9th April 2008
MEPs demand EU directive cover gay discrimination 2
4:30 PM — Members of the European Parliament's LGBT rights group and the International Lesbian and Gay Association are calling on the European Commission to propose a "horizontal" EU directive tackling discrimination on basis of sexual orientation.EU directives are legislation that requires member states to, for example, deal with discrimination, but leaves it up to the states to decide on the best course of action to take.A new EU directive will be decided on by the Commission in the coming months.
PFLAG accuse homophobic politician of lying 10
4:30 PM — Advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has released new audio footage of politician Sally Kern that contradicts her statements to the press.The Oklahoma state representative, who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism, met with three PFLAG representatives last month.Both sides described the encounter as polite and cordial but just hours after the meeting, she said she was being misrepresented.
Canada’s lesbian senator to tackle homophobic MP
4:10 PM — The Prime Minister of Canada has declined to discipline one of his MPs over comments he made in 1991 calling gay people "homosexual faggots with dirt on their fingernails that transmit disease."Conservative Stephen Harper told the House of Commons on Monday that he considers the matter closed after Tom Lukiwski apologised.However, the only openly gay member of the PM's parliamentary party has decided to challenge Lukiwski about his remarks, which only came to light last week.
Euro court will not re-open trans case
3:50 PM — The European Court of Human Rights will not re-examine the case of a Lithuanian transsexual who won there last September.The seven judges ruled that Lithuania must implement new legislation on gender reassignment or pay damages.The 28-year-old, known as Mr L, has been undergoing gender reassignment since 1998 including hormone treatment and breast removal, but was blocked from more treatment because of the laws in Lithuania.
8th April 2008
Homophobic remarks come back to haunt Canadian MP
2:30 PM — A politician in Canada has issued an apology after a the discovery of a videotape in which he described homosexuals as 'diseased.'Tom Lukiwski, a 56-year-old Conservative MP spoke of his, "deep regret and deep remorse for my words of 17 years ago."He was elected in 2004 after his predecessor, Larry Spencer, was barred from running for making homophobic comments. Mr Spencer was a member of the Canadian Alliance caucus.
‘God Hates Fags’ sect could lose their church 6
2:00 PM — A federal judge has ordered that the Westboro Baptist Church building and the Phelps-Chartered Law office be taken away from the owners in order to pay a $5 million (£2.54m) fine.The church runs numerous websites such as GodHatesFags.com, GodHatesAmerica.com and others expressing condemnation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, Roman Catholics, Muslims and Jews.The religious organisation was ordered to pay the damages after members of its congregation picketed the funeral of two American servicemen.
Lesbian mums fight for legal rights in Israel
12:40 PM — A Israeli lesbian couple have filed a suit in a Tel Aviv district court for the right to both be named the biological parents of their newborn baby boy.The case is exceptional as it is the first time that both partners in a homosexual relationship have had an active and biological role in the birth of the child.After the woman who bore the child experienced fertility problems the couple decided that the other partner would conceive.
Lesbian politician’s office “hid” taxpayer’s money
12:30 PM — The New York City Council Speaker's office has been accused of allocating millions of dollars to non-existent organisations and hoarding the money for redistribution to other groups favoured by council members.Christine Quinn, the first woman to hold the post, is expected to run for Mayor of the city next year. She insists all taxpayer's money was used for legitimate purposes.However, investigations by the US Attorney's Office and the city's Department of Investigation are already underway.
Hillary/Degeneres 08? Candidate talks gay with with Ellen
12:10 PM — Kick-starting her appearance on Ellen with a campaign t-shirt touting "Degeneres/Clinton '08," Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton set the tone for her light but topical appearance on the openly gay talk show host's daytime chat fest.Ellen Degeneres sat down with Clinton to discuss everything from being a woman in the race for president to gay marriage.True to form, Degeneres' visit with Clinton included the kitsch factor, including a 2008 Presidential survival kit and an audible "What" from Clinton when Degeneres announced that she is gay.
Gay Jesus and Apostles removed from cathedral exhibition 3
11:45 AM — A work of art by one of Vienna's most celebrated artists has been taken down after offending members of the Catholic community.The painting is part of a large collection of works that depict Jesus and his disciples engaging in homosexual acts.To celebrate the 80th birthday of artist Alfred Hrdlicka, the gallery attached to St. Stephen's Catholic Cathedral decided to put on a retrospective of the artists work.
