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Current Affairs

  • 19th November 2007

    Allen resigns after sex solicitation conviction

    Republican party representatives said last week he should resign from office and threatened to remove him.

    11:21 AM — A senior Florida Republican has resigned from the state legislature following his conviction for soliciting oral sex from an undercover police officer.Bob Allen was spotted by police in Titusville, Florida on July 11th acting suspiciously at the men's toilets in a park.Officers decided to send a policeman undercover to investigate, and within minutes Mr Allen agreed to pay him $20 (£10) to allow him to perform oral sex.

  • Poles march for equality as new government takes office

    LGBT rights activists were joined by politicians from green and left-wing parties on the annual Equality March in Poznan, western Poland, on Saturday.

    10:45 AM — LGBT rights activists were joined by politicians from green and left-wing parties on the annual Equality March in Poznan, western Poland, on Saturday.More than 300 people, carrying rainbow flags and banners, took part in the peaceful demonstration in Poland's fifth-largest city, with only a few counter-demonstrators on hand to protest.It was seen as a key test of the new government's attitude to gay rights events.

  • Clinton leads opponents after debate 1

    Pundits across the United States crowned the New York senator queen of the night with just seven weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses.

    10:04 AM — The word on the street is that Hillary Clinton was the star performer during last week's Democratic presidential debates held in Las Vegas.Pundits across the United States crowned the New York senator queen of the night with just seven weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses.The Los Angeles Times, for instance, said that although Clinton's challengers to the throne, Barack Obama and John Edwards, tried to knock her from her position at the head of the pack, they didn't succeed.

  • 18th November 2007

    Tutu hits out at Church of England over treatment of gays 6

    Desmond Tutu: Church has been “extraordinarily homophobic“

    1:00 AM — Archbishop Desmond Tutu has criticised the Anglican church for being "obsessed" with homosexuality, in a BBC radio interview to be broadcast on Tuesday. He said that if he believed that God was homophobic, he wouldn't be a Christian.The Nobel Peace Prize winner, said he was ashamed of his church because of its treatment of gays. He said that Rowan Williams has not demonstrated the attributes of a "welcoming God" to homosexuals.

  • 17th November 2007

    Anti-gay church vows to take control of Microsoft 10

    Microsoft founder Bill Gates's trust fund owns a major stake in an LGBT publisher

    6:30 PM — An evangelical Christian pastor has vowed to take over Microsoft, one of the world's largest companies by packing it with shareholders who will vote against their policy of advocating gay rights.The Reverend Ken Hutcherson, a former Dallas Cowboys player is the self proclaimed head of the Antioch Bible Church, based in Redmond, the home of Microsoft's headquarters.Microsoft has a strong diversity policy and LGBT staff enjoy a well-funded employee group.

  • 16th November 2007

    Gay rights group suggests sending flowers to Ahmadinejad 1

    The Islamic Sharia law followed in Iran makes gay sex illegal, with penalty of death for offenders as young as 14 years old.

    5:31 PM — The Iranian Queer Organisation IRQO is asking people to send two flowers to the President of Iran as a protest against the treatment of gay and lesbian people under his regime.The idea grew out of the campaign to stop Iranian lesbian Pegah Emambakhsh being deported from the UK.Her supporters sent thousands of bunches of flowers to her while she was in detention, which caused disruption and helped highlight her case.

  • Nicaragua to decriminalise gay sex 2

    José Pallais, president of the Nicaraguan Parliament's Commission of Justice and Legal Issues, said the changes marked a modernisation.

    5:11 PM — Consensual gay sex will no longer be a criminal offence in Nicaragua under a new penal code due to come into effect on March 2008.The surprise news was announced earlier this week by the Nicaraguan National Assembly, reports La Prensa.Under old legislation passed in 1992, "anyone who induces, promotes, propagandises or practices sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex commits the crime of sodomy and shall incur one to three years' imprisonment."

  • New York leader wants gay marriage within two years 1

    Spitzer repeatedly endorsed gay marriage during his election campaign last autumn.

    4:30 PM — The Governor of New York has said that he wants a Democrat controlled state Senate to legalise gay marriage as one of it's priorities in 2009.Eliot Spitzer made his remarks on Wednesday at a fund-raising event for the Senate Democratic Committee in Greenwich village, where guests had paid up to $10,000 to attend.A witness told The New York Post that Governor Spitzer said:"One of the first things we're going to do when [Senate Minority Leader] Malcolm Smith is [majority] leader is gay marriage."

  • Republican guilty of soliciting gay sex avoids jail 4

    Allen was facing 60 days in jail, but instead was given six month's probation and fined $250 (£122) plus $245 costs.

    2:00 PM — A senior Florida Republican has been escaped a custodial sentence after being found guilty of soliciting oral sex from an undercover police officer.Bob Allen, a state representative and former co-chairman of the campaign to select Senator John McCain as the Republican US Presidential candidate, was spotted by police in Titusville, Florida on July 11th acting suspiciously at the men's toilets in a park.Officers decided to send a policeman undercover to investigate.

  • Anger at new US restrictions on HIV+ visitors 7

    The DHS has finally issued proposed regulations which Immigration Equality claims will make it even harder to get a short-term waiver.

    1:45 PM — New regulations issued by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which claim to offer a "streamlined," "categorical" waiver for HIV-positive people visiting the country have been criticised by American AIDS activists and immigration reform advocates.The White House used World Aids Day last year to announce a change in the rules relating to people with HIV travelling into the USA.Nearly a year later, the DHS has finally issued proposed regulations which activists claim will make it even harder to get a short-term waiver.

