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Current Affairs

  • 10th December 2007

    Irish gay emigrants reluctant to return home

    Last week the Irish government confirmed it will not legalise gay marriage.

    2:33 PM — An increasing number of gay Irish emigrants are choosing not to return to Ireland because they can't take their partners with them.The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) said that the issue is a huge problem for Irish nationals whose partners cannot live or work in Ireland.Calls to GLEN about the issue have doubled in the past two years.The situation is also difficult for Irish people living in Ireland who are in a relationship with a foreign national.

  • Australian capital delays same-sex unions

    In May 2006, the ACT became the first Australian state to recognise same-sex civil unions.

    12:45 PM — Laws allowing same-sex unions in the Australian Capital Territory are to be delayed after concerns were voiced by the new federal attorney-general, Robert McClelland.The decision follows talks between Mr McClelland and ACT attorney-general Simon Corbell about the proposed legislation to grant legal recognition to same-sex unions, which was due to come into effect in February 2008.The discussion came after the previous attorney-general Philip Ruddock tried to block ACT laws.

  • Shootings at Haggard church target young people

    Two young missionaries-in-training, 26-year-old Tiffany Johnson and 24-year-old Philip Crouse, were killed.

    12:40 PM — Four people are confirmed dead after two shootings at Colorado religious institutions on Sunday.Two victims were killed at the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) centre in Denver yesterday morning in an attack that left two others injured.Another victim was killed at the New Life Church in a separate shooting on Sunday afternoon.The YWAM organisation has been criticised by some as a 'cult' and attacked for 'brainwashing' members and promoting anti-gay messages.

  • Israel must recognise same-sex adoptive couples 1

    The Ministry has challenged the order and numerous same-sex couples have been left without any legal relation to their partners' children.

    11:45 AM — The Interior Ministry of Israel was ordered by the country's Supreme Court yesterday to register overseas adoptions by same-sex parents.An American-Israeli lesbian couple who weren't registered as dual mothers of their son despite a Court's ruling took their case to the Supreme Court.Nicole and Ruti Berner Kadish's case was heard before a panel of nine High Court judges.

  • UN questions Iran hanging as thousands attend funeral 34

    The judge did not accept their testimonies and sentenced Mouloudzadeh to death.

    11:10 AM — The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed "grave concern" at the execution of a 20-year-old Iranian man for crimes he allegedly committed as a child.Louise Arbour urged Iran to "respect its international legal obligations and the strong international consensus against the execution of minors."A crowd of 6,000 people are reported to have attended Makwan Mouloudzadeh's funeral on Friday.

  • Huckabee challenged over attitude to gays 3

    Huckabee said allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military would be a disgrace for the nation.

    10:55 AM — Conservative voters and much of the mainstream press may be smitten with Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee's affability and "ah, shucks" attitude, as proven by his soaring poll numbers and ever-growing list of endorsements.But People for the American Way aren't among them.For starters, those leading the Washington, DC-based organisation aren't big fans of the former Arkansas Governor's, "long record of rhetoric and actions that reveal an ideologue's agenda and a zealot's intolerance for differing opinions."

  • California diocese splits from US church

    A legal battle over the diocese's church property and assets could result from the split.

    10:45 AM — The diocese of San Joaquin in Central California has voted to secede from the US Episcopal Church over its tolerance and growing support of gays, according to United Press International.Delegates at San Joaquin's annual convention approved the split this weekend and accepted an invitation to align the diocese with conservative Anglican leader Archbishop Gregory James Venables of Argentina.More liberal policies toward homosexuality within the Episcopal Church have strained the Anglican community.

  • 8th December 2007

    Lesbian couple can not divorce in home state

    Rhode Island doesn't explicitly ban gay marriage

    2:30 PM — A lesbian couple who married in Massachusetts are unable to get divorced in their home state of Rhode Island, the state's Supreme Court ruled yesterday.The three-to-two decision ruled that the state's family court does not have the ability to grant a divorce to gay couples as the state defines marriage as between a man and a woman. "The role of the judicial branch is not to make policy, but simply to determine the legislative intent," the court said in a written judgement.

  • “Bigot Bishop” apologises to rejected gay applicant 9

    John Reaney was rejected for a job because he is gay

    2:30 PM — The bishop who an employment tribunal found discriminated against a youth worker because he was gay has apologised for the "hurt and pain" he caused.John Reaney was previously employed as a youth officer for the Norwich and Chester Church of England diocese. In an application form for a similar job in Hereford, Mr Reaney stated that he is gay.

  • Obama maintains poll lead in New Hampshire

    The CNN-WMUR poll gives Obama a 42 to 31 percent lead in 'electability' over Clinton.

    10:59 AM — With little time remaining before voters choose their candidates in one of the most important primary races in the US, Barack Obama has taken a sizable lead over Hillary Clinton in a new USA Today/Gallup New Hampshire poll.On the Republican side, John McCain maintains a small lead over Mitt Romney, with Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee a distant third.In mid-December, the New Hampshire primary race seemed neck and neck.

  • 7th December 2007

    HIV+ navy priest gets two years for sex crimes 5

    The archdiocese where Lee was ordained priest was informed last June about his alleged sexual misconduct and prevented him from performing the Mass.

