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Current Affairs

  • 7th December 2006

    Archbishop aims to quell university gay feuds 2

    Dr Williams said that Christian views on gay sexual activity were often mistaken for hatred

    12:00 AM — The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised universities for reprimanding Christian Unions over their stance on homosexuality.Writing in the Times Higher Education Supplement, Dr Rowan Williams accused Student Unions of fearing an "open argument."His comments come after Christian Unions in Exeter, Birmingham and Edinburgh have been prohibited from using university faculties and in some cases from being recognised as a club because of alleged discrimination towards non-Christians and gay people.

  • Gay university staff face coming out fear 1

    Mr Frost said universities should be aware of their gay and lesbian staff as they are about race, gender and disability

    12:00 AM — There are still some elements of fear surrounding coming out in the workplace for lesbian and gay university staff, Stonewall claims.The gay charity has expressed fears that universities do not do enough to tackle equality as it is assumed that the institutions are automatically liberal.Stephen Frost, the manager of Stonewall's workplace programmes, said many lesbian, gay and bisexual staff fear coming out would limit their career opportunities or cause bullying.

  • Socialists urge MSP to resign over gay adoption view

    Solidarity party members have called on Ms Cunningham to accept SNP commitments to equality or resign

    12:00 AM — Scotland's socialist Party has condemned moves by Nationalist MSP Roseanna Cunningham to table amendments today which could effectively block gay couples from adopting children.Ms Cunningham argued ahead of a Holyrood debate today, that moves to allow the Bill to proceed would be "against nature's design."Solidarity party members have called on Ms Cunningham to accept SNP commitments to equality or resign.

  • Civil partners not rushing to divorce 8

    The 21st December 2006 marks the first opportunity for gay couples who have formed a civil partnership to have it dissolved

    12:00 AM — A group of gay lawyers specialising in same sex relationships, predicts few couples will apply to end a civil partnership when the first opportunity arrives on 21 December.Instead lawyers at QueerPod have seen an increase in gay clients in heterosexual marriages seeking a divorce to form a civil partnership.

  • Police promise more raids against gay hate

    The dawn raids, named Operation Athena, last Thursday, were part of a two-week initiative to put the fear back onto the offenders, and encourage victims to report crimes

    12:00 AM — Last week's police raids in London targeting suspected perpetrators of domestic, race hate and homophobic violence will not be the last, a member of the Metropolitan Police's Violent Crime Directorate has warned.DCI Gerry Campbell said last week's operation signals the Metropolitan Police Service's commitment to taking on hate crime offenders, but added that it is not a one off job.

  • Scotland rejects adoption prejudice

    Ms Cunningham's motion was heavily criticised by MSPs of all parties.

    12:00 AM — The Scottish Parliament this afternoon rejected a motion to block gay and lesbian couples from adopting by 98 votes to 11.The motion was proposed by Scottish Nationalist MSP Roseanna Cunningham. She told MSPs that the majority of Scots had concerns about gays adopting children.She added that in her opinion the best place for children to be raised was in a household with a mother and father.

  • 6th December 2006

    Estonian gay activist to stand for parliament 1

    Andi Ravalepik told  Eesti Paevaleht  newspaper that he will be contesting a seat in the Riigikogu in the March 2007 general election.  photo: Stan Shebs

    12:00 AM — One of Estonia's most prominent gay men has announced that he is to run for a seat in the country's parliament in next year's general election.Andi Ravalepik told Eesti Paevaleht newspaper that he will be contesting a seat in the 101-member Riigikogu in the March 2007 general election.

  • Indian tribe accept lesbian couple 57

    The couple, who are day labourers, now live together in the village. photo: eduardo bombarelli@flickr

    12:00 AM — A lesbian couple have undergone a formal tribal 'wedding' ceremony in a village in eastern India. A priest of the Khanda tribe performed the ceremony after their families had persuaded villagers of the validity of their relationship.30-year-old Wetka Polang and Melka Nilsa, 22, from Dandabadi village in Koraput district, found love after disastrous relationships with men.They initially ran away to another village, but returned and paid fines to the village to allow their 'marriage' to be blessed.

  • Gay groups welcome stand against violence

    This is the largest-ever statement delivered at the UN on sexual orientation issues

    12:00 AM — Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from around the world have welcomed a landmark statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, delivered last Friday at the United Nations Human Rights Council by Norway on behalf of 54 States.The statement condemns human rights violations directed against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Brown’s green Budget plans? More tax 3

    The bulk of Gordon Brown's report to MPs focused on education and skills training.

    12:00 AM — In what is widely expected to be his last pre-Budget report, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced increases in transport taxes and investment in skills training.Mr Brown, clear favourite to succeed Tony Blair next year, set out his green credentials by raising tax on fuel duty by 1.25p and doubling air passenger duty from £5 to £10, effective from midnight tonight.

