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Current Affairs

  • 13th December 2007

    MEPs want to block state funding for hate groups 1

    The parliament today adopted a resolution to show its concern that several EU countries have experienced increased hate crimes against minority groups.

    4:54 PM — The European Parliament has called for public funding to be withdrawn from political parties, media organisations or businesses that incite to hate of a group of people on the basis of their race, religion, handicap, sexual orientation or nationality.Meeting in Strasbourg, the parliament today adopted a resolution to show its concern that several EU countries have experienced increased hate crimes against minority groups.The text of the resolution was adopted by 527 votes, with 15 against and 39 abstentions.

  • Lesbian denied teaching permit in Chile

    Gay rights leaders in Chile have said they are disappointed at the government's stance regarding a lesbian teacher who is being denied re-certification.

    4:10 PM — Gay rights leaders in Chile have said they are disappointed at the government's stance regarding a lesbian teacher who is being denied re-certification.Sandra Pavez taught religious education at a state elementary school in Santiago for 21 years.The Roman Catholic church revoked her permission to teach religion after finding out she is a lesbian. In Chile religious education teachers legally have to be certified by a religious authority in order to teach.

  • ANC challenged over equality for LGBT South Africans 1

    The ANC has been South Africa's governing party since 1994. The current party leader Thabo Mbeki is the country's President.

    2:30 PM — As South Africa's main political party prepares for its 52nd congress, LGBT groups have issued a manifesto asking for a clear commitment to equality.The African National Congress, which will meet this weekend to decide the next leader of the party and its future political stance, has been asked by the Joint Workers Group to uphold the Constitution's promise of "freedom, justice and equality for all."The ANC has been South Africa's governing party since 1994. The current party leader Thabo Mbeki is the country's President .

  • Paisley and McGuinness disagree over gay rights 4

    Because of the structure of the power-sharing executive, both the Sinn Fein and DUP ministers in the OFMDFM must come to a common position on the directive.

    2:15 PM — The First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland are reportedly at loggerheads over the introduction of EU legislation granting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people equal rights.An agreed position on the Gender, Goods and Services Directive must be reached by December 21st or the Northern Ireland Executive faces fines and legal proceedings.A committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly was presented with a letter from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).

  • Morocco pressured to drop gay convictions 2

    The prosecution failed to present any evidence that the men actually had engaged in the prohibited conduct in the first place.

    12:40 PM — The criminal verdicts in Morocco against six men sentenced to prison for homosexual conduct should be set aside and the men released, human rights activists said today.The court of first instance in Ksar el-Kbir, a small city about 120km south of Tangiers, convicted the men on December 10th of violating article 489 of Morocco's penal code.It criminalises "lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex."

  • Spain recognises UK civil partnerships 172

    Paul and Martin Ward signed the civil partnership register in Devon on Valentine's Day this year.

    12:25 PM — A gay couple who took on the British and Spanish governments over the recognition of their civil partnership have won a major victory.Paul and Martin Ward signed the civil partnership register in Devon on Valentine's Day this year, having been advised that it would be recognised in Spain, where Paul lives.However, when the couple returned to Spain to live, they found out from the British Consul in Malaga that their civil partnership was not recognised in Spain.

  • Swedish same-sex couples to get church weddings 3

    46 per cent of Swedish people supported gay marriage, and 31 per cent opposed it.

    11:50 AM — Sweden's main Church said yesterday it will endorse same-sex couples to wed in church.As the Swedish government prepares a "gender neutral" marriage law, the Church of Sweden agreed that marriage and partnership were equivalent forms of unions.It recommended however that the term "marriage" be referred only to heterosexual couples.

  • Clinton and Obama tied in polls

    The former First Lady has dropped 5 percentage points (she's currently sitting at 31 percent) while Obama has jumped 8 points to 30 percent.

    11:10 AM — With less than a month to go before the first Presidential primary, Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are in a statistical dead heat according to the results of the latest CNN/WMUR poll released this morning.Not long ago, Clinton was thought to have a pretty substantial lead over her Oprah-backed competitor, but in the last few months the gap has narrowed.Since the last CNN/WMUR poll conducted in November, the former First Lady has dropped 5 percentage points.

  • 12th December 2007

    Tory MEPs disrupt Euro treaty ceremony 3

    Labour MEP Michael Cashman accused Tory politicians of being unable to accept “even the most basic principles of politics.“

    5:55 PM — EU leaders signed the Charter of Fundamental Rights today as some MEPs including Tories loudly protested, asking for a referendum on the reformed treaty.During the ceremony in Strasbourg protesters shouted as Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, whose country currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, was speaking."No matter how loud you heckle and yell, today is a day of fundamental importance for Europe," he said.

  • US court told prom dress ban was unconstitutional 1

    K.K. Logan attended West Side High in Gary, Indiana, during his junior and senior year and expressed a deeply rooted femininity in his appearance.

    5:05 PM — Papers filed today in the Northern District Court of Indiana by an LGBT civil rights organisation argue that a high school violated a male pupil's rights under the First Amendment of the US constitution by barring him from his prom for wearing a dress.K.K. Logan attended West Side High in Gary, Indiana, during his junior and senior year and expressed a deeply rooted femininity in his appearance and demeanour say Lambda Legal.K.K. Logan said: "I don't dress this way to make trouble or draw attention to myself."

