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Current Affairs

  • 2nd April 2008

    Gay rights advocate resigns as Irish Prime Minister 17

    Mr Ahern said that he was confident that he would be vindicated in the inquiry.

    6:30 PM — The Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland has announced his resignation following an investigation into corruption.Bertie Ahern, 56, has been Taoiseach since June 1997 and has been a strong supporter of gay rights in Ireland. In 2006 he told the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN):"Our sexual orientation is not an incidental attribute. It is an essential part of who and what we are. All citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, stand equal in the eyes of our laws."

  • Boris Johnson rejects BNP support 13

    Mr Johnson, who is leading incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone in the polls, has been criticised by prominent black Londoners.

    3:50 PM — The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London has slammed the British National Party after they told their supporters to choose him as their second preference candidate on May 1st."I utterly and unreservedly condemn the BNP and have no desire whatsoever to receive a single second preference vote from a BNP supporter," said Boris Johnson.Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, told PinkNews.co.uk: "The BNP obviously recognise Boris' reputation for causing offence and creating division."

  • Military u-turn over lesbian Congresswoman’s partner

    Ms Baldwin, who has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1999, has declined to comment on the story.

    1:45 PM — The US Secretary of Defence has intervened after a lesbian Congresswoman's partner was barred from accompanying her on a military aircraft during an official trip.It is reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, phoned Defence Secretary Robert Gates to ask him to intervene.Tammy Baldwin, who represents Wisconsin's second district, is the only openly gay woman in Congress.

  • Irish civil partnerships to exclude parental rights 3

    In December Ireland's Justice Minister Brian Lenihan rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.

    1:05 PM — Gay rights groups in Ireland have expressed disappointment that the government may not extend parental rights to same-sex couples as part of new legislation to legally recognise lesbian and gay relationships.On Monday MarriagEquality, a group formed to campaign for full civil marriage, released the details of a poll it commissioned which shows the number of Irish people who support partnerships only has fallen from 33% to 26%.Overall 84% of those polled support either gay marriage or civil partnerships.

  • Greeks consider recognising same-sex couples 1

    The government of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is opposed to same-sex marriage.

    12:45 PM — Greek authorities are considering adopting a law that would allow same-sex couples to be recognised by a civil ceremony, the country's NET TV said on Monday.The Greek Justice Ministry pledged to establish a working group on the rights of gay couples living together, which would "analyse all aspects of the issue, international practice and the existing domestic legal and social framework."The New Democracy-led government is expected to introduce legislation later in the year that will offer several rights to unmarried couples.

  • Gay MEP worried about EU discrimination directive 2

    Mr Cashman is a Labour MEP. He leads the European Parliament's LGBT Inter-Group.

    12:01 PM — A British Member of the European Parliament has spoken of his concerns that there is a lack of commitment to gay rights from the European Commission President Jose Manuel Borroso.Michael Cashman, who represents the West Midlands, has voiced his concern over reports that the Commission is backtracking on its commitment to tackle discrimination."Barroso gave the Parliament assurances that it would bring forward a Directive to combat discrimination on the remaining grounds of Article 13," said Mr Cashman.

  • Dutch MP questions deportation of gay teenager to UK 2

    Boris van der Ham of the D66 party is unhappy at the lack of assurances from the British government.

    11:30 AM — A social-liberal MP in Holland has secured a debate in the country's parliament about Mehdi Kazemi, a gay Iranian teenager who is due for deportation back to the UK.Boris van der Ham of the D66 party is unhappy at the lack of assurances from the British government that Mr Kazemi will be allowed to remain in the UK.If he is returned to Iran he claims he faces execution.

  • 1st April 2008

    Obama’s £1,000 a head gay fundraiser

    The event was significant because former First Lady Clinton has more support in the gay community than Senator Obama.

    5:30 PM — US Presidential hopeful Barack Obama raised funds for his campaign at an LGBT event last week, where the price of admission was $2,300 (£1,160).The fundraiser was held at the New York apartment of gay activist Kevin Jennings and his partner and 125 people attended, The Advocate reports.More than $170,000 was raised and the candidate spoke for around half an hour and then answered questions.

  • More gays need to put themselves forward says Tory 28

    Ms James was number 17 in the PinkNews.co.uk list of the 50 most influential LGBT people in British politics.

    5:00 PM — Margot James, the Conservative candidate for the constituency of Stourbridge, has responded to a survey from Stonewall about perceived prejudice in the party against gay, lesbian and bisexuals who want to run for Parliament.Ms James said that in her experience as a lesbian, she has experienced no prejudice from party members, but quite a lot from the press."Gay people have to move on a bit," she told PinkNews.co.uk.

  • Gay hate church gets taste of own medicine 2

    Kansas joined 16 other states in introducing local legislation to bar the hate group's activities.

    2:15 PM — More than 400 people converged on the small town of Topeka, Kansas on Sunday to protest outside the Westboro Baptist Church.Straight, gay and trans protesters drew support from locals as they staged The Million Fag March outside the church, which is notorious for picketing the funerals of US soldiers killed in action."It's about time we did something like this again," local woman Hope Prescott told The Topeka Capital-Journal. "We feel somewhat responsible for the Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church."

