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Current Affairs

  • 25th October 2007

    Civil unions on the agenda in Ireland 3

    Homosexuality was only decriminalised in the Republic of Ireland in 1993, but since then the country has embraced gay rights.

    2:50 PM — The Irish Labour party is to reintroduce a private member's bill in the country's Parliament next week in an attempt to legalise civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.LGBT activists in Ireland are urging people to contact their members of Parliament and lobby for the legislation.In February an earlier attempt by the opposition Labour party to legalise same sex unions in the Republic was defeated.

  • LGBT discrimination in Europe’s margins 1

    In Georgia a high level of hostility towards same-sex relationships and diverse gender identities prevails in virtually every aspect of society.

    2:40 PM — Two leading gay rights groups have compiled a report into the serious situation gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face in two countries aspiring to join the EU.The ILGA-Europe and COC Netherlands study of the position of LGBT People in Georgia and Azerbaijan concludes that the South Caucasian nations must stop discrimination and incitement to hatred.They are also urged to put in place an inclusive anti-discrimination law in line with Council of Europe and EU standards.

  • Gay marriage divides Church of Sweden 3

    Opinion polls show that 46% of Swedes are in favour of gay marriage, with 31% opposed.  photo: megan ann@flickr.com

    2:20 PM — A proposal by Sweden's three opposition parties in to legalise gay marriage has divided the Church of Sweden.Until 2000 the Church was established, meaning was is the official state religion. It now has autonomy from the government.However, it now faces being required to marry gay and lesbian couples or withdraw completely from performing the legal element of marriages.The Church governing body has voted 161 to 74 in favour of retaining the right to carry out legally-binding weddings.

  • Gay rights group urge Obama to drop “ex-gay” gospel singer 1

    Obama's campiagn has yet to cancel McClurkin's appearance but extended an invite to openly gay minister, Rev. Andy Sidden, to speak on the concert programme.

    11:32 AM — Senator Barack Obama claims he believes that gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters, but according to the president of the nation's largest gay rights organisations, actions speak louder than words, and a scheduled concert this Sunday with a notoriously homophobic gospel singer sends the wrong message to the LGBT community.According to The New York Times, Human Rights Campiagn president Joe Solmonese urged Obama via phone today to cancel gospel singer Donnie McClurkin's appearance.

  • 24th October 2007

    MPs hear evidence on homophobic incitement law

    Justice minister Maria Eagle told the committee that the government will be sharing proposed drafts of the amendment to create an offence of homophobic hatred with interested parties in due course.

    6:00 PM — The House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill heard from both sides of the debate surrounding government proposals to introduce a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation last week..Representatives of gay equality organisation Stonewall, the Police Federation, Liberty and the Evangelical Alliance gave evidence before MPs.The alliance describe themselves on their website as "one of the most powerful groups of Christians in the UK."

  • Philippines rejects trans records case

    The court said there is no law regarding people who have undergone gender reassignment.

    5:23 PM — The Supreme Court of the Philippines has ruled that woman may not change her civil registry records.Born Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio, the woman underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2001 and wanted her records to reflect her transition.While recognising that trans people do not "fit neatly into the commonly recognised parameters of social convention," the court said there is no law regarding people who have undergone gender reassignment.

  • Austrian government plans registered gay partnerships 4

    Predominantly Roman Catholic, Austria has an equal age of consent and gay people are allowed to serve in the military.

    4:17 PM — Austria's Justice minister today released draft legislation that will grant lesbian and gay couples the right to register their relationships.The proposed "registered partnerships" will be put before the country's Parliament by the end of this year.The Social Democrats won the most seats in the January 2007 election but not enough to rule outright. They entered into a "grand coalition" with the conservative ÖVP, or People's Party.

  • Home Office loses gay Algerian deportation case 3

    The Home Office had argued the 27-year-old man, referred to as B, would be safe from persecution as long as he was “discreet” about his homosexuality.

    3:20 PM — The High Court in London has overturned an order that a gay man from Algeria seeking asylum in the UK should be deported.The Home Office had argued the 27-year-old man, referred to as B, would be safe from persecution as long as he was "discreet" about his homosexuality.However Mr Justice Collins disagreed, saying that B, who has been fighting to remain in the UK since 1996, was at risk of persecution.

  • Labour accused of entrenching gay discrimination 13

    “Labour is effectively saying same-sex couples can get on the bus, but we still have to sit at the back.“

    2:11 PM — As opinion polls in Australia indicate a clear victory for the Labour party in next month's general election, their leader has come under attack from gay activists and the Green party for rejecting same-sex marriage.Yesterday during a radio interview Kevin Rudd stood by his party line that marriage is between a man and woman, but admitted it was not a popular view in some circles.He faced immediate anger from a station employee who said he was making gay and lesbian Australians second-class citizens.

  • Iran police chief: gays destroy Western families 1

    Iranian police and militia known as basiji have launched a nationwide operation against people they accuse of deviating from official standards of dress or behaviour.

    1:35 PM — The head of Iran's police has attacked Western countries for giving gay people rights and criticised opponents of Sharia Law.Speaking at Friday prayer service in Tehran last week, General Ismail Ahmadi Moghadam said that nations that tolerate homosexuality "challenge God's law and deny spirituality."There has recently been crackdown on "moral crime" in the Islamic republic.

