4th January 2008
As Iowa chooses, Bush snoozes
1:45 PM — Don't expect to hear President George W. Bush's reaction to the Iowa caucus results until sometime today.His press secretary suggested in a news conference yesterday that nap time likely will outweigh whatever desire the President has to see who will gain the early lead in the US 2008 election season."What time do all the results start coming in?" asked White House press secretary Dana Perino.
New ‘divorce’ rights for Australian gay couples
1:30 PM — Gay and de facto couples in Australia who break up are set to win the same property rights as married couples.Unmarried couples will be able to settle their differences in Family Court thanks to Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls, who won Commonwealth and state backing for the federal law to be changed.Previously these couples were obliged to split their assets in state courts, which were more costly, more complicated and took longer than the Family Court.
Obama and Huckabee win in Iowa 4
3:08 AM — In an excting night in American politics, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee have won the first votes in the race to choose the country's Presidential candidates.Obama, the first African-American to stand a serious chance of winning nomination by a major party, romped home in a rural state that is 95% white.His stunning victory over former First Lady Hillary Clinton and former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards has transformed the race for the White House.
3rd January 2008
Coming out raises plight of gays in Korean military
4:00 PM — A South Korean riot policeman has declared his homosexuality on a police community website, raising questions about the treatment of gay people in the country's Armed Forces.All young men in the country are obliged to serve in the military or in the riot police for up to two years and have to take a test at the time of enlistment which includes various questions about their sexual orientation.Private Kim Hyun-jong (not his real name) vowed to fight social prejudice against sexual minorities.
Gay group questions Huckabee’s extreme views 7
3:01 PM — An American organisation that works to expose the tactics of "ex-gay" groups has raised concerns that a leading Republican candidate for President of the United States has links with known extremist groups.TruthWinsOut has said it is "alarmed" that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a serious contender for the White House.The first state caucus for the Republican nomination for the Presidency is being held in Iowa today and many polls put Huckabee in the lead.
Lesbian senator committed to fight for gay equality
2:30 PM — As the youngest woman ever elected to Western Australia's Legislative Council she was instrumental in pushing forward some of the most progressive gay equality laws in Australia, including equalising the age of consent, allowing same-sex adoption and banning sexual orientation discrimination.Now 35-year-old Louise Pratt has pledged to work just as hard as an advocate for LGBT rights in her new role as a federal Senator.She has spoken of her excitement at the recent elections that brought her party to power after 11 years of opposition.
COMMENT: Iowa caucuses too close to call 1
10:30 AM — Here's the only thing we know for certain about today's Iowa caucuses: no one can predict the winner.Here's the other thing that no one wants to talk about: Will Iowa really matter?For all the attention and millions of campaign dollars spent in the first Presidential contest in the nation, the Iowa caucuses are really a straw poll; a beauty contest with an actual delegate section coming down the road.
New York HIV infections up 32% among young gay men
10:02 AM — It has been over two decades since the HIV/AIDS epidemic became a national concern, and although in most communities the annual infection rate has been falling, New York City's young gay population doesn't seem to be part of the trend.The NY State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released new statistics about HIV/AIDS demographics, and the news is alarming for the gay population.The New York Times reports rates of new infection of HIV rose 32 percent in the five-year period from 2001-2006 among young gay men.
2nd January 2008
Spain’s ruling party attack Catholic bishops 8
5:30 PM — A leading member of the governing Socialist party in Spain has attacked the Roman Catholic Church for getting involved in politics.On Sunday a "family" rally was held in Madrid, and senior church figures lined up to criticise laws introduced since the Socialists took power in 2004 including same-sex marriage.Pope Benedict XVI addressed the crowd, estimated at 150,000 people, by a videolink from Rome.
US church leader: there are more gay bishops 2
2:30 PM — The leader of the Anglican church in the United States has stoked the controversy surrounding gay ordinations by claiming there are senior gay clergy and some of them are in relationships.Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, speaking on BBC Radio 4, said that the Episcopalian church, as Anglicans are known in the US, has been unfairly targeted over the ordination of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire.Bishop Robinson is openly gay and lives with his partner.
