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Current Affairs

  • 14th November 2007

    London Mayor candidates differ on incitement law 5

    Ken Livingstone, who has been Mayor since 2000, said that many lesbian and gay people in London experience high levels of violence.

    6:10 PM — The three main party candidates for Mayor of London have spoken to PinkNews.co.uk about a new law that would make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation an offence.Ken Livingstone, who has been Mayor since 2000, said that many lesbian and gay people in London experience high levels of violence, abuse, threats and insults and welcomed the proposed legislation."The sort of thing that should fall under such legislation, for example, would be the hatred incited by the far right when they assert that all homosexuals are paedophiles," he said.

  • Comment: Keep the EHRC door open to promote change 39

    Those who serve on EHRC are going to have to acknowledge the continued existence of suspicion, prejudice and resistance.

    4:00 PM — Reactions to the news that the Rev Joel Edwards, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, had been appointed to serve as one of the commissioners on the new Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), were swift and predictable.There was acknowledgement but little immediate comment in the religious press (many there are nervous about the news, for the opposite reason to PinkNews.co.uk readers) and annoyance and incomprehension in LGBT communities and among civil rights and secular activists.

  • US gay rights groups honour dismissed gay soldiers

    12,000 flags will be placed on the National Mall in Washington DC, one for every discharged service member.

    2:15 PM — Several leading LGBT organisations in the United States are to join forces later this month to honour the 12,000 servicemen and women discharged as a result of the ban on openly gay, bisexual or lesbian people in the country's Armed Forces.The current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy has been in place since 1994.Commanders may not ask personnel their sexual orientation, but LGB people who are open about their sexuality may not serve openly.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Clegg backs homophobic incitement law 1

    The government announced last week that it will introduce a new offence of incitement to violence on the grounds of sexual orientation

    1:25 PM — A candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Democrat party has told PinkNews.co.uk that he is "absolutely in favour" of a proposed new law to make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation an offence.Nick Clegg, who is the party's home affairs spokesperson, dismissed concerns from some gay commentators that the law is unnecessary, saying there is a "real problem of overt homophobic incitement to violence."The party's 2005 manifesto promised legislation to tackle this issue.

  • Gay Congressman endorses Hillary for President 1

    Representative Frank commented in 1996 that he is used to being in the minority, being a left-handed, Jewish homosexual.

    11:40 AM — Barney Frank, the only out gay man in the US House of Representatives, has said he is backing Senator Hillary Clinton in her bid for the White House.The 67-year-old, who has represented the 4th District of Massachusetts since 1981, will serve as an economic adviser to Senator Clinton during the campaign.The former First Lady continues to lead the Democrat field for the Presidential nomination ahead of the first primary elections in January.

  • Korean gays ask for international support

    “The United Nations Secretary General is Korean so international pressure will be most effective.“

    11:04 AM — The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has received an urgent request from gay activists in South Korea.They want to mobilise international support for the restoration of sexual orientation as a protected category in the proposed anti-discrimination legislation (ADL) recently drafted by the Ministry of Justice.The proposed new law was designed to bolster South Korea's pre-existing National Human Rights Commission Act

  • 13th November 2007

    Lesbian solider denies sexual relationship with female colleague 3

    Giving evidence for her friend at an employment tribunal where Miss Fletcher is suing the Ministry of Defence for discrimination, Miss Ashman denied having had a sexual relationship with her.

    5:22 PM — A supposed rendezvous between two lesbian soldiers in an Army stable was just a friendly cuddle, a tribunal heard yesterday.A male colleague had said that Sergeant Louise Ashman and Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher were engaged in a romantic encounter in the barn after one sent the other a text message saying "I feel randy", the Daily Mail has reported.But yesterday Miss Ashman insisted she was only comforting her colleague.

  • Hungary may give OK to same-sex partnerships 2

    In Hungary, same-sex couples have no legal background for their relationships.

    5:22 PM — Hungary's governing parties have reportedly agreed to tackle the issue of same-sex relationships by introducing some form of legal partnership.According to Hungarian website hirszerzo.hu, both governing parties are theoretically willing to provide equal rights for same-sex couples, though only two MSZP (Socialist Party) MPs supported the liberal party's suggestion at a human rights commission meeting.

  • Catholic school in unholy row after ditching gay charity 5

    Actor Simon Callow, probably best known for his role in the hit British film Four Weddings and a Funeral, is also threatening to quit as patron of the Oratory School Choir, Schola.

    11:34 AM — London's premier Catholic state school, the London Oratory, is facing a furore from gay campaigners this week following their decision to drop a leading AIDS charity as the beneficiary for their World AIDS Day charity concert.Gay rights activists are believed to be planning to picket the Oratory School and distribute leaflets to inform students of the school's decision to suddenly cancel its plan to raise money for the Terrence Higgins Trust, one of Europe's most-respected AIDS charities.

  • Paddick selected as Lib Dem candidate for London 4

    Mr Paddick came to public prominence as borough commander of Lambeth.

