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World

  • 12th October 2007

    Howard may gamble on gay rights as a vote-winner 5

    It is widely expected that Mr Howard will call an election  for November 24th this weekend.

    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

    Congresswoman Baldwin's “all or nothing“ position is supported by nearly 300 organisations representing the LGBT community in America.

    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

    The prison department “permitted a work environment to flourish where the credible evidence showed that she could have been killed because she is a gay female.“

    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

    Mr Sokolov said: “If this exhibition appears it will bring shame on Russia. In this case, all of us will bear full responsibility.“

    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

    His routine not only bombed, it caused participants to leave with some bitter feelings.

    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

    Now, since queer activists and pioneering celebs like Melissa Etheridge, k.d. Lang, and Ellen Degeneres, who paved the way for the L Word set, I've relaxed into my lesbian identity.

    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

    The court decided Luzhkov should not face charges of slander as his comments described the concept of a gay rights march as Satanic and not its participants.

    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

    Currently before Congress, ENDA was designed to extend federal employment discrimination protections.

    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

    Mr Howard, the leader of the Liberal party, has been Prime Minister since 1996.

    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

    PEPFAR is a $15 billion (£7.5bn) Bush administration fund to fight AIDS in Africa.

    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

    Fred Phelps has inspired a song by openly gay singer/ songwriter Melissa Etheridge.

    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

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: we do 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

    Dear Abby will receive the first-ever Straight for Equality award for her promotion of PFLAG as a resource for family members with gay loved ones.

    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."

  • Gay actor celebrates National Coming Out Day

    T.R. Knight's coming out caused a media scandal when it was revealed that he had been the subject of homophobic taunts from co-star Isaiah Washington.

    2:03 PM — T.R. Knight, who plays surgical intern Dr George O'Malley in hit TV show Grey's Anatomy, has recorded an advert to mark National Coming Out Day in the US.The Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today premiered the 20-second spot, which features Knight telling viewers how important it is to accept their gay friends and family members.National Coming Out Day is observed in the US every October 11th.

  • Canadian soldiers face “gay bashing” charges

    The Ottawa Citizen revealed that the military have not provided the soldiers with their legal defence.

    1:11 PM — Two Canadian soldiers on leave from Afghanistan have been arrested and charged with beating up a gay man in Amsterdam.The men, both 22, were confirmed by Dutch police to have been arrested on May 26th and charged with attempted manslaughter, attempted criminal negligence causing bodily harm and public violence.Dutch media report that prosecutors have pushed for an eight-month jail term for one of the offenders, while the other soldier faces six weeks in prison.

  • Ugandan minister will fight “spread of homosexuality”

    2007 has seen the first gay rights press conference and the first anti-gay rally in Uganda.

    12:27 PM — A senior politician in Uganda has pledged to block gay rights in the country.James Nsaba Buturo, Minister for Ethics and Integrity, told All Africa news agency that the government is committed to stopping LGBT people "trying to impose a strange, ungodly, unhealthy, unnatural, and immoral way of life on the rest of our society."Last week the country's Minister for Youth and Children's Affairs said new legislation would be brought forward on homosexuality.

  • Press accused of ignoring death of lesbian soldier

    Senator Kerry implored that the Department of Defence “deploy your staff on this matter immediately, so that the answers and circumstances around Specialist Durkin's death are uncovered.“

    12:14 PM — The questionable and untimely death of Specialist Ciara Durkin, a service member with the Massachusetts Army National Guard who was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head on September 27th, has not gone unnoticed.Late last week Democratic Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, along with Congressman William Delahunt and the Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN), made headlines by calling on Pentagon officials to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the incident that occurred while Durkin was serving in Afghanistan.

  • Oregon moves ahead with domestic partnerships

    Supporters of the law and of marriage equality were ecstatic after hearing the announcement.

    11:37 AM — Same-sex couples in Oregon had ample reason to celebrate last night, as opponents of the US state's recently passed domestic partnership law failed to gather enough signatures to put a referendum overturning the measure on the November 2008 ballot.Opponents needed 55,179 valid, unduplicated signatures for the referendum to move forward.Although nearly 63,000 signatures were turned in to state officials, only 55,063 of them were found to be valid and unduplicated.

  • Moldova criticised over LGBT injustice

    Moldova is not part of the EU, but is influenced by its neighbour Romania, an EU member state since January 2007.

    11:16 AM — Moldovan authorities have "to ensure full respect of the fundamental rights of all minorities, including sexual minorities."That is the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of of the Council of Europe (PACE) entitled About functioning of democratic institutions in Moldova.The resolution is based on the report of the monitoring committee about the honouring of obligations and commitments by Moldova and adopted by PACE earlier this month.

  • Singapore gays call for decriminalisation 2

    In August Singapore banned gay events held in public parks.

    10:21 AM — Hundreds of Singaporeans are calling for the government to decriminalise homosexual sex, ahead of a parliamentary debate on the first overhaul of criminal law in Singapore in a quarter century.Under the proposed changes to be debated later this month, oral and anal sex between consenting heterosexual adults will no longer be considered an offence.However, the same acts between men, will remain illegal with a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

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