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Current Affairs

  • 20th August 2007

    New Jersey voters want gay marriage 1

    61% of those polled said they believe New Jersey will allow gay couples to marry within a few years regardless of their personal beliefs.

    11:12 AM — A new poll suggests residents of New Jersey overwhelmingly favour allowing gay couples to marry.According to the Zogby poll, released late week, 63% of New Jersey voters would not be upset if the state's Legislature upgraded its recently enacted civil unions law to allow for full marriage equality for same-sex couples.Just 31% of those surveyed said they would be upset by such a change.

  • US black congregations split over gay issues 1

    The developing dispute divides the few black churches willing to welcome gays and black denominations that consider homosexuality a sin.

    11:00 AM — Conflicting views on homosexuality are now sparking disputes in black churches in the United States, just as they have done in predominately white Protestant denominations for years."It's going to be a real challenge," said the Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, founder of the National Black Religious Summit on Sexuality, reports United Press International."We're just beginning to really deal with it."

  • 17th August 2007

    Ugandan LGBT community speaks out against gay hate 5

    “We were treated in a degrading and inhumane way,“ said  Victor Juliet Mukasa, leader of the Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a coalition of LGBT rights groups.

    4:30 PM — Gay rights activists in Uganda have spoken out about the prejudice LGBT people face in the country.In a show of defiance and bravery, around 30 people gave a press conference, the first by LGBT activists, drawing attention to the state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia they face every day.Some of the activists wore masks for fear of being identified. Ugandan law outlaws homosexuality as "against the order of nature."

  • Gay activist questioned over outing politician 2

    Mr Chuev is one of the most outspoken opponents of gay rights.

    11:30 AM — Moscow Gay Pride organiser and gay rights activist Nicolas Alexeyev will be questioned next week in relation to a criminal investigation after he outed a Russian MP on live television.The charges arise from comments he made on live TV in June, when he outed politician Alexander Cheuv as a homosexual.To prove that he is guilty of slander, Russian investigating authorities will have to demonstrate that calling Mr Chuev 'gay' spoilt his reputation or dignity.

  • 16th August 2007

    Iranian teenagers spared death penalty for gay abuse 1

    The judges of Branch 74 of Tehran province's general criminal court ruled that the teenagers, Ahad and Milad, had not reached mental maturity and instead sentenced them to ten years in prison.

    11:59 AM — A court in Tehran has spared two teenagers found guilty of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy from hanging.US gay rights activist Michael Petrelis reports that the the judges of Branch 74 of Tehran province's general criminal court ruled that the teenagers, Ahad and Milad, had not reached mental maturity and instead sentenced them to ten years in prison.In front of the five judges, the teenagers first admitted that they lured the boy into a house.

  • Mayor hits back over Blue Peter row

    A statement from the Mayor's office plays down the significance of Ken Livingstone's comments at the launch of the Hovis London Freewheel.

    11:25 AM — The Mayor of London has defended his behaviour at the launch of a cycling event attended by Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq.Yesterday the BBC apologised to the openly gay London Assembly member Brian Coleman and conceded that Ms Huq should not have attended the event as the Mayor made comments of a political nature.A statement from the Mayor's office plays down the significance of Ken Livingstone's comments at the launch of the Hovis London Freewheel.

  • Brazilian football’s gay rumours land judge in trouble

    The judge said football was a virile masculine sport and not a homosexual one.

    10:59 AM — Football is for real men, not gays.That was the stance Brazilian judge Manoel Maximiniano Junqueira Filho decided to take when making a ruling in a defamation case appearing before his bench.That may be his sentiments, but the law doesn't call for that sort of ruling and now the judge could face legal actions himself.The case was brought earlier this month by Richarlyson Barbosa Felisbino, a San Paulo player.

  • Trans group to attend Independence Day celebrations

    Indonesia is made up of an archipelago of 18,108 islands and is the fourth most populous nation in the world.

    10:25 AM — Sixty-two years ago, Indonesia declared its separation from the Netherlands and began a four-year war to try and maintain its independence.This week, members of the Yogyakarta Transvestites Organisation are planning their own coup by being involved in the anniversary celebration.The 265 members of the YTO group hope to be involved in the occasion, but are aware of the dangers associated with asserting their presence.

  • 15th August 2007

    BBC apologises for Blue Peter presenter

    BBC deputy director-general said that Ms Huq's appearance at the press conference had been arranged by her agent without informing Blue Peter production staff. photo: BBC publicity

    5:14 PM — An openly gay member of the London Assembly has accepted an apology from the deputy director-general of the BBC over an incident involving a Blue Peter presenter.Brian Coleman, deputy chairman of the London Assembly and Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, complained after Konnie Huq appeared at the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone's weekly press conference.In the course of his remarks to journalists the Mayor made political comments about Mr Coleman.

  • Comment: Despite the fanfare, freedom still eludes gay Indians 57

    Technically, it is still not illegal if someone were to arrest me just for being gay.

    12:55 PM — As India celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence from Britain, Balaji Ravichandran explains why he feels neither free nor independent. The celebrations started well before I arrived in India six weeks ago.From the moment I switched on the television at home the advertisements, programmes and notices, often painfully jingoistic in their self-congratulation, have constantly greeted me with their patriotic screams.

