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Current Affairs

  • 25th February 2008

    Interview: Gays and the United States military 3

    The United States continues to operate under the “Don't Ask Don't Tell“ law, a messy compromise reached in 1994.

    2:45 PM — It is almost eight years since the British government moved to allow openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve in our Army, Navy and Air Force.We were by no means the first. The Dutch lifted their ban in 1974, Australia followed in 1992, Canada soon after.In 2008, most of the member nations of NATO have removed their bans, with one glaring exception. The United States continues to operate under the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law, a messy compromise reached in 1994.

  • Gay blood ban row moves to Scottish parliament

    The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) bars men who have had sex with other men from donating blood, even if they used a condom.

    12:10 PM — A petition is being prepared for submission to the Scottish Parliament calling for a repeal to the ban the prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood in the UK.Rob McDowall, the creator of the petition, told PinkNews.co.uk: "Being gay doesn't prevent me from paying tax, using public transport or working in a responsible position, so why should it prevent me from giving the gift of life?"The UK Blood Transfusion Service bars men who have had sex with other men from donating blood.

  • Hillary leads Obama in Texas polls 1

    Clinton previously held a much larger lead over Obama in Texas and Ohio.

    11:50 AM — New York Senator Hillary Clinton is still leading over Illinois Senator Barack Obama in the most recent polls from Ohio and Texas.However, with a little over a week to go until the March 4th Democratic primaries in both states Clinton's lead appears to be shrinking.John McCain, meanwhile, appears to be the preferred candidate over either Democrat in Texas.A poll conducted by the Associated Press between February 16th to 20th gave Clinton a 50 percent to 43 percent lead over Barack Obama in Ohio.

  • Catholics unhappy at rights for gay Kosovans 2

    Kosovo declared independence from Serbia earlier this month, backed by the US, the UK and other leading nations.

    10:40 AM — The draft constitution of Europe's newest nation is under attack from a Roman Catholic political organisation because it seeks to protect gay people from discrimination.Kosovo declared independence from Serbia earlier this month, backed by the US, the UK and other leading nations.Its draft constitution contains specific provisions to protect Kosovans from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and enshrines the right to marry but does not limit that right to a man and a woman.

  • Raul Castro confirmed as Cuban President

    The 76-year-old had been Cuba's acting president since Fidel fell ill in July 2006.

    10:15 AM — The younger brother of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been approved as the country's President by the National Assembly.Fidel, 81, stepped down last week, but will remain as head of the Communist party and is expected to continue to have a strong influence on his brother.At a two-day discussion on homosexuality in Cuba held earlier this year in Madrid poet Leon de la Hoz said that many people on the island refer to Raul as "the little Chinese man with the sad eyes," a reference to his supposed repressed homosexuality.

  • Ralph Nader enters US Presidential race 4

    Nader said on Sunday anyone who believes he should not run for President is displaying “political bigotry.“

    9:25 AM — Perennial Presidential candidate Ralph Nader announced on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday that he will be entering the race for the White House yet again.Nader, 73, ran as an Independent in 2004 and as a Green Party candidate in 2000, a race in which he was blamed for spoiling former Vice President Al Gore's chance for a clear victory.Blogger Sandy Sand on OpEdNews.com perhaps summed up the response of many to the announcement by saying: "Just what we need."

  • 23rd February 2008

    Rowan Williams holding “secret” talks to avoid gay split 4

    Rowan Williams will aim to avoid more splits

    4:00 PM — Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury is understood to be backing plans that would create a "parallel" conservative Church in America in a bid to for American conservatives to avert prevent further splits over the ordination of gay clergy and wider attitudes to homosexuality.The Daily Telegraph reports that Dr Williams has held talks with senior American bishops who oppose some of the more liberal approaches taken by the Episcopal Church.

  • 22nd February 2008

    Australia Debates Same Sex Marriage 6

    The new prime minister's views on marriage equality are proving controversial

    3:50 PM — Greens senator Kerry Nettle has introduced a marriage equality bill to the Australian parliament calling for recognition of overseas same-sex marriages and the ability to allow local ones.Her party leader, Bob Brown, has united with Liberal Australia Capital Territory (ACT) senator Gary Humphries to condemn the new government's attitudes to the Territorial Government's civil partnerships legislation.

  • Man Charged In Toilet Murder

    Mr Akers died of a single stab wound to the back

    3:29 PM — A 29 year old man appeared in court today, charged with the murder of Jeff Akers, who was knifed to death in a cruising spot in Surrey on Tuesday.Mark Malone, who is unemployed, turned himself in to a Newsbury police station in Berkshire a day after the attack.In a brief meeting, Mr Malone spoke only to confirm his address and date of birth.

  • Irish Poet Under Fire For ‘Sexual Grooming’ 2

    Mr Searcaigh denies the accusations

    2:21 PM — The famous Irish poet, Cathal O Searcaigh a staple of second level school syllabuses - has been accused of the "sexual exploitation and grooming" of 16 year old Nepalese boys who he befriended and assisted financially in their education.Allegations about the poet's relationship with the young boys surfaced after the screening of Fairytale of Kathmandu, a documentary on Mr Searcaigh's charitable work in Nepal made by a former friend of his.

