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Current Affairs

  • 22nd January 2008

    Researchers contrite over gay MRSA story 1

    The press release was picked up by the media throughout the world, with at one story in the London tabloid newspaper, Metro it as the “new HIV”, and others calling MRSA a “gay disease”.

    11:50 AM — Public affairs officials in San Francisco have apologised for the way in which a statement last Tuesday about gay men being more vulnerable to a new super-resistant strain of the MRSA superbug was handled.Parts of the tabloid press dubbed it a "new HIV."In a new statement on their website, the University of California at San Francisco's (UCSF) Department of Public Affairs states they "regret that our recent news report ... contained some information that could be interpreted as misleading."

  • Gay Argentine leaders will fight to have marriage recognised

    Only a few areas of Argentina recognise civil unions between same-sex couples: Buenos Aires itself, the province of Río Negro in Patagonia, and the city of Villa Carlos Paz in Córdoba province.

    11:50 AM — The leaders of the Comunidad Homosexual Argentina married in Madrid on Monday.The two leaders of the leading gay rights organisation in Argentina have married in Madrid, under the law which allows same-sex couples to marry in Spain. Same-sex couples cannot get married in Argentina.César Cigliutti and Marcelo Suntheim have a recognised civil union under legislation which was passed in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, in 2003, but are unable to marry in Argentina.

  • US evangelicals rate gays as top election issue 4

    23% of voters said the “political efforts of conservative Christians“ are a major problem facing the country.

    11:15 AM — A survey has revealed that for evangelical Christians in the United States homosexuality is one of the key issues in the 2008 election.The Barna Group's research found that in this important group of voters abortion was the most pressing problem their country faces for 94%.For 75% of evangelicals "homosexual lifestyles" or the "political efforts of homosexual activists" were a concern. Among the general population only 35% agreed.

  • Swedes supportive of gay marriage 5

    Six of the seven parties represented in Sweden's parliament are in support of gay marriage.

    10:45 AM — A new poll has found that a majority of people in Sweden support moves to grant gay and lesbian couples full marriage.The three opposition parties in Sweden have said they may force a bill through parliament to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples.Under current laws, dating back to 1987, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.

  • European court to rule on gay adoption 6

    The ruling will have an impact on gay adoption laws throughout Europe.

    10:45 AM — The European Court of Human Rights will this week rule on whether the French authorities were right to refuse to allow a lesbian couple to adopt a child.The ruling will have an impact on gay adoption laws throughout Europe.A woman identified as EB, a 45-year-old French nursery school teacher, had been living with R, a psychologist, since 1990.

  • McCain’s win in South Carolina a “significant boost”

    South Carolina voters indicated they were more concerned about the economy than about illegal immigration, the war in Iraq or terrorism.

    10:20 AM — Arizona Senator John McCain has been declared the winner in the South Carolina primary results, beating out former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for a significant win in the first Southern primary.Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson won over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to take third place in the race.McCain led over Huckabee with 33 percent to 30 percent in a tight race.

  • 21st January 2008

    Lords ready for fight over gay parents 20

    Today the Lords will discuss a change in abortion law.

    1:05 PM — Conservative peers and senior churchmen will this week attempt to block new legislation that will give more rights to lesbian and gay parents.Leading gay rights opponent Lord Tebbit, a former Cabinet minister under Margaret Thatcher, wants to defeat proposals that would allow two parents of the same sex to be listed on a child's birth certificate.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill includes new recognition of same-sex couples as legal parents of children conceived through the use of donated sperm, eggs or embryos.

  • Irish authority calls for trans equality review

    The tender documents say that the new report should also explicitly identify trans people as covered under the gender ground.

    1:05 PM — Ireland's Equality Authority is seeking tenders for a report on extending equal status legislation to cover discrimination against trans people.The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform is reviewing the grounds covered by the Equal Status Acts, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion and membership of the Traveller community.

  • Teen sports pictures found on gay porn sites 1

    State Assembly member Jose Solorio promised an investigation but said it was unclear whether re-posting the pictures, taken from school and other websites, is illegal.

    12:08 PM — Parents and politicians in southern California have condemned sexually explicit gay websites which feature photos of teenage boys playing water polo.An investigation by the Orange County Register discovered photographs of players from eleven high schools in the area, some as young as 14, posted next to naked images of young men on a website registered in London.Players from other California high schools were also found.

  • Cuban law may recognise same-sex partners, say officials 2

    The proposed change to Cuban family law would put members of same-sex unions on a par with heterosexual couples, said psychologist Mariela Castro, who is the daughter of acting President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel.

    12:08 PM — The Cuban Communist Party is considering granting legal recognition to same-sex unions, as health officials prepare to authorise sex-change operations, the director of the Cenesex sex education centre in Cuba has said.The proposed change to Cuban family law would put members of same-sex unions on a par with heterosexual couples, psychologist Mariela Castro, who is the daughter of acting President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel, told EFE.