  • Minister launches anti-bullying week

    Members of Young Anti-Bullying Alliance told the Prime Minister at a special meeting at Downing Street how important it was for young people to be supported in supporting one another.

    12:45 PM — The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls launched Anti-Bullying Week 2007 yesterday at the Victoria Apollo Theatre, home of WICKED the musical.Anti-Bullying Week 2007, from 19th to 23rd November, is run by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), who this year are focusing on 'bullying in the community.'Gay equality organisation Stonewall and LGBT education group Schools Out are members of the ABA, which is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

  • Tribunal told of lesbian encounter in Army stables 2

    Gunner Yeats explained that explicit talk of sexual activity was common amongst soldiers.

    12:00 PM — A young soldier told a tribunal yesterday how he saw two lesbian colleagues sharing a passionate kiss, one with her hand down the others trousers.Gunner Ashley Yeats said he felt 'embarrassed' after catching Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, 31, and Corporal Louise Ashman, 29, in the army stables of 40 Regiment Royal Artillery in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, where they were all working in early spring 2005.

  • Russian judge backs another gay demo ban

    Organisers planned to picket the office of the representation of the European Commission.

    11:30 AM — A Moscow court has dismissed a complaint from the organisers of the picket in support of the EU visa ban for Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov for his violations of human rights and particularly the right to freedom of assembly.The picket, organised by several organizations including LGBT Human Rights Project, GayRussia.Ru and movement LGBT Rights, was supposed to take place on 27th June, the day Mr. Luzhkov was being confirmed by the City's Duma (parliament) for other term in office.

  • 15th November 2007

    US Catholic bishops issue voting guidance

    The bishops say that conscience is the “voice of God.“

    4:55 PM — No to gay marriage, the death penalty, stem cell research, abortion, racism, torture and war crimes. That was the message America's Roman Catholic bishops have issued to the faithful ahead of next year's elections.Forming Citizens for Faithful Citizenship is the title of a document issued by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops yesterday."As Catholics, we should be guided more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to a political party or interest group," it read."

  • Italy gay protection law moves forward 1

    The measure is part of a larger legislative package designed to tackle violence against women.

    3:25 PM — The justice committee of the lower house of the Italian parliament has approved the text of a new bill that will outlaw homophobic crime.The measure is part of a larger legislative package designed to tackle violence against women, children and old people and gender discrimination.Yesterday the Minister for Equal Opportunities, Barbara Pollastrini, said: "every year, there are more women dying from violence than from diseases or accidents."

  • Interview: Clegg sets out his leadership credentials

    Nick Clegg explains why he is the heir to Ming, how to tackle homophobia in eastern Europe, and where the Lib Dems could take seats from Labour at the next election.

    1:31 PM — Since winning Sheffield Hallam in the 2005 general election, Nick Clegg has made a major impression on Liberal Democrats in Parliament and across the country.Tipped as a future leader before he even entered Westminster, in the wake of Sir Menzies Campbell's resignation he finds himself standing sooner than was imagined.Age did it for Ming, and 40-year-old Clegg is the frontrunner in the contest to replace him. Like his opponent in the leadership race, Chris Huhne, he attended the private Westminster School.

  • Baptist church expelled for embracing gays 1

    The Baptist State Convention also is expected to disengage from their cherished institutions and ministries of Baptist colleges.

    11:50 AM — The nearly 3,000 delegates that make up the North Carolina Baptist Convention voted this week to expel the Myers Park Baptist Church for welcoming and affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Baptists in their congregation.Last year, the North Carolina Baptists decided to expel any member church that openly accepts and affirms LGBT people and same-sex relations from the Baptist community.The vote came after two of the church's leaders called on the delegates to open their hearts to LGBT people.

  • Hate church finances revaled in court 4

    The Snyder family's expectation of privacy at Matthew Snyder's funeral was violated by the church members' protest outside St. John Roman Catholic Church.

    10:59 AM — Three members of the Westboro Baptist Church have presented their accounts to a court in an attempt to reduce the nearly $11m (£5.4m) they were ordered to pay Albert Snyder, the father of a fallen Marine, for protesting at his son's funeral.Westboro Baptist, which has about 75 members, the vast majority of whom are relatives of preacher Rev Fred Phelps, protests at funerals using anti-gay slurs.Three members of the church, Rev Phelps and his daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebekah Phelps-Davis, presented documentation.

  • Comment: Evangelical has no place on equality commission 41

    Full protection against discrimination at work for gay people? Joel Edwards opposed it.

    10:35 AM — Simon Barrow of Ekklesia has a silver tongue when it comes to making excuses for the disgraceful behaviour of some of his co-religionists.Now he comes out in defence of the Evangelical Alliance and its leader Joel Edwards, who has been appointed as a commissioner to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.Give him time, says Simon, let's see how he behaves. He might change. Well, I was one of those who objected to Joel Edwards' appointment and I did so after observing years of efforts by him and his organisation to retard gay rights.

  • Iranian escapes death penalty after international pressure 1

    Human rights activists had protested that the death penalty was unlawful in this case and argued that his trial was unfair.

    10:24 AM — The Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran has intervened in the case of a 21-year old found guilty of multiple counts of anal rape (ighab), allegedly committed when he was 13 years old.Makvan Mouloodzadeh, a 21 year old an Iranian Kurd, had been sentenced to death in the city of Paveh, following his conviction for an act of sodomy that he committed while still a minor, aged 13, with another minor, also aged 13.Human rights activists had protested that the death penalty was unlawful in this case and argued that his trial was unfair.

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