24th May 2007
“European Commission now knows what it’s like to be gay” 1
6:23 PM — West Midlands MEP Michael Cashman has said that the decision of the mayor of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius to ban the visit of a bus promoting the EU's "For Diversity; against discrimination" campaign should give Brussels bureaucrats some insight into LGBT experiences.The 30-tonne vehicle is designed to inform citizens of their rights under EU and national anti-discrimination legislation as part of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All.
Riga Pride organisers feeling confident
4:47 PM — The organiser's of this year's Riga Pride are preparing to welcome hundreds of supporters from all over Europe next weekend.Four days of events, beginning on May 31st, will culminate in the Pride march. There will also be concerts, film screenings and exhibitions.Representatives of London Pride, who signed a solidarity agreement with Riga Pride, will attend.
US retains ban on gay blood
2:35 PM — The American government has said there will be no change to the policy that bans any man who has ever had sex with another man from giving blood for life.Last year the Red Cross and US blood donation centres protested that the lifetime ban for any male who had same-sex contact before 1977 was outdated.Yesterday the federal Food and Drug Administration said on a statement on its website that the policy, dating from 1983, remains in force.
Irish election could bring same-sex partnerships
2:05 PM — The people of the Republic of Ireland are voting today in the country's general election.Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern asked the President to dissolve Parliament at the end of April.The result of today's poll is expected to be very close.Gay marriage has been an issue in the elections for the 166-seat Dáil Éireann.
Dismissal of gay linguists riles US Congress 5
1:50 PM — Members of the US House of Representatives have requested an investigation into Arabic speakers dismissed from the Army for being gay.Around 40 Congressmen and women signed a letter to the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, that the continued loss of such "capable, highly skilled Arabic linguists continues to compromise our national security during time of war."
Stars turn out for New York AIDS walk
1:15 PM — The 22nd Annual AIDS Walk in New York City last weekend was the largest and most successful ever held, setting records for both participation and fundraising.Organisers have announced that 45,000 walkers helped to raise a grand total of $6,857,527 (£3.45m)."New York showed its strong support for Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)," said AIDS Walk Founder and producer Craig R. Miller.
Mary Cheney gives birth to a baby boy
11:18 AM — The daughter of US Vice President Dick Cheney has given birth to a baby boy. Samuel David Cheney weighted a healthy 8lbs 6oz.While the birth of a grandchild for Mr Cheney would not at first seem a matter of public controversy, Mary Cheney is gay.Conservative and Christian groups have questioned whether Ms Cheney and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, will make suitable parents.
Gay couple settle adoption lawsuit
10:40 AM — A Californian couple has settled a lawsuit against Adoption.com, an Arizona-based website that refused to let them post a profile in the hopes of finding a birth mother.As part of the settlement, the site's owners agreed to stop doing business with California residents.According to the Associated Press, the company could have kept doing business in the state if they had been willing to let same-sex couples participate, but they were not.
23rd May 2007
Lesbian candidate a first for Japan
12:49 PM — Japan's second largest political party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), announced that Kanako Otsuji, the first openly lesbian politician in Japan, will be one of the party's official candidates for this summer's National Diet (parliament) election.Ms Otsuji, 32, was elected as an Osaka Assembly Member in April 2003.In August 2005, she came out of the closet in her book Coming Out.
Kevin Spacey may be about to come out 3
10:48 AM — Since his Oscar winning turn in The Usual Suspects, Kevin Spacey's sexual orientation has been fodder for mass media speculation.Esquire Magazine all but outed the actor.Spacey countered with his now infamous sit down with Playboy, in which he called the story a lie.
Turned away from homeless shelter for being gay 1
10:31 AM — A Chicago woman denied access to a city-funded homeless shelter on a cold November evening because she is a lesbian is challenging the discrimination she experienced.The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois recently announced the filing of complaints with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations and the State of Illinois Department of Human Rights on behalf of Michelle Wang.
22nd May 2007
South African churches reject gay weddings
5:56 PM — Four Christian churches in South Africa have said they will not bless same-sex marriages because they say they are "contrary to scripture."The Anglican Church, Catholic Church, Baptist Church and Presbyterian Church have all confirmed that they will not officiate or bless gay unions.The Methodist Church is still undecided on the issue. Same-sex unions are legal in South Africa.
Homophobic bullying not an issue for MEPs 57
5:05 PM — Only 239 out of 785 members of the European Parliament have signed a declaration against homophobic bullying.Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford, a member of the European Parliament's intergroup on gay and lesbian rights, said:"While this result clearly signifies that combating homophobic bullying is more than a marginal issue for MEPs, we must work harder to make a majority understand the degree of misery and exclusion it can cause."
Lithuanians protest against diversity 2
3:28 PM — Anti-gay feeling has reached new heights in Lithuania after a Swedish ambassador called for tolerance towards LGBT people.Ambassador Malin Karre delivered a speech to the Lithuanian Parliament on Wednesday May 16th to commemorate the International Day of Fighting Homophobia.She told the Lithuanian parliament that the Swedish government was "opposed to any goals to trample human rights, including the rights of people with non-traditional sexual orientation."
Republican presidential candidates want gay marriage ban 57
1:29 PM — Republican presidential candidates Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee have both announced their support for a ban on gay marriage across America.Speaking at a Florida Family Policy Council dinner on Saturday night, the outsiders stuck to a strong message on family values.Kansas Senator Brownback said: "You need to redefine the definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman. It's critical."
Gay bishop excluded from Anglican conference 17
1:20 PM — The controversial Bishop of New Hampshire has not been invited to the Lambeth Conference next year, Lambeth Palace revealed today.Conservative and liberal branches of the worldwide Anglican communion have been at loggerheads over the issues of homosexuality and same-sex unions ever since a Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, was ordained as a bishop in the US in 2003.
Euro MPs speak up for Moscow Pride 4
12:57 PM — Members of the European Parliament have written to the Mayor of Moscow urging him to respect human rights and allow a gay Pride parade this weekend to go ahead.Marco Cappato, an Italian MEP and Dutch parliamentarian Sophie In't Veld's open letter to Yuri Luzhkov asks him to authorise Sunday's "March in support for tolerance and respect for the rights and freedoms of homosexual people in Russia."Organisers of the Pride event in Moscow have applied to the city for permission to march.
Trans man jailed in Pakistan over marriage
11:45 AM — A couple have been jailed after doctors concluded the groom was actually a woman, despite gender reassignment surgery.A court in Lahore, Pakistan said that Shumain Raj, 31, and Shahzina Tariq, 26, married last year, in defiance of Islamic law.Mr Raj initially brought the marriage to the attention of the court, when he complained about threats from his wife's relatives.
Girl reunited with lesbian carer 1
10:12 AM — After almost three months, a seven-year-old girl has been reunited with the woman in whose care she'd thrived for almost a year before being sent to live in a crowded foster home.The child had been held in foster care since Feb. 20th, when a judge took her away from her home after he learned that she was being raised by a lesbian.Elizabeth Hadaway she first took in the little girl when the child's biological mother asked her to raise and adopt Emma.
21st May 2007
Homophobic poster campaign fails to swing Swiss voters
1:47 PM — An overwhelming majority of voters in Geneva have voted in favour of granting gay and lesbian couples equal inheritance rights and other benefits.In a referendum yesterday 83% voted in favour of the changes, which were supported by all political parties except the Swiss People's Party (UDC).The right-wing party caused outrage earlier this month with advertising posters opposing the changes calling gay couples infertile.