29th October 2007
MP welcomes removal of “gay panic” defence
2:31 PM — A Gay Labour MP in New Zealand has praised the decision by the country's Law Commission to remove the "gay panic defence."Charles Chauvel said that the defence, which allowed a person charged with murder to claim that they were driven into a state of violent temporary insanity by a sexual advance from the victim, was unacceptable.The defendant rarely wins acquittals but if pleaded successfully the murder charge is reduced to manslaughter.
Evangelicals call for ban on Harry Potter books 10
1:05 PM — America's largest conservative organisation has called for the banning of the Harry Potter books and films after author JK Rowling revealed that main character Albus Dumbledore was a gay wizard.The Christian Coalition of America claims to have 2.5 millions supporters and describes its mission as "defending America's Godly heritage."Its chairman, Roberta Combs, said she was disappointed that Rowling chose to out one of the most popular characters in children's literature.
United Nations to host LGBT rights panel
12:35 PM — Following the launch of the groundbreaking Yogyakarta Principles earlier this year, the United Nations will be hosting a panel discussion next month to explore discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.The event, which will bring together non-governmental organisations, UN representatives and state delegates, is an initiative co-sponsored by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.The Yogyakarta Principles refer to the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Obama speaks out after “ex-gay” controversy 15
11:35 AM — "There has not been a stronger and more consistent advocate on LGBT issues than I have been."That is the message US Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama is trying to get across to gay voters in the face of controversy about his campaign in South Carolina.In an interview with LGBT publication The Advocate, the candidate for the Democratic party nomination asked LGBT voters to judge him by his policies.
AIDS “vaccine” may increase infection risk 1
10:55 AM — Trials of a promising AIDS vaccine in South Africa were halted earlier this week after a sister vaccine being tested on humans throughout North America showed it did nothing to prevent HIV infection.In fact, according to the Seattle Times, the vaccine may well increase risk of infection.Following the abandonment of the trials, South African AIDS researchers have begun contacting the hundreds of volunteers who took part in the trials over recent months.
Greek gay community protest Iran deportation
10:33 AM — A gay rights group in Greece has asked for help to stop the deportation of a 40-year-old Iranian man.GHC-EOK say that the man, known as Alex, was arrested, beaten and tortured in his home country because he is gay.Two separate applications to remain in Greece have been rejected and his case is due to be discussed before the country's Supreme Council.
26th October 2007
Gay baby campaign is “strange” says Vatican 2
4:45 PM — A senior Roman Catholic Cardinal has criticised an anti-discrimination poster that features a baby wearing a wristband with "homosexual" written on it.The government of the Italian region of Tuscany is poised to display thousands of copies of the poster in public places and municipal offices as part of a campaign against discrimination.The tagline on the posters - Sexual Orientation Is Not A Choice - has divided gay people, while conservative politicians are outraged that public money has been spent on it at all.
Vietnamese high school pupils accepting of homosexuality 2
4:06 PM — A survey of school children in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's capital, has revealed that a quarter of them believe at least 10% of their class mates are gay.HCMC University of Pedagogy conducted the poll of 300 pupils at three junior high and high schools and discovered that 80% of pupils said "no" when asked "is homosexuality bad?"Experts believe that while the actual number of gay pupils is difficult to determine, open homosexuality in schools appears to be on the rise, despite still carrying social stigma amongst the adult population.
US airline becomes first to advertise on gay TV network
1:31 PM — American Airlines began airing its first TV spots on US gay television network LOGO this week.Both spots urge viewers to visit the welcome page for American Airlines' LGBT website and will be shown in rotation for 13 weeks.American Airlines is the first airline to advertise nationally on the network. "We're thrilled that American Airlines is reaching out to Logo's television audience in a connective and humorous way," LOGO Senior Vice President and General Manager Lisa Sherman said
Comment: Obama can’t have it both ways 15
1:16 PM — If you are a gay or lesbian American, you no longer need to wait for the first Democratic primary to test Barack Obama's mettle as a Presidential candidate, because his campaign is presently faced with a definitive test that should determine his commitment to the LGBT community and the LGBT community's support of him.At issue is the question of whether or not Mr. Obama will go forward with plans to have a gospel singer by the name of Donnie McClurkin, who has written about being an 'ex-gay' and openly condemned homosexuality, perform at a series of fundraising concerts scheduled to be held in South Carolina this weekend.