  • Harvie slams Scottish parties over election fiasco 1

    Mr Harvie was elected on the regional list for Glasgow, where 9,000 ballots, or 4.17% of votes cast, were rejected.

    11:14 AM — A leading Green politician in Scotland has said that the voters were "left out in the cold" in May's Parliamentary and council elections as a new report has heavily criticised the four main parties.Patrick Harvie MSP, who is bisexual, said that the conclusions are taken on board by the political parties and ministers in London and Edinburgh.Changes to ballot papers had caused confusion and 140,000 Scots voters were disenfranchised when their papers were declared invalid.

  • Campaign to clear councillor convicted of paedophile slur 130

    The “Justice for Leyton Ward“ campaign has been launched by Ms Grell's friends, family, constituents and political colleagues.

    10:44 AM — Friends and political colleagues of a London councillor convicted of making false allegations of paedophilia against her gay opponent have set up a campaign to support her appeal.Miranda Grell was barred from public office for three years and fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by Waltham Forest Magistrates Court last month.She won a formerly safe Lib Dem seat on Waltham Forest council in last May's elections.

  • Gay conference faces ban on public event

    At ILGA Europe's annual conference members will discuss the organisational priorities, strategies and tactics.

    10:23 AM — A leading LGBT rights organisation has launched a legal challenge after one of the events at its annual conference was banned by the authorities in Lithuania.ILGA Europe members are gathering for their conference in Vilnius which begins tomorrow, but their public Rainbow Flag event has been blocked by the city's mayor.ILGA Europe chose to meet in Lithuania to highlight the prejudice gay people face in the country, formerly part of the Soviet Union.

  • 23rd October 2007

    Poland will support EU rights charter 1

    Poland and the UK were the only two nations in the 27-member EU to opt out.

    6:15 PM — The next Polish government will support the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights which was vigorously opposed by the outgoing administration.Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski had claimed that Poland was "culturally different" from their EU partners, especially when it came to the rights of LGBT people and the use of the death penalty.Civic Platform, the political party who won the most seats in Sunday's Polish general election, is committed to adopting the charter.

  • Singapore rejects decriminalisation of gay sex 3

    Sir Ian McKellen urged the country's government to ditch the colonial-era laws on gay sex while touring the country with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

    5:10 PM — Gay people have a place in Singaporean society but they cannot be part of the "mainstream way of life," a senior government minister told the country's Parliament yesterday.Ho Peng Kee, a Law and Home Affairs minister, was responding to a motion tabled by MP Siew Kum Hong calling for the repeal of laws that make gay sex a crime.Last week Mr Siew told The New Paper that the issue was larger than gay rights.

  • More Democrats sign up to repeal gay military ban

    Congressman Murphy is a former JAG Corps attorney, and served two deployments after the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001.

    3:33 PM — Five more members of the House of Representatives have added their support to removing the ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual military personnel in the US Armed Forces.136 Congressmen and women are now co-sponsors of The Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which repeals the policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell."The policy, introduced in 1994, states that LGB people can serve in the Armed Forces as long as they conceal their orientation.

  • Christian backlash against US gay legislation 3

    ENDA will be voted on by the House of Representatives this week.

    2:01 PM — Evangelical Christians in the United States have attacked proposals to protect LGBT people from employment discrimination and a new hate crimes bill.Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, which describes itself as a "national organisation devoted exclusively to exposing and countering the homosexual activist agenda," is one of several groups protesting against the Employment Non Discrimination Act, currently before Congress.

  • Senator Obama linked to “ex-gay” singer 15

    Obama belongs to the United Church of Christ, which supports gay marriage.

    11:20 AM — Senator Barack Obama has drawn criticism for signing up a gospel singer with controversial views about gays and lesbians for his campaign in South Carolina.According to AP, gay rights group Truth Wins Out has urged the Democratic Presidential candidate to his cut ties with Donnie McClurkin, one of several gospel singers scheduled to raise money for the Illinois senator at a concert in South Carolina this weekend.

  • US Senate candidate outs himself

    Democrat Jim Neal, who says he will challenge Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole for the seat, surprised many last weekend when he outed himself.

    11:02 AM — North Carolina voters will be given the opportunity to vote into office an openly gay Senator next year, should the candidate in question follow through with his current plans.Democrat Jim Neal, who says he will challenge Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole for the seat, surprised many last weekend when he outed himself during a discussion on liberal blog, BlueNC.com.At one point, another participant in the discussion asked Neal if he was gay.

  • Australian opposition won’t change gay marriage law 13

    Mr Rudd stood by his Labour party line that marriage is between a man and woman, but admitted it was not a popular view in some circles.

    11:02 AM — The Australian opposition leader, Kevin Rudd, has said he would still love his three children if they were gay, but as prime minister he would not change the law to allow gays to marry.Earlier this month, the announcement that a general election will be held in Australia on 24th November prompted evangelical groups in the country to begin campaigning against gay equality.Speaking on the Austereo network on Tuesday, Mr Rudd stood by his Labour party line that marriage is between a man and woman.

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