14th December 2007
Top brass speak out against US military gay ban
10:23 AM — 28 retired, high-ranking American military leaders have signed a letter calling for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."In the years since the policy was enacted, over 12,000 men and women have been discharged from the US military under the policy.The letter marks the single largest number of Generals and Admirals from the US Armed Forces to come out against the ban.
13th December 2007
MEPs want to block state funding for hate groups 1
4:54 PM — The European Parliament has called for public funding to be withdrawn from political parties, media organisations or businesses that incite to hate of a group of people on the basis of their race, religion, handicap, sexual orientation or nationality.Meeting in Strasbourg, the parliament today adopted a resolution to show its concern that several EU countries have experienced increased hate crimes against minority groups.The text of the resolution was adopted by 527 votes, with 15 against and 39 abstentions.
Lesbian denied teaching permit in Chile
4:10 PM — Gay rights leaders in Chile have said they are disappointed at the government's stance regarding a lesbian teacher who is being denied re-certification.Sandra Pavez taught religious education at a state elementary school in Santiago for 21 years.The Roman Catholic church revoked her permission to teach religion after finding out she is a lesbian. In Chile religious education teachers legally have to be certified by a religious authority in order to teach.
ANC challenged over equality for LGBT South Africans 1
2:30 PM — As South Africa's main political party prepares for its 52nd congress, LGBT groups have issued a manifesto asking for a clear commitment to equality.The African National Congress, which will meet this weekend to decide the next leader of the party and its future political stance, has been asked by the Joint Workers Group to uphold the Constitution's promise of "freedom, justice and equality for all."The ANC has been South Africa's governing party since 1994. The current party leader Thabo Mbeki is the country's President .
Paisley and McGuinness disagree over gay rights 4
2:15 PM — The First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland are reportedly at loggerheads over the introduction of EU legislation granting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people equal rights.An agreed position on the Gender, Goods and Services Directive must be reached by December 21st or the Northern Ireland Executive faces fines and legal proceedings.A committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly was presented with a letter from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).
Clinton and Obama tied in polls
11:10 AM — With less than a month to go before the first Presidential primary, Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are in a statistical dead heat according to the results of the latest CNN/WMUR poll released this morning.Not long ago, Clinton was thought to have a pretty substantial lead over her Oprah-backed competitor, but in the last few months the gap has narrowed.Since the last CNN/WMUR poll conducted in November, the former First Lady has dropped 5 percentage points.
12th December 2007
Tory MEPs disrupt Euro treaty ceremony 3
5:55 PM — EU leaders signed the Charter of Fundamental Rights today as some MEPs including Tories loudly protested, asking for a referendum on the reformed treaty.During the ceremony in Strasbourg protesters shouted as Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, whose country currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, was speaking."No matter how loud you heckle and yell, today is a day of fundamental importance for Europe," he said.
Election leaflet investigated for inciting gay hate
4:30 PM — An election pamphlet produced by the Liberal party in Australia is being investigated after complaints that it was designed to stir up hatred of lesbian and gay people.Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner will investigate the leaflet, which called same-sex marriage and trans rights extreme and harmful and associated them with the pirate skull and crossbones motif."The purpose of the Liberal pamphlet was not to promote policy debate but to foster fear, ignorance and hatred," said Martine Delaney.
Taiwanese Presidential candidate victim of gay slurs
3:20 PM — A senior official in the Taiwan Ministry of Education has outraged equality groups with a series of comments about a leading political party's candidate for President.Chuang Kuo-jung, secretary-general of the ministry, said that the Kuomintang party's Presidential candidate, Ma Ying-jeou, was effeminate.He also said that the mayor of Taipei "looked very much like a gay," according to Central News Agency.
Gay Swedish MP in homophobic attack
2:10 PM — An openly gay Swedish politician was attacked on Saturday night in central Stockholm by a group of homophobic skinheads.After leaving a nightclub, Centre Party MP Fredrick Federley was approached by a group of about six young men who began insulting him and the two men who were with him."Then they screamed that we were disgusting and a threat to Sweden and that they were going to beat us up," said Federley.
