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Current Affairs

  • 23rd July 2007

    Extreme protest wins gay asylum seeker a stay in UK 28

    Iran is one of the six countries where homosexuality is punished with a death penalty.

    12:37 PM — An ayslum seeker who sewed shut his eyes and lips in protest at being returned to Iran has been granted leave to remain in the UK.Shahin Portofeh, 27, an gay Iranian national, was seeking asylum in Coventry, but he was deported from the UK after his application was rejected.Despite his protests that he would be persecuted in his home country because of his sexuality, he was sent back.

  • LGBT groups get UN recognition 1

    Canada and others argued that LGBT people should be heard at the UN.

    11:25 AM — The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has voted to accredit two gay rights organisations.Delegates came down in favour of allowing the Coalition gaie et lesbienne du Qu├ębec and the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL) consultative status..22 countries voted in favour of both groups. Thirteen voted against the Quebec coalition and fourteen against the Swedish federation.

  • Out US general to speak against gay ban 5

    More than 11,000 service members have been discharged under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

    10:50 AM — Army Brigadier General Keith H. Kerr, Army Colonel Stewart Bornhoft, Navy Captain Joan E. Darrah (all retired) and five other former military officers will speak out against the US military's anti-gay 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy at a programme benefiting the Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN) in Chicago next month.General Kerr was one of three senior military officers - two generals and an admiral - to "come out" in the New York Times in December 2003.

  • 20th July 2007

    Gay Tory makes Mayor of London shortlist 1

    Mr Boff announced a new policy yesterday. Londoners will have the right to draw up their own policies and have them voted on by fellow Londoners if he becomes mayor.

    5:57 PM — Andrew Boff has been selected as one of four candidates for the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London.The 49-year-old IT consultant and publisher joins former Tory frontbencher and TV personality Boris Johnson on the list, which was chosen from over 40 hopefuls by a selection panel on Saturday.The other candidates are Kensington Chelsea councillors Warwick Lightfoot and Victoria Borwick.

  • Scottish bishop’s threat over gay adoptions 1

    Adoption agencies have until December 2008 to apply the new regulations or face prosecution.

    3:08 PM — The Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell said yesterday that the Church in Scotland would close its biggest adoption agency rather than help same-sex couples to adopt children.Bishop Joseph Devine said that St Margaret's Catholic Adoption Agency in Glasgow would close rather than abide by the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Catholic agencies place around 40 of the 200 children adopted in Scotland every year.

  • Sperm donor stops lesbian parents taking their baby abroad 5

    One of the three High Court justices hearing the appeal dissented, saying the only relationship the father has with the child is that of a sperm donor.

    3:05 PM — A court in Dublin has ruled in favour of a man who wants to stop a lesbian couple leaving Ireland with their child. The man is the biological father of the 14-month-old baby.The High Court ruled that the child's birth mother may not holiday in her home country of Australia with the child and her partner.The lesbian couple have entered into a civil partnership in the UK and are considering moving to Australia permanently.

  • UN votes today on accreditation for gay rights groups 1

    ECOSOC promotes international economic and social co-operation and development.

    2:45 PM — The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is due to vote today on whether to accredit two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who address human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.It is thought nine countries are going to vote against accrediting the groups.ECOSOC accreditation governs whether NGOs can attend UN meetings, submit written statements, make oral interventions, host panels and get access to UN buildings.

  • Analysis: The bishop, the youth worker and the tribunal 8

    Mr Reaney brought his claim under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, which make it unlawful to discriminate against employees or prospective employees (such as Mr Reaney) because they are gay.

    12:30 PM — This week saw a landmark victory for a gay youth worker against the might of the Anglican Church.An employment tribunal decided that Kevin Reaney, a gay man, had been discriminated against by the church on grounds of his sexual orientation.Mr Reaney brought his claim under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, which make it unlawful to discriminate against employees or prospective employees (such as Mr Reaney) because they are gay.

  • TURING: Of homosexuality and the church 2

    It is not acceptable for us to discriminate against our brothers and sisters on the basis of sexual orientation.

    11:06 AM — Love or hate it, it's hard to ignore organised religion.While your columnist is of the opinion that religion should strictly (and I do mean strictly) restricted to consenting adults in private, and while some leading intellectuals want religion completely wiped off the map of the earth, it is hard to reconcile these opinions with the fact that more than 90% of the world's population subscribe to some form of organised religion.

  • 19th July 2007

    Moscow police protect gay protest against Iranian hangings 1

    More than twenty Russian activists protested outside the Iranian embassy in Moscow today. photo courtesy of www.hippy.ru

    6:20 PM — More than twenty Russian activists protested outside the Iranian embassy in Moscow today, the second anniversary of the execution of two gay teenagers in Iran.A group of nationalists and religious activists who turned up to counter-demonstrate were stopped by police and dispersed.While this was seen as a positive step after the bloody police actions at a gay Pride demonstration earlier this year, it emerged that the application for the Iran protest did not mention gay rights.

  • The tribunal bishop and his gay organist 8

    The Rt Revd Anthony Priddis has found time to wish his organist and his gay partner congratulations on their civil partnership.