Gay club attacked in Lithuania 3
12:02 PM — Smoke bombs were set off in a nightclub in Vilnius last night as members of the International Gay and Lesbian Association partied inside.The Lithuanian capital is hosting ILGA Europe's annual conference, despite a ban on a public Rainbow Flag display by the city's mayor.Last night's incident happened at Soho nightclub, which is next to the conference venue.
City council race turns ugly for gay candidate
10:31 AM — The gloves finally came off in a supposedly non-partisan city council race underway in Fort Worth, Texas.Although six candidates are vying for an up-for-grabs seat that will be voted on November 6th, the spotlight turned to just two of them earlier this week.Sitting councilman Chuck Silcox urged those attending a Fort Worth Republican Women's Club meeting to vote for Chris Turner, a Republican political consultant, instead of Joel Burns, a city zoning commissioner.
Ugandan activist joins human rights commission
10:03 AM — A leading advocate for LGBT rights in Africa has joined the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).Victor Juliet Mukasa is well-known internationally for her activism in her home country of Uganda in the face of state opression.She is to become IGLHRC's new Research and Policy Associate for the Horn, East, and Central Africa.
25th October 2007
Study finds US gay men earn 23% less than straight men 1
5:34 PM — Male co-habiting same-sex couples earn 23% less than married men and 9% less than men who co-habit with a woman, new research released today reveals.Lesbians are not discriminated against when compared with heterosexual women, the US study found.The report's authors conclude that while negative attitudes toward lesbians could affect them, lesbians may benefit from the perception that they are more career-focused and less likely to leave the labour market.
Civil unions on the agenda in Ireland 3
2:50 PM — The Irish Labour party is to reintroduce a private member's bill in the country's Parliament next week in an attempt to legalise civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.LGBT activists in Ireland are urging people to contact their members of Parliament and lobby for the legislation.In February an earlier attempt by the opposition Labour party to legalise same sex unions in the Republic was defeated.
LGBT discrimination in Europe’s margins 1
2:40 PM — Two leading gay rights groups have compiled a report into the serious situation gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face in two countries aspiring to join the EU.The ILGA-Europe and COC Netherlands study of the position of LGBT People in Georgia and Azerbaijan concludes that the South Caucasian nations must stop discrimination and incitement to hatred.They are also urged to put in place an inclusive anti-discrimination law in line with Council of Europe and EU standards.
Gay marriage divides Church of Sweden 3
2:20 PM — A proposal by Sweden's three opposition parties in to legalise gay marriage has divided the Church of Sweden.Until 2000 the Church was established, meaning was is the official state religion. It now has autonomy from the government.However, it now faces being required to marry gay and lesbian couples or withdraw completely from performing the legal element of marriages.The Church governing body has voted 161 to 74 in favour of retaining the right to carry out legally-binding weddings.
Gay Germans take more holidays than straights
11:45 AM — New research has revealed that gays and lesbians in Germany collectively spend €20bn (GBP 14bn) a year on travel.Gays and lesbians take vacations slightly more frequently than heterosexuals and spend about 70% more per day.But when looking at short trips (up to five days) the travel patterns of German homosexuals and heterosexuals differs dramatically.
Gay rights group urge Obama to drop “ex-gay” gospel singer 1
11:32 AM — Senator Barack Obama claims he believes that gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters, but according to the president of the nation's largest gay rights organisations, actions speak louder than words, and a scheduled concert this Sunday with a notoriously homophobic gospel singer sends the wrong message to the LGBT community.According to The New York Times, Human Rights Campiagn president Joe Solmonese urged Obama via phone today to cancel gospel singer Donnie McClurkin's appearance.
24th October 2007
Philippines rejects trans records case
5:23 PM — The Supreme Court of the Philippines has ruled that woman may not change her civil registry records.Born Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio, the woman underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2001 and wanted her records to reflect her transition.While recognising that trans people do not "fit neatly into the commonly recognised parameters of social convention," the court said there is no law regarding people who have undergone gender reassignment.