20th March 2008
Washington grants new rights to same-sex couples
11:10 AM — The US state of Washington has signed into law a Domestic Partnership Expansion bill that will provide more than 160 new rights and responsibilities to registered domestic partners.The bill passed the state Senate on March 4th and the House last month. Governor Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law yesterday.It builds on a 2007 law, which created a domestic partner registry and provided specific rights and responsibilities for both same-sex and opposite sex couples.
19th March 2008
Gay poet will stay on Ireland’s school curriculum 2
4:15 PM — The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in Ireland has said that works by a poet accused of sexually exploiting young men in Nepal will continue to be taught in schools.Education Minister Mary Hanafin has been advised by the council: "On balance, the Council considered that its original position on the artistic merit and suitability for study of the work of Cathal O'Searcaigh should stand."The poet has been accused of the "sexual exploitation and grooming" of 16 year old Nepalese boys.
Greek Orthodox church slams rights for unmarried couples 2
3:24 PM — The Greek Othordox Church has spoken out against proposals to allow unmarried heretosexual couples in the country to have their relationships registered.The BBC reports that the Chruch's governing synod described moves by the Greek government to afford unmarried or defacto couples the same legal rights as their married counterparts as a "catastrophic bomb" which threatened Greek society and compared the move to "prostitution."
Comment: Obama’s hit and miss speech on race 6
12:10 PM — In a speech prompted by extensive media coverage of the divisive, racially-tinged sermons of his pastor and 'spiritual mentor' of the last twenty years, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama today attempted to address concerns over his stance on issues, including race and patriotism, that have dogged his campaign for the last week.Speaking from the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia, Senator Obama's words yesterday broadened the context of the debate beyond the firestorm surrounding Reverend Wright's comments alone and instead focused on the subject of race in America.
Polish President uses gays as EU treaty scare tactic 20
11:40 AM — Poland's attempts to ratify the Lisbon Treaty have been thrown into disarray after President Lech Kaczynski made a controversial speech to the nation decrying German influence on the country and gay marriage.Prime Minister Donald Tusk accused the head of state of trying to scare Poles.Opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski is the President's twin brother and leader of the homophobic Law and Justice party.
NY Governor reveals extra-marital affairs
11:20 AM — Hours after being sworn in as the new Governor of New York, David A. Paterson seemed intent to avoid himself an Eliot Spitzer-like media blitz and tossed his own skeletons out of the closet.Paterson told the New York Daily News that he and his wife both had affairs during a rough patch in their marriage.As he was sworn in, Paterson was hailed as a man of integrity, a word formerly used to describe his predecessor Eliot Spitzer.
Barack Obama on race in America 6
1:10 AM — "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.
18th March 2008
GLAAD honours Matthew Shepard’s mother
5:00 PM — The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Excellence in Media Award has been presented to the mother of a murdered gay teenager.At the GLAAD Media Awards in New York yesterday Judy Shepard was honoured for her tireless work for LGBT Americans.As executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, she has become one of America's most vocal advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.
Egypt accused of undermining fight against AIDS 5
4:05 PM — Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have accused the Egyptian government of "official ignorance and prejudice about HIV" in the wake of more prosecutions for "habitual debauchery."The term is used under Egyptian law to prosecute consensual sexual acts between men.Earlier this month Cairo prosecutors handed down indictments against five men on debauchery charges. The lead prosecutor told a lawyer for the defendants that the men should not be allowed to "roam the streets freely."
Another outing for R.E.M. singer 1
3:10 PM — Michael Stipe has announced that he is gay. The 48 year old R.E.M. star, who is known for deflecting questions about his sexuality, told US music magazine Spin "I was totally open with the band and my family and my friends and certainly the people I was sleeping with. I thought it was pretty obvious."I'd just never felt strongly enough about a particular relationship to say, 'Yeah, he's my boyfriend, that is what it is.'"
Gay adoption ruling may set precedent in Israel 1
1:30 PM — An Israeli court has ruled that a gay couple can both register to be their adopted son's father.The landmark decision, made by the Ramat Gan Family Court in Tel Aviv, may well set a precedent for other gay couples.Giora Shavit and his long-time partner Avi Shadiv have now registered to jointly adopt their five-year-old son. The four year old boy, who comes from Georgia, has no registered biological parents.
