(EU) - ILGA-Europe and TransGender Europe published the first comprehensive report on the experiences of health care by Transgender people in European Union. This report is a result of the largest and most comprehensive data collection on transgender people's lived experienced to date. Read more...
(USA) - As the head of the LGBT desk at the Human Rights Watch (HRW), Scott Long bears critical responsibilities for investigating human rights abuses and advocating greater freedoms for our community worldwide. That is estimable work, by any measure. One occupational hazard, however, of taking on a highly specialized charge on matters of such delicacy involving repressive and dangerous regimes is undoubtedly a compounding sense of proprietorship, a fatigued feeling that others "shouldn't mess with my turf, they should stay out of my bailiwick." On matters related to anti-Gay repression in Iran, dating back almost three years, Long seems to have fallen into that trap, indeed to have fallen quite far.
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(Germany) - A fluffy yellow bedspread is severely tucked around the hospital-style bed, there's a wheelchair-accessible shower and a token pot plant. At first glance, the Asta Nielsen Haus in Berlin looks like the average old people's home. But this is a pioneering facility - the first in Europe to cater exclusively for Gays and Lesbians. The idea of a Gay-only project for elderly people was first mooted at a "Gay and Grey" congress in Cologne in 1995. It reflects fears among Germany's first openly Gay generation about what will happen when they are too frail to care for themselves. "At the moment, most Gay and Lesbian residents keep themselves hidden. Imagine one Gay person in a home of 100 people. It can be lonely and isolating," says Christian Hamm, who is on the board of the organisation behind the care-home plan. Hamm and his associates are now drawing up plans for an assisted-care retirement centre for Gay people in another Berlin district.
Note: Read more on Guardian
(Nepal) - Nepal was recently witness to a victory of sorts for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Inter-sex (LGBTI) communities. It was an undeniably historic day on 21 December 2007, when the Supreme Court of Nepal, in response to a petition filed by a coalition of local LGBTI-rights groups, ordered the government to fulfil its contractual responsibility to LGBTI individuals by amending existing legislation or formulate new laws that would permit this community to better exercise its civil and human rights. This was certainly an atypical victory for Nepal’s LGBTI movement. In the aftermath, questions are now surfacing about how ideas and identities travel across the transnational landscape, and what social contexts make these transmissions more successful in certain places and times. These questions are especially pertinent when compared to neighbouring India, the imagined custodian of Southasian democracy.
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(Australia) - Simply attending last night's Mardi Gras extravaganza was the hardest thing Craig Gee has ever had to do. Then agreeing to march with his partner, Shane Brennen, on the second row of the world-famous parade took his anxiety to another level. But above all was the courage needed just to step back onto Oxford Street for the first time since being savagely bashed at the popular strip in a Gay-hate attack three months ago. The assault left the 27-year-old with a fractured jaw, an eye socket smashed in three places and a broken right leg. He has since suffered nightmares, blurred vision and headaches and has been afraid to go anywhere alone. The animosity then reached fever pitch when Mardi Gras arrived and Gay Sydney endeavoured to show off the best of itself to the outside world, with the number of incidents further doubling. As part of the response, revellers were last night asked to hold hands in symbolic defiance. Partygoers were also advised to travel to and from venues in groups or by taxi if alone, and either to cover their costumes or get changed after they arrived so as not to risk being targeted.
Note: Read more on Sydney Morning Herald
(Australia) - Up to 300,000 people lined Sydney's streets to watch the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Saturday as the largest Gay pride march in the Asia Pacific region marked its 30th anniversary. For the first time, serving military personnel were among the 10,000 costumed participants sashaying through the city's Oxford Street Gay district, showing how much attitudes have changed since the first event in 1978. That march, staged at a time when male homosexuality was still illegal in New South Wales state, was a demand for Gay rights that ended with more than 50 arrests as police and protesters clashed.
