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Current Affairs

  • 16th August 2007

    Trans group to attend Independence Day celebrations

    Indonesia is made up of an archipelago of 18,108 islands and is the fourth most populous nation in the world.

    10:25 AM — Sixty-two years ago, Indonesia declared its separation from the Netherlands and began a four-year war to try and maintain its independence.This week, members of the Yogyakarta Transvestites Organisation are planning their own coup by being involved in the anniversary celebration.The 265 members of the YTO group hope to be involved in the occasion, but are aware of the dangers associated with asserting their presence.

  • 15th August 2007

    BBC apologises for Blue Peter presenter

    BBC deputy director-general said that Ms Huq's appearance at the press conference had been arranged by her agent without informing Blue Peter production staff. photo: BBC publicity

    5:14 PM — An openly gay member of the London Assembly has accepted an apology from the deputy director-general of the BBC over an incident involving a Blue Peter presenter.Brian Coleman, deputy chairman of the London Assembly and Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, complained after Konnie Huq appeared at the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone's weekly press conference.In the course of his remarks to journalists the Mayor made political comments about Mr Coleman.

  • Comment: Despite the fanfare, freedom still eludes gay Indians 57

    Technically, it is still not illegal if someone were to arrest me just for being gay.

    12:55 PM — As India celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence from Britain, Balaji Ravichandran explains why he feels neither free nor independent. The celebrations started well before I arrived in India six weeks ago.From the moment I switched on the television at home the advertisements, programmes and notices, often painfully jingoistic in their self-congratulation, have constantly greeted me with their patriotic screams.

  • Soho’s council reaches out to gay community 1

    Westminster council has joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme.

    10:39 AM — The City of Westminster council has announced new measures to ensure members of the LGBT community in the London borough are properly catered for.The council will undertake a period of consultation over the remainder of the summer, before producing a new engagement strategy in December 2007. This will include priorities for action, identified by the communities themselves.As part of this initiative, the council has also joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme and will also be assessed in 2008.

  • Thai government considers new trans rights

    A new proposal would allow transgender men or women to choose how they are addressed.

    10:25 AM — Thailand, one of the world's most tolerant countries towards transvestites and transsexuals, may soon allow people who have had a sex change to officially alter their title.A proposal which would allow transgender men or women to choose how they are addressed is being considered by the country's National Legislative Assembly, to support an anti-discrimination provision in the draft constitution, according to AP.Thailand is widely tolerant but many trans people face family pressure, social prejudice and domestic violence.

  • 14th August 2007

    Polish coalition government dismantled as elections loom

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

    5:50 PM — Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Monday signalled the formal end of his twin brother's shaky coalition by firing four ministers from two junior parties and replacing them with ruling party loyalists.In a televised ceremony, Kaczynski appointed replacements from within the conservative camp steered by his brother, Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski's Law and Justice (PiS) party.Monday's move marked a key penultimate step towards snap elections, which the Kaczynskis and Poland's liberal opposition have agreed are likely to take place on October 21st.

  • Kenyan bishop to consecrate dissident Americans 1

    Archbishop Nzimbi told Reuters that he was not breaking church rules.

    5:16 PM — In a further sign of the deterioration of the Anglican communion, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi will consecrate two American clergy as assistant bishops in his province of Kenya at the end of the month.The crisis in the Anglican church worldwide over gay issues began in 2003 with the ordination in New Hampshire of the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson.Evengelical and conservative American Anglicans have rejected the authority of gay-friendly bishops in their country and are seeking religous leadership from a range of African leaders.

  • Tories protest homophobic group’s use of London landmark 5

    Hizb ut-Tahrir has been especially active on college campuses in London and Manchester in recent years.

    2:50 PM — A controversial Islamic group accused of being anti-Semitic hate mongers and condoning the murder of gay people recently held a conference at Alexandra Palace in north London, to the disgust of local Conservatives.Thousands of Hizb ut-Tahrir supporters gathered for the conference on how to realise the Khilafah - a global Islamic state.The group has been banned from public activity in countries including Germany on charges of spreading anti-Semitic propaganda.

  • Australian star speaks out against gay marriage ban 2

    Brisbane-born Hayes married Briton Richard Cullen in London last year. photo: www.myspace.com/darrenhayes

    1:20 PM — Singer Darren Hayes has criticised the attitude of Australian Prime Minister John Howard's towards gay marriage after his British 'husband' was forced to fly to Australia on a tourist visa.His comments come as the main opposition leader in Australia, Labour's Kevin Rudd, said he also opposes gay marriage.Brisbane-born Hayes married Briton Richard Cullen in London last year."It makes me angry and frustrated," the former Savage Garden frontman told Australian newspaper the Herald Sun .

  • Gay hate preacher attacks Irish tolerance 6

    Phelps has been invited to speak at University College Dublin next year.

    1:01 PM — The religious extremist who pickets the funerals of American soldiers killed in action has turned his attention to Ireland.Rev Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist church are best known for their "God Hates Fags" campaigns in the United States.He has now launched godhatesireland.com in protest at the introduction of laws in the Republic protecting gay people from harassment.

