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.
Gay conference to be held in Malta
1:05 PM — The 2009 European International Lesbian and Gay Association conference will be held in Malta.The Mediterranean island beat the competing Dutch city of The Hague to win the right to host the LGBT organisation's annual gathering.Malta Gay Rights Movement welcomed ILGA Europe's decision, saying it would be an opportunity to raise the visibility of LGBT issues in the Roman Catholic country, where gay people still suffer discrimination.
Churches seek reassurance over incitement law 100
12:45 PM — A joint statement from the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches in England has revealed their worries that a new incitement to homophobic hatred law might target Christian teachings.In a memorandum to a committee of MPs the churches asserted their view that "sexual activity and lifestyle, as distinct from sexual orientation, are matters of choice and impinge upon the public sphere."As such they are subject to evaluation and criticism, and freedom to discuss them must be preserved."
Uruguayan parliament passes civil unions law 2
12:40 PM — Uruguay will legally recognise same-sex civil unions.The country of 3.6m people is the first nation in South America to grant such protections, although some cities and regions throughout the continent have made similar legal provisions.The Uruguayan Congress last week passed legislation creating a civil union registry for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples.The measure had previously passed the Chamber of Senators.
Poll puts Obama ahead of Democrat field in Iowa primary
11:20 AM — She's been ahead in the national polls, but Democrat party candidate Hillary Clinton may not have the comfortable lead she was hoping for heading into the 2008 Presidential election.This week, an early poll put Barack Obama three points ahead of Clinton and six points over former vice Presidential candidate John Edwards.For over 35 years, Iowa has been the first state to vote in presidential primaries and often is looked at for setting the tone of which candidate will ultimately receive the nomination.
3rd December 2007
Paedophile slur councillor resigns from Labour party 130
12:35 PM — A Labour politician who was found guilty of making false allegations of paedophilia against her gay opponent has resigned from the party.In September Miranda Grell, 29, was barred from public office for three years, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.Ms Grell won a formerly safe Lib Dem seat on the London Borough of Waltham Forest council in last May's elections.
Gay activists arrested as observers query Russian election
12:35 PM — Gay rights campaigners were arrested yesterday at a polling station in Russia for attempting to conduct an "illegal gathering."The group was there to protest against homophobic Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who was expected at the polling station later that day.Mr Luzhkov has banned the last two gay pride marches in Moscow calling them a "work of Satan." Activist Nicolas Alexeyev was arrested after he wrote "No to homophobes, no to Luzhkov" on his ballot.
More men claim they had sex with Senator Craig 4
12:35 PM — A United States Senator has described new stories about his sexual relationships with several other men as "complete nonsense."Larry Craig, who represents Idaho, has been under pressure to resign since it emerged he pleaded guilty to cruising in a public toilet.He was arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport toilet who said the lawmaker had engaged in conduct "often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct."
Liberal leader comes out for gay rights
12:00 PM — Just weeks after being kicked out of office, the Australian Liberal party has decided to embrace limited gay equality.Former Prime Minister John Howard, who lost office and his own seat in Parliament in last month's federal election, has been replaced as party leader by Brendan Nelson.The former Liberal/National coalition government failed to make any decisions on gay equality across a range of issues outlined for them in June by a report from the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
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.