1st April 2008
Obama’s £1,000 a head gay fundraiser
5:30 PM — US Presidential hopeful Barack Obama raised funds for his campaign at an LGBT event last week, where the price of admission was $2,300 (£1,160).The fundraiser was held at the New York apartment of gay activist Kevin Jennings and his partner and 125 people attended, The Advocate reports.More than $170,000 was raised and the candidate spoke for around half an hour and then answered questions.
Gay hate church gets taste of own medicine 2
2:15 PM — More than 400 people converged on the small town of Topeka, Kansas on Sunday to protest outside the Westboro Baptist Church.Straight, gay and trans protesters drew support from locals as they staged The Million Fag March outside the church, which is notorious for picketing the funerals of US soldiers killed in action."It's about time we did something like this again," local woman Hope Prescott told The Topeka Capital-Journal. "We feel somewhat responsible for the Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church."
War of words between gay bashing politician and PFLAG 10
11:45 AM — An Oklahoma politician who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism has turned on local members of the advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) she met with last week.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.She met with Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards, Rev. Dr. Kathy McCallie and Rev. Jim Shields of PFLAG last Thursday.
Poet accused of sexual exploitation is “like Wilde” 2
11:30 AM — An Irish poet accused of sexually exploiting young men in Nepal has given an interview.Speaking on the Irish language station Raidio na Gaeltachta, Cathal O'Searcaigh said he was the victim of a biased documentary, but admitted sexual contact with some of the young men he was finanically aiding.Speaking about the storm of criticism he has faced from the Irish media, he compared himself to Irish playwright Oscar Wilde.
31st March 2008
Elections could bring hope for gay Zimbabweans 1
5:55 PM — This weekend's elections in Zimbabwe bring the prospect of an end to the 28-year rule of one of the world's most homophobic heads of state.Robert Mugabe, now 84, has terrorised many groups in his country, not least gays and lesbians.He has previously described gay people as worse than "dogs and pigs", has warned against the dangers of homosexuality and threatened pro-gay clergy with prison sentences. For two people of the same sex to hold hands is against the law.
Ukrainian gay paper faces criminal charges
3:40 PM — Kiev's public prosecutor is targeting a well-regarded gay newspaper under laws banning the distribution of pornography, while newspaper kiosks across the city openly sell explicit erotic heterosexual magazines.Since 2003 Nash Mir, the oldest Ukrainian LGBT human rights organisation, has published Gay.Ua newspaper."The newspaper is registered as an "information, for leisure, and erotic" edition,"" Nash Mir said in a statement.
Support for gay marriage increases in Ireland 4
1:55 PM — As Irish gay rights advocates await the government's proposals on legal recognition of same-sex partners, a new opinion poll has found that the vast majority of their countrymen and women are in favour.MarriagEquality, a group formed to push for full civil marriage, has released the details of a poll it commissioned which shows the number of Irish people who support partnerships only has fallen from 33% to 26%.Overall 84% of those polled support either gay marriage or civil partnerships.
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."