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Current Affairs

  • 8th August 2007

    YMCA family membership dispute not resolved

    There are 2,617 YMCAs in the USA and they are the largest not-for-profit community service organisation in America.

    3:13 PM — A YMCA in Des Moines, Iowa has expanded their definition of a family to include those who they consider to "function as a family," after a five-year dispute with a lesbian couple was ruled on by the city's Human Rights Commission.In 2002 Sandra Patton-Iman and her partner had their family membership revoked when a YMCA employee decided that they did not to conform to the organisation's definition. The YMCA offered them a 'member plus' form of membership instead, at the same cost as a family membership.

  • First Presidential debate for LGBT community tomorrow

    This first televised debate on LGBT issues is sponsored by LOGO and Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF).

    12:07 PM — Seven of the candidates for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States will take part in the first-ever debate for the gay community tomorrow.The 90 minute event will be broadcast live on gay network LOGO and through live streaming at LOGOonline.com and the debate will be the first time the network has broadcast live.Front runners Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards will participate alongside Christopher Dodd, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson.

  • 25,000 sign petition for gay rights in Australia

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

    11:00 AM — The Prime Minister of Australia John Howard will be presented with a petition today demanding an end to discrimination against same-sex couples.An MP from his own party will hand him a copy of the online petition, which has been signed by 25,000 people.It follows a report released in June by Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission which highlighted the 58 laws that need to be changed to grant gay, bisexual and lesbian Australians equal rights.

  • Lutheran priests come out in protest at sex ban

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has nearly five million members.

    10:45 AM — In a co-ordinated campaign of opposition to a rule banning lesbian and gay ministers from having sexual relationships, 82 Evangelical Lutheran clergy came out of the closet yesterday.The Church's Assembly in Chicago is expected to vote on the issue tomorrow.Previous efforts to suspend the celibacy rule have failed, and the mass coming out is intended to show that there are a significant number of gay and lesbian ministers already in loving, monogamous relationships.

  • 7th August 2007

    Political bruiser shows softer side on gay wedding day

    Smitherman was first elected to the Legislature in 1999, representing the downtown Toronto area.

    5:59 PM — One of Canada's most prominent gay politicians, George Smitherman, married his partner Christopher Peloso in a small ceremony in Ontario last week.Smitherman, Ontario's first openly gay cabinet minister, is regarded as one of the most powerful politicians in the Canadian province.He has been Ontario's Minister of Health since 2003, and is also Deputy Premier.

  • Vietnam vet Congressman supports gays in the military

    Joe Sestak, Congress's highest-ranking veteran, served 31 years in the United States Navy and retired in 2005 as a 3-star Admiral.

    5:36 PM — Five new lawmakers, including the highest ranking military veteran in Congress, have joined 126 other lawmakers in supporting legislation to repeal the US military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual service personnel.The Representatives, all Democrats, became co-sponsors of The Military Readiness Enhancement Act on Friday, bringing the total number of supporters to 131.Among them is Joe Sestak, Congress's highest-ranking veteran.

  • Gay flirting and homophobic abuse upset fire fighters 1

    The men claim their battalion chief ordered them to ride in the July 21st parade through San Diego's Hillcrest neighbourhood.

    3:52 PM — Four firefighters have filed sexual harassment charges against the San Diego fire department after they were taunted while driving a fire engine in a gay Pride parade last month.The men claim their battalion chief ordered them to ride in the July 21st parade through San Diego's Hillcrest neighbourhood, according to their attorney, Stephen Stirling.The fire fighters said they had objected to driving a city firetruck in the parade while on duty, but did so to avoid disciplinary action.

  • White House confirms plans to block gay hate crime law 7

    White House spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters yesterday that President Bush will not sign, even if it means sending the defence bill back to Congress.

    3:34 PM — A White House spokesman has reiterated that President Bush will veto Congressional efforts to extend federal hate crimes legislation to cover gender identity and sexual orientation.Senator Ted Kennedy has attached the new crime measure to a defence authorisation bill, in an effort to persuade the President to accept new protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.

  • ‘Lesbian’ soldiers dismissed from Nepalese army

    This is a critical time in the fight for LGBT rights in Nepal.

    12:13 PM — Two female personnel have been kicked out of the army of Nepal on suspicion of being lesbians. The Kathmandu Post reports that the pair were court-martialled after being found in bed with eachother. They said that nothing sexual had occurred, but that charges of lesbianism were brought against them by their superiors.The position of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the Himalayan country has considerably worsened in recent months.

  • US court overturns homophobic adoption law

    The ruling is important not only in Oklahoma, but also to families across the United States.

    11:09 AM — In a 35-page decision, a panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit rejected the Oklahoma Department of Health's challenge to a lower court decision striking down an Oklahoma law so extreme that it threatened to make children adopted by same-sex couples in other states legal orphans when the families are in Oklahoma.The ruling is important not only in Oklahoma, but also to families across the United States, including in Seattle and Houston, home to two of the families who joined in the suit.

