23rd August 2007
Gay group holds national coming out day 1
11:03 AM — American gay rights group Human Rights Campaign announced yesterday that the theme for National Coming Out Day 2007 will be "Talk About It," continuing the slogan and branding that the national programme has been building since 2005.This year will also mark an important hallmark as National Coming Out Day, October 11th, falls on the 20th anniversary of the 1987 Gay and Lesbian March on Washington DC, and the unfurling of the AIDS Quilt on the National Mall.
China targets AIDS activists
10:45 AM — The Chinese government's harassment of HIV/AIDS activists and intensified surveillance of AIDS support groups raises serious questions about its commitment to combating the illness, says US-based Human Rights Watch.Over the past three weeks police have forced the cancellation of three separate meetings on HIV/AIDS in the city of Guangzhou in Guangdong province and Kaifeng in Henan province.Henan authorities have also ordered the closure of an HIV/AIDS support group's offices and are harassing a leading HIV/AIDS activist there.
22nd August 2007
Legal challenge to pink prison uniforms
3:15 PM — The American state of South Carolina's prisons director has defended a two-year-old policy of making detainees who perform sex acts in front of prison officers wear pink.An inmate has brought a lawsuit, claiming the colour pink puts prisoners in danger.The punishment is designed to protect female prison staff from sexual behaviour.
Nigeria ‘gay wedding’ accused will not face death penalty 21
11:15 AM — A group of men arrested at a hotel in northern Nigeria and initially accused of sodomy have appeared in court charged with "indecent dressing" and vagrancy.18 men were charged and five were bailed, causing disturbances by Muslim youths on the streets of the city of Bauchi.The men, who were detained by police earlier this month, come from different parts of Nigeria and were allegedly dressed in women's clothes.
Gay groups challenge California gay marriage ban
10:44 AM — In briefs filed last week with the California Supreme Court, a coalition of gay groups contend that California violates its own constitution by denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry."When two people fall in love and decide to get married, they are saying to the world, 'this is my family; this is my dream for the future,'" Tamara Lange, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU, said in a release.The American Civil Liberties Union, the National Centre for Lesbian Rights and Lambda Legal filed the briefs.
Homphobic mayor sends mixed messages over gay tourism 2
10:23 AM — Embattled Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle, who has come under intense pressure from a US gay organisations for making insensitive and demoralising public comments about the gay and lesbian community, has been sending mixed messages as of late on his thoughts about gay tourism.A press release from Fight OUT Loud, a Fort Lauderdale based non-profit organisation dedicated to helping GLBT individuals fight discrimination and hate, shows Mayor Naugle voted just this year to increase spending on the gay tourism market.
21st August 2007
Ugandan churches demonstrate against gay acceptance 5
12:40 PM — Following last week's historic press conference by gay rights advocates in Uganda, the Christian churches in the country showed their disapproval today with a demonstration.It was the first anti-gay rally in the country's history and was organised by the Uganda Joint Christian Council.UJCC member churches include the Roman Catholic and Anglican Church of Uganda. The organisation's mission is to uphold Christian values and address issues of human rights and social justice.
Gay MP’s wedding sparks media frenzy 4
12:40 PM — A Canadian MP has become the first federal politician in the country to marry his same-sex partner.Scott Brison, Liberal MP for the Nova Scotia riding of Kings-Hants, wed his partner Maxime St. Pierre at a ceremony near Brison's country home in Cheverie on Saturday.The couple walked down the aisle to It's a Wonderful World and walked back to I Can See Clearly Now.Guests described the ceremony as joyful and emotional, according to CTV.ca.
Nigerian bishops to boycott Anglican conference 13
12:40 PM — The Church of Nigeria gave its strongest indication yet on Monday that it would boycott next year's conference of global Anglicans to protest against what it called "intransigence" by pro-gay U.S. and Canadian churches.American liberals and conservatives from Africa, Asia and Latin America have been locked in a battle for the soul of the 77-million strong Anglican Communion for over a decade.
Iranian lesbian deportation delayed 57
12:40 PM — An Iranian lesbian who has been denied refuge by the British government is due to be deported to Tehran this month, where she faces almost certain death.Pegah Emambakhsh is currently being detained by British officials.If she does return to Iran on 28th August as planned, her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran may lead to her being executed.
