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Current Affairs

  • 4th January 2007

    Jewish leaders question anti-discrimination regulations 1

    This is the first time the Jewish Board of Deputies has joined the debate over the regulations.

    10:15 AM — The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which represents most of the Jewish community in the UK, has weighed into the controversy surrounding new regulations that grant gay people protection against discrimination.The organisation has expressed concern about the controversial new rules, due to be introduced this month.They have been delayed on the orders of Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly, after protests from the Christian churches.

  • 3rd January 2007

    Muslims urged to join protest against “deviants” 8

    The unusual combination of hardline Christians and Muslims will hold what is billed as a torchlight parade in Westminster next Wednesday.

    4:55 PM — Evangelical Christians will be joined on their protest march on Parliament on January 9th by leading members of the Muslim community.Earlier this week, a group of Christian lawyers announced their intention to petition the Queen and protest at the Palace of Westminster to show their opposition to the proposed regulations to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services.

  • Backlash against gay marriage in Massachusetts 57

    Patrick will be sworn in as governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tomorrow, the first African-American to hold that office.

    4:32 PM — Lawmakers in the American state of Massachusetts have approved a referendum on gay marriage. The ballot, which will take place in 2008, will ask voters to ban same-sex marriage.The New England state is currently the only one in the US that has legalised gay marriage.Republicans in the state legislature voted through the measure twice, despite opposition from the governor-elect, Democrat Deval Patrick.

  • Former US Defence Secretary queries “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” 5

    “It's time to start thinking about it and starting to discuss it,“ he told presenter Wolf Blitzen on CNN.

    3:50 PM — A Republican politician who was in charge of the US Armed Forces for four years has backed calls by a retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs to re-open the debate over the controversial "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.William Cohen served as Defence Secretary from 1997 - 2001 under Democrat President Bill Clinton.In an interview last night on CNN, Cohen described the current policy as discriminatory and not reflective of current American public opinion.

  • Czechs flock to register partnerships 1

    Since the new laws were adopted in July last year, over 200 gay unions have been registered.

    1:24 PM — Gay rights activists in the Czech Republic have spoken of their delight at the number of gay and lesbian couples that have registered their partnerships.The central European state, which joined the EU three years ago, became the first former Soviet Bloc country to allow gay unions.Since the new laws were adopted in July last year, over 200 gay unions have been registered.

  • Government “open to discussion” on homophobic incitement 1

    12:23 PM — PinkNews.co.uk Exclusive A Home Office minister has vowed to review homophobic incitement laws amid calls for anti-gay remarks to be made illegal.Speaking exclusively to PinkNews.co.uk, Police and Security Minister Tony McNulty said that the issue is under review and vowed that once religious and racial incitement laws are implemented it will then be easier to see how to follow up with a law against homophobic harassment.

  • Canadian boy has two mommies – and a dad

    The Ontario Supreme Court ruled that the lesbian partner is also legally a parent to the child.

    11:15 AM — A ruling by a court in Ontario has for the first time given the full legal status of parent to three people. It is believed to be the first time that a Canadian child has legally got three parents.The case involved a lesbian couple, who used the sperm of a friend to have a baby. The biological father is actively involved in the raising of the child, and is legally the father of the boy, now five years old.The biological mother's lesbian partner chose not to adopt the boy as that would have negated the legal parental status of the biological father.

  • Tatchell calls for Equal Rights Act 1

    “Without universal equality legislation, the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights is bound to be split by divisions and resentments“

    10:50 AM — Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has called on the government to harmonise all discrimination and equality laws into one piece of equal rights legislation.Criticising the "differential levels of protection against discrimination available to different minority groups," Mr Tatchell wants to see the unification of all equal rights legislation in a single Equal Rights Act, based on the current race equality laws.

  • US general says “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should go 5

    The US has discharged over 10,000 military personnel for being gay or lesbian since 1993.

    10:18 AM — An Army general who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the US military has called for a change in attitude towards gay and lesbian soldiers.John Shalikashvili was chairman from 1993 - 1997, and it was during his tenure that the controversial policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was introduced.At the time he argued that had argued that openly gay and lesbian personnel would hurt troop morale and undermine the cohesion of combat units.

  • 2nd January 2007

    Bright new dawn for Romanian and Bulgarian gays

    In Romania, the last anti-gay laws were repealed in 2001.

    4:42 PM — Yesterday two more former Eastern Bloc countries joined the European Union. Eighteen years after the fall of Communism, the citizens of Romania and Bulgaria celebrated becoming members of the exclusive Euro club.For the LGBT communities in the two countries, it was also a day of celebration, though not in the way readers might think. Gay rights in the two countries have progressed rapidly in recent years, although acceptance is still confined to major cities.

