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Current Affairs

  • 23rd February 2007

    Baptist churches face child sexual abuse condemnation 2

    In the past six months SNAP has received reports of about 40 cases of sexual abuse by Southern Baptist ministers.

    1:09 PM — America's largest Protestant denomination has come under fire over alleged child sexual abuse committed by its clergy.A victims' advocates group, Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), called on Monday for a zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist church.Southern Baptist leaders have argued that it is impossible to investigate molestation claims across the denomination.

  • Anglican church could “divorce” admits Williams 4

    His comments follow a five-day crisis meeting in Tanzania last week, where Anglican leaders met to discuss gay rights within the church.

    10:57 AM — The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the Anglican Church may split over the acceptance of gay priests.Last night, Dr. Rowan Williams revealed that the liberal and conservative branches of the church may not be able to reach agreement over gay and lesbian Christians.The disagreement could lead to the fragmentation of the Anglican communion.

  • Majority in favour of a gay President 5

    Only 88% said they would vote for a woman President.

    10:28 AM — An opinion poll in the United States has found that 55% of Americans would vote for a gay person running for President.However, less than half would consider voting for someone who did not believe in God.The poll, conducted by Gallup, aimed to find out the voting prejudices of Americans ahead of the 2008 election.

  • 22nd February 2007

    University’s first ever chair in gay law

    The chair will be endowed through the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law  Public Policy. photo: losiek@flickr.com

    4:56 PM — Two philanthropists in America have donated over $1m to UCLA to establish an academic chair dedicated to sexual orientation law and public policy.The chair, at the prestigious university's law school, is thought to be the first of its kind in the world.John McDonald and Rob Wright donated the money to endow the position. The pair have an impressive track record of support for numerous LGBT and HIV organisations.

  • Ireland delays gay partnership bill 3

    Mr McDowell promised that the government would be bringing forward legislation to protect the rights of all unmarried couples, gay or straight.

    3:45 PM — Legislation to legalise same sex unions in the Republic of Ireland was defeated in the country's parliament yesterday.The Irish government said that the bill proposed by the Labour party would not comply with the constitution, but said that they would introduce their own legislation later this year.Justice Minister Michael McDowell told Irish MPs that the state is constitutionally required to uphold the institution of marriage.

  • US employment law protects gay kids at school

    The Toms River school board are now waiting to see if they will be held liable for the abuse suffered by Louis White, who is now 21.

    12:43 PM — A state Supreme Court in the United States has ruled that laws protecting LGB adults from discrimination at work can be applied to schoolchildren.The New Jersey court was ruling on a case brought in 1999 by a gay teenager who suffered persistent abuse and harassment at school because of his sexual orientation.They ruled that the school must take reasonable steps to stop harassment under the terms of the state's anti-discrimination law.

  • Catholics join in gay court protest

    The Sexual Orientation Regulations were introduced in Northern Ireland in January.

    12:28 PM — The bishops of the Roman Catholic church in Ireland have joined with Protestant churches in supporting a court challenge to discrimination legislation.The Sexual Orientation Regulations were introduced in Northern Ireland in January, despite the objections of the main political party in the province, the DUP.Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain used his powers to impose the legislation on Northern Ireland.

  • Former minister to challenge Gordon Brown 57

    Mr Meacher, an MP since 1970, was a shadow cabinet member and prominent Labour figure during the party's wilderness years.

    12:01 PM — Michael Meacher has announced that he will run for leader of the Labour party when Tony Blair stands down.Mr Meacher, the MP for Oldham West and Royton, was a minister from 1997 to 2003, and is from the left of the party.He has consistently voted for gay rights legislation. Mr Meacher has been a vocal dissenter over the government's determination to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system.

  • Gay rights law threatened as Italian PM quits

    As well as concern over troops serving in Afghanistan, Senators opposed the expansion of a US military base in Vicenza.

    11:27 AM — Italy is without a leader after Romano Prodi resigned yesterday. He quit after left-wing members of his nine-party coalition voted against the government's foreign policy.Mr Prodi's decision leaves proposed new laws granting gay couples legal protection unresolved.The coalition lost a Senate motion backing the continued deployment of troops by two votes.

  • Vatican attack Tony Blair over adoption

    The church-run adoption agencies have until the end of 2008 to comply with the regulations.

