7th December 2007
US Congress drops hate crime bill
10:20 AM — Congressional aides are reporting that a US House-Senate conference committee has dropped the hate-crimes legislation co-sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith and Edward Kennedy from a defence authorisation bill because it did not have sufficient support in the House.The legislation, formally known as the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, would have expanded federal law to include crimes committed against people because of their gender, sexual orientation or disability.
6th December 2007
Russian court rejects more appeals from Pride activists
5:25 PM — A court in Russia today rejected the appeal of gay activists requesting that a ban on this year's gay Pride be considered unlawful.Moscow City Court confirmed the decision of a local district court, which had upheld the city government's decision to ban the march.Moscow Pride 2007, the second proposed LGBT event in two years to be held in the Russian capital, was scheduled for May 27th but never happened because of the city mayor's decision to ban it.
No ban on gay cruises to Grenada 1
2:55 PM — Authorities on Grenada will not ban cruises for gay people from their shores.Tourism Minister Clarice Modeste-Curwen yesterday complained that some hotel bookings on the island have been cancelled because of news reports that such a ban was being considered.The tiny island nation, which has a population of 103,000, gained independence from the UK in 1974. Male homosexual acts are illegal and punishable with up to ten years in jail.
Irish minister rules out referendum on gay marriage 13
1:02 PM — Ireland's Minister of Justice has rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.Labour Minister Brian Lenihan said civil partnership was easier to achieve, because gay marriage would require a constitutional change that would split the country.Speaking at the annual meeting of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, an LGBT organisation that is campaigning for gay marriage, he said he was keen to guarantee equality to gay people.
Euro queer youth discuss gay-friendly schools
12:30 PM — Today 100 young LGBT people from all over Europe are gathering in Málaga, Spain, for a three-day meeting of International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Queer Youth and Student Organisation.IGLYO member organisations will discuss the organisational priorities and strategies on advancing equality and human rights for LGBTQ young people.Euro MP Michael Cashman will be speaking at the event. He is President of the European Parliament Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.
Sex and drug allegations made against dead banker
11:20 AM — A familiar face on CNBC and one of the wealthiest investment bankers in New York City, Seth Tobias was found floating face down in the swimming pool of his Florida mansion by his wife four months ago today.But now, as details of his estate unfold, The New York Times reports that the 44-year-old Tobias, who had allegedly suffered a heart attack, was living life in the fast lane.Lurid tales of sex with male go-go dancers and cocaine binges are just a few of the shocking details laid out in the paper's feature on the banker who fell from grace.
Baseball player in porn scandal returns to Japan 1
10:59 AM — A few years back it was discovered that Cleveland Indians pitcher Kazuhito Tadano had been rejected by Japanese baseball clubs for appearing in a gay pornographic video.After a few mildly successful years playing ball in the United States, the talented player has now been called back to Japan to play with the Nippon Ham Fighters.Tadano was a star pitcher at Rikkyo University and was expected to be a welcome addition to the Japanese leagues in 2002.
New York City targets gay tourist dollars
10:40 AM — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is betting big on the future of tourism in the Big Apple and he is clearly hoping that the gay community will play a significant part in the realisation of his vision.According to various published reports, the City of New York has just launched a $30 (£14.8m) million queer tourism campaign, which officially began with Out magazine's recent Out 100 issue.According to GFN.com, in October, the 11th Annual Gay Lesbian Travel Survey ranked the Big Apple as the No. 1 destination for US gay men.
5th December 2007
Iran carries out execution for juvenile crimes 34
5:58 PM — Makvan Mouloodzadeh was executed in Kermanshah Central Prison at 5 a.m. this morning, Iranian time.Neither Mr Mouloodzadeh's family or his lawyer were told about the execution until after it occurred.The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) reports that despite an order by the Iranian Chief Justice to nullify his death sentence, he was put to death.
Gay US ambassador leaves over discrimatory treatment
4:45 PM — A former US ambassador left his post at the State Department after criticising Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's treatment of gay people.Michael E Guest retired from the State Department after more than 26 years as a form of protest against regulations that he considered as unfair to same-sex partners of foreign service officers.The 50-year-old, who is openly gay, served as a US ambassador to Romania when President Bush took office.
