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Current Affairs

  • 27th September 2007

    US Senate passes gay hate crimes law

    According to the FBI, sexual orientation bias motivated 14% of hate crimes in 2005.

    6:09 PM — In an historic step toward equality for LGBT Americans, the US Senate voted to pass the Matthew Shepard Act.It updates and expands the federal hate crimes laws to include bias motivated violence based on a victim's sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability, and provides new resources and tools to assist local law enforcement in prosecuting vicious crimes.The Senate voted 60 to 39 to allow the new legislation to move forward.

  • General says gays are immoral – again 2

    The US has discharged over 10,000 military personnel for being gay or lesbian since 1993.

    5:15 PM — The most senior miltary office in the US Armed Forces has reignited the controversy about his views on gays in the military while giving evidence to a Congressional committee.Challenged by Senator Tom Harkin about his comments on the "immorality" of gay people being a reason for excluding them from miliary service, General Peter Pace reiterated that he thinks the Bible should guide policy."My upbringing tells me that sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman is immoral."

  • Clinton fundraising catches up with Obama’s

    Clinton is a front runner in the majority of key states races.

    4:50 PM — They may both support civil unions and not gay marriage, but one thing Senator Hillary Clinton and her rival for the democratic nomination, Barack Obama, don't have in common is money.Until now, he's had more, but a new report suggests that's all about to change.According to a report by Bloomberg, both Clinton and Obama are expected to bring in $20 million in campaign donations during the third quarter.

  • Manslaughter accused blames sex injuries on his dog 1

    Mr Edis said that experts had concluded that the dog did not cause the injuries to Mr Currie.

    2:23 PM — A man on trial at Liverpool Crown Court charged with manslaughter has claimed that serious injuries to the dead man were caused by his dog.David Currie from Warrington died from a heart attack brought on by serious internal injuries he sustained during sex at the home of Steven Boyd.But 47-year-old Boyd, from the Wirral, denies manslaughter and claimed that the injuries were caused by his dog Tosh, a great Dane/bull mastiff cross.

  • Police need your help to catch killer of gay man

    David is captured on CCTV leaving the club alone just before 2.30am.

    1:25 PM — Manchester police are appealing to the city's gay community to help them with their investigation into the murder of 24-year-old David Brown in Hulme.They have released CCTV footage of the last time he was seen alive and are appealing to witnesses to help them catch his killer.David had been on a date in Manchester City Centre on Thursday 20 September 2007, exactly a week ago today.

  • New equality commission begins work on Monday

    The new commission will report to Harriet Harman.

    12:40 PM — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), Britain's first new full spectrum equalities and human rights organisation, will open its doors next week.The existing commissions - Disability Rights Commission, Commission for Racial Equality and Equal Opportunities Commission - will handover their responsibilities to the CEHR, which is chaired by Trevor Phillips.Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill is a Commissioner of the new body.

  • Boris wins nomination in a landslide 3

    Despite the vote being opened up to all of London's registered voters, less than 20,000 people voted.

    11:25 AM — Boris Johnson has won the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London with 79% of the vote, it has been announced.The Henley MP, seen as the front runner since he announced his candidacy in July, will now face incumbent Ken Livingstone in the May 2008 election.The three other Tory hopefuls did not manage to get more than 10% of the vote each. IT consultant and publisher Andrew Boff, who is openly gay, polled 8.4%.

  • Civil unions not as good as marriage claim activists

    Some of the night's most compelling evidence, however, came from Jodi Weiner, a New Jersey resident.

    11:15 AM — Last night, during the first public hearing of the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission, Garden State Equality presented evidence it believed shows "the failure of New Jersey's civil union law to provide equality as real marriage would."Thirty civil-unioned couples from across the state presented a joint letter to state leaders at the hearing.The couples were chosen to represent more than 300 couples who have complained to Garden State Equality.

  • Republicans “betrayed” by mayor’s gay marriage u-turn

    Sanders has been mum on the subject ever since last week's press conference.

    11:05 AM — An editorial in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times congratulated San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders for showing "impressive courage last week when he embraced the right of same-sex couples to marry."Gay rights groups were similarly effusive in their praise of the Republican ex-cop who sent shockwaves through the city and nation when he signed a City Council resolution supporting a challenge to California's gay marriage ban.

  • Trans youth to undergo surgery in Latin America

    This will be the first gender reassignment surgery performed on a minor in Argentina and in Latin America.

    10:55 AM — A 17-year-old transsexual boy has been granted gender reassignment surgery in Argentina.The Consulting Bioethics Committee of the Córdoba Judiciary decided that the child, known as Nati, can now go ahead with surgery and can also have the gender changed on her official documents including her birth certificate.The landmark decision to allow Nati to receive the surgery follows three years of petitioning.

  • 26th September 2007

    Harman: Equality is at the heart of Labour

    “Barbara (Follett, minister for equality) and I will pledge to be every bit as much champions of all strands of equality. “

    5:45 PM — The Prime Minister made a ten-minute appearance at an event organised by Stonewall last night.It was the first time that Gordon Brown had mixed and mingled with so many LGBT activists from his own party, and he seemed relaxed during his time at the function.Absolutely Equal, supported by Barclays, was a joint event between Stonewall, the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission and Equal Rights on Age.

