13th March 2009
Obama to decide on gay partnership rights 5
5:11 PM — US president Barack Obama is to decide whether the government must provide health insurance benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees.
US Republican Party head: ‘I can’t deny gays their nature’ 12
4:49 PM — The new head of the Republican Party, Michael Steele, has spoken out on gay issues. However, he admitted being against marriage for same-sex couples but denied his view was homophobic.
Gay men in Jamaica ‘face higher levels of HIV due to discrimination’ 4
4:00 PM — Gay Jamaican men are suffering from high levels of sexually-transmitted diseases due to discriminaty barriers in accessing healthcare, it has been suggested. According to the Caribbean HIV & AIDS Alliance, gay men are reluctant to go to healthcare providers because of homophobic laws and attitudes in the country.
Rise of ‘corrective rapes’ on lesbians in South Africa 5
2:57 PM — A new report has suggested a rise in 'corrective rapes' on lesbians in South Africa. According to charity ActionAid, women in Johannesburg and Cape Town are suffering an increase in homophobic attacks and sexual assaults which are seen as a form of punishment or "cure".
Eleven gay discharges in US military in January 9
1:32 PM — Eleven gay servicemembers were discharged from the US military in January under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, including a human intelligence collector, a military police officer and four infantry personnel.
Transgender activist murdered in Turkey 6
12:12 PM — The killing of Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender human rights activist on March 10th in Istanbul, Turkey, has led to calls for the Turkish government to protect trans people.
12th March 2009
Research group to address training in LGBT issues for medical staff 1
4:31 PM — A group of students from the Stanford University School of Medicine are working on increasing training for medical students on LGBT healthcare concerns.
Family Guy provokes anger over gay orgy scene 27
3:48 PM — Animated TV show Family Guy has come under fire from a parents' group over a recent episode that showed a gay orgy. In the episode, screened in the US on March 8th, storylines included a gay orgy featuring 11 men, a baby eating horse semen and bestiality.
2010 US census ‘will not include gays’ 6
3:12 PM — The next US census, to be carried out next year, will not ask about sexual orientation or recognise gay marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships. If two men or two women who live together list themselves as husband and husband, or wife and wife, they will be counted as unmarried partners.
Lesbian student sues over prom tuxedo ban 11
11:54 AM — A lesbian student in Indiana, US, has sued her school after she was banned from wearing a tuxedo at a prom. The 17-year-old, who has not been named, does not wear dresses because she sees them as expressing a sexual identity she does not embrace, court filings said.
Florida bill will repeal gay adoption ban 5
11:04 AM — A bill to repeal a 1977 ruling against gays and lesbians adopting in Florida, US, has been introduced. It is sponsored by state senator Nan Rich, a Democrat from Weston, who is introducing another bill to grant judges the discretion to determine adoptions solely on “the best interests” of the child.
Ashton Kutcher speaks out about gay slurs 13
10:14 AM — Ashton Kutcher has said using words such as 'fag' is as bad as calling people 'niggers'. The actor, who used Twitter to get his point across, was responding to another user who called him 'gay' for hurting his hand on a punchbag.
11th March 2009
Anti-gay laws in Nigeria ‘will lead to widespread human rights abuses’ 7
5:54 PM — Nigerian activists have said that a new bill outlawing same-sex marriage will lead to increased arrests and abuse of anyone suspected to be gay. Gay sex is already an imprisonable offence in the country, but the new bill would make it illegal for gay couples to live together.
San Francisco archbishop bans gay play from ‘inclusive’ church 20
4:57 PM — Students in the Castro neighbourhood of San Francisco have been barred from staging a play that details a young man's struggle with his sexuality and his Christian faith.
Elton John to speak on HIV/AIDS at biotechnology conference 1
2:56 PM — Singer Elton John is to give a keynote speech at the Biotechnology Industry Organisation's annual conference, focusing on HIV/AIDS. The star will highlight how biotechnology has influenced prevention and treatment of the disease and discuss the outlook for challenges and solutions that lie ahead.
Religious groups urged to ‘ignore’ Baltic Pride event 5
1:11 PM — An official in the city of Rīga, Latvia, has called for religious groups to 'ignore' the city's upcoming Pride march, saying that scant attention may dissuade organisers from holding future events.
Court permits Israeli gay couple to adopt son
12:44 PM — A Tel Aviv family court has ruled that a gay couple can adopt the son they took in 14 years ago. Uzi Even and Amit Kama, who married in 1994 in Canada, are the first same-sex male couple in the country whose right of adoption has been legally acknowledged.
10th March 2009
Iowa senator introduces gender-neutral civil marriage legislation 1
5:57 PM — Openly gay Iowa state Senator Matt McCoy (Democrat) has introduced legislation that would make civil marriages in Iowa gender neutral. The bill would remove words such as 'husband' and 'wife' from the state's laws, replacing them with 'spouse'.
US mental health experts support gay marriage 1
5:28 PM — Leading mental health organisations in Vermont, US, have come out in support of gay marriage, claiming it will validate relationships, increase benefits for the families and could reduce discrimination.
Poll shows California voters still split on gay marriage 1
3:57 PM — A field poll of California's electorate has suggested that voters are more sharply divided over Proposition 8 than they were in November, when the gay marriage ban was passed.