21st January 2008
Obama references gays in Martin Luther King speech 1
11:10 AM — The only United States federal holiday honouring an African-American is celebrated today, and Democratic candidates in the Presidential races have evoked the memory of Martin Luther King in their bid for the White House.Celebrated on the third Monday in January, Martin Luther King Day will be marked with a debate between the Democratic candidates sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus and broadcast on CNN.Martin Luther King Day was signed into law by a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, in 1983.
20th January 2008
McCain beats Huckabee in South Carolina 2
2:50 AM — In the South Carolina primaries, John McCain beat Mike Huckabee by 33 per cent to 30 per cent. Mr Huckabee last week compared gay marriage to "a man and an animal."In the Nevada Democratic caucus, New York Senator Hillary Clinton scored 51 per cent of the vote compared to Barack Obama's 45 per cent. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been declared the winner in the Republican Nevada caucus, leading over rival Arizona Senator John McCain by a wide margin.
18th January 2008
NZ commission suggests more rights for trans people
5:30 PM — The Human Rights Commission in New Zealand has recommended that citizens should be able to alter their sex on documents such as passports and birth certificates.Following a two-year study the commission has said the country's Human Rights Act should be amended to make gender identity discrimination illegal."Forms of discrimination and harassment ranged from low-level (avoidance and insults) to very severe (violent physical and sexual assaults)," the commission said.
Huckabee compares gay marriage to bestiality 19
2:15 PM — Mike Huckabee, one of the leading contenders for the Republican party nomination for President of the United States, has said he wants to change the country's Constitution to ban abortion and compared gay relationships to "a man and an animal."In an interview with an online religious magazine Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, said: "I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal."
Kuwaitis arrested for “impersonating opposite sex” 3
11:10 AM — A leading human rights charity has drawn attention to the plight of more than a dozen people arrested and jailed under new "dress code" laws in Kuwait.Human Rights Watch has called for them to be released.The law was approved by the National Assembly on December 10th 2007. It criminalises people who "imitate the appearance of the opposite sex."
17th January 2008
Australian government plans to censor net content 7
6:35 PM — Internet freedom may be to be under threat in Australia when the new Labour government introduces censorship guidelines to combat child pornography and violent websites.The government has announced plans to restrict and block inappropriate content and provide a censored version of the internet.Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy said: "The government policy applies to computers in homes, schools and libraries and targets pornography and ultra-violent sites."
Orthodox bishop links homosexuals to paedophiles 6
4:40 PM — A senior Russian church leader has condemned social acceptance of homosexuality, declaring that it is the church's "duty" to correct public opinion.In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegal, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who is head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, said that not viewing homosexuality as a sin will lead to a variety of other sexual perversions."If you excuse homosexuality, why not excuse paedophilia?" he said.
Gay delegates to hold key positions at Democratic convention
4:10 PM — The executive committee of the US Democratic party's National Committee has approved seven LGBT delegates to three important standing committees.The convention in Denver in August will formally choose the party's candidate for President of the United States.The Advocate reports that prominent LGBT party members have been appointed to the platform, rules, and credentials committees.In all 25 delegates have been selected to serve on the standing committees.
Bisexuality “not a phase” conclude researchers 3
1:35 PM — Bisexuality in women is a distinct orientation and not just a "phase", according to a study carried out at the University of Utah.Lisa Diamond, an associate professor of psychology and gender studies, led the research which followed 79 women who identified themselves as lesbian, bisexual or unlabelled for a decade.She concluded that bisexual women continued to be attracted to both sexes over time.
US gets first black lesbian mayor 5
11:45 AM — The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has made history after the city council chose Denise Simmons to serve as the first black lesbian mayor in America.The city's more famous namesake in England made history last year when its councillors chose a woman who had transitioned sex as mayor.Gay political activists in the US praised Ms Simmons' selection by her fellow city councillors. Her predecessor, Ken Reeves, was also gay and black.
