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Current Affairs

  • 31st March 2008

    Northern Ireland gay rights group welcome bill of rights

    The work of the Forum is now complete and the Report Recommendations will go forward to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

    10:20 AM — The Coalition on Sexual Orientation (CoSO) has welcomed the handover of the final Recommendations of the Bill of Rights Forum to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.The group said that the Yogyakarta Principles were used to inform the drafing of the bill.The principles were adopted by a meeting of experts in international law in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2006.

  • 28th March 2008

    Politicians and church leaders back gay marriage in Iowa

    In August 2007 a trial court ruled that denying marriage to same-sex couples was unconstitutional.

    3:30 PM — The fight for gay equality continues in the heart of rural America this week, as the Iowa Supreme Court considers a lawsuit brought by six same-sex couples denied marriage licences in the state.Senior attorneys from Lambda Legal, joined by former Iowa solicitor general Dennis Johnson, will argue that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates the equal protection and due process guarantees in the state's Constitution.In August 2007 a trial court ruled that denying marriage to same-sex couples was unconstitutional.

  • Irish teachers face dismissal for being gay 5

    Ireland's Employment Equality Act permits schools to dismiss homosexual teachers from religious schools.

    2:30 PM — Gay and lesbian teachers in Ireland could be sacked if their lifestyle is seen as undermining the religious ethos of schools, a conference was told this week.Members of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) group at the Irish National Teachers' Organisation conference said that the Employment Equality Act permits schools to dismiss homosexual teachers from religious schools.Section 37 of the Act states that schools that promote certain religious values can take action to protect their "religious ethos."

  • Evangelicals attack Ecuador’s protection of sexual minorities 2

    Queirolo has embraced the ultra-conservative Christian Evangelical movement and campaigning against constitutional protection for homosexuals.

    1:35 PM — A member of Ecuador's National Assembly has caused outrage throughout the gay community by comparing homosexuality to paedophilia and bestiality.Rosanna Queirolo, a former model, television news anchor and triathlon athlete, won election on a manifesto of environmental protection.However, since joining the Assembly she has caused controversy by embracing the country's ultra-conservative Christian Evangelical movement.

  • Mayor “not ready” to support gay rights

    19 mayors from across the EU have signed up, but Mr Imbrasas said: “I am not ready for such things yet.“

    1:15 PM — One of Europe's most bigoted politicians has once again defended naked prejudice in his city.Juozas Imbrasas, the Mayor of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was asked by journalists if he would back a campaign affirming freedom of assembly and expression for LGBT people in Europe.19 mayors from across the EU have signed up, but Mr Imbrasas said: "I am not ready for such things yet." His response was unsurprising considering that Vilnius city council has effectively banned any gay Pride events.

  • Scottish campaign aims to stop deportation of gay teenager 5

    Campaign workers are encouraging supporters to write to their local MP or to write directly to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

    12:50 PM — A campaign has been launched to save a teenager from Syria being deported to his homeland.Jojo Jako Yakob, 19, claims he will be executed if he is returned.He has been held at Polmont Young Offenders in Falkirk, Scotland for the last 12 months after being arrested for possessing a fake Belgian passport. His lawyers say an asylum application for his stay in the UK was mistakenly withdrawn.

  • ‘Blogfather’ joins Paddick campaign as nominations close 5

    Nominations for Mayor close today and the election will be held on May 1st.

    12:45 PM — A second American political strategist has been appointed to Brian Paddick's campaign to become the first Lib Dem Mayor of London.Nominations for Mayor close today and the election will be held on May 1st.Jerome Armstrong, sometimes called the Blogfather, will be the campaign's web strategist. He was instrumental in US Presidential hopeful Howard Dean's grassroots campaign in 2004, regarded as the first major campaign to effectively use the internet to fundraise and win support.

  • Homophobic politician meets gay family group 10

    In 2004 Kern was elected for the first time with 67.65% of the vote.

    11:45 AM — An Oklahoma politician who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism has met with local members of the advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).Representative Sally Kern received international attention after her homophobic speech to a group of fellow Republicans was posted on YouTube earlier this month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.Her supporters claim she has been subject to death threats, something denied by state police.

  • Homophobia claims rejected by police complaints body 16

    Nineteen witnesses gave evidence to IPCC investigators about a range of incidents.

    11:10 AM — Sixteen allegations of homophobia made against the eight Devon and Cornwall police officers have been rejected by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.The complaints were made in 2004 and 2005 by Malcolm Lidbury, a local LGBT activist.He claimed he was "treated poorly" because of his sexuality and claimed that the Devon and Cornwall police have an "inherently homophobic" attitude.

  • 27th March 2008

    ‘Obama Girl’ wants Hillary Clinton out of Presidential race 11

    The first “Obama Girl“ video was released last summer and rapidly spread like wildfire, launching Ettinger into semi-stardom.

    6:50 PM — Amber Lee Ettinger, also known as "Obama Girl," has released a new video calling for New York Senator Hillary Clinton to drop out of the US Presidential race against Barack Obama.The first "Obama Girl" video was released last summer and rapidly spread like wildfire, launching Ettinger into semi-stardom.The videos are the creation of BarelyPolitical.com and the original video has been viewed more than seven million times on YouTube.com alone.

  • Tax company under fire for gay discrimination

    H  R Block claim to have more than 22 million customers worldwide and had a $4bn (£2bn) turnover in 2007.

