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Current Affairs

  • 19th September 2007

    ACLU: Craig toilet sting “unconstitutional” 1

    The ACLU argues that the government can arrest people for soliciting public sex only if it can show beyond doubt that the sex was to occur in public.

    12:31 PM — The American Civil Liberties Union has submitted a brief to a Minnesota District Court urging it to allow Senator Larry Craig to withdraw his guilty plea because the secret sting operation used to arrest him was likely unconstitutional."The real motive behind secret sting operations like the one that resulted in Senator Craig's arrest is not to stop people from inappropriate activity.Craig's affidavit said he decided on the day of his arrest to plead guilty to whatever charge was eventually filed against him.

  • Controversial Tory attacks government over race 2

    Sayeeda Warsi was appointed Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion by David Cameron earlier this year.

    12:04 PM — A vice-chairman of the Conservative party has attacked the government's record on race equality.Sayeeda Warsi was appointed Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion by David Cameron earlier this year, the first Muslim woman to sit in the Tory Shadow Cabinet.The final report from the Commission for Racial Equality was released yesterday. The CRE is being merged into the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

  • Presidential hopeful’s u-turn on gay rights 1

    This isn't the first time Romney's past support of the GLBT community has returned to haunt his current electoral efforts.

    11:22 AM — Anyone who has paid close attention to the political career of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney knows the Massachusetts Republican used to be a supporter of gay rights.To the rest of us—and that includes many Republican Americans currently considering him for the country's highest office—Romney's past support of the gay and lesbian community is a bit of a mystery.The mysterious crust covering Romney's past is slowly but surely being chipped away.

  • 18th September 2007

    Court supports Maryland’s ban on gay marriage 88

    Gay weddings will not be legal in Maryland

    11:30 PM — Maryland's highest court has upheld a state law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman; ending a discrimination case brought by 19 gay couples.The Court of Appeal ruled four to three that Maryland's 1973 ban on same sex marriage does not deny gay people fundamental human rights and does not discriminate on the basis of gender. The court found that the state has a legitimate right to oppose gay marriage.

  • Dutch government to promote gay acceptance 1

    Amsterdam's image in the Netherlands as the 'gay capital of the world' is under threat.

    5:31 PM — The government of Holland has committed itself to the active promotion of acceptance of LGBT people in the light of several high-profile homophobic attacks in the country.In a memorandum on the 2008 Budget, the coalition government's Cabinet said that respect for difference is a basic condition of Dutch society.They committed more than two million euros (£1.4m) to fight homophobia and promote acceptance.

  • Lib Dems and Stonewall discuss gay issues 1

    A series of measures to combat bullying in schools were passed by conference yesterday.

    4:49 PM — DELGA, the Liberal Democrats LGBT organisation, joined forces with Stonewall last night to host a fringe meeting at the party's conference in Brighton.Stephen Williams MP, a party spokesman on education, and Jo Swinson, who speaks on equality issues, were joined by Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, for a question and answer session with Lib Dem activists.

  • Kuwaiti gays ask permission to get organised 1

    The oil-rich country of three million people was invaded by Saddam Hussein in 1991, sparking the first Gulf War.

    4:05 PM — The gay and trans community in Kuwait has approached the government requesting an official gay rights organisation.The majority Muslim country currently does not allow such groups to exist, despite a growing number of openly gay and transgender Kuwaitis.According to online news service, Al Arabiya, the gay rights request follows the recent Upholding Ethics report from the Kuwaiti National Council.

  • Author of homophobic crime report killed 2

    Tony Hoare, 49, was attacked last week as he walked his two Jack Russell dogs in Charlton Park.

    3:45 PM — The managing director of a research consultancy specialising in gay and lesbian issues died after being attacked near his home in south east London.Tony Hoare, 49, was attacked last week as he walked his two Jack Russell dogs in Charlton Park. He was found unconscious and died shortly after being taken to hospital.The organiser of a vigil to be held this evening in his memory told the Evening Standard that Mr Hoare was the victim of a homophobic abuse in The Swan pub the night he was killed.

  • Archbishop to hold “secret” meeting with gays 4

    Archbishop Williams is under intense pressure to hold the communion together.

    1:14 PM — Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is to meet behind closed doors with gay Anglicans to discuss the current crisis in the Church.The Times revealed details of the "secret" meeting. The fact that those attending are expected to abide by confidentiality rules has upset gay Christians.A spokesman for the Archbishop played down the significance of his meeting with gay priests and others.

  • Global protests against Nicaragua’s gay ban

    Protests were held outside Nicaraguan embassies and consulates in Germany, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Mexico, Paraguay, Sweden and Taiwan.  photo: tonypitman@flickr.com

    12:23 PM — Amnesty International, through its network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender) groups, held a series of demonstrations across the world last week.The protestors called for the calling for the decriminalisation of sodomy in Nicaragua and called for the repeal of article 204 of the country's Penal Code.This article criminalises not only gay men, lesbians and bisexual people in same-sex relationships, but is vague enough to permit the prosecution of individuals for activities such as campaigning for LGBT rights.

