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.
Poet accused of sexual exploitation is “like Wilde” 2
11:30 AM — An Irish poet accused of sexually exploiting young men in Nepal has given an interview.Speaking on the Irish language station Raidio na Gaeltachta, Cathal O'Searcaigh said he was the victim of a biased documentary, but admitted sexual contact with some of the young men he was finanically aiding.Speaking about the storm of criticism he has faced from the Irish media, he compared himself to Irish playwright Oscar Wilde.
31st March 2008
Elections could bring hope for gay Zimbabweans 1
5:55 PM — This weekend's elections in Zimbabwe bring the prospect of an end to the 28-year rule of one of the world's most homophobic heads of state.Robert Mugabe, now 84, has terrorised many groups in his country, not least gays and lesbians.He has previously described gay people as worse than "dogs and pigs", has warned against the dangers of homosexuality and threatened pro-gay clergy with prison sentences. For two people of the same sex to hold hands is against the law.
Ukrainian gay paper faces criminal charges
3:40 PM — Kiev's public prosecutor is targeting a well-regarded gay newspaper under laws banning the distribution of pornography, while newspaper kiosks across the city openly sell explicit erotic heterosexual magazines.Since 2003 Nash Mir, the oldest Ukrainian LGBT human rights organisation, has published Gay.Ua newspaper."The newspaper is registered as an "information, for leisure, and erotic" edition,"" Nash Mir said in a statement.
Support for gay marriage increases in Ireland 4
1:55 PM — As Irish gay rights advocates await the government's proposals on legal recognition of same-sex partners, a new opinion poll has found that the vast majority of their countrymen and women are in favour.MarriagEquality, a group formed to push for full civil marriage, has 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.
Tenth anniversary of gay murder spurs new campaign
12:40 PM — Erasing hate from schools, workplaces, and communities is the goal of a new campaign launched in America this week by the Matthew Shepard Foundation.The foundation was created by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998.Matthew's murder was a watershed moment in the perceptions of LGBT people in America.
Gay couple excite press interest during visit to Poland 2
11:45 AM — A New York couple who spoke out after footage of their wedding was used in a TV address by the President of Poland attacking gay rights are on a three-day visit to the country.Brendan Fay and Tom Moulton met with gay rights leaders on the first day of their trip to the country, which was sponsored by TVN television.President Lech Kaczynski's speech to the nation last week used heavy-handed tactics to warn of the dangers of the Lisbon treaty.
Gay Iranian spared deportation from Greece
10:58 AM — Gay rights activists in Greece are celebrating after their government has decided not to deport a 40-year-old man back to Iran.The Greek Homosexual Community (GHC-EOK), which led a campaign on his behalf, said today:"We are happy to announce that the gay Iranian refugee, known as 'Alex,' was finally granted asylum following the reconsideration of his case.
28th March 2008
Politicians and church leaders back gay marriage in Iowa
3:30 PM — The fight for gay equality continues in the heart of rural America this week, as the Iowa Supreme Court considers a lawsuit brought by six same-sex couples denied marriage licences in the state.Senior attorneys from Lambda Legal, joined by former Iowa solicitor general Dennis Johnson, will argue that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates the equal protection and due process guarantees in the state's Constitution.In August 2007 a trial court ruled that denying marriage to same-sex couples was unconstitutional.
Irish teachers face dismissal for being gay 5
2:30 PM — Gay and lesbian teachers in Ireland could be sacked if their lifestyle is seen as undermining the religious ethos of schools, a conference was told this week.Members of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) group at the Irish National Teachers' Organisation conference said that the Employment Equality Act permits schools to dismiss homosexual teachers from religious schools.Section 37 of the Act states that schools that promote certain religious values can take action to protect their "religious ethos."
Evangelicals attack Ecuador’s protection of sexual minorities 2
1:35 PM — A member of Ecuador's National Assembly has caused outrage throughout the gay community by comparing homosexuality to paedophilia and bestiality.Rosanna Queirolo, a former model, television news anchor and triathlon athlete, won election on a manifesto of environmental protection.However, since joining the Assembly she has caused controversy by embracing the country's ultra-conservative Christian Evangelical movement.