3rd January 2008
COMMENT: Iowa caucuses too close to call 1
10:30 AM — Here's the only thing we know for certain about today's Iowa caucuses: no one can predict the winner.Here's the other thing that no one wants to talk about: Will Iowa really matter?For all the attention and millions of campaign dollars spent in the first Presidential contest in the nation, the Iowa caucuses are really a straw poll; a beauty contest with an actual delegate section coming down the road.
New York HIV infections up 32% among young gay men
10:02 AM — It has been over two decades since the HIV/AIDS epidemic became a national concern, and although in most communities the annual infection rate has been falling, New York City's young gay population doesn't seem to be part of the trend.The NY State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released new statistics about HIV/AIDS demographics, and the news is alarming for the gay population.The New York Times reports rates of new infection of HIV rose 32 percent in the five-year period from 2001-2006 among young gay men.
2nd January 2008
Spain’s ruling party attack Catholic bishops 8
5:30 PM — A leading member of the governing Socialist party in Spain has attacked the Roman Catholic Church for getting involved in politics.On Sunday a "family" rally was held in Madrid, and senior church figures lined up to criticise laws introduced since the Socialists took power in 2004 including same-sex marriage.Pope Benedict XVI addressed the crowd, estimated at 150,000 people, by a videolink from Rome.
US church leader: there are more gay bishops 2
2:30 PM — The leader of the Anglican church in the United States has stoked the controversy surrounding gay ordinations by claiming there are senior gay clergy and some of them are in relationships.Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, speaking on BBC Radio 4, said that the Episcopalian church, as Anglicans are known in the US, has been unfairly targeted over the ordination of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire.Bishop Robinson is openly gay and lives with his partner.
Iraq prisoner amnesty does not extend to gays 6
12:30 PM — A draft bill before the Iraqi parliament would grant an amnesty for as many as 5,000 prisoners, yet excludes those convicted of homosexual "crimes."Ali al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the country's government, said the bill had been sent to the parliament's Speaker yesterday.Iraqis being held by the Americans are also excluded, alongside those charged with terrorist offences, rape and adultery.
Joy in Concord as gay unions arrive in New Hampshire 1
10:50 AM — A group of gay and lesbian couples took advantage of a new law that came into force in the US state of New Hampshire yesterday by entering into civil unions in a mass outdoor ceremony.There were no protestors at the Statehouse in the capital Concord as 37 couples braved sub-zero temperatures just minutes into 2008 and exchanged vows.Yesterday New Hampshire became the fourth US state to legalise civil unions. Only Massachusetts has legal gay marriage.
Cher to present coming out TV show
10:05 AM — Singer Cher and her lesbian daughter Chastity Bono are to co-host a new reality television show aimed at helping people to come out of the closet, according to reports in the US.Chastity, whose late father Sonny Bono was Cher's husband and musical collaborator and a former member of the US House of Representatives, is a leading LGBT rights activist.She was outed by a tabloid newspaper in 1990 when she was 21 years old and initially denied her sexuality.
31st December 2007
Russian activist charged over TV outing 2
4:00 PM — Moscow Gay Pride organiser and gay rights activist Nicolas Alexeyev will be brought before a court after he outed a Russian politician on live television.The charges arise from comments he made on live TV in June, when he outed politician Alexander Cheuv as a homosexual.Last week the Moscow prosecutor's office completed their criminal investigation and confirmed there is a case against Mr Alexeyev.
California gay groups fight for protection at school
2:45 PM — Two gay rights groups are seeking to intervene in a lawsuit filed by anti-gay organisations that would prevent enforcement of California statutes protecting students from discrimination, harassment and bullying in publicly-funded schools.Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network filed a motion to intervene in federal district court in San Diego to defend the California statutes that prohibit discrimination and harassment in publicly-funded schools, including the newly-enacted Student Civil Rights Act (SB 777).
Pope addresses ‘family’ rally in Madrid 8
2:15 PM — For the tens of thousands who turned out in Mardid yesterday for a celebration of the place of the family, the appearance of Pope Benedict XVI via live satellite link from Rome was the highlight of their protest rally.Conservative Spaniards took to the streets of their capital city to protest at the legalisation of gay marriage and the loosening of divorce laws enacted by the socialist government.The Roman Catholic Church campaigned against gay rights but found they no longer have the power they once had.
