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Current Affairs

  • 17th October 2007

    PM pledges action on Gibraltar age of consent 24

    “The Prime Minister has agreed to take this matter up to ensure that steps are taken to end this discriminatory practice.“

    3:22 PM — The Prime Minister has committed himself to ending the unequal age of consent in the British self-governing territory of Gibraltar.MEP Michael Cashman met with Gordon Brown yesterday and raised the issue with him.LGBT people in the territory have little legal protection from discrimination. Up until 1992, all male homosexual relationships were illegal. At present male homosexual sex is legal at 18, rather than 16 for heterosexual and lesbian sex.

  • Moldovan church leader attacks gay equality

    Around 20 activists attempted to march for gay rights in the Moldovan capital Chisinau last May. photo: dittaeva@flickr.com

    3:05 PM — The Metropolitan of Chisinau and All Moldova, has attacked gay marriage at a theological conference of globalisation challenges held in the country.He said that equality between same-sex marriage and heterosexual marriage is contrary to "Christian convictions."The Metropolitan also expressed his conviction that politicians should be loyal to their faith above all other considerations.

  • Gay mayoral candidate may get help from David Furnish

    Deputy Assistant Commissioner Paddick was the UK's most senior gay police officer until he left the Metropolitan police force at the end of May.

    2:01 PM — Former senior police officer Brian Paddick, who is widely expected to win the Liberal Democrat nomination for Mayor of London, may receive fundraising help from a well-known celebrity.The Independent reports that the partner of singer Sir Elton John, David Furnish, is keen to help Mr Paddick, who is gay, raise campaign funds ahead of the mayoral elections in May 2008.The results of a ballot of Lib Dem members in London to choose their candidate will be announced next month.

  • Hillary Clinton top fundraiser in race to White House

    Mrs Clinton sped ahead of rival Obama in third quarter earnings, the one area where Obama was previously thought to be beating the former First Lady.

    12:41 PM — She came from behind and now Hillary Clinton holds the biggest war chest in the battle for US President.According to MarketWatch.com, Senator Clinton is sitting on a cool $35 million (£17.2m), more than her closest competitor Barack Obama, who had $32 million as of the end of September.Mrs Clinton sped ahead of rival Obama in third quarter earnings, the one area where Obama was previously thought to be beating the former First Lady.

  • Embattled Senator and wife give TV interview

    Senator Craig yesterday filed notice in Minnesota that he intends to appeal a lower court's decision to uphold his guilty plea.

    12:32 PM — "I was very, very embarrassed about it," Senator Larry Craig says of his arrest earlier this year as part of a sex sting in a Minneapolis airport during an interview airing tonight on NBC television programme Matt Lauer Reports."I didn't want to embarrass my wife, my kids, Idaho and my friends."According to those who have seen the hour-long interview, Craig's wife, Suzanne, tells host Matt Lauer that learning of her husband's arrest was "like the floor was falling out from under me."

  • Speaker promises trans ENDA if votes are there

    Speaker Pelosi has committed to giving the fully-inclusive version of ENDA a floor vote in the House once enough support for it to pass has been secured.

    12:28 PM — Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has sought to end the controversy surrounding new legislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination.A version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act excluding trans people is set to move forward next week, a compromise that has angered many gay rights organisations.The largest LGBT advocacy group in the US, the Human Rights Campaign, has worked with Speaker Pelosi.

  • Christian banned from library after campaign against gay staff 4

    Previously Mr Fairclough had left anti-gay messages on the Leigh library noticeboard. photo: IRRI images@flickr.com

    11:12 AM — A man described as a "devout Christian" has been arrested after a series of incidents of homophobia at a public library in Greater Manchester.58-year-old Joe Fairclough was arrested and detained by officers under a public order offence, but later released without charge.A police spokesman told the Manchester Evening News: "The library customer's behaviour was unacceptable."

  • 16th October 2007

    Two month contest for Lib Dem leadership

    Environment spokesman Chris Huhne is expected to launch his campaign tomorrow, while Home Affairs spokesman Nick Clegg has said he will consult with his wife and other before making a decision.

    6:50 PM — The Liberal Democrat party, still reeling from the shock resignation of its leader Sir Menzies Campbell yesterday, will hold a two month race to replace him.As expected, the party's President Simon Hughes, who came out as bisexual during the previous leadership race in February 2006, has ruled himself out as a candidate this time.Sir Ming resigned yesterday with immediate effect without speaking to the press.

  • Record number of gay politicians receive support

    Since its founding in 1991, the Victory Fund has helped to grow the number of out officials from 49 to more than 380.

    6:25 PM — An organisation dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels in the United States has announced that it will be backing a record number of candidates in 2007.The Gay Lesbian Victory Fund, who provide strategic, technical and financial support, has announced ten new endorsements, bringing the number of supported candidates to 71.Among them are Steve Pougnet, Mayor of Palm Springs, California; William "Bill" Schmidt, Mayor of Peekskill, New York and Jass Stewart, Mayor of Brockton, Massachusetts.

  • Homophobic church hit by pro-gay vandals 1

    IRA and Sinn Fein was written on the whitewashed cement of the 50-year-old church. “Gays have a life too” was also plastered across the walls.

