23rd November 2007
Howard upbeat as Australians go to the polls 1
6:18 PM — Just hours before Australians go to the polls in a federal election, it looks like the predicted landslide win by Labour could turn out to be a close-run thing.The opposition party, out of power since 1996, has seen a consistent lead over the incumbent Liberals halve in one recent poll to 4%.Prime Minister John Howard, seeking a fifth term in office and widely expected to suffer a catastrophic defeat, was upbeat today.
Norwegian church lifts ban on partnered gay clergy
5:30 PM — The Lutheran church of Norway has lifted an outright ban on clergy in same-sex relationships.However, it will allow each bishop to decide whether or not to employ them.The decision comes after a week of debate at the churches annual meeting, with the 86 member governing synod voting 50 to 34 to change the rules.
Protests ask Commonwealth to “fight” gays 10
3:25 PM — A group of anti-gay activists has protested in Uganda against gay rights and accused Europeans of trying to change the law to decriminalise homosexuality.The demonstration by the Rainbow Coalition against Homosexuality took place at Kololo airport yesterday, and was led by Pastor Martin Sempa, who has generated large amounts of publicity through his attacks on gay people in Uganda.Her Majesty the Queen is in the African nation to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
22nd November 2007
Echoes of Diana as Queen shakes hands with HIV+ man 10
3:50 PM — Her Majesty the Queen visited a clinic for people with AIDS for the first time today.During a state visit to Uganda the monarch shook hands with Steven Wakodo, who is HIV+, echoing the famous handshake between Diana, Princess of Wales and an HIV+ person in April 1987.The Princess's gesture helped overcome the fear of AIDS, demonstrating that the HIV virus cannot be transmitted by touch.
Champion athlete may have gender reassignment surgery 1
3:10 PM — A former European pole vault medallist has decided to quit the sport, possibly to pursue a sex change operation.Yvonne Buschbaum said that a persistent achilles tendon injury and a feeling that she was "emotionally in the wrong body" have contributed to her decision to end her career.The 27-year-old said on her website: "For many years, I have had the feeling I am in the wrong body."
US TV host drags the Queen into gay marriage debate
12:15 PM — In the US, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams upset the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and more than a few bloggers earlier this week.He opened a segment on the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip by saying:"In an era when marriage is under attack, the United Kingdom is these days celebrating a 60th wedding anniversary, the longest marriage of any monarch."
Poofter licence plates can stay
11:45 AM — A gay man in the US state of Virginia who was told to remove his car licence plates because they spell out the word 'poofter' has now been told he can keep them.David Phillips has had the plates for eleven years. He previously claimed that the word is only offensive to English people and Virginians would not understand its meaning.According to the Washington Post, he first heard the word used by performer Boy George in a TV interview and liked it.
Chorister dismissed for coming out on TV
11:25 AM — Italian gay rights groups have said the case of a chorister forced to leave his choir due to being gay proves the countries need for anti-homophobia laws.Twenty year old Alberto Ruggin was dismissed by his priest after featuring on a television programme where he revealed his sexuality.His priest, Don Paolino Bettanin, from the northern Italian town of Padua, claimed he was "disgusted" by the whole affair.
UN figures indicate fall in global HIV infections
11:20 AM — New data from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests the percentage of people around the globe living with HIV has levelled off and that the number of new infections has fallen, in part as a result of the impact of HIV programmes.Officials warned, however, that while the global prevalence of HIV infection, the percentage of people infected with HIV, has levelled off, the total number of people living with HIV is increasing "because of ongoing acquisition of HIV infection, combined with longer survival times, in a continuously growing general population."
21st November 2007
British government releases Iran hanging documents 1
3:15 PM — Information has been released for the first time from the Foreign and Commonwealth office regarding the execution of gays in Iran.The documentation takes the form of correspondence sent between embassies throughout the EU and dates back as far as May 2005.It refers specifically to the case of two boys, Mahmoud Asqari, who was under 18 at the time the alleged offence was committed, and Ayad Marhouni who were hung in public.