McGreevey confirms threesome claims 1
11:40 AM — The saga of Jim McGreevey, the first US state Governor to come out of the closet, continues with allegations he and his ex-wife regularly had threesomes with a male employee.The former Governor of New Jersey admitted in 2004 to having an extra-marital affair with his male aide Golan Cipel.McGreevey announced the story himself and resigned from office after a sexual harassment lawsuit was brought against him by Cipel.
Scouts frank about gay sex, drugs and abortion 1
11:10 AM — A report by the Italian Scouting Association has reportedly found that nine out of ten Scouts and Girl Guides questioned have no problem with pre-marital sex.Other liberal attitudes expressed by the young people, gathered together from international scouting associations at a jamboree in Florence in 2006, include one quarter of the girls and 12 per cent of the boys reportedly saying that they would consider a same-sex experience.More than 80 per cent of those questioned said they were happy to get drunk.
Homophobic politician’s son denies he is gay 11
10:58 AM — Much talk has been made about Oklahoma State House Representative Sally Kern's remarks that the "gay agenda" was more threatening to her country than terrorism.Rumours began to circulate after the media frenzy about her remarks erupted that her son, a 31-year-old affiliate of the Des Moines School of Metaphysics, was gay.This week however, Jesse Kern denied those rumours, saying he is not gay, just celibate.
17th March 2008
Elton to play fundraiser for Hillary
6:00 PM — British pop legend Sir Elton John has stepped into the political limelight for the second time this year by agreeing to raise funds for Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign for President of the United States.The multi-millionaire singer-songwriter said in a statement: "I'm not a politician but I believe in the work that Hillary Clinton does."Last month Sir Elton and his civil partner David Furnish held a dinner at their London home to introduce potential donors to Brian Paddick, a friend of the couple and the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of the city.
Swiss may deport gay teen to Cameroon 1
4:20 PM — Switzerland is due to return a Cameroonian teenager to his home country, where he could face imprisonment and physical punishment.Anatole Zali arrived in Switzerland from Cameroon on 3rd February 2008 and claimed asylum on the grounds that he had been threatened because he is gay.In Cameroon, Zali, who is 18, claims to have received threats from the police, where he stayed with his cousin for protection.
Gay protest at St Patrick’s Day parade 3
3:20 PM — A gay rights group in New York will protest at the traditional St Patrick's Day Parade today.The group, Irish Queers, plans to disrupt the parade, which excludes members of the LGBT community on the grounds that it is a religious event."We're sick of hearing city officials say they can't intercede in the homophobia because it's a religious march," said Tierney Gleason of Irish Queers.
Russian anti-homophobia week faces nationalist protests
1:40 PM — Anti-gay activist have begun preparations to disrupt the planned Russian Week Against Homophobia.It is being held in cities such as Moscow, St Petersburg, Voronezh,Krasnodar, Omsk, Petrozavodsk, Rostov-na-Donu, Samara, Tumen and Cheylabinsk.During the week of March 25th-31st, there will be a series of seminars, panel discussions, meetings and film showings with debates. In addition to this, more signatures for the Manifesto against Homophobia, that was started last year, will be sought.
Gay votes may have been pivotal in Malta election 3
11:50 AM — A political party in Malta that campaigns for LGBT rights may have set back their cause by taking votes away from the country's Labour Party.Labour are generally considered to be more liberal than the winning Nationalist Party (PN), who now remain in power.For a decade the Green Party in Malta, Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) and their leader Harry Vasallo have challenged the two-party system in Malta and pushed for gay civil rights, attracting the votes of thousands of LGBT on the island.
Copenhagen Pride funding restored after media campaign 2
11:30 AM — Officials in the Danish capital Copenhagen have reversed a decision to withhold funding from the city's gay Pride event.Leading Danish LGBT media outlet PrideRadio.dk has described the reaction to the decision, which cited new procedures, as a "media craze that attacked the city's right-wing 'mayor of culture' Mrs Allerslev."She has now said that "a mistake had been made in rejecting funds for Copenhagen Pride."