  • Obama references gays in Martin Luther King speech 1

    Senator Barack Obama is arguably the first African-American candidate with a realistic shot at the White House.

    11:10 AM — The only United States federal holiday honouring an African-American is celebrated today, and Democratic candidates in the Presidential races have evoked the memory of Martin Luther King in their bid for the White House.Celebrated on the third Monday in January, Martin Luther King Day will be marked with a debate between the Democratic candidates sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus and broadcast on CNN.Martin Luther King Day was signed into law by a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, in 1983.

  • Gay Christians warn of evangelical commissioner’s anti-gay crusade 3

    The Evangelical Alliance is one of the most strident voices against gay rights in the UK.

    10:40 AM — The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has claimed that one of the Equality and Human Rights commissioners should never have been appointed.In a ten-page dossier the LGCM states that Joel Edwards, who is director of The Evangelical Alliance, "has tried to stall or frustrate the passage of almost every single legislative reform or repeal promoting justice and fairness for the UK's lesbian and gay citizens."The EHRC is designed to promote a fair, equal and diverse society and tackling illegal discrimination.

  • Paddick advertises crime message on PinkNews.co.uk

    Mr Paddick's adverts targets the incumbent Mayor's record on violent crime in London.

    10:21 AM — The Liberal Democrat contender for Mayor of London is targeting LGBT voters with adverts on PinkNews.co.uk.Brian Paddick, who as Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was the most senior out gay officer in the UK, was chosen as the party's candidate in November.Londoners will go to the polls on May 1st. Ken Livingstone is standing for the Labour party and seeking a third term in office. Boris Johnson, the MP for Henley, is the Conservative candidate. Sian Berry is standing for the Green party.

  • 20th January 2008

    Home Secretary won’t walk the streets of Hackney 1

    Jacqui Smith said she didn't think people walk in Hackney at night

    2:50 AM — Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has told the Sunday Times that she wouldn't walk the streets of Hackney (East London), an area with a burgeoning LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) population, at night. Ironically, fellow Home Office Minister, Meg Hillier is the MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch.Asked by the newspaper if she would walk alone in Hackney Ms Smith replied: "Well, no, but I don't think I'd have ever have done."

  • McCain beats Huckabee in South Carolina 2

    John McCain beat John Huckabee

    2:50 AM — In the South Carolina primaries, John McCain beat Mike Huckabee by 33 per cent to 30 per cent. Mr Huckabee last week compared gay marriage to "a man and an animal."In the Nevada Democratic caucus, New York Senator Hillary Clinton scored 51 per cent of the vote compared to Barack Obama's 45 per cent. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been declared the winner in the Republican Nevada caucus, leading over rival Arizona Senator John McCain by a wide margin.

  • 18th January 2008

    Bar staff convicted of vicious assault 2

    CCTV footage was vital in convicting the men.

    5:50 PM — The co-owner of the Fridge Bar in Brixton, south London, has been convicted along with members of staff of violent disorder and attempted grievous bodily harm.Bar cashier Victor Reid, 41, from Brixton, doorman Frederick Mallefroy, 43, from Ilford in Essex and bar co-owner Ralph Daley, 45, of Purley, set upon a man in his twenties as he tried to gain entry to the bar in November 2006.The Fridge Bar and adjoining club have in the past hosted many well-known gay events.

  • NZ commission suggests more rights for trans people

    80% of trans people in New Zealand had experienced discrimination.

    5:30 PM — The Human Rights Commission in New Zealand has recommended that citizens should be able to alter their sex on documents such as passports and birth certificates.Following a two-year study the commission has said the country's Human Rights Act should be amended to make gender identity discrimination illegal."Forms of discrimination and harassment ranged from low-level (avoidance and insults) to very severe (violent physical and sexual assaults)," the commission said.

  • Jewish leaders back homophobic incitement law 5

    The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that their community's experience of prejudice was the reason they were supporting the government's proposal.

    3:31 PM — A proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation has been backed by the main body representing British Jews.The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that their community's experience of prejudice was the reason they were supporting the government's proposal.The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill was passed by the House of Commons last week and will now be discussed in the Lords.

  • Huckabee compares gay marriage to bestiality 19

    Since winning the Iowa primary earlier this month, the evangelical Christian has become a serious contender for the White House.

    2:15 PM — Mike Huckabee, one of the leading contenders for the Republican party nomination for President of the United States, has said he wants to change the country's Constitution to ban abortion and compared gay relationships to "a man and an animal."In an interview with an online religious magazine Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, said: "I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal."

  • Kuwaitis arrested for “impersonating opposite sex” 3

    In September 2007, the newspaper Al Arabiya reported a new government campaign to “combat the growing phenomenon of gays and transsexuals“ in Kuwait.

    11:10 AM — A leading human rights charity has drawn attention to the plight of more than a dozen people arrested and jailed under new "dress code" laws in Kuwait.Human Rights Watch has called for them to be released.The law was approved by the National Assembly on December 10th 2007. It criminalises people who "imitate the appearance of the opposite sex."

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