Huckabee in hot water over AIDS isolation comments 3
10:50 AM — The mother of Ryan White has requested a little one-on-one time with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee after he told reporters this weekend that he stands by past comments suggesting AIDS patients should have been "isolated."Jeanne White-Ginder is the mother of the Indiana teen who raised awareness about AIDS in the early 1980s when he contracted the disease from the blood-clotting agent used to treat his hemophilia.
Ban gays from political office says cardinal 15
10:04 AM — A Roman Catholic Cardinal has suggested that gay people should be banned from political office.Latvia's Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis resigned last week and the Archbishop of Riga Janis Pujats warned new candidates not to support LGBT related issues.He asked that all candidates running for the post of Prime Minister state whether they intended to "defend the Latvian nation against the invasion of homosexuality in public life."
11th December 2007
Equality commission considers incitement proposals 1
5:31 PM — The Equality and Human Rights Commission has yet to decide whether it supports the government's proposal to make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence.The legal committee of the commission is to meet on Thursday to discuss the proposal, which has received cross-party support in the House of Commons.The commission is designed to promote a fair, equal and diverse society and tackling illegal discrimination.
EU pressures member states on discrimination 1
4:40 PM — The European Commission is examining replies from three member states after it had warned them to transpose into national law a 2000 directive against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.The Commission had sent letters of formal notice to Italy and Latvia on December 15th 2006 and to Finland on January 3rd 2007.Two members of the EU Parliament, Marco Cappato and Sophie In't Veld, last month asked for the intervention of the Commission.
Interview: A rising star in the Tory firmament 11
1:45 PM — The 2005 intake of MPs contained the usual mix of the good, the bad and the barmy. There were 50 new Conservative MPs, a brace of freshman Lib Dems and hardly any new Labour faces at all.The new Tory boys and girls were instrumental in propelling David Cameron (2001) into power, and he has rewarded the best and the brightest with seats in his Shadow Cabinet.Nicholas Le Quesne Herbert is one of two Nicks who first sat on the green benches two years ago to keep an eye on in the years ahead.
Race for Iowa heats up as Oprah joins Obama 2
12:01 PM — Democratic Presidential candidate frontrunners are pulling out the big guns this week to woo voters in Iowa.While Barack Obama leans on Oprah Winfrey's star power to pull in crowds, Hillary turns to support from daughter Chelsea Clinton and mother Dorothy Rodham to lend her campaign a softer 'family' feel.This week, Hillary Clinton debuted two more weapons in her arsenal to claim victory in Presidential primary race.
Scottish attitudes to LGBT changing but prejudice remains 1
11:25 AM — Results from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey which show the country is becoming more accepting of the LGBT community were announced this morning.The survey, conducted for the Scottish Government, found that the number of people who think same-sex relationships are always or mostly wrong has dropped 11% since 2002 to 30%.65% of people who took part think Scotland should do everything it can to tackle all kinds of prejudice.
Opposition to restrictions on HIV+ travellers to US 6
11:15 AM — An American organisation that works for full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV has expressed its opposition to new rules from the US government concerning HIV positive visitors.Lambda Legal is opposing regulations proposed by the Department of Homeland Security on Issuance of a Visa and Authorisation for Temporary Admission into the United States for Certain Non-immigrant Aliens Infected with HIV.
Gay rights protests at Cameroon embassies
10:03 AM — Activists in France, South Africa and the United States descended on Cameroonian embassies today to express their anger at a pattern of arrests and harassment of gay men and lesbians in that country.More than 30 people have been arrested in Cameroon in the last two years on charges of homosexuality, despite an October 2006 ruling by the United Nations that termed such arrests to be arbitrary and unfair.Dozens of students, particularly girls and young women, have been expelled from schools as result of their real or perceived sexual orientation.
10th December 2007
Holland to fight for global gay rights 6
5:10 PM — The Dutch government has announced that it is determined to fight discrimination against gay and lesbian people both at home and abroad.Last month the Dutch Cooperation Development minister, Bert Koenders, said in a letter to the Parliament that in its foreign relations "the Netherlands will promote equal rights for gays as much as possible."The centre-left government has also announced it would also tackle rising homophobia at home.