In November the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was passed by the House by 235 to 184.ENDA was originally designed to make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or promote a person based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Bush urges continuation of abstinence programmes 1
11:02 AM — US President has said that Congress should "stop the squabbling" over the requirement for no sex before marriage in some AIDS programmes in Africa.The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was created in 2003 and has increased the number of Africans receiving anti-retroviral treatment from 50,000 to 1.2 million.However, by law one-third of that prevention funding must teach exclusively abstinence until marriage programmes.
US changes policy on HIV+ diplomats
10:40 AM — The US State Department has decided that people who are HIV positive will be considered as candidates for the foreign service.The government was facing a lawsuit from an HIV positive man who was denied entry to the service under a rule changed last week.Gay rights group Lambda Legal welcomed the decision."At long last, the State Department is taking down its sign that read, 'People with HIV need not apply,'" said HIV project director Bebe Anderson.
Cameron’s wife changed his mind on Section 28 3
10:20 AM — A new documentary examining the political influences on Conservative leader David Cameron has revealed that he was persuaded to drop his support for Section 28 by his wife Samantha.Nick Boles, the Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Grantham and Stafford and a close friend of the couple, told the Radio 4 programme that Mrs Cameron was instrumental in turning her husband into a moderniser.Mr Cameron, who became an MP in 2001, married Samantha in 1996.
15th February 2008
Human rights groups protest at HIV arrests in Egypt 5
3:40 PM — Cairo police have arrested four more men suspected of having HIV, signaling a wider crackdown that endangers public health and violates basic human rights in Egypt, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today in a joint statement.The recent arrests bring to 12 the number of men held in a campaign against people police suspect of being HIV-positive.Four have already been sentenced to a year in jail and eight are still in custody.