    5:25 PM — Sectarian and pro-gay graffiti has been daubed on a Free Presbyterian church on the outskirts of Belfast.Walls and gates at the Dunmurry church were smeared with pro-Republican slogans and the Nazi swastika in an overnight attack, broadcaster UTV has reported.The incident followed comments about homosexuals on television last night by Free Presbyterian cleric the Rev David McIlveen.

  • Homophobic party mired in election anti-Semitism row

    While in government League party leader Roman Giertych was deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister.

    5:25 PM — A minor political party notorious for its opposition to gay rights has been roundly condemned for an election advertisement branded as anti-Semitic.Polish voters go to the polls this Sunday to elect both houses of parliament, the 460-member Sejm and the 100-member Senate.The League of Polish Families, until recently in coalition government, criticised Polish involvement with the Iraq war in the TV advert.

  • Trial against Phelps’ anti-gay group gets go-ahead 1

    Albert Snyder claims that protesters from the Kansas-based anti-gay group destroyed his only chance to bury in peace the son he lost in Iraq. He filed a complaint in June 2006.

    3:14 PM — A Baltimore judge has restricted the scope of a lawsuit brought by the father of a Marine whose funeral was targeted by Fred Phelps' anti-gay group.It is the first individual lawsuit brought against Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) for its protests at military funeral ceremoniesThe law suit will go to trial next week in Baltimore.

  • Gay police honour campaigning priest 1

    Rev Kirker urged the GPA to give its full support to a proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

    2:35 PM — The Gay Police Association has honoured the chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement.The Reverend Richard Kirker was awarded the Matthew Windibank Memorial Award at the 17th GPA Annual Dinner in Brighton on Saturday.The award recognises those individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the progression of gay equality inside and outside the police service.

  • Schwarzenegger blocks marriage, signs other gay-friendly legislation

    Some good news also came out the California Governor's office late last week.

    11:21 AM — California Assemblyman Mark Leno,a San Francisco Democrat, was not happy to hear that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed another gay marriage bill on Friday, once again saying voters and the state Supreme Court, not the legislature, should decide the issue.In a statement released on Friday, Schwarzenegger said Californians "should not be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation."Schwarzenegger wasn't simply the bearer of bad news for the LGBT community on Friday. Some good news also came out the California Governor's office late last week.

  • Schoolboy orchestrated fatal homophobic attack 16

    David Meehan, aged 19, admitted murdering gay council worker James Kerr, while 21-year-old Martin Soutar admitted culpable homicide.

    11:21 AM — Two men have admitted killing a council worker in a homophobic attack in a public park in Scotland.The BBC reported that a 15-year-old boy also pleaded guilty to assaulting 51-year-old James Kerr in the South Inch park in Perth in April this year.All three were originally charged with murder, but changed their pleas at the High Court in Perth. They will be sentenced today.

  • 15th October 2007

    EXCLUSIVE: Gay MP angry at press treatment of Ming 1

    Stephen William, the MP for Bristol West, who is an out gay man, expressed anger at the way Sir Ming has been treated over his age.

    7:05 PM — Liberal Democrat MPs have been paying tribute to Sir Ming Campbell after it was announced today that he has resigned after one year, seven months and thirteen days as party leader.Stephen Williams, the MP for Bristol West, who is an out gay man, expressed anger at the way Sir Ming has been treated over his age."I am very sad about his resignation. I think he has been treated appallingly by sections of the media," he told PinkNews.co.uk

  • Ming Campbell resigns as Lib Dem leader 1

    An election will be held to replace Sir Ming on December 17th.

    6:35 PM — The leader of the Liberal Democrats has resigned.The party's President Simon Hughes announced this evening that Sir Menzies Campbell is stepping down immediately.He has led the party since March 2006, when long-serving leader and fellow Scot Charles Kennedy resigned over press reports about his alcoholism.

  • Vatican’s quick investigation of priest in gay sex sting 5

    The president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia told La Repubblica newspaper that the Vatican wanted a quick “internal clean-up.“

    5:55 PM — A senior Roman Catholic official has said that the Church will conduct immediate investigations into allegations against a priest exposed on Italian TV.Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia, told La Repubblica newspaper that the Vatican wanted a quick "internal clean-up."Monsignor Tommaso Stenico was suspended on Sunday after he was identified in a television broadcast supposedly declaring his homosexuality and making advances to a young man.

  • Sex abuse letting agents on the run

    A jury unanimously found Palmer guilty of five counts of indecent assault on a male at Plymouth Crown Court.

    3:35 PM — A 50-year-old man has been found guilty of sexually abusing two teenage boys and a man.Alfred John Palmer, a letting agent in Plymouth, was convicted in his absence after absconding.Palmer, formerly of Alcester Street, Stoke, was owner of landlord and letting agency Palmer Co. The court heard that he abused his position, performing "intrusive interviews" which included taking photos of his victims.

  • Muslim leader wants gays exiled from Uganda 5

    The Muslim community, who make up 12% of Uganda's population of 27 million, were quick to add their voices of disapproval.

    2:53 PM — The leading Muslim cleric in Uganda, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje, has come up with a novel solution to deal with gay and lesbians speaking up in the country.He told journalists at a press conference on Friday that he had recommended to the country's President at a meeting last week that all gay people should be sent into exile on an island in Lake Victoria."If they die there then we shall have no more homosexuals in the country," he added. There has been rising tension in the country over gay and lesbian rights.

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