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Current Affairs

  • 2nd August 2007

    Deputy First Minister’s strong support for gay rights

    Mr McGuinness had earlier visited the iconic Free Derry Corner, a symbol of the civil rights movement of the late 1960s.

    11:05 AM — One of the most senior members of the Northern Ireland government has expressed his strong support for equality in the province.Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, the former terrorist turned statesman, visited his home city of Derry yesterday to launch a week-long gay festival."In years gone by and when I was growing up in Derry, people often made derogatory remarks against gays," said Mr McGuinness, according to the Irish Times. 

  • 1st August 2007

    Gays keep the church open, says Bishop Robinson 2

    The Bishop of New Hampshire, who lives openly with his male partner, said the church's denial over the number of gay and lesbian Anglicans was 'terrible.'

    5:23 PM — The openly gay Anglican bishop whose ordination sparked the crisis in the worldwide Communion has claimed that without gay members the Church of England, "would be close to shutting down."The Right Reverend Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, who lives openly with his male partner, said the church's denial over the number of gay and lesbian Anglicans was 'terrible.'He added that he found it 'mystifying' that the Anglican Communion could not be honest about it.

  • Sir Ian supports Singapore Pride as gay exhibition banned 58

    Today marks the beginning of the third annual Singapore Pride festival.

    3:47 PM — Singapore's gay community began its Pride festival today with a message from Sir Ian McKellen, while censors have banned an exhibition featuring pictures of same-sex couples kissing.In a video message, Lord of the Rings star McKellen said:"It's very important that gay people, wherever they are, should identify themselves, stick up for themselves, represent themselves, modestly and positively, so the rest of the world knows that we're here and we're not going to go away."

  • Quebec gay couple win payout for teen harassment 2

    Wouters said the ruling was victory for him and his partner, who are determined to live in the neighbourhood despite the harassment.

    3:27 PM — The first gay couple to get a civil union in Quebec, Canada, have been awarded $10,000 (£4,640) after they were harassed by teenagers in their suburban neighbourhood.Since publicly denouncing threats and harassment from their neighbours with a 1,500 strong anti-homophobia march through their suburban neighbourhood, Theo Wouters and Rodger Thibault say they have been targeted."This is happening because we're an open gay couple," said Wouters, speaking to the Canadian Globe and Mail.

  • Gay mayor’s consort resigns over press release row 4

    Mr Cranfield-Adams is the first openly gay mayor for Richmond Upon Thames.

    12:12 PM — An investigation has started into allegations that a local council tried to play down the mayor's sexuality.The partner of the first openly gay mayor of Richmond upon Thames has resigned as consort in protest at the council's behaviour.Mario Cardu was appointed consort to mayor Marc Cranfield-Adams in May. The consort, usually the mayor's partner, escorts the mayor on official occasions.

  • Gay illegal immigrant can stay in Italy

    Gay rights groups in Italy are delighted by the decision.

    10:12 AM — Italy's Supreme Court has refused to overrule a judge's decision to revoke the deportation order of an illegal Senegalese migrant on the grounds of his sexual orientation.Italy's highest criminal court stated that "homosexuality is a condition of he human being deserving legal protection."The court announced that gay people who seek refuge from persecution in Italy would not be sent back to their countries of origin.

  • 31st July 2007

    Trans prisoner must be given hormone treatment, court rules

    Spencer, who was imprisoned in 2000 for possession of a stolen car and escape, had lived full time as a woman.

    4:45 PM — A prison inmate who performed a self-castration with a razor blade after being refused treatment for gender identity disorder should have female hormone therapy paid for by the state, a federal judge has said.Jenniffer Spencer, born Randall Gammett, sued the Department of Corrections in the US state of Idaho for violation of her constitutional rights and for the punishment she was subjected to when doctors failed to diagnose gender identity disorder and treat her with female hormones.

  • Interview: From gay rights warrior to establishment figure

    Angela Mason was awarded an OBE in 1999 for her work and earlier this month received an honorary degree from the University of London.

    3:47 PM — Angela Mason leaves her job as head of the government's Women Equality Unit today after four years in the role.The unit has been instrumental in pushing forward gay rights legislation such as civil partnerships and protection from discrimination for gay, bisexual and lesbian people when accessing goods and services.A government job was not what Angela had envisaged when she became a founder member of gay equality organisation Stonewall in 1989.

  • Cohabiting gay couples could get new rights 1

    There are over two million co-habiting couples in England and Wales, and an estimated 1.25 million children are being raised in these households.

    1:23 PM — New proposals from the Law Commission would see gay and lesbian couples who have not formed a civil partnership gain some financial rights similar to those of married couples.The Commission, who advise parliament on reform to the law, said that many couples of both orientations are missing out because the law at the moment is complicated and unclear.There are over two million co-habiting couples in England and Wales.

  • Police finally authorise Estonian Pride

    Last year LGBT marchers were attacked with sticks and stones by a group of young Estonian nationalists.

    11:40 AM — After gay rights advocates protested to Estonia's President and Prime Minister, police in the capital Tallinn have finally ruled that a Pride march can go ahead.The event, on August 11th, has been beset by problems with policing.Officials wanted to change the route of the march through the Old Town, claiming that it would infringe the rights of other Tallinn residents to go about their business.

