15th October 2007
Euro Parliament holds equal opportunities conference
12:45 PM — As part of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All, a conference was held last week at the European Parliament (EP).The two-day event, organised during the Parliament's so-called October mini-Plenary session, hoped to bring together government officials, NGOs, and the general public to talk about the on-going state of affairs for anti-discrimination.The opening session was presided over by Michael Cashman. One of the very few out gay MEPs, he was recently honoured with an MEP of the Year award for his work on human rights.
Bondage death of London man raises legal issues
12:45 PM — The death of a man during a bondage session is raising questions about liability resulting from sex play.Adrian Exley's body was found in the woods in Rhode Island last June, two months after he was bound up in the bondage playroom Gary LeBlanc had built in the basement of his Massachusetts home.According to AP, Exley, a 32-year-old stripper from Clapham, had travelled to Boston for a bondage session with LeBlanc after they met on a gay fetish website.
Canadian Anglicans vote for same-sex blessings 2
12:15 PM — A diocese of the Anglican church in Canada has voiced its support for the blessing of gay and lesbian marriages in spite of assurances from the national church that no such ceremonies will take place.Ottawa Anglicans voted 177 to 97 in favour of blessing gay marriages at a meeting on Saturday, following several hours of impassioned debate. A similar vote in the diocese of Montreal will take place later this month.Some Ottawan priests have threatened to stop performing marriage ceremonies for heterosexuals unless they are allowed to bless same-sex couples.
Stars speak up for gay rights in Singapore 3
10:21 AM — When celebrities speak, sometimes, people listen. That's what some Singaporean stars were hoping for when they created a Public Service Announcement rap-type video to call for the repeal of an antiquated law which forbids same-sex relations in the country.Laws established during colonial times have held that same-sex relationships could be punishable by fines and jail time.Since Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's regime from 1959 to 1990, there has also been an open ban of gay films, art, theatre and public displays of homosexuality.
14th October 2007
“Outed” Vatican priest suspended by Vatican 5
8:12 PM — A senior Roman Catholic Church official has been suspended after he was identified in a television broadcast supposedly declaring his homosexuality and making advances to a young man.Originally only identified as sixty-year-old, working in the Congregation for the Clergy department which manges the 400,000 active Catholic priests across the globe. He was identified by Vatican officials who recognised his office in the background of the picture.
John Howard calls November election in Australia 13
8:01 PM — Australian Prime Minister John Howard today called a general election, to be held on the 24th November. It has been speculated that he will support moves towards an increase in pro-gay legislation.Mr Howard's Liberal Party is around 12 per cent behind Kevin Rudd's opposition Labor party in the polls.At that level of support, switching LGBT voters, traditional supports of the Labor party to vote Liberal will become more significant.
13th October 2007
Schwarzenegger vetoes gay marriage bill again 2
11:30 AM — Action hero actor turned Republican Californian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill allowing gay marriages for the second time in two years, saying voters and the state Supreme Court, not legislators, should decide the issue.The Californian Senate had voted 22 to 15 to support the bill (AB43) by Assemblyman Mark Leno that would allow gay marriage based on a "a civil contract between two persons," that would allow religious institutions to refuse to officiate gay marriages.
12th October 2007
Howard may gamble on gay rights as a vote-winner 5
3:33 PM — Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, is reportedly about to announce that gay and lesbian couples will be given a range of equal rights, a move that could help two key colleagues retain their seats in the imminent general election.Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be defending the Sydney seat of Wentworth, which after boundary changes now includes gay districts such as Darlinghurst and Kings Cross.With Howard's Liberal party trailing in the polls, The Age newspaper reports that the Prime Minister could make an announcement "within days."
Gay allies fall out over trans workplace protection
2:41 PM — The two openly-gay members of the US Congress are divided over proposals to remove gender identity from new legislation protecting LGBT people in the workplace.Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has committed herself to including trans people in the new law, which Congressman Barney Frank insists will cause the bill to be rejected by the House of Representatives."Politically, the notion that you don't do anything until you can do everything is self-defeating," Congressman Frank said yesterday.
Lesbian prison officer wins compensation case
2:05 PM — An American lesbian prison guard who suffered mental and physical abuse from a fellow male co-worker for over a year has been awarded $850,000 (£425,000) damages.The New York State Division of Human Rights ruled in favour of 55-year-old Alicia S. Humig after it was decided that the city's prison department ignored the abuse she was suffering from Jim Wright, a fellow officer at Wende prison in Alden, New York.It was revealed that Humig twice filed written complaints which were generally ignored by prison bosses.