    11:34 AM — Former senior police officer Brian Paddick will run for Mayor of London in May 2008 as the Liberal Democrat candidate.The 49-year-old won 73% of the first preference votes in a ballot of London party members.He faces incumbent Ken Livingstone and Tory candidate Boris Johnson in next May's election.

  • New website for LGBT history

    LGBT History Month is intended to be an annual event in the UK, taking place every February to coincide with Valentine's Day.

    11:34 AM — LGBT History Month UK have have launched a new interactive website.The site contains a new calendar for History Month 2008 which allows individuals and organisations to advertise the events they are creating for LGBT History Month by both date and region. It also exhibits all events that have been organised nationwide, with all the relevant information about how to get involved.Last year the organisation had over 800 events on the calendar and is expecting even more this year.

  • Boy George charged with false imprisonment 2

    George, whose real name George O'Dowd, was released on bail and ordered to attend Thames magistrates' court next week.

    11:34 AM — Pop star Boy George has been charged with false imprisonment after allegedly chaining a male escort to a wall in his London flat.Scotland Yard said the 47-year-old singer and DJ has been charged over an incident at his flat in Shoreditch, east London.The former Culture Club frontman was arrested in May after a man accused him of "false imprisonment and common assault."

  • Gays should be hanged, says Iranian politician 35

    A series of reported executions of gays in Iran, including two underage boys whose public hanging was posted on the internet, has alarmed human rights campaigners.

    11:34 AM — Homosexuals deserve to be executed or tortured, an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference.According to the Times Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality after a spate of reports that gay youths were being hanged.President Ahmadinejad, questioned by students in New York two months ago about the executions, claimed there were no gays in Iran.

  • Birmingham police criticised over gay pub raid 3

    The police have been particularly criticised because their only justification for the raid was an anonymous letter.

    10:50 AM — Police in the West Midlands have failed in their efforts to get a gay pub's licence revoked.Their request followed an earlier attempt to raid The Fountain Inn for pornography and drugs after receiving an anonymous tip-off.Police bungled the raid when they went to an Irish family pub, The Fountain, a mile down the road. The pub's drinkers were highly amused by the blunder.

  • 12th November 2007

    Life sentence for teenager guilty of homophobic murder 1

    Mr Kerr was found badly injured by a woman walking her dog in the park early on Sunday 22 April this year.

    3:19 PM — A teenager was sentenced to life imprisonment today for murdering a gay council officer in a homophobic attack.David Meehan, 19, admitted to murdering James Kerr, 51, in South Inch public park and leaving him for dead while he and his accomplices went to a party.According to Mr Meehan, the three walked past Mr Kerr on their way back but ignored their victim who was still breathing.

  • Gay activist sacked for attacking opponent’s wife 2

    Mr Burns, not a member of the Labour party, will no longer be working on the campaign.

    1:15 PM — A Labour party candidate in the Australian federal election has removed a volunteer worker from his campaign after he launched a tirade of abuse at the wife of his opponent.Environment minister Malcolm Turnbull is fighting to retain the seat of Wentworth in Sydney for the incumbent Liberal party.The seat was subject to recent boundary changes and now includes gay districts such as Darlinghurst and Kings Cross.

  • Americans warm to same-sex unions

    55 per cent of Americans approve of legalising civil unions and giving same-sex couples the same rights as those who are married.

    12:45 PM — More than half of Americans support civil unions according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post polls.In total, 55 per cent approve of legalising civil unions and giving same-sex couples the same rights as those who are married in matters such as insurance, inheritance and pensions.The latest figures are up from 45 per cent in the same poll in 2006.

  • Republican guilty of soliciting gay sex 5

    Since his election in 2000, Mr Allen has been one of the most homophobic politicians in the Florida state senate.

    12:25 PM — A senior Florida Republican has been found guilty of soliciting oral sex from an undercover police officer.Bob Allen, a former co-chairman of the campaign to select Senator John McCain as the Republican US Presidential candidate, was spotted by police in Titusville, Florida on July 11th acting suspiciously at the men's toilets in a park.Officers decided to send a policeman undercover to investigate, and within minutes Mr Allen allegedly agreed to pay him $20 (£10) to allow him to perform oral sex.

  • UN Commissioner backs LGBT rights

    Last week's event brought together non-governmental organisations, UN representatives and state delegates.

    11:50 AM — The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has spoken of her support for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.Louise Arbour made her comments after an historic meeting at the UN last week.The event, held in parallel with the session of the third committee of the UN General Assembly, discussed the Yogyakarta Principles.

  • New Polish PM pressed on civil unions

    The first test for the new government will be November 17th when the March of Equality in Poznan is planned.

    11:40 AM — Gay rights activists in Poland have asked incoming Prime Minister Donald Tusk to discuss legalisation of civil unions, the introduction of comprehensive sexual education in schools and the ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation.Mr Tusk is head of the centre-right Christian-democratic Civic Platform Party (PO), which won the election on 21st October.According to Catholic World News PO member Stefan Niesiolowski said: "I will not agree to homosexual marriage."

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