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Current Affairs

  • 5th December 2007

    Senator denies gay sex allegations from eight men 4

    He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in June after being accused by an undercover officer of soliciting sex at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

    11:10 AM — United States Senator Larry Craig denied late yesterday that he had sexual encounters with several men over the last two decades.Craig, who has vowed to serve out his term in the Senate, said in a statement that the latest allegations against him, which appeared over the weekend in the Idaho Statesman, had "no basis in reality."He also accused the paper of "tabloid journalism" for publishing the article that included eight men who said they either had sex with the Idaho Republican in the past or that he made "sexual advances" toward them.

  • Comment: A bad election year for Howard and the Belgians

    I think it just boiled down to a simple fact that voters became sick of Howard, after over a decade in office.

    10:20 AM — As 2007 has only weeks left, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what has been a truly outstanding year for those of us who follow general elections around the world.And as we gear up for an equally busy 2008 with high-profile elections in Iran, Pakistan (increasingly unlikely), Russia (unless Putin changes the constitution) and New Zealand, there is the added bonus that the biggest prize of all is now less than a year away: the race for the White House.

  • Former Italian PM rejects gay marriage 4

    D'Alema's left-wing coalition was expected to legislate earlier this year to establish a form of legal recognition.

    10:01 AM — Italy's left-wing Foreign Minister said yesterday he is against gay marriage.Massimo D'Alema, a former Prime Minister who currently holds the highest post at the Italian Foreign office, was addressing high-school students in Rome, when he was asked his view on gay marriage.Mr D'Alema, who is not a Catholic, said that he was against marriage between gay people.

  • 4th December 2007

    Gay rights were part of rejected Venezuelan referendum 1

    In September, Chavez denied claims from El Mundo newspaper about his sexuality.   photo: agencia brasil

    4:55 PM — The President of Venezuela's defeat in last Sunday's referendum on whether to change the constitution also meant that a proposal to guarantee gay rights was swept aside.Hugo Chavez wanted the changes to significantly increase his powers. The new constitutional arrangements would have allowed him to stand indefinitely for re-election.It would have also given him control over foreign currency reserves, more powers over local government and over the declaration of martial law.

  • EU reports show increased awareness of LGBT rights

    LGBT rights organisation, ILGA-Europe, has praised the EU's increased focus on LGBT human rights, especially in the Turkish and Serbian reports.

    4:55 PM — Progress reports released by the European Commission last month show improvements in the monitoring of LBGT rights in countries looking to join the European Union.Each year the European Commission monitors the achievements and progress of each of the EU candidate (Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey) and potential candidate countries in fulfilling the obligations of the partnership agreements between the country and the EU.

  • Lesbian mother hits back at sperm donor’s claims 2

    Mr Bathie has to pay £450 a month toward bringing up the two children produced using his sperm.

    4:55 PM — The lesbian who had two children with her civil partner after fireman Andy Bathie donated his sperm has said today he had behaved as a full-time father and should take financial responsibility for the children.Mr Bathie has to pay £450 a month toward bringing up the two children produced using his sperm.He has insisted he was only a donor and did not want take an active role in raising the kids.

  • Irish justice minister’s first speech to gay audience 11

    The government has pledged to bring forward a new draft law creating civil unions by March 2008.

    2:35 PM — Brian Lenihan, Ireland's Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, will make his first address to a lesbian and gay audience today when he launches the annual report of the Gay Lesbian Equality Network.The GLEN report outlines the considerable progress towards legal recognition for same-sex couples and the advances made in other areas including community safety strategies with the Gardaí (Irish police).The report also highlights new resource guides for inclusion and safety in education.

  • Religious forum pledges greater tolerance for gay Muslims 7

    Homosexuality is forbidden and considered a crime in most Islamic countries.

    2:35 PM — A gay Muslim last week came out to a group of Muslim scholars at an AIDS conference who had branded homosexuality "unIslamic" and "evil" days beforehand.Suhail AbualSameed spoke openly about his sexuality to an audience of ulama, distinguished Islamic scholars, at the International Consultation on Islam and HIV/AIDS in Johannesburg, South Africa, IRIN PlusNews has reported.Mr AbualSameed, a Jordanian living in Canada, said: "As a gay Muslim, I feel unsafe, unloved and unrespected in this space."

  • Scouts miss deadline to lift gay ban

    The scouts have been on notice for seven months that they will be evicted on May 31 if they do not drop the policies.

    2:35 PM — The Philadelphia chapter of the Boy Scouts of America has ignored a deadline set by the city's officials to publicly renounce its membership bar against people who are openly homosexual or atheists if the organisation wishes to remain in its landmark headquarters on city-owned land.The scouts have been on notice for seven months that they will be evicted on May 31 if they do not drop the policies.

  • Father of Barrymore pool death man awarded compensation 2

    31-year-old Stuart Lubbock was found dead in entertainer Michael Barrymore's swimming pool after a party in March 2001.

    2:15 PM — The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has awarded Terry Lubbock £6,800 criminal injuries compensation.His 31-year-old son Stuart Lubbock was found dead in entertainer Michael Barrymore's swimming pool after a house party in March 2001.Three months later Barrymore and two other men were arrested and bailed in connection with the incident.But a year after Mr Lubbock's death, police decided no charges were to be brought against Barrymore or the other men.

