1st August 2007
Gay film award launched at Venice Film Festival
3:00 PM — The world's oldest celebration of cinema moves into the 21st century this year with the announcement that for the first time there will be a gay award.The Venice Film Festival, which was first held in 1932, has approved The Queer Lion award after four years of negotiations.The award will go to a feature-length film in the competition, or any of the 35 or so 'sidebar'screenings, that has a gay character or theme.
China gets serious about condom distribution
10:43 AM — In a belated response to the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus in the general population, China has ordered all hotels, holiday resorts and public showers to provide condoms.It is part of nationwide efforts to fight the spread of AIDS, according to recent reports.The regulation, issued by the commerce and health ministries, also required pamphlets about AIDS prevention to be displayed, the Beijing News reports.
Gay websites see traffic surge during Pride
10:30 AM — Leave it to Pride Month to bolster gay and lesbian awareness around the world - or at least on the World Wide Web.According to the monthly analysis of online activity released by comScore Media Metrix, traffic increased to gay and lesbian websites in June as well as sites in many other categories, including gaming sites, entertainment news sites and hotel/resort sites.Traffic to US-based gay and lesbian sites jumped 23% to nearly 3 million visitors.
Gay illegal immigrant can stay in Italy
10:12 AM — Italy's Supreme Court has refused to overrule a judge's decision to revoke the deportation order of an illegal Senegalese migrant on the grounds of his sexual orientation.Italy's highest criminal court stated that "homosexuality is a condition of he human being deserving legal protection."The court announced that gay people who seek refuge from persecution in Italy would not be sent back to their countries of origin.
31st July 2007
Trans prisoner must be given hormone treatment, court rules
4:45 PM — A prison inmate who performed a self-castration with a razor blade after being refused treatment for gender identity disorder should have female hormone therapy paid for by the state, a federal judge has said.Jenniffer Spencer, born Randall Gammett, sued the Department of Corrections in the US state of Idaho for violation of her constitutional rights and for the punishment she was subjected to when doctors failed to diagnose gender identity disorder and treat her with female hormones.
Police finally authorise Estonian Pride
11:40 AM — After gay rights advocates protested to Estonia's President and Prime Minister, police in the capital Tallinn have finally ruled that a Pride march can go ahead.The event, on August 11th, has been beset by problems with policing.Officials wanted to change the route of the march through the Old Town, claiming that it would infringe the rights of other Tallinn residents to go about their business.
UPS gives marriage benefits to civil partners 1
10:50 AM — Delivery company UPS has announced it will offer health care benefits to all civil union partners of employees in New Jersey, including those in the Teamsters union.Gay rights groups had criticised the company for denying some employees in same-sex partnerships the same rights as married workers."Based on an initial legal review when New Jersey's law was enacted, it did not appear that a 'civil union' and 'marriage' were equivalent," noted UPS's senior vice president for human resources.
Hong Kong opens China’s first gay centre 1
10:10 AM — A new chapter in the slow opening up of China started this month with the opening of a new social support centre for the gay community in Hong Kong.The centre is the first of its kind in the country.This was made possible with a one-year grant of HK$430,000 (£26,750) from the AIDS Trust Fund. The donation will pay the rent for the premises and support one full time staff member for one year.
30th July 2007
Mexican prisoners allowed gay conjugal visits
5:31 PM — Mexico City's prison system has started letting gay inmates receive conjugal visits, a human rights group announced yesterday.City authorities accepted a recommendation made by the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, agreeing that the visits would help end discrimination.Prisoners are allowed conjugal visits in many Mexican jails, and most do not require the visitor to be married to the inmate.
Protest over gay kiss arrest in Rome 10
12:12 PM — Couples held a sit-in with collective kissing in front of the Colosseum yesterday after two men were arrested for 'public indecency' in front of the iconic Roman monument last week.Politicians and campaigning groups say the arrests were symptomatic of a rising tide of homophobic harassment in Italy, but the police force, the Carabinieri, say they were simply following the law.An extract from the police report said that the couple "had their trousers and underpants down."
