The Peel Hotel in Melbourne won an exemption from the Equal Opportunity Act to prevent insults and abuse directed toward gays in its bars and nightclubs, owner Tom McFeely told AFP.
"The hotel predominantly markets itself towards homosexual males, towards gay men and we want to protect the integrity of the venue as well as continue to make the men feel comfortable," McFeely said.
"When large numbers of heterosexuals or even lesbians are in the hotel that changes the atmosphere and many gay men can feel uncomfortable."
The landmark decision by a civil tribunal gives the establishment -- which does not offer accommodation -- the right to refuse entry to people considered a threat to the safety and comfort of its patrons.
Helen Szoke, the chief executive of the Victoria state government's Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, said the Peel Hotel's gay clientele had experienced harassment, hostility and violence.
"(They) also have felt as though they've been like a zoo exhibit with big groups of women on hens' parties coming to the club," she said.
McFeely said his aim was not to ban all straight patrons and lesbians but to limit their numbers so gay men could freely express their sexuality.
He said he expected a backlash from other patrons, but added: "I'm not worried about it because to be frank I don't really care what heterosexuals or lesbians think.
"My main motivation is to protect my gay male customers and I realise heterosexuals and lesbians may be upset. but I don't care about that.
"We are open at 8.00pm and we go all the way through till the morning. We have two dancefloors -- it is a nightclub environment."
McFeely said it would be easy to sort out desirable gays from undesirable straights and lesbians.
"It is particularly easy to implement with the females 'cause that is pretty obvious.
"With the heterosexual males, if they identify themselves as that at the door, or indeed we question their behaviour in the venue and if they come across as being heterosexual, then we will simply ask them to leave if the behaviour is unappropriate."
Human rights group Liberty Victoria supported the decision, vice-president Michael Pearce said.
"There are numerous places where heterosexual people can go," he said.
"I think what (the tribunal) has said is that there aren't that many places where gay people can go and meet without the risk of being harassed or vilified, and that they are entitled to have their own spaces to do that in."
Ewa Sowinska, government-appointed children rights watchdog, told a local magazine published on Monday she was concerned the popular BBC children's show promoted homosexuality.
She said she would ask psychologists to advise if this was the case.
In comments reminiscent of criticism by the late U.S. evangelist Jerry Falwell, she was quoted as saying: "I noticed (Tinky Winky) has a lady's purse, but I didn't realize he's a boy."
"At first I thought the purse would be a burden for this Teletubby ... Later I learned that this may have a homosexual undertone."
Poland's rightist government has upset human rights groups and drawn criticism within the European Union by apparent discrimination against homosexuals.
Polish Education Minister Roman Giertych has proposed laws sacking teachers who promote "homosexual lifestyle" and banning "homo-agitation" in schools.
The 10-year-old show, that features four rotund, brightly-colored characters loved by children around the world, became a target of religious conservatives after Falwell suggested Tinky Winky could be homosexual.
Time Smoke-Free:5 days, 7 hours, 2 minutes and 30 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked:106
Lifetime Saved:19 hours
A Question Of PrioritiesSometimes you have to make quitting your #1 priority; which can mean putting your social life on hold during the early days. If you must socialize in risky environments, perhaps your party friends can help you by smoking less around you, etc. This is your quit, and you need to do whatever you can to not smoke. The responsibility is yours.
Pouring your cash into the far reaches of the world wide web may sound like a crazy idea.
After all, the internet has seen its fair share of nasties from phishing e-mails posing as a bank to key logging software pinching our passwords and personal information, all in an effort to steal our identity and cash.
But now there is a wave of sites trying to convince people that the web is the place for their money.
The concept is called social lending and the idea is to introduce people who need money to people who want to lend some - cutting out the middlemen like banks and mortgage companies.
Click the link for the full article from BBC Click.
The piece, weighing about 140 kilograms, fell 60 floors, landing on the third-floor roof of a building during high winds and heavy rain Tuesday evening. No one was injured.
Toronto police Staff Sgt. Jay Frosh said inspectors will examine the building at King and Bay streets to make sure no other pieces of marble have come loose.
Once it's deemed safe, streets closed in the area will be reopened, but there's no word on when the inspection will take place.
The area blocked off to pedestrians and traffic reaches from King Street to Adelaide Street and from York Street east to Bay Street.
Workers at First Canadian Place were being allowed into the building Wednesday morning through an underground entrance.
Public transit service has been disrupted in the area. King Street streetcars were being diverted between Bay and Yonge streets. There were no buses on Bay between Adelaide and King, and express buses were not running on Adelaide between York and Bay.
The skyscraper was constructed in 1975 and remains Canada's tallest office building at 70 storeys or 298 metres.
