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Current Affairs

  • 29th June 2007

    “Minister for gays” sorry she can’t come to Pride

    The new minister overseeing equality and gay rights issues has a previous engagement.

    5:15 PM — Hazel Blears has said she is sorry she will not be able to attend tomorrow's Pride events in London this year after her appointment yesterday as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.The new minister overseeing equality and gay rights issues has a previous engagement.It has been confirmed that the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Minister for Women, Harriet Harman, will address revellers in Trafalgar Square.

  • Pride should go ahead as planned say police 5

    Pride organisers are working closely with the police.

    4:15 PM — The organisers of Pride London met with the Metropolitan police this afternoon and were reassured that as things stand the parade and other events will be going ahead tomorrow as planned.Early this morning a car bomb left outside a nightclub failed to detonate. The club, Tiger, Tiger, is on Haymarket, a street which is part of the route for tomorrow's parade.This afternoon the police have closed Hyde Park and Park Lane while they investigate another suspicious vehicle.

  • Ugandan minister upset by emails from gay people 1

    There have been a series of government-backed attacks on the Ugandan gay community in the last year.

    3:47 PM — A homophobic politician in Uganda has branded LGBT people who have sent him hate emails 'sick' and accused them of using 'foul language.'James Nsaba Buturo, the state minister of Ethics and Integrity, told the Daily Monitor that he gets at least twenty threatening emails a day, mostly from people in the US and UK.Gay sex is punishable in Uganda by life imprisonment, under laws originally introduced by the British.

  • Poll shows next generation relaxed about gay marriage 1

    62% support a government financed national health-care system, compared with 47% of the general public.

    3:09 PM — Young Americans are much more likely to support gay marriage than their parents, a new poll by The New York Times, CBS News, and MTV has shown.The survey asked participants questions on a wide range of cultural and political issues. 44% of the 17 to 29 year olds surveyed believed gay couples should be allowed to marry.This is compared with 28% of the public at large.

  • Bush threatens veto over domestic partners

    The District of Columbia established a local domestic partnership registry in 1992.

    1:30 PM — The White House has issued the veto threat in response to an appropriations bill being considered by Congress.The bill provides financial support for federal programmes, but does not include a longstanding Republican provision which states that federal funds should not be used to operate the District of Columbia domestic partnership registry.Congress has the ultimate plenary power over the District of Columbia and its funding.

  • Church weddings for Swedish gays a step closer 3

    Currently gay and lesbian couple can only register their partnership through a civil ceremony.

    1:23 PM — Sweden may become the first country to allow gays and lesbians to marry within a major Church.Under current laws, dating back to 1987, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.A new piece of proposed "gender-neutral" legislation however, may soon remove this distinction allowing anybody to marry in the Lutherian Church.

  • Rowan Williams backtracks on gay bishop snub 2

    In April the Archbishop said he even considered cancelling the Lambeth conference to avoid a schism.

    1:13 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury is reconsidering his decision to exclude an openly gay bishop from next year's Lambeth Conference.Many Anglicans wrote letters of complaint to the Archbishop about the exclusion of Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.A response from Canon Flora Winfield from the International, Ecumenical and Anglican Communion Affairs was leaked to The Times. 

  • Ex-gay survivors speak out 1

    The Ex-gay Survivor Conference, which takes place at the University of California this weekend, has sent an open letter inviting Exodus leaders to attend.

    1:00 PM — As Exodus International, the network of "ex-gay" ministries which promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," finishes its annual conference in California today, former ex-gay survivors line-up to tell their own stories.The Ex-gay Survivor Conference, which takes place at the University of California this weekend, has sent an open letter inviting Exodus leaders to attend.

  • Bomb on Pride route contained nails 5

    Metropolitan police have confirmed that nails were packed with gas cannisters found in a car bomb this morning.

    12:19 PM — In a chilling reminder of the attack on Soho eight years ago, the Metropolitan police have confirmed that nails were packed with gas cannisters found in an abandoned car this morning.The vehicle was crashed and then abandoned on Haymarket in central London, part of the route for tomorrow's London Pride parade.There was concern that the entire Pride event, including performances in Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square, would have to be cancelled.

  • Lesbian coach sues school over dismissal

    Vivas was an advocate for Title IX equalities for women in sports.

    11:20 AM — The former head coach of the Fresno State University Bulldog Volleyball team, Lindy Vivas, is suing the school for $4.1 million (£2m) for a firing that she says was part of a discrimination campaign against lesbians and women in general.In 2002, she was honoured as the WAC Coach of the Year.Testimony began earlier this month in a civil case against the school, and now school officials are taking the stand to rebut her discrimination theories.

  • Presidential candidates’ gay attitudes analysed

    Republican candidates were in opposition to the majority of LGBT issues.

