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Current Affairs

  • 3rd January 2008

    Christian MP defends opposition to gay hate law 24

    Mr Breed, the MP for South East Cornwall, has been a consistent opponent of gay rights.

    2:02 PM — A Liberal Democrat MP has defended an amendment designed to ensure that homophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.Colin Breed, who is a lay Methodist preacher, claims that the move, which is also supported by Ann Widdecombe, is about "freedom of speech."The amendment to the Criminal Justice bill seeks to block a proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

  • Sperm donor child support case under review

    Andy Bathie, a 37-year-old fireman from London, provided sperm to civil partners Sharon and Terri Arnold.

    12:10 PM — A man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple and was subsequently made to pay child support has revealed that his case is being reviewed by the Child Support Agency.Andy Bathie, a 37-year-old fireman from London, provided sperm to civil partners Sharon and Terri Arnold.As this was a private arrangement not organised through the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), he is legally the father.

  • Straight bouncer wins damages from gay club 1

    Ms Legg was awarded £3,222 for unfair dismissal and a further £3,000 for injured feelings.

    11:20 AM — A heterosexual woman has been awarded more than £6,000 in damages from Bournemouth's largest gay nightclub.Sharon Legg, a 33-year-old mum of four, took her case to an employment tribunal claiming unfair dismissal after being sacked without warning."I made this complaint for gay people, straight people, anyone who has ever been harassed. I'm like a bulldog, I don't let go," Ms Legg told the Dorset Echo .

  • Interview: David Heath on incitement to homophobic hatred 5

    David Heath retained his post as Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice in the frontbench team appointed by new leader Nick Clegg.

    10:40 AM — As Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice, David Heath is a comforting contrast to the Cleggs and Huhnes of the party.Big, bearded, thoughtful yet jocular, the 53-year-old is a substantial politician in more ways than one, and in his present role he shadows one of the remaining big beasts of the Labour party, Jack Straw.Heath is very much of his constituency, Somerton and Frome. He was born in the Mendip Hills of Somerset and was leader of the county's council at the age of 31.

  • COMMENT: Iowa caucuses too close to call 1

    The respected Des Moines Register's final poll shows Illinois Senator Barack Obama leading Democratic opponents, New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

    10:30 AM — Here's the only thing we know for certain about today's Iowa caucuses: no one can predict the winner.Here's the other thing that no one wants to talk about: Will Iowa really matter?For all the attention and millions of campaign dollars spent in the first Presidential contest in the nation, the Iowa caucuses are really a straw poll; a beauty contest with an actual delegate section coming down the road.

  • 2nd January 2008

    Spain’s ruling party attack Catholic bishops 8

    The secretary of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español's federal executive is demanding that the Church retract accusations by the Archbishop of Valencia.

    5:30 PM — A leading member of the governing Socialist party in Spain has attacked the Roman Catholic Church for getting involved in politics.On Sunday a "family" rally was held in Madrid, and senior church figures lined up to criticise laws introduced since the Socialists took power in 2004 including same-sex marriage.Pope Benedict XVI addressed the crowd, estimated at 150,000 people, by a videolink from Rome.

  • Police chief’s drugs stance attacked by MP 1

    53-year-old Mr Brunstrom was in the national press regularly in 2007.

    4:40 PM — Labour MP Chris Bryant has attacked as "dangerous" views expressed by North Wales Police chief constable Richard Brunstrom that ecstasy is safer than tobacco, alcohol and aspirin.Mr Brunstrom told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the scare mongering around ecstasy was not borne out by fact."If you look at the government's own research you will find that ecstasy by comparison to many other substances, legal and illegal, is a comparatively safe substance," he said.

  • US church leader: there are more gay bishops 2

    Bishop Jefferts Schori's appointment as head of the US Anglican communion in 2006 caused even more tension.

    2:30 PM — The leader of the Anglican church in the United States has stoked the controversy surrounding gay ordinations by claiming there are senior gay clergy and some of them are in relationships.Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, speaking on BBC Radio 4, said that the Episcopalian church, as Anglicans are known in the US, has been unfairly targeted over the ordination of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire.Bishop Robinson is openly gay and lives with his partner.

  • Minister to attend Schools OUT conference 8

    Kevin Brennan, a junior minister at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Schools OUT conference.

    1:45 PM — Kevin Brennan, a junior minister at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, will be one of the keynote speakers at an LGBT education event next month.The Schools OUT annual conference will be held on February 2nd in the Drill Hall in central London.Founded in 1974, Schools OUT Works towards equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in education.

  • Iraq prisoner amnesty does not extend to gays 6

    The targeting of gay people is just another example of the chaos of daily life in Iraq.

    12:30 PM — A draft bill before the Iraqi parliament would grant an amnesty for as many as 5,000 prisoners, yet excludes those convicted of homosexual "crimes."Ali al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the country's government, said the bill had been sent to the parliament's Speaker yesterday.Iraqis being held by the Americans are also excluded, alongside those charged with terrorist offences, rape and adultery.