Shock at male rape estimates in Sydney
11:10 AM — New figures have revealed that hundreds of men are being raped in Sydney and its eastern suburbs every year.A report from the Eastern and Central Sexual Assault Service at Royal Alfred Hospital stated that although 44 male victims complained of being sexually assaulted last year, this number was just "the tip of the iceberg".Experts claim that as much as 95 per cent of male victims did not report such crimes to the police. Manager Lisa Simpson said: "There is a huge denial about same-sex sexual assault."
Protesters halt Papal visit to university 1
10:50 AM — Science students and academics at the University of Rome La Sapienza have successfully stopped Pope Benedict XVI from visiting the campus today.Vatican Radio accused them of censorship, while the Italian Prime Minister said their determination to block the Pope from speaking "provoked an unacceptable tension and a climate that does not honour the traditions of civilisation and tolerance in Italy."LGBT students also planned to protest the Papal visit.
16th January 2008
Cameroon men get six months jail for being gay 7
6:35 PM — Three men have been sentenced to six month hard labour for being homosexual.The men were arrested in Bonapriso, Douala, on August 31st 2007 by police officers making random arrests in search of armed robbers.After being beaten at the police station, one of the men confessed to being homosexual and implicated his two colleagues.The three men's lawyer said she would appeal the convictions and none of the men had been found guilty of homosexual acts.
Toilet sex carries “expectation of privacy” says ACLU 1
5:14 PM — The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday filed court papers in support of US Senator Larry Craig's fight to have his conviction for soliciting sex in an airport toilet overturned.The ACLU brief cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that people having sex in a closed toilet cubicle in a public toilet have an "expectation of privacy" and if the Senator was attempting to engage an undercover police officer for sex he was not acting illegally.The Senator from Idaho arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room.
Presbyterian church allows lesbian ordination
5:01 PM — In the first test of a new policy allowing local Presbyterian churches the right to welcome into the clergy candidates who object to church teachings, the Presbytery of San Francisco has granted a lesbian deacon her wish of becoming a minister.The regional body yesterday voted 167 to 151 in favour of Lisa Larges, who had twice before been denied ordination.Since 1978 the US Presbyterian denomination bans sexually active gay or lesbian people from the ministry.
Florida gay marriage ban short on signatures
2:02 PM — An initiative to ask Florida's citizens to ban gay marriage in the state is more than 20,000 signatures short of the required number, despite claims last month that the target had been reached.Florida4Marriage.org want a question on the 2008 ballot on following amendment to the state's constitution regarding civil marriage.Revised numbers show that the group is 21,989 signatures short of the required 611,009. There are two weeks left until the deadline.
Gay.com parent company up for sale
12:40 PM — Shares in one of the largest gay media companies in the world, PlanetOut, fell 23.4% yesterday to $4.75 (£2.42).A spokesman for the NASDAQ-listed company confirmed they are looking for potential buyers. It has been a rocky year for the company. It is now trading at 13% of its value in January 2007.In May high operating costs and declining sales resulted in a considerable first-quarter loss and a resulting slide in share price.
Aide to Latvian MP convicted of Pride attack
11:30 AM — A 32-year-old man who works as an aide to a homophobic Latvian MP has been convicted of "gross public disorderliness" during Riga Pride in 2006.Janis Dzelme is an assistant to the Latvia First Party MP Dainis Turlais.The court found that he has throw a bag of excrement at the car of a gay rights activist.
Morocco ‘gay party’ convictions upheld 1
10:55 AM — A leading human rights organisation has called on the authorities in Morocco to release six men jailed for "lewd and unnatural acts."They were arrested by police between November 23rd and 25th 2007, after a video circulated online, including on YouTube, purporting to show a private party, allegedly including the men, taking place in Ksar el-Kbir on November 18th.Press reports claimed the party was a "gay marriage." At an appeal yesterday the men's sentences were reduced but their convictions upheld.
Romney and Clinton win in Michigan
10:25 AM — Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has pulled off a strong win in the Michigan primary results, beating out his rivals, Arizona Senator John McCain and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.Although pre-voting polls had the two top Republican candidates at a virtual tie, Romney pulled off the win with a significant margin.Hillary Clinton, virtually uncontested, won in the Democratic primary.With 77 percent of precincts reporting in, Mitt Romney has been declared the projected winner in the Michigan Republican primary.