    10:45 AM — A senior Roman Catholic official has criticised the Prime Minister's decision not to allow church-run adoption agencies to opt-out of gay rights legislation.The proposed exemption caused a Cabinet row when it was first proposed.Under pressure from his own MPs, Mr Blair finally conceded that Roman Catholic adoption services would be covered by the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

  • 21st February 2007

    French court blocks lesbian adoption

    The French will go to the polls to elect their next President on 22nd April. photo: lanceerin@flickr.com

    5:32 PM — An attempt by a French mother to allow her lesbian partner to adopt her child has failed.The Appeals Court in Paris ruled yesterday that the only way the mother could legally allow her partner to adopt the child would be to renounce her own parental rights.If the lesbian couple were allowed to marry, then they could share parental responsibility.

  • Mayor supports Euro gay bullying campaign

    Last year Mr Livingstone joined Stonewall to launch a free DVD,  Spell It Out,  for distribution to teachers in all London's secondary schools.

    4:16 PM — The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has given his backing to the European Parliament's call for action on homophobic bullying.Research by gay rights group ILGA Europe and their youth wing last year examined social exclusion among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) kids in Europe.They spoke to over 750 young LGBT people from 37 countries and found that over half (53%) had experienced bullying in school.

  • Polish president’s homophobia outrages the Irish 17

    Kaczynski has a history of homophobia.

    12:14 PM — Remarks about homosexuality during a state visit to Ireland have caused more trouble for the controversial President of Poland.Speaking to an audience at Dublin Castle on the final day of his three day visit, Lech Kaczynski said that the promotion of homosexuality would lead to the eventual destruction of the human race.

  • Scottish Parliament hosts equality review

    LGBT Youth Scotland are to attend the conference this Friday at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

    11:19 AM — The chairman of the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) is to speak at a conference on equality in Scotland.Trevor Philips, who is currently head of the Commission for Racial Equality, will address the gathering of more than 80 different age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation groups.LGBT Youth Scotland are to attend the conference this Friday at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

  • American lesbians marry across the border

    Currently Massachusetts is the only US state to marry same-sex couples but civil unions are legal in Vermont and Connecticut.

    10:57 AM — A couple from Texas have become the first non-Mexicans to take advantage of a new law that recognises same-sex couples.Maria Carreon Lara, 39, and Amparo Maldonado, 24, of Midland, Texas, travelled to the Mexican state of Coahuila, currenly the only state in the country to have passed such a law.Mexico City will also recognise gay unions from next month.

  • Air Force rape trial exposes Don’t Ask Don’t Tell 5

    Capt. Taylor claims all the men had consensual sex with him.

    10:19 AM — A captain in the US Air Force charged with drugging and raping four men says they are lying to avoid being exposed as gay.Capt. Devery L. Taylor, who works as a hospital administrator, faces life in prison if a court-martial finds him guilty of the charges of forcible sodomy, kidnapping and attempted sodomy.The case has exposed the precarious position gay, lesbian and bisexual service personnel in the US armed forces are put in by the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.

  • Gay MP backs Out At Work campaign 1

    Ms Eagle has been a strong opponent to any exemptions or changes in the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

    10:00 AM — Angela Eagle, the only openly lesbian member of parliament, has joined with trade union leaders to call for action on LGBT people's rights at work.Unionlearn and TUC Education launched Out At Work, a new workbook which makes legal rights within the workplace clear, yesterday.It is designed to promote equality and inclusion among the UK's workforce.

  • 20th February 2007

    Hundreds of couples register in NJ

    Campaigners for gay marriage intend to sue, claiming that a civil union will not afford the same rights as marriage.

    5:48 PM — Yesterday in New Jersey hundreds of gay couples were given the same rights as married straight couples, and hundreds have joined in civil unions in the first 24 hours.Civil unions offer the same legal advantages as marriage, but not the title, and were given automatically to any same-sex couple who had already been married or joined in civil unions elsewhere.Couples who had not been joined previously could apply for the licence.

  • Irish parliament to debate civil unions 3

    The Dáil will vote tomorrow night on whether the legislation can move forward to the second stage.

    4:47 PM — Pro-gay politicians in Ireland have said they are hopeful that new legislation granting gay and lesbian couples the right to a civil marriage will gain the approval of MPs.The opposition Labour party are introducing a bill into the country's parliament, the Dáil, tonight.The party's justice spokesman, Brendan Howlin, has revealed that government MPs have been positive about the legislation.

  • US considered weapon to turn enemy gay 3

    A recruitment crisis has forced the Army and others to lower their standards.

    4:14 PM — A spokesperson for the US Department of Defence has confirmed a report that Air Force officials proposed developing a gay conversion chemical weapon in 1994.The proposal, part of a plan from Wright Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was to develop "chemicals that effect (sic) human behaviour so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely effected (sic).

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