27th November 2007
Presidential candidates asked about gays in the military
10:05 AM — In conjunction with the 14th anniversary of the signing of the military policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the US military, Human Rights Campaign has asked the leading Democratic presidential hopefuls, "If you are elected President, what concrete steps would you take to overturn 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell?'"Each day this week, one statement will be posted on the HRC Back Story blog at www.hrcbackstory.org. Former Senator John Edwards started things off on Monday.
26th November 2007
Gay pop couple allowed to perfrom in Singapore 1
5:25 PM — An American gay pop duo previously barred by Singapore authorities have been given permission to perform at an HIV/AIDS awareness concert.Jason Warner and deMarco DeCiccio, a couple in real life, were stopped from performing their act Jason and deMarco in 2005 when a similar event was being organised by Safehaven, a ministry of the equal rights for all Free Community Church.Amy Tsang, the MDA's director for arts and licensing said that the 2005 concert had been prohibited because it was "open to general members of the public."
Korean activists unite to fight for orientation protection
4:25 PM — The South Korean government removal of 'sexual orientation' from its Anti-Discrimination Bill has galvanised activists in the csountry.The Alliance against Homophobia and Discrimination of Sexual Minorities (AHDSM) was formed earlier this month in response to the changes are outraged by the u-turn.They claim that an investigation conducted by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea showed that discrimination based on sexual orientation, education background and national origin form the basis of most discrimination in South Korea today.
Poland rejects new human rights charter
4:15 PM — Gay activists in Poland have spoken of their dismay that the country's newly-elected government are to continue the policy of opposition to the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.Before coming to power earlier this month Donald Tusk had signalled he would sign up to the charter, which broadly mirrors the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.Former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski of the Law and Justice party had claimed that Poland was "culturally different."
NZ gay man bitten during frenzied fatal attack
2:05 PM — A gay man was beaten and bitten to death in a vicious murder in New Zealand.Andre Gilling and Ashley Arnopp are accused of the attack which included biting off some of their victim Stanley Waipouri's ear and genitalia.According to police, Mr Gilling's mouth and clothes were covered in blood.
Gay rugby gets bookie’s backing
2:00 PM — A gay rugby tournament to be held in Ireland next year has received €100,000 (£72,000) in sponsorship from the betting group, Paddy Power.The deal, the biggest ever secured for a gay event in Ireland, will be used to host the 2008 Bingham Cup, an international rugby tournament that has already sold more than 600 tickets to those living abroad.The sponsorship was proposed by Paddy Power who view the event as highly appropriate for their brand.
Lesbian couple admit murder of 16-year-old
12:15 PM — A lesbian couple in Australia face 15 years imprisonment for murdering a British teenager because she irritated them, according to The Sun.Jessica Stasinowsky, 20, and Valerie Parashumti, 19, beat 16-year-old Stacey Mitchell to death with a concrete block before dumping her body in a wheelie bin.She was found by police in a shed after her parents had reported her missing in December last year.
Fallout from failed HIV vaccine trial continues
10:30 AM — Just a few short months ago, a spirit of cautious optimism surrounded the prospects for a viable HIV vaccine.As pharmaceutical company Merck began testing its highly anticipated V520 vaccine, which it had reportedly been developing over a ten year period, there was an undercurrent of excitement among researchers in the HIV community about the radical new approach, which was expected to attack, seek out, and destroy infected cells.
24th November 2007
Howard loses his seat as Australia votes for change 1
2:30 PM — John Howard has admitted that he's lost the Australian general election to the the Labour leader Kevin Rudd. Mr Howard became only the second Prime Minister in Australian history to lose his own Parliamentary seat.He said he had telephoned Mr Rudd "to congratulate him on an emphatic victory."Mr Rudd said the country had "looked to the future" he said he will be a Prime Minister "for all Australians."
23rd November 2007
Howard upbeat as Australians go to the polls 1
6:18 PM — Just hours before Australians go to the polls in a federal election, it looks like the predicted landslide win by Labour could turn out to be a close-run thing.The opposition party, out of power since 1996, has seen a consistent lead over the incumbent Liberals halve in one recent poll to 4%.Prime Minister John Howard, seeking a fifth term in office and widely expected to suffer a catastrophic defeat, was upbeat today.
