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Current Affairs

  • 23rd November 2007

    Norwegian church lifts ban on partnered gay clergy

    Under Norwegian law, gay couples have rights comparable to those of married heterosexuals, apart from church weddings and adoption.

    5:30 PM — The Lutheran church of Norway has lifted an outright ban on clergy in same-sex relationships.However, it will allow each bishop to decide whether or not to employ them.The decision comes after a week of debate at the churches annual meeting, with the 86 member governing synod voting 50 to 34 to change the rules.

  • Protests ask Commonwealth to “fight” gays 10

    The Queen is on her first visit to Uganda since 1954 and today she opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the capital Kampala.

    3:25 PM — A group of anti-gay activists has protested in Uganda against gay rights and accused Europeans of trying to change the law to decriminalise homosexuality.The demonstration by the Rainbow Coalition against Homosexuality took place at Kololo airport yesterday, and was led by Pastor Martin Sempa, who has generated large amounts of publicity through his attacks on gay people in Uganda.Her Majesty the Queen is in the African nation to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

  • Greens launch campaign for Mayor of London

    Among the Green pledges unveiled at the launch of her campaign at City Hall was a “living wage“ of £7.20 an hour.

    2:09 PM — Sian Berry today launched her campaign to become Green Mayor of London.Earlier this year the 33-year-old won 45% of the party member's votes to become her party's candidate.Among the Green pledges unveiled at the launch of her campaign at City Hall was a "living wage" of £7.20 an hour for all Londoners working for public employers, cuts to off-peak travel fares and an increase in affordable housing across the capital.

  • Police investigate suspicious death of trans woman 15

    The police are treating the death as suspicious, and have asked anyone who saw Telesford between the 15th and 21st of November to contact them immediately.

    1:45 PM — A forty-year-old trans woman has been found dead at her home in south-east London, according to reports.Kayiode Dexter Telesford, who had been living for several years under the name of Kellie Telesford, died of strangulation at her home on Leander Road in Thornton Heath.The police are treating the death as suspicious, and have asked anyone who saw Telesford between the 15th and 21st of November to contact them immediately.

  • Tatchell to celebrate 40 years of activism 2

    He was assaulted while taking part in a Pride demonstration in Moscow, and was detained by Russian police.

    12:40 PM — One of the best-known gay rights advocates in Britain will soon be celebrating his 40th year of human rights campaigning.Peter Tatchell began his first campaign in 1967 in his native Australia against the death penalty and opposition to conscription and the Australian and US war against the people of Vietnam."It is a great honour and privilege to have been part of the international human rights movement," said Mr Tatchell.

  • 22nd November 2007

    Labour peer defends lesbian sister’s parental rights 20

    On Monday a peer was taken seriously ill in the House just after speaking in the debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill.

    5:05 PM — The House of Lords continued its debate on the second reading of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill yesterday.During the debate a leading Labour peer revealed that his sister is a lesbian who had a child with her partner.Conservative elected hereditary peer Lord Elton said it was "extraordinary" to remove the need for a father. "It seems to me grotesque and unpleasant," he said.

  • Police warn child about homophobic abuse 1

    PC Helen Seymour, Hate Crime Officer for Stroud, Stonehouse and Dursley, said her force take incidence of hate crime “very seriously.“

    4:00 PM — An 11 year old boy in Gloucestershire has been given a final warning from police for using homophobic language.The child shouted three times towards his 49-year-old victim as he walked down the street in Dursley.PC Helen Seymour, Hate Crime Officer for Stroud, Stonehouse and Dursley, said her force take incidence of hate crime "very seriously."

  • Echoes of Diana as Queen shakes hands with HIV+ man 10

    The Queen is on her first visit to Uganda since 1954 and tomorrow she will open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the capital Kampala.

    3:50 PM — Her Majesty the Queen visited a clinic for people with AIDS for the first time today.During a state visit to Uganda the monarch shook hands with Steven Wakodo, who is HIV+, echoing the famous handshake between Diana, Princess of Wales and an HIV+ person in April 1987.The Princess's gesture helped overcome the fear of AIDS, demonstrating that the HIV virus cannot be transmitted by touch.

  • Chorister dismissed for coming out on TV

    Twenty year old Alberto Ruggin was dismissed by his priest after featuring on a television programme where he revealed his sexuality.

    11:25 AM — Italian gay rights groups have said the case of a chorister forced to leave his choir due to being gay proves the countries need for anti-homophobia laws.Twenty year old Alberto Ruggin was dismissed by his priest after featuring on a television programme where he revealed his sexuality.His priest, Don Paolino Bettanin, from the northern Italian town of Padua, claimed he was "disgusted" by the whole affair.

  • 21st November 2007

    Catholic MPs to vote for same-sex parent rights 20

    Roman Catholic MPs such as cabinet minister Ruth Kelly could face a dilemma if asked to defy the church and vote in favour of the bill.