Russian minister censors kissing policemen picture 1
1:55 PM — A photo of two policemen kissing, inspired by British graffiti artist Banksy, has been banned by Russia's culture minister from an exhibition of contemporary Russian art.Alexander Sokolov announced on Monday that the photo, Kissing Policemen (An Epoch of Clemency) by Russian art collective Blue Noses, would no longer be part of next week's show at the Maison Rouge exhibition hall in Paris.Alexander Shaburov, one of the Blue Noses, said the picture was homage to Banky's famous stencil of two policemen kissing.
Gay World Series organisers apologise for offensive comedian 1
11:21 AM — While the 2007 Gay World Series proved to be a homerun, there was a snafu during the opening ceremonies that had participants calling foul.Former Kids in the Hall sketch performer, Scott Thompson, apparently delivered an offensive and obnoxious routine that caused organisers to issue an official letter of apology.Last week Phoenix, Arizona played host to one of the largest gay sporting events in the world when it welcomed over 4,000 participants and fans to the North American Gay Amateur Alliance's annual softball world series.
Comment: Lesbian reflections on Coming Out Day 1
10:35 AM — At the Lesbian News anniversary party at West Hollywood's trendy Eleven Nightclub last week a hunky, gay man I'd recently befriended looked at my girlfriend and I and paid us a wonderful compliment. "You two make a really good looking couple," he said.As he surveyed the roomful of glamorous Weho lesbians, he said — with the best intention —"Lesbians don't look like they did in the old days," which immediately sent me mentally time traveling to the not-so-distant past.
11th October 2007
Russian activists lose case against Mayor of Moscow
5:00 PM — A Russian judge has thrown out an appeal by Gay Pride organisers that the Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzkhov was guilty of calling gay people "Satanic."The decision was upheld from a previous district court judgement that Luzhkov did not use the term against the organisers and people who were part of the parade but rather the event itself.The Tverskoi court judge Natalya Makarova, who considered the case in the first instance, was said be one of the most homophobic judges in Russia.
LGBT groups unite to defend trans workplace protection 21
4:25 PM — Nearly 300 organisations representing the full scope and breadth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in America have launched a united lobbying and advocacy campaign to win passage of a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act.Called United ENDA, the campaign builds off the past week's unprecedented efforts by legal groups, political organisations, grassroots activists and many others to maintain protections on the basis of gender identity in ENDA as the measure was originally introduced.
PM accused of pandering to homophobes as election looms 5
2:35 PM — The leader of the Australian Green Party has launched an attack on the attitude of the Prime Minister, John Howard, to gay rights.Senator Bob Brown has spoken out against what he sees as the incumbent government's use of issues such as same-sex marriage to win votes.Mr Howard, the leader of the Liberal party, has been Prime Minister since 1996. It is thought he will choose not to reconvene Parliament next week and instead call a general election.
US accused of funding Ugandan homophobes 1
11:35 AM — A gay rights organisation claims it has uncovered evidence that the U.S. government has funded groups in Uganda that actively promote discrimination against lesbians and gay men.In a letter to U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul, The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has criticised funding the groups and has asked for assurances that U.S. government funds are not being used to support homophobic organisations anywhere in the world.
Hate preacher inspires lesbian songwriter
10:31 AM — Fred Phelps, the preacher and activist known for his anti-gay sentiments and the campaign "God Hates Fags," has inspired a song on openly gay singer/ songwriter Melissa Etheridge's new album, The Awakening. The song Kingdom of Heaven is a response to the hatred expressed "in the name of God" by Phelps and other religious fundamentalists.She sings: "A suffering soul on the way to the kingdom of heaven, held up a sign saying 'God Hates America.'"
10th October 2007
Iran admits that it does have gays
10:20 PM — The President of Iran claims he was misrepresented by Western media when he was quoted as saying that there are no gays in Iran. A presidential aide now says that he simply meant not as many as in the United States.Last month, PinkNews.co.uk quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country... In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don't know who has told you that we have it."
World-famous advice column advocates gay marriage 5
4:17 PM — One of the best-known syndicated newspaper columns in the work, Dear Abby, has backed gay marriage.The column, which has been dispensing common sense to troubled Americans since 1956, also spoke out against homophobic slurs and parents who disown kids who come out to them."I believe if two people want to commit to each other, God bless 'em," she told Associated Press. "That is the highest form of commitment, for heaven's sake."