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Current Affairs

  • 16th October 2007

    Trial against Phelps’ anti-gay group gets go-ahead 1

    Albert Snyder claims that protesters from the Kansas-based anti-gay group destroyed his only chance to bury in peace the son he lost in Iraq. He filed a complaint in June 2006.

    3:14 PM — A Baltimore judge has restricted the scope of a lawsuit brought by the father of a Marine whose funeral was targeted by Fred Phelps' anti-gay group.It is the first individual lawsuit brought against Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) for its protests at military funeral ceremoniesThe law suit will go to trial next week in Baltimore.

  • Gay police honour campaigning priest 1

    Rev Kirker urged the GPA to give its full support to a proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

    2:35 PM — The Gay Police Association has honoured the chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement.The Reverend Richard Kirker was awarded the Matthew Windibank Memorial Award at the 17th GPA Annual Dinner in Brighton on Saturday.The award recognises those individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the progression of gay equality inside and outside the police service.

  • Schoolboy orchestrated fatal homophobic attack 16

    David Meehan, aged 19, admitted murdering gay council worker James Kerr, while 21-year-old Martin Soutar admitted culpable homicide.

    11:21 AM — Two men have admitted killing a council worker in a homophobic attack in a public park in Scotland.The BBC reported that a 15-year-old boy also pleaded guilty to assaulting 51-year-old James Kerr in the South Inch park in Perth in April this year.All three were originally charged with murder, but changed their pleas at the High Court in Perth. They will be sentenced today.

  • Schwarzenegger blocks marriage, signs other gay-friendly legislation

    Some good news also came out the California Governor's office late last week.

    11:21 AM — California Assemblyman Mark Leno,a San Francisco Democrat, was not happy to hear that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed another gay marriage bill on Friday, once again saying voters and the state Supreme Court, not the legislature, should decide the issue.In a statement released on Friday, Schwarzenegger said Californians "should not be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation."Schwarzenegger wasn't simply the bearer of bad news for the LGBT community on Friday. Some good news also came out the California Governor's office late last week.

  • 15th October 2007

    EXCLUSIVE: Gay MP angry at press treatment of Ming 1

    Stephen William, the MP for Bristol West, who is an out gay man, expressed anger at the way Sir Ming has been treated over his age.

    7:05 PM — Liberal Democrat MPs have been paying tribute to Sir Ming Campbell after it was announced today that he has resigned after one year, seven months and thirteen days as party leader.Stephen Williams, the MP for Bristol West, who is an out gay man, expressed anger at the way Sir Ming has been treated over his age."I am very sad about his resignation. I think he has been treated appallingly by sections of the media," he told PinkNews.co.uk

  • Ming Campbell resigns as Lib Dem leader 1

    An election will be held to replace Sir Ming on December 17th.

    6:35 PM — The leader of the Liberal Democrats has resigned.The party's President Simon Hughes announced this evening that Sir Menzies Campbell is stepping down immediately.He has led the party since March 2006, when long-serving leader and fellow Scot Charles Kennedy resigned over press reports about his alcoholism.

  • Vatican’s quick investigation of priest in gay sex sting 5

    The president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia told La Repubblica newspaper that the Vatican wanted a quick “internal clean-up.“

    5:55 PM — A senior Roman Catholic official has said that the Church will conduct immediate investigations into allegations against a priest exposed on Italian TV.Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia, told La Repubblica newspaper that the Vatican wanted a quick "internal clean-up."Monsignor Tommaso Stenico was suspended on Sunday after he was identified in a television broadcast supposedly declaring his homosexuality and making advances to a young man.

  • Sex abuse letting agents on the run

    A jury unanimously found Palmer guilty of five counts of indecent assault on a male at Plymouth Crown Court.

    3:35 PM — A 50-year-old man has been found guilty of sexually abusing two teenage boys and a man.Alfred John Palmer, a letting agent in Plymouth, was convicted in his absence after absconding.Palmer, formerly of Alcester Street, Stoke, was owner of landlord and letting agency Palmer Co. The court heard that he abused his position, performing "intrusive interviews" which included taking photos of his victims.

  • Muslim leader wants gays exiled from Uganda 5

    The Muslim community, who make up 12% of Uganda's population of 27 million, were quick to add their voices of disapproval.

    2:53 PM — The leading Muslim cleric in Uganda, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje, has come up with a novel solution to deal with gay and lesbians speaking up in the country.He told journalists at a press conference on Friday that he had recommended to the country's President at a meeting last week that all gay people should be sent into exile on an island in Lake Victoria."If they die there then we shall have no more homosexuals in the country," he added. There has been rising tension in the country over gay and lesbian rights.

  • Christians target Labour in Australian election 13

    Mr Rudd looks certain to sweep Labour into power for the first time since the defeat of Paul Keating eleven years ago.

    12:55 PM — The announcement that a general election will be held in Australia on 24th November has prompted evangelical groups in the country to begin campaigning against gay equality.The Australian Christian Lobby has asked a series of questions of Labour party leader Kevin Rudd, including one on gay rights, which it plans to post online.The pressure group is confident that it can influence the man viewed as almost certain to defeat incumbent John Howard and become Australia's 26th Prime Minister.

