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Current Affairs

  • 5th March 2007

    Spain grants new identity rights to transsexuals

    The legislation follows the approval of same-sex marriages by the Socialist government in 2005.

    5:44 PM — The Spanish government has passed legislation allowing transsexuals to officially change their name and gender without needing to undergo gender reassignment surgery first.Despite opposition from the conservative Popular Party, the law progressed through the country's lower legislative chamber last week.The new legislation asks transsexuals to obtain and present an official medical diagnosis outlining a clinically proven case of gender dysfunction.

  • Met investigate assault on Moscow pride activist

    The Moscow mayor is facing a lawsuit from Mr Alexeyev, after he called gay people “satanic.“

    3:32 PM — The Metropolitan police have confirmed that they are investigating an alleged assault at London's City Hall on Nicolas Alexeyev, the organiser of Moscow Pride.Last Wednesday, the mayors of London, Paris, Berlin and Moscow held their annual meeting.Yuri Luzhkov, the Moscow mayor, was asked several questions at a press conference about his decision to ban Moscow Pride last year.

  • City manager sacked over gender reassignment

    Stanton, 48, confirmed last week that he is a transsexual.

    2:32 PM — A Florida city commission voted to fire its city manager just days after he confirmed his plans to return to work after undergoing gender reassignment surgery.The Associated Press reports that the commission voted 5-2 to fire City Manager Steve Stanton at a meeting attended by more than 400 citizens on Feb. 23.Stanton, 48, confirmed last week that he is a transsexual.

  • War hero comes out then speaks out

    Sgt. Alva's intervention comes at a time when Americans are revisiting the policy of banning openly gay people from the military. photo: human rights campaign

    1:16 PM — The first American soldier to be wounded in the current Iraq conflict gained a sensational amount of publicity, including a visit from the President and Mrs Bush.Now Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva is in the news again.He has come out as a gay man, and urged Congress to change military policy towards gay personnel.

  • San Francisco Mayor vilified for “porn day”

    Newsom honoured the 40th anniversary of Colt studios by designating last Friday as “Colt Studio Day.“

    12:57 PM — The Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, has been mocked after commemorating a studio that produces gay pornography.Newsom honoured the 40th anniversary of Colt studios by designating last Friday as "Colt Studio Day."The 39-year-old mayor gained international attention in 2004 when he instructed city officials to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

  • Lesbian wins tribunal case against Next 3

    Next had 14 months to deal with the complaint but failed to do so, which the tribunal ruled was unfair dismissal.

    11:32 AM — An employment tribunal has ruled that the retailer Next's failure to deal with a complaint of homophobic harassment amounted to unfair dismissal.A lesbian woman won her case after persistent taunting and abuse at the hands of co-workers led her to quit her job.Marlene Bielak, 34, told the tribunal that married couple Katrina and Neil Davies made no secret of their disgust for her gay lifestyle.

  • Commentator causes a commotion with the F word 2

    Republican candidates for President lined up to condemn Ms Coulter for lowering the tone of political debate. photo: www.anncoulter.com

    11:02 AM — Right-wing polemicist Ann Coulter, who once called Arabs towel heads, has outraged American political class by calling a Presidential candidate a faggot.Speaking at the influential Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Friday, the publicity-seeking Ms Coulter said:"I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. But it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot.'"

  • Ruth Kelly adviser resigns over gay rights

    Ms Kelly has been a controversial choice as minister for equality.

    10:33 AM — A senior aide to the Communities Secretary quit her job after clashes over the new Sexual Orientation Regulations, it has been reported.Rachel O'Brien left her £50,000 a year post last week. The Mail on Sunday reports that she fell out with Ruth Kelly over gay rights.The paper also reported that Ms Kelly refused to attend last year's Euro Pride march in London.

  • 2nd March 2007

    Transsexual gets insurance hike after operation

    She was shocked to discover that, as a woman, her annual premium was more expensive. photo: powerbooktrance@flickr.com

    1:34 PM — A Swedish woman is outraged that her car insurance costs shot up following her gender-reassignment surgery.Carina Bladh from Link√∂ping, central Sweden, became a woman at the end of last year, and at the same time bought a new Audi A6.She was shocked to discover that, as a woman, her annual premium was 1,200 kronor (over £87) more expensive.

  • Soho bomber to stay in prison for 50 years 1

    When he was captured, his lawyers tried to claim he was mentally ill and he was tried on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

    12:38 PM — A High Court judge has ruled that the Soho nail bomber should not be considered for release for fifty years.David Copeland, now 30, terrorised London's minority communities for thirteen days in the spring of 1999.Bombs in Brixton and Brick Lane caused serious injuries. The nail bomb he planted in gay pub the Admiral Duncan, in London's Old Compton Street, killed three people and injured eighty.