  • Grandfather Cheney urged to help gay families

    A gay family group are calling on Vice President Dick Cheney to consider the US administration's attitude towards gay rights

    12:00 AM — A gay family group are calling on Vice President Dick Cheney to consider the US administration's attitude towards gay rights now that his daughter is set to have a baby with her lesbian partner.The front page of the Washington Post's website announced today that Mary Cheney, Vice-President Cheney's gay daughter, is pregnant.

  • Gay rabbis now kosher

    Conservative Jewish synagogues, who currently represent about 1000 'middle ground' rabbis, are losing worshippers to both the liberal Reform synagogues and the Orthodox ones.

    12:00 AM — The ruling body of American Conservative Judaism has come to a compromise over the ordination of gay rabbis.The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards held a two-day closed meeting in New York and yesterday presented three differing positions that may be adopted by Jewish seminaries across North America's 750 synagogues.

  • Northern Ireland politicians call for gay rights repeal 13

    DUP Assemblyman Jeffrey Donaldson has tabled an Early Day motion to Parliament asking for the law to be delayed

    12:00 AM — Northern Ireland politicians are calling on the UK government to repeal the Sexual Orientation Regulations to be introduced in the province in the New Year, until the Assembly is fully restored.DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson has tabled an Early Day motion to Parliament asking for the law to be delayed by the Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain, as in the rest of the UK, for further consultation.

  • Canada to vote today on keeping gay marriage

    During the federal election campaign at the beginning of 2006 the Conservatives vowed to re-examine the issue of gay marriages if they were elected to government.

    12:00 AM — The great 'debate' in the Canadian parliament yesterday about the legality of gay marriage turned out to be more like a cry in the dark.The minority Conservative government had made headlines across the world with its pledge to repeal the decision last year to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.In the event Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not even turn up for the debate. Neither did most of his cabinet.

  • South Australia gays get new rights

    Any two people who live together and present themselves as a couple will be covered by the legislation, regardless of whether or not their relationship is sexual.

    12:00 AM — South Australia is to grant a series of rights to gay and lesbian couples. The upper house of the state's parliament voted in favour of the measures yesterday.The new law is a major victory for gay rights campaigners in the state. Any two people who live together and present themselves as a couple, will be covered by the legislation, regardless of whether or not their relationship is sexual.

  • SNP maverick attempts to derail gay adoptions

    The SNP, while a marginal force in Westminster politics, are the second-largest party in the Scottish Parliament.

    12:00 AM — A major shake-up of adoption law in Scotland, which would see gay and lesbian couples able to adopt children for the first time, is under attack from a Scottish Nationalist.Roseanna Cunningham, an SNP member of the Scottish Parliament, has tabled a motion which would prevent gay couples from adopting. The new legislation will be debated at Holyrood today.Under the new arrangements proposed by the Scottish Executive, gay and lesbian couples, as well as unmarried straight couples, who be eligible to jointly adopt children.

  • Comment: Gay partners in poverty 8

    On the first anniversary of civil partnerships, the gay human rights group OutRage! is urging Chancellor Gordon Brown to provide “transitional relief” for the many gay partners

    12:00 AM — Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell calls on the Chancellor to provide "transitional relief" in today's Pre-Budget Report to gay couples who are not in a civil partnership.Thousands of low income same-sex couples have been plunged into poverty as a result of benefit rule changes introduced when the Civil Partnership Act became law on 5 December last year.On the first anniversary of civil partnerships, the gay human rights group OutRage! is urging Chancellor Gordon Brown to provide "transitional relief" for the many gay partners who have suffered severe financial hardship as a result of the sudden, overnight changes in social security regulations.

  • Italian city grants gay couples limited rights 4

    The left-wing council have granted family certificates at a time when the debate over gay marriage in Italy is raging. photo: mteson@flickr.com

    12:00 AM — Padua city council has outraged the Vatican by allowing gay and lesbian couples to register their 'family.' The decision, taken late on Monday, also applies to unmarried heterosexual couples.In Italy, a "certification of family" is required for various minor legal procedures, such as officially taking time off work to care for a sick relative or being placed on waiting lists for council houses.

  • Gay Republicans welcome HIV law change

    The ban originates from 1987, when fear about the spread of the disease led US officials to require anyone with HIV to declare their status and apply for a special waiver visa

    12:00 AM — A gay Republican lobby group has applauded the US President after he eased travel restrictions for HIV travellers entering America.The Log Cabin Republicans welcomed an announcement from the White House on World AIDS Day that President George W Bush would issue an executive order allowing HIV-positive people to enter the US on short-term tourist or business visas without having to seek special permission.

  • Cheney’s lesbian daughter is pregnant

    Mary Cheney's autobiography which was released in May

    12:00 AM — Dick Cheney's daughter is having a baby, according to reports.While states across America argue over same sex marriage and gay parenting, the Vice President's daughter, Mary Cheney, is likely to create a shining example of same sex families.A source told the Washington Post that Ms Cheney and Heather Poe are "ecstatic."

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