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Current Affairs

  • 28th August 2007

    Venice offers home to Iranian lesbian facing deportation 12

    Ms Emambakhsh was finally arrested in Sheffield earlier this month and taken to Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire.

    10:41 AM — The city of Venice has supported the decision of the Italian government to offer asylum to a lesbian due to be deported back to Iran today.Pegah Emambakhsh is currently being detained by British officials. Her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran may lead to her being executed.Even if she is not sentenced to death, she is likely to be prosecuted and tortured by Iran's religious officials.

  • AIDS fundraiser claims he was sacked for not being gay

    Shapiro's suit against the two organisations alleges sexual orientation discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    10:35 AM — In a major twist to a discrimination case, former executive director of AIDS/LifeCycle charity filed suit in a Los Angeles courthouse against two nonprofit organisations alleging that he was fired from his position because he was not gay.The L.A. Gay Lesbian Centre and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation are both implicated in the alleged discrimination case.Jeffrey Shapiro was hired earlier this year to help organise the 2007 AIDS/Lifecycle event.

  • 27th August 2007

    Vermont takes first steps toward marriage equality

    The legislature may soon call for gay marriage

    6:15 PM — The Vermont, United States, Legislature may soon take up the issue of 'gay marriage', if the formation of a recent commission is any indication.According to Associated Press reports, the ten-member commission was formed to decide whether the state should consider allowing same-sex couples to marry (civil unions were legalized in 2000).

  • 26th August 2007

    Hungarian homophobic party launches paramilitary wing 3

    The induction ceremony of the Hungarian Guard (source: Jobbik.com)

    11:01 AM — The far-right Hungarian political party, Jobbik, known for their anti-Semitic, anti-Roma and homophobic rhetoric inducted the first members of its paramilitary wing outside the country's Presidential palace in Budapest yesterday.The founding members of Magyar Garda, or the Hungarian Guard, took oaths of allegance in front of over a thousand supporters of the Jobbik party waving red and white striped Arpad flags, similar to those used by the country's pro-Nazi Arrow Cross regime during the Second World War.

  • 24th August 2007

    Ugandan leader asked to end gay harassment 5

    In 2005 Uganda became the first country in the world to introduce laws banning same-sex marriage.

    3:23 PM — Human Rights Watch has written to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni asking his government to repeal its sodomy laws and end a long record of harassing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.Last week the country's deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindi called for the criminal law to be used against lesbians and gays in Uganda."I call upon the relevant agencies to take appropriate action because homosexuality is an offence under the laws of Uganda," he said.

  • Italy ready to grant asylum to Iranian lesbian 12

    The 40-year-old Iranian sought asylum in the UK in 2005.

    12:50 PM — A spokesperson for Italian government has confirmed that they will grant ayslum to a lesbian woman due to be deported from the UK to Iran.Pegah Emambakhsh is currently being detained by British officials and she is scheduled for repatriation on Tuesday.Her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran may lead to her being executed.

  • US tax authorities in court over trans rebate 3

    The IRS contend that such surgery is not “essential“ and therefore cannot be claimed against.

    12:28 PM — Lawyers for a woman who is claiming that her gender reassignment surgery should be written off for tax purposes as a legitimate medical expense have questioned the credibility of a government witness.The US Internal Revenue Service contend that such surgery is not "essential" and therefore cannot be tax-free.Rhiannon O'Donnabhain, a 63-year-old former sailor, is having her case heard in Boston.

  • Australian politician apologises for ‘poofter’ comment 1

    Mr Foley, a member of the Labour party, is also Deputy Premier of South Australia.

    11:51 AM — South Australia's Treasurer, Kevin Foley, has been forced onto the back foot by attacks from the gay community over his use of derogatory language in a documentary.In the film, made by documentary maker Bob Ellis, he asks a member of staff, "Is that one of your poofter beers? F**king hell."Gay activists leapt on the comment as dangerous and inflammatory.Ghassan Kassisieh of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby said: "It's not appropriate for someone in a position of leadership to be setting a tone for public debate that uses derogatory language."

  • Analysis: US gay men and the fight for same-sex marriage 6

    27 American states have added a 'defence of marriage' amendment to their constitution.

    11:34 AM — The proportion of American gay men calling for the right to marry their partners in a church is as low as 36 per cent, Community Marketing Inc.'s Gay Consumer Index has revealed.The study, which interviewed 12,044 gay men across America, claims to be the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. Survey participants were solicited through over 75 widely distributed internet and print publications.When asked if political leaders should "continue the fight for gay and lesbian marriage equality" only 36 per cent believed it should be a priority.

  • 23rd August 2007

    Polish activists create election list of homophobic politicians 1

    Poland could end up being ruled by another coalition or a minority government.

    6:30 PM — LGBT activists in Poland are compiling a list of politicians who have been hostile to gay rights ahead of a general election later this year.The website gaylife.pl is putting together the list, which includes MPs from all sides of the political spectrum."There's a parliamentary election coming. We want to enable the gay community to make a conscious choice and this is the reason for creating a list with the names of the people who have hindered us from achieving our goals," Marek Ryszard, of gaylife.pl told thenews.pl website.

  • Congress frustrates Foley scandal investigation

    Foley allegedly sent some 'overly-friendly' e-mails in August 2005 to a former page who was 16 years old at the time.