Note: Read more on AFP
(USA) - Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama appealed for support Thursday from the LGBT community but maintained his opposition to same-sex marriage, preferring instead civil unions. In what his campaign called an open letter to the Gay community Obama touted his support for passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act and an inclusive ENDA. "In the U.S. Senate, I have co-sponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees," the letter said. "And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."
Note: Read more on 365Gay.com
(Netherlands) - In an announcement described by LGBT activists as "historically significant," a spokesman for the Dutch Royal Family has confirmed that the country's future Queen will attend a Gay rights conference. Argentinean-born Princess Maxima, the wife of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, will meet delegates from Holland's major cities at the event and speak out against the exclusion of Gay people. A royal spokesman said: "The Princess is in favour of equal rights of all groups in the Netherlands."
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(UK) - A school governing body yesterday apologised, unreservedly, for the homophobic comments made by a head teacher which forced a young Gay teacher to resign from his job at an inner city school in London. In his first term at the school in 2006, the teacher said that his head teacher had told him to stop “banging on” about Gay issues when he dealt with homophobic issues in the classroom and told him that he wasn't “the only one in the village”. The teacher complained that his head teacher had stated that “there was no homophobia at the school until you came,” that he inflamed older students by the way he walked in the corridors that he “did not walk that way at interview” and referred to him as “Gay Dave”.
Note: Read more on UK Gay News
(Malta) - The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) this evening presented a petition, backed by 1,084 signatures, to the Nationalist Party asking for formal recognition of the rights of same sex couples; the inclusion of an article in the Criminal Code regarding homophobic and transphobic violence, and a clear strategy addressing homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools. The petition also seeks legal protection against discrimination in the delivery of goods and services expressly referring to the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; the formal extension of the remit of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality to cater for the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; and the inclusion of gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for transgender persons as part of the public health services.
Note: Read more on Times of Malta
(Senegal) - Dozens of Senegalese Gays are reported to have fled to the neighbouring countries (The Gambia and Mali) to escape the looming threats on their lives. The Gambia may not be a safe hideout for Gays, considering President Yahya Jammeh's personal hatred of homosexuality. He had earlier threatened to crush any act of homosexuality in the country. Since the publication of a Gay wedding in the outskirts of the capital Dakar in early February, stories on homosexuality have been dominating news in Senegal. The story - backed by photographs - was first published by a local magazine, Icone. Icone's editor has since received several threats for exposing Gays to "social stigma and blackmail." The publication has flared tempers in the predominantly Muslim nation, resulting to arrest and detention of Gay people and all those who graced the wedding, including musicians.
Note: Read more on Afrol News
(Jamaica) - Being gay in Jamaica is not easy. For years, human rights groups have denounced the harassment, beating and even killing of Gays here, to little avail. No official statistic has been compiled on the number of attacks. But a recent string of especially violent, high-profile assaults has brought fresh condemnation to an island otherwise known as an easygoing tourist haven. A couple of weeks back, a local tabloid, The Jamaica Star, ran a screaming headline when a local police officer, disturbed by the attack on the dinner party guests, decided to disclose his sexual orientation to the paper. He said he had been harassed regularly by his colleagues because he is gay. He said the police did not take violence against Gays seriously.
Note: Read more on Canada.com
(USA) - Ric Weiland, one of Microsoft's first five employees, has left tens of millions of dollars of his estate to a fund to benefit eleven LGBT charities. The bequest includes multi-million dollar gifts to Seattle's Pride Foundation, Lambda Legal, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The bequest, the largest ever in support of the LGBT movement, will establish a fund at the Pride Foundation in the amount of $65 million. The largest will support the foundation's grantmaking programs, an amount the Seattle Times has reported as $19 million. An additional $46 million in the fund will be distributed to national LGBT charities. The Pride Foundation provides scholarships and grants to LGBT students and organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Weiland, a Seattle resident, was a former board member and volunteer at the organization.