    11:15 AM — The US National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has released the first comprehensive analysis of the top 19 candidates for the 2008 presidency on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.Democrats discussed in this report include Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama. Republicans include Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney.The report is based on an analysis of the voting records and public statements of the candidates in eight key LGBT issue areas.

  • 28th June 2007

    Gay MP Nick Brown back in government 1

    Nick Brown was the government's first Chief Whip in 1997 and became Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food a year later.

    6:42 PM — Former Cabinet minister Nick Brown returns to government today under his friend, new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.The two men, along with Tony Blair, were first elected in 1983 and are close allies.In 1994 Nick Brown acted as campaign manager for Gordon Brown, and advised against the famous deal that saw the future Chancellor stand aside in favour of Mr Blair.

  • Outed Russian MP considers legal options 2

    The MP gave no details of his complaint to the prosecution authorities.

    6:00 PM — Russian State Duma Deputy Alexander Chuev has told journalists he sent his complaint to the prosecution authorities in connection with the statements made by Moscow Pride organiser Nicolas Alexeyev about his homosexuality.Speaking on the talk show K baryeru last week Mr Alexeyev, who was convicted of a minor offence last month for his role in the banned Pride march, outed Mr Chuev.The MP is one of the most outspoken opponents of gay rights.

  • Ministry of Defence says sorry for expelling gays

    In 2000, the government removed the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving openly in the Armed Forces.

    5:34 PM — A military officer responsible for equality training has now issued an apology to the thousands of gay men and lesbians who were discharged from the British Armed forces because of their sexuality.Wing Commander Phil Sagar runs the armed forces joint equality and diversity training centre. He told BBC Radio 4: "Of course we're sorry for anyone who's suffered personal trauma."In 2000, the government removed the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving openly in the Armed Forces.

  • Trade unions hold gay conference

    London over the next two days to debate a series of key equality issues at the annual TUC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender conference..

    5:30 PM — Several hundred lesbian and gay workers are gathering in central London over the next two days to debate a series of key equality issues at the annual TUC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender conference.Delegates attending the event at Congress House will hear speeches from TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, Commission for Equality and Human Rights Chair Trevor Phillips and MP Angela Eagle.

  • Gay rights champion appointed Leader of the Lords 4

    Baroness Ashton with former PinkNews.co.uk editor Marc Shoffman at the Stonewall Awards 2006

    4:05 PM — Baroness Ashton of Upholland, winner of the coveted Stonewall award for Politician of the Year, has been promoted to the Cabinet by new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.Previously known as Catherine Ashton, she was made a life peer by Tony Blair in 1999, as Baroness Ashton of Upholland, of St Albans.She was one of the ministers who shepherded the Sexual Orientation Regulations onto the statue book.

  • Analysis: Brown’s new Cabinet ministers 4

    Only one Cabinet minister, Defence Secretary Des Browne, stays in the same job.

    3:44 PM — Prime Minister Gordon Brown has appointed several new faces to the Cabinet today as he forms his first administration.Only one Cabinet minister, Defence Secretary Des Browne, stays in the same job.While there may be some gay men and lesbians appointed in the more junior posts, there are no openly gay people at the top of government.

  • Blair questioned again by police over peerages

    A spokesman at Scotland Yard told the BBC that the Metropolitan Police was “not prepared to discuss“ the inquiry.

    2:48 PM — As it was announced that the by election to replace Tony Blair as an MP will be held on the 19th or 26th July, it emerged that Scotland Yard detectives questioned him for a third time before he left office as part of the investigation into 'cash for honours.'In one of her last actions as Chief Whip, Jacqui Smith moved writs in the House of Commons to start the by election process.Mr Brown appointed Ms Smith as Home Secretary today, the first woman to hold the office.

  • Blears appointment welcomed by gay organisation 4

    She has an excellent record on gay rights.

    1:50 PM — Stonewall has welcomed Hazel Blears to her new role as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.She has an excellent record on gay rights, voting for the equalisation of the age of consent, for the rights of gay couples to adopt, for civil partnerships and against Section 28.By contrast, Ruth Kelly absented herself from every vote on gay rights until she was appointed as Communities Secretary.

  • New PM makes radical changes to the Cabinet 4

    Labour's newly elected Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, has been appointed Leader of the House of Commons.

    12:30 PM — Details of wide-ranging reshuffle are slowly emerging from Downing St, with new Prime Minister Gordon Brown signalling his determination to break with the Blair years.David Miliband becomes Foreign Secretary at the age of 41.A poll of PinkNews.co.uk readers in May found 27% wanted Mr Miliband as next Prime Minister and 13% wanted Gordon Brown. His elevation to one of the top jobs in the government allows Mr Miliband to continue his work on climate change.

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