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Current Affairs

  • 5th February 2008

    Bishop regrets actions over gay cleric’s promotion 3

    The Rt. Rev. James Jones was one of nine Diocesan Bishops to have objected publicly to the proposed consecration of Dr John because of homosexuality.

    3:40 PM — The Bishop of Liverpool has said he "deeply regrets" his public opposition to the promotion of Canon Jeffrey John and said that in his view "gay rights are civil rights."Dr John was forced to step down as Bishop of Reading in 2003 amid controversy about his sex life. He is now Dean of St Albans.The Rt. Rev. James Jones was one of nine Diocesan Bishops who objected publicly to the proposed consecration of Dr John because he was in a gay relationship.

  • Turkish gay group court challenge delayed 5

    Turkey is a candidate country for EU membership, but concerns about human rights are one factor frustrating negotiations.

    2:40 PM — A group of supporters of a gay rights group threatened with closure have been accused of demonstrating outside a Turkish court.A department of the Istanbul Governor's office responsible for non-governmental organisations alleges that the group, Lambda Istanbul, violates Turkish laws on morality.They claim that Lambda violates both the Penal Code, as an association in violation of "law and morals," and Article 41 of the Turkish constitution, which is concerned with "the peace and welfare of the family."

  • Maverick Republican’s hopes for Alaska primary

    Ron Paul is hoping he can get his supporters to be the ones to make the trek to the Republican “preferential poll“ in Alaska.

    1:10 PM — Texas Congressman Ron Paul is hoping Alaska will be the one state where he can claim a surprise win on Super Tuesday among voters known for their unpredictability in choosing presidential candidates.Paul is banking on an organised campaign in the state, where few others have dared to tread to win voters' loyalty. There are no solid polls in place to take a look into the future of the Alaska races.

  • Boris upset at Elton’s support for rival 2

    Londoners will go to the polls in the Mayoral election on May 1st.

    12:55 PM — The Tory candidate for Mayor of London has revealed that he is on Sir Elton John's Christmas card list and was shocked and disappointed when the star gave his backing to Lib Dem hopeful Brian Paddick.The Conservative, who has the dubious honour of being backed by nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow, told LBC radio this morning that he hopes to recruit troubled singer Amy Winehouse to his campaign.

  • Men arrested in Senegal over “gay wedding” photos 5

    Senegal is one of the few Francophone African countries that penalise homosexuality.

    11:54 AM — Gay rights activists have called for a group of men arrested in Senegal on suspicion of homosexuality to be released from prison.In a letter to Senegalese Minister of Justice, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and PAN-Africa ILGA have demanded the immediate and unconditional release of up to 20 gay men.An unknown number have been arrested in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, since Sunday morning.

  • Candidates fight for votes in Alabama 7

    Romney had planned to make a stop in Birmingham, Alabama on Monday, but instead traveled to Tennessee and Georgia.

    11:30 AM — New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Arizona Senator John McCain are battling for a win in the Alabama primary results.Clinton holds a slight lead among voters over rival Illinois Senator Barack Obama going into the race, while McCain maintains a small margin over former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee in the Super Tuesday primary.In a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted Jan 31, Clinton led Obama 46 to 41 percent among likely Democratic voters.

  • 4th February 2008

    Minister questioned at LGBT education conference 8

    Mr Brennan stressed that professional organisations such as teaching unions have a role to play.

    5:35 PM — A junior education minister defended the government's new guidance on homophobic bullying at last weekend's Schools OUT conference.Kevin Brennan, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, told an audience of around 100 who packed into London's Drill Hall that the new guidance was a major step forward."While we cannot force a positive attitude through law or through a policy, however robust, you have to have an environment, and schools must promote an environment, based on respect," he said.

  • Gay Radio 4 presenter raped New Year party man, court told 8

    Nigel Wrench denies all the charges against him (Photo:BBC)

    5:35 PM — An openly gay BBC Radio 4 presenter drugged and raped a man that he met at a New Years party, a court heard today.Nigel Wrench, 47, who is a regular presenter of the radio station's flagship evening news programme PM invited the man back to see his art collection and sit in on his show, the court was told.The Old Bailey heard that Mr Wrench snorted cocaine with the 26-year-old man and then poured him a glass of champagne, which made him feel "not at all well."

  • Speaker calls for transparency on MPs allowances 31

    177 other MPs, among them 95 Labour MPs, two members of the Cabinet, and 75 Tories, employ members of their family using tax payers money.

    4:40 PM — The Speaker of the House of Commons has urged MPs from all sides to move quickly to reform of the allowances system.A meeting of the Members' Estimates Committee is to consider new rules, including a ban on employing relatives with public funds.Speaker Michael Martin, a member of the committee, made a statement to MPs this afernoon. "We must take fully into account the public interest in transparency," he said.

  • Human rights group condemns Jamaica violence 28

    The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays, JFLAG, brought the most recent attack to wider attention.

    2:40 PM — A leading US-based rights organisation has said that the latest incident of homophobic mob violence in Jamaica shows that the police in the Caribbean nation are failing in their duties.Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Programme at Human Rights Watch, said: "Gays and lesbians in Jamaica face violence at home, in public, even in a house of worship, and official silence encourages the spread of hate."The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays, JFLAG, brought the most recent attack to wider attention.

