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World

  • 2nd December 2007

    Brazilian president calls national LGBT conference

    Homosexuality has been legal in Brazil since 1823, except in the armed forces, and civil unions are allowed in some areas.

    3:10 PM — Gay rights activists have praised Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the President of Brazil, for announcing that he is convening the first national conference of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and trans persons (LGBT).New York-based Human Rights Watch has urged people to write to Mr da Silva to congratulate him on his decision to call the conference. His decree was published in the Official Gazette last week.700 people are expected to take part, 60% civil society and 40% government.

  • 50 million Chinese at risk from HIV

    Although Chinese leaders are more openly confronting the disease these days, after years of denying it was a problem, challenges remain.

    3:10 PM — United Nations officials are raising the alarm in China that between 30 and 50 million of that country's citizens are at risk of contracting HIV or AIDS.The warning comes just a day after Chinese officials reported the spread of the disease has slowed.Last week, according to news agency AFP, Chinese health minister Chen Zhu announced there were an estimated 50,000 new cases of HIV in 2007, bringing the total number of Chinese people living with HIV and AIDS to 700,000.

  • Dutch to study gay bashing incidents 5

    The University of Amsterdam has been commissioned by the city's mayor to carry out the research into homophobic attacks.

    3:10 PM — The mayor of Amsterdam has commissioned academics to study a spate of attacks on gay people in the city.A substantial increase in homophobic attacks in the capital has been reported over the last few years.Over half of Dutch gays feel less safe than they did a year ago, a survey carried out in August by current affairs programme EenVandaag revealed.

  • 30th November 2007

    Canada mourns death of lesbian author

    In 1964 her first novel Desert of the Heart, a lesbian love story, was published and Ms Rule was publicly outed.

    4:30 PM — Jane Rule, 76, a writer of lesbian-themed novels, died on Tuesday of complications from liver cancer at her home in British Columbia, Canada.Born in New Jersey in 1931, Ms Rule moved to Galiano Island, Canada with partner Helen Sonthoff, after a peripatetic childhood in America."I was proud and relieved to claim the label Canadian," Ms. Rule told the Globe and Mail. In July she was appointed to the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour.

  • Iraq and Afghanistan vets organise against gay ban

    “Don't Ask, Don't Tell“ policy prohibits gays, lesbians or bisexuals revealing their sexuality, or talking about any gay relationship, while serving in the US armed forces.

    3:35 PM — A group of young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, veterans of the broader American "war on terrorism" and their active duty allies and supporters was launched today in the US.Servicemembers United was formed to aggressively educate both the public and policymakers about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" issue and to give a stronger voice to the majority of servicemen and women who support strengthening the US Armed Forces by repealing the discriminatory law.

  • Ireland to legislate for gay partnerships next year 13

    A bill outlining the new proposed legislation is expected to be published in March.

    2:45 PM — Ireland's Minister of State for Equality, Sean Power, said this morning that legislation allowing same-sex civil partnerships could be introduced by early next summer.He was speaking at the National Lesbian and Gay Federation's (NLGF) symposium on Full And Equal Rights: Lesbian And Gay Marriage And Partnership Rights In Ireland. The symposium is part of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All 2007Mr Power added that the government was keen to pass the new laws as soon as possible.

  • EU to combat homophobia in football

    Franco Frattini yesterday pledged with €10 million (£7 million) of EU money at a conference on violence in sport.

    2:03 PM — The European Union Justice Commissioner has spoken of his desire to establish a EU police force for sport, and hopes to pilot the idea at next year's Euro 2008 tournament in Austria and Switzerland.Franco Frattini yesterday pledged with €10 million (£7 million) of EU money at a conference on violence in sport.The money will be used to establish a common training programme for the tournament. Police forces from across the EU will send officers for training in combating hooliganism and other football-related crimes.

  • US Queer as Folk tops list of gay TV characters 2

    A lovable rogue, Brian indulged in drug-taking and promiscuous sex yet still found time to father a child with a lesbian friend and bring down a homophobic politician.

    12:45 PM — A poll by gay entertainment website, AfterElton.com has revealed the top 25 most popular gay and bisexual television characters.In first place was Brian Kinney, controversial lead character in the America series of Queer as Folk.A lovable rogue, Brian indulged in drug-taking and promiscuous sex yet still found time to father a child with a lesbian friend and bring down a homophobic politician.

  • Russia’s first LGBT film festival slated for 2008

    Side by Side will showcase work from around the world including feature films, innovative independent films, documentaries, experimental and short films.

    12:39 PM — Next October the Russian city of St Petersburg will host Side by Side ("Bok o Bok"), its first international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festival.The festival will run from 2nd to 5th October, 2008, with films and events at the historic Dom Kino House of Cinema, one of Europe's premier venues for quality world cinema.The event is expected to draw visitors from over 30 countries as well as major international sponsors.

  • 63% of LGB Americans will vote to nominate Hillary 2

    72 percent of LGB likely voters consider Senator Clinton a supporter of gay rights.

