31st March 2008
Tenth anniversary of gay murder spurs new campaign
12:40 PM — Erasing hate from schools, workplaces, and communities is the goal of a new campaign launched in America this week by the Matthew Shepard Foundation.The foundation was created by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998.Matthew's murder was a watershed moment in the perceptions of LGBT people in America.
Gay couple excite press interest during visit to Poland 2
11:45 AM — A New York couple who spoke out after footage of their wedding was used in a TV address by the President of Poland attacking gay rights are on a three-day visit to the country.Brendan Fay and Tom Moulton met with gay rights leaders on the first day of their trip to the country, which was sponsored by TVN television.President Lech Kaczynski's speech to the nation last week used heavy-handed tactics to warn of the dangers of the Lisbon treaty.
Gay Iranian spared deportation from Greece
10:58 AM — Gay rights activists in Greece are celebrating after their government has decided not to deport a 40-year-old man back to Iran.The Greek Homosexual Community (GHC-EOK), which led a campaign on his behalf, said today:"We are happy to announce that the gay Iranian refugee, known as 'Alex,' was finally granted asylum following the reconsideration of his case.
28th March 2008
Politicians and church leaders back gay marriage in Iowa
3:30 PM — The fight for gay equality continues in the heart of rural America this week, as the Iowa Supreme Court considers a lawsuit brought by six same-sex couples denied marriage licences in the state.Senior attorneys from Lambda Legal, joined by former Iowa solicitor general Dennis Johnson, will argue that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates the equal protection and due process guarantees in the state's Constitution.In August 2007 a trial court ruled that denying marriage to same-sex couples was unconstitutional.
Irish teachers face dismissal for being gay 5
2:30 PM — Gay and lesbian teachers in Ireland could be sacked if their lifestyle is seen as undermining the religious ethos of schools, a conference was told this week.Members of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) group at the Irish National Teachers' Organisation conference said that the Employment Equality Act permits schools to dismiss homosexual teachers from religious schools.Section 37 of the Act states that schools that promote certain religious values can take action to protect their "religious ethos."
Evangelicals attack Ecuador’s protection of sexual minorities 2
1:35 PM — A member of Ecuador's National Assembly has caused outrage throughout the gay community by comparing homosexuality to paedophilia and bestiality.Rosanna Queirolo, a former model, television news anchor and triathlon athlete, won election on a manifesto of environmental protection.However, since joining the Assembly she has caused controversy by embracing the country's ultra-conservative Christian Evangelical movement.
Mayor “not ready” to support gay rights
1:15 PM — One of Europe's most bigoted politicians has once again defended naked prejudice in his city.Juozas Imbrasas, the Mayor of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was asked by journalists if he would back a campaign affirming freedom of assembly and expression for LGBT people in Europe.19 mayors from across the EU have signed up, but Mr Imbrasas said: "I am not ready for such things yet." His response was unsurprising considering that Vilnius city council has effectively banned any gay Pride events.
Homophobic politician meets gay family group 10
11:45 AM — An Oklahoma politician who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism has met with local members of the advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).Representative Sally Kern received international attention after her homophobic speech to a group of fellow Republicans was posted on YouTube earlier this month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.Her supporters claim she has been subject to death threats, something denied by state police.
27th March 2008
‘Obama Girl’ wants Hillary Clinton out of Presidential race 11
6:50 PM — Amber Lee Ettinger, also known as "Obama Girl," has released a new video calling for New York Senator Hillary Clinton to drop out of the US Presidential race against Barack Obama.The first "Obama Girl" video was released last summer and rapidly spread like wildfire, launching Ettinger into semi-stardom.The videos are the creation of BarelyPolitical.com and the original video has been viewed more than seven million times on YouTube.com alone.
Pregnant trans man intrigues bloggerati 2
6:45 PM — Thomas Beatie, a transgendered man from the US state of Oregon who revealed he is pregnant in the latest issue of The Advocate, is five months along according to various reports.Now the story, which spread like wildfire on the Web yesterday following its appearance in the latest issue of the LGBT news magazine, is prompting mass discussion among bloggers.Beatie, who transitioned from female to male, decided not to remove his reproductive organs and stopped taking testosterone injections.
