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Current Affairs

  • 15th November 2007

    US Catholic bishops issue voting guidance

    The bishops say that conscience is the “voice of God.“

    4:55 PM — No to gay marriage, the death penalty, stem cell research, abortion, racism, torture and war crimes. That was the message America's Roman Catholic bishops have issued to the faithful ahead of next year's elections.Forming Citizens for Faithful Citizenship is the title of a document issued by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops yesterday."As Catholics, we should be guided more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to a political party or interest group," it read."

  • Italy gay protection law moves forward 1

    The measure is part of a larger legislative package designed to tackle violence against women.

    3:25 PM — The justice committee of the lower house of the Italian parliament has approved the text of a new bill that will outlaw homophobic crime.The measure is part of a larger legislative package designed to tackle violence against women, children and old people and gender discrimination.Yesterday the Minister for Equal Opportunities, Barbara Pollastrini, said: "every year, there are more women dying from violence than from diseases or accidents."

  • Interview: Clegg sets out his leadership credentials

    Nick Clegg explains why he is the heir to Ming, how to tackle homophobia in eastern Europe, and where the Lib Dems could take seats from Labour at the next election.

    1:31 PM — Since winning Sheffield Hallam in the 2005 general election, Nick Clegg has made a major impression on Liberal Democrats in Parliament and across the country.Tipped as a future leader before he even entered Westminster, in the wake of Sir Menzies Campbell's resignation he finds himself standing sooner than was imagined.Age did it for Ming, and 40-year-old Clegg is the frontrunner in the contest to replace him. Like his opponent in the leadership race, Chris Huhne, he attended the private Westminster School.

  • Baptist church expelled for embracing gays 1

    The Baptist State Convention also is expected to disengage from their cherished institutions and ministries of Baptist colleges.

    11:50 AM — The nearly 3,000 delegates that make up the North Carolina Baptist Convention voted this week to expel the Myers Park Baptist Church for welcoming and affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Baptists in their congregation.Last year, the North Carolina Baptists decided to expel any member church that openly accepts and affirms LGBT people and same-sex relations from the Baptist community.The vote came after two of the church's leaders called on the delegates to open their hearts to LGBT people.

  • Hate church finances revaled in court 4

    The Snyder family's expectation of privacy at Matthew Snyder's funeral was violated by the church members' protest outside St. John Roman Catholic Church.

    10:59 AM — Three members of the Westboro Baptist Church have presented their accounts to a court in an attempt to reduce the nearly $11m (£5.4m) they were ordered to pay Albert Snyder, the father of a fallen Marine, for protesting at his son's funeral.Westboro Baptist, which has about 75 members, the vast majority of whom are relatives of preacher Rev Fred Phelps, protests at funerals using anti-gay slurs.Three members of the church, Rev Phelps and his daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebekah Phelps-Davis, presented documentation.

  • Comment: Evangelical has no place on equality commission 41

    Full protection against discrimination at work for gay people? Joel Edwards opposed it.

    10:35 AM — Simon Barrow of Ekklesia has a silver tongue when it comes to making excuses for the disgraceful behaviour of some of his co-religionists.Now he comes out in defence of the Evangelical Alliance and its leader Joel Edwards, who has been appointed as a commissioner to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.Give him time, says Simon, let's see how he behaves. He might change. Well, I was one of those who objected to Joel Edwards' appointment and I did so after observing years of efforts by him and his organisation to retard gay rights.

  • Iranian escapes death penalty after international pressure 1

    Human rights activists had protested that the death penalty was unlawful in this case and argued that his trial was unfair.

    10:24 AM — The Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran has intervened in the case of a 21-year old found guilty of multiple counts of anal rape (ighab), allegedly committed when he was 13 years old.Makvan Mouloodzadeh, a 21 year old an Iranian Kurd, had been sentenced to death in the city of Paveh, following his conviction for an act of sodomy that he committed while still a minor, aged 13, with another minor, also aged 13.Human rights activists had protested that the death penalty was unlawful in this case and argued that his trial was unfair.

  • 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.

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