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Current Affairs

  • 4th November 2007

    Aide had sex with royal father- new claims in blackmail plot 17

    As yet, the royal at the centre of the claims has not been named

    11:35 AM — The aide at the centre of the alleged royal blackmail plot has now appeared to claim that he also had a gay relationship with the royal's father and a well known Conservative MP. The claims were made on a recording seized by police investigating the case.The Sunday Times reports that the allegations are contained in 16 audio and 24 video files contained on two computer discs.Ian Strachan, 30, was arrested along with Sean McGuigan, 40, last month after police mounted a sting operation.

  • 2nd November 2007

    No comment from Bigot of the Year 6

    The bishop joins last year's “winner“ Chris Moyles in the Hall of Shame.

    5:59 PM — A bishop who asked a gay job applicant a series of humiliating questions and then rejected him for the post on the grounds of his sexuality was named Bigot of the Year at the Stonewall Awards last night.The gay equality organisation's chief executive Ben Summerskill told an audience of 400 gathered at the Victoria Albert museum in London that the Bishop of Hereford had been invited but claimed to be on holiday.

  • Royal “blackmail plot” man refused bail 17

    Buckingham Palace has refused to comment on the alleged blackmail plot, saying only that it is a matter for the police.

    5:35 PM — One of the two men charged with attempting to blackmail a minor member of the Royal Family was refused bail at a hearing at the Old Bailey today.Ian Strachan, 30, was arrested along with Sean McGuigan, 40, last month after police mounted a sting operation.They are alleged to have demanded £50,000 not to release a video showing an aide to a member of the Royal Family discussing engaging in oral sex with his employer.

  • Dead parents better than gay ones says Romney 134

    The Republican candidate will be announced at the party's convention at the start of September 2008.

    5:20 PM — A candidate for the Republican party nomination for President of the United States has said that he thinks a child would be better off with a dead parent rather than a gay one.Mitt Romney, a former Governor of Massachusetts, was speaking at a college in rural Iowa.Asked what he would say to a gay couple wanting to get married, he pointed out his support for a change to the US Constitution to bar gay and lesbian Americans from marriage.

  • Prison for tennis coach who had sex with 13-year-old 1

    Lyte was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison and is banned from working with children.

    1:45 PM — A former tennis protege turned coach has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison.Last month Claire Lyte, 29, was convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child at Liverpool Crown Court.During her three week trial, the court heard testimony from the mother of a 13-year-old girl, who caught them in bed together in 2005.Lyte's worked as a coach at the Lawn Tennis Association academy in Loughborough, Leicestershire and the girl was one of her pupils.

  • Commonwealth meeting could promote homophobia 10

    CHOGMs are one of the most important events in the Commonwealth calendar and take place every two years in a different country.

    12:48 PM — Members of Parliament in Uganda have urged the country's government to speak out against gay rights at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) next month.One MP, demanding a "clamp down" against lesbian and gay Ugandans, said that the international event, to be held in the capital later this month, would be a good opportunity to "send a clear message that gays are not welcome in Uganda."Ishaa Otto, speaking at a press conference earlier this week, claimed that the gay community is growing.

  • Foster couple agree to council diversity policy

    The intention of the Equalities Promise is to ensure that foster carers are aware that they should not discriminate against children in their care.

    12:05 PM — A Christian couple have agreed to abide by the local council policy on diversity, despite previously resigning as foster carers over a row about homosexuality.65-year-old Vincent Matherick and his 61-year-old wife Pauline attracted the attention of the press when they stood down after six years of providing foster care, claiming that Somerset County Council was asking them to "promote" homosexuality.They have now issued a joint statement with the council and signed the Equalities Promise and may be allowed to continue fostering.

  • 1st November 2007

    Met found guilty over Menezes shooting 1

    The jury made clear that they fully clear the operation commander Cressida Dick of any culpability.

    3:20 PM — London's police force has been found guilty of breaching health and safety laws when they gunned down Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell undergound station in July 2005.On their second day of their deliberation the jury found the Metropolitan Police guilty.The Met was fined £175,000 and ordered to pay £385,000 costs by judge Mr Justice Henriques at the Old Bailey.

  • Christians call for boycott of Stonewall 1

    Other nominees for bigot of the year are Jeremy Clarkson, Ian Paisley Jnr and Roman Catholic activist Patricia McKeever.

    12:45 PM — The nomination of two senior bishops as Bigot of the Year at tonight's Stonewall Awards has angered an evangelical group of Scottish Christians.CARE Scotland said the nomination of the Bishop of Hereford and the Archbishop of Birmingham was an insult and in a letter to First Minister Alex Salmond called on the Scottish government to stop working with Stonewall.Archbishop of Birmingham was nominated for speaking out against new goods and services protections for gay people.

  • Australian “family values” party in new gay scandal

    The party has had limited electoral success at federal level, and only has one member in the federal parliament, a Senator.

    11:35 AM — The leader of a minor political party in Australia has had to apologise for one of his candidates who tried to out an electoral rival.In the Courier Mail newspaper, Family First candidate for the Leichhardt constituency in Queensland Ben Jacobsen said the voters had a right to know if his Liberal opponent Charlie McKillop is a lesbian."The voters might not give a rat's if a candidate is gay, but they have a right to know who you'll bat for," said Mr Jacobsen.