  • Gay activists fear for Sexual Orientation Regulations 3

    After a campaign led by  PinkNews.co.uk,  the Advertising Standards Authority are investigating the advert.

    4:04 PM — A leading gay rights group has expressed concern at the tactics being used by Christian groups opposing the introduction of new rules to protect LGBT people from discrimination.The Sexual Orientation Regulations, which outlaw discrmination in the provision of goods and services on the grounds of sexuality, are due to be implemented across England and Wales in April. Their introduction was controversially delayed by Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.

  • Minister will consider national system for reporting homophobes 3

    Mr McNulty described ideas for a more centralised system as “reasonable.“

    3:16 PM — Minister for Police and Security Tony McNulty has pledged support for a more effective system for the gay community to report hate crime.Last month, an investigation by PinkNews.co.uk discovered that access to a dedicated LGBT liaison officer is often impeded by a lack of awareness on the switchboard or by officers being unavailable at the desired time.

  • RAF sign up with Stonewall

    Officers will receive training in ways to encourage an inclusive environment.

    1:59 PM — The Royal Air Force has become the second of the Armed Forces to join the Stonewall Diversity Programme.The Royal Navy is already a member of the scheme, which is designed to help organisations and businesses recruit and retain LGBT staff and promote equality in the workplace.Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill described the decision as"courageous."

  • Gay sheep experiments outrage campaigners 2

    About one in ten rams mount other rams instead of ewes. photo: biologyfishman@flickr

    11:24 AM — Scientists and gay rights activists have criticised experiments being conducted in the US that aim to turn gay sheep straight.Oregon State University is conducting research into the hormonal balance in the brains of rams who are attracted to other rams.The scientists claim their research is aimed only at reducing or eliminating gay sheep.

  • Belgian “Bad Girls” tie the knot

    Terry will be released next year. Linda, who has always denied murdering her husband, will probably serve at least another ten years.

    11:24 AM — Two female prisoners in Flanders have made history by becoming the first lesbian couple to get married while imprisoned.Linda Couvreur, 44, a mother of three, who was convicted of murdering her husband in 2003, and Theresa 'Terry' Van Heyst, 43, a convicted arsonist, were married on the 29th of December in Bruges prison.The newly weds met last April in prison and fell in love. Terry even refused the early release for which she was eligible to stay with her lover.

  • At least 50 gay and lesbian priests are in civil partnerships 57

    Church Society accused some gay and lesbian priests

    10:30 AM — 2007 looks set to be another turbulent year in the Anglican church, with reports that more than 50 gay and lesbian priests have entered into civil partnerships since December 2005 likely to re-ignite debate over homosexuality.The General Synod of the Church of England will hold the first of its twice-yearly meetings in February. Evangelicals will press for an open debate on the issue of homosexual clergy, Christian Today  reports.

  • Christians ask the Queen to block gay protection 6

    It is highly unlikely that the Queen will involve herself in any protest against government legislation.

    10:01 AM — A group of Christian lawyers is to petition the Queen over new regulations that will outlaw discrimination against gay and lesbian people.The Christian Concern for Our Nation is affiliated with The Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, who claim to have over 2,000 members.The Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England as well as Head of State.

  • Anti-discrimination rules come into force in N Ireland 1

    “People have already brought to our attention instances where they have been turned away from hotels, bars and clubs, or denied access to transport, simply because of their sexual orientation.“

    9:18 AM — New regulations that outlaw discrimination in the provision of goods and services on the grounds of sexual orientation came into force in Northern Ireland yesterday.The province is the first part of the UK to introduce new protections for the LGBT community.The measures were controversial, with churches on both sides of the religious divide arguing that the regulations will discriminate against people with religious views.

  • 30th December 2006

    Was life easier for gays under Saddam? 2

    Al Iraqiya Television broadcasts part of the execution

    12:00 AM — The former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been executed but questions remain over his attitude towards homosexuality.While it is true at during the 1990s Saddam's representatives at the United Nations opposed discussions of international gay rights or welcoming gay groups as observers to the UN, the actual position of gay people within the country remains sketchy at best.

  • 29th December 2006

    NHS to cut transgender operations 11

    It is hoped that the change will mean a reduction in hospital waiting times

    12:00 AM — An NHS Trust is to cut funding to gender transition as part of a move to limit non-essential operations in the area.Hounslow Primary Care Trust has announced that from April 2007, anyone seeking NHS support for medical services such as gender reassignment, tattoo removal, or breast enhancements will have to pay for it.

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