22nd February 2008
China Launches First HIV Prevention Programme for Gay Men
11:38 AM — China's Ministry of Health is set to implement its first ever national programme to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS among gay men, its 2008 work agenda revealed yesterday.The programme marks a subtle new phase in the one-party-state's attitudes towards homosexuality, which - while not overtly discriminatory - have followed the 'Three nos' criteria since sodomy was decriminalised in 1997: No approval, no disapproval and no promotion.
Cry for Help from Refugee Sheds Light on Desperation of Gays in Iran 30
11:08 AM — A poignant plea for help from a gay Iranian refugee in Malaysia is shedding light on the desperation and fear experienced by homosexuals in Iran and those who have fled their home country to seek refugee status in other countries.The letter, penned by a young gay man calling himself Sepehr, contains a heartbreaking tale of life as a homosexual in Iran and the suffering caused by the necessity of fleeing to another land to escape persecution and possible death.
21st February 2008
Gays holding hands on TV upset Irish viewers 4
4:30 PM — The provocative sight of two men holding hands while explaining why they favour same-sex marriage over civil partnerships triggered a flood of complaints to an Irish broadcaster yesterday."Switchboards at TV3 were jammed with irate callers when Mark McCarron and Paul Kenny became the first male couple to display their affections on the Irish airwaves," reports the Irish Daily Mirror. The couple were appearing on the commercial network's popular breakfast show Ireland AM.
Presidential candidate denies affair with lobbyist
3:40 PM — John McCain, the US Senator from Arizona who is the frontrunner to receive the Republican party nomination for President, today rejected media reports that he had an extra-marital affair.The New York Times yesterday claimed he had a relationship with Vicki Iseman nine years ago when Senator McCain was also running for President."I'm very disappointed in the article. It's not true," he told a press conference in Toledo, Ohio.
Lesbian may run for mayor of New York City
3:25 PM — A recent speech by Christine Quinn, the Speaker of New York City's council, has sparked rumours that she may run for Mayor.Ms Quinn, a Democrat, is one of the most prominent lesbian politicians in America.In her State of the City address earlier this month she said: "I want every New Yorker to hear me when I say: We are ready."Various commentators have interpreted this to be a clear signal she intends to run for Mayor of the city.
Malta’s gay group ask for equal rights
12:50 PM — The gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans communities in the tiny EU nation of Malta have presented a petition asking for a range of measures to be introduced to protect them through the law, and have received the backing of a fringe political party.Alternattiva Demokratika leader Harry Vassallo said yesterday that the recognition of gay rights would be a step forward, according to the Times of Malta.He said he was supporting the petition organised by the Malta Gay Rights Movement.
Black US state legislator comes out
12:10 PM — Democratic Connecticut State Representative Jason Bartlett made the decision on Thursday to come out publicly as a gay man.Bartlett says he has always preferred to keep his personal life private, but felt the announcement was needed to quell the rumours about his sexual orientation.Bartlett's coming out makes him unique in the political world as the first openly gay black state legislator.
Obama’s momentum is a serious challenge to Clinton
12:01 PM — In politics, the operative rule to live by is -"it ain't over till it's over" — and the Democratic national convention is still six months away. Anything can happen.But, and this is a BIG 'but,' with his blowout wins in Hawaii and Wisconsin's open primary on Tuesday, Illinois Senator Barack Obama has now won ten contests in a row in the Presidential race against New York Senation Hillary Clinton, once considered the Democratic party's "inevitable" nominee.
20th February 2008
Israeli politician claims gays cause earthquakes 14
6:25 PM — An outspoken member of Israel's parliament has said recent earthquakes that have hit the country are a consequence of gay rights laws.Shlomo Benizri, who is a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, was speaking in a Knesset (parliament) debate on earthquake preparedness.After reading passages from the Old Testament, he said that in his view one cause of earthquakes is that "the Knesset gives legitimacy, to sodomy.