  • Lesbian Police Officer Wins Day in Court 1

    The trial is set for May 12th

    12:01 PM — A lesbian police officer's lawsuit against her police department can go trial, a Los Angeles judge has said.Shelby Feldmeier claims male officers made frequent and offensive remarks about homosexuality while she was working as a probationary officer at Wilshire Station.Superior Court Judge Edward A. Ferns rejected a defence motion to dismiss the case on Wednesday and set a trial date for May 12th.

  • China Launches First HIV Prevention Programme for Gay Men

    China is said to operate a 'three nos' policy towards gays

    11:38 AM — China's Ministry of Health is set to implement its first ever national programme to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS among gay men, its 2008 work agenda revealed yesterday.The programme marks a subtle new phase in the one-party-state's attitudes towards homosexuality, which - while not overtly discriminatory - have followed the 'Three nos' criteria since sodomy was decriminalised in 1997: No approval, no disapproval and no promotion.

  • Cry for Help from Refugee Sheds Light on Desperation of Gays in Iran 30

    President Ahmadinejad claims there are no gays in Iran

    11:08 AM — A poignant plea for help from a gay Iranian refugee in Malaysia is shedding light on the desperation and fear experienced by homosexuals in Iran and those who have fled their home country to seek refugee status in other countries.The letter, penned by a young gay man calling himself Sepehr, contains a heartbreaking tale of life as a homosexual in Iran and the suffering caused by the necessity of fleeing to another land to escape persecution and possible death.

  • 21st February 2008

    Presidential candidate denies affair with lobbyist

    The 71-year-old, who was held as a prisoner of war by the Vietnamese for five years, described Ms Iseman as a friend.

    3:40 PM — John McCain, the US Senator from Arizona who is the frontrunner to receive the Republican party nomination for President, today rejected media reports that he had an extra-marital affair.The New York Times yesterday claimed he had a relationship with Vicki Iseman nine years ago when Senator McCain was also running for President."I'm very disappointed in the article. It's not true," he told a press conference in Toledo, Ohio.

  • Lesbian may run for mayor of New York City

    GayCityNews spoke to several leading New York figures who confirmed Ms Quinn's candidacy.

    3:25 PM — A recent speech by Christine Quinn, the Speaker of New York City's council, has sparked rumours that she may run for Mayor.Ms Quinn, a Democrat, is one of the most prominent lesbian politicians in America.In her State of the City address earlier this month she said: "I want every New Yorker to hear me when I say: We are ready."Various commentators have interpreted this to be a clear signal she intends to run for Mayor of the city.

  • DUP minister’s gay rugby comments “nasty and spiteful” 7

    Edwin Poots said earlier this week that he “cannot fathom“ why such a team in necessary and said it was a form of “apartheid.“

    2:40 PM — A Northern Ireland minister responsible for sport has been accused of playing party politics with his recent attack on a gay rugby team.Edwin Poots said earlier this week that he "cannot fathom" why such a team is necessary and said it was a form of "apartheid."Yesterday the executive director of the cross-community Alliance Party claimed that Mr Poots' comments were made because his party, the DUP, lost a recent council by-election.

  • Toilet murder victim is named 9

    Jeff Akers, a retired accountant, lived with his partner of 22 years.

    1:15 PM — A gay man who was fatally stabbed in a public toilet in Surrey known as a cruising spot has been named as Peter Jeffrey Akers.The 50-year-old from Wallington was attacked with a large carving knife at around 3pm on Tuesday in toilets near Walton Bridge that police said are "a popular meeting place for men."He was taken by air ambulance to St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey where he died at 5.30pm.

  • Malta’s gay group ask for equal rights

    Malta, a British colony until 1964, has around 400,000 inhabitants and is the smallest EU state in terms of both size and population.

    12:50 PM — The gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans communities in the tiny EU nation of Malta have presented a petition asking for a range of measures to be introduced to protect them through the law, and have received the backing of a fringe political party.Alternattiva Demokratika leader Harry Vassallo said yesterday that the recognition of gay rights would be a step forward, according to the Times of Malta.He said he was supporting the petition organised by the Malta Gay Rights Movement.

  • Stonewall advert vandalised in Blackburn 5

    The campaign, originally designed for schools, was developed in collaboration with 150 secondary school pupils and teachers for Stonewall.

    12:35 PM — One of 600 billboard adverts questioning homophobia in schools that have been displayed across the country has been attacked by vandals.The poster in the town of Blackburn, was "covered in abusive graffiti," the Lancashire Telegraph reports.Advertising space in England, Scotland and Wales was donated to gay equality organisation Stonewall by Titan Outdoor Advertising Ltd.The message - 'Some people are gay. Get over it!' - is displayed in giant, tabloid-style capital letters, on a bright red background.

  • Black US state legislator comes out

    Bartlett is a freshman lawmaker in Connecticut, representing Bethel, Danbury and Redding.

    12:10 PM — Democratic Connecticut State Representative Jason Bartlett made the decision on Thursday to come out publicly as a gay man.Bartlett says he has always preferred to keep his personal life private, but felt the announcement was needed to quell the rumours about his sexual orientation.Bartlett's coming out makes him unique in the political world as the first openly gay black state legislator.

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