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World

  • 24th January 2008

    Gay minister criticises Canada’s organ donation ban

    Smitherman, Ontario's first openly gay cabinet minister, is regarded as one of the most powerful politicians in the Canadian province.

    2:50 PM — The Health Minister in the Canadian province of Ontario has said that new federal rules excluding sexually active gay men from being considered as organ donors if offensive.Men who have sex with men in the last five years of their life will no longer be accepted as organ donors under new rules from Health Canada.Families will also be interviewed about potential donors' exposure in increased risk.

  • Ledger’s death delays Presidential drug abuse statement

    White House press secretary Dana Perino confirmed that the decision was taken in light of the death of actor Heath Ledger.

    2:30 PM — US President George Bush has postponed a scheduled statement promoting a federal advertising campaign on the dangers of prescription drug abuse.White House press secretary Dana Perino confirmed that the decision was taken in light of the death of actor Heath Ledger.It is still unclear what caused the death of the 28-year-old Brokeback Mountain star, but prescription drugs are suspected to have played a role.

  • Former US Vice President backs gay marriage 3

    Same-sex marriage is legal in only one US state, Massachusetts.

    10:50 AM — Al Gore has spoken in favour of marriage for gay and lesbian couples.The former Vice President of the United States, who was narrowly and controversially defeated by George W Bush in the 2000 Presidential election, came out in favour of equal rights in a video clip posted on current TV, a cable and online station he co-founded."I think it's wrong for the government to discriminate against people because of a person's sexual orientation," he said.

  • 23rd January 2008

    Heath Ledger autopsy inconclusive

    Ledger was so troubled about his role as the Joker in the upcoming film The Dark Knight that he was sleeping only two hours a night.

    8:30 PM — The New York City Medical Examiner's office is reporting that preliminary autopsy results have been inconclusive on actor Heath Ledger, who was found dead in his New York apartment on Tuesday surrounded by sleeping pills.According to FOX News, a spokeswoman for the office, Ellen Borakove, said yesterday that it will take about ten days to complete the investigation.The 28-year-old Australia-born actor's ex-fiancée, Academy Award-nominated actress Michelle Williams, has travelled to New York.

  • Charges considered over teen water polo photos 11

    Parents, coaches and politicians in southern California have condemned sexually explicit gay websites that feature photos of teenage boys playing water polo.

    8:30 PM — Prosecutors in Orange County, California are investigating whether they can bring any charges against a university employee who took pictures of teenage water polo players and then posted them on gay porn sites.The man, reported to be a police dispatcher at the University of California Irvine, is not under formal investigation.As the photos were taken at public sporting events, he may be protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

  • Huckabee campaign in financial trouble

    Last week Huckabee said that if elected he wants to change the US Constitution to ban abortion.

    8:15 PM — US Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has admitted that his campaign is running out of money, with some staff members leaving and others working without pay.Despite his strong showing in some of the initial primary races for the Republican nomination, the former Baptist minister has spoken frankly about his rapidly diminishing funds.Ahead of the key Florida primary next week, the candidate told an audience yesterday that he is running a "frugal" campaign.

  • God Hates Fags fanatics may picket Ledger funeral 59

    The Westboro Baptist Church, led by Fred Phelps, has generated publicity by protesting at the funerals of US service personnel killed in action.

    3:50 PM — The Westboro Baptist Church has declared its intention to protest at the funeral of actor Heath Ledger, who died yesterday.The 28-year-old was best-known for his Oscar-nominated performance in gay-themed cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain. Although the cause of death is unknown, a drugs overdose is suspected. The Westboro Baptist Church, led by Fred Phelps, has generated publicity by protesting at the funerals of US service personnel.

  • Poland defiant over gay adoptions 6

    93% of Poles are against adoption by homosexuals according to a recent opinion poll.

    2:40 PM — Following yesterday's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that gay people are entitled to adopt, a leading member of the governing political party in Poland has said they will defy the ruling.The deputy speaker of the Parliament, Stefan Niesiolowski, is a member of the Citizen's Platform (PO)."The Court can go on and make a ruling, it still won't be enforced in Poland," he said.

  • Italian government faces confidence vote

    Church-state relations remain frosty following Pope Benedict XVI's repeated attacks on the proposed legislation to recognise gay couples.

    1:01 PM — The fate of Romano Prodi's administration rests on the votes of Senators after one of the nine parties that form the coalition government withdrew.Yesterday he called on Parliament to back him after the Christian Democrats pulled out on Monday, leaving him two votes short of a Senate majority. He has been in government less than two years.The House of Deputies, where he retains a majority, will vote on a motion of no confidence today.

  • Oscar nomination for documentary about lesbian cop

    Award-winning director Cynthia Wade is known for making unflinching films about controversial social issues.

    11:30 AM — A short documentary feature that chronicles a landmark legal battle over same-sex partner entitlement to pension benefits has been nominated for an Academy Award.Cynthia Wade's moving 38-minute documentary film Freeheld focuses on New Jersey Police Lieutenant Laurel Hester's battle to transfer her pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree.The film was awarded a Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and picked up eleven additional awards at film festivals in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle and Denver.

