19th July 2007
Fight for benefits after death of partner
10:40 AM — Gay rights group Lambda Legal filed its opening brief last week in the Court of Appeals of Virginia on behalf of a 48-year-old Keysville man improperly denied death benefits stemming from an accident that ultimately led to the death of his same-sex partner in 2005."This case is about making sure that the rules are applied fairly to everyone," Greg Nevins, senior staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office, said.
18th July 2007
MEPs to attend Pride in Estonia 1
12:23 PM — A year after violent homophobic attacks against Tallinn Pride, organisers have revealed that politicians from across Europe will be turning up this year to show their support.Last year LGBT marchers were attacked with sticks and stones by a group of young Estonian nationalists while celebrating the country's gay third pride event.This year's event, on August 11th, has been beset by problems with policing.
Pacific Games gay sex embargo lifted
12:07 PM — The organisers of a major sporting event in Samoa have said they will change guidance that banned gay and lesbian competitors from having sex.The rules, published by Samoa team managers yesterday, apply only to Samoan athletes competing in the Pacific Games, a multi-sport event held later this year.The organising committee moved quickly to reject the rules and order changes.
Woman sues tax authorities over reassignment surgery 3
11:50 AM — A trans person is suing the Internal Revenue Service in the US for not allowing her to write off her gender reassignment operation as a legitimate medical expense.Trans activists are watching the case closely, as a defeat for the IRS would open the way for thousands of people to avoid paying tax on reassignment surgeries.The IRS contend that such surgery is not "essential" and therefore cannot be claimed against.
Hong Kong court ruling a victory for gay rights 1
11:12 AM — The highest court in Hong Kong decriminalised gay public sodomy on Tuesday in a ruling that advocates are calling a victory for China's gay rights movement.A panel of five top judges unanimously ruled that two men, who acknowledged engaging in anal sex in a parked car, should not be subject to the country's maximum penalty of five years in prison.According to AP, Chief Justice Andrew Li said in the ruling that the law targets homosexuals.
Porn actors face murder charges
11:00 AM — Two gay porn actors are facing murder charges over the killing of Cobra Video producer Bryan Charles Kocis in January.Harlow Cuadra, 25, and Joseph Kerekes, 33, are being processed at a Pennsylvania State Police barracks.CourtTVnews.com reports that Cuadra and Kerekes arve believed to have gone to Kocis' Dallas, Pennsylvania home on January 24th and slashed his throat.
17th July 2007
Ireland to get civil partnerships 13
12:47 PM — The Irish Prime Minister yesterday pledged to bring in new laws to legalise civil partnerships for gay and lesbian couples.Bertie Ahern, opening a gay community centre in Dublin, said that he wanted to move as quickly as possible on the issue.He told the assembled crowd: "This Government is committed to providing a more supportive and secure legal environment for same-sex couples."
Australian government to consider new rights for gays 1
11:48 AM — The Attorney General of Australia, Philip Ruddock has told gay activists that he is working on proposals to bring before the country's Cabinet a response to a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report into discrimination against gay people.Rodney Croome, of the Australian Coalition for Equality, was confident that the matter would be considered before the federal elections later this year.The new Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) report was presented to the federal parliament in June.
16th July 2007
Row over White House security clearance for gays
5:18 PM — The White House has altered the phraseology of a policy which describes the grounds for granting security clearances to gays and lesbians.'Security clearance' is a formal check required in the US for handling confidential data or documents.It is often requested by US employers as a compulsory verification for employees.
Trans youths beaten for carrying condoms 1
1:57 PM — Four transgender youths in Nepal have become the latest victims of institutionalised hate directed against sexual minorities in the country.Five Nepalese transgender youths, known as meti, were brutally beaten, sexually abused and insulted by police in Kathmandu on the night of July 14th.Their crime is said to be carrying condoms for their own use.
