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Current Affairs

  • 13th February 2008

    Census question is about sexuality not sex 5

    Information about individuals collected from the census is secret for 100 years and only the aggregate statistics are published.

    4:50 PM — A proposal to include a question on sexuality in the next UK-wide census has been backed by trade unionists and the Green party, but caused confusion among some people.A senior researcher who is an expert on LGBT issues told PinkNews.co.uk that any question must focus on sexual identity and not orientation.The academic, who asked not to be named, explained: "Some have put forward the argument that such a question involved someone's private sexual behaviour.

  • Germany criticised by EU over gay discrimination 2

    The EU commissioner said that the partnership registration scheme available to German same-sex couples do not represent equal rights.

    2:25 PM — The European Union commissioner for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities has started an infringement procedures against Germany and eleven other member states for failing to implement EU equal opportunities legislation correctly.Vladimir Spidla said that the German government has failed to bring provisions on equal treatment of gay and lesbian partnerships in line with EU directives.He said that the partnership registration scheme available to German same-sex couples do not represent equal rights.

  • Spanish opposition leader targets gay adoption 2

    PP has promised to establish a new “family“ ministry if they win the elections next month.

    12:20 PM — The man who wants to be the next Prime Minister of Spain has said he will move to ban gay adoption in the country.Mariano Rajoy, who leads the conservative Partido Popular, said in an interview that he is ready to take away the right to adopt from gay couples.Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for March 9th.

  • Obama sweeps to victory in latest primaries 1

    In Washington DC Senator Obama took 75% of the vote, in Virginia 64%.

    11:35 AM — Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama won primaries in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC yesterday, as his rival for the Democratic nomination faced serious questions about her campaign.Senator Hillary Clinton flew to Texas, a key state, as analysts pored over data that suggests her support among women, Hispanic and older voters may be weakening in the face of Obama's string of wins.

  • Lesbians sue in Colorado for right to marry

    The couple were arrested when the office closed for the day and issued with citations for trespassing.

    11:10 AM — A lesbian couple are asking a court to rule that an amendment to a US state constitution banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.Kate Burns and Shiela Schroeder argues that the voter-approved amendment is religious in nature.They are due to appear in court this week charged with trespassing. The couple were arrested in September last year.

  • 12th February 2008

    South African police to act against homophobic officers

    Last week human rights groups and gay activists launched the 07-07-07 Campaign.

    4:02 PM — South Africa's Police Inspectorate has promised "decisive action" against officers who ridicule gay people or ignore homophobic hate crimes.Last week human rights groups and gay activists launched the 07-07-07 Campaign.On that day last year two lesbian women, 34 year old Sizakele Sigasa and 23 year old Salome Masooa, were raped, tortured and killed in Meadowlands, Soweto.

  • Gay rights leader attacked in Brazil 1

    Activists estimate that more than 2,680 gay people were murdered in Brazil between 1980 and 2006.

    3:40 PM — The President of Sao Paulo's Gay Pride Association was hospitalised after he was attacked at their offices yesterday.Alexandre Peixe dos Santos was gagged, hooded and beaten by an unknown number of attackers.The association organises one of the largest gay rights parades in the world. Last year three million revellers packed the streets of the Brazilian city in what officials have called the largest party in the world.

  • Clinton tries to lock down gay voters 11

    The former First Lady is facing a serious and sustained challenge for the Democratic party nomination from Barack Obama.

    2:05 PM — Presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton has given an interview to an American gay newspaper in an attempt to portray herself as the obvious candidate for LGBT votes.The former First Lady, who is facing a serious and sustained challenge for the Democratic party nomination from Barack Obama, spoke to the Washington Blade on Sunday about issues such as workplace protection and hate crimes legislation.Her comments came just two days ahead of today's primaries in the states of Maryland and Virginia and Washington DC.

  • Irish mostly comfortable with gay family 11

    The Irish government is expected to bring forward proposals for a form of civil partnerships in the EU nation at the end of March.

    12:45 PM — A new survey published ahead of proposed legislation to legally recognise same-sex relationships has found that more than half of Irish people would be unconcerned if their child or sibling is gay.The Sunday Independent/Millward Brown IMS poll did find that significant proportion of people would be "concerned."The high figures of acceptance, 53% unconcerned about a gay child and 56% a gay sibling, highlight the growing acceptance of LGB people in a society that only decriminalised homosexuality 15 years ago.

  • Unions demand gay question on 2011 census 25

    Final decisions on the content of the 2011 Census will not be made until the consultation and testing programme is complete and Parliament gives formal approval in 2010.

    12:20 PM — The General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress Brendan Barber has joined with gay equality organisation Stonewall's chief executive Ben Summerskill to ask for questions on sexual orientation to form part of the census.The next national survey will take place in 2011.It is conducted every 10 years by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), who announced last year that they did not think a question about sexual orientation would not be suitable.

  • Huckabee challenges result in Washington

    Huckabee defeated McCain by a narrow margin in the Louisiana Republican primary and beat him by a large tally in the Kansas caucuses.