Australian military to march in Mardi Gras parade 2
5:39 PM — Members of the Australian Defence Forces will take part in the Sydney Mardi Gras parade for the first time this year.Permission was granted by the Chief of the Defence Force earlier this month and 60 marchers, comprising servicemen and women and non-uniformed personnel, and a float, will participate in the world-famous parade on March 1st.They have not been given permission to wear uniform. The ADF lifted its prohibition on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving in 1992.
Spanish judge suspended over lesbian ruling
4:45 PM — A judge in Spain who ordered a mother to choose between her partner and her daughters, because "a homosexual environment threatened their education," has been suspended.The body which supervises the judiciary in that country, the General Council for Judicial Power, has suspended Fernando Ferrín Calamita and a complaint about his behaviour is under investigation.The woman, from Murcia, south east Spain, was faced with the impossible choice after her husband discovered her in a compromising position with another woman.
China starts HIV prevention schemes among gay men
2:30 PM — The Chinese Ministry of Health is to devise an HIV prevention policy after a rise in infections among the country's gay population, it announced today.Prevention measures will target MSM (men who have sex with men) and extend condom use, Xinhua news agency reports.The ministry estimates that there are five to ten million gay men in China among a population of one billion, most of them living in cities.
Focus on next US President’s gay appointments
2:30 PM — Some of America's biggest gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans rights groups have come together to launch the Presidential Appointments Project.Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Stonewall Democrats are all part of the project.It is designed to help grow the pool of openly LGBT professionals who would be qualified and ready to accept politically appointed positions in the next US Presidential administration.
School murder of gay teen spurs new legislation 24
1:50 PM — The fatal shooting of a 15-year-old gay student in Oxnard, California has spurred the introduction of a new diversity education bill by state Assemblyman Mike Eng.Lawrence King was killed on February 12th by classmate Brandon McInerney, 14, at E.O. Green Junior High School.Mr Eng said he hopes the new bill will establish school diversity and sensitivity training to help prevent such tragedies in the future.
Slovenia to host conference on gay families
1:35 PM — Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans activists, decision makers and experts will attend a conference in Slovenia next month which aims to draw attention to the to the lack of recognition and existing discrimination LGBT families face in Europe.At present only three of the 27 EU member states legally recognise same-sex marriage, six allow equivalent civil registration schemes and a further seven have schemes which provide considerably less rights and protections than marriage.The conference is being held in Slovenia as they currently hold the EU presidency.
Catholic high school rejects female referee
8:10 AM — There has often been some argument among the rank and file of the Roman Catholic Church about women of authority but, this week, the dismissal of a female referee has raised questions about discrimination against women in sports.At a Topeka, Kansas high school, basketball referee Michelle Cambell was told she was not allowed to officiate a men's basketball game solely because she was a woman.
Obama continues his winning streak in Wisconsin
8:03 AM — Barack Obama, the 46-year-old African-American running to win the Democratic party nomination for President of the United States, is expected to win two more state competitions held yesterday.He took Wisconsin, his ninth win in a row over his only rival, former First Lady Hillary Clinton.Polling data indicates she is losing support among key groups such as white men and women and lower income voters.
Moscow gays want one million euros compensation for Pride ban
7:10 AM — The ban placed on the organisation of a gay Pride march in Moscow in 2007 was a breach of human rights, the organisers have said in a letter to the European Court of Human Rights.They are asking the court to rule on the ban and want one million euros compensation.The legal action against the Russian authorities is the second brought by Moscow Pride organisers, who are also asking for a ruling on the 2006 Pride march ban.
19th February 2008
Castro’s departure brings hope for gay Cubans 1
2:30 PM — Fidel Castro today announced his resignation as the political and military leader of Cuba, 49 years after he seized power and installed a Communist regime in the Caribbean island nation.The 81-year-old's poor health in recent years has sparked a renewed national debate about the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Cubans.Sexual diversity was seen by Fidel Castro as a corrupt consequence of capitalism.
Will Grace creators to produce new gay-themed comedy
2:30 PM — American TV network ABC has ordered a pilot of a gay-themed comedy from the creators of Will Grace.It is one of the first major TV deals to take place since the Hollywood writer's strike came to an end last Tuesday.According to Hollywood Reporter, the untitled project revolves around two men, one straight, one gay, who are lifelong best friends and business partners.