  • UPS gives marriage benefits to civil partners 1

    Gay rights groups regard this case as an example of how civil unions cement discrimination against gays.

    10:50 AM — Delivery company UPS has announced it will offer health care benefits to all civil union partners of employees in New Jersey, including those in the Teamsters union.Gay rights groups had criticised the company for denying some employees in same-sex partnerships the same rights as married workers."Based on an initial legal review when New Jersey's law was enacted, it did not appear that a 'civil union' and 'marriage' were equivalent," noted UPS's senior vice president for human resources.

  • 30th July 2007

    Comment: How PinkNews.co.uk changed the gay media 2

    Former Editor Marc Shoffman, “Politican of the Year“, Baroness Ashton with PinkNews.co.uk founder Benjamin Cohen at the Stonewall awards

    6:33 PM — PinkNews.co.uk founder Benjamin Cohen reflects on the first two years of this unique publication.PinkNews.co.uk was born minutes before the 38th anniversary of the Royal Assent of the Sexual Offences Act - the legislation that partially decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales.This weekend we have been celebrating four decades of laws making the lives of British LGBT people better, while I was also celebrating two years of this website.

  • Mexican prisoners allowed gay conjugal visits

    Prisoners are allowed conjugal visits in many Mexican jails, and most do not require the visitor to be married to the inmate.

    5:31 PM — Mexico City's prison system has started letting gay inmates receive conjugal visits, a human rights group announced yesterday.City authorities accepted a recommendation made by the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, agreeing that the visits would help end discrimination.Prisoners are allowed conjugal visits in many Mexican jails, and most do not require the visitor to be married to the inmate.

  • MoD offers compensation to sacked gay personnel 3

    Today the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force are members of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Scheme.

    3:35 PM — The Ministry of Defence has offered to pay more than £3m to servicemen and women who were sacked for being gay.In 2000, the government removed the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving openly in the Armed Forces.The MoD said that compensation for around 60 former service personnel was being paid because their privacy had been breached, and not because the Armed Forces had acted illegally in dismissing them.

  • Protest over gay kiss arrest in Rome 10

    The couple had just shared a gesture of affection after a night out at one of the gay bars lining a street near the Colosseum. photo: tiseb@flickr.com

    12:12 PM — Couples held a sit-in with collective kissing in front of the Colosseum yesterday after two men were arrested for 'public indecency' in front of the iconic Roman monument last week.Politicians and campaigning groups say the arrests were symptomatic of a rising tide of homophobic harassment in Italy, but the police force, the Carabinieri, say they were simply following the law.An extract from the police report said that the couple "had their trousers and underpants down."

  • Georgia’s homophobia exposed in row over “gay” rally

    Georgia is a highly religious country which prides itself on its traditional Christian values.

    11:50 AM — Organisers of a rally celebrating diversity and tolerance in the eastern European country of Georgia were forced to call off the event after it was falsely reported as a gay Pride parade.The rally, part of the Council of Europe 'All Different, All Equal' diversity and human rights campaign, was cancelled when organisers, Georgian human rights group Century 21, received abusive telephone calls, emails and threats of violence.The abuse started after Georgian paper Alia reported that "pederasts" were getting ready for a parade in the capital, Tbilisi.

  • Lesbian candidate fails to win seat in Japan

    Ms Otsuji was elected as an Osaka Assembly Member in April 2003.

    11:35 AM — A 32-year-old woman who brought the issue of gay rights to prominence in Japanese society has failed in her bid to be elected to the country's parliament.Kanako Otsuji, 32, had conducted a colourful and positive campaign for office, at one stage holding a marriage ceremony with her partner.She was a candidate for the Democratic Party of Japan, who took control of the upper house in a crushing election defeat for Prime Minister Shinze Abe.

  • 29th July 2007

    Interview: The Tory who wants to boff Boris

    Boff assures me that he can beat Henley MP and TV regular Boris Johnson, stressing that London needs a competent mayor and not a media darling.

    2:10 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive"It's obvious I'm gay. The blind know I am gay," Andrew Boff exclaims towards the end of our meeting.And he may be right. Practically every news report about the Tory party's selection of a candidate to take on Ken Livingstone for Mayor of London uses the 'gay' tag to describe him.In the flesh he is far from the media stereotype of a gay man.

  • 27th July 2007

    Lib Dems attack Tory gay rights record 5

    The Lib Dem report states that Tory leader David Cameron and key Shadow Cabinet collegaues William Hague, David Davis and George Osborne all voted against the repeal of Section 28 and against same-sex adoption in 2002.

    6:30 PM — The Liberal Democrats have marked the 40th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales by producing a report attacking the voting records of Conservative front benchers.However, a Conservative spokesman accused them of getting their facts wrong.The Lib Dem research found that 80% of the current Shadow Cabinet have voted against gay rights in the ten years since Labour took office.

  • Follett named Equality Minister as new office established 2

    Ms Follett, 64, the MP for Stevenage since 1997, is married to author Ken Follett.

    5:50 PM — Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced a shake-up of the machinery of government with regards to equality.He informed the House of Commons yesterday that the Women and Equality Unit, currently part of the Department for Communities and Local Government, will move to the Department for Work and Pensions as part of a new Government Equalities Office.The Women and Equality Unit was instrumental in pushing forward gay rights legislation.

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