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Current Affairs

  • 8th January 2008

    Gay hate bill returns to Commons 5

    Justice minister Maria Eagle said that Christians will continue to have the right to express their homophobic views.

    11:40 AM — MPs will debate the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill tomorrow, which includes a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.Ann Widdecombe, a Roman Catholic former Tory minister, today defended her opposition to the bill.The government and the frontbenches of the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives both support the legislation, but MPs from the three main parties have signed up to the amendment.

  • Archaeology museum celebrates LGBT History month 57

    The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is a world class collection of over 80,000 objects from pre-historic, pharonic, Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic Egypt and Sudan.

    11:40 AM — The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is running an open evening as part of LGBT History month to explore sexuality and gender in the ancient world.There will be a discussion on the subject, entitled 'Beyond Isis Osiris: Alternate sexuality in Ancient Egypt', hosted by Dr Debbie Challis, followed by an opportunity to explore the museum, which is located on the University College London Campus in central London.

  • Trans woman denied breast enlargement surgery

    The hospital does allow female patients who are not transgender the right to breast-enlargement surgeries.

    11:40 AM — A trans woman is suing a Catholic hospital, claiming medical officials blocked her from getting breast enlargement surgery there because she had a sex-change operation.Charlene Hastings, 57, told The [San Jose] Mercury News that when she called Seton Medical Centre, a Catholic hospital in in Daly City, California, to inquire about breast enlargement surgery, an official told her it wasn't "God's will" for her to have such a treatment, because "God made you a man."

  • 7th January 2008

    Sweden: Gay man’s attacker may have struck before

    Stockholm police have searched the suspect's house and inspected his computer and now think he may have attacked other gay men.

    4:25 PM — A Swedish man arrested last weekend for beating up a gay man might be responsible for more homophobic attacks, Stockholm police said.The suspect, aged 35, allegedly attacked a 44-year-old man who was found injured in his home. The man was arrested at 5pm on Friday.The victim suffered injuries that might leave him permanently disabled, although he is now in a stable condition.The men met on a contact web site.

  • Anti-gay bishop in trouble after inflammatory Muslim comments 30

    Bishop Nazir-Ali regularly generates headlines with his forthright pronouncements on gay issues.

    2:45 PM — A senior Church of England clergyman best-known for his opposition to equality for gay people has been heavily criticised for making inflammatory comments about Britain's Muslim community.The Right Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in a newspaper article that parts of the country have become "no-go areas" because of extremist Muslims and suggested that mosques stop using speakers to broadcast the call to prayer.The bishop has previously spoken out against the Sexual Orientation Regulations and civil partnerships.

  • Ireland to recognise UK civil partnerships 15

    Last month Ireland's Minister of Justice rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.

    2:20 PM — The Republic of Ireland will recognise same-sex marriages, civil unions and civil partnerships from other countries when it legalises same-sex unions later this year.The Irish Times reports that "civil unions or weddings will have the same legal recognition as new civil partnerships in Ireland, as long as they meet a number of conditions."The UK already recognises same-sex unions and marriages from nearly 20 countries, including Canada, the US and France.

  • Amsterdam mayor to clean up red light district

    In September, Cohen sold around one third of the area that makes up the red light district.

    2:01 PM — Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen announced he will clean up the city's red light district in a bid to reduce human trafficking, money laundering and drug abuse, by replacing prostitutes' windows with clothes shops.Cohen said he wanted to put a stop to the criminals taking advantage of the city's prostitutes and corrupting the city centre."The romantic picture of the area is outdated if you see the abuses in the sex industry and that is why the council has to act," he told Reuters. 

  • Christian registrar refuses to perform civil partnerships 11

    18,000 civil partnerships took place in the UK since they were introduced in December 2005 and the end of December 2006.

    12:05 PM — An official in the London Borough of Islington is taking the council to court because she claims she should be exempted from performing civil partnership ceremonies.The unnamed marriage registrar, who is a devout Christian, has refused to take part in any of the 600-plus civil partnerships entered into in the borough since they became legal just over two years ago.Yesterday an Islington council spokesperson told the Evening Standard:"A claim has been made to an employment tribunal."

  • Erect Jesus statue stirs controversy among Christians 8

    All the art pieces are from the private collection of Newcastle-born Anita Zabludowicz.

    11:23 AM — An art gallery in the North East is under fire after exhibiting a 1ft high statue of Jesus with an erection.The artwork, by gay Chinese-born artist Terence Koh, is being exhibited by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.The gallery has received complaints from Christians and visitors alike who argue the sculpture degrades the Christian faith. Koh's exhibition, entitled Gone, Yet Still, consists of 74 plaster models, ranging from statues of Mickey Mouse to ET, all with full erections.

  • Analysis: Hillary and Barack excite gay voters 2

    With all the state's 1, 781 precincts reporting, Obama won 38% of the delegates, to Edwards' 29.8% and Clinton's 29.5%.

    11:10 AM — That was then, this is now.Less than 24 hours after the stunning victories of Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, in the Iowa caucuses, the Presidential campaigns and the accompanying national media shifted attention from cold Iowa to the colder tiny Granite state of New Hampshire.And where there are politicians, especially New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, the other leaders in the Democratic Party contest, there are LGBT folks trying to influence them and their voters.

