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Current Affairs

  • 27th March 2008

    Mardi Gras clergy feel the wrath of fundamentalists 1

    Despite a few vocal opponents to the Reverends' participation, many lay churchgoers emailed the ministers with words of support.

    10:30 AM — Some Sydney-based clergy who marched in this year's 30th anniversary Mardi Gras have had their careers threatened by those who objected to their public participation and support of gay rights.Some 35 ministers marched, alongside eight people who acted as proxies on behalf of their church's Reverends, as part of a group known as 100Revs.The name refers to the 100 Reverends who signed a formal apology to the LGBT community.

  • 26th March 2008

    Paddick still favourite with gay voters 47

    Mr Paddick was until last year was the most senior out gay police officer in the UK.

    6:20 PM — The results of the second PinkNews.co.uk Mayor of London poll show that Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick still leads among respondents.225 people who live in the London area took part in the poll. Mr Paddick, who until last year was the most senior out gay police officer in the UK, won 43.5%, or 98 of the first preference votes.He was followed by incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone, with 29.4% (66 votes). Tory candidate Boris Johnson won 12% (27 votes).

  • Moroccan newspaper sued by judges over gay party story 1

    Last November Al Massae published the first reports of an alleged gay wedding party in the town and said that a local judge attended.

    5:45 PM — One Morocco's leading newspapers has been ordered to pay four judges more than £100,000 each after it mistakenly reported that a judge had been present at a gay "wedding" in the city of town of Ksar el-Kbir.Last November Al Massae published the first reports of an alleged gay wedding party in the town and said that a local judge attended.The paper did not name him, so all four local judges sued. It later emerged that a man with the same name as one of the judges was arrested.

  • Hillary caught out over “sniper fire” claims

    footage of her arrival uncovered by US TV stations shows the First Lady and her daughter being greeted by a small girl with a posy of flowers as they walk calmly from the plane.

    3:55 PM — Presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton has admitted she "made a mistake" over her claims that while visiting Bosnia in 1996 she was subject to sniper fire.The Former First Lady has been keen to portray her time in the White House as proof of her foreign affairs credentials.In a series of interviews last week she claimed that after her plane landed in Tuzla, Bosnia, she and her daughter Chelsea had to run for cover as they were targeted by sniper fire.

  • US rules gay married name ‘illegal’ and refuses passport

    As it stands, the American government only recognises heterosexual marriages.

    1:20 PM — An American AIDS activist was denied a new passport by the US State Department on the grounds that his hyphenated surname with his married gay partner is illegal.The Sun Chronicle reports that Jason Hair-Wynn, who married his partner in 2005 in Massachusetts - which is currently the only American state to have legalised same-sex marriage - is now having to face reapplying for a new passport.The federal Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibited the legal recognition of his new name.

  • Israel grants visa to gay Palestinian 1

    The unnamed 33-year-old Palestinian from Jenin is planning a reunion with his Israeli partner in Tel Aviv once he gets his visa.

    1:10 PM — A Palestinian homosexual was granted an extraordinary Israeli temporary residential visa, after it was claimed he faced persecution and possible danger if he remained in the West Bank, it was revealed yesterday.After failed attempts to gain a visa through the Israeli Interior Ministry - a process which can take years - the man was granted a visa after he applied directly to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).The unnamed 33-year-old Palestinian from Jenin is planning a reunion with his Israeli partner in Tel Aviv once he gains his visa.

  • Married American man ordered to pay gay lover

    The ruling may set a precedent as it is the first time that assets have been split between a gay couple who did not live under the same roof.

    12:50 PM — A court in Brazil has ruled that a married American man must share part of his wealth with a Brazilian man with whom he had a four year relationship.The Court of Justice in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, a state that legalised civil unions in 2004, recognised that the US citizen and the Brazilian man had a 'stable union.'The couple, whose identities have been kept secret, had frequent meetings in Brazil, the US and other countries, the court was told.

  • Lords debates illustrate objections to gay equality 17

    Their Lordships spent hours discussing whether it is correct to remove the 'need for a father' and replace it with the need for 'supportive parenting.'

    12:45 PM — The Prime Minister's decision to allow Labour MPs a free vote on three clauses of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has surprised many Westminster watchers.The issues surrounding so-called 'saviour siblings,' human-animal embryos and the requirement for doctors to consider 'the need for a father' when deciding on whether to agree to carry out fertilisation or fertility treatments were all discussed at length in the Lords.Those debates should give us a flavour of the debate in the Commons, which is not expected until after the local council elections in May.

  • Downing St explains why MPs are getting a free vote 17

    As many as 12 ministers, three of them in the Cabinet, were reported to be considering leaving the government rather than vote for parts of the bill.

    12:30 PM — Gordon Brown is "following the precedent set in 1990 with the original Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill" in allowing his MPs a free vote on measures that ensure gay equality.Roman Catholic Labour MPs are expected to challenge the removal of a requirement for doctors to "consider the need for a father" when deciding to consent to IVF or assisted conception treatments.The bill proposed to replace that with a need for "supportive parenting."

  • How will the embryology bill help gay and lesbian parents? 17

    At present the law requires that NHS fertility clinics take account of the “need for a father“ when assessing women for treatment.

    12:30 PM — The Prime Minister's announcement that Labour MPs will be allowed a free vote on legislation designed to ensure equal treatment for gay and lesbian people has dismayed gay rights groups and angered many in his own party.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill currently before Parliament aims to make it easier for lesbian couples to access NHS fertilisation services and ensure that a lesbian or gay couple can become the legal parents of their children.Tory MPs will be given a free vote on the bill.

