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  • 19th March 2008

    Comment: Obama’s hit and miss speech on race 6

    In terms of telling his personal story and giving voters a view of the complexities of the richly diverse experience from which he has come, Barack Obama succeeded spectacularly.

    12:10 PM — In a speech prompted by extensive media coverage of the divisive, racially-tinged sermons of his pastor and 'spiritual mentor' of the last twenty years, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama today attempted to address concerns over his stance on issues, including race and patriotism, that have dogged his campaign for the last week.Speaking from the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia, Senator Obama's words yesterday broadened the context of the debate beyond the firestorm surrounding Reverend Wright's comments alone and instead focused on the subject of race in America.

  • Polish President uses gays as EU treaty scare tactic 20

    President Kaczynski's address to the nation on Monday nights used heavy-handed tactics to warn of the danger's of the Lisbon treaty.

    11:40 AM — Poland's attempts to ratify the Lisbon Treaty have been thrown into disarray after President Lech Kaczynski made a controversial speech to the nation decrying German influence on the country and gay marriage.Prime Minister Donald Tusk accused the head of state of trying to scare Poles.Opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski is the President's twin brother and leader of the homophobic Law and Justice party.

  • NY Governor reveals extra-marital affairs

    46-year-old Paterson is making headlines as both the first black Governor of New York and also the country's first blind Governor.

    11:20 AM — Hours after being sworn in as the new Governor of New York, David A. Paterson seemed intent to avoid himself an Eliot Spitzer-like media blitz and tossed his own skeletons out of the closet.Paterson told the New York Daily News that he and his wife both had affairs during a rough patch in their marriage.As he was sworn in, Paterson was hailed as a man of integrity, a word formerly used to describe his predecessor Eliot Spitzer.

  • Barack Obama on race in America 6

    Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy.

    1:10 AM — "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

  • 18th March 2008

    GLAAD honours Matthew Shepard’s mother

    Judy Shepard was honoured for her tireless work for LGBT Americans.

    5:00 PM — The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Excellence in Media Award has been presented to the mother of a murdered gay teenager.At the GLAAD Media Awards in New York yesterday Judy Shepard was honoured for her tireless work for LGBT Americans.As executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, she has become one of America's most vocal advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

  • Egypt accused of undermining fight against AIDS 5

    Earlier this month Cairo prosecutors handed down indictments against five men on debauchery charges.

    4:05 PM — Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have accused the Egyptian government of "official ignorance and prejudice about HIV" in the wake of more prosecutions for "habitual debauchery."The term is used under Egyptian law to prosecute consensual sexual acts between men.Earlier this month Cairo prosecutors handed down indictments against five men on debauchery charges. The lead prosecutor told a lawyer for the defendants that the men should not be allowed to "roam the streets freely."

  • Another outing for R.E.M. singer 1

    The 48 year old R.E.M. star, who is known for deflecting questions about his sexuality.

    3:10 PM — Michael Stipe has announced that he is gay. The 48 year old R.E.M. star, who is known for deflecting questions about his sexuality, told US music magazine Spin "I was totally open with the band and my family and my friends and certainly the people I was sleeping with. I thought it was pretty obvious."I'd just never felt strongly enough about a particular relationship to say, 'Yeah, he's my boyfriend, that is what it is.'"

  • Gay adoption ruling may set precedent in Israel 1

    The landmark decision, made by the Ramat Gan Family Court in Tel Aviv, may well set a precedent for other gay couples.

    1:30 PM — An Israeli court has ruled that a gay couple can both register to be their adopted son's father.The landmark decision, made by the Ramat Gan Family Court in Tel Aviv, may well set a precedent for other gay couples.Giora Shavit and his long-time partner Avi Shadiv have now registered to jointly adopt their five-year-old son. The four year old boy, who comes from Georgia, has no registered biological parents.

  • McGreevey confirms threesome claims 1

    The former Governor appeared on Oprah in 2006, and shocked viewers with his confession of an encounter with a gay aide while his wife lay in bed in hospital following a difficult birth of their son.

    11:40 AM — The saga of Jim McGreevey, the first US state Governor to come out of the closet, continues with allegations he and his ex-wife regularly had threesomes with a male employee.The former Governor of New Jersey admitted in 2004 to having an extra-marital affair with his male aide Golan Cipel.McGreevey announced the story himself and resigned from office after a sexual harassment lawsuit was brought against him by Cipel.

  • Scouts frank about gay sex, drugs and abortion 1

    Founded by Robert Baden-Powell in England in 1907, the Scout movement has an estimated 38 million members in 216 countries.

    11:10 AM — A report by the Italian Scouting Association has reportedly found that nine out of ten Scouts and Girl Guides questioned have no problem with pre-marital sex.Other liberal attitudes expressed by the young people, gathered together from international scouting associations at a jamboree in Florence in 2006, include one quarter of the girls and 12 per cent of the boys reportedly saying that they would consider a same-sex experience.More than 80 per cent of those questioned said they were happy to get drunk.

  • Homophobic politician’s son denies he is gay 11

    Representative Kern reiterated her son's comments, telling the Tulsa World that he is “artistic, very musical, and not one to play on the football team,“ but that he was not gay.

