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Current Affairs

  • 25th June 2007

    RAF uniforms banned from London Pride

    The MoD is keen to promote all the armed services as good employers for minority groups.

    2:13 PM — The Royal Air Force has announced that personnel who wear uniform to march in the Pride parade in London will face disciplinary action.A letter from Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, the Chief of the Air Staff, to station commanders says that LGB airmen and women can attend Pride but not in uniform.Last week the Chief of the General Staff has issued orders banning LGB Army staff from marching in uniform at the event this Saturday.

  • Abu Hamza unhappy with gay nurse 6

    Abu Hamza was convicted in February 2006 of inciting racial hatred and murder.

    12:54 PM — A jailed Islamic preacher has complained to the Prison Service about his homosexual personal care nurse.Abu Hamza was convicted in February 2006 of inciting racial hatred and murder. He has been held at Belmarsh high security prison since 2004.Hamza has a hook instead of a right hand, and requires help from a nurse to wash and dress. The Mirror reports that the hate preacher has discovered that his regular nurse for the last two years is a gay man.

  • Obama: religion has been hijacked by Right

    Senator Obama believes that states should decide whether to allow gay marriage, and he opposes a constitutional amendment against it.

    12:24 PM — US Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama told a church convention on Saturday that some right-wing evangelical leaders have exploited and politicised religious beliefs in an effort to sow division."Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and faith started being used to drive us apart," the Illinois senator said in a 30-minute speech before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.

  • Democrat husband and wife differ on gay rights

    Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards.

    12:20 PM — Elizabeth Edwards came out in support of legalised gay marriage at yesterday's gay pride celebration in San Francisco, taking a position which she acknowledged is at odds with her husband, Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards."I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me," the San Francisco Chronicle reports Edwards saying. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."But that position differs markedly from her husband, the former North Carolina Senator.

  • Pope criticises Tony Blair over civil partnerships 9

    Mr Blair gave the Pontiff antique pictures of 19th Century English Cardinal Henry Newman.

    12:00 PM — Pope Benedict XVI used a personal audience with outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair to express his displeasure at the advancement in gay rights in the UK.During his 25-minute private meeting with Tony Blair on Saturday, the Pope questioned the use of stem cells in research, the availability of abortion, civil partnerships and adoption by gay couples, as well as the war in Iraq.Downing St said that the gay issues were raised by Vatican officials but not the Pope.

  • Canadians avoid split over gay blessings

    Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is keen to try to find a compromise that will hold the fractured church together.

    10:38 AM — The Anglican church in Canada has narrowly voted against allowing individual dioceses to bless same-sex relationships.The decision will come as a relief to the Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Church worldwide, who is keen to avoid a schism over gay issues.However, at the General Synod in Winnipeg, the Canadians also decided that blessing same-sex relationships was not in breach of their "core doctrine."

  • 24th June 2007

    Labour LGBT welcome Brown and Harman 3

    Harriet Harman and Gordon Brown (flickr)

    9:46 PM — The Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (LGBT Labour) has welcomed the confirmation of the Gordon Brown as the new leader of the Labour Party and the election of Harriet Harman as deputy leader.In a statement released to PinkNews.co.uk, the camapign group said that both Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman have a strong commitment to supporting equality.

  • Gordon Brown’s acceptance speech focuses on families 3

    Gordon Brown focused on families

    6:46 PM — Gordon Brown today took over the leadership of the governing Labour party from Tony Blair. His speech focused heavily on families but did say that the progress in gay rights has changed Britain for the better."In the last ten years, from make poverty history to campaigns on disability, gay rights and the environment, Britain has changed for the better, not just because of government, but because of movements that have gone beyond traditional parties, captured people's imaginations and transformed people's lives."

  • Harman wins by a tiny majority after five rounds

    Ms Harman's victory was a surprise result - Education Secretary Alan Johnson was tipped to win.

    3:10 PM — Today's election for a new Deputy Leader of the Labour party was the closest since 1981.In the fifth and final round of voting, Ms Harman took the lead with 50.43% to Alan Johnson's 49.56%She was overtaken by Alan Johnson until the last round, and it is thought many Jon Cruddas voters gave support to her.

  • Exclusive: Harriet Harman’s message to the gay community 1

    At the very start of this seemingly endless campaign for Deputy Leader, Ms Harman got a lot of flak for saying that Labour “needed“ a woman in the role.

    2:46 PM — Justice Minister Harriet Harman has something she wants to say to the gay community, particularly those who grew up during the Blair years."Young people, remember! Remember! Be afraid!"Hoodies, perhaps? Terrorism? The threat of a nude Keith Chegwin returning to our television screens?No - the resurgent Conservative party.

