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World

  • 21st August 2007

    Unsafe sex now number one cause of HIV cases in China 57

    Of the 70,000 new HIV infections recorded in 2005, 49.8 percent were through sexual contact.

    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

    Helmsley added the gay community to the list of people she maligned in 2002 when she was ordered to pay $11 million (£5.5m) in damages to former employee Charles Bell.

    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

    The ruling was the first sodomy conviction to be issued in Region II since the country's criminal law procedures were overhauled in 2001.

    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

    All sex outside of marriage is forbidden for Mormons.

    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

    Prime Minister Howard is reported to be “quite supportive“ of the changes.

    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

    Homosexuality was only decriminalised in the Republic of Ireland in 1993, but since then the country has embraced gay rights.

    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

    130 people marched through Tórshavn and another 200 turned out to hear speeches in the main square.  photo: Linda Elstad

    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

    61% of those polled said they believe New Jersey will allow gay couples to marry within a few years regardless of their personal beliefs.

    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

    Despite the suggestive photos, Funk insists she and Spears had a platonic working relationship

    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

    The developing dispute divides the few black churches willing to welcome gays and black denominations that consider homosexuality a sin.

    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."

  • 17th August 2007

    Ugandan LGBT community speaks out against gay hate 5

    “We were treated in a degrading and inhumane way,“ said  Victor Juliet Mukasa, leader of the Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a coalition of LGBT rights groups.

    4:30 PM — Gay rights activists in Uganda have spoken out about the prejudice LGBT people face in the country.In a show of defiance and bravery, around 30 people gave a press conference, the first by LGBT activists, drawing attention to the state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia they face every day.Some of the activists wore masks for fear of being identified. Ugandan law outlaws homosexuality as "against the order of nature."

  • Faroe Islanders celebrate first year of LGBT protection 1

    During a weekend of festivities, various panels and movie screenings will take place and one of the panels will focus specially on students in higher education.

    1:17 PM — The Faroe Islands are celebrating gay Pride this weekend, and this year is particularly special.In December discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation was criminalised, after a very close vote in the country's parliament, the Faroese Løgting.The islands, a self-governing province of Denmark, are situated halfway between Iceland and Norway. They have a population of 48,000 people.

  • Gay activist questioned over outing politician 2

    Mr Chuev is one of the most outspoken opponents of gay rights.

    11:30 AM — Moscow Gay Pride organiser and gay rights activist Nicolas Alexeyev will be questioned next week in relation to a criminal investigation after he outed a Russian MP on live television.The charges arise from comments he made on live TV in June, when he outed politician Alexander Cheuv as a homosexual.To prove that he is guilty of slander, Russian investigating authorities will have to demonstrate that calling Mr Chuev 'gay' spoilt his reputation or dignity.

  • 16th August 2007

    Hotel chain seeks gay suppliers 1

    In April, Marriott became a corporate member of the US National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

    5:07 PM — Marriott International, Inc. today announced plans to increase spending among diverse suppliers to 15% by 2009.Additionally, the programme will expand to include a new category for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) suppliers and those in international markets."Last year, our company reached record levels in spending," said Mike Tobolski, senior director, Diversity Initiatives, Marriott International, Inc.

  • Iranian teenagers spared death penalty for gay abuse 1

    The judges of Branch 74 of Tehran province's general criminal court ruled that the teenagers, Ahad and Milad, had not reached mental maturity and instead sentenced them to ten years in prison.

    11:59 AM — A court in Tehran has spared two teenagers found guilty of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy from hanging.US gay rights activist Michael Petrelis reports that the the judges of Branch 74 of Tehran province's general criminal court ruled that the teenagers, Ahad and Milad, had not reached mental maturity and instead sentenced them to ten years in prison.In front of the five judges, the teenagers first admitted that they lured the boy into a house.

  • Brazilian football’s gay rumours land judge in trouble

    The judge said football was a virile masculine sport and not a homosexual one.

    10:59 AM — Football is for real men, not gays.That was the stance Brazilian judge Manoel Maximiniano Junqueira Filho decided to take when making a ruling in a defamation case appearing before his bench.That may be his sentiments, but the law doesn't call for that sort of ruling and now the judge could face legal actions himself.The case was brought earlier this month by Richarlyson Barbosa Felisbino, a San Paulo player.

  • Jodie Foster’s rare interview dodges sexuality questions 7

    The 44-year-old actress is making the rounds to promote her latest strong-willed woman role in the film, The Brave One. photo: alan light@flickr.com

    10:46 AM — Ever the elusive two-time Oscar winner, Jodie Foster granted a rare one on one interview to More Magazine, the publication for "mature women," and opened up about aging in Hollywood, plastic surgery and privacy.And on the latter topic, Jodie Foster kept mum about her sexuality, never once discussing her long rumoured partner Cydney Bernard and, true to form, keeping it vague when it comes to her kids.The 44-year-old actress is making the rounds to promote her latest strong-willed woman role in the film, The Brave One.

  • Trans group to attend Independence Day celebrations

    Indonesia is made up of an archipelago of 18,108 islands and is the fourth most populous nation in the world.

    10:25 AM — Sixty-two years ago, Indonesia declared its separation from the Netherlands and began a four-year war to try and maintain its independence.This week, members of the Yogyakarta Transvestites Organisation are planning their own coup by being involved in the anniversary celebration.The 265 members of the YTO group hope to be involved in the occasion, but are aware of the dangers associated with asserting their presence.

  • 15th August 2007

    Gay.com founder launches gay advertising network

    68% of gay web users are between the ages of 18 and 34 and are generally better educated, highly paid and have more discretionary income than average Americans.

    1:25 PM — A leading gay entreprenuer has joined forces with many of America's leading internet and regional LGBT titles to create a new online ad network.Gay Ad Network was founded by Mark Elderkin, a 13-year industry veteran and pioneer in developing gay online advertising and subscription-based businesses.As president of PlanetOut, Inc. he was responsible for global advertising sales, online editorial and business partnerships.

  • Comment: Despite the fanfare, freedom still eludes gay Indians 57

    Technically, it is still not illegal if someone were to arrest me just for being gay.

    12:55 PM — As India celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence from Britain, Balaji Ravichandran explains why he feels neither free nor independent. The celebrations started well before I arrived in India six weeks ago.From the moment I switched on the television at home the advertisements, programmes and notices, often painfully jingoistic in their self-congratulation, have constantly greeted me with their patriotic screams.

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