Norwegian church lifts ban on partnered gay clergy
5:30 PM — The Lutheran church of Norway has lifted an outright ban on clergy in same-sex relationships.However, it will allow each bishop to decide whether or not to employ them.The decision comes after a week of debate at the churches annual meeting, with the 86 member governing synod voting 50 to 34 to change the rules.
Protests ask Commonwealth to “fight” gays 10
3:25 PM — A group of anti-gay activists has protested in Uganda against gay rights and accused Europeans of trying to change the law to decriminalise homosexuality.The demonstration by the Rainbow Coalition against Homosexuality took place at Kololo airport yesterday, and was led by Pastor Martin Sempa, who has generated large amounts of publicity through his attacks on gay people in Uganda.Her Majesty the Queen is in the African nation to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
22nd November 2007
Echoes of Diana as Queen shakes hands with HIV+ man 10
3:50 PM — Her Majesty the Queen visited a clinic for people with AIDS for the first time today.During a state visit to Uganda the monarch shook hands with Steven Wakodo, who is HIV+, echoing the famous handshake between Diana, Princess of Wales and an HIV+ person in April 1987.The Princess's gesture helped overcome the fear of AIDS, demonstrating that the HIV virus cannot be transmitted by touch.
Champion athlete may have gender reassignment surgery 1
3:10 PM — A former European pole vault medallist has decided to quit the sport, possibly to pursue a sex change operation.Yvonne Buschbaum said that a persistent achilles tendon injury and a feeling that she was "emotionally in the wrong body" have contributed to her decision to end her career.The 27-year-old said on her website: "For many years, I have had the feeling I am in the wrong body."
US TV host drags the Queen into gay marriage debate
12:15 PM — In the US, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams upset the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and more than a few bloggers earlier this week.He opened a segment on the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip by saying:"In an era when marriage is under attack, the United Kingdom is these days celebrating a 60th wedding anniversary, the longest marriage of any monarch."
Poofter licence plates can stay
11:45 AM — A gay man in the US state of Virginia who was told to remove his car licence plates because they spell out the word 'poofter' has now been told he can keep them.David Phillips has had the plates for eleven years. He previously claimed that the word is only offensive to English people and Virginians would not understand its meaning.According to the Washington Post, he first heard the word used by performer Boy George in a TV interview and liked it.
Chorister dismissed for coming out on TV
11:25 AM — Italian gay rights groups have said the case of a chorister forced to leave his choir due to being gay proves the countries need for anti-homophobia laws.Twenty year old Alberto Ruggin was dismissed by his priest after featuring on a television programme where he revealed his sexuality.His priest, Don Paolino Bettanin, from the northern Italian town of Padua, claimed he was "disgusted" by the whole affair.
UN figures indicate fall in global HIV infections
11:20 AM — New data from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests the percentage of people around the globe living with HIV has levelled off and that the number of new infections has fallen, in part as a result of the impact of HIV programmes.Officials warned, however, that while the global prevalence of HIV infection, the percentage of people infected with HIV, has levelled off, the total number of people living with HIV is increasing "because of ongoing acquisition of HIV infection, combined with longer survival times, in a continuously growing general population."
21st November 2007
British government releases Iran hanging documents 1
3:15 PM — Information has been released for the first time from the Foreign and Commonwealth office regarding the execution of gays in Iran.The documentation takes the form of correspondence sent between embassies throughout the EU and dates back as far as May 2005.It refers specifically to the case of two boys, Mahmoud Asqari, who was under 18 at the time the alleged offence was committed, and Ayad Marhouni who were hung in public.
Spray-on condom unveiled 1
12:35 PM — A German inventor had invented a spray-on condom.Jan Vinzenze Krause, director of the Institute for Condom Consultancy said the idea came from the idea that the condom should fit the man, and not the other way round.Speaking to Spiegel Online he said: "If you go into a drug store to buy condoms, the ones they sell are mainly suited to men with the average penis length of 14.5 centimetres (5.51 inches), but a lot of people have penises that are smaller or larger than that"