19th October 2007
Dancing boys a mark of prestige in Afghanistan 4
12:01 PM — Young boys are being sexually abused in Afghanistan in line with a tradition where they are bought by older men to dance at parties.The practice of "bacha baazi", meaning "boy-play", is enjoying a resurgence in the North of Afghanistan where ownership is seen as a status symbol by militia leaders according to Afghan news site, e-Ariana.While condemned by clerics and human rights groups, authorities are doing little to end it.
Gay workplace protection law moves forward 21
10:40 AM — A committee of the US House of Representatives yesterday approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.The proposed legislation, which covers gay, lesbian and bisexual but not trans people, will now to the floor of the House for a vote next week.The landmark Act was originally designed to protect the American LGBT community from workplace discrimination.
18th October 2007
Senator in cruising scandal denies he is bisexual 3
5:55 PM — Larry Craig, the United States Senator who pleaded guilty to charges of cruising in an airport toilet, gave an hour-long TV interview last night in which he discussed the incident in detail.Appearing alongside his wife, the 62-year-old Republican politician was asked by NBC correspondent Matt Lauer: "Are you technically not a homosexual?"Is it possible you're bisexual?" The Senator replied: "It's no to both."
Homophobia turns young people off Christianity 3
2:50 PM — Research into the declining respect for Christianity among young people has identitfied religious hostility to LGBT people as a major factor.An investigation by The Barna Group, an evangelical market research company, into the attitudes of Americans aged 16 to 29, makes grim reading for religious leaders.91% of young non-Christians and 80% of young churchgoers said "anti-homosexual" describes Christianity.
US military recruited on gay website 1
12:10 PM — The American Armed Forces placed job adverts on a gay networking site despite the fact that people who are openly gay, bisexual or lesbian are banned from serving.A spokesman for the Army National Guard told USA Today he was unaware of the adverts running on GLEE.comThe Navy has ordered that 8,000 ads be removed from the site. The Marine Corps claimed that only civilian jobs, not covered by the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy were advertised.
The gay hate church and the Presidential candidate
10:41 AM — Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas have sent a letter to Republican Presidential candidate Fred Thompson in the hopes he will support their stance against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.In the letter, released to the press earlier this week, the church said, "We know what your position used to be on the homosexual question - and it was wonderful and we saw eye to eye."
17th October 2007
Activists welcome moves to restore trans rights to ENDA 3
6:10 PM — The only openly lesbian Congresswoman has said that trans protections will be re-introduced to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act currently before the US Congress.Representative Tammy Baldwin announced today that she has secured an agreement from the Democratic leadership to introduce an amendment on the floor of the House of Representatives next week, after the bill protecting gay, lesbian and bisexual people at work moves through the House Education and Labour Committee tomorrow.
Turkish authorities try to close gay group 5
4:15 PM — An attempt by the Governor's Office of Istanbul to close down Lambda Istanbul, an LGBT group, has raised questions about human rights in Turkey.A department responsible for non-governmental organisations alleges that the group violates Turkish laws on morality.The Governor had asked in early 2007 that the group be shut down.In July local prosecutors rejected the complaint but the Governor's Office then took the case to a higher court which heard the case in July 2007 and ordered a second hearing which begins tomorrow.
PM pledges action on Gibraltar age of consent 24
3:22 PM — The Prime Minister has committed himself to ending the unequal age of consent in the British self-governing territory of Gibraltar.MEP Michael Cashman met with Gordon Brown yesterday and raised the issue with him.LGBT people in the territory have little legal protection from discrimination. Up until 1992, all male homosexual relationships were illegal. At present male homosexual sex is legal at 18, rather than 16 for heterosexual and lesbian sex.
Moldovan church leader attacks gay equality
3:05 PM — The Metropolitan of Chisinau and All Moldova, has attacked gay marriage at a theological conference of globalisation challenges held in the country.He said that equality between same-sex marriage and heterosexual marriage is contrary to "Christian convictions."The Metropolitan also expressed his conviction that politicians should be loyal to their faith above all other considerations.