  • Bondage death of London man raises legal issues

    Exley's family are now suing LeBlanc's estate for unspecified damages, claiming wrongful death.

    12:45 PM — The death of a man during a bondage session is raising questions about liability resulting from sex play.Adrian Exley's body was found in the woods in Rhode Island last June, two months after he was bound up in the bondage playroom Gary LeBlanc had built in the basement of his Massachusetts home.According to AP, Exley, a 32-year-old stripper from Clapham, had travelled to Boston for a bondage session with LeBlanc after they met on a gay fetish website.

  • Euro Parliament holds equal opportunities conference

    The conference was organised by the European Parliament and the European Commission

    12:45 PM — As part of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All, a conference was held last week at the European Parliament (EP).The two-day event, organised during the Parliament's so-called October mini-Plenary session, hoped to bring together government officials, NGOs, and the general public to talk about the on-going state of affairs for anti-discrimination.The opening session was presided over by Michael Cashman. One of the very few out gay MEPs, he was recently honoured with an MEP of the Year award for his work on human rights.

  • Canadian Anglicans vote for same-sex blessings 2

    The Ottowa decision will do nothing to heal the rift in the 77 million member Anglican church in North America and rest of the world.

    12:15 PM — A diocese of the Anglican church in Canada has voiced its support for the blessing of gay and lesbian marriages in spite of assurances from the national church that no such ceremonies will take place.Ottawa Anglicans voted 177 to 97 in favour of blessing gay marriages at a meeting on Saturday, following several hours of impassioned debate. A similar vote in the diocese of Montreal will take place later this month.Some Ottawan priests have threatened to stop performing marriage ceremonies for heterosexuals unless they are allowed to bless same-sex couples.

  • HIV transmission man may be in France

    Anyone with any information about James' whereabouts should contact the CID at Hounslow Police on 0208 721 9104 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

    11:23 AM — Police hunting a gay man who was convicted last year of recklessly infecting his lover with HIV believe he may have spent some time in France.Mark James was sentenced to three years and four months in jail when he failed to appear in court in August 2006.Police have been looking for him since he first missed a court date and a nationwide hunt failed to find James. Police later confirmed that the search was now international.

  • Gay friendly bishop’s UK tour 1

    As well as gay rights, 76-year-old Bishop Spong encourages feminism and racial equality within the church.

    10:10 AM — A provocative retired Anglican bishop who supports gay rights within the church is to give give a series of talks in the UK.John Shelby Spong, a bishop with the Episcopal Church in Newark, New Jersey, for 24 years, is conducting a world tour in support of his book Jesus for the Non-Religious.He has already toured New Zealand and flies to South Africa afterwards his UK appearances.

  • 14th October 2007

    “Outed” Vatican priest suspended by Vatican 5

    Monsignor Tommaso Stenico's photograph was released by PapaNews

    8:12 PM — A senior Roman Catholic Church official has been suspended after he was identified in a television broadcast supposedly declaring his homosexuality and making advances to a young man.Originally only identified as sixty-year-old, working in the Congregation for the Clergy department which manges the 400,000 active Catholic priests across the globe. He was identified by Vatican officials who recognised his office in the background of the picture.

  • John Howard calls November election in Australia 13

    John Howard is behind his Labor rivals in the polls

    8:01 PM — Australian Prime Minister John Howard today called a general election, to be held on the 24th November. It has been speculated that he will support moves towards an increase in pro-gay legislation.Mr Howard's Liberal Party is around 12 per cent behind Kevin Rudd's opposition Labor party in the polls.At that level of support, switching LGBT voters, traditional supports of the Labor party to vote Liberal will become more significant.

  • 13th October 2007

    Schwarzenegger vetoes gay marriage bill again 2

    Arnold Schwarzenegger with fellow anti-gay marriage politican, President George Bush

    11:30 AM — Action hero actor turned Republican Californian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill allowing gay marriages for the second time in two years, saying voters and the state Supreme Court, not legislators, should decide the issue.The Californian Senate had voted 22 to 15 to support the bill (AB43) by Assemblyman Mark Leno that would allow gay marriage based on a "a civil contract between two persons," that would allow religious institutions to refuse to officiate gay marriages.

  • 12th October 2007

    Minister signals tax breaks for married and civil partnered couples 19

    Andy Burnham said there is a “moral case“ for promoting marriage though the tax system

    11:14 PM — In an interview in Saturday's Daily Telegraph, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has signaled that the Government may give tax incentives to married couples, in recogniion of their benefits to society.The interview concentrates on traditonal, straight marriages, but under the Civil Partnership Act, all benefits offered to married couples must be offered to gay couples in civil partnerships.

  • Leading gay commentators question incitement law 100

    Gay equality organisation Stonewall hit back, saying there is a lot of misunderstanding about the proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

    5:30 PM — Prominent gay journalists have expressed concern at proposals from the government to introduce a new offence of inciting hate against gay, lesbian and bisexual people.They believe it will undermine freedom of speech, adds little to existing laws and even plays into the hands of homophobes and bigots by allowing them to become martyrs.However, gay equality organisation Stonewall hit back, saying there is a lot of misunderstanding about the proposed new offence.

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