  • Ex-gays win right to leaflet schoolchildren

    PFOX has campaigned against sex education in schools, and says it wants to leaflet children with information about ex-gays and contact  details for 'questioning youth.'

    11:00 AM — A group who advocate 'conversion therapy' for gay people will be allowed to distribute literature to children promoting their beliefs.Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) took a local school board in the US state of Virginia to court for refusing to distribute their leaflets to high school students.An agreement was reached last week which allows PFOX the same access as other groups to children as young as five.

  • 6th August 2007

    Black man scared me says cruising politician 4

    Mr Allen told police that he was not loitering in the public toilet looking for sex, according to documents seen by the  Orlando Sentinel.

    5:35 PM — A senior Florida Republican has presented a novel defence for his actions after his arrest on charges of solicitation last month.Bob Allen, 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, and within minutes Mr Allen allegedly agreed to pay him $20 (£10) to allow him to perform oral sex.

  • Suspended sentence for married woman in civil partnership 2

    Ms Mitchell, a mother of three children, had denied the charges at an earlier magistrates hearing in March.

    4:18 PM — A mother of five children was today spared jail by a judge sentencing her for entering into a civil partnership with another woman while still married to a man.Last month Suzanne Mitchell appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court before Judge Robin Onions and pleaded guilty to breaching the Civil Partnership Act.The judge today decided that in the interests of her children he would not send her to jail.

  • Archives reveal Churchill’s Cabinet discussed gays

    Prime Minister Winston Churchill bluntly replied that the Tory party were not going to accept responsibility for making the law more lenient towards gay men.

    3:45 PM — New documents released by the National Archives give an enlightening account of the views of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other Cabinet ministers on homosexual men in 1950s Britain.The notebooks kept by the Cabinet Secretaries contain short handwritten accounts of the conversations of ministers on a range of issues, and have just been released to the public.On the 24th February 1954 the Cabinet discussed the issues of prostitution and homosexuality.

  • Home Office grants will support hate crime victims 1

    A total of £500,000 is being awarded to hate crime and homicide support groups across the country in this round of funding.

    2:25 PM — More than £100,000 of government funding has been awarded to groups working with LGBT communities across the UK to support victims of homophobia and other forms of hate crime.The funding from the Home Office has been given to a range of community and campaign groups.The Intercom Trust was given the largest grant, £28,290, to fund their work in rural south west England.

  • Congress considers HIV treatment bill 3

    Providing treatment for those who are HIV-positive early in the progression of the disease is cost-effective.

    10:50 AM — Congressman Eliot Engel, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen have reintroduced the Early Treatment for HIV Act, a bipartisan bill that will save lives by allowing states to provide Medicaid coverage to low-income, HIV-positive Americans.The legislation addresses a cruel irony in healthcare coverage for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS.

  • Hillary Clinton campaign getting most ‘gay’ donations

    All contributions to US election campaigns must be registered with the Federal Election Commission

    10:27 AM — A survey of US presidential campaign contributions from 'gay' areashas revealed that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual voters aremaking most of their donations to Senator Hillary Clinton.The democratic frontrunners received the most support, Senator Clinton received 48% of contributions from postcodes with large LGBT populations.Senator Barack Obama received 39% and former Senator John Edwards received just 13%.

  • 4th August 2007

    Gay former police chief to run for London Mayor 2

    Brian Paddick could become the most senior gay politican in Britain if he wins the race to become Mayor of London

    12:40 PM — As PinkNews.co.uk had previously speculated, Brian Paddick, who was until his retirement, Britain's most senior openly gay police officer, has been short-listed to run as the Liberal Democrats candidate for the Mayor of London.A Liberal Democrat source said: "We have been in talks with Brian Paddick and we hope and expect him to go forward for nomination as part of a full and open selection process."

  • 3rd August 2007

    Mass gay kiss-in protest in Rome

    Last night  Arcigay proclaimed a 500-metre section of Via San Giovani, near the Colosseum, 'Gay Street.'

    4:24 PM — Over a thousand same-sex couples took park in a mass 'kiss-in' last night, the second such protest after two men were arrested for 'public indecency' in front of the iconic Roman monument last week.The amorous demonstration was called by Italian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender association Arcigay.The two men, identified only as Roberto L, 27 and Michele M, 28, were arrested by seven armed Carabinieri and held for 45 minutes last week.

  • Akinola to ordain dissident English bishop 15

    The Lambeth Conference has become the latest battleground in the ongoing war over the place of gay people in the Anglican church.

    3:40 PM — The gay-hostile Archbishop of Nigeria is planning to ordain his own 'flying bishop' in England, in a direct challenge to the authority of Rowan Williams.Archbishop Peter Akinola has already appointed a bishop to minister to Anglicans in America who object to gay people in the church, despite a plea from the Archbishop of Canterbury not to split the worldwide Communion.A source describing himself as a 'worker in the Nigerian diocese' said Archbishop Akinola's plans were common knowledge.

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