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World

  • 22nd February 2007

    Gay rights law threatened as Italian PM quits

    As well as concern over troops serving in Afghanistan, Senators opposed the expansion of a US military base in Vicenza.

    11:27 AM — Italy is without a leader after Romano Prodi resigned yesterday. He quit after left-wing members of his nine-party coalition voted against the government's foreign policy.Mr Prodi's decision leaves proposed new laws granting gay couples legal protection unresolved.The coalition lost a Senate motion backing the continued deployment of troops by two votes.

  • Vatican attack Tony Blair over adoption

    The church-run adoption agencies have until the end of 2008 to comply with the regulations.

    10:45 AM — A senior Roman Catholic official has criticised the Prime Minister's decision not to allow church-run adoption agencies to opt-out of gay rights legislation.The proposed exemption caused a Cabinet row when it was first proposed.Under pressure from his own MPs, Mr Blair finally conceded that Roman Catholic adoption services would be covered by the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

  • 21st February 2007

    French court blocks lesbian adoption

    The French will go to the polls to elect their next President on 22nd April. photo: lanceerin@flickr.com

    5:32 PM — An attempt by a French mother to allow her lesbian partner to adopt her child has failed.The Appeals Court in Paris ruled yesterday that the only way the mother could legally allow her partner to adopt the child would be to renounce her own parental rights.If the lesbian couple were allowed to marry, then they could share parental responsibility.

  • Polish president’s homophobia outrages the Irish 17

    Kaczynski has a history of homophobia.

    12:14 PM — Remarks about homosexuality during a state visit to Ireland have caused more trouble for the controversial President of Poland.Speaking to an audience at Dublin Castle on the final day of his three day visit, Lech Kaczynski said that the promotion of homosexuality would lead to the eventual destruction of the human race.

  • American lesbians marry across the border

    Currently Massachusetts is the only US state to marry same-sex couples but civil unions are legal in Vermont and Connecticut.

    10:57 AM — A couple from Texas have become the first non-Mexicans to take advantage of a new law that recognises same-sex couples.Maria Carreon Lara, 39, and Amparo Maldonado, 24, of Midland, Texas, travelled to the Mexican state of Coahuila, currenly the only state in the country to have passed such a law.Mexico City will also recognise gay unions from next month.

  • Air Force rape trial exposes Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 5

    Capt. Taylor claims all the men had consensual sex with him.

    10:19 AM — A captain in the US Air Force charged with drugging and raping four men says they are lying to avoid being exposed as gay.Capt. Devery L. Taylor, who works as a hospital administrator, faces life in prison if a court-martial finds him guilty of the charges of forcible sodomy, kidnapping and attempted sodomy.The case has exposed the precarious position gay, lesbian and bisexual service personnel in the US armed forces are put in by the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.

  • 20th February 2007

    Hundreds of couples register in NJ

    Campaigners for gay marriage intend to sue, claiming that a civil union will not afford the same rights as marriage.

    5:48 PM — Yesterday in New Jersey hundreds of gay couples were given the same rights as married straight couples, and hundreds have joined in civil unions in the first 24 hours.Civil unions offer the same legal advantages as marriage, but not the title, and were given automatically to any same-sex couple who had already been married or joined in civil unions elsewhere.Couples who had not been joined previously could apply for the licence.

  • Thai Spice girls preach transsexual power 1

    Thai people are often more tolerant of trangender people than other countries.

    5:04 PM — A girl band of transsexuals who model themselves on the Spice Girls are hoping to change social attitudes and achieve pop chart success in Thailand.Venus Flytrap's five members were all born males and later underwent gender reassignment surgery.Like the famous British group, they have onstage personas, namely Cool Venus, Naughty Venus, Posh Venus, Sweet Venus and Hot Venus.

  • Irish parliament to debate civil unions 3

    The Dáil will vote tomorrow night on whether the legislation can move forward to the second stage.

    4:47 PM — Pro-gay politicians in Ireland have said they are hopeful that new legislation granting gay and lesbian couples the right to a civil marriage will gain the approval of MPs.The opposition Labour party are introducing a bill into the country's parliament, the Dáil, tonight.The party's justice spokesman, Brendan Howlin, has revealed that government MPs have been positive about the legislation.

  • US considered weapon to turn enemy gay 3

    A recruitment crisis has forced the Army and others to lower their standards.

    4:14 PM — A spokesperson for the US Department of Defence has confirmed a report that Air Force officials proposed developing a gay conversion chemical weapon in 1994.The proposal, part of a plan from Wright Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was to develop "chemicals that effect (sic) human behaviour so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely effected (sic).

  • No miracle cure for AIDS, say doctors 1

    There are 4.3 million new infections of HIV every year around the world, but that 1 in 4 people do not realise they are infected.