  • Pope to meet Saudi King Abdullah 4

    Tuesday's meeting between Benedict XVI and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz will be the first between a Pope and a Saudi ruler.

    11:10 AM — The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is to hold meetings with the head of state of Saudi Arabia.Tuesday's meeting between Benedict XVI and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz will be the first between a Pope and a Saudi ruler.The King has been on a controversial state visit to the United Kingdom, which ended today.

  • Irish government to introduce civil partnerships 12

    A recent opinion poll found 84% in favour of some sort of recognition for lesbian and gay couples.

    10:45 AM — The Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has announced that the government will introduce a bill to legalise civil partnerships by March 2008.While opposing a similar bill put forward by the opposition Labour party yesterday, Brian Lenihan said that details would follow soon.He confirmed that in the government's opinion the special place of marriage in the Irish Constitution there would be no moves to legalise gay marriage.

  • Republican resigns amid gay sex scandal 7

    Originally, Curtis told police he was the victim of an extortion attempt by Castagna at the posh Davenport Tower hotel on October 26th.

    10:15 AM — A Washington state lawmaker who was caught with his pants down earlier this week - figuratively and literally - has resigned.On Monday Republican State Representative Richard Curtis told a local newspaper, The Columbian, "I have not had sex with a guy," the guy in question being Cody Castagna, a 26-year-old waiter from the Spokane area.Originally, Curtis told police he was the victim of an extortion attempt by Castagna at the posh Davenport Tower hotel on October 26th.

  • Hate church loses Marine funeral case 5

    The church was the subject of a BBC2 documentary by Louis Theroux broadcast earlier this year.

    10:02 AM — A jury in the United States has awarded the father of a Marine whose funeral was targeted by Fred Phelps' anti-gay group nearly $11m in damages.It is the first individual lawsuit brought against Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) for its protests at military funerals.Albert Snyder claimed that protesters from the Kansas-based anti-gay group destroyed his only chance to bury in peace the son he lost in Iraq.

  • 31st October 2007

    Gay workplace protection law stalls in Congress

    Federal employment discrimination protections are currently provided on race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability.

    3:24 PM — The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was due to come before lawmakers this week, but a slew of other business has delayed its passage, as arguments about trans protections continue.Attempts by a lesbian lawmaker in the US Congress to include trans people in new workplace legislation may fail to gain support from Democrats.Many of the Democrats elected for the first time last November do not want ENDA to include protections for trans people, fearful of a backlash from conservatives.

  • Pride petrol bomber charged with hate crime

    Josip S is the first person accused of a hate crime in the country since they became an offence under the country's Penal Code in 2006.

    3:00 PM — Prosecutors in Croatia yesterday charged a 25-year-old with a hate crime for attempting to throw petrol bombs at a Pride parade.Identified only as Josip S, he is the first person accused of a hate crime in the country since they became an offence under the country's Penal Code in 2006.Police spotted him at the Pride event on 7th July with petrol bombs but he fled the scene. He was later arrested.

  • Irish gays drum up support for civil unions 13

    The opposition Labour party are to re-introduce the legislation in the Dáil, the Irish parliament, this evening.

    2:45 PM — The leading gay organisation in the Republic of Ireland has called on all political parties in the country to support a bill legalising same-sex civil unions.The opposition Labour party are to re-introduce the legislation in the Dáil, the Irish parliament, this evening.Eoin Collins, director of policy change at the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) said the proposed new legislation was a significant step.

  • Magistrate who refused to rule on gay adoption loses appeal 9

    Mr McClintock, a member of the Christian People's Alliance Council, wanted the tribunal to reinstate him with the understanding that he can opt out of cases that conflict with his Christian views.

    2:25 PM — A former magistrate who claimed unfair dismissal after he was told he could not pick and choose which adoption cases to rule on has lost his appeal.In March 62-year-old Andrew McClintock learned that his 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.He said he was disappointed by today's decision by an employment appeal tribunal and vowed to take his case to the Court of Appeal.

  • Hillary pledges AIDS funds if elected

    Clinton co-sponsored bi-partisan legislation in the Senate to help African countries improve their health systems.

    11:21 AM — Senator Hillary Clinton pleased HIV and AIDS groups late last week by pledging that, if elected President, she will provide at least $50 billion for the fight against AIDS by 2013 and will "make significant progress toward providing an additional one percent of the U.S. budget to fighting poverty in impoverished countries."Religious and community leaders belonging to two groups, Iowans for AIDS Action and New Hampshire Fights AIDS, have been pressing presidential candidates to sign the "Presidential Pledge for Leadership on Global AIDS and Poverty."

  • Gay hate church trial nears end 3

    On Saturday alone, members the Kansas family demonstrated at the funerals of three soldiers.

    10:43 AM — Shirley Phelps-Roper took the witness stand last week as the lawsuit brought against her father's Westboro Baptist Church drew to a close.Phelps-Roper told jurors at the courtroom in Baltimore that she was an angel sent to speak the truth to "earth dwellers" about the hate God has for their evil.She explained last week that's why she picketed the funeral of Matthew Snyder, a 20-year-old Marine who was killed in Iraq in March of 2006.

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