  • LGBT Labour defend party’s record on gay candidates 28

    Labour MP Angela Eagle, a junior minister, is the only openly lesbian woman in the UK Parliament.

    1:50 PM — A group within the Labour party that pushes for equality for lesbian, gay bisexual and trans people has responded to a survey from Stonewall.A poll of more than 1,600 LGB people found that 61% think they would face barriers from the party because of their sexual orientation if they wanted to be selected to run for parliament.89% said the same about the Conservatives and 47% about the Liberal Democrats. 46% of Labour supporter thought they would face barriers if they wanted to stand for Parliament.

  • Pension victory for same-sex partners at Euro court 5

    The court ruled that a German gay man is entitled to a payment from the pension of his dead partner.

    12:03 PM — Gay and lesbian activists today welcomed a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg on the rights of same-sex partners to 'survivor pensions.'The court ruled that a German gay man is entitled to a payment from the pension of his dead partner.The insurer had rejected his claim to the allowance of €6,400 (£4,330) on the grounds they only make such payments to spouses and not registered partners.

  • War of words between gay bashing politician and PFLAG 10

    In her short time in the House Kern has built a reputation for homophobia.

    11:45 AM — An Oklahoma politician who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism has turned on local members of the advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) she met with last week.Representative Sally Kern received international attention after her homophobic speech to a group of fellow Republicans was posted on YouTube earlier this month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.She met with Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards, Rev. Dr. Kathy McCallie and Rev. Jim Shields of PFLAG last Thursday.

  • Equality body will prioritise sexual orientation cases

    The EHRC has a special position among public authorities as these duties are identical to its own remit.

    11:00 AM — The Equality and Human Rights Commission has unveiled its first single equality scheme with a committment to prioritise legal cases in new areas of equality such as sexual orientation, in order to build case law.As a public body the EHRC is legally required to address gender, disability and race.The new scheme will also cover age, sexual orientation, religion or belief and human rights.

  • Gay people expect discrimination in all walks of life 28

    1,600 LGB people took part in the online survey by YouGov, the web polling company's first survey of the gay population.

    12:01 AM — A new survey released today by Stonewall has found that gay, bisexual and lesbian people think that everyone from public services to political parties treat them less favourably because of their sexuality.1,600 LGB people took part in the online survey by YouGov, the web polling company's first survey of the gay population.The results paint a depressing picture of perceived prejudice in Britain.

  • 31st March 2008

    Elections could bring hope for gay Zimbabweans 1

    Opposition politicians are claiming they have ousted Mugabe from office and his Zanu PF party from power.

    5:55 PM — This weekend's elections in Zimbabwe bring the prospect of an end to the 28-year rule of one of the world's most homophobic heads of state.Robert Mugabe, now 84, has terrorised many groups in his country, not least gays and lesbians.He has previously described gay people as worse than "dogs and pigs", has warned against the dangers of homosexuality and threatened pro-gay clergy with prison sentences. For two people of the same sex to hold hands is against the law.

  • Lords gay rights foe dies 2

    Lord Stallard of St Pancras was 86. He was known throughout his career as Jock, a reference to his upbringing in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

    4:50 PM — A member of the House of Lords who used his Roman Catholic faith to frustrate his own party's gay rights legislation has died.Lord Stallard of St Pancras was 86. He was known throughout his career as Jock, a reference to his upbringing in Lanarkshire, Scotland.A left-wing presence on the Labour benches, he was first elected to represent St Pancras North at the 1970 general election.

  • Ukrainian gay paper faces criminal charges

    Gay.Ua is not accessible nor intended for wider readership.

    3:40 PM — Kiev's public prosecutor is targeting a well-regarded gay newspaper under laws banning the distribution of pornography, while newspaper kiosks across the city openly sell explicit erotic heterosexual magazines.Since 2003 Nash Mir, the oldest Ukrainian LGBT human rights organisation, has published Gay.Ua newspaper."The newspaper is registered as an "information, for leisure, and erotic" edition,"" Nash Mir said in a statement.

  • Support for gay marriage increases in Ireland 4

    In 2007 the Prime Minister of Ireland Bertie Ahern said that legislation would be approved during the lifetime of his government.

    1:55 PM — As Irish gay rights advocates await the government's proposals on legal recognition of same-sex partners, a new opinion poll has found that the vast majority of their countrymen and women are in favour.MarriagEquality, a group formed to push for full civil marriage, has released the details of a poll it commissioned which shows the number of Irish people who support partnerships only has fallen from 33% to 26%.Overall 84% of those polled support either gay marriage or civil partnerships.

  • Cameron backs Boris at launch of London campaign

    Londoners go to the polls on May 1st to elect a Mayor and the 25-member London Assembly.

    1:30 PM — Conservative leader David Cameron has publicly backed the party's candidate for Mayor of London as officially launched his campaign this morning.He said Boris Johnson would be a "brilliant" mayor, claimed that "London's real problem is a lack of leadership" and said incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone had lost touch with the voters.Londoners go to the polls on May 1st to elect a Mayor and the 25-member London Assembly.

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