    12:05 PM — Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is refusing to concede a loss to Arizona Senator John McCain in the Washington Republican caucuses.The Huckabee campaign is asking for a full recount of the caucus votes in order to determine the true winner of the contest.McCain believes he won the race, but has conceded to Huckabee's right to ask for a recount.

  • 11th February 2008

    Romania moves to exclude same-sex marriage

    Romania only joined the EU at the beginning of 2007, at which time it was required to recognise same-sex couples registered in other member states.

    7:30 PM — A leading human rights group has condemned an attempt by Senators in the Romanian parliament to change the country's Family Code on marriage.The far-right Greater Romania Party's amendment, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, was passed unanimously by the Senate Judicial Committee.It will need full Senate approval before it moves to the Chamber of Deputies.

  • Swedish lesbians have a legal right to puppies

    During a phone call to the kennel owner enquiring about a puppy advertised for sale, the lesbian woman mentioned her partner.  photo: frazzledjen@flickr.com

    5:06 PM — An unusual case of discrimination in Sweden has led to a court ruling in favour of a women turned away from buying a puppy because she is a lesbian.The Local reports that the court of appeal in Stockholm confirmed that a kennel owner must pay 20,000 kronor (£1,580) for discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation.During a phone call to the kennel owner enquiring about a puppy advertised for sale, the lesbian woman mentioned her partner. The owner then refused to sell the puppy to her.

  • Archbishop unerpentant over Sharia comments 5

    The Synod, the Church of England's parliament, was addressed by Dr Rowan Williams this afternoon.

    4:15 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the General Synod of the Church of England that he accepts responsibility for confusion about his comments on Islamic law in the UK.But he added that is was right of him to raise the concerns of faith communities and some of his remarks had been misinterpreted."Some of what has been heard is a very long way indeed from what was actually said," he told Synod members gathered in London for a pre-planned meeting.

  • Huckabee victories point to problems for McCain

    It is almost certain that Senator McCain will end up with the nomination.

    4:02 PM — He may be the Republican nominee for President in all but name, but results from two primaries over the weekend indicate that it could be a tough battle for Senator John McCain to win over sections of his own party.In the Kansas caucus former Governor of Arkansas and Baptist minister Mike Huckabee took 60% of the vote to 24% for McCain and 11% for maverick candidate Ron Paul.Huckabee also took Louisiana and the results from Washington state are still too close to call.

  • Politburo member backs gay marriage in Cuba 1

    Besides legal recognition, gays, lesbians and transsexuals in Cuba want respect.

    2:20 PM — A leading Cuban politician has welcomed proposals to allow gay men and lesbian marriage rights, as the country continues to discuss its future direction.The poor health of Fidel Castro, who has led the country as a one-party state since 1959, has sparked a renewed national debate in the only Communist country in the Caribbean.The revered leader's brother Raul Castro invited Cubans to speak out without fear, and among complains about taxes and restrictions on foreign travel and internet access the issue of gay rights has come to the fore.

  • Hillary sacks campaign manager, Obama wins Grammy

    At last night's Grammy awards Senator Obama won the spoken word award for his reading of his best-selling book The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.

    12:43 PM — As the battle for the Democratic nomination continues to be the most closely-fought in decades, Senator Hillary Clinton has reordered her core team.Her rival Senator Barack Obama won yesterday's Maine caucus by a wide margin, his fourth victory over the weekend.The Former First Lady had been hoping to secure the state. Last week she had to lend her campaign $5m (£2.56m) of her own money after it suffered "cash flow problems."

  • Interview: The former cop who wants to run London

    “Faced with a ballot paper with Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson staring up at them, I think people will hesitate.“

    11:45 AM — Brian Paddick is enjoying running for Mayor of London. The Liberal Democrat candidate may be a distant third in opinion polls, but he has one distinct advantage in this race - lots of people know who he is.The 2008 Mayoral election is already the most exciting contest since the post was established at the turn of the century.Incumbent Ken Livingstone is facing a concerted (some would say co-ordinated) barrage of negative press on everything from cronyism to his alcohol intake.

  • Court backs children’s books encouraging gay tolerance

    A court rejected the claims of parents who said exposing their children to such books violated their ability to direct the religious training of their children.

    11:20 AM — A Massachusetts federal appeals court ruled last week that an elementary school can continue to use children's books that encourage tolerance for gay people.The ACLU welcomed the decision, which rejected the claims of parents who said exposing their children to such books violated their ability to direct the religious training of their children.There has never been a federal case finding a constitutional right of parents to exempt their children from exposure to books used in public schools.

  • Israeli attorney general rules gay couples can jointly adopt

    Israel has followed other countries in allowing gay couples to jointly adopt

    12:10 AM — The attorney general of Israel ruled on Sunday that gay couples will be allowed to jointly adopt children that are not biologically linked to either partner. Menachem Mazuz ruled that there was no legal basis for differing treatment of gay couples to straight couples.His ruling means that gay couples will be entitled to the same rights as adopted parents as straight couples.But former deputy welfare minitster Avraham Ravitz told Haretz that the government's decision is "hallucinatory."

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