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Current Affairs

  • 13th November 2007

    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."

  • First Minister adviser to take up Stonewall post

    Mr Munn was special adviser to the First Minister of Scotland from 2003 until earlier this year.

    11:35 AM — Gay equality organisation Stonewall has announced the appointment of Derek Munn as director of public affairs.Mr Munn was special adviser to the First Minister of Scotland from 2003 until earlier this year and will take up his post on 3rd December."We're absolutely delighted to have secured someone of Derek's background and considerable abilities to fulfil this important role within the organisation," said Ben Summerskill, Stonewall's chief executive.

  • 11th November 2007

    Lesbian passed over in election of Bishop of Chicago 1

    Tracy Lind was passed over as Bishop of Chicago

    11:45 AM — An out lesbian was passed over during the Episcopal convention to pick the next Bishop of Chicago.The Reverend Tracey Lind, dean of Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland was one of three women who lost out to Rev Jeffrey Lee, rector of St Thomas Church in Medina, Washington.Bishop William Persell said the vote held yesterday was not a rejection of homosexuals or of women.

  • 9th November 2007

    Political party’s anti-gay posters evade prosecution 1

    The Geneva Canton now has the same laws as the rest of the country.

    5:30 PM — A Swiss right-wing political party will not face charges over advertising posters which called gay couples infertile.The Swiss People's Party (UDC) was campaigning earlier this year against a proposal to extend tax benefits to same-sex partners in Geneva.The party's general secretary added to the controversy by saying that gay people contribute nothing to society because they do not have children.

  • Poll results questioned as ENDA fallout continues

    Gay journalists Rex Wockner and Cynthia Laird are now publicly questioning the methodology of the HRC poll.

    4:03 PM — America's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality organisation, Human Rights Campaign, has been challenged by gay journalists over an opinion poll it published in relation to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).The proposed new law was originally framed to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination, but was amended to remove trans people when it became clear that an unamended ENDA would not pass the House of Representatives.

  • Welcome for evangelical voice on equality commission 39

    The Evangelical Alliance are one of the most strident voices against gay rights in the UK.

    3:01 PM — A group that examines religion in public life has welcomed the appointment of the head of the Evangelical Alliance UK to the new Commission on Equality and Human Rights (ECHR).The think-tank Ekklesia says that the controversial evangelical taking his place on the commission is "an historic opportunity for evangelicals to shift toward full acceptance of the equalities agenda."Joel Edwards was a controversial choice for many LGBT activists. The Evangelical Alliance are one of the most strident voices against gay rights in the UK.

  • Gay candidates victorious in elections across the US

    Six US states still have no openly LGBT elected officials at any level of government.

    12:39 PM — An organisation dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels in the United States has announced that dozens of openly gay and lesbian candidates running in municipal and state legislative races across the country won their elections this week.According to the Gay Lesbian Victory Fund, of the record 71 candidates endorsed by the group in 2007, at least 31 won their races on Tuesday, while 10 were elected earlier this year.

  • Maltese press question MEP over gay club visits

    Malta is one of the most socially conservative countries in the EU.

    12:28 PM — A leading newspaper in Malta has questioned the gay-hostile voting record of one of the country's Member of the European Parliament in light of revelations that he is a regular at Brussels gay bars.LGBT activists are angry that David Casa, 38, voted against motions in the parliament that condemned homophobic violence and discrimination.Newspaper Il Torca reported: "Many homosexuals commented with this newspaper that David Casa was seen a number of times in gay clubs in Brussels."

  • US grants asylum to gay Jamaican 4

    The grant of asylum to Ven Messam was issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    11:59 AM — A gay man who feared persecution because of his sexual orientation if forced to return to Jamaica has been given asylum in the United States.The grant of asylum to Ven Messam was issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and comes at a time when conditions for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in Jamaica are getting more dangerous by the day.International human rights organisations have described Jamaica as one of the most homophobic places in the world.

  • Canadians mark 40 years of gay rights activism

    The NDP call for policies that protect young LGBT people from the hatred and social inequity.

    11:22 AM — On November 7, 1967, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the appeal of George Everett Klippert, who had been condemned to indefinite imprisonment for consensual sexual relations with other men.The next day, Tommy Douglas, the first leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, rose in the House of Commons and called for homosexuality to be decriminalised.Since then, the NDP has led the pack in defense of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

  • Same-sex couples fight for equal health benefits

    20 public employers in Michigan currently provide benefits to gay and lesbian couples under the same-sex relationship policies.

    10:58 AM — The Michigan Supreme Court currently is weighing whether a constitutional amendment barring gay marriages also prohibits public agencies and schools from offering health care benefits to the same-sex partners of employees.According to the Detroit Free Press, the state's high court heard arguments from both sides on Tuesday, with lawyers representing Attorney General Mike Cox saying such benefits are unconstitutional because they mirror benefits available only to married couples.

  • 8th November 2007

    Interview: The Lib Dem fighting youth with experience 2

    Chris Huhne, currently his party's spokesman on environment issues, has a majority of just 568 in his Hampshire seat.

    4:20 PM — Much has been made in these first few weeks of the race to become leader of the Liberal Democrats about the similarities between the candidates.Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne are both Westminster School-educated former MEPs with near-identical views nearly all the key issues.Both became MPs as part of the Lib Dems strong showing in the 2005 elections. Both are English and will appeal to voters in key south and south east seats where the resurgent Tories are a major threat.

  • Dutch focus on international gay rights abuses

    COC is proposing four follow-up steps to fight homophobia in development countries on a long-term basis.

    12:55 PM — LGBT rights organisation COC Netherlands has welcomed research initiated by the Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation into gay rights.The report, published yesterday, found that homosexuality is still a punishable crime in half of the 36 countries that have a development relationship with The Netherlands.Penalties in those countries range from imprisonment to death penalty.

  • US workplace protection bill passes 3

    17 states have protections for LGB people; eight of those states extend that protection to trans people.

    12:35 PM — After weeks of delay, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has been passed by the US House of Representatives.It passed by 235 to 184 - 35 Republicans joined 200 Democrats and voted for the bill.159 Republicans were joined in voting against by 25 Democrats, many of whom were angry that protections for trans people had been removed from the bill.

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