23rd March 2006
Red Cross re-thinks gay blood donation policy 5
12:00 AM — The American red cross are considering repealing a 16 year old ban, preventing gay people from giving blood. It announced that providing the person has not had sex for a year, gay blood donations should be accepted.The American Food and Drug Administration must now undertake a risk assessment process that could see the ban lifted within the next 6 months.
Tipping point for gay marriage in America?
12:00 AM — When the Pew Research Centre conducted their annual poll examining people's attitudes towards the gay community, they had a pleasant surprise. In every category support for gay people had increased.On the thorny subject of gay marriage, 51% of the people questioned opposed it. This is a small but significant drop in objectors since 2004, when the poll reported that 63% of Americans were against it, many of whom "strongly objected".
Pro gay adoption organisation seeks parents 10
12:00 AM — As Catholic adoption agencies bicker about allowing gay couples to adopt, one agency in San Francisco is welcoming them with open arms.With a new publicity drive launching on Monday and a new slogan, "there's no place like home" Family Builders is determined to help children find families be they straight or gay.
Comment: Why I support free speech even if it mocks me 1
12:00 AM — In the run up to a Freedom of Expression Rally to be held at 2pm in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 25th March 2006, Human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell explains to PinkNews.co.uk readers why he feels free speech is under attack and needs defending.The rally is backed mostly by secular, humanist and libertarian groups, but with support from some left-wingers and liberal Muslims but some of my friends on the left are refusing to take part...
Homophobia rife in US police force Amnesty Report claims
12:00 AM — Thousands of gay bisexual and lesbian people are victims of abuse, discrimination and even torture, claims a new Amnesty International report published today.The report, "Stonewalled - Still demanding respect", is based on extensive interviews that the human rights organisation conducted with gay people, law enforcers activists and lawyers."The interviews reveal a very clear and worrying pattern. Cases of beatings, sexual violence, verbal abuse, harassment and humiliation by law enforcement officials against LGBT people take place," said Amnesty International.
22nd March 2006
Parity for gay men in South Korean army
12:00 AM — South Korea's defence ministry issued a statement addressing the issue of the treatment of gay soldiers in the army."The military will treat homosexual soldiers the same as heterosexual ones," the ministry said in a written statement distributed to news gathering groups.
Conservative Jews divided over gay rights
12:00 AM — Moves to lift a ban on gay rabbis and marriages has come has proved a sticking point for the leaders of the American Conservative Judaism community convening in an annual meeting in Mexico City.The Conservative Judaism movement who claim to be an attempt to reconcile traditional Judaism and modernity have been overtaken as the largest Jewish group in the USA by the more liberal, Reform movement.
Gay asylum seekers sent back to Iran
12:00 AM — Gay asylum seekers to the Netherlands from Iran will be sent back there, Rita Verdonk, Dutch Immigration minister decides.She is lifting a ban that was put in place 6 months ago following reports that Iranian homosexuals were being executed. Jean Lambert Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London spoke out against the lifting of the ban, expressing concern that Iranian Lesbian Gay Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) immigrants would face a frightening and uncertain future. "It is extremely worrying that some EU countries are willing to ignore the advice of the Human Rights Watch and signs of danger in Iran."
Gay marriage vote in New Hampshire
12:00 AM — A vote in New Hampshire yesterday had a tentative pro gay marriage result. A constitutional amendment had been proposed which would ban same sex marriage specifically in the state's Bill of Rights. It was defeated by 207 votes to 125.Senator Jack Raymond, an opponent of gay marriage said that he would respect the views of the house and not pursue a similar amendment in the State Senate. "The people is the third rail in politics" he said, "and obviously the people that voted against it didn't want it to hit the third rail".
First gay club registered in India 13
12:00 AM — The first gay club to be officially registered in India has been founded in Chennai - a brave move in a country where homosexuality is illegal, and homosexuals are viewed with suspicion and contempt.The group's founder, Mr Vasu, said that he created the Men's Community Development Society (MCDS) to draw attention to the injustices that gay people suffer. Unofficially the group has been meeting for 6 years and has over 700 members in Chennai alone, but Mr Vasu decided to take the step of registering the MCDS after police discrimination convinced him that some official protest should be made.
