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Current Affairs

  • 14th March 2007

    Vatican attacks kids attending gay rights rally 1

    L'Osservatore Romano  is published daily in Italian and weekly in several other languages.

    11:14 AM — The official newspaper of the Vatican has lambasted the demonstration in Rome on Saturday to demand legal rights for unmarried same sex couples. L'Osservatore Romano said that children attending the event were the victims of abuse.50,000 activists took to a Roman piazza and rallied in support of a bill that would offer greater legal protection to unmarried couples.

  • 13th March 2007

    Gay marriage illegal in France, says court

    That decision was verified today by the Court of Cassation, France's highest appeals court.

    6:02 PM — France's highest court has ruled that the marriage of two men is unlawful and should be annulled.Stephane Charpin and Bertrang Charpentier were married in Begles, a small town in Bordeaux, in 2004.They are the only same-sex couple in France to have married, rather than undertaken a Civil Solidarity Pact.

  • US general half-apologises for “gays are immoral” comment 3

    an indirect rebuke from General Pace's superior, Defence Secretary Robert Gates may have prompted him to admit he should have kept his views private.

    6:02 PM — The most senior miltary office in the US Armed Forces has admitted he should not have expressed his personal view that homosexuality is immoral.His admission came after his boss, Defence Secretary Robert Gates, and leading Republican and Democratic politicians condemned his remarks.Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Chicago Tribune on Monday that homosexual acts are immoral.

  • Gay war hero calls on homophobic general to apologise 3

    The Williams Project at the University of California, Los Angeles has estimated there are one million gay American military veterans.

    5:17 PM — General Peter Pace has come under heavy fire from gay advocacy groups and the first serviceman wounded in Iraq, after he made homophobic remarks in a newspaper interview.Eric Alva, the first soldier to be wounded in the current Iraq conflict, who came out as gay last month, slammed the General's comments."Certain leaders' bigotry should not be a rational basis for discrimination," he said.

  • Clergyman refuses to marry straight couples

    The Americans had caused tension with traditional churches by performing the blessings.

    5:09 PM — An American Episcopal clergyman has announced that he will not perform marriage ceremonies as a protest against the church's bar on gay unions.A conference of Anglican primates from around the world last month urged the American communion, known as Episcopalians, to desist from appointing openly gay bishops and blessing gay partnerships.The Americans had caused tension with traditional churches by performing the blessings.

  • Pope instructs politicians to vote against gay marriage 6

    The Pontiff's comments come as Italy's government tries to find a compromise on gay partnership rights.

    1:33 PM — The leader of the Roman Catholic church has said that politicians have a moral duty to vote against gay marriage or partnership legislation.In a 140-page document covering a range of moral issues, Pope Benedict has reiterated his hard-line attitude towards gay people.The Apostolic Exhortation, published today, calls on all Catholics to uphold what the Pontiff refers to as fundamental values.

  • Comment: Are we too quick to scream homophobia? 2

    For Coulter, the reaction to her 'homophobic' remark was particularly shocking.

    12:48 PM — Ben Leung, himself a member of an ethnic minority, considers the seriousness of last week's racist and homophobic outbursts from prominent right-wingers in Britain and the US. I've been contributing to this website for a few months now, and have always tried to remain as politically neutral as possible.However, events in the last week on both sides of the Atlantic have made me wonder.

  • General in favour of gay military ban 3

    Marine General Peter Pace described homosexual acts as “immoral.“

    11:40 AM — One of America's most senior army generals has come out in support of a total ban on gay men and women serving in the military.Marine General Peter Pace described homosexual acts as "immoral" in the Chicago Tribune newspaper, likening them to adultery.Gen Pace is the chairman of the US military Joint Chiefs of Staff. He said that he backed the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

  • 12th March 2007

    Latvian conservatives begin Pride backlash 2

    Last month London Pride announced they would be “twinning“ with Riga Pride as a sign of solidarity. photo: robertpaulyoung@flickr

    3:26 PM — Christian groups in Latvia have welcomed fundamentalist US preachers and to the country and talked tactics about opposing gay rights.A meeting organised by Janis Vanags, Archbishop of the LatvianEvangelical Lutheran Church, was attended by Janis Pujats, the Latvian Roman Catholic Cardinal, and representatives of the Orthodox, Penecostals and other Christian sects.

  • US state moves to allow gay adoptions

    Jim Pfaff, president of Colorado Family Action, promised traditional-family advocates will try to fight the new legislation  on the House floor.

    2:53 PM — A Colorado bill granting adoption rights to same-sex couples and unmarried partners was pushed forward in a State House committee last week without a single witness testifying against it.Republican legislatures in 2003 and 2004 killed similar bills, but with Democrats in charge, the bill is headed toward passage.It was placed on the calendar of the House Health and Human Services Committee on last Thursday and passed by an 8-3 vote.

