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Current Affairs

  • 9th November 2007

    US grants asylum to gay Jamaican 4

    The grant of asylum to Ven Messam was issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    11:59 AM — A gay man who feared persecution because of his sexual orientation if forced to return to Jamaica has been given asylum in the United States.The grant of asylum to Ven Messam was issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and comes at a time when conditions for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in Jamaica are getting more dangerous by the day.International human rights organisations have described Jamaica as one of the most homophobic places in the world.

  • Canadians mark 40 years of gay rights activism

    The NDP call for policies that protect young LGBT people from the hatred and social inequity.

    11:22 AM — On November 7, 1967, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the appeal of George Everett Klippert, who had been condemned to indefinite imprisonment for consensual sexual relations with other men.The next day, Tommy Douglas, the first leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, rose in the House of Commons and called for homosexuality to be decriminalised.Since then, the NDP has led the pack in defense of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

  • Same-sex couples fight for equal health benefits

    20 public employers in Michigan currently provide benefits to gay and lesbian couples under the same-sex relationship policies.

    10:58 AM — The Michigan Supreme Court currently is weighing whether a constitutional amendment barring gay marriages also prohibits public agencies and schools from offering health care benefits to the same-sex partners of employees.According to the Detroit Free Press, the state's high court heard arguments from both sides on Tuesday, with lawyers representing Attorney General Mike Cox saying such benefits are unconstitutional because they mirror benefits available only to married couples.

  • 8th November 2007

    Interview: The Lib Dem fighting youth with experience 2

    Chris Huhne, currently his party's spokesman on environment issues, has a majority of just 568 in his Hampshire seat.

    4:20 PM — Much has been made in these first few weeks of the race to become leader of the Liberal Democrats about the similarities between the candidates.Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne are both Westminster School-educated former MEPs with near-identical views nearly all the key issues.Both became MPs as part of the Lib Dems strong showing in the 2005 elections. Both are English and will appeal to voters in key south and south east seats where the resurgent Tories are a major threat.

  • Dutch focus on international gay rights abuses

    COC is proposing four follow-up steps to fight homophobia in development countries on a long-term basis.

    12:55 PM — LGBT rights organisation COC Netherlands has welcomed research initiated by the Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation into gay rights.The report, published yesterday, found that homosexuality is still a punishable crime in half of the 36 countries that have a development relationship with The Netherlands.Penalties in those countries range from imprisonment to death penalty.

  • US workplace protection bill passes 3

    17 states have protections for LGB people; eight of those states extend that protection to trans people.

    12:35 PM — After weeks of delay, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has been passed by the US House of Representatives.It passed by 235 to 184 - 35 Republicans joined 200 Democrats and voted for the bill.159 Republicans were joined in voting against by 25 Democrats, many of whom were angry that protections for trans people had been removed from the bill.

  • Republican candidate advertised on gay dating site

    Banner ads saying “Mitt Romney for President — Vote Team Mitt!“ appeared on website gay.com.

    11:30 AM — Being the Presidential hopeful with the heaviest Web advertising presence can be a difficult position to be in - sometimes it means your campaign ads will show up in unexpected places.Republican candidate Mitt Romney is finding that out the hard way, according to a recent article in The New York Times. Apparently, banner ads saying "Mitt Romney for President — Vote Team Mitt!" appeared on website gay.com for two days in August, appearing at least 32,000 times.

  • 7th November 2007

    Australian leader concedes gay equality in superannuation 13

    Mr Turnbull made his pledge to a meeting of gay business leaders.

    4:29 PM — A leading member of the Australian Liberal party who is fighting to retain his parliamentary seat has announced a small change in policy in an attempt to win vital gay votes.Malcolm Turnbull last night promised that if re-elected his party will allow interdependent gay couples to share each other's public pensions and super benefits.It may prove to be too little too late for the minister, who is fighting to retain the Sydney seat of Wentworth in the November 24th general election.

  • Police investigating Stagecoach bus incident 21

    A spokesperson for Grampian police told PinkNews.co.uk that an investigation was ongoing after a member of the public complained.

    3:45 PM — Grampian police have told PinkNews.co.uk that they are investigating an incident on a bus involving a gay couple.It was reported on Sunday that two gay teenagers were threatened with ejection from a bus and then made to sit separately after a fellow passenger complained about their behaviour.Steven Black, 16, and Mark Craig, 19, were travelling on the bus from Aberdeen to Old-meldrum, Aberdeenshire. The route is operated by Stagecoach.

  • British man in prison for gay sex in Ghana 1

    Internet sites such as Gaydar host Ghanaian profiles, suggesting enforcement is less that strict.

    2:24 PM — The Foreign Office has confirmed that a 63-year-old British national has been remanded in custody in the African country of Ghana charged with having sex with another man.John Ross Mcleod appeared in court at Accra on Monday. A photographer, he was arrested at an airport.Officials searched him and allegedly found a CD containing images of Mcleod having sex with a 19-year-old.