  • PinkNews.co.uk list highlights lack of female representation 55

    Just one female, the Labour MP and minister Angela Eagle, made it into the top 10, with another four in the top 50.

    11:50 AM — A snapshot of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in British politics has revealed that women are seriously under-represented.Just one female, the Labour MP and minister Angela Eagle, made it into the top 10, with another four in the top 50.Margot James, the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Stourbridge and party vice-chair, is at number 17, while Margaret Smith, the Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh West, is at number 32.

  • Joy in Concord as gay unions arrive in New Hampshire 1

    Yesterday New Hampshire became the fourth US state to legalise civil unions. Only Massachusetts has legal gay marriage.

    10:50 AM — A group of gay and lesbian couples took advantage of a new law that came into force in the US state of New Hampshire yesterday by entering into civil unions in a mass outdoor ceremony.There were no protestors at the Statehouse in the capital Concord as 37 couples braved sub-zero temperatures just minutes into 2008 and exchanged vows.Yesterday New Hampshire became the fourth US state to legalise civil unions. Only Massachusetts has legal gay marriage.

  • English Cardinal attacks gay people in New Year message 21

    Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's message marks the Feast of the Holy Family.

    10:20 AM — The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales has linked gay people to drug and alcohol abuse and claimed that parents want their children to be taught that marriage is superior to all other "lifestyles."Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's message, which was read out at church services across the Diocese of Westminster, marks the Feast of the Holy Family.It has been interpreted as an attack on the government's stance on equality for gay people.

  • 1st January 2008

    “Murder squad” make arrest in connection with Kevin Greening’s death 2

    Kevin Greening died at the age of 44 (photo: WiseBuddah- Greening's former agent)

    4:00 AM — Police from the Specialist Crime Directorate, dubbed by some the "murder squad" have arrested a man in connection with the death of the gay radio DJ Kevin Greening.The unamed man in his 50s was arrested at the address that Greening's body was found on Saturday evening. Police say he was questioned under suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and has been bailed pending further investigation.

  • 31st December 2007

    Paddick launches personal attack on London rival 1

    Mr Paddick claimed that Tory party minders had been instructed to stop Mr Johnson from making gaffes.

    5:50 PM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has branded his Tory opponent a "clown" and questioned his suitability for the job.Londoners will vote for their next Mayor on May 1st. Henley MP Boris Johnson is the Conservative candidate.Brian Paddick, formerly the most senior out gay policeman in the UK, is the Lib Dem candidate. Incumbent Ken Livingstone is running again for the Labour party.

  • ‘Jesus is a fag’ controversy raised in House of Commons 7

    In August Belfast city councillor Christopher Staltford led calls for restrictions on future gay parades, claiming he was offended by the banner reading “Jesus is a fag.“

    4:40 PM — The Northern Ireland Parades Commission is to meet with the organisers of Belfast Pride over a placard displayed at this year's event that outraged Christians.Democratic Unionist MP Nigel Dodds raised the issue in the Commons earlier this month.The Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Paul Goggins, told Mr Dodds that the Parades Commission has written to Pride organisers and asked for a meeting "to discuss the matter further."

  • Gay man’s killer to be sentenced

    Leslie Kingshott, 42, admitted manslaughter at the Old Bailey on 20th December.

    4:15 PM — A 42-year-old man who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of the managing director of a research consultancy specialising in gay and lesbian issues will be sentenced next week.Tony Hoare, 49, was attacked in September as he walked his two Jack Russell dogs in Charlton Park, south east London.He was found unconscious and died shortly after being taken to hospital.

  • Russian activist charged over TV outing 2

    Mr Alexeyev, who was convicted of a minor offence for his role in May's banned Mosow Pride march, outed a conservative politician.

    4:00 PM — Moscow Gay Pride organiser and gay rights activist Nicolas Alexeyev will be brought before a court after he outed a Russian politician on live television.The charges arise from comments he made on live TV in June, when he outed politician Alexander Cheuv as a homosexual.Last week the Moscow prosecutor's office completed their criminal investigation and confirmed there is a case against Mr Alexeyev.

  • California gay groups fight for protection at school

    California's Legislature passed SB 777 in September and Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law on October 12th.

    2:45 PM — Two gay rights groups are seeking to intervene in a lawsuit filed by anti-gay organisations that would prevent enforcement of California statutes protecting students from discrimination, harassment and bullying in publicly-funded schools.Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network filed a motion to intervene in federal district court in San Diego to defend the California statutes that prohibit discrimination and harassment in publicly-funded schools, including the newly-enacted Student Civil Rights Act (SB 777).

  • LGBT fire conference attacked by councillor 1

    Currently less than 0.5% of the fire service is openly lesbian, gay or bixexual, equivalent to less than 270 people.

    2:30 PM — A local Bristol politician has generated headlines by attacking a highly-successful conference held in the city by the fire authority earlier this year.Councillor Albert Murphy, known as 'Spud,' branded October's Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender Equality in the Fire Service - An Absolute Taboo? event a waste of money.The chair of Avon Fire Authority, who hosted the event, has defended the conference and branded the councillor ignorant.

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