Updated Mon. May. 7 2007 5:27 PM ET
LONDON -- The Queen won't be meeting "The Queen'' just yet.
Helen Mirren, who won an Academy Award earlier this year for playing Queen Elizabeth, has turned down an invitation to dinner at Buckingham Palace, a British newspaper reported.
The Mail on Sunday said Mirren had been invited to dine with the Queen last week, but sent her regrets because she is filming "National Treasure: Book of Secrets'' in the United States.
"The palace very kindly extended an invitation to dinner last Tuesday, May 1,'' Mirren said in a statement quoted by the newspaper. "But, unfortunately, I was filming in South Dakota and unable to change my schedule. I am very sad not to have been able to attend.''
Representatives of Mirren and the Queen could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Mirren won the best actress prize at February's Oscars for her performance in "The Queen,'' set in the aftermath of the 1997 death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The 61-year-old actress saluted the Queen in her acceptance speech for maintaining "her dignity, her sense of duty and her hairstyle'' for more than 50 years.
"She's had her feet planted firmly on the ground, her hat on her head, her handbag on her arm and she's weathered many, many storms. ... If it wasn't for her, I most certainly wouldn't be here. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Queen,'' Mirren said, holding her Oscar aloft.
Buckingham Palace said after the awards that it was "looking at a number of options'' for a visit by Mirren, director Stephen Frears and writer Peter Morgan.
Mary Martell unwittingly traveled 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) from Saint John Airport on Canada's Atlantic coast all the way to Toronto, then to Niagara-on-the-Lake by car with the live cat in her suitcase.
She told public broadcaster CBC the bag was scanned at the airport, but she was not stopped and it was eventually loaded into the airplane's cargo bay.
"They had asked me, when they put ... the luggage through the X-ray, whether I had a turkey," she said.
"(Airport security) kept going back and forth with (the suitcase)," Martell said. "I was adamant: 'Look, I have no turkey.'"
Martell said she only discovered Ginger, the family pet, when she opened her luggage in a hotel room, after the three-hour journey. The cat had apparently snuck into a bag while Martell was packing.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Vinca (from Latin vincire "to bind, fetter") is a genus of five species of in the family Apocynaceae, native to Europe, northwest Africa and southwest Asia. The common name, shared with the related genus Catharanthus, is Periwinkle.
Large Periwinkle (Vinca major) flower
They are subshrubs or herbaceous, and have slender trailing stems 1-2 m  long but not growing more than 20-70 cm  above ground; the stems frequently take root where they touch the ground, enabling the plant to spread widely. The leaves are opposite, simple broad lanceolate to ovate, 1-9 cm  long and 0.5-6 cm  broad; they are evergreen in four species, but deciduous in the herbaceous V. herbacea, which dies back to the root system in winter.
The flowers, produced through most of the year, are salverform (like those of Phlox), simple, 2.5-7 cm  broad, with five usually violet (occasionally white) petals joined together at the base to form a tube. The fruit consists of a group of divergent follicles; a dry fruit which is dehiscent along one rupture site in order to release seeds.
Prime Minister Harper's Clean Air Act has been called "embarrassing" by David Suzuki and "a complete fraud" by Al Gore. What's more, Canada has been undermining international negotiations to stop climate change, receiving an international "award" for the worst country in the world on climate change last year. This is not what Canada is all about, and it has to stop.
Click here to visit the Avaaz.org and send a message to Harper.
I visited Roslyn chapel in Scotland with David in 2005. It is the chapel featured near the end of the book and movie, 'The DaVinci Code'. It is very, very beautiful and almost all of the surfaces are carved stone. Legend has it that there are secret messages in the ornate and patterned carvings inside the old church. Click the title above to link to the website of the composer and musician who discovered the hidden music.
Auden Carlsen, 28, claimed he was grabbed by the singer and another man and chained up after the star invited him to his house in Shoreditch to pose for photographs.
A weekend Salon piece outlines how developer Turbine was torn between whether or not to allow same-sex marriage within Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.
As games and MMOs in particular gain popularity, real-world issues such as gay marriage extend into virtual realms.In the newly-released LOTRO, players are currently not allowed to marry the same sex, which raises questions about game design as well as discrimination."The rule that we tried to follow across the board was: if there's an example of it in the book, the door is open to explore it," explained Turbine designer Nik Davidson. "Very rarely will you see an elf and a human hook up, but it does happen; the door is open. Dwarves don't intermarry with hobbits; that door is shut ... Did two male hobbits ever hook up in the shire and have little hobbit civil unions? No. The door is shut."
Guidelines for Cats
Chairs and Rugs: If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, shag is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so that it is as long as the human's bare foot.
Bathrooms: Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything . . . just sit and stare.
Hampering: If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping", otherwise known as "hampering."
Following are the rules for "hampering":
When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.
