17th December 2007
Congressional opposition to new HIV+ travel restrictions
11:01 AM — Gay rights activists and US lawmakers are crying foul over regulations proposed by the Homeland Security Department that could actually make it more difficult for persons living with HIV/AIDS to travel to the United States.Under current federal law, travel and immigration to the US by HIV-positive people is severely restricted.In fact, at present, foreigners with the HIV/AIDS virus can only obtain visas after receiving a waiver from the Homeland Security Department.
Florida to vote on same-sex marriage ban 1
10:30 AM — Should the Florida constitution ban same-sex couples from marrying? That's the question that will be put before the state's voters next year, thanks to the efforts of Florida4Marriage.org, a coalition of groups led by Orlando lawyer John Stemberger.The coalition announced late last week that after three years they have succeeded in gathering the 611,009 signatures needed to add the question to the November 2008 ballot, assuming all of them are verified.
14th December 2007
Castro’s girl seeks legal protection for Cuban LGBT 1
4:05 PM — A Cuban sexologist has shocked her communist country by suggesting that gays, lesbians, transsexuals, transvestites and transgender people should be granted legal protection under forthcoming reforms.Mariela Castro, director of the National Centre for Sex Education (CENESEX), is calling for new measures including non-discrimination on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity.She also advocates the introduction of same-sex unions and adoption rights, and major reforms relating to health care and treatment of trans people.
Comment: Gay Hollywood. Two steps forward, two steps back
12:50 PM — It was the headline that spread like a California wildfire. Queen Latifah was to marry her longtime girlfriend/personal trainer and come out publicly following promotional duties for her latest flick, The Perfect Holiday. Though admittedly sceptical, the gays rallied. Would the A-lister finally say publicly what we've known for years?To be fair, we had reason to hope. After 14 years of essentially keeping her personal life under lock and key, Jodie Foster thanked longtime partner Cydney Bernard.
Peru urged to protect LGBT youth 1
12:05 PM — The Peruvian Congress is under pressure from gay rights activists to become a party to a convention on the rights of young people.The Ibero-American Convention on the Rights of Youth seeks to promote and safeguard the rights of young people and remedy the inequality that thousands of young people confront for a variety of reasons, including for having a sexual orientation different from heterosexuality.But the Foreign Relations Committee of the Congress of Peru has raised concerns in this respect.
Top brass speak out against US military gay ban
10:23 AM — 28 retired, high-ranking American military leaders have signed a letter calling for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."In the years since the policy was enacted, over 12,000 men and women have been discharged from the US military under the policy.The letter marks the single largest number of Generals and Admirals from the US Armed Forces to come out against the ban.
13th December 2007
MEPs want to block state funding for hate groups 1
4:54 PM — The European Parliament has called for public funding to be withdrawn from political parties, media organisations or businesses that incite to hate of a group of people on the basis of their race, religion, handicap, sexual orientation or nationality.Meeting in Strasbourg, the parliament today adopted a resolution to show its concern that several EU countries have experienced increased hate crimes against minority groups.The text of the resolution was adopted by 527 votes, with 15 against and 39 abstentions.
Exhibition of gay history to tour Czech Republic
4:42 PM — An exhibition detailing gay life from antiquity to the modern day was unveiled earlier this week in Prague.Archives, photos and pages from gay publications will detail the experiences of gay people in the Czech Republic."We want to show to the public that gays and lesbians did not fall from the Mars," gay rights advocate Jiri Hromada told CTK."The older generation used to say there were no homosexuals in its youth."
Lesbian denied teaching permit in Chile
4:10 PM — Gay rights leaders in Chile have said they are disappointed at the government's stance regarding a lesbian teacher who is being denied re-certification.Sandra Pavez taught religious education at a state elementary school in Santiago for 21 years.The Roman Catholic church revoked her permission to teach religion after finding out she is a lesbian. In Chile religious education teachers legally have to be certified by a religious authority in order to teach.
ANC challenged over equality for LGBT South Africans 1
2:30 PM — As South Africa's main political party prepares for its 52nd congress, LGBT groups have issued a manifesto asking for a clear commitment to equality.The African National Congress, which will meet this weekend to decide the next leader of the party and its future political stance, has been asked by the Joint Workers Group to uphold the Constitution's promise of "freedom, justice and equality for all."The ANC has been South Africa's governing party since 1994. The current party leader Thabo Mbeki is the country's President .