US state grants civil unions from tomorrow
2:05 PM — Thousands of gay and lesbian couples are expected to take advantage of new civil unions which will be legal in the US state of New Hampshire from tomorrow.Governor John Lynch signed the civil unions bill into law in May. It will come into force on January 1st 2008.The bill previously passed the state's House of Representatives by a margin of 2 to 1. In April the state Senate approved the bill by 14 votes to 10.
30th December 2007
Huckabee says gay people chose their own behaviour 29
7:30 PM — Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee who is currently on the campaign trail for the Republican nomination for US President, has been challenged by NBC's Meet the Press on his stance on gay rights."I don't know whether people are born that way. People who are gay say that they're born that way. But one thing I know, that the behaviour one practices is a choice," he told host Tim Russert.
29th December 2007
Spanish clerics to face investigation over gay “cure” speech 3
12:45 AM — Two Spanish clerics, one Protestant, the other Catholic are under fire by gay rights organisations for their homophobic views.Protestant minister Marcos Zapata is to face an investigation by the Galicia regional government into the organisation he runs that claims to helps troubled youth. It is claimed that he recently hosted a seminar called "How to Raise Heterosexual Children". According to media at the seminar, Senor Zapata likened homosexuality to alcoholism and claimed it was an illness.
28th December 2007
Uruguay’s President grants legal rights for gay couples 2
12:49 AM — Uruguay has become the first Latin American country to to recognise same-sex civil unions after President Tabare Vazquez signed the law that had been passed earlier this month.The law grants cohabiting couples who have lived together for more than five years the same rights as straight married couples. The text states that "two people -- of any sex, identity, orientation or sexual option -- who maintain an emotional relationship sexual in nature, that is exclusive, stable and permanent, without being united in matrimony."
21st December 2007
Nepal “sets a new standard for LGBTI rights”
7:20 PM — Nepal's gay rights organisation has released a statement celebrating the Supreme Court's decision to grant equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.Blue Diamond Society's Sunil B Pant said he was extremely happy and proud" of the court's decision, which the group hopes will mean a revolution for gay people in the Himilayan country."It is believed that LGBTI will enjoy, today onward, all the rights according their sexual and gender identities as other genders."
Jersey consults on gay marriage 3
3:30 PM — The States of Jersey has set-up an advisory board to receive comments on four government proposals for new legislation which could introduce gay marriage to the island by the end of next year.The four options put forward for further discussion are the right for same-sex couples to marry, same-sex civil partnerships as in the UK, civil partnership for both heterosexual and same-sex couples, or no change to the current law.The closing date for comments is 31st March 2008.
Court demands end to Nepal’s gay discrimination
1:15 PM — Gay rights campaigners in the Himalayan nation of Nepal have spoken of their delight at a ruling by the Supreme Court legitimising gay rights.The court, hearing a petition from four activists, has ordered that the government not just overturn discriminatory laws but pass new ones protecting the rights of gay people.The harassment that lesbian, gay and trans people face in the country often comes at the hands of Maoist rebels.
New EU nation not taking to gay acceptance 1
12:55 PM — One of the more recent EU member states has very high levels of hostility towards gay people, a survey has revealed.Bulgaria, one of the poorest countries on the continent, joined the European Union in January, but social attitudes do not appear to be developing as quickly as the economy.According to the Novinite news agency, research conducted by Skala agency in September found that only 17 percent of Bulgarians "can freely communicate with gay people."
17% of Florida LGB couples are raising children
12:40 PM — Opponents of same-sex marriage in one of America's most populous states are confident they have gathered the more than 600,000 signatures needed to get a question on the November 2008 ballot calling for a ban on same-sex marriage.Florida4Marriage.org, a coalition of groups, has been trying to get the question on the ballot for three years.The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law has released a new research study providing demographic and economic information for the almost 55,000 same-sex couples in Florida.
Holiday homecoming for gay US soldier
12:25 PM — The Christmas holidays will be a whole lot brighter for the Manzella family, who are looking forward to welcoming a very special guest home.Sergeant Darren Manzella featured on last Sunday's US current affairs show 60 Minutes about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."He arrived back in the United States yesterday with his unit, returning from a long tour in Kuwait. He got back to his base in the States yesterday.