For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.
For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work or at least the most important part. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work. Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks in spite of what the humans may tell you.
For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim-to hamper! First, sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils, and erasers off the table, one at a time. When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. They love to jump.
Walking: As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially on stairs, when they have something in their arms, in the dark, and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.
Bedtime: Always sleep on the human at night so s/he cannot move around. Play:This is an important part of your life. Get enough sleep in the daytime so you are fresh for your nocturnal games. Below are listed several favourite cat games that you can play. It is important, though, to maintain one's dignity at all times. If you should have an accident during play, such as falling off a chair, immediately wash a part of your body as if to say "I meant to do that!" It fools those humans every time.
Catch Mouse: The humans would have you believe that those lumps under the covers are their feet and hands. They are lying. They are actually Bed Mice, rumoured to be the most delicious of all the mice in the world, though no cat has ever been able to catch one. Rumour also has it that only the most ferocious attack can stun them long enough for you to dive under the covers to get them. Maybe YOU can be the first to taste the Bed Mouse!
King of the Hill: This game must be played with at least one other cat. The more, the merrier! One or both of the sleeping humans is Hill 303 which must be defended at all costs from the other cat(s). Anything goes. This game allows for the development of unusual tactics as one must take the unstable playing theatre into account.
Warning: Playing either of these games to excess will result in expulsion from the bed and possibly from the bedroom. Should the humans grow restless, immediately begin purring and cuddle up to them. This should buy you some time until they fall asleep again. If one happens to be on a human when this occurs, this cat wins the round of King of the Hill.
Toys: Any small item is a potential toy. If a human tries to confiscate it, this means that it is a good toy. Run with it under the bed. Look suitably outraged when the human grabs you and takes it away. Always watch where it is put so you can steal it later. Two reliable sources of toys are dresser tops and wastebaskets. There are several types of cat toys.
Bright shiny things like keys, brooches, or coins should be hidden so that the other cat(s) or humans can't play with them. They are generally good for playing hockey with on uncarpeted floors. Dangly and/or string-like things such as shoelaces, cords, gold chains, and dental floss (& Q-tips) also make excellent toys. They are favourites of humans who like to drag them across the floor for us to pounce on. When a string is dragged under a newspaper or throw rug, it magically becomes the Paper/Rug Mouse and should be killed at all costs. Take care, though. Humans are sneaky and will try to make you lose your dignity.
Paper Bags: Within paper bags dwell the bag mice. They are small and camouflaged to be the same color as the bag, so they are hard to see. But you can easily hear the crinkling noises they make as they scurry around the bag. Anything, up to and including shredding the bag, can be done to kill them. Note: any other cat you may find in a bag hunting for bag mice is fair game for a sneak attack, which will usually result in a great Tagmatch.
Food: In order to get the energy to sleep, play, and hamper, a cat must eat. Eating, however, is only half the fun. The other half is getting the food. Cats have two ways to obtain food: convincing a human you are starving to death and must be fed now; and hunting for it oneself.
The following are guidelines for getting fed:
- When the humans are eating, make sure you leave the tip of your tail in their dishes when they are not looking.
- Never eat food from your own bowl if you can steal some from the table. Never drink from your own water bowl if a human's glass is full enough to drink from.
- Should you catch something of your own outside, it is only polite to attempt to get to know it. Be insistent. Your food will usually not be so polite and try to leave.
- Table scraps are delicacies with which the humans are unfortunately unwilling to readily part. It is beneath the dignity of a cat to beg outright for food as lower forms of life such as dogs will, but several techniques exist for ensuring that the humans don't forget you exist. These include, but are not limited to: jumping onto the lap of the "softest" human and purring loudly; lying down in the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen, the "direct stare", and twining around people's legs as they sit and eat while meowing plaintively.
- Sleeping:As mentioned above, in order to have enough energy for playing, a cat must get plenty of sleep. It is generally not difficult to find a comfortable place to curl up. Any place a human likes to sit is good, especially if it contrasts with your fur color. If it's in a sunbeam or near a heating duct or radiator, so much the better. Of course, good places also exist outdoors, but have the disadvantages of being seasonal and dependent on current and previous weather conditions such as rain. Open windows are a good compromise.
Scratching Posts: It is advised that cats use any scratching post the humans may provide. They are very protective of what they think is their property and will object strongly if they catch you sharpening your claws on it. Being sneaky and doing it when they aren't around won't help, as they are very observant. If you are an outdoor kitty, trees are good. Sharpening your claws on a human is not recommended.
Humans: Humans have three primary functions: to feed us, to play with and give attention to us, and to clean the litter box. It is important to maintain one's Dignity when around humans so that they will not forget who is the master of the house. Humans need to know basic rules. They can be taught if you start early and are consistent.