22nd February 2007
Vatican attack Tony Blair over adoption
10:45 AM — A senior Roman Catholic official has criticised the Prime Minister's decision not to allow church-run adoption agencies to opt-out of gay rights legislation.The proposed exemption caused a Cabinet row when it was first proposed.Under pressure from his own MPs, Mr Blair finally conceded that Roman Catholic adoption services would be covered by the Sexual Orientation Regulations.
21st February 2007
French court blocks lesbian adoption
5:32 PM — An attempt by a French mother to allow her lesbian partner to adopt her child has failed.The Appeals Court in Paris ruled yesterday that the only way the mother could legally allow her partner to adopt the child would be to renounce her own parental rights.If the lesbian couple were allowed to marry, then they could share parental responsibility.
Polish president’s homophobia outrages the Irish 17
12:14 PM — Remarks about homosexuality during a state visit to Ireland have caused more trouble for the controversial President of Poland.Speaking to an audience at Dublin Castle on the final day of his three day visit, Lech Kaczynski said that the promotion of homosexuality would lead to the eventual destruction of the human race.
American lesbians marry across the border
10:57 AM — A couple from Texas have become the first non-Mexicans to take advantage of a new law that recognises same-sex couples.Maria Carreon Lara, 39, and Amparo Maldonado, 24, of Midland, Texas, travelled to the Mexican state of Coahuila, currenly the only state in the country to have passed such a law.Mexico City will also recognise gay unions from next month.
Air Force rape trial exposes Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 5
10:19 AM — A captain in the US Air Force charged with drugging and raping four men says they are lying to avoid being exposed as gay.Capt. Devery L. Taylor, who works as a hospital administrator, faces life in prison if a court-martial finds him guilty of the charges of forcible sodomy, kidnapping and attempted sodomy.The case has exposed the precarious position gay, lesbian and bisexual service personnel in the US armed forces are put in by the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.
20th February 2007
Hundreds of couples register in NJ
5:48 PM — Yesterday in New Jersey hundreds of gay couples were given the same rights as married straight couples, and hundreds have joined in civil unions in the first 24 hours.Civil unions offer the same legal advantages as marriage, but not the title, and were given automatically to any same-sex couple who had already been married or joined in civil unions elsewhere.Couples who had not been joined previously could apply for the licence.
Thai Spice girls preach transsexual power 1
5:04 PM — A girl band of transsexuals who model themselves on the Spice Girls are hoping to change social attitudes and achieve pop chart success in Thailand.Venus Flytrap's five members were all born males and later underwent gender reassignment surgery.Like the famous British group, they have onstage personas, namely Cool Venus, Naughty Venus, Posh Venus, Sweet Venus and Hot Venus.
Irish parliament to debate civil unions 3
4:47 PM — Pro-gay politicians in Ireland have said they are hopeful that new legislation granting gay and lesbian couples the right to a civil marriage will gain the approval of MPs.The opposition Labour party are introducing a bill into the country's parliament, the Dáil, tonight.The party's justice spokesman, Brendan Howlin, has revealed that government MPs have been positive about the legislation.
US considered weapon to turn enemy gay 3
4:14 PM — A spokesperson for the US Department of Defence has confirmed a report that Air Force officials proposed developing a gay conversion chemical weapon in 1994.The proposal, part of a plan from Wright Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was to develop "chemicals that effect (sic) human behaviour so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely effected (sic).
No miracle cure for AIDS, say doctors 1
12:36 PM — American experts believe that although the elimination of AIDS seems unlikely, over a long period of time it is possible to work towards a lower rate of infection.Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science last weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the disease cannot just be "shut off" because it is transmitted by sexual activity, which is an essential part of human nature.
Transsexual MP stands down
11:31 AM — Georgina Beyer, the first transsexual MP to be elected in New Zealand, has retired from her post.Beyer is also a Maori, and so a minority in more ways than one. Over the past seven years she has made history for transgender people.Not only was she the first transsexual in the world to be elected to national office, she was also the first transsexual in the world to be elected as a mayor.
Lesbian couple arrested for non-violent protest
10:50 AM — Two women were removed by police yesterday from the headquarters of American Christian pressure group Focus on the Family as part of a non-violent gay rights protest.Dotti Berry and Robynne Sapp of Blaine, Washington, entered the evangelical organisation's headquarters in Colorado to join a regularly scheduled tour.Once inside, the two women requested a meeting with James Dobson, who heads Focus on the Family.
19th February 2007
Prodi conciliatory as Pope attacks again 2
5:13 PM — The Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has promised to repair the relationship between his government and the Vatican after a fall-out over proposals to afford legal rights to same-sex partners.Prodi will meet today with Cardinal Tarcisio, Pope Benedict XVI's chief aide, and Cardinal Camillio Ruini, head of the Italian Bishops conference, to discuss church-state relations, the International Herald Tribune has reported.Church-state relations remain frosty following Pope Benedict XVI's latest attack on the proposed legislation to recognise gay couples.
Pioneering lesbian activist Gittings dies
3:53 PM — An iconic figure in the American gay rights movement, Barbara Gittings, has died aged 74.Gittings helped found the New York chapter of lesbian rights organisation Daughters of Bilitis in 1958, and was one of the first openly gay women to gain media attention.She was also instrumental in persuading the American Psychiatric Association to stop viewing homosexuality as a mental disorder in the 1970s.
Trans tennis star looks back at life in public eye 3
2:44 PM — Renne Richards, a former tennis player and one of the world's most famous transsexual athletes, has admitted that she regrets the fame that she attracted.Richards made a life-changing decision in 1975 to undergo gender reassignment surgery.Talking to Reuters, she said it was the events that followed her operation that had the biggest impact on her lifestyle.
Report shows grim gay existence in Nigeria
12:06 PM — Nigerian LGBT people opposed to a new anti-gay law in the country have spoken about their experiences in a report for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).Voices from Nigeria details homophobic attacks, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and increased levels of homophobia that have already begun as a result of the introduction of the legislation, referred to as the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.The Act launches a vigorous attack on freedom of expression.
New Jersey grants civil unions from today
11:28 AM — The American state of New Jersey has become the fifth state in the nation to grant marriage rights to same-sex couples.A new law, which was enforced across the state today, allows gay and lesbian couples to apply for a civil union and benefit from the same legal protection that heterosexual couples enjoy.However, the new unions are not identified as a marriage.
17th February 2007
African archbishops refuse to take communion 1
4:42 PM — Seven archbishops who claim to represent more than 30 million Anglicans have refused to take Communion with Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding head of the American Episcopal Church in protest of her support of gay clergy (including Gene Robinson- pictured)and gay unions.In a statement released at the Anglican conference in Dar Es Salaam, the archbishops said: "We each take the celebration of the Holy Eucharist very seriously."
16th February 2007
Jamaican mob terrorise gays 28
3:14 PM — Three gay men were stoned by a huge mob in a homophobic attack in Jamaica this Wednesday.Police came to rescue the men from a pharmacy in Saint Andrew Parish, where they had been hiding for almost an hour.An angry crowd had gathered outside the pharmacy, hurling insults and threatening to kill the men.
Gay Iraqis face continued persecution 1
3:02 PM — The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has promised to crack down on the persecution of gay people in Iraq.The slaughter of gay Iraqis by Islamist death squads is yet another tragic consequence of the chaos and carnage in this beleaguered country.It would seem that no-one is safe from fundamentalist militias, who target Iraqis for "crimes against Islam," which might include drinking alcohol, having a Sunni name, or not being veiled if you are a woman.