  • Super Tuesday could decide the 2008 Presidential race 7

    A clear victory tomorrow for any of the four major candidates still in contention will almost guarantee them their party's nomination.

    2:20 PM — Tomorrow Democrats, Republicans and Independents in 24 US states will take part in the biggest vote before the Presidential election in November.At a series of caucuses and primaries across America, 41% of the pledged delegates for the Republican convention and 52% of the votes at the Democratic convention will fall behind one of the candidates still in the race.No wonder they call it Super Tuesday.

  • Boles donates money to Boris campaign 7

    Mr Boles was a strongly-tipped candidate for the Tory nomination for Mayor of London, but withdrew in July when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of cancer.

    1:45 PM — A leading gay Tory has donated £20,000 to the campaign to elect Boris Johnson as Mayor of London.Nick Boles was the frontrunner to be his party's candidate for Mayor until he withdrew from the race after being diagnosed with a form of cancer.Now it has emerged that he is among a list of donors to Boris' campaign, alongside property developers, hedge fund managers, lobbyists and art dealers.

  • Florida will vote on same-sex marriage ban

    Florida4Marriage.org's question on the 2008 ballot follows an amendment to the state's constitution regarding civil marriage.

    1:00 PM — An initiative to ask Florida's citizens to ban gay marriage in the state will be voted on in November. It was the only one of more than fifty proposed ballots to get the required 611,009 signatures.A state constitutional amendment requires the approval of 8 percent of Florida voters who cast ballots in the last Presidential election.All signatures must be presented to state officials on February 1st at 5pm. The gay marriage ban ballot was certified with 649,346 signatures.

  • Ambassador complains to Vatican about election statement 13

    The rift between church and government in Spain shows no signs of healing.

    12:35 PM — Spain's ambassador to the Vatican met with Church officials over the weekend to protest about interference in the country's elections by the country's bishops.Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos revealed on Saturday that Ambassador Francisco Vazquez expressed his "perplexity and surprise" at statement issued last week by the Spanish Bishop's Conference.The Zapatero government introduced full gay marriage in Spain in 2005.

  • 3rd February 2008

    New York to recognise out of state gay weddings

    Court of Appeals of the State of New York handed down the judgement on Friday

    11:00 PM — A New York appeals court ruled last Friday that gay marriages or civil partnerships conducted in other states or countries are to be legally recognised in the state.Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union said: "This is a victory for families, it's a victory for fairness and it's a victory for human rights. Now we need to work toward a New York where you don't have to cross state or country lines to get married."

  • Suspended MP accuses newspapers of homophobia 32

    Derek Conway defends his gay son

    1:20 AM — The Conservative MP suspended from the House of Commons after it emerged that he his son and his friend were given public funds in breach of Parliamentary rules has publically defended his gay son and accused the media of homophobia.Derrick Conway has paid his son out of Parliamentary expenses whilst he was a full time student in Newcastle. A number of tabloid newspapers have focused on Henry Conway's sexuality.

  • 1st February 2008

    Homophobic mob attack Jamaican gay men 29

    International human rights organisations have described Jamaica as one of the most homophobic places in the world.

    4:45 PM — The Jamaican government is being urged to tackle mob violence against gay people in the country after an attack on a group of men alleged to be homosexual.The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays, JFLAG, is urging the Jamaican government to action."This has become a blot on Jamaica's human rights record," said a JFLAG spokesperson. "No modern democracy can afford to revert to jungle justice."

  • Catholic Church tries to influence Spanish elections 13

    The Zapatero government introduced full gay marriage in Spain in 2005 and the main opposition party, Partido Popular, has said it does not intend to overturn it.

    4:20 PM — Socialist politicians in Spain have expressed anger at a statement from the country's Roman Catholic bishops that tells the faithful not to vote for parties that support gay marriage.The Spanish Bishop's Conference issued a statement earlier this week: "Catholics may support and join different parties it is also true that not all (electoral) programmes are equally compatible with the faith and Christian demands in life."Socialist spokesman Jose Blanco said that many Catholics would feel ashamed at attempts by religious leaders to influence March's election.

  • Judge to be investigated over treatment of HIV+ witness 3

    Ontario's Criminal Lawyers Association has also lodged a complaint about the judge's behaviour.

    4:00 PM — The Ontario Judicial Council has received complaints from HIV advocacy groups in Canada after a judge demanded that a witness with the virus wore a mask when giving evidence.The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the HIV and AIDS Legal Clinic are calling for an investigation into Barrie judge Jon-Jo Douglas' conduct on November 23rd last year.When a witness who has Hepatitis C and is HIV-positive took the stand, Judge Douglas told the Crown counsel: "I mean, he speaks within two feet of me with two serious infectious diseases."

  • Bail for sauna rape suspect

    Anyone with information has been asked to contact police,

    12:20 PM — Police in Manchester have bailed a man arrested on suspicion of rape.Shortly after 2.30am on Tuesday police received reports that a man had been raped at the Basement Complex, a gay sauna on Tariff Street."An investigation was launched and a 31-year-old man from the Miles Platting area was arrested on suspicion of rape on Wednesday 30 January 2008," Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.

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