    10:58 AM — Much talk has been made about Oklahoma State House Representative Sally Kern's remarks that the "gay agenda" was more threatening to her country than terrorism.Rumours began to circulate after the media frenzy about her remarks erupted that her son, a 31-year-old affiliate of the Des Moines School of Metaphysics, was gay.This week however, Jesse Kern denied those rumours, saying he is not gay, just celibate.

  • 17th March 2008

    Elton to play fundraiser for Hillary

    Mrs Clinton, 60, has used her time as First Lady to burnish her credentials as a foreign affairs expert.

    6:00 PM — British pop legend Sir Elton John has stepped into the political limelight for the second time this year by agreeing to raise funds for Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign for President of the United States.The multi-millionaire singer-songwriter said in a statement: "I'm not a politician but I believe in the work that Hillary Clinton does."Last month Sir Elton and his civil partner David Furnish held a dinner at their London home to introduce potential donors to Brian Paddick, a friend of the couple and the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of the city.

  • Swiss may deport gay teen to Cameroon 1

    Organisers of the campaign to stop Mr Zali's deportation have suggested a number of actions that could help him to stay in Switzerland.

    4:20 PM — Switzerland is due to return a Cameroonian teenager to his home country, where he could face imprisonment and physical punishment.Anatole Zali arrived in Switzerland from Cameroon on 3rd February 2008 and claimed asylum on the grounds that he had been threatened because he is gay.In Cameroon, Zali, who is 18, claims to have received threats from the police, where he stayed with his cousin for protection.

  • Gay protest at St Patrick’s Day parade 3

    Today's St Patrick's Day parade will be the 247th in the New York's history. photo: craig hatfield@flickr.com

    3:20 PM — A gay rights group in New York will protest at the traditional St Patrick's Day Parade today.The group, Irish Queers, plans to disrupt the parade, which excludes members of the LGBT community on the grounds that it is a religious event."We're sick of hearing city officials say they can't intercede in the homophobia because it's a religious march," said Tierney Gleason of Irish Queers.

  • Russian anti-homophobia week faces nationalist protests

    LGBT activists regularly face intimidation and violence from far right groups.

    1:40 PM — Anti-gay activist have begun preparations to disrupt the planned Russian Week Against Homophobia.It is being held in cities such as Moscow, St Petersburg, Voronezh,Krasnodar, Omsk, Petrozavodsk, Rostov-na-Donu, Samara, Tumen and Cheylabinsk.During the week of March 25th-31st, there will be a series of seminars, panel discussions, meetings and film showings with debates. In addition to this, more signatures for the Manifesto against Homophobia, that was started last year, will be sought.

  • Gay votes may have been pivotal in Malta election 3

    Malta's gay community accounts for about 5% of the voting population and many have been won over by the pro-gay AD.

    11:50 AM — A political party in Malta that campaigns for LGBT rights may have set back their cause by taking votes away from the country's Labour Party.Labour are generally considered to be more liberal than the winning Nationalist Party (PN), who now remain in power.For a decade the Green Party in Malta, Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) and their leader Harry Vasallo have challenged the two-party system in Malta and pushed for gay civil rights, attracting the votes of thousands of LGBT on the island.

  • Copenhagen Pride funding restored after media campaign 2

    Copenhagen Pride is a week-long festival attended by tens of thousands of people.

    11:30 AM — Officials in the Danish capital Copenhagen have reversed a decision to withhold funding from the city's gay Pride event.Leading Danish LGBT media outlet PrideRadio.dk has described the reaction to the decision, which cited new procedures, as a "media craze that attacked the city's right-wing 'mayor of culture' Mrs Allerslev."She has now said that "a mistake had been made in rejecting funds for Copenhagen Pride."

  • Norway moves to legalise gay marriage 1

    The new legislation, while not full equal marriage, amends the definition of civil marriage in Norway to make it gender neutral.

    10:50 AM — The Norwegian government has introduced legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry and have joint custody over children.The Scandinavian country already allows gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil partnerships, but LGBT rights groups have long complained the law does not go far enough.The Norwegian National Association for Lesbian and Gay Liberation (LLH) said the current arrangements created two classes of citizenship.

  • Petition for men convicted over “gay party” in Morocco 1

    The Moroccan government is being urged to protect the human rights to privacy and to a fair trial.

    10:21 AM — The Moroccan Association for Human Rights, along with Human Rights Watch, is launching a petition following the imprisonment of six men for same sex sexual conduct.Police in Morocco arrested the men in November 2007 after a video circulated on the Internet showing a private party in Ksar-el-Kbir.A Tangiers appeals court upheld the conviction under Article 489 of Morocco's penal code.

  • Hollywood star pays tribute to murdered teen 1

    Actress Portia De Rossi has paid tribute to a murdered teenager in a new public service television advert broadcast in America.

    10:20 AM — Actress Portia De Rossi has paid tribute to a murdered teenager in a new public service television advert broadcast in America.Lawrence King, who was reportedly openly gay and sometimes wore 'feminine' clothing to school, was shot twice in the head while in class at the E.O. Green School in Oxnard, California last month.The 60 second commercial, also featuring Grey's Anatomy star TR Knight, Janet Jackson, Andre 3000 and Ashanti, debuted on America's gay TV network Logo last week.

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