  • NY politician wants gays at St Patrick’s Day parade 1

    Ms Quinn also suggested inviting the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, to take part in the parade.

    1:01 PM — New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn, who is openly gay, has said that the city's St. Patrick's Day parade next year should include gay people and representatives from Northern Ireland.The New York City parade is organised by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish-Catholic fraternal organisation.They have refused to allow gay and lesbian groups to march in the parade since 1991.

  • Gay MP questions David Cameron over incitement law

    Chris Bryant, the MP for Rhonnda, tackled David Cameron during yesterday's debate on the Queen's Speech.

    12:45 PM — The Leader of the Conservative party has been challenged on his position on a proposed new law to make incitement on the grounds of sexual orientation an offence.Yesterday the government announced that the proposal would extend to trans and disabled people.Chris Bryant, the MP for Rhonnda, tackled David Cameron during yesterday's debate on the Queen's Speech.

  • South Korea drops proposed orientation discrimination

    Human Rights Watch called on South Korea to ensure that the law would extend to discrimination based on gender identity.

    11:21 AM — When South Korea's Ministry of Justice proposed in early October a federal law that would prohibit certain forms of discrimination, sexual orientation and a wide range of other categories were included.According to Democratic Labour Party officials and news reports, however, the current version of the law has been changed to exclude protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, military status, nationality, language, appearance, family type, ideology, criminal or detention record and educational status.

  • Lesbian couple push for full marriage rights in Ireland

    Last week the Irish Government voted down a Labour Party Bill on civil unions but proposed an alternative by the end of next March.

    11:01 AM — A lesbian couple from the Republic of Ireland who married in Canada yesterday renewed calls to have the same legal rights as those in heterosexual marriages.Dr Katherine Zappone and Dr Ann Louise Gilligan took part in the first expert meeting on the recognition of married same-sex couples at the European Parliament in Brussels.They joined couples from across Europe who are seeking recognition of their marriage.

  • Dutch politician calls for ban on gays holding office 1

    The Netherlands has in recent years experienced a series of violent attacks on gay people.

    10:50 AM — A leading member of the ChristenUnie party, the third group in the Dutch ruling coalition, has demanded that practising homosexuals should be expelled from administrative positions in the party.Yvette Lont, councillor for Amsterdam South-East, announced that she would be proposing a motion for the exclusion of practising homosexuals from senior party and government posts at the forthcoming party congress on November 17, according to Dutch newspaper Trouw.

  • 6th November 2007

    Homophobic Prime Minister of Poland leaves office

    In August 2006, when quizzed by the EU over his gay rights record, Jaroslaw Kaczynski said he was not a homophobe.

    7:01 PM — Jaroslaw Kaczynski has handed in the resignation of his cabinet, officially bringing an end to the Law and Justice-led government who had been in power in Poland since autumn 2005.Prime Minister Mr Kaczynski handed his resignation documents to his twin brother President Lech Kaczynski, during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw yesterday.His resignation follows his party's defeat in elections held last month.

  • Lib Dems accuse government over equality legislation

    Jo Swinson claimed that discrimination law is in a mess and that the proposed Single Equality Bill is “long overdue.“

    5:25 PM — A Liberal Democrat spokesperson has accused the government of dragging its heels over equality issues.Jo Swinson claimed that discrimination law is in a mess and that the proposed Single Equality Bill is "long overdue."A spokesperson for the Government Equalities Office said that work on the bill has not fallen behind and that it will be introduced in this parliament as promised.

  • Interview: New equality commissioner on gays as sinners 39

    “Homoerotic practices are inconsistent with the Bible, sex belongs in marriage.“

    4:41 PM — This interview was first published in June 2006"Why is anything which is not from the gay position defined as homophobic," asks Joel Edwards, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, a Christian charity and lobby group in its 160th year of using a commitment to Christ and the Bible to engage with society.My view of evangelicalism has often been megaphone-wielding preachers in Oxford Street telling shoppers to accept Jesus, or having leaflets shoved into your hand telling you homosexuality is a one way route to hell.

  • Anti-gay Christian appointed to equality body 39

    The EHRC incorporates three new human rights strands - age, sexual orientation and religion and belief.

    4:31 PM — The general director of the Evangelical Alliance has spoken of the "huge challenge for Christians" living in a liberal democracy after his appointment as a commissioner to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.Joel Edwards was a controversial choice for some gay rights groups.The Evangelical Alliance are one of the most strident voices against gay rights in the UK. Just last month they gave evidence against a new crime of incitement to violence on the grounds of sexual orientation.

  • Incitement law will extend to trans people 5

    While Labour are very supportive of the proposed new incitement laws, the opposition parties are questioning the need for new legislation.

    2:35 PM — The government will introduce a new offence of incitement to violence on the grounds of sexual orientation in the new Criminal Justice and immigration Bill, it has emerged.The Queen made no mention of the proposed new law in her Speech this morning, but a Ministry of Justice briefing document said that that they would be in the bill.Transgender and disabled people are to be included in the new law.

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