  • 22nd January 2008

    Actor withdraws from White House race

    Mr Thompson represented Tennessee in the Senate from 1994 to 2003.

    10:40 PM — A former star of hit TV show Law and Order has pulled out of the race for the Republican candidate for President of the United States after a string of poor showing in the primaries.Fred Thompson announced his decision earlier today and it is not known if he will back any of his opponents for the nomination. In 2004 he backed Senator John McCain."I have withdrawn my candidacy. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort," he said.

  • “Gay” firemen movie nominated for worst film of 2007

    Many gay men were uncomfortable with the crude stereotypes the film relies on to get laughs from its heterosexual target audience.

    11:50 AM — The nominations for the worst films of 2007 have been announced, and an attempt to make a comedy film about gay marriage has made it to the 28th annual Golden Raspberry awards shortlist.I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry has been nominated in eight categories including Worst Film, Worst Actor (Adam Sandler), Worst Supporting Actor (Kevin James), Worst Supporting Actress (Jessica Biel) and Worst Screen Couple (Sandler and either James OR Biel), Worst Screenplay and Worst Director.

  • Euro Court rules gay couples eligible to adopt 6

    ILGA-Europe (the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association), FIDH (Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme), APGL (Association des Parents et futurs Parents Gays et Lesbiens) and the BAAF (British Association for Adoption and Fostering) were granted permission to take part in the proceedings as third parties.

    11:50 AM — The European Court of Human Rights has ruled refusing gay couples the right to adopt a child because of their sexual orientation is discriminatory and in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights.Today the Grand Chamber delivered its judgement on gay adoption in the case of E.B. v France.Ms. E.B. is a lesbian nursery school teacher who has been living with another woman since 1990. She applied for approval as a possible adoptive parent in February 1998.

  • Gay Argentine leaders will fight to have marriage recognised

    Only a few areas of Argentina recognise civil unions between same-sex couples: Buenos Aires itself, the province of Río Negro in Patagonia, and the city of Villa Carlos Paz in Córdoba province.

    11:50 AM — The leaders of the Comunidad Homosexual Argentina married in Madrid on Monday.The two leaders of the leading gay rights organisation in Argentina have married in Madrid, under the law which allows same-sex couples to marry in Spain. Same-sex couples cannot get married in Argentina.César Cigliutti and Marcelo Suntheim have a recognised civil union under legislation which was passed in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, in 2003, but are unable to marry in Argentina.

  • Same-sex couples as committed as straight ones

    The study examined whether committed same-sex couples differed from engaged and married opposite-sex couples in how well they interacted and how satisfied they were with their partners.

    11:50 AM — Same-sex couples are just as committed in their romantic relationships as heterosexual couples, a new report has revealed.The finding disputes the stereotype that couples in same-sex relationships are not as committed as their heterosexual counterparts and therefore not as psychologically healthy.The study examined whether committed same-sex couples differed from engaged and married opposite-sex couples in how well they interacted and how satisfied they were with their partners.

  • US evangelicals rate gays as top election issue 4

    23% of voters said the “political efforts of conservative Christians“ are a major problem facing the country.

    11:15 AM — A survey has revealed that for evangelical Christians in the United States homosexuality is one of the key issues in the 2008 election.The Barna Group's research found that in this important group of voters abortion was the most pressing problem their country faces for 94%.For 75% of evangelicals "homosexual lifestyles" or the "political efforts of homosexual activists" were a concern. Among the general population only 35% agreed.

  • Swedes supportive of gay marriage 5

    Six of the seven parties represented in Sweden's parliament are in support of gay marriage.

    10:45 AM — A new poll has found that a majority of people in Sweden support moves to grant gay and lesbian couples full marriage.The three opposition parties in Sweden have said they may force a bill through parliament to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples.Under current laws, dating back to 1987, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.

  • European court to rule on gay adoption 6

    The ruling will have an impact on gay adoption laws throughout Europe.

    10:45 AM — The European Court of Human Rights will this week rule on whether the French authorities were right to refuse to allow a lesbian couple to adopt a child.The ruling will have an impact on gay adoption laws throughout Europe.A woman identified as EB, a 45-year-old French nursery school teacher, had been living with R, a psychologist, since 1990.

  • McCain’s win in South Carolina a “significant boost”

    South Carolina voters indicated they were more concerned about the economy than about illegal immigration, the war in Iraq or terrorism.

    10:20 AM — Arizona Senator John McCain has been declared the winner in the South Carolina primary results, beating out former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for a significant win in the first Southern primary.Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson won over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to take third place in the race.McCain led over Huckabee with 33 percent to 30 percent in a tight race.

  • 21st January 2008

    GLAAD announces nominees for 19th Media Awards

    The GLAAD Media Awards aim to recognise and honour media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives.

    1:05 PM — The Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has announced the nominees and honourees for its 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.Nominees this year include the films Across the Universe, The Jane Austen Book Club and Stardust, dramas Brothers Sisters and The L Word and comedies Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty and The War at Home.My Name is Earl and Law Order are nominated in the category for an individual episode (in a series without a regular LGBT character), while Project Runway is listed in the reality programme category.

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