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bars openly lesbian, bisexual or gay people from serving in the United States Armed Forces, will most likely have to be repealed by Congress, according to Hillary Clinton.The Senator from New York was First Lady of the United States when the policy became law in 1993.She is now running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.
Hillary Clinton will make gay rights US foreign policy 1
3:50 PM — One of two contenders for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States has said that if elected she will be "strongly outspoken" on the executions of gay people in countries such as Iran.In an interview with Philadelphia Gay News ahead of the Pennsylvania primary later this month, Senator Hillary Clinton answered questions on gay marriage, immigration policy for same-sex couples and the ban on openly gay people serving in the US military.
Gay rights group pays tribute to Bertie Ahern 17
2:06 PM — Politicians from across Europe have spoken about the impact departing Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern had during his decade in office.His tireless work and legendary charm helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, and like his close friend Tony Blair he led his country through a period of economic growth and prosperity.But for some Irish people, his commitment to equality for his gay and lesbian fellow citizens marks him out as one of the most important of the country's political leaders.
Burlesque star’s lesbian porn past revealed 1
11:00 AM — Burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese (real name Heather Renee Sweet) was once featured in a hardcore lesbian porn sex tape; one starring role she might just prefer to forget.This week, clips leaked from the porn video feature the statuesque stunner engaged in erotic sexual positions with several women—and a stiletto pump.The leaked video footage that appeared on the Net this week is reportedly from a 1999 Pin-Ups 2 fetish film.
3rd April 2008
Finland appoints gay rights campaigner as Foreign Minister 1
12:40 PM — Members of the European Parliament have welcomed the appointment of Alexander Stubb as Finland's Minister of Foreign Affairs.He has been one of the Parliament's leading gay and lesbian rights campaigners and Vice President of the LGBT Intergroup."The Intergroup is thrilled for Alexander and sends him our warmest greetings," said British MEP Michael Cashman, President of the Intergroup. "It has been a great pleasure working with Alexander."
Rally in support of politician who thinks gays worse than terrorists 10
9:35 AM — More than 1,000 people gathered in the Oklahoma capital on Wednesday to show their support for state representative Sally Kern.Kern came under fire last month after an audio recording was leaked of her comparing gays to terrorists and saying the "homosexual agenda is destroying this nation."The YouTube video posted last month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund featured Kern speaking out.
Pregnant trans man talks to Oprah 3
9:20 AM — Thomas Beatie, a transgender man from Portland, Oregon who revealed he is pregnant in the latest issue of The Advocate, will make his first television appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show today.The 'pregnant man', as he has been labelled in the press, will speak about his decision to carry a child when his wife was unable to conceive. In the The Advocate, Thomas Beatie wrote a guest column about his extraordinary experience.
2nd April 2008
Gay rights advocate resigns as Irish Prime Minister 17
6:30 PM — The Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland has announced his resignation following an investigation into corruption.Bertie Ahern, 56, has been Taoiseach since June 1997 and has been a strong supporter of gay rights in Ireland. In 2006 he told the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN):"Our sexual orientation is not an incidental attribute. It is an essential part of who and what we are. All citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, stand equal in the eyes of our laws."
Chat show host admits gay crack was “dumb thing to do”
5:30 PM — Emmy Award-winning American comedian and television host Jay Leno has apologised for on-air remarks he made during a chat with Ryan Phillippe that were then criticised by gay activists and others.The 58 year old host caused offence when he asked the Hollywood heartthrob to give him his "gayest look."Phillippe started his acting career playing a gay character in hit US soap One Life To Live .
Thailand joins gay blood ban 2
2:00 PM — The Thai Red Cross Society has decided to reject blood donations from homosexual men in a move which has met with strong opposition from human rights organisations.It said it had large amounts of unused blood that had tested HIV-positive.Most of the infected blood was reportedly from men who were having unprotected sex with other men, according the director of the National Blood Centre, Soisaang Pikulsod. Thailand is not the first country to ban gay men from donating blood.
Military u-turn over lesbian Congresswoman’s partner
1:45 PM — The US Secretary of Defence has intervened after a lesbian Congresswoman's partner was barred from accompanying her on a military aircraft during an official trip.It is reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, phoned Defence Secretary Robert Gates to ask him to intervene.Tammy Baldwin, who represents Wisconsin's second district, is the only openly gay woman in Congress.