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Current Affairs

  • 26th November 2007

    Welsh minister to launch Stonewall report

    The report recommends that the Welsh Assembly provide support and guidance about policies and procedures for organisations.

    11:30 AM — The largest ever survey of Wales' lesbian, bisexual and gay population will be unveiled today at the Senedd, the Welsh Assembly building.Dr Brian Gibbons, Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, will deliver the keynote speech at the launch of Counted In! which was commissioned by Stonewall Cymru.The report recommends that the Welsh Assembly provide support and guidance about policies and procedures for organisations looking to embrace equality of opportunity in the workplace.

  • Catholic adoption agencies seek ways round gay rules 18

    The Church was given 18 months to adjust its practices so that it can allow gay couples to adopt from its agencies or close them down.

    11:15 AM — Claims by the Roman Catholic Church that the government would be offering money to help them avoid new regulations in their adoption agencies have been dismissed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.In a statement issued last week on the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales website, they claim the government will "pay for further work to be done to explore whether within the law there might yet be ways found which will enable the adoption work to carry on and for our agencies to continue."

  • Man sues police over hammer attack

    Gareth Jeffrey had bombarded him with text messages threatening to kill him, which Mr Smith said he reported to officers.

    11:00 AM — A Brighton man is suing Sussex Police after he claims they did not protect him from the violence of his former partner.Stephen Smith, 38, was attacked with a hammer by a man he had met on the internet after he made it clear he did not want a committed relationship.Gareth Jeffrey had bombarded him with text messages threatening to kill him, which Mr Smith said he reported to officers before the attack took place in March 2003.

  • Government “split” over homophobic incitement law 5

    The Times reports that Baroness Scotland is concerned the homophobic incitement proposals will be blocked in the Lords.

    10:45 AM — The government's chief law officer does not support a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, according to a report in The Times. Baroness Scotland, the Attorney General, has privately clashed with Justice Secretary Jack Straw over the proposals, which form part of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill which is before Parliament.The Times reports that Baroness Scotland is concerned the homophobic incitement proposals will be blocked or watered down by the House of Lords.

  • Interview: Maria Eagle defends homophobic incitement law

    “People just think of us as “the Eagles.“ Sometimes I wish I had a pound for every time I get mixed up with my sister, because I'd be very rich.“

    10:00 AM — The government's proposal to create a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation has not been met with approval by some leading gay commentators.Well-respected opinion-formers such as Times columnist Matthew Parris and Independent journalist Johann Hari have questioned the need for new laws.Parris said that the gay community does not need protection from ridicule.

  • 24th November 2007

    Howard loses his seat as Australia votes for change 1

    Kevin Rudd will be Australia's next Prime Minister

    2:30 PM — John Howard has admitted that he's lost the Australian general election to the the Labour leader Kevin Rudd. Mr Howard became only the second Prime Minister in Australian history to lose his own Parliamentary seat.He said he had telephoned Mr Rudd "to congratulate him on an emphatic victory."Mr Rudd said the country had "looked to the future" he said he will be a Prime Minister "for all Australians."

  • 23rd November 2007

    Howard upbeat as Australians go to the polls 1

    Prime Minister John Howard, seeking a fifth term in office and widely expected to suffer a catastrophic defeat, was upbeat today.

    6:18 PM — Just hours before Australians go to the polls in a federal election, it looks like the predicted landslide win by Labour could turn out to be a close-run thing.The opposition party, out of power since 1996, has seen a consistent lead over the incumbent Liberals halve in one recent poll to 4%.Prime Minister John Howard, seeking a fifth term in office and widely expected to suffer a catastrophic defeat, was upbeat today.

  • “Gay for pay” woman convicted 1

    Yvonne Lesley Butler received a suspended sentence

    6:18 PM — A woman was convicted of benefits fraud against the Department for Work and Pensions and Swansea Council after she claimed she was a lesbian and had split from her husband.Yvonne Lesley Butler from Swansea claimed almost £20,000 in income support, housing benefit and council tax benefits between 2003 and 2006. She said that her husband Islwyn Butler had left her after she came out.

  • Norwegian church lifts ban on partnered gay clergy

    Under Norwegian law, gay couples have rights comparable to those of married heterosexuals, apart from church weddings and adoption.

    5:30 PM — The Lutheran church of Norway has lifted an outright ban on clergy in same-sex relationships.However, it will allow each bishop to decide whether or not to employ them.The decision comes after a week of debate at the churches annual meeting, with the 86 member governing synod voting 50 to 34 to change the rules.

  • Protests ask Commonwealth to “fight” gays 10

    The Queen is on her first visit to Uganda since 1954 and today she opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the capital Kampala.

    3:25 PM — A group of anti-gay activists has protested in Uganda against gay rights and accused Europeans of trying to change the law to decriminalise homosexuality.The demonstration by the Rainbow Coalition against Homosexuality took place at Kololo airport yesterday, and was led by Pastor Martin Sempa, who has generated large amounts of publicity through his attacks on gay people in Uganda.Her Majesty the Queen is in the African nation to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

  • Greens launch campaign for Mayor of London

    Among the Green pledges unveiled at the launch of her campaign at City Hall was a “living wage“ of £7.20 an hour.