Focus on male-male sex in global AIDS fight 1
11:58 AM — amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, has announced the launch of a new global initiative to fight the spread of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the developing world.Stigma, discrimination, and lack of access to health services have sparked alarming epidemics that threaten to devastate MSM communities in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, mirroring the HIV pandemics that ravaged gay communities in North America and Western Europe in the 1980s.
Georgia’s homophobia exposed in row over “gay” rally
11:50 AM — Organisers of a rally celebrating diversity and tolerance in the eastern European country of Georgia were forced to call off the event after it was falsely reported as a gay Pride parade.The rally, part of the Council of Europe 'All Different, All Equal' diversity and human rights campaign, was cancelled when organisers, Georgian human rights group Century 21, received abusive telephone calls, emails and threats of violence.The abuse started after Georgian paper Alia reported that "pederasts" were getting ready for a parade in the capital, Tbilisi.
Lesbian candidate fails to win seat in Japan
11:35 AM — A 32-year-old woman who brought the issue of gay rights to prominence in Japanese society has failed in her bid to be elected to the country's parliament.Kanako Otsuji, 32, had conducted a colourful and positive campaign for office, at one stage holding a marriage ceremony with her partner.She was a candidate for the Democratic Party of Japan, who took control of the upper house in a crushing election defeat for Prime Minister Shinze Abe.
Alan Cumming honoured for gay rights work
10:58 AM — Lambda Legal Defence and Education Fund in the United States will present its 15h Annual Liberty Awards on October 2nd at the Director's Guild of America in Los Angeles.This year's celebrated honorees include actor Alan Cumming, for his distinguished career and as an LGBT activist and champion for civil marriage equality.Actress and designer Honey Labrador will host the event.
27th July 2007
Straight people to protest homophobia at Amsterdam Pride 1
4:31 PM — Amsterdam's Pride is one of the biggest in the world. The highlight of the weekend is the famous Canal Parade on Saturday afternoon.Where most parades use trucks, Amsterdam has 100 spectacularly decorated boats.This year, for the first time, a 'hetero' boat will take part, as a protest against the rise in homophobic attacks in the Netherlands in recent months.
Hungarian PM calls Pride attacks “outrageous”
2:11 PM — The Prime Minister of Hungary, Ferenc Gyurcsány, has said he utterly condemns people who pelted a gay Pride in Budapest with eggs and attacked revellers.On Saturday 10th July skinheads and fascists massed along the 7km (4.3 mile) route of the march for gay rights.They threw eggs and bottles filled with sand at the marchers. Later that evening almost a dozen gay people were set upon and beaten.
Massachusetts gay marriage rights extend to out-of-staters
1:41 PM — Same-sex couples from the US state of New Mexico can get married in Massachusetts, state officials ruled this month, after determining that gay marriage had not been explicitly banned in New Mexico.Massachusetts is the only US state to have legalised same-sex marriage. A gay rights group from the state asked officials to clarify the rules for out-of-state couples.Along with Rhode Island, New Mexico is the only other US state that has not explicitly either banned or allowed same-sex unions.
Activists target UN General Secretary over gay rights
1:35 PM — Protesters ambushed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as he spoke in San Fransisco last night, demanding he break the UN's silence on lesbian, gay and bisexual rights around the world.Standing on their seats, the protesters, holding a sign reading 'Gay rights are UNiversal' chanted: "Break the silence, talk about gays."
Lesbian athlete sets world record
10:45 AM — It was a cool overcast day in San Francisco, but that did not stop the nearly 120 Gay Track and Field competitors of all ages and levels from performing their best at the first ever large scale international event of it's kind.While many athletes excelled in their individual sports, the standout performer was 65 year old Marie-Louise Michelsohn from New York who set a new world record in her age group for the 5000 metres with a time of 20:27.08.
Executed Iranians may have been gay 14
10:27 AM — Expatriate Iranian sources are reporting that some of the 16 peoplehanged last week, labelled 'the most famous hooligans in Tehran', were executed for being gay.Islamic law states that all sexual acts outside of a heterosexualmarriage - referred to as sodomy - are forbidden.As part of a wide-ranging crackdown on 'indecent behaviour', policearrested over 1000 men in May in poor districts around Tehran.