    12:36 PM — American experts believe that although the elimination of AIDS seems unlikely, over a long period of time it is possible to work towards a lower rate of infection.Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science last weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the disease cannot just be "shut off" because it is transmitted by sexual activity, which is an essential part of human nature.

  • Transsexual MP stands down

    Beyer has served in the post of MP for Wairarapa since 1999, campaigning for the rights of LGBT people.

    11:31 AM — Georgina Beyer, the first transsexual MP to be elected in New Zealand, has retired from her post.Beyer is also a Maori, and so a minority in more ways than one. Over the past seven years she has made history for transgender people.Not only was she the first transsexual in the world to be elected to national office, she was also the first transsexual in the world to be elected as a mayor.

  • Lesbian couple arrested for non-violent protest

    Dotti Berry and Robynne Sapp of Blaine, Washington, entered the evangelical organisation's headquarters in Colorado to join a regularly scheduled tour.

    10:50 AM — Two women were removed by police yesterday from the headquarters of American Christian pressure group Focus on the Family as part of a non-violent gay rights protest.Dotti Berry and Robynne Sapp of Blaine, Washington, entered the evangelical organisation's headquarters in Colorado to join a regularly scheduled tour.Once inside, the two women requested a meeting with James Dobson, who heads Focus on the Family.

  • 19th February 2007

    Prodi conciliatory as Pope attacks again 2

    Church-state relations remain frosty following Pope Benedict XVI's latest attack on the proposed legislation to recognise gay couples.

    5:13 PM — The Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has promised to repair the relationship between his government and the Vatican after a fall-out over proposals to afford legal rights to same-sex partners.Prodi will meet today with Cardinal Tarcisio, Pope Benedict XVI's chief aide, and Cardinal Camillio Ruini, head of the Italian Bishops conference, to discuss church-state relations, the International Herald Tribune has reported.Church-state relations remain frosty following Pope Benedict XVI's latest attack on the proposed legislation to recognise gay couples.

  • Pioneering lesbian activist Gittings dies

    Gittings was a familiar activist in the early days of the gay rights movement in America photo: www.glbthistorymonth.com

    3:53 PM — An iconic figure in the American gay rights movement, Barbara Gittings, has died aged 74.Gittings helped found the New York chapter of lesbian rights organisation Daughters of Bilitis in 1958, and was one of the first openly gay women to gain media attention.She was also instrumental in persuading the American Psychiatric Association to stop viewing homosexuality as a mental disorder in the 1970s.

  • Trans tennis star looks back at life in public eye 3

    Prior to her sex-change, Renne, then Richard Raskind, went to Yale University and played tennis, captaining the men's team in 1954.

    2:44 PM — Renne Richards, a former tennis player and one of the world's most famous transsexual athletes, has admitted that she regrets the fame that she attracted.Richards made a life-changing decision in 1975 to undergo gender reassignment surgery.Talking to Reuters, she said it was the events that followed her operation that had the biggest impact on her lifestyle.

  • Report shows grim gay existence in Nigeria

    Simply taking part in a gay or lesbian club or support group would be illegal. photo: zouzouwizman@flickr.com

    12:06 PM — Nigerian LGBT people opposed to a new anti-gay law in the country have spoken about their experiences in a report for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).Voices from Nigeria details homophobic attacks, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and increased levels of homophobia that have already begun as a result of the introduction of the legislation, referred to as the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.The Act launches a vigorous attack on freedom of expression.

  • New Jersey grants civil unions from today

    Currently Massachusetts is the only US state to marry same-sex couples but civil unions are legal in Vermont and Connecticut.

    11:28 AM — The American state of New Jersey has become the fifth state in the nation to grant marriage rights to same-sex couples.A new law, which was enforced across the state today, allows gay and lesbian couples to apply for a civil union and benefit from the same legal protection that heterosexual couples enjoy.However, the new unions are not identified as a marriage.

  • 17th February 2007

    African archbishops refuse to take communion 1

    The ordination of Gene Robinson is just one issue of difference

    4:42 PM — Seven archbishops who claim to represent more than 30 million Anglicans have refused to take Communion with Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding head of the American Episcopal Church in protest of her support of gay clergy (including Gene Robinson- pictured)and gay unions.In a statement released at the Anglican conference in Dar Es Salaam, the archbishops said: "We each take the celebration of the Holy Eucharist very seriously."

  • 16th February 2007

    Jamaican mob terrorise gays 28

    International human rights organisations have described Jamaica as one of the most homophobic places in the world.

    3:14 PM — Three gay men were stoned by a huge mob in a homophobic attack in Jamaica this Wednesday.Police came to rescue the men from a pharmacy in Saint Andrew Parish, where they had been hiding for almost an hour.An angry crowd had gathered outside the pharmacy, hurling insults and threatening to kill the men.

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