  • Stonewall “disappointed” over free vote on gay equality 17

    As many as 12 ministers who are also Roman Catholics reportedly threatened to resign unless they were allowed to opt out of voting in favour of parts of the bill.

    11:40 AM — Gay equality organisation Stonewall has criticised the Prime Minister's decision to give Labour MPs a free vote on provisions in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that aim to give gay and lesbian people equal access to NHS fertility and assisted conception services.The bill, currently before Parliament, would replace the current need for doctors to consider the need for a father when decided whether or not to provide such treatments with the need for supportive parenting.

  • NY gay couple demand meeting with Polish leader 19

    The President, a notorious homophobe, claimed the EU treaty would “affect the accepted moral order in Poland.“

    11:03 AM — An American gay activist and his partner, whose wedding video was used by the President of Poland during a televised address to the nation in which he warned of the danger of same-sex marriage, want an apology and a meeting.Brendan Fay, who is originally from Ireland, met with journalists yesterday at the headquarters of New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch.President Kaczynski's address to the nation last week used heavy-handed tactics to warn of the dangers of the Lisbon treaty.

  • Obama and Bush are distant relatives claim genealogists

    Obama and the current President Bush are 10th cousins, once removed, according to the study.

    10:30 AM — A research study conducted by the New England Historic Genealogical Society has turned up a variety of interesting relations to the current Democratic and Republican candidates for US President.According to the study, Barack Obama is distantly related to such luminaries as George W. Bush and Brad Pitt, while Hillary Clinton has familial ties to Angelina Jolie and Madonna.John McCain turns out to be a cousin of First Lady Laura Bush.

  • 13 candidates contend ‘cruising’ Senator’s seat

    Craig is still engaged in a legal battle to have his guilty plea overturned in the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

    10:10 AM — Republican Senator Larry Craig is keeping his promise not to run for re-election after a media firestorm erupted last year over his alleged solicitation of a male police officer in an airport bathroom.Craig has repeatedly denied he solicited the officer and publicly proclaimed he is not gay.Although Craig refused to resign his post over the scandal, he promised in September that he would not run for re-election.

  • 25th March 2008

    Poles favour EU treaty despite anti-gay scaremongering 19

    Despite the President's dire warning that the treaty would lead to the introduction of gay marriage in Poland, 69% of respondents did not believe him.

    6:10 PM — An opinion poll in Poland has found strong backing for a new EU treaty criticised by the country's homophobic President in an address to the nation last week.The survey will come as an embarrassment to President Lech Kaczynski, who used lurid images of gay marriage to illustrate the "threat" to the Polish nation he claims the Lisbon treaty poses.The poll was published by daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza. 

  • Man arrested for not paying male prostitutes

    An investigation was launched by Southwark community support unit, on behalf of the Metropolitan police.

    5:00 PM — Police in London have announced the arrest of a 37-year-old man suspected of hiring male sex workers and not paying for them.The man, arrested in Bangor, north Wales, has been linked to 17 offences including counts of obtaining services by deception, two allegations of theft, one of administering a substance with intent and one allegation of rape.He has been bailed to return in May as police continue their investigations.

  • Home Office’s “Iranian propaganda” over gay hangings 2

    “We found that two young males were hanged because they were found guilty of raping a 13 year-old boy,“ said Home Office minister Lord West.

    4:30 PM — The government has been accused of being more inclined to believe Iran than human rights groups on the issue of how gay people are treated in that country.The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association is angry that the Home Office minister in the Lords last week claimed that no-one has recently been executed in Iran "solely on the grounds of homosexuality."GALHA intend to write to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for clarification of the official position after statements by Lord West of Spithead.

  • Mayoral candidates on knives, teens and the environment 5

    Ken Livingstone said he opposed airport expansion at Heathrow or any other sites in London.

    3:30 PM — The Mayor of London has promised to go ahead with a £25 charge for "gas guzzling" cars in the capital at the launch of his environment manifesto today.Londoners go to the polls on May 1st in the tightest race for Mayor since the office was established in 2000.Ken Livingstone said he opposed airport expansion at Heathrow or any other sites in London. "I have made environmental policy a central focus of all I have done as Mayor," he said.

  • COMMENT: Can celebs swing the Democratic nomination?

    Just because Oprah can turn books into best-sellers or put companies out of business if she doesn't like their products doesn't mean she or any other celebrity can decide what is best for the country.

    2:50 PM — Obama or Clinton? It seems to be a question at the forefront of every American Democrat's mind going into to this year's important Presidential election.While the Republican Party has elected their representative as John McCain, the other side seems to be a struggle less about the ideals of the candidates, which are very similar, and more about a popularity contest.Questions have been raised about who is more electable, who has more experience, and who has a better message.

  • Labour MPs get free vote on parts of embryology bill 17

    MPs will get a free vote on three parts of the legislation: IVF research, saviour siblings and the creation of human-animal embryos.

    2:10 PM — The Prime Minister has announced that MPs will be allowed to vote against parts of a government bill.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is due before the Commons in the next few weeks.MPs will get a free vote on three parts of the legislation: IVF research, saviour siblings and the creation of human-animal embryos.Mr Brown said that he believes stem cell research has the potential to cure some diseases "that have afflicted mankind for centuries."

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