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Current Affairs

  • 27th June 2007

    Gordon Brown takes office as Prime Minister

    Mr Brown pledged to reach across party divides to work in the national interest.

    3:05 PM — The Queen has asked Gordon Brown to form a government. The new Prime Minister spent nearly an hour with Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace this afternoon.Arriving at Downing St just before 3pm he told journalists: "this will be a new Government with new priorities."Mr Brown appeared with his wife Sarah outside No 10 Downing St, but unlike his predecessor his children were not present.

  • Test case on gender reassignment for prisoner

    Despite previous legal challenges however, no inmate has yet to receive a full sex-change.

    2:41 PM — A test case to determine whether a convicted criminal in Boston should be granted a $20,000 (£10,000) sex-change operation at prison expense is still on-going after a year, despite costing $52,000 in expert witness fees alone.The crux of the case rests on whether Michelle Kosilek, formerly Robert Kosilek, needs the surgery as a matter of medical necessity.Kosilek, 58, was convicted of murdering his wife in 1990, claiming it was in self-defence after she split burning tea on his genitals.

  • LGBT abuse group secures Justice funding

    Galop has worked closely with the police and were asked to sit on the Metropolitan Police's community Gold Group after the murder of Jody Debrowski.

    1:15 PM — An organisation that helps victims of hate crimes, sexual abuse and violence have been given over £35,000 by the new Ministry of Justice.Galop's award comes at a time when homophobic hate crimes are widely under-reported due to fear of the victims, humiliation or lack of information on the importance of reporting.A lack of confidence in police and statutory services is also a factor.

  • Standing ovation for Tony Blair at last PMQ

    “One of the outstanding Prime Ministers in my political lifetime and the most politically effective the party has ever had.“

    12:45 PM — The Prime Minister gave a vintage performance during his last appearance at the dispatch box in the House of Commons.Flanked by departing Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and incoming Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Mr Blair began by paying tribute to three soldiers who have died in action in the last week, and to the Armed Forces as a whole."I am truly sorry about the dangers they face today," he told MPs.

  • Religious Russians cleanse river of gay contamination 3

    200 members of the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods took to the waters, using the slogan “We are Russians, God is with us.“

    12:00 PM — Members of a Russian Orthodox Organisation claim to have cleansed the Moscow River, the day after a gay cruise ship sailed down it.200 members of the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods took to the waters, using the slogan "We are Russians, God is with us."With them they carried Royal national Flags and pictures of Saints, taking the same boat and route as gay cruisers had only hours earlier.

  • Homophobic assault victim sues for $50m

    The Emmy Award-winning senior producer for the CBS Evening News said the network further increased his suffering by allegedly asking him inappropriate questions.

    11:30 AM — A TV producer has accused the CBS network of firing him after he spoke out about being gay-bashed while vacationing in St. Maarten.Richard Jefferson is suing his former employer for $50 million (£25m), the New York Post reports.Jefferson was beaten with a tyre wrench in a gay-bashing incident on the resort island last April.

  • Blair’s record on gay rights praised

    Mr Blair is expected to immediately resign as an MP, meaning today's PMQ will be his last appearance in the House of Commons.

    11:10 AM — The government's progress on gay rights has been praised by leading members of the gay community and politicians from all sides.Tony Blair leaves office today after ten years in office. During his tenure the rights of LGBT people in Britain have been transformed.Mr Blair is to take up a new role as a peace envoy to the Middle East on behalf of the UN, America, Russia and the EU - an announcement on the job will be made later today.

  • TURING: Forty years on 1

    It is tomfoolery to think that the rest of the world will pay attention to the societal dynamics of Britain in a way that international media does to those of the United States.

    10:40 AM — Sexual minorities in the UK have every right to exercise and celebrate their hard-won rights. But the time has not yet come to take things for granted.Insofar as one considers the historical period dominated by the three major monotheistic religions, homosexuals have always been the subjects of pillory, hate, persecution, and unusually severe punishments

  • German politicians criticise gay roleplay at school

    Juergen Zoellne, local MP for Education said, ““The authors behind the idea used a very common language among pupils and the exercises proved to be suitable for school.“

    10:10 AM — In an effort to combat playground homophobia, a school in Berlin has introduced a series controversial exercises that role-play picking up a gay partner.The Regional Institute for School and Media, which teaches children of 14 and over, hopes they will help to change their attitudes towards gay people.Some German politicians have been outraged by the plans.