7th April 2008
Poland approves Lisbon Treaty with rights opt-out 1
5:30 PM — Both Houses of the Polish parliament have approved the Lisbon Treaty with an opt-out from the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.The UK is the only other nation in the 27-member EU to opt out of the charter, which is legally binding on EU institutions such as the European Court of Justice, as part of the new Reform Treaty agreed by the EU heads of government in Lisbon.The Lisbon treaty needed a two-thirds majority vote in the Polish parliament to become law.
International pressure on Egypt over HIV arrests
5:10 PM — More than 115 organisations that advocate human rights and the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS have protested to the government of Egypt over a spate of recent arrests.The groups signing the letter represent 41 countries on six continents, among them Human Rights Watch and Amnesty.In a letter to the Health Ministry and the Egyptian Doctors' Syndicate, the groups said that doctors who helped interrogate men jailed on suspicion of being HIV-positive violated their own medical ethics.
Hillary Clinton repeats desire to end gay military ban
3:04 PM — The policy of Don't Ask Don't Tell, which bars openly lesbian, bisexual or gay people from serving in the United States Armed Forces, will most likely have to be repealed by Congress, according to Hillary Clinton.The Senator from New York was First Lady of the United States when the policy became law in 1993.She is now running for the White House in her own right, and is one of two candidates for the Democratic nomination for President.
Obama challenged over lack of contact with gay press 13
1:30 PM — One of America's most respected gay publications has accused Presidential candidate Barack Obama of disrespecting the "entire local LGBT press."Last week Philadelphia Gay News published an wide-ranging interview with his rival for the Democratic nomination Senator Hillary Clinton, ahead of the Pennsylvania primary later this month.In an Editorial Letter to Obama last week, PGN said that he has only spoken with the gay press twice.
Death of screen icon who opposed gay equality
11:50 AM — Legendary actor Charlton Heston died on Saturday at the age of 83.The iconic actor of such films as Ben Hur and Soylent Green died at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife, Lydia Clarke Heston, by his side.Heston is survived by son Fraser Clarke Heston, daughter Holly Ann Heston, and three grandchildren.Heston's family released a statement on Saturday confirming the actor's death.
Anger at “laissez-faire attitude” as US HIV infections up 48%
11:40 AM — A US Centre for Disease Ccontrol HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, that was quietly released recently, shows a "catastrophic" 48% increase in US HIV infections between the years 2005 and 2006.The number of infections jumped to 52,878 new reported cases in 2006 up from 35,537 reported in 2005.With the lifetime costs of one HIV-infected individual's treatment and care estimated to be $600,000 (£302,000) , the new CDC surveillance numbers suggest a $36 billion aggregate cost for caring for these nearly 53,000 individuals.
Pope to face gay protests during US visit 26
11:30 AM — DignityUSA will sponsor a series of public events and witnesses during Pope Benedict XVI's pastoral visit to the United States April 15th to 20th.Events will be held in both Washington, D.C. and New York City.The oldest and most progressive organisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, DignityUSA has fifty chapters and local contacts in every state.
4th April 2008
Court rules website cannot ask sexual orientation question
5:50 PM — A roommate-finding site is prohibited from asking users to disclose their sexual orientation, a US appeals court has ruled.Arizona-based website Roommates.com came under fire by The Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley and the Fair Housing Council of San Diego, who claimed the site violated the Fair Housing Act by demanding users list their sexual orientation as part of their application form.It is the latest dispute over whether anti-discrimination rules apply to the web.
Europe concerned about gays in Lithuania
5:15 PM — A leading European organisation has reminded the government of a new EU nation that rallies and public events cannot be banned just because some people are homophobic.The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe expressed concern about the situation in Lithuania, where sexual minorities are barred from holding Pride marches by the authorities in the capital Vilnius.A Luxembourgian member of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly, Jean Huss, complained to the committee.
Kennedy pushes LGB but not T workplace protections 2
4:50 PM — A US Senator has caused outrage among the gay community by refusing to advocate a federal ban on job bias against transsexuals and cross-dressers, despite lending his support to homosexuals.Edward M Kennedy, who represents Massachusetts, is currently leading the push for a ban on employment bias against gays, lesbians and bisexuals, but will not extend the campaign to include others whose outward appearance does not match their gender at birth.Kennedy, who has previously campaigned for the gay community, has said it will be an "uphill struggle" to pass the bill.