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Current Affairs

  • 7th January 2008

    Christian registrar refuses to perform civil partnerships 11

    18,000 civil partnerships took place in the UK since they were introduced in December 2005 and the end of December 2006.

    12:05 PM — An official in the London Borough of Islington is taking the council to court because she claims she should be exempted from performing civil partnership ceremonies.The unnamed marriage registrar, who is a devout Christian, has refused to take part in any of the 600-plus civil partnerships entered into in the borough since they became legal just over two years ago.Yesterday an Islington council spokesperson told the Evening Standard:"A claim has been made to an employment tribunal."

  • Erect Jesus statue stirs controversy among Christians 8

    All the art pieces are from the private collection of Newcastle-born Anita Zabludowicz.

    11:23 AM — An art gallery in the North East is under fire after exhibiting a 1ft high statue of Jesus with an erection.The artwork, by gay Chinese-born artist Terence Koh, is being exhibited by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.The gallery has received complaints from Christians and visitors alike who argue the sculpture degrades the Christian faith. Koh's exhibition, entitled Gone, Yet Still, consists of 74 plaster models, ranging from statues of Mickey Mouse to ET, all with full erections.

  • Analysis: Hillary and Barack excite gay voters 2

    With all the state's 1, 781 precincts reporting, Obama won 38% of the delegates, to Edwards' 29.8% and Clinton's 29.5%.

    11:10 AM — That was then, this is now.Less than 24 hours after the stunning victories of Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, in the Iowa caucuses, the Presidential campaigns and the accompanying national media shifted attention from cold Iowa to the colder tiny Granite state of New Hampshire.And where there are politicians, especially New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, the other leaders in the Democratic Party contest, there are LGBT folks trying to influence them and their voters.

  • Wyoming win proivdes small comfort to Romney

    Romney took seven of the state's 12 delegates with almost all precincts now reported in.

    10:40 AM — He wasn't even present, but Republican candidate Mitt Romney took home the top prize in the Wyoming caucuses on Saturday anyway.Although a small win in the overall election 2008 run-up, the result lends more strength to Romney's campaign going into New Hampshire for Tuesday's primary."Today," former Massachusetts governor Romney said in a statement to the press, "the people of Wyoming took the first step towards bringing true conservative change to Washington."

  • Obama endorsed by former Presidential candidate

    Bradley said Obama's ability to bring people together for change makes him the best Democrat to reclaim the White House.

    10:25 AM — Former US Senator Bill Bradley has officially announced his endorsement of Illinois Senator Barack Obama for president.A former Democratic Presidential candidate himself, Bradley will campaign with Obama on Monday in New Hampshire.Bradley said Obama's ability to bring people together for change makes him the best Democrat to reclaim the White House.

  • 6th January 2008

    Facebook “exposes” bisexual, boozy friends of Bhutto’s son 7

    Bilawal and bisexual couple Kirini Kopcke (left) and Julia Hartley

    4:00 PM — Lesbian relationships are illegal in the country where he is a leader of a major political party but Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is friends with a couple in a lesbian relationship.Mr Bhutto Zardari, son of the murdered Pakistani opposition leader, Benazir is a student at Christ Church College, Oxford and his Facebook profile has been highlighted by The Mail on Sunday. The 19-year-old's profile now appears to have been removed.

  • Elton John likely to hold fundraising dinner for Paddick 1

    Sir Elton John  and David Furnish are the most high profile gay couple in Britain

    3:20 PM — Sir Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, are thought to be preparing to hold a fundraising dinner for Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London.Brian Paddick, previously the most senior openly gay police officer in Britain told LBC last month that he was likely to be backed by the celebrity couple. They have an enviable address book and have consistently shown their stellar ability to raise money, particularly for Sir Elton's AIDs foundation.

  • 4th January 2008

    Spanish PM slams Church over “family” rally comments 40

    The Zapatero government introduced full gay marriage in Spain in 2005.

    6:00 PM — The Prime Minister of Spain has responded to Roman Catholic leaders after they criticised government policy supporting gay marriage and abortion.José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero spoke out during a speech in the Huelva town of Almonte yesterday following comments made last Sunday in Madrid at a Catholic Church rally led by Cardinals and Bishops.Clearly angry, Mr Zapatero defended his government's policies, saying they were supported by the "immense majority" of the Spanish population and that everyone had rights in Spain, whether they belonged to a religion or not.

  • Tax victory for California’s same-sex couples

    The Board of Equalisation is a state agency in charge of fee collections and tax administration.

    3:30 PM — An attempt by tax officials in California to overturn property tax protections for domestic partners has been halted by the state's Supreme Court.The ruling has been hailed as a major victory by gay rights activists.California's Court of Appeal had previously affirmed the validity of a Board of Equalisation rule that protects domestic partners from increased property taxes when one of the partners dies and the other inherits the couple's home.

  • Magistrate to re-appeal over gay adoption row 9

    Andrew McClintock's legal action against the Lord Chancellor was rejected by an employment tribunal.

    3:01 PM — A former magistrate who claimed unfair dismissal after he was told he could not pick and choose which adoption cases to rule on is to appeal for the second time.In March 64-year-old Andrew McClintock's legal action against the Lord Chancellor, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions, was rejected by an employment tribunal."Gay couples have human rights too," the tribunal said.