Bottoms up! No tax increase on spirits puts gay bar owners in party mood
12:00 AM — Gay bars breathed a sigh of relief as Chancellor Gordon Brown announced his budget for 2006 today. Spirits and Champagne will not be subject to a tax increase, though beer and wine drinkers will have to drown their sorrows as the beverages are hit with a 1p and 4p tax hike respectively.James Norton, Duty Manager at the gay bar 79CXR said "I'm delighted they're not taxing champagne because we sell quite a lot of that, and spirits too. That's great as far as we're concerned!"
21st March 2006
Gay Tory MP Alan Duncan, criticised by members at local party meeting 1
12:00 AM — The Conservative party's first openly gay MP was the subject of an extraordinary argument at his local constituency annual meeting, where a member called on him to be replaced as local MP.Alan Duncan, who is currently the shadow trade and industry secretary in David Cameron's shadow cabinet, came out as gay in 2002 after 10 years as an MP. He was attacked by a local party member who claimed that Mr Duncan had been wrong not to declare his sexuality earlier.
International gay group still aiming for UN recognition
12:00 AM — An international group representing lesbians and gays have said that they will seek to put pressure on the United Nations to grant full recognition of lesbian and gay human rights through their biannual conference to be held in Geneva next week.The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) said the conference would be addressed by delegates from all continents, including countries where homosexuality is banned.
Equality review highlights issue of homophobic bullying 4
12:00 AM — Trevor Phillips, chair of the government's independent Equalities Review, spoke out about the problems of homophobic bullying in a consultation report published today."We need to focus our efforts to ensure that all of those who are disadvantaged in some way are given the opportunity to reach their full potential and contribute to a vibrant and successful UK economy," said Mr Phillips. The social cost and lost earnings are thought to cost billions of pounds a year.
Bird Flu: God’s punishment for gay marriage – Rabbi claims 3
12:00 AM — Rabbi David Basri, a prominent Kabbalah preacher, has attributed an outbreak of deadly bird flu in Israel to calls in election campaigns to legalise gay marriages.With less than a week to go before the polls open, his remarks have caused a flutter through left-wing political campaigners. Mertez party member Yossi Beilin is seeking liberal votes with a pro gay marriage stance that he's quite literally pressing home on stickers reading "voice of the groom and groom."
Human rights group condemns Islamists and the Metropolitan Police
12:00 AM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveThe fifth annual Peter Tatchell Human Rights Fund meeting was held in London last night despite the pulling out of the guest speaker, the liberal Islamic theologian, Sheikh Dr Muhammad Yusuf due to death threats.Instead the main speaker was the Iranian born secularist Maryam Namazie who claimed that supporters "should pay more to hear me speak than some Imam."
Councillor expresses concerns about discrimination law opt outs
12:00 AM — Simon Williams, the Green Party councillor for Brighton, voiced his concerns today over the government's soon to be implemented anti discrimination legislation.New rules expected to come in in October 2006 will make it illegal for lesbian or gay customers to be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Hotels, insurance providers and house sellers or landlords will all be targeted by the policy, which Mr Williams described as "welcome". So why the concern?
20th March 2006
Australian state premier bars gay marriage bill 1
12:00 AM — The premier of the Australian state of Victoria has declared his opposition to proposals for a gay marriage bill similar to the British Civil Partnerships Act to be introduced in his state.Steve Bracks, the Australian Labor [sic] party Victoria premier has refused to allow an official who is responsible for drafting legislation to assist independent MP, Andrew Olexander to draft a civil unions bill.
Gay wedding numbers stabilise in the Netherlands 1
12:00 AM — The world's first same-sex marriages were introduced in the Netherlands five years ago when a record number 2,214 tied the knot representing some 3 % of the total Dutch weddings that year. Now the level has fallen due to what researchers label as "stabilisation."Demographics Professor Jan Latten at the Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said: "There was an element of hype in 2001. Lots of people who had already been together for 30 or 40 years got married. The numbers peaked in 2002 when 1,838 same-sex couples tied the knot.
17th March 2006
Gay council leader boycotts St Patrick’s Day 2
12:00 AM — New York's first openly gay council leader will boycott today's St Patrick's Day parade after Irish gay groups were blocked from participating.The chairman of the Manhattan parade, John Dunleavy, refused an approach from the leader of New York's City Council leader, Christine Quinn, to allow gay groups to join the march.