25th February 2008
Catholics unhappy at rights for gay Kosovans 2
10:40 AM — The draft constitution of Europe's newest nation is under attack from a Roman Catholic political organisation because it seeks to protect gay people from discrimination.Kosovo declared independence from Serbia earlier this month, backed by the US, the UK and other leading nations.Its draft constitution contains specific provisions to protect Kosovans from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and enshrines the right to marry but does not limit that right to a man and a woman.
Raul Castro confirmed as Cuban President
10:15 AM — The younger brother of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been approved as the country's President by the National Assembly.Fidel, 81, stepped down last week, but will remain as head of the Communist party and is expected to continue to have a strong influence on his brother.At a two-day discussion on homosexuality in Cuba held earlier this year in Madrid poet Leon de la Hoz said that many people on the island refer to Raul as "the little Chinese man with the sad eyes," a reference to his supposed repressed homosexuality.
Microsoft millions form largest ever gay donation
9:45 AM — A gay man who was one of the founding employees of computer company Microsoft has bequeathed $65m (£33m) to the Pride Foundation of Seattle.Ric Weiland joined the company started by two of his high school classmates Bill Gates and Paul Allen. He died in died in June 2006, at the age of 53, committing suicide after struggling with depression.He is survived by his partner, Mike Schaefer of Seattle and his nieces and nephews. $160m of his estate was donated to charitable organisations. He also left $60m to Stanford University.
Ralph Nader enters US Presidential race 4
9:25 AM — Perennial Presidential candidate Ralph Nader announced on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday that he will be entering the race for the White House yet again.Nader, 73, ran as an Independent in 2004 and as a Green Party candidate in 2000, a race in which he was blamed for spoiling former Vice President Al Gore's chance for a clear victory.Blogger Sandy Sand on OpEdNews.com perhaps summed up the response of many to the announcement by saying: "Just what we need."
22nd February 2008
Gays and Lesbians ‘Have Less Life Insurance’
4:25 PM — Gays and lesbians are far less likely to take out life insurance than their heterosexual counterparts, a new study has shown.The study of 2,514 US adults found 49 percent of gay and lesbians had no life insurance, compared to just 32 percent of heterosexuals.They are also considerably less likely to have homeowners' or renters' insurance, with only 59 percent of gays and lesbians buying it compared to 70 percent of heterosexuals.
Australia Debates Same Sex Marriage 6
3:50 PM — Greens senator Kerry Nettle has introduced a marriage equality bill to the Australian parliament calling for recognition of overseas same-sex marriages and the ability to allow local ones.Her party leader, Bob Brown, has united with Liberal Australia Capital Territory (ACT) senator Gary Humphries to condemn the new government's attitudes to the Territorial Government's civil partnerships legislation.
Irish Poet Under Fire For ‘Sexual Grooming’ 2
2:21 PM — The famous Irish poet, Cathal O Searcaigh a staple of second level school syllabuses - has been accused of the "sexual exploitation and grooming" of 16 year old Nepalese boys who he befriended and assisted financially in their education.Allegations about the poet's relationship with the young boys surfaced after the screening of Fairytale of Kathmandu, a documentary on Mr Searcaigh's charitable work in Nepal made by a former friend of his.
US Big Brother Housemate’s Gay Porn Past Revealed
12:19 PM — America's Big Brother 9: Till Death Do Us Part has only been on air a few weeks, but already the hope for the first ever gay "showmance" seems to have been dashed.Sexy Neil Garcia was forced to leave the show—and his partner Joshuah Welch because of still unnamed personal reasons outside of the house. However, there may still be a possibility of a gay hook up on the show, as it was recently revealed house mate James Zinkand is an ex-stripper who has appeared in several gay adult videos.
Lesbian Police Officer Wins Day in Court 1
12:01 PM — A lesbian police officer's lawsuit against her police department can go trial, a Los Angeles judge has said.Shelby Feldmeier claims male officers made frequent and offensive remarks about homosexuality while she was working as a probationary officer at Wilshire Station.Superior Court Judge Edward A. Ferns rejected a defence motion to dismiss the case on Wednesday and set a trial date for May 12th.
China Launches First HIV Prevention Programme for Gay Men
11:38 AM — China's Ministry of Health is set to implement its first ever national programme to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS among gay men, its 2008 work agenda revealed yesterday.The programme marks a subtle new phase in the one-party-state's attitudes towards homosexuality, which - while not overtly discriminatory - have followed the 'Three nos' criteria since sodomy was decriminalised in 1997: No approval, no disapproval and no promotion.