Unsafe sex now number one cause of HIV cases in China 57
12:40 PM — Unprotected sex has for the first time overtaken intravenous drug use as the main cause of new HIV infections in China, according to the latest report released by the Chinese Ministry of Health.The findings suggest the virus is spreading from high-risk groups to the general public.Of the 70,000 new HIV infections recorded in 2005, 49.8 percent were through sexual contact, according to the report which was released jointly by the MOH and the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Figures for 2006 are not available.
Queen of Mean dies ages 87
12:05 PM — She was as famous for her hotel holdings as she was for the razor sharp comments that allegedly came out of her mouth, but no matter how the press painted Leona Helmsley, one thing she did not do was go quietly into the night.The New York hotelier died of heart failure over the weekend at 87 years of age, leaving behind a legacy of accusations, jail time and discrimination charges that dubbed the billionaire (heiress by some accounts) the "queen of mean."
Chilean court delivers controversial sodomy conviction 2
12:05 PM — Gay rights activists in Santiago, northern Chile are outraged by a recent sodomy conviction in a Chilean court, stating that it is evidence of a bias against homosexuals in Chilean law.The Santiago Times reported last week that a panel of judges in Antofagasta, Region II, had found a 47-year-old labourer guilty of sodomising a 17-year-old male.Because the accused had no previous criminal record, the court sentenced him to 41 days in jail - far less than the 541-day jail term prosecutors had recommended.
20th August 2007
Mormon attitude towards homosexuality softens 5
6:10 PM — A new instruction pamphlet issued by the Mormon church advises parents not to reject gay children, in what is being seen as a softening of attitudes towards homosexuality.God Loveth His Children, is aimed at church members who are "troubled with same-gender attraction" and was released at the end of July.It states that gay people do not "choose" their orientation and counsels that homosexuals should remain celibate.
Australian PM may support some gay rights
5:13 PM — A series of measures to ensure equality for gay and lesbian Australians is to be considered by the country's Cabinet later today.The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Prime Minister John Howard may be persuaded by colleagues to support legal and financial rights for same-sex couples.An MP from the ruling Liberal party, Warren Entsch, supports gay rights. He told the paper that he has been swamped with emails from evangelical Christians objecting to equal treatment.
Irish equality body gets gay member
1:10 PM — The Irish Minister of State with responsibility for equality issues, Sean Power, has announced that the government has approved the appointment of the new board of the Equality Authority.The chair of gay rights organisation The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, Kieran Rose, has been appointed to the board of the authority, which has wide-ranging powers.The authority works to eliminate discrimination and promote equality in Ireland.
Pride politician calls for same-sex partnership scheme
12:40 PM — A leading parliamentarian in the Faroe Islands has called for the creation of registered partnerships on the islands.Finnur Helmsdal was speaking at Pride celebrations in the capital, Tórshavn, which was decorated with rainbow colours.Organisers of Pride said they were very pleased with the success of the events which took place over the weekend.
New Jersey voters want gay marriage 1
11:12 AM — A new poll suggests residents of New Jersey overwhelmingly favour allowing gay couples to marry.According to the Zogby poll, released late week, 63% of New Jersey voters would not be upset if the state's Legislature upgraded its recently enacted civil unions law to allow for full marriage equality for same-sex couples.Just 31% of those surveyed said they would be upset by such a change.
Britney Spears lesbian allegations denied
11:07 AM — Britney Spears' former assistant Shannon Funk has rebuked press reports she had a lesbian fling with the troubled pop star.The US edition of Ok! magazine last week published photos of Spears, 25, and Funk, 21, skinny dipping together in a swimming pool, with Funk cuddling and kissing Spears on the cheek.Funk was fired by Spears last month after only a month's employment. She was assisting Spears during her disastrous photo shoot and interview with Ok!
US black congregations split over gay issues 1
11:00 AM — Conflicting views on homosexuality are now sparking disputes in black churches in the United States, just as they have done in predominately white Protestant denominations for years."It's going to be a real challenge," said the Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, founder of the National Black Religious Summit on Sexuality, reports United Press International."We're just beginning to really deal with it."