    5:50 PM — H R Block, America's leading tax preparation company, has said it is "evaluating alternatives" after it emerged that their online services refuse to accept legal civil unions.Connecticut gay couple Jason Smith and Settimo Piscu were attempting to use their "Tax Cut" service but a message told them: "We don't support Connecticut civil union returns."Through its website, the company said the couple would have to work with one of their professionals, by phone or at one of their office locations, which would be more time consuming and cost an additional $150 (£75).

  • UK asylum system “not fit for purpose”

    The head of the Border and Immigration Agency, Lin Homer, told the BBC: “I totally refute any suggestion that we treat asylum applicants without care and compassion.“

    1:55 PM — A commission established to examine asylum policy and practice in the UK has concluded that it falls below the standards of a civilised nation.The 12-member Independent Asylum Commission's findings have been rejected by the Border and Immigration Agency, who claim they treat people with "care and compassion."The volume of people seeking asylum in the UK has fallen sharply and last year there were just over 23,000.

  • Cuban parliament considers LGBT rights bill 1

    The proposed change to Cuban family law would put members of same-sex unions on a par with heterosexual couples.  photo: exfordy@flickr.com

    1:10 PM — A draft lesbian, gay and trans rights bill will be considered by Cuban legislators today.The proposed new law would grant equal rights to all citizens and is the first step towards same-sex unions and access to gender reassignment surgery.Mariela Castro, director of the National Sex Education Centre, said:"A relevant resolution will be signed in the nearest future by the Ministry of Health, which will determine the procedure for such surgery."

  • Fight against “ex-gay” movement goes multi-media

    TWO's website will include an extensive video catalogue of “ex-gay“ survivors and sexual orientation experts.

    11:10 AM — TruthWinsOut.org (TWO), a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to debunking the "ex-gay myth", launched a newly revamped web site this week.The goal of the site is to serve as an educational resource and an "all-encompassing look at the dangerous world of conversion therapy".TWO claims the ex-gay industry has dominated the flow of information about conversion therapy in the past and the new web site is geared to help "counter ex-gay lies and reach vulnerable people with messages of truth and hope."

  • Obama and Clinton supporters attracted by McCain

    Republican John McCain can possibly expect to receive a healthy dose of Democratic support in November regardless of whether he is facing Clinton or Obama.

    10:55 AM — A surprising number of supporters of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would throw their votes to Republican John McCain if their candidate does not become the Democratic Presidential nominee, according to a new Gallup poll released yesterday.While only 19 percent of Obama supporters said they would vote for McCain over Clinton, 28 percent of Clinton supporters would switch their vote to the Republican nominee.

  • Mardi Gras clergy feel the wrath of fundamentalists 1

    Despite a few vocal opponents to the Reverends' participation, many lay churchgoers emailed the ministers with words of support.

    10:30 AM — Some Sydney-based clergy who marched in this year's 30th anniversary Mardi Gras have had their careers threatened by those who objected to their public participation and support of gay rights.Some 35 ministers marched, alongside eight people who acted as proxies on behalf of their church's Reverends, as part of a group known as 100Revs.The name refers to the 100 Reverends who signed a formal apology to the LGBT community.

  • 26th March 2008

    Paddick still favourite with gay voters 47

    Mr Paddick was until last year was the most senior out gay police officer in the UK.

    6:20 PM — The results of the second PinkNews.co.uk Mayor of London poll show that Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick still leads among respondents.225 people who live in the London area took part in the poll. Mr Paddick, who until last year was the most senior out gay police officer in the UK, won 43.5%, or 98 of the first preference votes.He was followed by incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone, with 29.4% (66 votes). Tory candidate Boris Johnson won 12% (27 votes).

  • Moroccan newspaper sued by judges over gay party story 1

    Last November Al Massae published the first reports of an alleged gay wedding party in the town and said that a local judge attended.

    5:45 PM — One Morocco's leading newspapers has been ordered to pay four judges more than £100,000 each after it mistakenly reported that a judge had been present at a gay "wedding" in the city of town of Ksar el-Kbir.Last November Al Massae published the first reports of an alleged gay wedding party in the town and said that a local judge attended.The paper did not name him, so all four local judges sued. It later emerged that a man with the same name as one of the judges was arrested.

  • Hillary caught out over “sniper fire” claims

    footage of her arrival uncovered by US TV stations shows the First Lady and her daughter being greeted by a small girl with a posy of flowers as they walk calmly from the plane.

    3:55 PM — Presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton has admitted she "made a mistake" over her claims that while visiting Bosnia in 1996 she was subject to sniper fire.The Former First Lady has been keen to portray her time in the White House as proof of her foreign affairs credentials.In a series of interviews last week she claimed that after her plane landed in Tuzla, Bosnia, she and her daughter Chelsea had to run for cover as they were targeted by sniper fire.

  • US rules gay married name ‘illegal’ and refuses passport

    As it stands, the American government only recognises heterosexual marriages.

    1:20 PM — An American AIDS activist was denied a new passport by the US State Department on the grounds that his hyphenated surname with his married gay partner is illegal.The Sun Chronicle reports that Jason Hair-Wynn, who married his partner in 2005 in Massachusetts - which is currently the only American state to have legalised same-sex marriage - is now having to face reapplying for a new passport.The federal Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibited the legal recognition of his new name.

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