Iraq prisoner amnesty does not extend to gays 6
12:30 PM — A draft bill before the Iraqi parliament would grant an amnesty for as many as 5,000 prisoners, yet excludes those convicted of homosexual "crimes."Ali al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the country's government, said the bill had been sent to the parliament's Speaker yesterday.Iraqis being held by the Americans are also excluded, alongside those charged with terrorist offences, rape and adultery.
Joy in Concord as gay unions arrive in New Hampshire 1
10:50 AM — A group of gay and lesbian couples took advantage of a new law that came into force in the US state of New Hampshire yesterday by entering into civil unions in a mass outdoor ceremony.There were no protestors at the Statehouse in the capital Concord as 37 couples braved sub-zero temperatures just minutes into 2008 and exchanged vows.Yesterday New Hampshire became the fourth US state to legalise civil unions. Only Massachusetts has legal gay marriage.
Cher to present coming out TV show
10:05 AM — Singer Cher and her lesbian daughter Chastity Bono are to co-host a new reality television show aimed at helping people to come out of the closet, according to reports in the US.Chastity, whose late father Sonny Bono was Cher's husband and musical collaborator and a former member of the US House of Representatives, is a leading LGBT rights activist.She was outed by a tabloid newspaper in 1990 when she was 21 years old and initially denied her sexuality.
31st December 2007
Russian activist charged over TV outing 2
4:00 PM — Moscow Gay Pride organiser and gay rights activist Nicolas Alexeyev will be brought before a court after he outed a Russian politician on live television.The charges arise from comments he made on live TV in June, when he outed politician Alexander Cheuv as a homosexual.Last week the Moscow prosecutor's office completed their criminal investigation and confirmed there is a case against Mr Alexeyev.
California gay groups fight for protection at school
2:45 PM — Two gay rights groups are seeking to intervene in a lawsuit filed by anti-gay organisations that would prevent enforcement of California statutes protecting students from discrimination, harassment and bullying in publicly-funded schools.Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network filed a motion to intervene in federal district court in San Diego to defend the California statutes that prohibit discrimination and harassment in publicly-funded schools, including the newly-enacted Student Civil Rights Act (SB 777).
Pope addresses ‘family’ rally in Madrid 8
2:15 PM — For the tens of thousands who turned out in Mardid yesterday for a celebration of the place of the family, the appearance of Pope Benedict XVI via live satellite link from Rome was the highlight of their protest rally.Conservative Spaniards took to the streets of their capital city to protest at the legalisation of gay marriage and the loosening of divorce laws enacted by the socialist government.The Roman Catholic Church campaigned against gay rights but found they no longer have the power they once had.
US state grants civil unions from tomorrow
2:05 PM — Thousands of gay and lesbian couples are expected to take advantage of new civil unions which will be legal in the US state of New Hampshire from tomorrow.Governor John Lynch signed the civil unions bill into law in May. It will come into force on January 1st 2008.The bill previously passed the state's House of Representatives by a margin of 2 to 1. In April the state Senate approved the bill by 14 votes to 10.
30th December 2007
Huckabee says gay people chose their own behaviour 29
7:30 PM — Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee who is currently on the campaign trail for the Republican nomination for US President, has been challenged by NBC's Meet the Press on his stance on gay rights."I don't know whether people are born that way. People who are gay say that they're born that way. But one thing I know, that the behaviour one practices is a choice," he told host Tim Russert.
29th December 2007
Spanish clerics to face investigation over gay “cure” speech 3
12:45 AM — Two Spanish clerics, one Protestant, the other Catholic are under fire by gay rights organisations for their homophobic views.Protestant minister Marcos Zapata is to face an investigation by the Galicia regional government into the organisation he runs that claims to helps troubled youth. It is claimed that he recently hosted a seminar called "How to Raise Heterosexual Children". According to media at the seminar, Senor Zapata likened homosexuality to alcoholism and claimed it was an illness.
28th December 2007
Uruguay’s President grants legal rights for gay couples 2
12:49 AM — Uruguay has become the first Latin American country to to recognise same-sex civil unions after President Tabare Vazquez signed the law that had been passed earlier this month.The law grants cohabiting couples who have lived together for more than five years the same rights as straight married couples. The text states that "two people -- of any sex, identity, orientation or sexual option -- who maintain an emotional relationship sexual in nature, that is exclusive, stable and permanent, without being united in matrimony."