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Current Affairs

  • 10th January 2007

    Stonewall reveals top employers for gay people

    Any organisation can take part free of charge.

    1:49 PM — The third annual Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, which lists the top employers for gay people, has revealed that companies and organisations across the country are making progress in encouraging and supporting their gay staff.To qualify as one of the 100 best UK employers in 2007, bosses had to demonstrate significantly higher standards of good practice in a wide range of areas.

  • Malaysian politician sues over gay smears

    Now he has challenged Mathahir to appear in court and defend his persistent allegationa that former deputy PM Anwar is gay.

    11:40 AM — Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, has hit back at charges that he is gay.Anwar was imprisoned on charges of sodomy and corruption in 1998, but after six years behind bars the sodomy charge was overturned.He claims that his former boss Mathahir Mohammad, prime minister from 1981 to 2003, is trying to wreck his reputation and that the allegation of homosexuality is false.

  • 8th January 2007

    Orkney hits back at unfair press coverage 5

    Gay rights groups have been quick to criticise the local government staff on the islands, who serve a population less than 20,000 people.

    3:51 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Council staff on the islands of Orkney have spoken exclusively to PinkNews.co.uk about the media storm that has engulfed the remote Scottish outpost.A communications officer for the island group's local authority spoke to PinkNews.co.uk in an attempt to put right inaccurate reports in London newspapers.

  • Transsexual loses £500,000 unfair dismissal claim

    Jessica Bussert, formerly Josh, alleged she was demoted after surgery to “feminise“ her face and breasts.

    3:08 PM — A transsexual who claimed she was forced to leave her job at Hitachi Data Systems after changing sex has lost her claim for half a million pounds compensation.It was thought to be the largest claim ever made under the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999.Jessica Bussert, formerly Josh, had claimed she was demoted after surgery to "feminise" her face and breasts.

  • Canadian lesbian couple tie the knot behind bars

    One is serving three years for breaking and entering, assault with a weapon and aggravated assault while her wife is doing six years for manslaughter. photo: s baker@flickr.com

    2:07 PM — Two Canadian inmates have become the first lesbian couple to get married while in prison.The Edmonton Sun reports that the pair, whose names have not been released by prison officials, exchanged vows over the weekend.As reported by PinkNews.co.uk, a lesbian couple in Belgium went through a civil ceremony last week while both still incarcerated.

  • Kidderminster man guilty of “grooming” teenage boy

    The defence claimed that the charges of sexual contact were a figment of the boy's imagination, and that Oakes merely wished to help the teenager.

    1:51 PM — A 41-year-old man has been found guilty of meeting a child following sexual grooming.A 14-year-old boy met the man, Vincent Oakes of Park Street, Kidderminster, on a gay internet site.The teenager claimed he was 18 and told Oakes that he could not be open about his sexuality with his parents.

  • Police in Peru accused of gay assaults

    The homosexual rights movement in Peru has been slow to take hold.

    1:26 PM — A gay rights group in Peru has accused police officers of carrying out systematic attacks on gay people in the country .The Lima Homosexual Movement claims that figures they have compiled show over 600 homophobic assaults in the country over the last year.A spokesman for the movement, Jorge Bracamonte, has accused the police of assaulting gay and transvestite prostitutes and other LGBT people.

  • Ruth Kelly attacked for hypocrisy over choice of school 1

    Ms Kelly is by no means the first Labour minister to decide that state provision was not adequate for their child.

    12:14 PM — Controversial Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has been heavily criticised by Labour MPs after it was revealed that she has sent one of her children to a private school.The beleaguered cabinet member, who was Secretary of State for Education from 2004 until last year, has left fellow MPs fuming at yet another controversial decision.Ms Kelly has been widely criticised for delaying the introduction of new regulations that will protect LGBT people from discrimination when accessing goods and services.

  • Orkney Council moves to quell civil partnerships row 5

    The row had threatened to affect the vital tourist trade to the island, after gay rights organisation Stonewall Scotland accused Orkney Island Council of homophobia

    11:58 AM — Officials at Orkney Islands Council have moved to try and calm accusations of homophobia, after they refused a leading British composer permission to get married on his home island.Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, the Master of the Queen's Music, had planned a glittering ceremony for himself and his partner Colin Parkinson on the remote island of Sanday.However, the council have told the composer that the registrar on the island is not authorised to perform civil partnerships.

  • Devon pensioner cleared of homophobic intimidation

    During the course of the trail Mr Whitburn broke down in tears as a defence barrister accused him of making a mountain out of a molehill.

    11:22 AM — A 67-year-old man who is the subject of a restraining order has been found not guilty of continuing to harass a gay couple after a four day trial at Exeter Crown Court.Dennis Scanes lived in a local authority property on the same street as Kevin Whitburn and Andrew Brown in Alphington, Devon.The couple live with Mr Whitburn's 80-year-old mother.

  • Williams fears Anglican church could split 3

    Williams, who is head of the Anglican communion worldwide, has been trying to hold the opposing wings of the church together.