    1:09 PM — The news of yesterday's landmark employment tribunal ruling that the Bishop of Hereford discriminated against a man by refusing to employ him as a youth worker because he is gay overshadowed another eccentric decision by the church leader.The Rt Revd Anthony Priddis, who is facing calls that he resign his post, has found time to wish his organist and his gay partner congratulations on their civil partnership.The Bishop asked a gay job applicant a series of intrusive personal questions during an interview.

  • Gay veterans hold ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ roadshow

    President Bill Clinton had promised to open the military to openly gay and lesbian people during his successful 1992 campaign for President.

    12:45 PM — A group of former US servicemen are touring America to share their experiences of life in the military, where being openly gay is against the law.The campaign, called Legacy of Service, aims to demonstrate to Americans the hardships and unfairness of a policy, 'Don't Ask Don't Tell,' that keeps soldiers, sailors, air force and coast guard personnel in the closet.No-one knows how many gay, lesbian or bisexual servicemen and women are currently serving in the US military.

  • Irish urged to be courageous over gay eqaulity

    Justice Kirby is due to retire in 2009 at the age of 70.

    11:25 AM — A prominent Australian judge has urged Ireland's Law Reform Commission to be strong, courageous and bold when pushing forward gay equality.Justice Michael Kirby, a Justice of the Australian High Court, has lived openly with his gay partner for the last 37 years.He was in Dublin yesterday to address the commission. The judge spoke about his experiences of discrimination.

  • Fight for benefits after death of partner

    Lambda Legal is appealing a decision issued in April of this year by the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission.

    10:40 AM — Gay rights group Lambda Legal filed its opening brief last week in the Court of Appeals of Virginia on behalf of a 48-year-old Keysville man improperly denied death benefits stemming from an accident that ultimately led to the death of his same-sex partner in 2005."This case is about making sure that the rules are applied fairly to everyone," Greg Nevins, senior staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office, said.

  • 18th July 2007

    Gay groups, MPs and unions welcome bishop tribunal decision 8

    The Revd Richard Kirker, chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, warmly welcomed the tribunal decision.

    6:16 PM — A range of organisations have praised an employment tribunal that found the Bishop of Hereford had discriminated against a gay man who applied for a job as a Church of England youth worker.Dr Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat MP and Parliamentary campaigner for equality, commented:"This is a damning judgment for the Church, which directly discriminated unfairly against an innocent person."

  • EXCLUSIVE: The man who took a bishop to a tribunal and won 8

    Mr Reaney spoke exclusively to PinkNews.co.uk about the tribunal and the emotional journey he has been on in the past year.

    4:51 PM — Landmark is one of those words that inevitably loses its value due to over-use, but there is no other way to describe today's ruling by an employment tribunal against the Bishop of Hereford.The tribunal agreed with youth worker John Reaney that he had been discriminated against on the grounds of his sexual orientation.The 2003 law that protects gay, bisexual and lesbian people in employment contains an exemption for religious organisations.

  • MEPs to attend Pride in Estonia 1

    The Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights in the European Parliament has called on the Estonian authorities to facilitate the organisation of Tallinn Pride 2007.

    12:23 PM — A year after violent homophobic attacks against Tallinn Pride, organisers have revealed that politicians from across Europe will be turning up this year to show their support.Last year LGBT marchers were attacked with sticks and stones by a group of young Estonian nationalists while celebrating the country's gay third pride event.This year's event, on August 11th, has been beset by problems with policing.

  • Woman sues tax authorities over reassignment surgery 3

    Trans activists are watching the case closely, as a defeat for the IRS would open the way for thousands of people to avoid paying tax on reassignment surgeries.

    11:50 AM — A trans person is suing the Internal Revenue Service in the US for not allowing her to write off her gender reassignment operation as a legitimate medical expense.Trans activists are watching the case closely, as a defeat for the IRS would open the way for thousands of people to avoid paying tax on reassignment surgeries.The IRS contend that such surgery is not "essential" and therefore cannot be claimed against.

  • Hong Kong court ruling a victory for gay rights 1

    Chief Justice Andrew Li said in the ruling that the law targets homosexuals and “does not criminalise heterosexuals for the same or comparable conduct.“ photo: kymia100@flickr.com

    11:12 AM — The highest court in Hong Kong decriminalised gay public sodomy on Tuesday in a ruling that advocates are calling a victory for China's gay rights movement.A panel of five top judges unanimously ruled that two men, who acknowledged engaging in anal sex in a parked car, should not be subject to the country's maximum penalty of five years in prison.According to AP, Chief Justice Andrew Li said in the ruling that the law targets homosexuals.

  • Porn actors face murder charges

    E-mails showed that Cuadra, pretending to be a new model, arranged a meeting with Kocis on the night of his murder, according to court documents.

    11:00 AM — Two gay porn actors are facing murder charges over the killing of Cobra Video producer Bryan Charles Kocis in January.Harlow Cuadra, 25, and Joseph Kerekes, 33, are being processed at a Pennsylvania State Police barracks.CourtTVnews.com reports that Cuadra and Kerekes arve believed to have gone to Kocis' Dallas, Pennsylvania home on January 24th and slashed his throat.

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