  • Gay rights activists rally in Rome 4

    Pope Benedict XVI said in a Vatican speech that the family “shows signs of ceding to lobbies capable of negatively eroding the legislative process. “

    2:46 PM — Thousands of Italians marched on Rome on Saturday to demand legal rights for unmarried same sex couples.50,000 activists, including leftists from Prime Minister Romano Prodi's coalition, took to a Roman piazza and rallied in support for a bill that would offer greater legal protection to unmarried couples.Some demonstrators wore bishop's mitres with slogans that attacked the Vatican.

  • Christian teen group hold San Francisco rally

    The event is a way for young Christians to protest against destructive aspects of culture. photo: battlecry.com

    2:40 PM — Thousands of teenagers from a Christian ministry gathered in San Francisco at the weekend to rally against homosexuality and other moral corruptions they think affect their generation.More than 20,000 teenagers converged on the city 's ATT baseball park to participate in "BattleCry," a two-day extravaganza featuring Christian rock and religious inspiration and worship.

  • Charity demand HIV legal loophole be closed

    The new campaign is one of a number of initiatives being carried as part of the Ensuring Positive Futures partnership

    12:02 PM — Terrence Higgins Trust has launched a new campaign to reduce discrimination against people who are perceived to have HIV - often partners, friends or family of those diagnosed with the condition.The current Disability Discrimination Act covers people who are diagnosed with the virus but doesn't protect those who experience discrimination based on the belief or perception by others that they are likely to have HIV.

  • Catholics protest gay rights from the pulpit 5

    The church hierarchy have so far not made clear if they will close their adoption services by 2009.

    10:39 AM — In a clear indication that the Catholic church's fight over the Sexual Orientation Regulations is far from over, the Archbishop of Birmingham has urged his flock to write protest letters to the government.A letter was read out at all churches in the diocese at Mass yesterday, telling Roman Catholics to write to their MPs about the regulations, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services.

  • 9th March 2007

    Gains for anti-gay party in Northern Ireland elections 1

    The only truly non-sectarian party, the Alliance,  has so far gained three seats.

    5:19 PM — The results of the elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly show big gains for Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party.The DUP tried to overturn the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services.The regulations came into force in the province in January.

  • Gays to march for their rights in Rome

    Famous figures such as Nobel literature prize winner Dario Fo, and his actress wife and senator Franca Rame plan to attend the demonstration.

    3:35 PM — Up to 50,000 Italian gay activists will campaign this weekend in Rome in support for same-sex unions.The campaigners will gather in the Piazza Farnese to voice their enthusiasm for the Dico Bill, which will grant gay and lesbian couples the right to make their relationships official, as well as to mutual assistance and inheritance.The bill is strongly opposed by the Catholic and right wing parties.

  • Republican activist defends porn career 1

    “I don't like porn, it reduces the mind, flattens the soul,“ Sanchez wrote on his blog and on Salon.com.

    3:26 PM — An ex gay porn performer seems to have repented his wicked ways - with a vengeance.Marine Corporal Matt Sanchez, formerly known as 'Rod Majors' and 'Pierre LaBranche,' has expressed conservative views about his eventful past."I don't like porn, it reduces the mind, flattens the soul," Sanchez wrote on his blog and on Salon.com.

  • Quebec DJ sacked for “club of fags” comment

    The Parti Quebecois advocate independence from Canada and the formation of their own French-speaking state in Quebec. photo: CKRS

    1:35 PM — A Canadian shock jock has been pulled from the airwaves for making homophobic comments about the Parti Quebecois and its local candidates during an election campaign.Saguenay radio host Louis Champagne fell foul of the authorities at popular radio station CKRS when he described the Parti Quebecois as a "club of fags."Champagne also said that local factory workers would not vote for gay candidates.

  • Malta delays transsexual’s wedding

    Malta is one of the most socially conservative countries in the EU.

    10:56 AM — The Maltese Director of Public Registry is continuing to resist the release of marriage banns for a transsexual woman and her male partner.Mr Justice Gino Camilleri ordered the director, Anthony Geraldi, to issue the banns on 12th February, on the grounds that the union between the transsexual and her partner did not conflict with any part of the Marriage Act, as she has now become a woman.

  • 8th March 2007

    Rapper’s documentary prompts MPs on bullying 1

    The rapper said he was delighted that the programme had been noticed in Parliament.

    5:58 PM — The Channel 4 Schools documentary Coming Out To Class has generated interest at Westminster.The programme, presented by gay rapper QBoy, talked to young people who had come out of the closet while still at school.Lib Dem education spokesman Stephen Williams was inspired to table an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons after the documentary.

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