    2:09 PM — Sian Berry today launched her campaign to become Green Mayor of London.Earlier this year the 33-year-old won 45% of the party member's votes to become her party's candidate.Among the Green pledges unveiled at the launch of her campaign at City Hall was a "living wage" of £7.20 an hour for all Londoners working for public employers, cuts to off-peak travel fares and an increase in affordable housing across the capital.

  • Police investigate suspicious death of trans woman 15

    The police are treating the death as suspicious, and have asked anyone who saw Telesford between the 15th and 21st of November to contact them immediately.

    1:45 PM — A forty-year-old trans woman has been found dead at her home in south-east London, according to reports.Kayiode Dexter Telesford, who had been living for several years under the name of Kellie Telesford, died of strangulation at her home on Leander Road in Thornton Heath.The police are treating the death as suspicious, and have asked anyone who saw Telesford between the 15th and 21st of November to contact them immediately.

  • Tatchell to celebrate 40 years of activism 2

    He was assaulted while taking part in a Pride demonstration in Moscow, and was detained by Russian police.

    12:40 PM — One of the best-known gay rights advocates in Britain will soon be celebrating his 40th year of human rights campaigning.Peter Tatchell began his first campaign in 1967 in his native Australia against the death penalty and opposition to conscription and the Australian and US war against the people of Vietnam."It is a great honour and privilege to have been part of the international human rights movement," said Mr Tatchell.

  • 22nd November 2007

    Labour peer defends lesbian sister’s parental rights 20

    On Monday a peer was taken seriously ill in the House just after speaking in the debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill.

    5:05 PM — The House of Lords continued its debate on the second reading of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill yesterday.During the debate a leading Labour peer revealed that his sister is a lesbian who had a child with her partner.Conservative elected hereditary peer Lord Elton said it was "extraordinary" to remove the need for a father. "It seems to me grotesque and unpleasant," he said.

  • Police warn child about homophobic abuse 1

    PC Helen Seymour, Hate Crime Officer for Stroud, Stonehouse and Dursley, said her force take incidence of hate crime “very seriously.“

    4:00 PM — An 11 year old boy in Gloucestershire has been given a final warning from police for using homophobic language.The child shouted three times towards his 49-year-old victim as he walked down the street in Dursley.PC Helen Seymour, Hate Crime Officer for Stroud, Stonehouse and Dursley, said her force take incidence of hate crime "very seriously."

  • Echoes of Diana as Queen shakes hands with HIV+ man 10

    The Queen is on her first visit to Uganda since 1954 and tomorrow she will open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the capital Kampala.

    3:50 PM — Her Majesty the Queen visited a clinic for people with AIDS for the first time today.During a state visit to Uganda the monarch shook hands with Steven Wakodo, who is HIV+, echoing the famous handshake between Diana, Princess of Wales and an HIV+ person in April 1987.The Princess's gesture helped overcome the fear of AIDS, demonstrating that the HIV virus cannot be transmitted by touch.

  • Chorister dismissed for coming out on TV

    Twenty year old Alberto Ruggin was dismissed by his priest after featuring on a television programme where he revealed his sexuality.

    11:25 AM — Italian gay rights groups have said the case of a chorister forced to leave his choir due to being gay proves the countries need for anti-homophobia laws.Twenty year old Alberto Ruggin was dismissed by his priest after featuring on a television programme where he revealed his sexuality.His priest, Don Paolino Bettanin, from the northern Italian town of Padua, claimed he was "disgusted" by the whole affair.

  • 21st November 2007

    Catholic MPs to vote for same-sex parent rights 20

    Roman Catholic MPs such as cabinet minister Ruth Kelly could face a dilemma if asked to defy the church and vote in favour of the bill.

    5:10 PM — Labour MPs will not be given a free vote on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, it has emerged.Traditionally members are given a free vote on issues deemed to be a matter of conscience.However, growing backbench unease about the proposals has led government sources to confirm that the bill will be subject to a three-line whip, meaning all Labour MPs must vote in favour of it.

  • British government releases Iran hanging documents 1

    According to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979.

    3:15 PM — Information has been released for the first time from the Foreign and Commonwealth office regarding the execution of gays in Iran.The documentation takes the form of correspondence sent between embassies throughout the EU and dates back as far as May 2005.It refers specifically to the case of two boys, Mahmoud Asqari, who was under 18 at the time the alleged offence was committed, and Ayad Marhouni who were hung in public.

  • Female priest takes up gay Christian role 2

    The Gay Christian Movement was originally established in 1976.

    2:30 PM — The Lesbian and Gay Christian movement has appointed a new assistant chief executive.Rev Sharon Ferguson, a Theology and Psychology graduate, said she hopes that she can work hard towards a time when groups like LGCM are no longer needed.She said she looked forward to a time: "When all people regardless of how they express they sexuality are treated as equal members of the body of Christ."

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