23rd February 2007
US students roadtrip to anti-gay colleges 1
3:18 PM — Next month fifty young adults will board two buses for what promises to be the trip of a lifetime.The eight-week Soulforce Equality Ride will bring them to 32 Christian colleges with policies that silence or exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students.Their mission: to open a dialogue about the painful consequences of discrimination and the religion-based prejudice that sustains it.
Bill Gates gives $24m to AIDS vaccine research
2:23 PM — The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates and the Canadian government are to fund the development of an AIDS vaccine.They are jointly committing $110 million to the project, it has been announced.They will establish a new research institute, the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative. Its goal is to find a vaccine within a decade.
Baptist churches face child sexual abuse condemnation 2
1:09 PM — America's largest Protestant denomination has come under fire over alleged child sexual abuse committed by its clergy.A victims' advocates group, Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), called on Monday for a zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist church.Southern Baptist leaders have argued that it is impossible to investigate molestation claims across the denomination.
Majority in favour of a gay President 5
10:28 AM — An opinion poll in the United States has found that 55% of Americans would vote for a gay person running for President.However, less than half would consider voting for someone who did not believe in God.The poll, conducted by Gallup, aimed to find out the voting prejudices of Americans ahead of the 2008 election.
22nd February 2007
University’s first ever chair in gay law
4:56 PM — Two philanthropists in America have donated over $1m to UCLA to establish an academic chair dedicated to sexual orientation law and public policy.The chair, at the prestigious university's law school, is thought to be the first of its kind in the world.John McDonald and Rob Wright donated the money to endow the position. The pair have an impressive track record of support for numerous LGBT and HIV organisations.
Ireland delays gay partnership bill 3
3:45 PM — Legislation to legalise same sex unions in the Republic of Ireland was defeated in the country's parliament yesterday.The Irish government said that the bill proposed by the Labour party would not comply with the constitution, but said that they would introduce their own legislation later this year.Justice Minister Michael McDowell told Irish MPs that the state is constitutionally required to uphold the institution of marriage.
US employment law protects gay kids at school
12:43 PM — A state Supreme Court in the United States has ruled that laws protecting LGB adults from discrimination at work can be applied to schoolchildren.The New Jersey court was ruling on a case brought in 1999 by a gay teenager who suffered persistent abuse and harassment at school because of his sexual orientation.They ruled that the school must take reasonable steps to stop harassment under the terms of the state's anti-discrimination law.
Gay rights law threatened as Italian PM quits
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.