Note: Read more on PageOneQ
(EU) - On 4-6 March 2008, ILGA-Europe, in partnership with Informational centre LEGEBITRA, a Slovene LGBT organisation, organises a conference on LGBT families in Europe. This conference is a contribution to the current Slovene Presidency of the European Union and aims at drawing attention to the lack of recognition and existing discrimination against LGBT families at European level. Read more...
(USA) - About 1,000 people have marched in tribute to an Oxnard teenager who was shot to death in his school computer lab. The peace-and-tolerance march Saturday honored 15-year-old Lawrence King. King was shot in the head on Tuesday at E.O. Green Junior High School and removed from life support two days later. Classmates said King revealed he was Gay this school year and had been teased because he wore makeup, high heels and other 'feminine attire.'
Note: Read more on SF Gate
(USA) - An US federal judge ruled – again – that Poway school officials did not violate the free speech rights of a student whom they pulled from class for wearing a T-shirt with an anti-Gay slogan. The decision Tuesday by U.S. District Judge John Houston is the latest win for school officials in a long-running legal battle with students Tyler Chase Harper and his sister, Kelsie. Tyler Harper sued the Poway Unified School District in 2004 alleging his freedom of speech and religion rights were violated when he was pulled out of class earlier that year. The self-described Christian wore a shirt during the school “Day of Silence,” which is intended to promote tolerance of Gays and Lesbians. The shirt said “I Will Not Accept What God Has Condemned” on one side and “Homosexuality is Shameful, Romans 1:27” on the other. Harper was removed from class, but not otherwise disciplined. His suit was aimed at a school district policy aimed at eliminating “hate behavior” that offended students in certain minority groups based on race, gender or sexual preference.
Note: Read more on Sign On SanDiego
(Israel) - Israel's attorney general said on Sunday that same sex-couples will be allowed to adopt children that are not biologically linked to either partner. Meni Mazuz decided that Gay adults will be allowed to adopt the biological or adopted child of their partner and, in some cases, even adopt children not connected to them. Courts in the Jewish state in the past have only allowed Gay adults to adopt the child of their partner, the justice ministry said. "It was decided there is no legal hindrance from approving same-sex couples, or one of the partners, to adopt an unrelated child who is not the child of either partner," the justice ministry said in a statement.
Note: Read more on Reuters
(UK) - The number of complaints about homophobia within the police has risen by almost a quarter, according to the Gay Police Association. The association said it received 350 calls to its helpline last year, compared with 260 the year before. It estimated that there were about 7,000 homophobic incidents among police last year, but intimidated officers were reluctant to report them. The police said "any form of homophobia has no place in the police". The Gay Police Association said it was aware of colleagues refusing to serve with Gay officers and quoting sections of the Bible at them on parade grounds.
Note: Read more on BBC
(Senegal) - Police in Senegal have released several men arrested over the publication of pictures said to depict a wedding ceremony between two men. No official reason has been given for their release. The pictures were published in Icone magazine, whose editor, Mansour Dieng, has since received death threats. Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal but it is not clear whether the arrests were in connection with the ceremony or the death threats. Mr Dieng has also been questioned by police over the issue. The ceremony is believed to have involved a Senegalese man and another from Ghana or the Ivory Coast, who has not yet been found. Senegal is a predominantly Muslim country and Gay men and women remain socially marginalised.
Note: Read more on BBC
(UK) - Almost 2,000 people in South Yorkshire have signed a petition objecting to Gay couples adopting children. The petition, drawn up by the Christian People's Alliance (CPA), is being presented to Sheffield City Council to lobby against homosexuals adopting. The group is protesting at government plans to allow a child to be placed with a Gay couple regardless of the wishes of birth parents. The decision to campaign against same sex adoptions comes after a city magistrate and CPA member, stood down over the issue. Andrew McClintock, 63, resigned from his position in the family courts after he was refused permission to opt out of cases that resulted in children being placed with same sex parents.
Note: Read more on BBC