  • 26th June 2007

    Blair to step down as an MP

    Traditionally former Prime Ministers are offered a seat in the House of Lords once they leave the Commons.

    6:15 PM — The Prime Minister will resign as MP for Sedgefield within hours of leaving Downing St, it has been reported.He is expected to take up a new peace-keeping role in the Middle East on behalf of the international community almost immediately.It was expected that Mr Blair, who has introduced a wide range of gay rights in his ten years in power, would not remain in the House of Commons after the next general election.

  • Putin backs gay-baiting Moscow mayor’s reappointment

    Mr Luzhkov says he will not allow a gay pride parade “in any form.“

    5:03 PM — Yuri Luzhkov, Moscow's gay-hating, bee-keeping mayor, looks set for another 4 years in office after receiving the official backing of President Putin.The City Duma holds a special meeting tomorrow to approve his nomination.The 71-year-old Mayor is well-known to Western activists for his trenchant opposition to gay rights.

  • School says sorry for gay kiss censorship

    The district has said it will reissue an unedited copy of the 2007 year book to any pupil who asks for one.

    3:53 PM — Officials from the Newark City School District have issued an apology after a male student's year book picture was ordered to be blacked out with marker pen because it contained a gay kiss.The 4.5-by-5-inch photo showed pupil Andre Jackson, 18, turning round to kiss boyfriend, David Escobales, 19, over his right shoulder.The picture, which he had paid $150 to include on a special tribute page, was accompanied by similar poses from heterosexual couples.

  • Labour gays voted Cruddas for deputy

    LGBT Labour is an affiliated society of the Labour party, meaning its members can vote along with members of trade unions and other societies.

    3:36 PM — A breakdown of the votes cast by the members of the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (LGBT Labour) has revealed that backbench candidate Jon Cruddas was their choice for Deputy Leader.Justice Minister Harriet Harman won the contest to succeed John Prescott on Sunday, after five rounds of voting.She eventually took the lead with 50.43% to Education Secretary Alan Johnson's 49.56%

  • Anti-gay Tory defects to Labour 10

    In March 2007 he was one of the Tory MPs who defied their own front  bench and tried to stop the Sexual Orientation Regulations in House of Commons.

    3:15 PM — An MP with a hostile voting record on gay issues has defected from the Conservatives to the Labour party.Quentin Davies, a former Tory Shadow Cabinet member, has been an MP for 20 years and represents Grantham, the home town of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.He announced his defection the day before Tony Blair is to leave office, and attacked Tory leader David Cameron in his resignation letter.

  • Welsh gay community’s silent victims of abuse

    The investigation comes in response to news that recorded crimes against gay and lesbian people in Wales are on the increase.

    1:45 PM — A new BBC Wales investigation has revealed that as many as 80% of the gay community suffer verbal or physical abuse in their lifetime.Yet according to Home Office figures only one in ten of these incidents will be reported.The investigation comes in response to news that recorded crimes against gay and lesbian people in Wales are on the increase.

  • Gay activists welcome New York marriage proposal

    This week's progress in New York is just the tip of the iceberg as far as equality for same-sex couples and their families is concerned.

    11:30 AM — Last week the New York State Assembly passed a bill, by a vote of 85 to 61, to extend to same-sex couples the freedom to marry.Only two other legislative chambers, both houses of the California Legislature, have passed similar legislation in the past.The bill now moves to the state Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority.

  • 75% of gay kids in faith schools suffer homophobic bullying

    The survey of 1,145 young people was conducted by the Schools Health Education Unit for Stonewall.

    12:01 AM — Homophobic bullying plagues the majority of UK schools and shocking levels of bullying are meted out to school pupils and teachers who either are gay or perceived to be gay.That is the conclusion of a wide-ranging study carried by gay equality organisation Stonewall.Nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of such harassment.

  • 25th June 2007

    Top Tory gives away gay friend at partnership ceremony 2

    Since Labour came to power he has voted against the equalisation of consent, the abolition of Section 28 and the rights of gay couples to adopt.

    3:30 PM — David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, has revealed that he recently attended a civil partnership ceremony.The MP for Haltemprice and Howden is seen as more right-wing than David Cameron, who defeated him in the contest for Conservative leader in 2005.In an interview with the Daily Telegraph Mr Davis claims to be a social liberal.

  • 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.

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