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World

  • 19th November 2007

    Australian opposition leader vows he won’t turn gay

    After knocking back suggestions put to him, including those from Dame Edna and Kel from Kath and Kim he appeared to have confessed the only person he would turn gay for was his wife Therese.

    6:15 PM — Front runner in the up-coming Australian elections, Kevin Rudd, agreed to answer a question about who he would turn gay for on a TV show last week.The Labour leader became the first political leader to brave the popular youth variety show Rove Live.During the programme Mr Rudd admitted to being a "nerd" and also said he could beat current Prime Minister John Howard in a bar fight.

  • Senate blocks backdoor appointment of Bush nominee 3

    The Surgeon General of the United States is nominated by the President and confirmed via majority vote by the Senate.

    6:15 PM — Suggestions that the President of the United States was to use Congress' two-week Thanksgiving recess to appoint a new Surgeon General without Senate approval have been quashed by a legislative manoeuvre.Dr James Holsinger, the President's nominee for the post, last week reportedly told friends that he will be appointed during the recess, side-stepping the need for Congressional approval.He has been criticised by gay rights groups, physicians and politicians for writing in 1991 that gay sex is unnatural and unhealthy.

  • Germany’s top political and sports analyst comes out

    Early last month Will began her own political talk show, Anne Will, which helped catapult her career as a successful political liaison.

    6:15 PM — Imagine what would happen if Katie Couric came out of the closet. This week, Germany got a taste of a surprise like that when top political news and sports analysts Anne Will, announced her five-year relationship with University of St. Gallen Professor Miriam Meckel.Born in Cologne Germany, Will began working as a reporter at Kölnische Rundschau (the Cologne Review) while still attending college.

  • GLAAD Honors Transgender Day of Remembrance

    The 20-second spot is part of GLAAD's ongoing “Be an Ally  a Friend“ campaign and features transgender actress Alexandra Billings, star of Grey's Anatomy and ER.

    6:15 PM — Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to memorialize those killed because of anti-transgender violence or prejudice. To mark this event, the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has released a PSA encouraging viewers to treat others with dignity and respect regardless of gender identity/expression or sexual orientation.The 20-second spot is part of GLAAD's ongoing "Be an Ally a Friend" campaign and features transgender actress Alexandra Billings (Grey's Anatomy, ER), as well as T.R. Knight (Grey's Anatomy), Rachel Griffiths (Brothers Sisters), Rex Lee (Entourage), Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica) and retired NBA player John Amaechi.

  • First gay Somali website launched 74

    The site, the first of its kind for the Muslim East African nation, is aimed at the UK Somalian gay community. Image: Afrolnews.

    6:15 PM — A website aimed at improving communication between Somalian gay men has now gone live.The site, the first of its kind for the Muslim East African nation, is aimed at the UK Somalian gay community but it is hoped that it will reach those who feel trapped in the homophobic country and show that there are others like them.

  • Korea urged to reinstate orientation discrimination proposals

    Hahn Chae Yoon, director of the Alliance, has claimed the move was due to an upcoming presidential election.

    4:50 PM — Plans to drop sexual orientation from a proposed bill on anti-discrimination in South Korea have been met with disappointment from LGBT organisations all over the world.The bill, the first of its kind in the country was announced in October.According to news reports and members from the ruling Democratic Labour Party, sexual orientation has since been removed from the draft along with other categories such as ideologies, appearance and military status.

  • Hungary considers new rights for unmarried couples

    The Hungarian government is led by socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany who controls 54 per cent of the 386 seats.

    1:20 PM — Gay and unmarried couples in Hungary may soon be able to register their "domestic relationships" following draft legislation which the government is submitting to parliament this week.According to a government spokesman, David Daroczi, the proposed law, which would take effect from 1st January 2009, would give couples many of the same benefits as married couples, including rights of inheritance and taking each other's name.They would not, however, be able to adopt children.

  • Allen resigns after sex solicitation conviction

    Republican party representatives said last week he should resign from office and threatened to remove him.

    11:21 AM — A senior Florida Republican has resigned from the state legislature following his conviction for soliciting oral sex from an undercover police officer.Bob Allen was spotted by police in Titusville, Florida on July 11th acting suspiciously at the men's toilets in a park.Officers decided to send a policeman undercover to investigate, and within minutes Mr Allen agreed to pay him $20 (£10) to allow him to perform oral sex.

  • Milk movie to begin shooting in January

    Milk had foreseen his own untimely death, and made several audio tapes to be played if he was assassinated.

    10:54 AM — Principal photography on a biopic of San Francisco gay activist Harvey Milk will begin in January with Sean Penn in the lead role, it has been announced.Milk, directed by Gus Van Sant, will begin shooting on location in the city ahead of a rival movie.The Mayor of Castro Street, which has been in development for more than 15 years, is due to be helmed by X-Men director Bryan Singer.

  • Poles march for equality as new government takes office

    LGBT rights activists were joined by politicians from green and left-wing parties on the annual Equality March in Poznan, western Poland, on Saturday.

    10:45 AM — LGBT rights activists were joined by politicians from green and left-wing parties on the annual Equality March in Poznan, western Poland, on Saturday.More than 300 people, carrying rainbow flags and banners, took part in the peaceful demonstration in Poland's fifth-largest city, with only a few counter-demonstrators on hand to protest.It was seen as a key test of the new government's attitude to gay rights events.

  • Clinton leads opponents after debate 1

    Pundits across the United States crowned the New York senator queen of the night with just seven weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses.

