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Current Affairs

  • 19th February 2008

    Castro’s departure brings hope for gay Cubans 1

    Sexual diversity was seen by Fidel Castro as a corrupt consequence of capitalism.

    2:30 PM — Fidel Castro today announced his resignation as the political and military leader of Cuba, 49 years after he seized power and installed a Communist regime in the Caribbean island nation.The 81-year-old's poor health in recent years has sparked a renewed national debate about the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Cubans.Sexual diversity was seen by Fidel Castro as a corrupt consequence of capitalism.

  • Gay Iranian teen faces deportation 23

    It is feared that if Mehdi is ordered to be deported back to Iran he may face execution for being gay.

    2:30 PM — A gay teenager from Iran who fled the UK for the Netherlands last year after his appeal for asylum was refused by the Home Office has been arrested by Dutch authorities.He is reported to be due to be returned to the UK next week, where he may face deportation back to Iran.19-year-old Mehdi Kazemi is currently being held by police in Rotterdam pending his return to the UK.

  • Victim of homophobic thug still haunted by attack 2

    On Friday, Lockwood he was jailed for ten years for the “murderous“ attack.

    2:00 PM — A gay man whose home was torched by a prolific young thug as he and his partner slept inside has said he is still haunted by the attack.Nick Hughes battled the fire which started when Sonny Lockwood poured petrol through the letter box his home in New Addington, Croydon before igniting it with a parachute flare.While he fought the flames naked, he ordered his partner Peter Cameron to remain in their bedroom with the door closed, thinking he would have a better chance of survival.

  • Interview: Mayoral candidate wants London free of the EU

    Gerard Batten is a somewhat unusual politician, in that he is a member of a parliament that he desires to have no power over the lives of his constituents.

    12:20 PM — The UK Independence Party is misunderstood and misrepresented, their candidate for Mayor of London tells me when we meet.Gerard Batten is a somewhat unusual politician, in that he is a member of a parliament that he desires to have no power over the lives of his constituents.As an MEP for London since 2004, he spends his days in Brussels trying to think up new ways to discredit and dismantle the European Union (or "ferment rebellion" as he describes it).

  • Charity welcomes landmark cyberbullying conviction 6

    The cyberbully, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty last month to harassment, and apologised in court on Monday to the victim. He was given a 12-month referral order and told to pay his victim £250. The court also confiscated the his laptop.

    12:20 PM — An anti-bullying charity has welcomed a landmark ruling on cyberbullying handed down by a court in Brighton.A 17-year-old was convicted of harassment after creating a fake profile on the social networking site Bebo and driving his former friend to attempt suicide by luring him into an online relationship and then telling friends and teachers intimate details of their online conversations.The 16-year-old victim, from Brighton, East Sussex, swallowed 60 painkillers. Brighton Youth Court was told the victim's life was saved by his mother, who took him to hospital.

  • Russia to hold anti-homophobia week

    Events are due to be held in Saint-Petersburg, Voronezh, Krasnodar, Omsk, Petrozavodsk, Rostov-na-Donu, Samara, Tumen and Cheylabinsk. There will also be events held in the capital city Moscow, where Mayor Yuri Luzhkov banned two gay pride parades in 2006 and 2007 and seems likely to ban the third pride on 31 May this year.

    11:30 AM — Major cities across Russia are to hold events in support of Russian Week against Homophobia next month, as a reaction to the homophobic attitudes which still prevail within the country.It has been 15 years since criminal prosecution of male homosexuality was repealed in Russia.Russian Week against Homophobia is an attempt to attract public attention to the problem of homophobia in Russian society.

  • Clinton campaign accuses Obama of plagiarism 1

    Obama did acknowledge that perhaps he should have given Patrick credit for the phrases he used.

    12:40 AM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama is not troubled by accusations he plagiarised portions of a recent speech from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson accused Obama of unabashed plagiarism in using Patrick's words without credit and said his actions "raises questions about the premise of his candidacy." The latest brouhaha between the Obama and Clinton campaigns emerged over a recent speech.

  • Tribunal told about homophobia at BMW showroom 2

    The employment tribunal in Southampton, Hants, continues.

    12:40 AM — A gay salesman was forced to leave his job at a luxury car dealership after colleagues repeatedly made homophobic comments towards him, a tribunal heard yesterday.Ben Hamilton, 26, claims his workmates at a BMW showroom branded him "the nice poof", "faggot" and "bender Ben."He told the hearing he was also banned from wearing pink clothing to work.

  • 18th February 2008

    Spanish gays protest at party’s homophobia

    Mariano Rajoy, who leads the conservative Partido Popular (PP), said in an interview last week that he is ready to take away the right to adopt from gay couples.

    5:55 PM — Spain's Federation of Gays and Lesbians held a protest outside the headquarters of the country's main opposition party on Saturday.Mariano Rajoy, who leads the conservative Partido Popular (PP), said in an interview last week that he is ready to take the right to adopt away from gay couples.Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for March 9th.

  • Gay groups welcome Paisley resignation 5

    In May 2006 he caused outrage with homophobic comments he made in a magazine interview.

