13th February 2007
Presidential hopeful’s pledge on gay rights
11:28 AM — Segolene Royal took the race to succeed Jacques Chirac as President of France in a fresh direction yesterday, launching a 100 point manifesto for France under her rule.The 53-year-old socialist party candidate for the presidency would become France's first woman president if elected.She pitched her reform programme to a 15,000-strong rally just outside Paris yesterday.
12th February 2007
Obama says he is running for the White House 2
6:35 PM — Senator Barack Obama has officially declared that he is running for President.The charismatic American politician said that he does not think either race or religion will be defining factors in the choice of the next leader of the free world.In an interview with PA the junior senator from Illinois, who has been publicly supportive of gay rights, said that being mixed race was not a disadvantage.
Russia says it backs gay rights 4
3:03 PM — Despite banning Moscow Gay Pride last year, the Russian government has sent out a message of commitment to the rights of sexual minorities.In its capacity as current Chairman of the Committee of Ministers for the Council of Europe, the Russian Federation has stated that sexual minorities do have the right to freedom of expression and assembly, according to RainbowNetwork.com.They added that the police have a duty to protect such demonstrations when they take place.
Berlusconi attacks gay rights legislation
1:37 PM — Italian opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi slammed legislation to give legal rights to same-sex couples yesterday.The former Prime Minister, who is still leader of Forza Italia, accused the Romano Prodi-led Italian coalition government of devaluing the institution of the family.Last week the Italian Cabinet voted unanimously to bring forward legislation bestowing some legal protection to unmarried couples.
Court bans gay partner health insurance
1:22 PM — An appeals court in Michigan has banned public organisations from providing health insurance to partners of gay employees.The decision has caused outrage amongst American gay rights organisations.Last Friday Michigan amended its voter-approved ban on gay marriage to incorporate a ruling that prohibits universities and government bodies from recognising same-sex unions in the provision of health benefits. It is the first US state to do so.
Drag act to represent Denmark at Eurovision 57
11:37 AM — Drag performer DQ will represent Denmark at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.He won the Danish Melodi Grand Prix, which decides who will represent the country the contest, on Saturday night.Televised in this country by the BBC, it will be held Helsinki, Finland, on the 12th of May.
Canadian cops seek out gay recruits
10:50 AM — Toronto police held a recruiting session in the city's gay village Saturday afternoon in an effort to diversify its ranks.According to the Canadian Press, the city's police service has made efforts to diversify by recruiting officers who reflect the variety of ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds found across the city.Constable Gail Steed of the police employment unit told CP that the information sessions for the gay community are a natural extension of that outreach.
9th February 2007
Gay haters to picket kids’ funeral 1
6:13 PM — Anti-gay activists from the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, plan to protest at the collective funeral of the victims of the Bardstown house fire that killed 10 people last week.The blaze, described as the deadliest in Kentucky in thirty years, killed six children, and left two others hospitalised. The cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed.The controversial church appears at high-profile funerals in order to gain publicity for their cause, despite laws banning such demonstrations.
Drug-resistant HIV strain worries doctors
5:40 PM — A strain of HIV that is resistant to two types of treatment has been discovered in America.Four men in Washington state were diagnosed with strains of highly-resistant HIV (HR HIV) between 2005 and 2006.Researchers now say that these strains are very similar, indicating that the four men may have had sex or shared injection equipment with common partners.
IKEA’s gay family ad upsets conservatives 5
2:25 PM — A TV advert that shows two gay men and their daughter relaxing on a sofa has annoyed an American conservative group.The American Family Association (AFA) has accused the Swedish furniture retailer of trying to force a liberal, "homosexuality-affirming" world view on US consumers, reports OneNewsNow.comThe association, who claim to promote "traditional family values," say IKEA routinely promote gay lifestyles.
Kids Pride supporter gets email death threats 2
12:31 PM — An academic who supported the rights of kids under 16 to take part in Amsterdam's Gay Pride parade has received a flood of death threats.Gert Hekma, Professor of Gay Lesbian Studies at the University of Amsterdam, was not involved in the plan to allow gay kids to take part in the annual boat parade."I had only expressed my opinion as an academic that it seemed to me to be crazy that the legal age of consent is 16 years when children so much younger are now coming out the closet," he said.
Italian government approves same-sex couple recognition 4
10:35 AM — The Italian government yesterday agreed to bring forward legislation that will grant legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples for the first time.The decision was criticised on all sides. Gay campaigners complained that the proposed new "civil pacts of solidarity" are a watered down version of what the coalition government had promised at last year's election.Catholic MPs denounced the new bill as an attack on marriage.
Gay children to participate in Amsterdam Pride 1
10:07 AM — The mayor of the Dutch city of Amsterdam has changed his mind about letting under 16s take part in the Gay Pride festival.A 14-year-old boy, Danny Hoekzema, devised the plan to include a boat for LGBT teens in the parade along the city's famous canals.Last month mayor Job Cohen blocked the idea, as he thought it was "too risky," reports Agencie France Presse.
8th February 2007
Christians attack Obama’s record on gay rights 2
4:38 PM — Before he has even officially declared his intention to run for President, Barack Obama is under attack for his pro-gay views.The junior Senator from Illinois is expected to announce on Saturday that he intends to run for the highest office in the land.Obama is the only African-American in the Senate, and his candidacy is already being compared to that of President John F Kennedy.
Pakistan’s tolerance for a funny drag act
1:29 PM — Has Pakistan, one of the world's most conservative countries, found the unlikeliest TV star in the form of a drag queen?The idea might seem far-fetched, except it's a very real possibility.Indeed, such is the power of curiosity and critical acclaim that millions have been tuning in to the The Late Night Show With Begum Nawazish Ali to witness the drag performer's latest shenanigans.
Italy gay marriage vote too close to call 4
12:06 PM — The fragile unity of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government will be severely tested when proposals to offer legal recognition for same-sex unions are to be unveiled in the next few days.Some are already seeing this as a referendum on Mr Prodi's vulnerable nine-party centre-left coalition.The situation has been made worse by intense lobbying from opposition MPs and the Catholic Church, with Pope Benedict XVI chastising the proposals as "anti-church and anti-family."
Colombian court recognises same-sex rights
10:58 AM — For the first time, the Constitutional Court in the South American state of Colombia has acknowledged the rights of same sex partners.Although homosexual relationships were decriminalised in the 1980s, serious human rights violations against LGBT people are commonplace.The country has been the scene of social unrest for decades, with powerful drug cartels challenging the authority of the government.
US Army scared of lesbians, says Congressman 1
10:25 AM — A member of the House of Representatives has said that the American military is more scared of lesbians than terrorists.Gary Ackerman, from New York, was questioning Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a Congressional committee into 2008 State Department budget.The Congressman was questioning the current military policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell."
7th February 2007
Gay activist push “no kids no marriage” law 1
4:00 PM — Same-sex marriage advocates in the American state of Washington are proposing a state ballot measure that would limit marriage to couples who prove they can bear children within three years.Proponents say the proposal was aimed at "social conservatives who have long screamed that marriage exists for the sole purpose of procreation."The Washington Defence of Marriage Alliance acknowledged on its website that the initiative was "absurd."
Disgraced preacher “discovers” he is straight 1
3:35 PM — Ted Haggard, the former pastor of an evangelical super church who was forced to resign after revelations of a three-year affair with a male prostitute, has said he was "acting out" and is still a heterosexual.The revelation came in an interview in the Denver Post with one of the four pastors who have been giving Haggard an intensive course of counselling.