L Word inspires million dollar gift to cancer foundation
12:58 PM — An anonymous donor has given a $1 million (£490,000) gift to a cancer foundation in honour of Erin Daniels and Leisha Hailey, two of the stars of the hit Showtime series, The L Word, for the realism and truth they brought to a breast cancer storyline that ended with the death of Erin Daniels' character, Dana Fairbanks.It is the largest private donation ever made to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation."The donor, who has chosen to remain anonymous, wanted to honour the actresses."
Morocco pressured to drop gay convictions 2
12:40 PM — The criminal verdicts in Morocco against six men sentenced to prison for homosexual conduct should be set aside and the men released, human rights activists said today.The court of first instance in Ksar el-Kbir, a small city about 120km south of Tangiers, convicted the men on December 10th of violating article 489 of Morocco's penal code.It criminalises "lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex."
Swedish same-sex couples to get church weddings 3
11:50 AM — Sweden's main Church said yesterday it will endorse same-sex couples to wed in church.As the Swedish government prepares a "gender neutral" marriage law, the Church of Sweden agreed that marriage and partnership were equivalent forms of unions.It recommended however that the term "marriage" be referred only to heterosexual couples.
Clinton and Obama tied in polls
11:10 AM — With less than a month to go before the first Presidential primary, Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are in a statistical dead heat according to the results of the latest CNN/WMUR poll released this morning.Not long ago, Clinton was thought to have a pretty substantial lead over her Oprah-backed competitor, but in the last few months the gap has narrowed.Since the last CNN/WMUR poll conducted in November, the former First Lady has dropped 5 percentage points.
12th December 2007
US court told prom dress ban was unconstitutional 1
5:05 PM — Papers filed today in the Northern District Court of Indiana by an LGBT civil rights organisation argue that a high school violated a male pupil's rights under the First Amendment of the US constitution by barring him from his prom for wearing a dress.K.K. Logan attended West Side High in Gary, Indiana, during his junior and senior year and expressed a deeply rooted femininity in his appearance and demeanour say Lambda Legal.K.K. Logan said: "I don't dress this way to make trouble or draw attention to myself."
Men sentenced for Dubai rape of 15-year-old boy 1
4:43 PM — Two men have been sentenced by a Dubai court to fifteen years in prison for raping a 15-year-old Western boy.One of the men is HIV positive. A third man is being tried by a juvenile court on the same charges.Alexander Robert, of French-Swiss nationality, was in the United Arab Emirates last summer when a group of men took him to a desert, threatened him with a knife and repeatedly raped him.
Election leaflet investigated for inciting gay hate
4:30 PM — An election pamphlet produced by the Liberal party in Australia is being investigated after complaints that it was designed to stir up hatred of lesbian and gay people.Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner will investigate the leaflet, which called same-sex marriage and trans rights extreme and harmful and associated them with the pirate skull and crossbones motif."The purpose of the Liberal pamphlet was not to promote policy debate but to foster fear, ignorance and hatred," said Martine Delaney.
Pope’s message – gay weddings threaten peace 14
4:01 PM — The annual message from the head of the Roman Catholic Church to the world has been unveiled.Pope Benedict's statement will mark World Peace Day on January 1st.It is entitled The Human Family, A Community of Peace, and in it he calls for the dismantling of nuclear weapons and environmental co-operation and describes gay marriage as "an obstacle on the road to peace."
Taiwanese Presidential candidate victim of gay slurs
3:20 PM — A senior official in the Taiwan Ministry of Education has outraged equality groups with a series of comments about a leading political party's candidate for President.Chuang Kuo-jung, secretary-general of the ministry, said that the Kuomintang party's Presidential candidate, Ma Ying-jeou, was effeminate.He also said that the mayor of Taipei "looked very much like a gay," according to Central News Agency.
Harvey Milk biopic attracts star interest
2:32 PM — Principal photography on a biopic of San Francisco gay activist Harvey Milk will begin in January with Sean Penn in the lead role, and several well-known young actors are rumoured to be taking roles in the film.Josh Brolin, star of the upcoming Coen brothers film No Country for Old Men, is in last-minute negotiations with director Gus Van Sant about the role of Dan White, Milk's assassin.James Franco, best known for his role in the Spiderman films, is slated to play Milk's longterm partner Scott Smith.