  • Harriet Harman elected Labour Deputy Leader 1

    The party used an electoral college to elect the Deputy Leader.

    2:40 PM — Harriet Harman, the Justice minister, has been elected to the Deputy leadership of the Labour party.Gordon Brown was also declared as Leader of the Labour party at a special conference in Manchester.Tony Blair remains Prime Minister until Wednesday. He will give a farewell performance at Prime Minister's Questions before going to see the Queen and resign.

  • Gordon Brown to be named Labour leader, deputy leader votes being counted

    Gordon Brown will be the next Prime Minister

    1:22 PM — Gordon Brown is to be named leader of the Labour party today. He faced no challengers so won the election by default.The result of the deputy leadership contest will also be announced today. But a poll by PinkNews.co.uk readers has revealed which candidates LGBT Labour party members voted for in the election of a Deputy Leader of the Labour party. Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain was the first choice of 25% of gay party members.

  • Exclusive: Peter Hain tops votes of gay Labour members

    Peter Hain is the gay community's first choice

    12:22 AM — A poll of PinkNews.co.uk readers has revealed which candidates LGBT Labour party members voted for in the election of a Deputy Leader of the Labour party.Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain was the first choice of 25% of gay party members. The positive showing for Hain was despite a large number of multiple votes being automatically disqualified by PinkNews.co.uk's polling software after his campaign team promoted the poll using the social networking site Facebook.

  • 23rd June 2007

    Interview: The dark horse who became front runner

    Benn, 53, was raised in a household where the NHS was just one symbol of the collective power of the Labour movement.

    4:07 PM — "This is going to be a really, really closely fought contest and I genuinely have no idea what the outcome is going to be," Hilary Benn tells me when we meet.The terrace of the House of Commons is the location for this typically relaxed Benn comment.He is unique among the candidates for Deputy Leader I have spoken to, in that he arrived with no entourage.

  • 22nd June 2007

    Supreme Court rules Moscow Pride ban was legal

    Peter Tatchell was attacked at the banned march

    5:37 PM — Organisers of a banned Pride event today received a decision of Russia's Supreme Court on the appeal their appeal against a lower court.Senior judges sided with the arguments of Tverskoi district court of Moscow that the march ban was lawful.The case was considered in the first instance on 26 May 2006, one day before the scheduled date of the Pride parade.

  • Paisley refuses to apologise for gay remarks 27

    Mr Paisley Jnr is a member of the DUP representing Antrim North in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

    3:00 PM — A junior minister in the government of Northern Ireland has stood by his comments that gay people are repulsive.Ian Paisley Jnr rejected calls for him to apologise. He is a junior minister in the Northern Ireland Executive, headed by his father Rev Ian Paisley."What is done is done, I've said those comments why should I try and hide what I've done," Mr Paisley told the local politics programme Let's Talk last night.

  • EU’s stand against gay executions 1

    The draft proposal submitted by the Commission yesterday aims to support the World Day against the Death Penalty.

    1:35 PM — The Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights welcomed news that the European Commission intends to mark the 10th October of every year as the European Day Against the Death Penalty.Several nations retain the death sentence as punishment for homosexuality.In July 2005 two gay teenagers were publicly executed in Iran for the "crime of homosexuality."

  • Nationwide project for Irish gay youth

    Irish society's attitude to homosexuality has been transformed since decriminalisation in 1993.

    1:10 PM — The Irish government is working with gay community workers to establish a network of LGBT youth groups across the country.The Health Service Executive (HSE) is developing the programme with Belong To, a Dublin project that has been running for the past four years.The project's national co-ordinator said that numbers of young gay people between 14 and 23 attending the group has doubled every year.

  • Japanese lesbian candidate excites foreign attention

    Otsuji talked about her motivation to decide to run for the election, the process to get an official party endorsement and the difficult situations surrounding LGBT people in Japan.

    12:40 PM — Kanako Otsuji, Japan's first openly lesbian politician and candidate in the upcoming Upper House election, held a press conference at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan on 20 June.While the Japanese media has paid attention almost only to Otsuji's sexuality, foreign journalists are more interested in her campaign in itself.If elected she will be the first openly LGBT politician in parliament.

  • Bush poll ratings at record low

    The war in Iraq continues to drag Bush down.

    11:45 AM — In 19 months, George W. Bush will leave the White House for the last time.The latest Newsweek poll suggests that he faces a steep climb if he hopes to coax the country back to his side before he goes.In the new poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday nights, the President's approval rating has reached a record low.

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