Hate crime charge over petrol bombs at Pride
12:01 PM — One man has been charged with a hate crime after the attacks on a Pride march in Zagreb earlier this month.The 25-year-old, identified only as Josip S, is the first person accused of a hate crime in Croatia since they became an offence under the country's Penal Code in 2006.Police spotted him at the Pride event on 7th July with petrol bombs but he fled the scene.
Court rules Dykes on Bikes are not offensive
11:50 AM — A US federal appeals court has ruled that the name "Dykes on Bikes" is inoffensive and a legitimate trademark, tossing out a lawsuit from a man who claimed the name was "scandalous and immoral."According to the Associated Press, the Dykes on Bikes motorcycle club, which leads San Francisco's annual gay pride parade, had spent years sparring with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in hopes of protecting the phrase.They finally won a trademark in 2005.
Disinformation campaign against Matthew Shepard law
11:30 AM — With a US Senate vote on the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act expected soon, the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has urged journalists to scrutinise the myths and misleading claims being made by those seeking to block the proposed law.GLAAD also want to highlight the impact of hate-motivated violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans. In May, the bill passed in the House of Representatives on a historic 237-180 bipartisan vote.
Presidential candidate’s wife meets with gays
11:10 AM — Elizabeth Edwards slammed President Bush for not being tougher on crimes against gays and lesbians during a speech on Saturday for the Human Rights Campaign in San Francisco.During her address to the gay rights group, the Associated Press reports that Edwards cited the story of 26-year-old Satendar Singh.He died recently after being beaten to death at Sacramento's Lake Natomas by men hurling explicit gay slurs. She said the killing demanded renewed condemnations of hate speech.
13th July 2007
Transvestite sculpture of Pope removed 5
5:20 PM — A controversial sculpture of Pope Benedict XVI, depicting him in nothing but a blond bob wig, a stole, panties and thigh-high stockings has been pulled from a gay exhibition in Milan.Curator Eugenio Viola told Associated Press: "It was made clear to us that it would be better to remove the piece."
Surgeon General nominee denies he is homophobic 3
2:45 PM — President Bush's nominee for Surgeon General told the US Senate yesterday he is not anti-gay.Dr. James Holsinger has been critcised by gay rights groups, physicians and politicians for writing in 1991 that gay sex is unnatural and unhealthy.In his paper for the United Methodist Church, Holsinger said that gay sex was dangerous because, "when the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur."
Majority of Americans find ‘faggot’ offensive
12:13 PM — A recent opinion poll has found that 54% of Americans found the use of the word 'faggot' by TV actor Isaiah Washington offensive.18% said the were very offended in the survey by Harris Interactive. 66% of LGBT adults who took part in the poll said they were offended.Other questions about the use of racial slurs by comedian Michael Richards (Kramer from Seinfeld) found that nearly 70% of Americans found his use of the word 'nigger' offensive.
Nixon aides considered using gay smears against opponents
11:25 AM — Newly released memos, recordings and other documents have revealed that US President Richard Nixon was keen to smear his opponents by associating them with the nascent gay rights movement.During the 1972 election campaign, Nixon aides also tried to link Democrat candidate John McGovern and his running mate Sargent Shriver to the mafia, slavery and left-wing activists.Meanwhile, the President himself was concerned that he was not seen as a nice person.
Australian government reject gay judge’s pension plan
10:43 AM — The Attorney General of Australia has said he will not change the pension arrangements of judges so that same-sex partners are given the same provision as spouses.The country's Parliament is considering changes to judge's pension, and opposition politicians have pointed out that this would be a good opportunity to change the law in favour of equality.One of Australia's most respected judges, Michael Kirby, is openly gay.
Homophobic politician arrested for cottaging 4
10:20 AM — The co-chairman of the campaign to select Senator John McCain as the Republican US Presidential candidate has resigned after offering an undercover police officer $20 (£10) for oral sex.Bob Allen, a Florida state representative who has voted against a range of gay rights measures, was spotted by police in Titusville, Florida on Wednesday acting suspiciously at the men's toilets in a park.