  • 17th September 2007

    Northern Ireland leader meets gay rights activists

    The Deputy First Minister committed himself to further meetings with CoSO in the near future.

    1:40 PM — The Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland met with representatives of the Coalition on Sexual Orientation (CoSO) last week.CoSO, established by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans groups in the province to provide a voice for the LGBT community, was there to seek assurances on gay rights after the homophobic comments of a junior minister.Martin McGuinness and CoSO discussed homophobia in sport, the Northern Ireland administration's sexual orientation strategy and the high suicide rates in the province.

  • MP accused of using gay issues to win Muslim votes 4

    Mr Galloway's website outlines his Labour opponent's record on a range of issues, including gay rights.

    1:40 PM — Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has questioned the tactics of maverick MP George Galloway.Galloway became the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow in 2005 under the banner of the Respect party.His victory over the incumbent Labour MP was in large part due to appealing to anti-war Muslim voters in the London constituency.

  • Gay man considers legal action over voice discrimination 1

    Despite assurances from the bank that the mix-up will not happen again and an apology, Mr O'Brien is considering his legal options.

    1:40 PM — A bank is being threatened with a law suit after a man was repeatedly denied access to phone banking because staff thought he sounded like a woman.Graham O'Brien, 29, is a customer with the Halifax. After several attempts to conduct bank transactions over the phone were unsuccessful, he was told to visit a branch.When he did, he was told that a "suspect person" thought to be a woman had been trying to access his account, which had been suspended.

  • Singapore reforms laws but gay sex still illegal

    The city state of nearly five million people is renowned for its draconian legislation.

    1:40 PM — A bill introduced to the Singaporean parliament today will legalise oral and anal sex in private between consenting straight adults.However the ban on "gross indecency" will remain in place and male homosexuals still face a maximum of two years in prison for gay sex.The new legislation will also create new offences relating to sex tourism and child prostitution.

  • Lesbian soldier sues Ministry of Defence

    The MoD said they were investigating the allegations made by Ms Ogogo,

    1:40 PM — A former military police is suing the Ministry of Defence after claiming she was hounded out of the forces after entering into a civil partnership.22-year-old Joanne Ogogo said she was the victim of harassment, bullying and a whispering campaign, as well as attempts by superiors to separate her and her partner, Laura McDonald.Ms Ogogo, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, married fellow military police soldier Ms McDonald in January 2006.

  • US workplace discrimination law faces Senate challenge

    This is the first time since 1994 that legislation that protects LGB people at work has been brought to the House.

    11:30 AM — One of two openly gay members of the US Congress has said that the Senate could scupper new laws to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination.Represntative Barney Frank has represented the 4th District of Massachusetts since 1981.He came out in 1987, and his political opponents have tried to smear and unseat him on many occasions.

  • Swedish government funds gay rights group

    The money will finance two ILGA board meetings with the world board and participation in regional ILGA conferences

    10:35 AM — Sida, The Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation, a government agency under the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, has granted 1.9 million Swedish crowns (approximately 200,000 euros) to RFSL, the Swedish federation for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.1.1 million Swedish crowns (116,000 euros) will go towards supporting ILGA, the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

  • Incarcerated LGBT youth bill goes to Schwarzenegger

    Governor Schwarzenegger has until October 14th to sign or veto the bill.

    10:35 AM — California State Senator Carole Migden has announced that her legislation to protect the rights of LGBT youth incarcerated in state juvenile correction facilities has passed in both houses of the legislature.It has been sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk for signature.In her statement, Migden shared the story of Danielle Thompson, a 21-year-old youth advocate for foster care and juvenile justice issues

  • 16th September 2007

    Judge: “Thugs” carried out homophobic attack in Harrogate 5

    Judge: you are thugs

    11:40 AM — A judge has castigated three young men for being "thugs" who carried out a sadistic homophobic attack in Harrogate.Judge Paul Hoffman handed down an indeterminate sentence to Craig Grant, 20, and Carl Rutherford, 18, ordering a minimum term of four-and-a-half years before elidgability for parole for stamping on the head of a 42-year-old gay man in Harrogate's Valley Gardens, leaving him with brain damage.

  • Williams will tell US churches to stop ordaining gay bishops 1

    Rowan Williams will fly to New Orleans on Wednesday

    11:16 AM — The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams will visit New Orleans on Wednesday to meet bishops from the United States Episcopal church to urge them not to ordain any more gay bishops. Meanwhile the church leaders want Mr Williams to listen to their arguments for ordaining gay clergy."He's in no uncertainty as to the importance of this meeting," a close aid said. "The meeting is a major step in deciding whether the Anglican Communion can stay together as a global family.

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