    10:46 AM — The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has spoken about his fear that the Anglican church might not be able to remain united in the face of deepening rows over gay and lesbian clergy.Williams, who is head of the Anglican communion worldwide, has been trying to hold the opposing wings of the church together since taking up his post in 2002.

  • Analysis: From student radical to Presidential candidate

    When did she become that old, that Establishment, when her soul tells her she is still fighting for the same things she's always believed in?

    10:45 AM — It almost went unnoticed in the fevered pitch leading up to today's primary contest in freezing New Hampshire - but in a front page editorial in the Washington Post's Sunday edition, former 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern - the Barack Obama of his day - called for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney."I have not been heavily involved in singing the praises of the Nixon administration," wrote the former Senator from South Dakota who was trounced by incumbent President Richard Nixon in a 'dirty-tricks' campaign that included the Watergate scandal.

  • LGBT ‘Navajo’ project angers Natives 4

    The Navajo project was set up in the North West of England in to tackle oppression, stigma, prejudice. photo: dbking@flickr

    10:20 AM — The Native American Navajo nation have written to a Christian couple recently awarded damages by Lancashire Police to express their dismay that their tribal name is being used for an LGBT project.Helen and Joe Roberts from Fleetwood hit the headlines last year after police questioned them for attempting to distribute anti-gay literature.

  • Orkney Council denies homophobia accusations 5

    The council has told the 72-year-old composer that he must travel to the main island of Orkney for a civil partnership ceremony.  photo: Collins Classics

    9:45 AM — The remote Scottish island of Sanday is at the centre of a row, after a leading British composer was refused permission for a civil partnership ceremony.Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, who is Master of the Queen's Music, has lived on the small island, the third largest of the Orkney Islands, for nine years.He had planned a ceremony with his partner, Colin Parkinson, next month.

  • 5th January 2007

    COMMENT: Peter Tatchell – A quote for every occasion? 5

    I'm never sure what Peter Tatchell is going to discuss when I see him appear on television - Westminster politics, Iraq, Zimbabwe or gay rights?

    5:00 PM — The execution of Saddam Hussein led commentator Ben Leung to confront his mixed feelings towards gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. Despite staying up the night before for news of his demise, it wasn't until I saw the front-page of The Times newspaper at a windswept Ascot racecourse that I truly accepted that Saddam was dead.The headline of the 4am edition was brief and succinct: 'SADDAM HANGED', two words which not many people could ever have imagined seeing had suddenly become a reality.

  • Gay Congressman takes up key post

    In 1998, he founded the National Stonewall Democrats, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Democratic pressure group.

    12:17 PM — The only out gay man in the new 110th US Congress has been appointed chairman of the powerful Financial Services Committee, and has promised to give shareholders more say over executive salaries.Rep. Barney Frank commented in 1996 that he is used to being in the minority, but thanks to the shift of power in Congress as a result of the November elections the left-handed, Jewish homosexual suddenly finds himself in the driving seat.

  • Christian Union students want gay acceptance test case 4

    Recently the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, criticised student unions for barring homophobic groups, claiming it was an attack on free speech.

    11:21 AM — A small group of Christian students at Exeter University are going to court to try to set a legal precedent about acceptance of gay rights.The Christian Union has been prevented from using facilities at the university because they ban gay or lesbian students from joining their organisation."Legal action was the very last thing we wanted to take," a Union spokesman told The Daily Mail. 

  • Vatican embraces gay icon

    The inclusion of Wilde in a Catholic-endorsed book has puzzled many Vatican watchers.

    10:22 AM — Oscar Wilde, long claimed by the gay community as the ultimate bitchy queen, has been embraced by one of Pope Benedict's closest advisers.The Vatican's head of protocol, Fr Leonardo Sapienza, has published a book of witty remarks for Christians, perhaps aware that the devout tend not to be the most spontaneously amusing of people.Irish-born playwright Wilde is featured heavily in Provocations: Aphorisms for an Anti-conformist Christianity. 

  • 4th January 2007

    COMMENT: Congress should scrap “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” 5

    A poll published last month showed that 73% of people currently serving in the US Armed Forces are comfortable with lesbians and gays.

    4:10 PM — A new United States Congress will be sworn in later today. In the November election, the Democratic party seized control of both the House and Senate. PinkNews.co.uk's Tony Grew considers whether the 110th Congress will be the one to finally allow gays and lesbians to serve in the US military. It seems America is finally coming to terms with the fact that there are gay people in their Armed Forces, whether they ask or not.

  • Nepalese gays face new persecution

    LGBT leaders warned last October that their rights might not be protected by the new government.

    4:10 PM — Gangs of Maoist militants have launched a campaign in Nepal against the country's gay and lesbian population.The country's only gay rights organisation, Blue Diamond, reports that this new oppression is sanctioned by Prime Minister, Girija Prasad Koirala.Gays and lesbians in the Himalayan kingdom previously suffered persistent persecution from security forces during the absolutist rule of King Gyanendra.

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