  • Analysis: Romney vows to fight on after losing Iowa caucus 1

    Turnout for the caucuses was higher than predicted, nearly double the participants in the 2004 caucuses according to some reports.

    1:56 PM — Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucus battle among Republicans with Mitt Romney running second. Former Baptist minister Huckabee is known as a solid conservative candidate popular among evangelical Christian voters.On the Democratic side, Barack Obama was the winner with John Edwards second and Hillary Clinton in a very close third.Turnout for the caucuses was higher than predicted, nearly double the participants in the 2004 caucuses according to some reports.

  • As Iowa chooses, Bush snoozes

    His press secretary suggested in a news conference yesterday that nap time likely will outweigh whatever desire the President has to see who will gain the early lead in the US 2008 election season.

    1:45 PM — Don't expect to hear President George W. Bush's reaction to the Iowa caucus results until sometime today.His press secretary suggested in a news conference yesterday that nap time likely will outweigh whatever desire the President has to see who will gain the early lead in the US 2008 election season."What time do all the results start coming in?" asked White House press secretary Dana Perino.

  • New ‘divorce’ rights for Australian gay couples

    The Family Court, which has jurisdiction over gay and de facto custody disputes, will adjudicate the division of assets.

    1:30 PM — Gay and de facto couples in Australia who break up are set to win the same property rights as married couples.Unmarried couples will be able to settle their differences in Family Court thanks to Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls, who won Commonwealth and state backing for the federal law to be changed.Previously these couples were obliged to split their assets in state courts, which were more costly, more complicated and took longer than the Family Court.

  • Obama and Huckabee win in Iowa 4

    There was a high turnout despite the freezing weather, and the support of young people was vital in Obama's victory.

    3:08 AM — In an excting night in American politics, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee have won the first votes in the race to choose the country's Presidential candidates.Obama, the first African-American to stand a serious chance of winning nomination by a major party, romped home in a rural state that is 95% white.His stunning victory over former First Lady Hillary Clinton and former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards has transformed the race for the White House.

  • 3rd January 2008

    Muslim leaders back Ken for third term as Mayor 3

    Mayor Livingstone faced protests from gay activists in 2004 when he invited the Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi to London.

    4:35 PM — The re-election of Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London is in the best interests of Muslims, according to 63 leading Islamic figures.Imams and community leaders have signed a statement pledging support for his campaign for a third term in office, citing his support for the Palestinian people and opposition to UK policy in Iraq as key reasons to support him.Ihtisham Hibatullah from the British Muslim Initiative, told The Guardian: "He supports religious freedom."

  • Gay group questions Huckabee’s extreme views 7

    TruthWinsOut has said it is “alarmed“ that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a serious contender for the White House.

    3:01 PM — An American organisation that works to expose the tactics of "ex-gay" groups has raised concerns that a leading Republican candidate for President of the United States has links with known extremist groups.TruthWinsOut has said it is "alarmed" that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a serious contender for the White House.The first state caucus for the Republican nomination for the Presidency is being held in Iowa today and many polls put Huckabee in the lead.

  • Lesbian senator committed to fight for gay equality

    The Labour Senator-Elect from Western Australia will take her seat in the Canberra parliament in July.

    2:30 PM — As the youngest woman ever elected to Western Australia's Legislative Council she was instrumental in pushing forward some of the most progressive gay equality laws in Australia, including equalising the age of consent, allowing same-sex adoption and banning sexual orientation discrimination.Now 35-year-old Louise Pratt has pledged to work just as hard as an advocate for LGBT rights in her new role as a federal Senator.She has spoken of her excitement at the recent elections that brought her party to power after 11 years of opposition.

  • Christian MP defends opposition to gay hate law 24

    Mr Breed, the MP for South East Cornwall, has been a consistent opponent of gay rights.

    2:02 PM — A Liberal Democrat MP has defended an amendment designed to ensure that homophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.Colin Breed, who is a lay Methodist preacher, claims that the move, which is also supported by Ann Widdecombe, is about "freedom of speech."The amendment to the Criminal Justice bill seeks to block a proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

  • Sperm donor child support case under review

    Andy Bathie, a 37-year-old fireman from London, provided sperm to civil partners Sharon and Terri Arnold.

    12:10 PM — A man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple and was subsequently made to pay child support has revealed that his case is being reviewed by the Child Support Agency.Andy Bathie, a 37-year-old fireman from London, provided sperm to civil partners Sharon and Terri Arnold.As this was a private arrangement not organised through the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), he is legally the father.

  • Straight bouncer wins damages from gay club 1

    Ms Legg was awarded £3,222 for unfair dismissal and a further £3,000 for injured feelings.

    11:20 AM — A heterosexual woman has been awarded more than £6,000 in damages from Bournemouth's largest gay nightclub.Sharon Legg, a 33-year-old mum of four, took her case to an employment tribunal claiming unfair dismissal after being sacked without warning."I made this complaint for gay people, straight people, anyone who has ever been harassed. I'm like a bulldog, I don't let go," Ms Legg told the Dorset Echo .

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