    10:04 AM — The word on the street is that Hillary Clinton was the star performer during last week's Democratic presidential debates held in Las Vegas.Pundits across the United States crowned the New York senator queen of the night with just seven weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses.The Los Angeles Times, for instance, said that although Clinton's challengers to the throne, Barack Obama and John Edwards, tried to knock her from her position at the head of the pack, they didn't succeed.

  • 17th November 2007

    Anti-gay church vows to take control of Microsoft 10

    Microsoft founder Bill Gates's trust fund owns a major stake in an LGBT publisher

    6:30 PM — An evangelical Christian pastor has vowed to take over Microsoft, one of the world's largest companies by packing it with shareholders who will vote against their policy of advocating gay rights.The Reverend Ken Hutcherson, a former Dallas Cowboys player is the self proclaimed head of the Antioch Bible Church, based in Redmond, the home of Microsoft's headquarters.Microsoft has a strong diversity policy and LGBT staff enjoy a well-funded employee group.

  • 16th November 2007

    Singapore reverses ban on Xbox game with lesbian scene

    Gaming site Joystiq had previously questioned why designers of Mass Effect have allowed lesbian sex but not gay male encounters between characters.

    6:07 PM — Computer game Mass Effect will now be sold in Singapore with an M18 rating, it has been announced.On Tuesday the deputy director of Singapore's Board of Film Censors said that because of "a scene of lesbian intimacy" the game has been "disallowed."Now the board has said that some "highly anticipated" games will be allowed on sale in Singapore ahead of the introduction of a new ratings system in January.

  • Gay rights group suggests sending flowers to Ahmadinejad 1

    The Islamic Sharia law followed in Iran makes gay sex illegal, with penalty of death for offenders as young as 14 years old.

    5:31 PM — The Iranian Queer Organisation IRQO is asking people to send two flowers to the President of Iran as a protest against the treatment of gay and lesbian people under his regime.The idea grew out of the campaign to stop Iranian lesbian Pegah Emambakhsh being deported from the UK.Her supporters sent thousands of bunches of flowers to her while she was in detention, which caused disruption and helped highlight her case.

  • Nicaragua to decriminalise gay sex 2

    José Pallais, president of the Nicaraguan Parliament's Commission of Justice and Legal Issues, said the changes marked a modernisation.

    5:11 PM — Consensual gay sex will no longer be a criminal offence in Nicaragua under a new penal code due to come into effect on March 2008.The surprise news was announced earlier this week by the Nicaraguan National Assembly, reports La Prensa.Under old legislation passed in 1992, "anyone who induces, promotes, propagandises or practices sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex commits the crime of sodomy and shall incur one to three years' imprisonment."

  • New York leader wants gay marriage within two years 1

    Spitzer repeatedly endorsed gay marriage during his election campaign last autumn.

    4:30 PM — The Governor of New York has said that he wants a Democrat controlled state Senate to legalise gay marriage as one of it's priorities in 2009.Eliot Spitzer made his remarks on Wednesday at a fund-raising event for the Senate Democratic Committee in Greenwich village, where guests had paid up to $10,000 to attend.A witness told The New York Post that Governor Spitzer said:"One of the first things we're going to do when [Senate Minority Leader] Malcolm Smith is [majority] leader is gay marriage."

  • Republican guilty of soliciting gay sex avoids jail 4

    Allen was facing 60 days in jail, but instead was given six month's probation and fined $250 (£122) plus $245 costs.

    2:00 PM — A senior Florida Republican has been escaped a custodial sentence after being found guilty of soliciting oral sex from an undercover police officer.Bob Allen, a state representative and former co-chairman of the campaign to select Senator John McCain as the Republican US Presidential candidate, was spotted by police in Titusville, Florida on July 11th acting suspiciously at the men's toilets in a park.Officers decided to send a policeman undercover to investigate.

  • LGBT community upset at closure of only gay bar in Jerusalem

    Gays and lesbians frequently face violence and religious hatred in Jerusalem.

    1:53 PM — After weathering religious disapproval and arson, the only gay and lesbian bar in Jerusalem closes this week.Shushan, which has served customers for four years, contained the unlikely sight of drag queens mixing with Palestinians and Orthodox Jews.Yan Carmel, a 21-year-old student at Hebrew University, told The Times: "Shushan was one of the few places where we could feel that we were in a free world."

  • Anger at new US restrictions on HIV+ visitors 7

    The DHS has finally issued proposed regulations which Immigration Equality claims will make it even harder to get a short-term waiver.

    1:45 PM — New regulations issued by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which claim to offer a "streamlined," "categorical" waiver for HIV-positive people visiting the country have been criticised by American AIDS activists and immigration reform advocates.The White House used World Aids Day last year to announce a change in the rules relating to people with HIV travelling into the USA.Nearly a year later, the DHS has finally issued proposed regulations which activists claim will make it even harder to get a short-term waiver.

  • Ocean’s Eleven star sorry for faggot comment 1

    Caan is not the first high profile actor to have made such a public apology for using homophobic language.

    1:01 PM — Scott Caan has apologised for calling a photographer a "faggot."The 31-year-old son of Hollywood legend James Caan, who starred in all three of the Ocean's movies alongside George Clooney and Brad Pitt, also offered $10,000 (£4,890) to fight the reporter who had taken pictures of him eating a cheeseburger.He told website TMZ.com, who hosted footage of the incident: "I am sorry for using such a derogatory word."

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