Asian woman is Australia’s first gay Cabinet minister 1
1:31 PM — South Australia Senator Penny Wong Ying Yen has been appointed minister for water and climate change by new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.The 39-year-old lawyer is the first Asian-born person to become a Cabinet minister as well as the first out gay person of either sex.She was elected to the Senate in 2001 and last year slammed the government of John Howard for its gay rights stance.
African nations urged to embrace LGBT rights
1:07 PM — African and European LGBT organisations have asked all African states to fight homophobia as an EU-Africa summit takes place in Lisbon next weekend.ILGA Europe and its African equivalent Pan Africa ILGA have denounced "state-sponsored" homophobia on the African continent and asked that all African countries adopt the Yogyakarta Principles.Launched in March 2007, the Yogyakarta Principles are a set of principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Senate aide on child sex charges was former HRC staffer
12:58 PM — A 28 year-old Senate aide was arrested on Friday in Washington for attempting to sexually exploit a minor.Mike McHaney had previously been employed for the US largest LGBT rights group, Human Rights Campaign, based in Washington DC.The scheduler for Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington state was arrested on charges that he had arranged to have sex with what he thought was a 13-year-old boy.
Iranian execution may go ahead warns rights group 34
12:50 PM — New York-based Human Rights Watch is concerned that the death penalty is about to be used against an Iranian man accused of sex crimes allegedly committed when he was a child.On Monday a lawyer for Makwan Mouloudzadeh told HRW that Kermanshah court had informed him that the sentence of death could now be carried out even though a required judicial review had not been completed.On May 25, 2007, Branch Seven of the Penal Court of the city of Kermanshah sentenced Mouloudzadeh to death for raping three boys in 2000.
Senator denies gay sex allegations from eight men 4
11:10 AM — United States Senator Larry Craig denied late yesterday that he had sexual encounters with several men over the last two decades.Craig, who has vowed to serve out his term in the Senate, said in a statement that the latest allegations against him, which appeared over the weekend in the Idaho Statesman, had "no basis in reality."He also accused the paper of "tabloid journalism" for publishing the article that included eight men who said they either had sex with the Idaho Republican in the past or that he made "sexual advances" toward them.
Queen Latifah linked to coming out rumours
10:59 AM — Queen Latifah's latest film is called Perfect Holiday, and this Christmas season, she may be making us all little more merry.Speculations have been made that the 37-year-old Queen is not only planning on coming out of the closet, she is expected to announce her engagement to long time girl friend Jeanette Jenkins.This week, Page Six of the New York Post made reference to a successful actress that was planning on coming out of the closet.
Homophobic rapper died of natural causes 5
10:45 AM — Pimp C, one half the rap duo UGK (Underground Kingz), was found dead in a Hollywood hotel room on Tuesday.The rapper, whose real name is Chad Butler, was 33. Early reports from authorities indicate the rapper may have died of natural causes.Pimp C was known as much for his foul mouth and anti-gay commentary as for his pioneering 'Southern' rap. According to a report on VillageVoice.com, Los Angeles fireman responded to a 911 call early Tuesday morning at a the Mondrian Hotel in Hollywood.
Comment: A bad election year for Howard and the Belgians
10:20 AM — As 2007 has only weeks left, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what has been a truly outstanding year for those of us who follow general elections around the world.And as we gear up for an equally busy 2008 with high-profile elections in Iran, Pakistan (increasingly unlikely), Russia (unless Putin changes the constitution) and New Zealand, there is the added bonus that the biggest prize of all is now less than a year away: the race for the White House.
Former Italian PM rejects gay marriage 4
10:01 AM — Italy's left-wing Foreign Minister said yesterday he is against gay marriage.Massimo D'Alema, a former Prime Minister who currently holds the highest post at the Italian Foreign office, was addressing high-school students in Rome, when he was asked his view on gay marriage.Mr D'Alema, who is not a Catholic, said that he was against marriage between gay people.
4th December 2007
Gay rights were part of rejected Venezuelan referendum 1
4:55 PM — The President of Venezuela's defeat in last Sunday's referendum on whether to change the constitution also meant that a proposal to guarantee gay rights was swept aside.Hugo Chavez wanted the changes to significantly increase his powers. The new constitutional arrangements would have allowed him to stand indefinitely for re-election.It would have also given him control over foreign currency reserves, more powers over local government and over the declaration of martial law.