  • Wyoming win proivdes small comfort to Romney

    Romney took seven of the state's 12 delegates with almost all precincts now reported in.

    10:40 AM — He wasn't even present, but Republican candidate Mitt Romney took home the top prize in the Wyoming caucuses on Saturday anyway.Although a small win in the overall election 2008 run-up, the result lends more strength to Romney's campaign going into New Hampshire for Tuesday's primary."Today," former Massachusetts governor Romney said in a statement to the press, "the people of Wyoming took the first step towards bringing true conservative change to Washington."

  • Obama endorsed by former Presidential candidate

    Bradley said Obama's ability to bring people together for change makes him the best Democrat to reclaim the White House.

    10:25 AM — Former US Senator Bill Bradley has officially announced his endorsement of Illinois Senator Barack Obama for president.A former Democratic Presidential candidate himself, Bradley will campaign with Obama on Monday in New Hampshire.Bradley said Obama's ability to bring people together for change makes him the best Democrat to reclaim the White House.

  • 6th January 2008

    Facebook “exposes” bisexual, boozy friends of Bhutto’s son 7

    Bilawal and bisexual couple Kirini Kopcke (left) and Julia Hartley

    4:00 PM — Lesbian relationships are illegal in the country where he is a leader of a major political party but Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is friends with a couple in a lesbian relationship.Mr Bhutto Zardari, son of the murdered Pakistani opposition leader, Benazir is a student at Christ Church College, Oxford and his Facebook profile has been highlighted by The Mail on Sunday. The 19-year-old's profile now appears to have been removed.

  • Elton John likely to hold fundraising dinner for Paddick 1

    Sir Elton John  and David Furnish are the most high profile gay couple in Britain

    3:20 PM — Sir Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, are thought to be preparing to hold a fundraising dinner for Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London.Brian Paddick, previously the most senior openly gay police officer in Britain told LBC last month that he was likely to be backed by the celebrity couple. They have an enviable address book and have consistently shown their stellar ability to raise money, particularly for Sir Elton's AIDs foundation.

  • 4th January 2008

    Spanish PM slams Church over “family” rally comments 40

    The Zapatero government introduced full gay marriage in Spain in 2005.

    6:00 PM — The Prime Minister of Spain has responded to Roman Catholic leaders after they criticised government policy supporting gay marriage and abortion.José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero spoke out during a speech in the Huelva town of Almonte yesterday following comments made last Sunday in Madrid at a Catholic Church rally led by Cardinals and Bishops.Clearly angry, Mr Zapatero defended his government's policies, saying they were supported by the "immense majority" of the Spanish population and that everyone had rights in Spain, whether they belonged to a religion or not.

  • Tax victory for California’s same-sex couples

    The Board of Equalisation is a state agency in charge of fee collections and tax administration.

    3:30 PM — An attempt by tax officials in California to overturn property tax protections for domestic partners has been halted by the state's Supreme Court.The ruling has been hailed as a major victory by gay rights activists.California's Court of Appeal had previously affirmed the validity of a Board of Equalisation rule that protects domestic partners from increased property taxes when one of the partners dies and the other inherits the couple's home.

  • Magistrate to re-appeal over gay adoption row 9

    Andrew McClintock's legal action against the Lord Chancellor was rejected by an employment tribunal.

    3:01 PM — A former magistrate who claimed unfair dismissal after he was told he could not pick and choose which adoption cases to rule on is to appeal for the second time.In March 64-year-old Andrew McClintock's legal action against the Lord Chancellor, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions, was rejected by an employment tribunal."Gay couples have human rights too," the tribunal said.

  • Analysis: Romney vows to fight on after losing Iowa caucus 1

    Turnout for the caucuses was higher than predicted, nearly double the participants in the 2004 caucuses according to some reports.

    1:56 PM — Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucus battle among Republicans with Mitt Romney running second. Former Baptist minister Huckabee is known as a solid conservative candidate popular among evangelical Christian voters.On the Democratic side, Barack Obama was the winner with John Edwards second and Hillary Clinton in a very close third.Turnout for the caucuses was higher than predicted, nearly double the participants in the 2004 caucuses according to some reports.

  • As Iowa chooses, Bush snoozes

    His press secretary suggested in a news conference yesterday that nap time likely will outweigh whatever desire the President has to see who will gain the early lead in the US 2008 election season.

    1:45 PM — Don't expect to hear President George W. Bush's reaction to the Iowa caucus results until sometime today.His press secretary suggested in a news conference yesterday that nap time likely will outweigh whatever desire the President has to see who will gain the early lead in the US 2008 election season."What time do all the results start coming in?" asked White House press secretary Dana Perino.

  • New ‘divorce’ rights for Australian gay couples

    The Family Court, which has jurisdiction over gay and de facto custody disputes, will adjudicate the division of assets.

    1:30 PM — Gay and de facto couples in Australia who break up are set to win the same property rights as married couples.Unmarried couples will be able to settle their differences in Family Court thanks to Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls, who won Commonwealth and state backing for the federal law to be changed.Previously these couples were obliged to split their assets in state courts, which were more costly, more complicated and took longer than the Family Court.

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