    5:10 PM — A Catholic Navy chaplain was sentenced to two years in jail on Thursday for forcible sodomy and failing to tell his sex partner that he was HIV positive.John Thomas Matthew Lee, a priest since 1993 and a military chaplain since 1996, decided to plead guilty before a military court at Marine Corps base Quantico in Virginia.The plea agreement, which included informing the authorities about every sex partner he ever had, meant that ten of the initial twelve-year sentence was suspended.

  • Botswana refuses to register gay advocacy group 1

    Amendments to the Botswana Penal Code, which came into effect on the 30th April 1998 and extended the seven year maximum penalty, for men caught engaging in same-sex sexual relations, to women as well.

    4:10 PM — The department of civil and national registration in Botswana faces legal action after it refused to register a group called the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo).The country's Attorney General has been informed that lawyers for the group intend to sue the government, reports Mmegi Online.The registration was refused because LEGABIBO was ruled to be contrary to the Botswana penal code, which outlaws male and female homosexual acts.

  • “Royal blackmail plot” man refused bail 25

    A senior legal adviser to the Royal Household contacted the alleged blackmailers and arranged to meet and view the tape.

    2:18 PM — One of the two men charged with attempting to blackmail a minor member of the Royal Family was refused bail at a hearing at the Old Bailey today.Ian Strachan, 30, was arrested along with Sean McGuigan, 40, in October after police mounted a sting operation.They are alleged to have demanded £50,000 not to release a video showing an aide to a member of the Royal Family discussing engaging in oral sex with his employer.

  • Gays will continue the fight for hate crimes protection 7

    The hate crimes provisions had been attached to a defence spending bill, and it has now been dropped by the Senate because it could not attract enough support.  photo: dbking@flickr.com

    1:40 PM — LGBT rights groups in the United States have expressed their disappointment that new hate crimes legislation will not be passed by the US Senate.The Matthew Shepard Act would have extended federal grants to local law enforcement agencies in order to more thoroughly investigate and prosecute domestic terror crimes that target individuals based on disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.Under existing hate crimes laws, such grants are routinely provided to local agencies.

  • Lesbians dual parent rights case before Israeli Supreme Court

    Last year the Israeli Family Court recognised another lesbian couple as joint mothers.

    1:40 PM — An American-Israeli lesbian couple who weren't registered as dual mothers of their son despite a Court's ruling, will bring their case before Israel's Supreme Court.On Sunday Nicole and Ruti Berner Kadish's case will be represented in Jerusalem by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) before a panel of nine High Court judges.The judiciary will be asked to order the Interior Ministry to continue executing a 2000 ruling.

  • Tory criticises cuts in London HIV programmes 10

    Brian Coleman, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, wrote to Minister of State at the Department of Health.

    12:45 PM — The deputy chairman of the London Assembly has expressed his shock at planned cuts to HIV prevention programmes aimed at gay men, after receiving official confirmation from the Department of Health.Brian Coleman, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, wrote to Minister of State at the Department of Health, Dawn Primarolo MP, after reports that funding for the London Gay Men's HIV Prevention Programme is to be cut next year by 36%.The funding for this programme is currently grouped with a treatment information programme in a budget of £2.2million.

  • Toyota may sue over porn actor called Lexus 1

    Grangier says his SpunkLand star selected his stage name in reference to the Greek god Lexus.

    12:20 PM — What does Toyota have to do with gay porn? A lot, apparently.The US branch of the Japanese car maker recently sent a communiqué to Daniel Grangier, president and CEO of Switzerland-based EBOYS Studios, regarding one of his stars, who goes by the screen name 'Lexus.'According to a release sent to JRLChartsOnline.net, the car manufacturer claimed in its letter to Grangier that the name Lexus is a trademark of Toyota Motors Sales USA Inc.

  • Presidential candidate defends his Mormon faith

    Some claim the Mormon faith is too far removed from the fundamentals they say the US is built upon.

    10:50 AM — Mormon Presidential candidate and one time gay rights supporter Mitt Romney took his thoughts on religion public on Thursday morning when the Republican hopeful delivered a controversial speech on faith in America.Intended to address those who have questioned the Mormon faith's place in leading this country, the speech stressed that religious liberty "is fundamental to America's greatness," though Romney has long argued the fact that he is Mormon should have no bearing on his ability to be elected.

  • US Congress drops hate crime bill

    A US House-Senate conference committee has dropped the hate-crimes legislation.

    10:20 AM — Congressional aides are reporting that a US House-Senate conference committee has dropped the hate-crimes legislation co-sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith and Edward Kennedy from a defence authorisation bill because it did not have sufficient support in the House.The legislation, formally known as the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, would have expanded federal law to include crimes committed against people because of their gender, sexual orientation or disability.

  • 6th December 2007

    Donations to Harman were secret to avoid “Jewish conspiracy” 1

    Harriet Harman received £5,000 from Mr Abrahams through a proxy

    7:01 PM — The businessman at the centre of the government's donations scandal says that he secretly donated to the Equality Secretary, Harriet Harman's campaign to become Deputy Leader of the Labour party to avoid accusations of being part of a "Jewish conspiracy."Batchelor, David Abrahams told the Jewish Chronicle that blame for the scandal where he donated £663,975 to Labour through proxies lies with Jon Mendelsohn, Gordon Brown's fundraiser.

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