27th March 2008
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.
Israel grants visa to gay Palestinian 1
1:10 PM — A Palestinian homosexual was granted an extraordinary Israeli temporary residential visa, after it was claimed he faced persecution and possible danger if he remained in the West Bank, it was revealed yesterday.After failed attempts to gain a visa through the Israeli Interior Ministry - a process which can take years - the man was granted a visa after he applied directly to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).The unnamed 33-year-old Palestinian from Jenin is planning a reunion with his Israeli partner in Tel Aviv once he gains his visa.
Married American man ordered to pay gay lover
12:50 PM — A court in Brazil has ruled that a married American man must share part of his wealth with a Brazilian man with whom he had a four year relationship.The Court of Justice in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, a state that legalised civil unions in 2004, recognised that the US citizen and the Brazilian man had a 'stable union.'The couple, whose identities have been kept secret, had frequent meetings in Brazil, the US and other countries, the court was told.
NY gay couple demand meeting with Polish leader 19
11:03 AM — An American gay activist and his partner, whose wedding video was used by the President of Poland during a televised address to the nation in which he warned of the danger of same-sex marriage, want an apology and a meeting.Brendan Fay, who is originally from Ireland, met with journalists yesterday at the headquarters of New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch.President Kaczynski's address to the nation last week used heavy-handed tactics to warn of the dangers of the Lisbon treaty.
Obama and Bush are distant relatives claim genealogists
10:30 AM — A research study conducted by the New England Historic Genealogical Society has turned up a variety of interesting relations to the current Democratic and Republican candidates for US President.According to the study, Barack Obama is distantly related to such luminaries as George W. Bush and Brad Pitt, while Hillary Clinton has familial ties to Angelina Jolie and Madonna.John McCain turns out to be a cousin of First Lady Laura Bush.
Pregnant trans man speaks out against medical discrimination 3
10:20 AM — Thomas Beatie, a transgendered man from Portland, Oregon, has revealed he is pregnant in the latest issue of The Advocate.Beatie, who transitioned from female to male, said he has faced discrimination from doctors and healthcare providers over the pregnancy.During his transition, Beatie decided not to remove his reproductive organs and stopped taking testosterone injections so he could become pregnant.
13 candidates contend ‘cruising’ Senator’s seat
10:10 AM — Republican Senator Larry Craig is keeping his promise not to run for re-election after a media firestorm erupted last year over his alleged solicitation of a male police officer in an airport bathroom.Craig has repeatedly denied he solicited the officer and publicly proclaimed he is not gay.Although Craig refused to resign his post over the scandal, he promised in September that he would not run for re-election.
25th March 2008
Poles favour EU treaty despite anti-gay scaremongering 19
6:10 PM — An opinion poll in Poland has found strong backing for a new EU treaty criticised by the country's homophobic President in an address to the nation last week.The survey will come as an embarrassment to President Lech Kaczynski, who used lurid images of gay marriage to illustrate the "threat" to the Polish nation he claims the Lisbon treaty poses.The poll was published by daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.
COMMENT: Can celebs swing the Democratic nomination?
2:50 PM — Obama or Clinton? It seems to be a question at the forefront of every American Democrat's mind going into to this year's important Presidential election.While the Republican Party has elected their representative as John McCain, the other side seems to be a struggle less about the ideals of the candidates, which are very similar, and more about a popularity contest.Questions have been raised about who is more electable, who has more experience, and who has a better message.
Democrats plan to topple homophobic politician 10
1:30 PM — Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern will face a challenge in November elections after an audio recording was leaked of her comparing gays to terrorists and telling fellow Republicans the "homosexual agenda is destroying this nation."The recording and accompanying YouTube video have sparked outrage from many, but Kern defended her words, telling the press: "What I'm saying, I believe in."The Demcratic party has announced that Ron Marlett, a 59-year-old social worker, will challenge Kern for the Oklahoma City seat.
21st March 2008
Comment: Is Clinton really any different to Obama? 14
4:50 PM — Ann Turner tosses up whether either one of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton is worthy of her vote in the Democratic primary. Or, if it really matters which one she picks as they both seem so similar.As I stood in line to cast my ballot in the Washington state Democratic caucuses last month, the choice of who to support for the presidential nominee still loomed large in my mind...