  • Soho’s council reaches out to gay community 1

    Westminster council has joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme.

    10:39 AM — The City of Westminster council has announced new measures to ensure members of the LGBT community in the London borough are properly catered for.The council will undertake a period of consultation over the remainder of the summer, before producing a new engagement strategy in December 2007. This will include priorities for action, identified by the communities themselves.As part of this initiative, the council has also joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme and will also be assessed in 2008.

  • Thai government considers new trans rights

    A new proposal would allow transgender men or women to choose how they are addressed.

    10:25 AM — Thailand, one of the world's most tolerant countries towards transvestites and transsexuals, may soon allow people who have had a sex change to officially alter their title.A proposal which would allow transgender men or women to choose how they are addressed is being considered by the country's National Legislative Assembly, to support an anti-discrimination provision in the draft constitution, according to AP.Thailand is widely tolerant but many trans people face family pressure, social prejudice and domestic violence.

  • 14th August 2007

    Polish coalition government dismantled as elections loom

    In August 2006, when quizzed by the EU over his gay rights record, Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said he was not a homophobe.

    5:50 PM — Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Monday signalled the formal end of his twin brother's shaky coalition by firing four ministers from two junior parties and replacing them with ruling party loyalists.In a televised ceremony, Kaczynski appointed replacements from within the conservative camp steered by his brother, Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski's Law and Justice (PiS) party.Monday's move marked a key penultimate step towards snap elections, which the Kaczynskis and Poland's liberal opposition have agreed are likely to take place on October 21st.

  • Kenyan bishop to consecrate dissident Americans 1

    Archbishop Nzimbi told Reuters that he was not breaking church rules.

    5:16 PM — In a further sign of the deterioration of the Anglican communion, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi will consecrate two American clergy as assistant bishops in his province of Kenya at the end of the month.The crisis in the Anglican church worldwide over gay issues began in 2003 with the ordination in New Hampshire of the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson.Evengelical and conservative American Anglicans have rejected the authority of gay-friendly bishops in their country and are seeking religous leadership from a range of African leaders.

  • Tories protest homophobic group’s use of London landmark 5

    Hizb ut-Tahrir has been especially active on college campuses in London and Manchester in recent years.

    2:50 PM — A controversial Islamic group accused of being anti-Semitic hate mongers and condoning the murder of gay people recently held a conference at Alexandra Palace in north London, to the disgust of local Conservatives.Thousands of Hizb ut-Tahrir supporters gathered for the conference on how to realise the Khilafah - a global Islamic state.The group has been banned from public activity in countries including Germany on charges of spreading anti-Semitic propaganda.

  • Australian star speaks out against gay marriage ban 2

    Brisbane-born Hayes married Briton Richard Cullen in London last year. photo: www.myspace.com/darrenhayes

    1:20 PM — Singer Darren Hayes has criticised the attitude of Australian Prime Minister John Howard's towards gay marriage after his British 'husband' was forced to fly to Australia on a tourist visa.His comments come as the main opposition leader in Australia, Labour's Kevin Rudd, said he also opposes gay marriage.Brisbane-born Hayes married Briton Richard Cullen in London last year."It makes me angry and frustrated," the former Savage Garden frontman told Australian newspaper the Herald Sun .

  • Gay hate preacher attacks Irish tolerance 6

    Phelps has been invited to speak at University College Dublin next year.

    1:01 PM — The religious extremist who pickets the funerals of American soldiers killed in action has turned his attention to Ireland.Rev Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist church are best known for their "God Hates Fags" campaigns in the United States.He has now launched godhatesireland.com in protest at the introduction of laws in the Republic protecting gay people from harassment.

  • Greens enter debate about 2011 census 5

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will decide in January 2008 which company has won the contract.

    12:35 PM — The Green Party is petitioning the government not to allow the 2011 census to be run by an American arms manufacturer.Lockheed Martin, which produces missiles and land mines used in Afghanistan and Iraq that are illegal in many countries, is one of two remaining contractors in the selection process.80% of their business is with the US Department of Defence and other Federal Government agencies.

  • Birmingham HIV+ rapist imprisoned

    Judge Peter Ross called their rape a “vile and perverted act“ and said that “mercifully“ their victim has tested negative for the HIV virus.

    12:15 PM — A judge at Birmingham Crown Court has given two men convicted of robbing and then raping their male victim indeterminate sentences.Daniel Myers, 20, of Barry Jackson Tower in Aston, was found guilty alongside Nikos Johnson, 26, of Rawling Street, Ladywood, of one charge of robbery and two of rape.The Birmingham Post reported that during the trial Myers revealed under cross-examination that he is HIV+.

  • 13th August 2007

    Italian politician calls for “ethnic cleansing” of gays 8

    Mr Gentilini, 78, a member of the right-wing and regionalistic Northern League political group, is notorious in Italy for his attention-grabbing outbursts.

    6:35 PM — The northern Italian city of Treviso has witnessed mass demonstrations after the deputy mayor called for the ethnic cleansing of homosexuals.Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the city hall at the weekend demanding his resignation.Giancarlo Gentilini, told a local television station on Wednesday: "I will immediately give orders to my forces so that they can carry out an ethnic cleansing of faggots."

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