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Middle East

  • 1st April 2011

    Gay British man arrested and beaten in Saudi Arabia 131

    Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia

    9:30 AM — A British man was arrested and beaten in Saudi Arabia by religious police when they discovered he was gay. Stephen Comiskey, a 36-year-old nurse, was threatened with beheading and thrown in a cell.

  • 9th March 2011

    Trans star Dana International returns to Eurovision 3

    The star will represent Israel again (Photo: danainternational.co.il)

    3:43 PM — Transgender singer Dana International is to represent Israel again in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. The 39-year-old star, real name Sharon Cohen, will perform her new song Ding Dong in the competition.

  • 3rd March 2011

    Turkey’s first openly gay football referee continues legal battle 3

    The Turkish Football Federation barred its first openly gay referee from his position three years ago

    10:31 AM — Turkey's first openly gay referee has said he will push on with his legal battle against the Turkish Football Federation, who barred him from officiating over matches in 2008.

  • 23rd February 2011

    David Cameron says World Cup could make Qatar more gay-friendly 35

    David Cameron said the World Cup could make Qatar more gay-friendly

    2:40 PM — Hosting the World Cup in 2022 could make Qatar more gay-friendly, British prime minister David Cameron said today. Mr Cameron, who is on a visit to the Gulf State, said that there is "no place for homophobia in football" and that the games could be an "engine for social change".

  • 21st February 2011

    Israel appoints first out gay judge 14

    Dori Spivak, an attorney and former Civil Rights Association chairman, was appointed as a judge at the Tel A gay judge has been appointed as Israel's first gay judge

    2:46 PM — The first openly gay judge has been appointed in Israel. Dori Spivak, an attorney and former Civil Rights Association chairman, was appointed as a judge at the Tel Aviv Labor Court on Friday.

  • 9th February 2011

    William Hague urged to raise gay rights on Middle East trip 8

    William Hague is on a tour of the Middle East

    3:13 PM — Gay rights activists are urging Foreign Secretary William Hague to raise the issue of gay rights on a trip to the Middle East this week.

  • 8th February 2011

    British Muslim group condemns Bahrain gay arrests 31

    The Muslim group condemned the arrests

    10:38 AM — The Association of British Muslims has condemned the arrests of more than 130 gay men in Bahrain. Last Thursday, police raided a 'wedding party' at a sports club in Hidd, arresting guests.

  • 7th February 2011

    More than 100 gay men arrested in Bahrain 7

    Bahrain criminalises homosexuality

    3:32 PM — Up to 130 gay men were reportedly arrested last week at a private party in Bahrain. Reports said that the event, at a sports club in Hidd, was a gay wedding and guests were said to have been spotted in make-up and women's clothes.

  • 21st January 2011

    MEP Michael Cashman says he’s working to stop Iranian gay executions 28

    Michael Cashman said he was working to stop the executions

    3:31 PM — Gay Labour MEP Michael Cashman has said he is working to stop the planned executions of two young men for alleged homosexuality offences.

  • 18th January 2011

    Updated: Iranian men to be stoned to death over gay sex 55

    Sources say the young men face death by stoning

    5:26 PM — Two young men who filmed themselves having sex have been sentenced to death by stoning in Iran. The film was discovered on the mobile phones of Ayub and Mosleh, 20 and 21 years old, by agents of the Iranian regime in the Kurdistan city of Piranshahr in northwest Iran.

  • 26th December 2010

    Jerusalem Pride bomber sentenced to six months community service 13

    The court sentenced the bomber to six months community service

    1:51 PM — A district court in Jerusalem has sentenced a 35-year-old Michael Naky to six months community service for setting off a makeshift bomb to disrupt a gay pride march in the city in 2007. The judge gave the sentence after a plea bargain between the defence and the prosecution.

  • 21st December 2010

    UN votes to reinstate resolution condemning execution of gays 26

    The UN General Assembly voted 93 in favour of the United States' proposal to restore the reference to sexual orientation, 55 countries voted against and 27 abstained

    11:03 PM — The United Nations General Assembly has voted to restore a reference to sexual orientation in a resolution opposing the unjustified killings of minority groups. Last month, a UN panel deleted a reference to gays and lesbians in resolution introduced by Morocco and Mali. The vast majority of countries in support were African or Arabic.

  • 6th December 2010

    Gay football group to boycott 2022 Qatar World Cup 10

    The GFSN said gay fans would be unable to visit Qatar for the World Cup

    5:42 PM — The Gay Football Supporters' Network says it will boycott all activities related to the 2022 World Cup because host country Qatar is homophobic.

  • 9th November 2010

    Saudi man receives lashes and prison sentence for gay video 17

    Saudi Arabia has strict laws against homosexuality

    6:53 PM — A 27-year-old Saudi man has been punished with 500 lashes and five years in prison after appearing in a gay video. The short film was allegedly made inside a prison, although the Prison Administration denies this.

  • 31st October 2010

    Gay synagogue was target of Yemeni exploding packages plot 5

    The Or Chadesh gay community believes it was the target of attack

    11:49 AM — A lesbian and gay Jewish congregation in Chicago was the target of one of the explosive-laden packages intercepted on route from Yemen, a Rabbi has claimed.

  • 22nd October 2010

    Iraqi LGBT celebrates fifth birthday with London charity night

    Iraq is a dangerous place for LGBT people

    4:29 PM — Aid group Iraqi LGBT is to hold a fundraising night in central London next week. The group is celebrating five years of supporting persecuted LGBT Iraqis and claims to have helped save the lives of 100 people.

  • 21st October 2010

    Same-sex couple for Israeli Dancing With the Stars 6

    Israel's version of Dancing With the Stars will have a same-sex couple

    3:00 PM — Israel's version of Dancing With the Stars is to include a same-sex couple for the first time. TV presenter Gili Shem Tov, who is a lesbian, will be paired with professional dancer Dorit Milman in the new series which starts next month.

  • 20th October 2010

    Israel’s only gay MP speaks out for marriage on visit to London 8

    Nitzan Horowitz address a neeting in London last week

    4:30 PM — Nitzan Horowitz, the first openly gay politician to be elected to the Israeli Knesset (Parliament), is a man on a mission. Representing the left of centre, pro-peace New Movement-Meretz party, he has called for Israel to introduce secular marriages for gay and straight couples as well as campaigning for help for LGBT people from neighboring Arab countries who risk death if returned home.

  • 14th September 2010

    Supreme Court rules Jerusalem must fund gay centre 3

    Jerusalem's Open House centre should be given funding, the court said

    5:06 PM — The Supreme Court has ruled that Jerusalem must pay for a LGBT community centre. The Open House centre has struggled to gain funding for several years and today, judges said that the city municipality must give it $120,000.

  • Gay Saudi diplomat says he’ll be killed if sent home 6

    Saudi Arabia criminalises homosexuality

    3:39 PM — A gay Saudi Arabian diplomat is seeking asylum in the US because he says he will be killed if returned to his home country. The man, who has been named as Ali Ahmad Asseri, says his homosexuality and his friendship with a Jewish woman will lead to his death.

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