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Current Affairs

  • 10th August 2007

    City bans all school History Months over gay row

    The school board's efforts to promote diversity last year by designating October as Gay and Lesbian History Month led to a serious and sustained backlash.

    11:24 AM — When pupils return to school in Philadelphia this September, thanks to protests and threats to the school district, there will be no Gay and Lesbian History Month.Officials said they took the decision to keep kids safe and that the threats had worried them.But they also took the principled step of withdrawing recognition from similar history events, among them Hispanic Heritage Month and Asian Pacific American Month.

  • Highs and lows of Presidential debate for gays 3

    Barack Obama said the word marriage was “just semantics.“

    10:55 AM — In the minutes following the historic, first ever presidential forum on LGBT rights and issues presented jointly by Logo and the HRC, those who turned out to see how the six democratic presidential hopefuls did with the issues are readying their battle cries.Barack Obama supporters are gathered at Area in Hollywood, Hillary Clinton's camp is scattered around The Abbey and John Edwards, long thought to be a distant third in the race, gained some definite ground with LGBT voters tonight.

  • 9th August 2007

    Science and religion clash over Russian schools 5

    Last month, a group of scientists wrote to President Vladimir Putin explaining their concerns about religion's growing influence on government.

    6:05 PM — A representative of the Russian Orthodox Church has warned of the dangers of science taking too prominent a role in the education system.According to The Associated Press, Father Vsevolod Chaplin said that teachers should inform children not to follow the vicious examples of "homosexuals and prostitutes."His comments came during a debate between leading figures of the religious and scientific communities.

  • Wales’ new gay rights champion

    Liz is a fluent Welsh speaker and was a finalist in the Welsh Learner of the Year in 2002.

    4:46 PM — The lesbian, gay and bisexual organisation Stonewall Cymru has appointed a new Director.Liz Morgan will take the lead in promoting LGB equality across Wales.She has extensive knowledge of equality and diversity and joins Stonewall Cymru from Cardiff Council, where she was Diversity Officer for Adult Services and previously HR Lead Advisor for Equalities.Liz has also served for six months as Acting Director of Stonewall Cymru.

  • Lesbian murders overshadow National Women’s Day 1

    Thokozane Qwabe, 23, was found in a field in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal with multiple head wounds. She was naked and it is thought she was also raped.

    3:35 PM — While South Africa celebrates National Women's Day, the debate about homophobia in the country has intensified since the recent murders of several lesbians.Sizakele Sigasa, 34, an activist for HIV/AIDS and LGBT rights, and Salome Masooa, 24, were discovered dead at field in Soweto, Johannesburg, on July 8th.Human Rights Watch has sent a letter to Thabo Mbeki, the South African President, stating that recent killings have highlighted that the constitution's promise of equal protection is not being fulfilled.

  • LGBT rights activist claims Jesus was gay 20

    Mr MacLochlainn said that he would not be censored, and he is entitled to think of Jesus as gay.

    1:12 PM — A leading campaigner for gay equality in Northern Ireland has hit back at criticism of a placard carried at last weekend's Belfast Pride by stating he is convinced Jesus was a gay man.Belfast City councillor Christopher Staltford led calls for restrictions on future gay parades, claiming he was offended by a placard reading "Jesus is a fag."In a discussion on BBC Radio Ulster P A MacLochlainn responded that in his view the details of Jesus' life as presented in the Bible led him to conclude that he was a homosexual.

  • Australian government deny trans passport requests

    Foreign Minister Alexander Downer signed an amendment to passport legislation in May.

    12:11 PM — The Foreign Minister of Australia has reversed a policy whereby trans people could obtain a passport stating their "intended sex."The new arrangements were introduced without any consultation and only came to light when a pre-operative trans woman was turned away from the Passport Office in Sydney two weeks ago. SX magazine reports that Stefanie Imbruglia, a cousin of singer Natalie, attempted to obtain a temporary passport so she could travel to Thailand for gender reassignment surgery.

  • Paisley attacked over gay rights law

    In the 1970s the First Minister spearheaded a campaign against the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland, “Save Ulster From Sodomy.“

    11:30 AM — The First Minister of Northern Ireland, Ian Paisley, is under pressure from a Unionist MEP to repeal legislation protecting gay people in the province from discrimination.The Sexual Orientation Regulations, which were imposed by then-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain before self-government resumed, outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services.Their introduction was extremely controversial.

  • 8th August 2007

    More than 90% of gay Americans voted in 2004 election

    92.5% of gay male respondents said they voted in the 2004 Presidential election.

    7:01 PM — A study into the voting patterns of the American gay community has discovered extremely high voter turnout at the last Presidential election.The report, released the day before Democratic candidates for the 2008 race hold their first ever debate for the gay community, shows that a massive 92.5% of gay male respondents said they voted in the 2004 Presidential election and nearly 83.8% voted in the mid-term Congressional elections in 2006.90.7% of lesbians who took part reported that they voted in 2004 and 78% said they voted in 2006.

  • Central American gay activists suffer institutionalised hate

    Donny Reyes told Amnesty International that the other detainees beat him and rape him repeatedly.

    6:45 PM — Defenders of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in Honduras and Guatemala are being subjected to state-sponsored harassment, death threats and other attacks.The attitude that they are often met with is that they 'get what they deserve.'Although homosexuality is legal in both countries, a new report from Amnesty International has revealed a catalogue of injustices.

  • Dissident Anglicans want church property 1

    The parishes of All Saints Long Beach, St. David's North Hollywood and St. James' Newport Beach placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the Ugandan Anglican Church.

    4:07 PM — Three churches in Los Angeles that rejected the authority of their diocese over the ordination of a gay bishop are asking the California Supreme Court to give them control of parish properties.The parishes of All Saints in Long Beach, St. David's in North Hollywood and St. James' in Newport Beach placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the Ugandan Anglican Church when they split from the LA diocese. Lower courts had sided with the parishes, who argued they were being victimised for their views on gay clergy.

  • 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.

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