    3:54 PM — Police in Florida have revealed they are being prevented from fully investigating the sexually-explicit internet communications between a former Congressman and male teenage House pages.Republican Mark Foley represented the state's sixteenth district in the House of Representatives for 11 years and was chairman of the House caucus on missing and exploited children.He resigned in September 2006 after ABC News reported he sent messages to current and former underage pages with references to sexual acts and genitalia.

  • Gay rights decision rests with Australian PM

    Despite hopes that those inequalities may be addressed by the Howard government, gay marriage is still off the agenda.

    3:25 PM — After a heated meeting of the Cabinet on Monday, the final decision about whether gay and lesbian couples in Australia will be given equal rights will be made by Prime Minister John Howard.His senior government colleagues are split on the issue. Some feel it is not a priority for the government ahead of elections later this year and are concerned about the cost of reforms.Other Cabinet members, especially those with sizable gay communities in their constituencies, argue that equal provision in areas such as Medicare and pensions must be in place before going to the polls.

  • San Diego set to erect statue of ‘intolerant’ mayor 6

    The worst of the American spirit?

    2:29 PM — Gay groups and Latinos are uniting to fight plans for a statue of former mayor Pete Wilson to be erected in San Diego's downtown Horton Square.The former mayor, who is credited with revitalising the downtown area in the 1970's, is despised by immigrant groups for his attempts to deny illegal immigrants health and education benefits and by the gay community for his regressive views on sexuality."During Mayor Wilson's administration, it was like the dark ages for us," said gay activist Nicole Murray-Ramirez.

  • Persecution claims fail to halt deportation

    Mr Zuniga is slated for deportation to Mexico City.

    1:46 PM — The Canadian Border Services Agency has refused to back down in the face of claims its deportation of a young Mexican man will condemn him to persecution and violence.Leonardo Zuniga, 25, arrived in Canada in 2004, filing an unsuccessful refugee claim that was appealed.Since then he has been a model citizen, volunteering with various Toronto social agencies and picking up an award for photography and queer activism.

  • Florida mayor uses HIV to attack Florida gays 2

    Mayor Naugle faces opposition from medical experts and scientists.

    1:17 PM — Fort Lauderdale mayor James Naugle caused outrage among Florida's gay community yesterday after he called a news conference announcing a drive against promiscuous gay sex.Framing the move as a public health initiative designed to cut down on HIV transmission, the conference nevertheless included prominent religious activists, including radio DJ Janet Folger of Faith2Action and Gary Cass, president of the Christian Anti-Defamation League."I think Broward County is forever changed from this exercise," Mr Naugle said.

  • Violence against Dutch gays on the increase 5

    Labour and the Christian Democrats are calling for tougher punishments for anti-gay violence

    1:17 PM — Over half of Dutch gays feel less safe than they did a year ago, a new survey carried out by current affairs programme EenVandaag has revealed.Sixty-four per cent of anti-gay incidents were verbal but 12 per cent resulted in physical abuse.Amsterdam's image in the Netherlands as the 'gay capital of the world' is also under threat as the survey revealed gays there were more fearful than in other parts of country.

  • Homophobic Christian thinks gays are all white 13

    Mr Green was arrested last year for handing out leaflets at Cardiff Mardi Gras which included quotes saying homosexuality is wrong.

    11:45 AM — Stephen Green, an activist with extremist group Christian Voice, has questioned the presence of racist group the National Front at Pride events, on the basis that "homosexuals are not black or Asian as a rule."The controversial preacher made his observation as part of his report on the group's website about his protest at this year's Brighton Pride celebrations.He also complains that the NF are "copying" his idea of protesting at gay events.

  • Russian gay activist defiant over outing politician 2

    Mr Alexeyev claimed that Mr Chuev's gay relationships were well-known in the 1990s before he became a politician.

    11:20 AM — Nicolas Alexeyev, one of the main organisers of Moscow Pride, was interrogated by police yesterday over an incident on live TV where he outed a leading Russian politician.He referred to Article 51 of the Russian Constitution, which allows citizens not to give evidence against themselves, but also said he can produce proof that MP Alexander Chuev is homosexual.Mr Alexeyev also revealed yesterday that gay activists will picket the offices of Mr Chuev's political party, Fair Russia, next month, under the slogan "I also know that Chuev is gay."

  • 22nd August 2007

    Legal challenge to pink prison uniforms

    In some jails in the state, prisoners who break the sex act rule are placed in an area where women prison staff do not work.

    3:15 PM — The American state of South Carolina's prisons director has defended a two-year-old policy of making detainees who perform sex acts in front of prison officers wear pink.An inmate has brought a lawsuit, claiming the colour pink puts prisoners in danger.The punishment is designed to protect female prison staff from sexual behaviour.

  • Boris Johnson hits back at his critics 16

    Mr Johnson today told PinkNews.co.uk: “This is a measure of the desperation of Ken and his cronies.“

    2:30 PM — Henley MP Boris Johnson, one of four contenders for the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London, has responded to a document from a left-leaning organisation listing his previous comments on race, homosexuality and other issues.In the 17-page document, entitled Boris Johnson: A Member of the Tory Right, Compass called the well-known politician "a type of Norman Tebbit in clown's uniform"They also said he is "by far the most right wing candidate ever to be presented by a major party for Mayor of London."

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