  • Men sentenced for Dubai rape of 15-year-old boy 1

    The victim's mother said that the court's decision was too light and a family attorney said they would appeal against it.

    4:43 PM — Two men have been sentenced by a Dubai court to fifteen years in prison for raping a 15-year-old Western boy.One of the men is HIV positive. A third man is being tried by a juvenile court on the same charges.Alexander Robert, of French-Swiss nationality, was in the United Arab Emirates last summer when a group of men took him to a desert, threatened him with a knife and repeatedly raped him.

  • Election leaflet investigated for inciting gay hate

    The Liberal party crashed to defeat at last month's federal election after 11 years in power.

    4:30 PM — An election pamphlet produced by the Liberal party in Australia is being investigated after complaints that it was designed to stir up hatred of lesbian and gay people.Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner will investigate the leaflet, which called same-sex marriage and trans rights extreme and harmful and associated them with the pirate skull and crossbones motif."The purpose of the Liberal pamphlet was not to promote policy debate but to foster fear, ignorance and hatred," said Martine Delaney.

  • Pope’s message – gay weddings threaten peace 14

    The pontiff theorises that peace and the family are inherently linked and any threat to the “traditional family“ will be opposed by Catholics.

    4:01 PM — The annual message from the head of the Roman Catholic Church to the world has been unveiled.Pope Benedict's statement will mark World Peace Day on January 1st.It is entitled The Human Family, A Community of Peace, and in it he calls for the dismantling of nuclear weapons and environmental co-operation and describes gay marriage as "an obstacle on the road to peace."

  • Taiwanese Presidential candidate victim of gay slurs

    Ma Ying-jeou, 57, was mayor of Taipei from 1998 to 2006 and is one of Taiwan's most popular politicians.

    3:20 PM — A senior official in the Taiwan Ministry of Education has outraged equality groups with a series of comments about a leading political party's candidate for President.Chuang Kuo-jung, secretary-general of the ministry, said that the Kuomintang party's Presidential candidate, Ma Ying-jeou, was effeminate.He also said that the mayor of Taipei "looked very much like a gay," according to Central News Agency.

  • Gay Swedish MP in homophobic attack

    Centre Party MP Fredrick Federley was approached by a group of about six young men who began insulting him and the two men who were with him.

    2:10 PM — An openly gay Swedish politician was attacked on Saturday night in central Stockholm by a group of homophobic skinheads.After leaving a nightclub, Centre Party MP Fredrick Federley was approached by a group of about six young men who began insulting him and the two men who were with him."Then they screamed that we were disgusting and a threat to Sweden and that they were going to beat us up," said Federley.

  • Huckabee in hot water over AIDS isolation comments 3

    The Human Rights Campaign and the AIDS Institute sent a letter to Huckabee today asking him to meet with White-Ginder.

    10:50 AM — The mother of Ryan White has requested a little one-on-one time with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee after he told reporters this weekend that he stands by past comments suggesting AIDS patients should have been "isolated."Jeanne White-Ginder is the mother of the Indiana teen who raised awareness about AIDS in the early 1980s when he contracted the disease from the blood-clotting agent used to treat his hemophilia.

  • Ban gays from political office says cardinal 15

    In May the controversial Cardinal defined homosexuality “total corruption in the sexual arena.“

    10:04 AM — A Roman Catholic Cardinal has suggested that gay people should be banned from political office.Latvia's Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis resigned last week and the Archbishop of Riga Janis Pujats warned new candidates not to support LGBT related issues.He asked that all candidates running for the post of Prime Minister state whether they intended to "defend the Latvian nation against the invasion of homosexuality in public life."

  • 11th December 2007

    Equality commission considers incitement proposals 1

    The commission is designed to promote a fair, equal and diverse society and tackling illegal discrimination.

    5:31 PM — The Equality and Human Rights Commission has yet to decide whether it supports the government's proposal to make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence.The legal committee of the commission is to meet on Thursday to discuss the proposal, which has received cross-party support in the House of Commons.The commission is designed to promote a fair, equal and diverse society and tackling illegal discrimination.

  • EU pressures member states on discrimination 1

    two members of the EU Parliament, Marco Cappato and Sophie In't Veld, asked for an intervention of the EU Commission.

    4:40 PM — The European Commission is examining replies from three member states after it had warned them to transpose into national law a 2000 directive against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.The Commission had sent letters of formal notice to Italy and Latvia on December 15th 2006 and to Finland on January 3rd 2007.Two members of the EU Parliament, Marco Cappato and Sophie In't Veld, last month asked for the intervention of the Commission.

  • Anglican gay rows harm relations with Rome 3

    Pope Benedict XVI has defined such requests as evidence of what he calls “cultural relativism“ towards ethic values

    3:40 PM — Divisions over sexual ethics could be harmful in the relations between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church, a cardinal in Rome said.Speaking to the Pope and cardinals in a private meeting three weeks ago Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian unity, said that there were disagreements with the Anglicans that had stalled talks."While progress is being made on theological divisions, new divergences are emerging in the ethical field," he said.

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