    4:00 PM — Ian Paisley Jnr's announcement today that he is to resign from the Northern Ireland Executive has been welcomed by groups working for gay equality in the province.Mr Paisley Jnr was a junior minister in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, the department responsible for equality in the power-sharing executive.He resigned today amid allegations that he lobbied on behalf of a property developer in relation to a £50m government land deal.

  • March date for Sharia “gay” trial in Nigeria 22

    Predominantly Muslim states in Nigeria introduced Sharia law, a legal system based on Islamic theory and philosophy of justice, in 2000.

    1:40 PM — The trial of eighteen young men in Nigeria charged with dressing in female clothing and attending a gay wedding may be part of a campaign to reintroduce legislation targeting lesbian, gay and bisexual people.Cary Alan Johnson of the Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) was in Nigeria last week to meet the men and their lawyers.He has expressed serious doubts as to whether the men can get a fair trial. All aged between 18 and 21, they were detained by the Islamic "vice squad" at a hotel in Bauchi city, Nigeria in August 2007.

  • Homophobic minister Ian Paisley resigns from government 6

    Mr Paisley Jnr will not be resigning as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

    1:02 PM — A junior minister in the Northern Ireland government who was heavily criticised last year for calling gay people repulsive has resigned.Ian Paisley Jnr has come under pressure over his links with property developers and lobbyists."With a certain degree of sadness I have informed the First Minister of my intention to resign from ministerial office," he said.

  • Riots in Senegal over gay “wedding” photos 5

    Senegal is one of the few Francophone African countries that penalises homosexuality.  photo: erik kristensen@flickr.com

    11:45 AM — Gangs of protestors clashed with riot police in Dakar on Friday after a magazine published photos of an alleged wedding between two men.Newspapers and radio stations in the Senegalese capital have been filled with stories about the arrest and release of several men after tabloid magazine Icone ran the photos in their February edition.Friday's demonstration, which took place in front of Dakar's main mosque, had initially been authorised by police.

  • Gay Congressmen defends his record on trans rights 2

    The executive director of the  National Gay and Lesbian Task Force used a radio interview last week to criticise Congressman Barney Frank.

    11:30 AM — The only out gay man in the US Congress has rejected accusations that he was responsible for the removal of trans people from a workplace protection bill.In November the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was passed by the House by 235 to 184.ENDA was originally designed to make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or promote a person based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Bush urges continuation of abstinence programmes 1

    The President is currently on a farewell tour of Africa.

    11:02 AM — US President has said that Congress should "stop the squabbling" over the requirement for no sex before marriage in some AIDS programmes in Africa.The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was created in 2003 and has increased the number of Africans receiving anti-retroviral treatment from 50,000 to 1.2 million.However, by law one-third of that prevention funding must teach exclusively abstinence until marriage programmes.

  • US changes policy on HIV+ diplomats

    The State Department said it has removed HIV from a list of medical conditions that automatically disqualify candidates from the foreign service.

    10:40 AM — The US State Department has decided that people who are HIV positive will be considered as candidates for the foreign service.The government was facing a lawsuit from an HIV positive man who was denied entry to the service under a rule changed last week.Gay rights group Lambda Legal welcomed the decision."At long last, the State Department is taking down its sign that read, 'People with HIV need not apply,'" said HIV project director Bebe Anderson.

  • Cameron’s wife changed his mind on Section 28 3

    Mr Cameron, who became an MP in 2001, married Samantha in 1996.

    10:20 AM — A new documentary examining the political influences on Conservative leader David Cameron has revealed that he was persuaded to drop his support for Section 28 by his wife Samantha.Nick Boles, the Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Grantham and Stafford and a close friend of the couple, told the Radio 4 programme that Mrs Cameron was instrumental in turning her husband into a moderniser.Mr Cameron, who became an MP in 2001, married Samantha in 1996.

  • 17th February 2008

    New Jersey gay unions are “second-class” marriages 46

    Gay unions are “second-class“ the report found

    12:08 PM — Civil unions in New Jersey have are a "second-class" form of marriage for gays and lesbians, an official report has found.The Associated Press, have obtained a copy of the report (due to be published on Tuesday) that finds that couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal does not experience the legal complications associated with New Jersey.

  • Tourist denied entry to gay club because “he was black”

    The Commission for Gender Equality have intimated that it would refer the case to the Equality court

    11:12 AM — The owner of a gay club in South Africa has offered to apologise to a Belgian tourist who said he was refused entry because he was black.Bruno Bronn, who wasn't on duty when the alleged incident occurred defended the club saying that staff were "far from racist."Tourist, Aridi Amipi was denied entry while his English, white friend was.

  • 15th February 2008

    Human rights groups protest at HIV arrests in Egypt 5

    The current wave of arrests began in October 2007, when police intervened between two men having an argument on a street in central Cairo.

    3:40 PM — Cairo police have arrested four more men suspected of having HIV, signaling a wider crackdown that endangers public health and violates basic human rights in Egypt, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today in a joint statement.The recent arrests bring to 12 the number of men held in a campaign against people police suspect of being HIV-positive.Four have already been sentenced to a year in jail and eight are still in custody.

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