US martial arts fighter reveals he is gay
6:40 PM — Mixed martial arts has become a national phenomenon in America, and with the creation of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, only continues to grow in popularity.This week, competitor Shad Smith became the first openly gay fighter in the sport when he revealed his sexuality in a New York Times interview.According to the article, Smith entered his first fight in 2000 shortly after his release from prison, where he was serving time for carjacking, one of his many stints.
Tax company under fire for gay discrimination
5:50 PM — H R Block, America's leading tax preparation company, has said it is "evaluating alternatives" after it emerged that their online services refuse to accept legal civil unions.Connecticut gay couple Jason Smith and Settimo Piscu were attempting to use their "Tax Cut" service but a message told them: "We don't support Connecticut civil union returns."Through its website, the company said the couple would have to work with one of their professionals, by phone or at one of their office locations, which would be more time consuming and cost an additional $150 (£75).
Cuban parliament considers LGBT rights bill 1
1:10 PM — A draft lesbian, gay and trans rights bill will be considered by Cuban legislators today.The proposed new law would grant equal rights to all citizens and is the first step towards same-sex unions and access to gender reassignment surgery.Mariela Castro, director of the National Sex Education Centre, said:"A relevant resolution will be signed in the nearest future by the Ministry of Health, which will determine the procedure for such surgery."
Fight against “ex-gay” movement goes multi-media
11:10 AM — TruthWinsOut.org (TWO), a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to debunking the "ex-gay myth", launched a newly revamped web site this week.The goal of the site is to serve as an educational resource and an "all-encompassing look at the dangerous world of conversion therapy".TWO claims the ex-gay industry has dominated the flow of information about conversion therapy in the past and the new web site is geared to help "counter ex-gay lies and reach vulnerable people with messages of truth and hope."
Obama and Clinton supporters attracted by McCain
10:55 AM — A surprising number of supporters of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would throw their votes to Republican John McCain if their candidate does not become the Democratic Presidential nominee, according to a new Gallup poll released yesterday.While only 19 percent of Obama supporters said they would vote for McCain over Clinton, 28 percent of Clinton supporters would switch their vote to the Republican nominee.
Mardi Gras clergy feel the wrath of fundamentalists 1
10:30 AM — Some Sydney-based clergy who marched in this year's 30th anniversary Mardi Gras have had their careers threatened by those who objected to their public participation and support of gay rights.Some 35 ministers marched, alongside eight people who acted as proxies on behalf of their church's Reverends, as part of a group known as 100Revs.The name refers to the 100 Reverends who signed a formal apology to the LGBT community.
26th March 2008
Moroccan newspaper sued by judges over gay party story 1
5:45 PM — One Morocco's leading newspapers has been ordered to pay four judges more than £100,000 each after it mistakenly reported that a judge had been present at a gay "wedding" in the city of town of Ksar el-Kbir.Last November Al Massae published the first reports of an alleged gay wedding party in the town and said that a local judge attended.The paper did not name him, so all four local judges sued. It later emerged that a man with the same name as one of the judges was arrested.
Hillary caught out over “sniper fire” claims
3:55 PM — Presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton has admitted she "made a mistake" over her claims that while visiting Bosnia in 1996 she was subject to sniper fire.The Former First Lady has been keen to portray her time in the White House as proof of her foreign affairs credentials.In a series of interviews last week she claimed that after her plane landed in Tuzla, Bosnia, she and her daughter Chelsea had to run for cover as they were targeted by sniper fire.
US rules gay married name ‘illegal’ and refuses passport
1:20 PM — An American AIDS activist was denied a new passport by the US State Department on the grounds that his hyphenated surname with his married gay partner is illegal.The Sun Chronicle reports that Jason Hair-Wynn, who married his partner in 2005 in Massachusetts - which is currently the only American state to have legalised same-sex marriage - is now having to face reapplying for a new passport.The federal Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibited the legal recognition of his new name.
Gay star announces seven week US tour
1:20 PM — George Michael is returning to the land of Stars and Stripes for a seven-week jaunt, his first American tour since 1991.He will perform 22 shows on the North American leg of his world tour.Commencing in June, he will perform in cities such as San Jose, LasVegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and New York. Michael, the former Wham! frontman, is also planning a new album which will feature a duet with Sir Paul McCartney.