  • Amnesty protests gay convictions in Morocco 1

    Amnesty International wants its 2.2 million members worldwide to write to the Moroccan authorities demanding the release of men.

    2:10 PM — A leading human rights group is calling on its members to protest against the conviction of six men in Morocco accused of "lewd of unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex."Amnesty International wants its 2.2 million members worldwide to write to the Moroccan authorities demanding the release of men, who were convicted on 10 December.They have been in jail since they were first arrested by the police between November 23rd and 25th 2007.

  • Interview: Irish gay rights group takes on partnerships

    The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), an organisation set up in 1988 to work for decriminalisation, is pushing for full equality.

    2:01 PM — Ireland has come a long way since decriminalising homosexuality in 1993.Last week the Republic of Ireland's Minister of State for Equality, Sean Power, reiterated that legislation allowing same-sex civil partnerships will be introduced next year.While ruling out gay marriage as unconstitutional, he did confirm that gay and straight co-habiting couples would get many spousal rights through the Civil Partnership Registration Scheme.

  • Gay conference to be held in Malta

    ILGA Europe had chosen Lithuania to highlight the prejudice gay and lesbian people face in the Baltic country.

    1:05 PM — The 2009 European International Lesbian and Gay Association conference will be held in Malta.The Mediterranean island beat the competing Dutch city of The Hague to win the right to host the LGBT organisation's annual gathering.Malta Gay Rights Movement welcomed ILGA Europe's decision, saying it would be an opportunity to raise the visibility of LGBT issues in the Roman Catholic country, where gay people still suffer discrimination.

  • Churches seek reassurance over incitement law 100

    The two churches want assurances that they would be able to express their views on gay people “directed against conduct rather than against the person themselves.“

    12:45 PM — A joint statement from the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches in England has revealed their worries that a new incitement to homophobic hatred law might target Christian teachings.In a memorandum to a committee of MPs the churches asserted their view that "sexual activity and lifestyle, as distinct from sexual orientation, are matters of choice and impinge upon the public sphere."As such they are subject to evaluation and criticism, and freedom to discuss them must be preserved."

  • Uruguayan parliament passes civil unions law 2

    The Uruguayan Congress last week passed legislation creating a civil union registry for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples.

    12:40 PM — Uruguay will legally recognise same-sex civil unions.The country of 3.6m people is the first nation in South America to grant such protections, although some cities and regions throughout the continent have made similar legal provisions.The Uruguayan Congress last week passed legislation creating a civil union registry for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples.The measure had previously passed the Chamber of Senators.

  • Australian state laws may help same-sex partners

    Attorney-General Rob Hulls said although the register would not facilitate gay marriage or civil unions, it would be a practical tool for unmarried couples to have access to entitlements.

    12:07 PM — Gay and lesbian couples in Victoria, Australia will be able to register their relationship to gain easier access to entitlements under laws tabled in parliament, a government adviser has said.The Victorian government announced in April it would establish the Relationships Register for people who were not married and were in a committed relationship.Under existing laws, couples may be required to provide evidence to prove their relationship.

  • Treaty shelved over fears about same-sex marriage

    Although homosexuality is legal in Peru, the legal union between two adults of the same sex is not permitted.

    11:20 AM — A vote on an international treaty in Peru has been put on hold after a heated debate erupted over whether the treaty would lead to legal support for same-sex partnerships.A congressional vote on the Iberian-American Convention on the Rights of Youth-an international treaty that establishes a core set of legal standards to protect young people-was shelved and the resolution sent back to the Peruvian Commission of International Relations for further study.

  • Poll puts Obama ahead of Democrat field in Iowa primary

    It is the first time that Obama has taken a slight advantage in the polls over Clinton.

    11:20 AM — She's been ahead in the national polls, but Democrat party candidate Hillary Clinton may not have the comfortable lead she was hoping for heading into the 2008 Presidential election.This week, an early poll put Barack Obama three points ahead of Clinton and six points over former vice Presidential candidate John Edwards.For over 35 years, Iowa has been the first state to vote in presidential primaries and often is looked at for setting the tone of which candidate will ultimately receive the nomination.

  • Sperm donor forced to pay child maintenance

    Changes in the law in 2005 mean that when children turn 18 they can contact the HFEA and ask for the identity of their father.

    10:45 AM — A man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple is being made to pay child support.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is warning "DIY" donors that they risk financial responsibility unless they go through a licensed clinic.Men who donate through a clinic have no legal or financial obligation to the child that is conceived and do not have a right to be named on the birth certificate.

  • 3rd December 2007

    Paedophile slur councillor resigns from Labour party 130

    In a statement, the Labour party today confirmed that Ms Grell has resigned ahead of an investigation into her conduct.

    12:35 PM — A Labour politician who was found guilty of making false allegations of paedophilia against her gay opponent has resigned from the party.In September Miranda Grell, 29, was barred from public office for three years, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.Ms Grell won a formerly safe Lib Dem seat on the London Borough of Waltham Forest council in last May's elections.

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