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Current Affairs

  • 20th January 2008

    McCain beats Huckabee in South Carolina 2

    John McCain beat John Huckabee

    2:50 AM — In the South Carolina primaries, John McCain beat Mike Huckabee by 33 per cent to 30 per cent. Mr Huckabee last week compared gay marriage to "a man and an animal."In the Nevada Democratic caucus, New York Senator Hillary Clinton scored 51 per cent of the vote compared to Barack Obama's 45 per cent. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been declared the winner in the Republican Nevada caucus, leading over rival Arizona Senator John McCain by a wide margin.

  • 18th January 2008

    Bar staff convicted of vicious assault 2

    CCTV footage was vital in convicting the men.

    5:50 PM — The co-owner of the Fridge Bar in Brixton, south London, has been convicted along with members of staff of violent disorder and attempted grievous bodily harm.Bar cashier Victor Reid, 41, from Brixton, doorman Frederick Mallefroy, 43, from Ilford in Essex and bar co-owner Ralph Daley, 45, of Purley, set upon a man in his twenties as he tried to gain entry to the bar in November 2006.The Fridge Bar and adjoining club have in the past hosted many well-known gay events.

  • NZ commission suggests more rights for trans people

    80% of trans people in New Zealand had experienced discrimination.

    5:30 PM — The Human Rights Commission in New Zealand has recommended that citizens should be able to alter their sex on documents such as passports and birth certificates.Following a two-year study the commission has said the country's Human Rights Act should be amended to make gender identity discrimination illegal."Forms of discrimination and harassment ranged from low-level (avoidance and insults) to very severe (violent physical and sexual assaults)," the commission said.

  • Jewish leaders back homophobic incitement law 5

    The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that their community's experience of prejudice was the reason they were supporting the government's proposal.

    3:31 PM — A proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation has been backed by the main body representing British Jews.The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that their community's experience of prejudice was the reason they were supporting the government's proposal.The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill was passed by the House of Commons last week and will now be discussed in the Lords.

  • Huckabee compares gay marriage to bestiality 19

    Since winning the Iowa primary earlier this month, the evangelical Christian has become a serious contender for the White House.

    2:15 PM — Mike Huckabee, one of the leading contenders for the Republican party nomination for President of the United States, has said he wants to change the country's Constitution to ban abortion and compared gay relationships to "a man and an animal."In an interview with an online religious magazine Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, said: "I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal."

  • Kuwaitis arrested for “impersonating opposite sex” 3

    In September 2007, the newspaper Al Arabiya reported a new government campaign to “combat the growing phenomenon of gays and transsexuals“ in Kuwait.

    11:10 AM — A leading human rights charity has drawn attention to the plight of more than a dozen people arrested and jailed under new "dress code" laws in Kuwait.Human Rights Watch has called for them to be released.The law was approved by the National Assembly on December 10th 2007. It criminalises people who "imitate the appearance of the opposite sex."

  • Teletubbies makers pay compensation to “faggot” actor

    Mr Blake played a Tombilboo in the programme

    12:20 AM — Ragdoll Limited, who make the Teletubbies have been ordered by an employment tribunal to pay 2000 pounds to an actor who was called a "faggot" by a fellow cast member.However, Issac Blake, 28, from Cardiff lost the majority of his case after being sacked as an actor for the BBC children's programme In the Night Garden. Mr Blake had told the hearing that he was unfairly dismissed from his role playing a Tombilboo (pictured), a doll in the programme.

  • 17th January 2008

    Orthodox bishop links homosexuals to paedophiles 6

    Since 1989, Bishop Kirill has been active in the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    4:40 PM — A senior Russian church leader has condemned social acceptance of homosexuality, declaring that it is the church's "duty" to correct public opinion.In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegal, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who is head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, said that not viewing homosexuality as a sin will lead to a variety of other sexual perversions."If you excuse homosexuality, why not excuse paedophilia?" he said.

  • Gay delegates to hold key positions at Democratic convention

    Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are the frontrunners to win the Democratic party nomination.  photo: jessamyn@flickr.com

    4:10 PM — The executive committee of the US Democratic party's National Committee has approved seven LGBT delegates to three important standing committees.The convention in Denver in August will formally choose the party's candidate for President of the United States.The Advocate reports that prominent LGBT party members have been appointed to the platform, rules, and credentials committees.In all 25 delegates have been selected to serve on the standing committees.

  • Robbers who posed as gay jailed for five years

    Butler and Wyatt admitted the charges of robbery, false imprisonment and driving while disqualified.

    12:50 PM — Two men who pretended they were gay so that they could rob a man they met in a nightclub have been sentenced to five years at Bristol Crown Court.Benjamin Butler, 29, and Matthew Wyatt, 33, duped John Gibbs at the Vibe club in Bristol before going back to his flat where they threatened him with a knife, stole his money and tied him up.The pair then fled, leaving Mr Gibbs imprisoned in his flat. A few days later he spotted the thieves in the city. He called the police and they were arrested.

  • US gets first black lesbian mayor 5

    Gay political activists in the US praised Ms Simmons' selection by her fellow city councillors.