  • Greens enter debate about 2011 census 5

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will decide in January 2008 which company has won the contract.

    12:35 PM — The Green Party is petitioning the government not to allow the 2011 census to be run by an American arms manufacturer.Lockheed Martin, which produces missiles and land mines used in Afghanistan and Iraq that are illegal in many countries, is one of two remaining contractors in the selection process.80% of their business is with the US Department of Defence and other Federal Government agencies.

  • Birmingham HIV+ rapist imprisoned

    Judge Peter Ross called their rape a “vile and perverted act“ and said that “mercifully“ their victim has tested negative for the HIV virus.

    12:15 PM — A judge at Birmingham Crown Court has given two men convicted of robbing and then raping their male victim indeterminate sentences.Daniel Myers, 20, of Barry Jackson Tower in Aston, was found guilty alongside Nikos Johnson, 26, of Rawling Street, Ladywood, of one charge of robbery and two of rape.The Birmingham Post reported that during the trial Myers revealed under cross-examination that he is HIV+.

  • 13th August 2007

    Italian politician calls for “ethnic cleansing” of gays 8

    Mr Gentilini, 78, a member of the right-wing and regionalistic Northern League political group, is notorious in Italy for his attention-grabbing outbursts.

    6:35 PM — The northern Italian city of Treviso has witnessed mass demonstrations after the deputy mayor called for the ethnic cleansing of homosexuals.Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the city hall at the weekend demanding his resignation.Giancarlo Gentilini, told a local television station on Wednesday: "I will immediately give orders to my forces so that they can carry out an ethnic cleansing of faggots."

  • Catholic church cannot sack gay headteacher 2

    photo: nicdafis@flickr.com

    5:05 PM — Legal advice given to the Roman Catholic Church has made it clear that they cannot dismiss a primary school headteacher who has entered into a civil partnership.The Daily Telegraph reports that Charles Coyne, headteacher of a church school in Liverpool, last year was legally partnered with a fellow teacher at a nearby school.Some parishoners in the local area have reacted badly, and wanted action taken against him.

  • Church cancels funeral for gay man 2

    The church had initially offered to host a service because Mr Sinclair's brother is a janitor for the church.

    4:17 PM — A Texas church withdrew an offer to host a funeral once they found out the deceased was gay.Cecil Sinclair died last Monday, aged 46, and Arlington's High Point Church cancelled its invitation to host the service on Wednesday. The service was planned for Thursday.An arrangement had been made for the church to provide a memorial service, photo presentation and feed guests.

  • C of E Bishop to attend LGBT health conference

    The summit, presented with the theme Choices, Voices, Knowledge and Power, will host 16 workshops.

    2:35 PM — The Anglican Bishop of Manchester will be among the speakers at unique conference in the city next week.Final preparations for this year's annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Health Summit are being made for the two-day event which takes place at Manchester Town Hall over the 20th and 21st August.The summit, presented with the theme Choices, Voices, Knowledge and Power, will host 16 workshops.

  • Australians demonstrate against ban on gay marriage 1

    Prime Minister John Howard's Liberal government passed federal legislation in 2004 banning same-sex marriage.

    1:25 PM — Thousands of people marched yesterday in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney as part of the National Day of Action, which marked the three year anniversary of gay marriage being outlawed.The largest of the marches was in Melbourne, where more than 5,000 people attended. All the marches were peaceful.Prime Minister John Howard's Liberal government passed federal legislation in 2004 banning same-sex marriage.

  • Ban on homosexuality in Uganda “unenforceable”

    In 2004 Uganda became the first country in the world to introduce a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

    1:10 PM — Ugandan laws prohibiting homosexual activity have resulted in no arrests of couples despite people being open about their sexuality and the fact that there are more than 160 members of leading gay organisations.According to the Monitor.co.ug, Oscar Kihika, the president of the Uganda Law Society said: "You can't just arrest someone for saying they are gay."That's like arresting someone just because he says he stole something, with no proof," he said.

  • Presidential candidate backtracks over gay choice answer

    After forum panellist Melissa Etheridge asked Richardson twice if he thought people where born homosexual or choose it, his “choice“ answer produced an audible gasp from the studio audience.

    10:51 AM — The Governor of New Mexico and Democratic Presidential hopeful Bill Richardson shifted into damage control mode on Friday, admitting that he "screwed up" when he said being gay was a choice during Logo's televised Presidential forum on gay rights.Richardson apologised to the gay community during interviews with Michelangelo Signorile, host of a SIRIUS Satellite Radiow show OutQ; Kerry Eleveld, news editor of The Advocate; and Andrew Belonsky, editor of the blog Queerty.com

  • Lutherans choose middle path on gay clergy

    Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson said the new measure expressed a desire to find “some space and place“ for how the church might live together.

    10:25 AM — America's largest Lutheran denomination on Saturday urged its bishops to refrain from disciplining gay ministers who are in committed same-sex relationships, but rejected measures that would permit the further ordination of gays churchwide.Those in favour of full inclusion of gays were still encouraged, calling the resolution a powerful statement in support of clergy with same-sex partners.Conservative group Lutheran CORE was critical of the vote.

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