  • Bucks Fizz Tory says sorry for gay comments 29

    Mr Van Day denied that he had come under pressure from the Conservative party to apologise.

    11:53 AM — A Tory candidate whose comments about a gay men's choir offended some voters has apologised.David Van Day, a former member of Eurovision-winning group Bucks Fizz, is standing as a Conservative candidate for the East Brighton ward.At a Valentine's Day charity fundraising dinner in Brighton Pavilion, Mr Van Day gave a speech after a performance by The Brighton and Hove Actually Gay Men's Chorus.

  • Magistrate not allowed to refuse gay adoption cases

    The Lawyers' Christian Fellowship claimed the tribunal was putting gay rights above children's rights.

    11:53 AM — A Christian who claimed that he should be allowed to pick and choose which adoption cases he would hear as a magistrate has failed to win an employment tribunal.62-year-old Andrew McClintock brought his legal action against the Lord Chancellor, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions."Gay couples have human rights too," the tribunal said, according to the Daily Mail. 

  • US airman given 50 years for rapes 1

    Taylor had claimed that he was worried that he was being targeted by military investigators because of his sexuality.

    11:32 AM — captain in the US Air Force who claimed that four men accusing him of drugging and raping them were lying to avoid being exposed as gay was sentenced yesterday.He had been found guilty earlier in the week on four charges of forcible sodomy, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of attempted sodomy as well as one charge of unlawful entry.Capt. Devery L. Taylor, had worked as a hospital administrator, was given 50 years in jail by a military jury of nine fellow officers.

  • Mayor’s office refuse to apologise to Tatchell 4

    Last year Mr Livingstone was suspended from office for a month after comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard.

    10:03 AM — The office of the Mayor of London has stood by comments by Mr Livingstone that gay rights activist Peter Tatchell was waging an Islamophobic campaign in relation to gay rights in Russia.Yesterday Mr Tatchell demanded that the Mayor prove his assertion or apologise.City Hall has responded with a detailed analysis of the statements of OutRage! and Mr Tatchell.

  • 1st March 2007

    Dublin teen sex ring exposes lack of LGBT support 1

    A 21-year-old trainee police officer has admitted sending the child sexually explicit text messages.

    4:35 PM — Reports from Dublin concerning a 14-year-old boy being sexually abused by a ring of middle-aged men have exposed the lack of support for LGBT teenagers in the country.The child was groomed on the internet and then taken to a range of addresses in Dublin where the abuse took place. Irish police (Gardai) have arrested two men already.A 21-year-old trainee police officer has admitted sending the child sexually explicit text messages.

  • Barrymore death investigation to be probed 2

    Last December, Essex police said they were re-opening the investigation.

    4:02 PM — The Independent Police Complaints Commission has announced it will examine the police inquiry into the death of Stuart Lubbock, six years after his death at the home of entertainer Michael Barrymore.Lubbock was found dead in March 2002, and the new inquiry will examine the information Essex Police gave to the coroner about his death.During the inquest that followed, an open verdict was reached and to date no-one has been charged in connection with Mr Lubbock's death.

  • Comment: The politics of religion and gay adoption

    The main Jewish adoption agency, Norwood, on the other hand, said that it was happy to consider gay couples as parents.

    3:00 PM — By Ben Cohen The debate over exemption for religious groups from the Equality Act exposed a division within the government and the country.While we don't know exactly what happened behind closed doors, it appears that Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality, was persuaded by her friends within the Catholic Church to exempt their adoption agencies from being forced to treat gay and lesbian couples in the same way that they would a straight couple.

  • MPs and peers say regulations should cover schools 1

    The regulations will need an affirmative vote in committee and then on the floor of both Houses.

    12:31 PM — The parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has produced a report on the Sexual Orientation Regulations that says there can be no exemptions for church-run agencies.The committee, which is made up of peers and MPs, also said that the regulations should be extended to cover schools, even ones run by religious groups.The committee praised the SORs as a significant human rights enhancing measure.

  • Tatchell demands an apology from Livingstone 4

    Mr Tatchell pointed out that he has supported Mr Livingstone for over 30 years.

    12:07 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell says that the Mayor of London's assertion that he conducted an Islamophobic campaign is nonsense - and he wants him to apologise.In a press statement released earlier today, Ken Livingstone accused Mr Tatchell of focusing on the homophobia of the grand Mufti, a Russian Islamic cleric.

  • Gay playground jibe ends up in court

    In the UK, research by the National Union of Teachers last year revealed that the vast majority of their members hear the word gay used pejoratively on a regular basis.

    10:56 AM — An American judge will have to balance Constitutional rights with the protection of gay kids at school in a lawsuit about the phrase "that's so gay" that has come before the courts.A Mormon high school student in the United States used the phrase, was given a warning for doing so by school authorities, and now her parents are suing.They claim the word is youth slang meaning stupid, silly or dumb.

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