Spray-on condom unveiled 1
12:35 PM — A German inventor had invented a spray-on condom.Jan Vinzenze Krause, director of the Institute for Condom Consultancy said the idea came from the idea that the condom should fit the man, and not the other way round.Speaking to Spiegel Online he said: "If you go into a drug store to buy condoms, the ones they sell are mainly suited to men with the average penis length of 14.5 centimetres (5.51 inches), but a lot of people have penises that are smaller or larger than that"
Trans candidate faces legal challenge
12:30 PM — Two city council candidates in the US have filed petitions against a transgender candidate accusing her of committing fraud.Georgia Fuller and Stanley Harris, who both lost their bids for seats, have filed the lawsuit in Georgia claiming that Michelle Bruce falsely identified herself as female in the election earlier this month.The case, which identifies her as 'Michael Bruce', has asked the judge to rule the election invalid.
Gays advised not to shop at Wal-Mart 3
11:03 AM — Wal-Mart, the biggest private employer in the US has been given a "do not buy" rating in a new gay consumer guide.Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay rights group in America, made its announcement, in time for the festive season, due to the company's refusal to give domestic partner benefits to gay and lesbian workers.The 2008 Corporate Quality index rated Wal-Mart, along with other retail giants including Toys R Us and Auto Zone, in the red category, advising gays and their supporters to shop elsewhere.
Same-sex marriage foe to perform commitment ceremony
10:51 AM — Philadelphia Mayor John Street may not be Public Enemy No. 1 with the city's gay community for much longer.64-year-old Street, in the past a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, will preside over the commitment ceremony of longtime colleague Micah Mahjoubian and partner Ryan Bunch this weekend.Mahjoubian, the city's deputy secretary of external affairs, told the Philadelpia Inquirer recently that he popped the question, so to speak, during brunch last fall.
19th November 2007
Arizona city vows to protect LGBT people 57
6:15 PM — A city in Arizona's Personnel Board has voted unanimously to recommend the city protects gays and transgender people from discrimination.This is the first of Scottsdale's three part ordinance, including a proposal requiring all of the cities businesses to offer protection for the LGBT community.There were a few objections to the board's approval.
Banning Gay Pride march was illegal, Supreme Court rules
6:15 PM — Latvian authorities have ruled that a ban on a Gay Pride march in 2006 was illegal.The event was was banned amid threats of violence from extremist groups.The municipal authorities in the Latvian capital Riga were told that the event would be cancelled to avoid public disorder after Christians, nationalists and neo-Nazis threatened the parade with violence and a counter march.
Number of AIDS cases lower than previously estimated
6:15 PM — Global numbers of people with AIDS may have been over exaggerated, according to news reports.The number in 2006, estimated to be 40 million people, may have been 6.2 million over the real amount.The decline is largely just on paper -- the new numbers are the result of improved methodology, which shows the spread of AIDS has been losing momentum for almost a decade.
Gay hate crime on the rise in US 1
6:15 PM — Hate crime incidents in the US rose by nearly 8 per cent last year, according to an FBI report.There were 7,722 reported cases targeting victims or their property as a result of bias against sexual orientation, race, religion,national origin or physical or mental disability.The numbers are thought to be higher than reported however, due to only 12,600 of the US's 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies participating in the report.
Australian opposition leader vows he won’t turn gay
6:15 PM — Front runner in the up-coming Australian elections, Kevin Rudd, agreed to answer a question about who he would turn gay for on a TV show last week.The Labour leader became the first political leader to brave the popular youth variety show Rove Live.During the programme Mr Rudd admitted to being a "nerd" and also said he could beat current Prime Minister John Howard in a bar fight.
Senate blocks backdoor appointment of Bush nominee 3
6:15 PM — Suggestions that the President of the United States was to use Congress' two-week Thanksgiving recess to appoint a new Surgeon General without Senate approval have been quashed by a legislative manoeuvre.Dr James Holsinger, the President's nominee for the post, last week reportedly told friends that he will be appointed during the recess, side-stepping the need for Congressional approval.He has been criticised by gay rights groups, physicians and politicians for writing in 1991 that gay sex is unnatural and unhealthy.