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Current Affairs

  • 29th November 2007

    Prime Minister hosts reception for HIV charity

    Mr and Mrs Brown were joined by singer Dannii Minogue, THT ambassador for young people.

    1:45 PM — Gordon and Sarah Brown held a reception at Downing St last night in honour of the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT).The charity, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is the leading HIV and AIDS charity in the UK, and the largest in Europe.Mr and Mrs Brown were joined by singer Dannii Minogue, THT ambassador for young people, and people working with the charity to devise a new style of sex education for 13 to 19-year-olds.

  • US hate crimes bill in “serious jeopardy” 7

    In September the US Senate voted 60 to 39 to allow the new legislation to move forward.

    12:55 PM — American gay rights campaigners have warned that there could be less than a week to save a new bill before Congress that extends federal hate crime laws to LGBT people.In April the proposed new federal law, that would grant protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the United States, was named after the murdered gay teenager who brought the issue of hate crimes into the American consciousness.Matthew Shepard was beaten and left for dead, tied to a fence in freezing Wyoming in 1998.

  • Will Clegg or Huhne get the pink vote?

    We want to know what PinkNews.co.uk readers think - which one of these candidates will best represent the needs of the LGBT community?

    12:31 PM — 65,000 members of the Liberal Democrat party have been sent ballot papers to vote for a new leader.Nick Clegg, 40, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesperson, and Chris Huhne, 53, the party's environment spokesperson, are the candidates.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.

  • Equality minister faces questions over donation

    The party's general secretary resigned earlier this week after it emerged he had known about the illegal donations for some time.

    11:20 AM — Cabinet minister Harriet Harman will face questions in the Commons this morning over what she knew about an illegal donation to her campaign for deputy leader.As Leader of the House, she will make a statement about forthcoming business and take questions from MPs.She was expected to appear yesterday in her role as minister for women during a debate on rape law but did not do so.

  • Comment: Gay voters could hold the keys to the White House 2

    With so many gay issues circulating Washington lately, it could just be that the gay vote is what sways the way the administration will be run.

    11:15 AM — If you haven't checked your calendar lately, there are exactly 418 days left in the Bush Presidency, and one of the most interesting and perhaps ground breaking elections is right around the corner.While many American voters are split on perennial election issues such as the war in Iraq, abortion, education and immigration, next year's election could offer up a whole new issue that ultimately decides who the next president of the United States will be.With so many gay issues circulating Washington lately, it could just be that the gay vote is what sways the way the administration will be run.

  • Tribute to thousands of dismissed gay soldiers

    The events recognise the 12,000 men and women kicked-out of the military since the signing of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.“

    10:35 AM — Tomorrow gay activists will mark the 14th anniversary of the ban on openly gay, lesbian or bisexual people serving in the US military.The Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers United, Log Cabin Republicans, Servicemembers Legal Defence Network and Liberty Education Forum are to host a three-day tribute, 12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots, on the National Mall.The events recognise the 12,000 men and women kicked out of the military since the signing of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

  • 28th November 2007

    MEPs call on Poland to approve human rights charter 13

    In a TV debate during the campaign Mr Tusk pledged to make Poland a party to the EU Charter.

    3:15 PM — The European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights has urged the Polish government to maintain its post-campaign promise to have the country become a full party to the Charter of Fundamental Rights alongside other EU member states.In an address to the Polish parliament last week new Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he will honour the commitment of the previous government and join the UK as the only nations in the 27-member EU to opt out.The charter will become legally binding on EU institutions.

  • Trans activists resign from US gay rights group

    In October Ms Rose resigned as the only trans person on the board of HRC.

    3:05 PM — Human Rights Campaign, the most prominent LGBT rights organisation in America, has suffered more resignations from trans activists over its support for an employment protection law that excluded trans people.The only transgender members of the HRC Business Council, Donna Rose and Jamison Green, announced their resignations yesterday in response to recent HRC policy decisions regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

  • Furnish backs homophobic incitement law

    In December 2005 Sir Elton and Mr Furnish became one of the first couples in England and Wales to have a civil partnership ceremony.

    1:25 PM — Sir Elton John's partner has spoken in support of a proposal to outlaw incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.Film producer David Furnish, 45, also praised the tolerance of British society."I think any sort of hatred is unacceptable so yes, I support it," he said.In December 2005 Sir Elton and Mr Furnish became one of the first couples in England and Wales to have a civil partnership ceremony.

  • Italian city establishes same-sex register

    Adults who “emotional ties and who have been living at least one year together“ may register. photo: mteson@flickr.com

    1:01 PM — Ancona, a city on Italy's Adriatic coast, opened a registry for same-sex couples yesterday.Adults who "emotional ties and who have been living at least one year together" may register, according to news agency ANSA.Earlier this year Padua city council outraged the Vatican by allowing gay and lesbian couples to register their 'family.'

  • French man held over gay murders

    Both men deny involvement with the murders and are being questioned by police in the town of Montbeliard.

