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Current Affairs

  • 12th January 2007

    Pressure on Ruth Kelly over gay rights law 4

    The SOR were meant to come into force in England and Wales on January 1st, but Communities Secretary Kelly delayed them.

    11:48 AM — The defeat of a motion in the House of Lords to rescind the Sexual Orientation Regulations in Northern Ireland has been welcomed by gay activists.The debate has also added to the pressure on Ruth Kelly to ensure that the same regulations are introduced to England and Wales.The SOR were meant to come into force in England and Wales on January 1st, but Communities Secretary Kelly delayed them.

  • COMMENT:Tatchell on the rise of US-style Christian activists 2

    Much of the success of the religious right in the US has been based on scaremongering tactics,

    10:57 AM — Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell argues that Tuesday's victory for gay rights was also a setback for the zealous, authoritarian tactics of US-style Christian fundamentalism. The religious right was trounced this week. An attempt to neuter new laws protecting gay people against discrimination was defeated, 199 votes to 68.This stunning three to one victory happened in the House of Lords - the traditional stomping ground of religious, conservative and homophobic parliamentarians.

  • Mexicans OK gay weddings 3

    Mexico has a thriving gay scene in urban areas and the area around Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta is referred to as Mexico's “gay belt.“

    10:23 AM — The northern Mexican state of Coahuila became the first in the country to approve gay unions yesterday. Mexico City passed similar legislation in November.The Insititutional Revolutionary Party were responsible for bringing the bill before the legislature, where it passed by 20 votes to 13.The state's governor, also a member of the PRI, is expected to sign the bill into law.

  • Gay-friendly Brighton Council “not complacent” 3

    The leader of Brighton and Hove Council Simon Burgess said receiving the Stonewall award is a “great honour“.

    10:23 AM — The leader of the council in Brighton and Hove has welcomed the council's status as one of the most gay-friendly employers in the UK - but has revealed that the organisation is far from complacent.Council leader Simon Burgess's comments come after gay rights group Stonewall named Brighton Hove City Council the seventh most friendly employer to the gay community.

  • Survey finds 5% of gay men face discrimination

    The government puts the population of lesbian and gay people in the country at 3 million.

    10:03 AM — In the last year 5% of gay men and 4% of lesbians have been refused goods or services because of their sexuality.The findings come in the week the House of Lords rejected an attempt by Christian activists to rescind the Sexual Orientation Regulations that came into force in Northern Ireland on January 1st.

  • 11th January 2007

    £9,000 gay chatline bill run up by thief 1

    Police managed to trace Thomas via a call he made to a family member.

    3:23 PM — An unlucky Liverpool businesswomen has been told by a judge that she is still liable for £9,000 worth of calls to gay chatlines made on her mobile phone.The Liverpool Echo reports the unusual case of Mrs Anne Jeffrey, who runs a successful ironing business.The business had several mobile phones on contract from Genesis Communications, one of which Mrs Jeffrey lent to her son.

  • “Gay JFK” to be honoured with bust 3

    “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.“ Harvey Milk (R) with friend Jerry Pritikin in 1978.

    12:14 PM — Harvey Milk, the first out gay male politician in American history, is to be honoured with a bust in San Francisco City Hall.Milk, known during his lifetime as "The Mayor of Castro Street," is regarded as a political icon amongst gay activists for his ability to build the LGBT community into a grassroots political force.

  • Leicester bar attacked in hate crime

    The Amber opened last year, and for the last three months has been a focus for vandals, and replacing smashed windows has cost £6,000.

    11:29 AM — Police in Leicester are treating a series of attacks on a bar popular with gay people as hate crimes.The Leicester Mercury reports that a gang of young men armed with hammers and baseball bats smashed windows and verbally abused customers at the Amber bar in Northampton Street last Friday night.The bar is popular with gay and lesbian people.

  • Suspect arrested in trans murder case 1

    The Washington Metropolitan Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Unit said that Person was a male-to-female transsexual.

    10:48 AM — A 43-year-old man has been charged with murder after police in Washington DC found the body of a transsexual woman in an apartment in the city.The victim has been identified as Grafton Lee Person, 42.Police arrested the suspect, Preston Logan, after he was caught shoplifting at a 7-Eleven at 8:30am last Saturday.

  • Lesbian loses rape charity tribunal

    At the tribunal in Glasgow, the chairman, Roderick MacKenzie, found that Ms Phillips had not been victimised or dismissed from her job because of her sexuality.

    10:35 AM — A 40-year-old Glasgow woman has lost an employment tribunal against Scottish Rape Crisis Network.Claire Phillips had claimed that she was fired after complaining that she had been outed as a lesbian by a fellow employee.She did not want her colleagues to know she is gay, she told the tribunal.

  • Orkney composer cancels ceremony plans 5

    The Sanday registrar, a friend of Sir Peter, Charlie Ridley, has resigned his post in protest at being told he could not perform the civil partnership ceremony.

    10:05 AM — Composer Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies has decided to shelve plans to marry his partner on the Orkney Islands.Sir Peter, the Master of the Queen's Music, was at the centre of a media storm earlier in the week when he accused council officials on the islands of homophobia.Orkney Island Council had told Sir Peter, 72, that the registrar on the island of Sanday, where the composer lives, is not legally able to carry out civil partnerships ceremonies.

  • 10th January 2007

    COMMENT: A gay old time in their Lordships’ House

    Lord Tebbit rejected the comparison between discrimination against an ethnic minority and discrimination on the grounds of sexuality

    5:52 PM — Call him a freak if you want, but PinkNews.co.uk's Tony Grew actually enjoys Parliamentary debates. He sits at home and watches BBC Parliament as if it were Celebrity Big Brother.Last night's House of Lords debate on the Sexual Orientation Regulations was like a double eviction for Tony, and for the elucidation of PinkNews.co.uk's busy readers, he gives us the best, and worst, bits. 

  • Gay groups welcome Lords decision 15

    The House of Lords debate coincided with a protest of around 1,000 evangelical Christians and Muslims.

    3:04 PM — Gay and lesbian groups have welcomed the vote in the House of Lords last night which confirmed the introduction of the Sexual Orientation Regulations in Northern Ireland.The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association expressed their pleasure that a campaign of campaign of "distortion and exaggeration" had been defeated.

  • COMMENT: Eye-witness report from last night’s protest 15

    Outside the House of Lords, where I found myself tonight, there were “hundreds of people“ (I would say about 2000) demonstrating in support of the motion.

    2:23 PM — It was not just protesters out in Parliament Square last night. Blogger Nicolas Chinardet went along to meet the enemy, and was surprised to find some of them confused about the actual nature of the Sexual Orientation Regulations. Here is his account of events outside the House of Lords. I am still a little cold almost an hour after I got home. But looking back it was all worth it.

  • Rebel Labour MPs attempt to weaken gay hate law 100

    Gay equality organisation Stonewall welcomed last night's vote on the new offence of homophobic incitement.

    1:58 PM — Twelve Labour MPs defied the government last night to vote in favour of an amendment to the proposed offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.The amendment sought to allow "discussion of, criticism of, or expression of antipathy towards conduct relating to a particular sexual orientation, or urging persons of a particular sexual orientation to refrain from or modify conduct according to that orientation."It was defeated by 338 to 169. Five Tory MPs voted against the amendment.

  • 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.

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