Cry for Help from Refugee Sheds Light on Desperation of Gays in Iran 30
11:08 AM — A poignant plea for help from a gay Iranian refugee in Malaysia is shedding light on the desperation and fear experienced by homosexuals in Iran and those who have fled their home country to seek refugee status in other countries.The letter, penned by a young gay man calling himself Sepehr, contains a heartbreaking tale of life as a homosexual in Iran and the suffering caused by the necessity of fleeing to another land to escape persecution and possible death.
21st February 2008
Gays holding hands on TV upset Irish viewers 4
4:30 PM — The provocative sight of two men holding hands while explaining why they favour same-sex marriage over civil partnerships triggered a flood of complaints to an Irish broadcaster yesterday."Switchboards at TV3 were jammed with irate callers when Mark McCarron and Paul Kenny became the first male couple to display their affections on the Irish airwaves," reports the Irish Daily Mirror. The couple were appearing on the commercial network's popular breakfast show Ireland AM.
Presidential candidate denies affair with lobbyist
3:40 PM — John McCain, the US Senator from Arizona who is the frontrunner to receive the Republican party nomination for President, today rejected media reports that he had an extra-marital affair.The New York Times yesterday claimed he had a relationship with Vicki Iseman nine years ago when Senator McCain was also running for President."I'm very disappointed in the article. It's not true," he told a press conference in Toledo, Ohio.
Lesbian may run for mayor of New York City
3:25 PM — A recent speech by Christine Quinn, the Speaker of New York City's council, has sparked rumours that she may run for Mayor.Ms Quinn, a Democrat, is one of the most prominent lesbian politicians in America.In her State of the City address earlier this month she said: "I want every New Yorker to hear me when I say: We are ready."Various commentators have interpreted this to be a clear signal she intends to run for Mayor of the city.
Malta’s gay group ask for equal rights
12:50 PM — The gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans communities in the tiny EU nation of Malta have presented a petition asking for a range of measures to be introduced to protect them through the law, and have received the backing of a fringe political party.Alternattiva Demokratika leader Harry Vassallo said yesterday that the recognition of gay rights would be a step forward, according to the Times of Malta.He said he was supporting the petition organised by the Malta Gay Rights Movement.
Black US state legislator comes out
12:10 PM — Democratic Connecticut State Representative Jason Bartlett made the decision on Thursday to come out publicly as a gay man.Bartlett says he has always preferred to keep his personal life private, but felt the announcement was needed to quell the rumours about his sexual orientation.Bartlett's coming out makes him unique in the political world as the first openly gay black state legislator.
Obama’s momentum is a serious challenge to Clinton
12:01 PM — In politics, the operative rule to live by is -"it ain't over till it's over" — and the Democratic national convention is still six months away. Anything can happen.But, and this is a BIG 'but,' with his blowout wins in Hawaii and Wisconsin's open primary on Tuesday, Illinois Senator Barack Obama has now won ten contests in a row in the Presidential race against New York Senation Hillary Clinton, once considered the Democratic party's "inevitable" nominee.
20th February 2008
Israeli politician claims gays cause earthquakes 14
6:25 PM — An outspoken member of Israel's parliament has said recent earthquakes that have hit the country are a consequence of gay rights laws.Shlomo Benizri, who is a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, was speaking in a Knesset (parliament) debate on earthquake preparedness.After reading passages from the Old Testament, he said that in his view one cause of earthquakes is that "the Knesset gives legitimacy, to sodomy.
Australian military to march in Mardi Gras parade 2
5:39 PM — Members of the Australian Defence Forces will take part in the Sydney Mardi Gras parade for the first time this year.Permission was granted by the Chief of the Defence Force earlier this month and 60 marchers, comprising servicemen and women and non-uniformed personnel, and a float, will participate in the world-famous parade on March 1st.They have not been given permission to wear uniform. The ADF lifted its prohibition on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving in 1992.
Spanish judge suspended over lesbian ruling
4:45 PM — A judge in Spain who ordered a mother to choose between her partner and her daughters, because "a homosexual environment threatened their education," has been suspended.The body which supervises the judiciary in that country, the General Council for Judicial Power, has suspended Fernando Ferrín Calamita and a complaint about his behaviour is under investigation.The woman, from Murcia, south east Spain, was faced with the impossible choice after her husband discovered her in a compromising position with another woman.