    5:10 PM — Labour MPs will not be given a free vote on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, it has emerged.Traditionally members are given a free vote on issues deemed to be a matter of conscience.However, growing backbench unease about the proposals has led government sources to confirm that the bill will be subject to a three-line whip, meaning all Labour MPs must vote in favour of it.

  • British government releases Iran hanging documents 1

    According to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979.

    3:15 PM — Information has been released for the first time from the Foreign and Commonwealth office regarding the execution of gays in Iran.The documentation takes the form of correspondence sent between embassies throughout the EU and dates back as far as May 2005.It refers specifically to the case of two boys, Mahmoud Asqari, who was under 18 at the time the alleged offence was committed, and Ayad Marhouni who were hung in public.

  • Female priest takes up gay Christian role 2

    The Gay Christian Movement was originally established in 1976.

    2:30 PM — The Lesbian and Gay Christian movement has appointed a new assistant chief executive.Rev Sharon Ferguson, a Theology and Psychology graduate, said she hopes that she can work hard towards a time when groups like LGCM are no longer needed.She said she looked forward to a time: "When all people regardless of how they express they sexuality are treated as equal members of the body of Christ."

  • Lords debate more rights for same-sex couples 20

    The Lords will continue their debate on the second reading of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill today.

    12:50 PM — Today the House of Lords will continue to debate the second reading of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.During Monday's debate bishops and peers disagreed on the role of fathers.For the government, Lord Darzi of Denham explained the purpose of the bill is to "ensure that the law remains effective and fit for purpose in the 21st century."

  • Trans candidate faces legal challenge

    Georgia is not known for its sympathy to LGBT rights issues.

    12:30 PM — Two city council candidates in the US have filed petitions against a transgender candidate accusing her of committing fraud.Georgia Fuller and Stanley Harris, who both lost their bids for seats, have filed the lawsuit in Georgia claiming that Michelle Bruce falsely identified herself as female in the election earlier this month.The case, which identifies her as 'Michael Bruce', has asked the judge to rule the election invalid.

  • Tory convicted of gay paedophile slur to appeal 5

    Willows,76, was at Lewes Crown Court today and the date for his appeal before a judge in the Crown Court will be heard on February 22nd.

    10:31 AM — A Conservative councillor found guilty of public order offences after making homophobic comments is to appeal his conviction.Peter Willows was a member of Brighton and Hove City Council with 12 years service when he was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge at Brighton Magistrates Court in December 2006.Magistrates were "satisfied beyond reasonable doubt" that he had made intentionally offensive remarks.

  • Would you vote Clegg or Huhne for Lib Dem leader? 1

    Lib Dem members' ballot papers must be returned by 15th December and the winner will be announced on Monday 17th December.

    10:20 AM — Today 65,000 members of the Liberal Democrat party are being sent a ballot paper 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.

  • 19th November 2007

    Senate blocks backdoor appointment of Bush nominee 3

    The Surgeon General of the United States is nominated by the President and confirmed via majority vote by the Senate.

    6:15 PM — Suggestions that the President of the United States was to use Congress' two-week Thanksgiving recess to appoint a new Surgeon General without Senate approval have been quashed by a legislative manoeuvre.Dr James Holsinger, the President's nominee for the post, last week reportedly told friends that he will be appointed during the recess, side-stepping the need for Congressional approval.He has been criticised by gay rights groups, physicians and politicians for writing in 1991 that gay sex is unnatural and unhealthy.

  • First gay Somali website launched 74

    The site, the first of its kind for the Muslim East African nation, is aimed at the UK Somalian gay community. Image: Afrolnews.

    6:15 PM — A website aimed at improving communication between Somalian gay men has now gone live.The site, the first of its kind for the Muslim East African nation, is aimed at the UK Somalian gay community but it is hoped that it will reach those who feel trapped in the homophobic country and show that there are others like them.

  • Peer collapses during gay parents debate 11

    Labour Peer Lord Brennan, 65, collapsed and required heart massage before the second hearing of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill was adjourned to a later date.

    6:15 PM — A Lords debate on a proposed new law that would make gay and lesbian parenting easier was adjourned after a peer collapsed in the House yesterday.The move was aimed at making the need for a father at IVF children unnecessary.Some peers however said it should uphold the importance of both parents.

  • Police offficer cautioned in cruising crackdown 6

    The police officer involved, who has not been named, was fined 13 days pay for the incident through the forces own disciplinary proceedings.

    6:15 PM — A total of 32 people, including a police officer, have been cautioned as a result of a crackdown on cruising in a toilet block in Wallasey, Liverpool.Six people were charged under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for the alleged sexual activity that happened in the toilets on Harrison Drive in the New Brighton area of the city earlier this year.

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