    9:45 AM — A new survey of likely American voters suggests Senator Hillary Clinton will have the overwhelming support of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGBs) Americans in the upcoming Democratic primaries.Sixty-three percent of those who participated in the Hunter College poll said they planned to cast their votes for the former first lady, while Senator Barack Obama and John Edwards received 22 percent and 7 percent of the vote, respectively.

  • 29th November 2007

    Gay general confronts military ban at Republican debate

    Out retired brigadier general Keith Kerr wanted to know: “Why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians.“

    3:15 PM — Last night the candidates for the Republican party nomination for President of the United States participated in a CNN-YouTube debate, hosted by Anderson Cooper.But the silver-haired presenter was not the only gay to ask a question - an out retired brigadier general called Keith Kerr wanted to know: "Why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians."Republicans immediately seized on the information that Mr Kerr is a member of the Clinton campaign gay rights steering committee.

  • Lithuanian authorities use security to ban gay events 2

    The council's decision is the latest of many homophobic incidents in the Baltic state in the past few months.  photo: moacirpdsp@flickr.com

    2:30 PM — New rules passed by the city council in Vilnius will effectively outlaw gay marches and other events, according to Lithuanian gay rights advocates.Amendments to the public order and cleanliness regulations mean that the police or a special commission will be able to ban any event where they think a riot might occur.The Lithuanian Gay League is attempting to appeal this decision in court.

  • US hate crimes bill in “serious jeopardy” 7

    In September the US Senate voted 60 to 39 to allow the new legislation to move forward.

    12:55 PM — American gay rights campaigners have warned that there could be less than a week to save a new bill before Congress that extends federal hate crime laws to LGBT people.In April the proposed new federal law, that would grant protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the United States, was named after the murdered gay teenager who brought the issue of hate crimes into the American consciousness.Matthew Shepard was beaten and left for dead, tied to a fence in freezing Wyoming in 1998.

  • Comment: Gay voters could hold the keys to the White House 2

    With so many gay issues circulating Washington lately, it could just be that the gay vote is what sways the way the administration will be run.

    11:15 AM — If you haven't checked your calendar lately, there are exactly 418 days left in the Bush Presidency, and one of the most interesting and perhaps ground breaking elections is right around the corner.While many American voters are split on perennial election issues such as the war in Iraq, abortion, education and immigration, next year's election could offer up a whole new issue that ultimately decides who the next president of the United States will be.With so many gay issues circulating Washington lately, it could just be that the gay vote is what sways the way the administration will be run.

  • Tribute to thousands of dismissed gay soldiers

    The events recognise the 12,000 men and women kicked-out of the military since the signing of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.“

    10:35 AM — Tomorrow gay activists will mark the 14th anniversary of the ban on openly gay, lesbian or bisexual people serving in the US military.The Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers United, Log Cabin Republicans, Servicemembers Legal Defence Network and Liberty Education Forum are to host a three-day tribute, 12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots, on the National Mall.The events recognise the 12,000 men and women kicked out of the military since the signing of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

  • 28th November 2007

    MEPs call on Poland to approve human rights charter 13

    In a TV debate during the campaign Mr Tusk pledged to make Poland a party to the EU Charter.

    3:15 PM — The European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights has urged the Polish government to maintain its post-campaign promise to have the country become a full party to the Charter of Fundamental Rights alongside other EU member states.In an address to the Polish parliament last week new Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he will honour the commitment of the previous government and join the UK as the only nations in the 27-member EU to opt out.The charter will become legally binding on EU institutions.

  • Trans activists resign from US gay rights group

    In October Ms Rose resigned as the only trans person on the board of HRC.

    3:05 PM — Human Rights Campaign, the most prominent LGBT rights organisation in America, has suffered more resignations from trans activists over its support for an employment protection law that excluded trans people.The only transgender members of the HRC Business Council, Donna Rose and Jamison Green, announced their resignations yesterday in response to recent HRC policy decisions regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

  • Italian city establishes same-sex register

    Adults who “emotional ties and who have been living at least one year together“ may register. photo: mteson@flickr.com

    1:01 PM — Ancona, a city on Italy's Adriatic coast, opened a registry for same-sex couples yesterday.Adults who "emotional ties and who have been living at least one year together" may register, according to news agency ANSA.Earlier this year Padua city council outraged the Vatican by allowing gay and lesbian couples to register their 'family.'

  • Caribbean island considers ban on gay cruises 4

    A cruise hosted by lesbian comedian Rosie O'Donnell was the focus of faith-based protests when it visited the Bahamas in 2004.

    12:30 PM — Tourist authorities on Grenada are considering a ban on cruises for gay people from their shores.The tiny island nation, which has a population of 103,000, gained independence from the UK in 1974. Male homosexual acts are illegal and punishable with up to ten years in jail.Tourism Minister Clarice Modeste-Curwen has said that a policy on the cruise ships has not been finalised.

  • French man held over gay murders

    Both men deny involvement with the murders and are being questioned by police in the town of Montbeliard.

    12:15 PM — A 68-year-old man has been detained by French police in connection with as many as 18 murders between 1980 and 2002.Most of the victims were gay men. Nicolas Panard was arrested in the French city of Mulhouse yesterday.He is reported to be well-known on the gay scene and previously worked as a drag performer.

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