Comment: The complexities of lesbian life in rural Texas
1:15 PM — Sometimes I find it difficult to even relate to lesbians who live in well populated metropolitan areas.I live in a very rural area of east Texas, where there is no lesbian or gay public presence to speak of. If you want to go to a pride parade, you can drive 130 miles to Dallas and catch one.If you want to go to a lesbian bar - same drive. There is one gay bar only 60 miles away, but it's predominantly for gay men.
Hillary Clinton top fundraiser in race to White House
12:41 PM — She came from behind and now Hillary Clinton holds the biggest war chest in the battle for US President.According to MarketWatch.com, Senator Clinton is sitting on a cool $35 million (£17.2m), more than her closest competitor Barack Obama, who had $32 million as of the end of September.Mrs Clinton sped ahead of rival Obama in third quarter earnings, the one area where Obama was previously thought to be beating the former First Lady.
Embattled Senator and wife give TV interview
12:32 PM — "I was very, very embarrassed about it," Senator Larry Craig says of his arrest earlier this year as part of a sex sting in a Minneapolis airport during an interview airing tonight on NBC television programme Matt Lauer Reports."I didn't want to embarrass my wife, my kids, Idaho and my friends."According to those who have seen the hour-long interview, Craig's wife, Suzanne, tells host Matt Lauer that learning of her husband's arrest was "like the floor was falling out from under me."
Speaker promises trans ENDA if votes are there
12:28 PM — Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has sought to end the controversy surrounding new legislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination.A version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act excluding trans people is set to move forward next week, a compromise that has angered many gay rights organisations.The largest LGBT advocacy group in the US, the Human Rights Campaign, has worked with Speaker Pelosi.
16th October 2007
Record number of gay politicians receive support
6:25 PM — An organisation dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels in the United States has announced that it will be backing a record number of candidates in 2007.The Gay Lesbian Victory Fund, who provide strategic, technical and financial support, has announced ten new endorsements, bringing the number of supported candidates to 71.Among them are Steve Pougnet, Mayor of Palm Springs, California; William "Bill" Schmidt, Mayor of Peekskill, New York and Jass Stewart, Mayor of Brockton, Massachusetts.
Homophobic party mired in election anti-Semitism row
5:25 PM — A minor political party notorious for its opposition to gay rights has been roundly condemned for an election advertisement branded as anti-Semitic.Polish voters go to the polls this Sunday to elect both houses of parliament, the 460-member Sejm and the 100-member Senate.The League of Polish Families, until recently in coalition government, criticised Polish involvement with the Iraq war in the TV advert.
EU sex advert’s millions of online hits
3:14 PM — A short promotional film released by the EU to promote their support for European films has had 4.2 million hits on EUtube, the European Commission's YouTube channel, in less than three months.Entitled Film Lovers Will Love This, The 44-second ad features couples - including gay men and lesbians - having sex.Produced by the European Commission's communications unit, it features short clips from a range of films, including French international hit Amelie, and finishes with the tagline "let's come together."
Trial against Phelps’ anti-gay group gets go-ahead 1
3:14 PM — A Baltimore judge has restricted the scope of a lawsuit brought by the father of a Marine whose funeral was targeted by Fred Phelps' anti-gay group.It is the first individual lawsuit brought against Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) for its protests at military funeral ceremoniesThe law suit will go to trial next week in Baltimore.
Schwarzenegger blocks marriage, signs other gay-friendly legislation
11:21 AM — California Assemblyman Mark Leno,a San Francisco Democrat, was not happy to hear that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed another gay marriage bill on Friday, once again saying voters and the state Supreme Court, not the legislature, should decide the issue.In a statement released on Friday, Schwarzenegger said Californians "should not be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation."Schwarzenegger wasn't simply the bearer of bad news for the LGBT community on Friday. Some good news also came out the California Governor's office late last week.
DC to host LGBT economic summit
10:55 AM — Washington D.C. will host its first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Economic Development Summit later this year, according to Neil O. Albert, the city's deputy mayor for planning and economic development.The goal of the summit, which will take place on November 3rd, will be to ensure that LGBT business leaders and entrepreneurs continue to play an important role in leading the economic and creative development of the city.