    12:15 PM — A 68-year-old man has been detained by French police in connection with as many as 18 murders between 1980 and 2002.Most of the victims were gay men. Nicolas Panard was arrested in the French city of Mulhouse yesterday.He is reported to be well-known on the gay scene and previously worked as a drag performer.

  • Equality minister to pay back campaign donation 3

    Ms Harman accepted £5,000 from Janet Kidd but it has emerged the money was actually from Mr Abrahams.

    11:35 AM — Secretary of State for Equality Harriet Harman will return a £5,000 donation to her deputy leadership campaign.Yesterday the Prime Minister admitted that £600,000 of donations from controversial businessman David Abrahams were not "lawfully declared."Mr Abrahams used four associates to donate money to the Labour over four years.

  • 27th November 2007

    Councillor appeals against gay slur conviction 130

    Human rights campaigner and Green party parliamentary candidate Peter Tatchell has claimed that the Labour party is paying for Ms Grell's legal costs.

    12:50 PM — A Labour party councillor convicted of making false allegations of paedophilia against her gay opponent is due to have her appeal heard today.Miranda Grell was barred from public office for three years, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by Waltham Forest Magistrates Court last month.She won a formerly safe Lib Dem seat on the London Borough of Waltham Forest council in last May's elections.

  • Gulf authorities to pay for gender reassignment 1

    When Rabie returns, his final hurdle will be the Bahraini courts, where he is battling for the right to be recognised as a man and officially change his name to Hussain.

    12:50 PM — The Bahraini government has agreed to pay for a trans person to undergo gender reassignment surgery in Thailand.According to daily English-language newspaper, Gulf Daily News, 32-year old Zainab Abdulhafed Rabie is due to fly out to Thailand on Thursday to undergo female to male sex correction surgery on Sunday.Rabie hopes to return to represent the Bahrain Disabled Sports Federation in the men's shot put and discus.

  • Gay escort denies link with Senator

    During a press conference yesterday morning, Senator Trott, 66, gave no specific reasons for his unexpected exit from the U.S. Senate, planned for the end of this month.

    12:50 PM — A gay prostitute has denied having any current involvement with US Senator Trent Lott, whose abrupt resignation yesterday sparked rumours of a sex scandal.According to satirical politics blog, BigHeadDC.com, escort Benjamin Nicholas, whose clientele is said to include politicos, celebrities and businessmen, had a working relationship with Senator Lott.Mr Nicholas says on his website www.benjaminnicholas.com: "First and foremost, I live by the 'Golden Rule' with mutual respect being my priority to each of my guys."

  • Archbishops fuel homophobia says gay judge

    In a speech last year, Justice Kirby called on all homosexual people to come out of the closet and fight homophobia.

    12:50 PM — Australia's most high-profile gay judge has said that only some of his colleagues have accepted his homosexuality and he is unhappy with the way relations between them have developed.Michael Kirby, a Justice of the High Court, has also accused the Anglican and Catholic archbishops of Sydney, Peter Jensen and George Pell, of making it hard for people to adopt a more tolerant attitude to gays.

  • Gay sex sting under investigation 6

    Covert Operation Winchester used hidden cameras to detect whether men were engaging in sexual activity in the men's toilets at Harrison Drive, New Brighton.

    12:50 PM — A controversial police investigation in Merseyside that caught hundreds of men having sex in public loos is now the subject of an investigation.Covert Operation Winchester used hidden cameras to detect whether men were engaging in sexual activity in the men's toilets at Harrison Drive, New Brighton.More than 120 men were filmed carrying out sexual acts in the urinal area during the three-month operation.

  • Gay porn linked to nursery assistant murder

    John pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was sent to Broadmoor secure hospital without limit of time.

    12:24 PM — A woman may have been killed by her boyfriend after finding gay porn on his mobile phone, a court heard yesterday.In December 2005 nursery assistant Amanda Bentsi-Addison, 26, was found in Camden north London dying from stab wounds, including one through the heart and a mutilated left breast.The Old Bailey heard close-circuit television footage showed her boyfriend, Darren John, 23, in the same area.

  • Attorney General backs homophobic incitement law 100

    The Attorney General is the government's leading law officer.

    11:50 AM — Baroness Scotland has responded to reports that she does not support a new offence to incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.Speaking at a pre-launch event for LGBT History Month 2008 last night, the Attorney General said she fully expected the proposed amendments to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill will become law, but pointed out the "appropriately high threshold set by criminal prosecutions of this nature."

  • Lib Dem MEP joins Tories despite “homophobia”

    Mr Karim, pictured with former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy, has previously accused his new leader, David Cameron, of being a political “chameleon.“

    11:50 AM — The Liberal Democrat MEP who yesterday defected to the Tories had previously accused Conservative leader David Cameron of building an alliance with homophobic politicians in the European Parliament.Sajjad Karim claimed yesterday that Cameron's "incredibly impressive" speech recent speech about immigration had persuaded him to leave the Lib Dems.However, just a few weeks ago he had attacked his new leader for being a political "chameleon," the Times has reported.

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