7th April 2008
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.
Irish civil partnerships to exclude parental rights 3
1:05 PM — Gay rights groups in Ireland have expressed disappointment that the government may not extend parental rights to same-sex couples as part of new legislation to legally recognise lesbian and gay relationships.On Monday MarriagEquality, a group formed to campaign for full civil marriage, released the details of a poll it commissioned which shows the number of Irish people who support partnerships only has fallen from 33% to 26%.Overall 84% of those polled support either gay marriage or civil partnerships.
Greeks consider recognising same-sex couples 1
12:45 PM — Greek authorities are considering adopting a law that would allow same-sex couples to be recognised by a civil ceremony, the country's NET TV said on Monday.The Greek Justice Ministry pledged to establish a working group on the rights of gay couples living together, which would "analyse all aspects of the issue, international practice and the existing domestic legal and social framework."The New Democracy-led government is expected to introduce legislation later in the year that will offer several rights to unmarried couples.
Gay MEP worried about EU discrimination directive 2
12:01 PM — A British Member of the European Parliament has spoken of his concerns that there is a lack of commitment to gay rights from the European Commission President Jose Manuel Borroso.Michael Cashman, who represents the West Midlands, has voiced his concern over reports that the Commission is backtracking on its commitment to tackle discrimination."Barroso gave the Parliament assurances that it would bring forward a Directive to combat discrimination on the remaining grounds of Article 13," said Mr Cashman.
1st April 2008
Obama’s £1,000 a head gay fundraiser
5:30 PM — US Presidential hopeful Barack Obama raised funds for his campaign at an LGBT event last week, where the price of admission was $2,300 (£1,160).The fundraiser was held at the New York apartment of gay activist Kevin Jennings and his partner and 125 people attended, The Advocate reports.More than $170,000 was raised and the candidate spoke for around half an hour and then answered questions.
Gay hate church gets taste of own medicine 2
2:15 PM — More than 400 people converged on the small town of Topeka, Kansas on Sunday to protest outside the Westboro Baptist Church.Straight, gay and trans protesters drew support from locals as they staged The Million Fag March outside the church, which is notorious for picketing the funerals of US soldiers killed in action."It's about time we did something like this again," local woman Hope Prescott told The Topeka Capital-Journal. "We feel somewhat responsible for the Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church."
War of words between gay bashing politician and PFLAG 10
11:45 AM — An Oklahoma politician who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism has turned on local members of the advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) she met with last week.Representative Sally Kern received international attention after her homophobic speech to a group of fellow Republicans was posted on YouTube earlier this month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.She met with Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards, Rev. Dr. Kathy McCallie and Rev. Jim Shields of PFLAG last Thursday.