  • Study finds suicide more likely in those unsure of sexuality

    Murphy believes that the number of attempted suicides and suicidal thoughts reported can be largely attributed to homophobic bullying.

    5:30 PM — Young people confused about their sexuality are most vulnerable to suicide, a study of university students has revealed.The University of Washington research found that while gay, lesbian and bisexual participants are twice as likely as heterosexuals to have attempted suicide, those who still have issues with defining their sexuality are six times as likely.Of the 528 participants, 79 of these identified themselves as same sex attracted heterosexuals.

  • Ministers answer gay questions at Stonewall event 2

    Ms Eagle is the only openly lesbian MP and was appointed as a junior Treasury minister by Gordon Brown in June.

    4:50 PM — The recently-appointed minister for equality and two leading gay Labour politicians faced questions from their own party activists at a conference fringe event last night.The panel discussion, entitled Equality for the next decade, was organised by the LGBT Labour group and gay equality organisation Stonewall.Chaired by out gay MEP Michael Cashman, equality minister Barbara Follett, Labour LGBT co-chair Alon Or-bach and Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill were joined by Angela Eagle.

  • US hate crimes law faces key vote in Senate 7

    Veteran Senator Ted Kennedy, who sponsored the bill, spoke on the floor of the Senate yesterday and urged his fellow legislators to support it.

    1:25 PM — Attempts by Republican Senator and Presidential hopeful John McCain to block new legislation that would extent hate crimes to cover LGBT people will come to a head tomorrow with a crucial vote.Democratic Senator Harry Reid has filed a cloture motion on the hate crimes bill, a procedural move to overcome Senator McCain's objection to bringing the amendment to the floor.60 Senators will need to vote in favour of the cloture motion for passages of the hate crimes bill to be added as an amendment to the Department of Defence (DoD) authorisation bill.

  • Ahmadinejad’s gay comments lost in translation 1

    The Persian transcript has excised both the question about treatment of lesbians and gay men in Iran and President Ahmadinejad's response.

    12:54 PM — The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has discovered that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's official website does not provide a Persian version of his recent comments on homosexuality in the country.The site provides a full and complete transcript of his speech to students at Colombia University in New York and the question and answer session afterwards in which he claimed that there are no gay people in Iran and homosexuality does not exist in the country.

  • Elton photo removed over child porn allegations 5

    Elton John is one of the world's foremost collectors of photographic art.

    12:40 PM — Police have seized a photograph owned by singer songwriter Sir Elton John as they believe it breaches child pornography laws.The image taken by renowned American photographer Nan Goldin was due to go on display as part of her Thanksgiving series at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead when a concerned member of gallery staff contacted police yesterday.The photograph Klara and Edda Belly Dancing features two semi naked young girls playing.

  • Lesbian couple arrested in same-sex marriage protest

    In November 2006 Colorado voted to ban same sex marriages.

    12:30 PM — A lesbian couple was arrested in Denver yesterday following their protest of Colorado's ban on same-sex marriages.Sheila Schroeder, 43 and Kate Burns, 44, staged the sit-in protest in the Wellington E.Webb Municipal Building, when they were refused an application for a marriage licence from the Denver Clerk and Recorder Office.The couple, who have been together for five years, took Rev. Mike Morran, their local minister from Denver's First Unitarian Church with them.

  • Russian activists fined over blood demonstration

    Russia prevents gay men from donating much needed blood as they are considered to be most at risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

    12:25 PM — Six gay rights protesters have been convicted of public order offences and fined by a Moscow court for protesting against Russia's ban on gay men donating blood.Activist Alexei Davydov, who organised the picket outside the Russian Health Ministry on 14th September, was fined 1,000 roubles (£20) while five other arrested participants were each fined 500 roubles.Although all donations are screened, Russia prevents gay men from donating much needed blood.

  • Politician defends son accused of homophobia

    Mr English has responded by calling the article a “disgusting and sick attack,“ according to the New Zealand Herald.

    12:04 PM — A leading New Zealand official is fighting back after a gay website published a story about his son earlier this week.The article, which appeared yesterday on GayNZ.com, alleges the son of New Zealand National Party deputy leader Bill English has been posting homophobic comments to a popular social networking website over the past few months.A sample comment from the site, made in reference to a recent soccer match, mentioned in the GayNZ.com article: "Some college fags are gonna to get stabbed with katanas."

  • US Presidential hopeful reveals AIDS plan

    Mr Edwards' proposal came during an appearance at the Families USA/Kaiser Foundation Health Care Forum on Monday in Washington.

    11:55 AM — Senator Hillary Clinton may be leading the Democratic Party for the Presidential candidacy, but John Edwards is not ready to give up the fight.This week, the former Vice Presidential candidate unveiled a health care package which would help fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and stated he would enforce legislation that would take away health care for the President and Congress members unless a universal health care plan was enacted.

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