    11:45 AM — The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has made history after the city council chose Denise Simmons to serve as the first black lesbian mayor in America.The city's more famous namesake in England made history last year when its councillors chose a woman who had transitioned sex as mayor.Gay political activists in the US praised Ms Simmons' selection by her fellow city councillors. Her predecessor, Ken Reeves, was also gay and black.

  • Gay airport guard claims sexual harassment

    A gay security guard at Heathrow airport was harassed by a female colleague for sex, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.  photo: maxf@flickr.com

    11:20 AM — A gay security guard at Heathrow airport was harassed by a female colleague for sex, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.Allwyn Rondeau, 46, who lives in Feltham, Middlesex with his partner of 15 years, told the tribunal how he had rejected 42-year-old Lucy Chilton's persistent advances time and time again because he was gay, but she would not give up.The tribunal heard that on one occasion Miss Chilton "stuck her bum in the air saying 'come on give it to me'", according to The Daily Express.

  • Shock at male rape estimates in Sydney

    The hospital claimed that attackers are usually straight males who have sex with men but do not necessarily identify themselves as gay.

    11:10 AM — New figures have revealed that hundreds of men are being raped in Sydney and its eastern suburbs every year.A report from the Eastern and Central Sexual Assault Service at Royal Alfred Hospital stated that although 44 male victims complained of being sexually assaulted last year, this number was just "the tip of the iceberg".Experts claim that as much as 95 per cent of male victims did not report such crimes to the police. Manager Lisa Simpson said: "There is a huge denial about same-sex sexual assault."

  • Protesters halt Papal visit to university 1

    Protesters had planned to mount loudspeakers on a truck and create a “sonic siege“ if the Pope set foot on campus.

    10:50 AM — Science students and academics at the University of Rome La Sapienza have successfully stopped Pope Benedict XVI from visiting the campus today.Vatican Radio accused them of censorship, while the Italian Prime Minister said their determination to block the Pope from speaking "provoked an unacceptable tension and a climate that does not honour the traditions of civilisation and tolerance in Italy."LGBT students also planned to protest the Papal visit.

  • Lesbian soldier wins claim against Ministry of Defence 3

    “The MoD is considering the lengthy judgment issued by the tribunal. We don't wish to comment further,“ said a spokesman.

    10:20 AM — A 31-year-old Lance Bombadier has won a claim of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and sex discrimination at an employment tribunal.Kerry Fletcher, who is a lesbian, was the victim of unwanted sexual advances from a male sergeant who claimed he could "convert" her.She could win more than £400,000 damages representing lost earnings and hurt feelings. Ms Fletcher had intended to stay in the Army for another 12 years but her career was cut short by campaign of harassment she suffered.

  • 16th January 2008

    Cameroon men get six months jail for being gay 7

    More than 30 people have been arrested in Cameroon in the last two years on charges of homosexuality,

    6:35 PM — Three men have been sentenced to six month hard labour for being homosexual.The men were arrested in Bonapriso, Douala, on August 31st 2007 by police officers making random arrests in search of armed robbers.After being beaten at the police station, one of the men confessed to being homosexual and implicated his two colleagues.The three men's lawyer said she would appeal the convictions and none of the men had been found guilty of homosexual acts.

  • Toilet sex carries “expectation of privacy” says ACLU 1

    The ACLU brief cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that people having sex in a closed toilet cubicle in a public toilet have an “expectation of privacy.“

    5:14 PM — The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday filed court papers in support of US Senator Larry Craig's fight to have his conviction for soliciting sex in an airport toilet overturned.The ACLU brief cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that people having sex in a closed toilet cubicle in a public toilet have an "expectation of privacy" and if the Senator was attempting to engage an undercover police officer for sex he was not acting illegally.The Senator from Idaho arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room.

  • Presbyterian church allows lesbian ordination

    The San Francisco Presbytery encompasses nearly 80 churches with 28,000 parishioners.

    5:01 PM — In the first test of a new policy allowing local Presbyterian churches the right to welcome into the clergy candidates who object to church teachings, the Presbytery of San Francisco has granted a lesbian deacon her wish of becoming a minister.The regional body yesterday voted 167 to 151 in favour of Lisa Larges, who had twice before been denied ordination.Since 1978 the US Presbyterian denomination bans sexually active gay or lesbian people from the ministry.

  • Gay link to theft of Irish Crown Jewels

    The Order of St Partick is an order of chivalry founded in 1783 by George III.

    4:30 PM — Just four days before King Edward VII arrived in Ireland for a state visit, his Crown Jewels were stolen from Dublin Castle.The 1907 theft angered the monarch, scandalised the Irish press and has remained one of the unsolved mysteries of modern times.The star and badge of the Order of St Patrick, laden with rubies, emeralds and diamonds, were never recovered.Now an historian has blamed the daring heist on Francis Shackleton, brother of the famous polar explorer Ernest.

  • Florida gay marriage ban short on signatures

    There is already a ban on same-sex marriage in Florida.

    2:02 PM — An initiative to ask Florida's citizens to ban gay marriage in the state is more than 20,000 signatures short of the required number, despite claims last month that the target had been reached.Florida4Marriage.org want a question on the 2008 ballot on following amendment to the state's constitution regarding civil marriage.Revised numbers show that the group is 21,989 signatures short of the required 611,009. There are two weeks left until the deadline.

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