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Current Affairs

  • 10th September 2007

    Sisters final appeal over inheritance tax 1

    They wrote to the European Court of Human Rights and were shocked when the court agreed to hear their case.

    2:04 PM — Two sisters in their eighties will argue in front of European judges this week that the law treats them less favourably than a lesbian couple.The siblings have been living together in Wiltshire since they were born, but Joyce, 88, and Sybil Burden, 80, fear that one of them will be left with a large inheritance tax bill when the other passes away.In 2005 the implementation of the Civil Partnership Act brought inheritance laws for gay couples in line with those of married couples.

  • Barrymore questioned again over pool death 5

    The arrest of Mr Barrymore in June came after audio recordings he made in preparation for a possible biography were seized by police

    1:40 PM — Gay entertainer Michael Barrymore was questioned again by Essex police in connection with his recent arrest on suspicion of sexual aassult and murder.The former Celebrity Big Brother and Strike It Lucky star reported to Harlow police station at 10.30am today.His arrest and questioning relate to the death of butcher Stuart Lubbock in 2001.

  • Christians may be sued over Little Britain posters

    The Christian posters, which have now been removed from the CPO website, featured the catchphrases “Am I bovvered,“ “Yeah, I know,“ and “Yeah, but no, but yeah.“

    11:31 AM — An attempt by Christians to 'reach out' to young people has led to threats of legal action from lawyers representing the interests of gay comedian Matt Lucas and his fellow comics David Walliams and Catherine Tate.A major supplier of religious publicity materials, Christian Publishing and Outreach, used catchphrases from Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show in a series of posters that also carried Bible quotations.

  • Paisley resigns as church leader 3

    The Free Presbyterian Church mounts a yearly counter-protest against Belfast Pride at the City Hall.

    11:06 AM — Ian Paisley, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, is to step down from the leadership of a church he founded 56 years ago.The veteran politician has come under pressure from members of the Free Presbyterian church over gay rights issues.The fundamentalist Christian sect have been outraged that Mr Paisley and other members of his Democratic Unionist Party have ignored their objections to government financial support for Pride marches.

  • Gay rights battle over school sex education

    “Children deserve an education that will help them have a better understanding and respect for themselves and others.“

    10:51 AM — LGBT advocacy group Lambda Legal has announced it will represent a branch of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in a lawsuit over a decision by the Montgomery County School Board in Maryland to include information about sexual orientation as part of the health education curriculum for 8th and 10th graders.The "Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality" curriculum will provide education on sexual orientation that includes medically accurate information as it relates to homosexuality, according to a press release from the organisation.

  • US church calls for end to gay military ban

    The statement calls upon leaders at all levels of government to support the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell“

    10:40 AM — The Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), which has more than 300 churches and 43,000 members around the world, has joined other communities of faith in opposing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell@ policy of the U.S. military.Declaring that "the very forces mobilised not only to defend our country but to establish freedom and justice for all should no longer be allowed to provide refuge for bias, bigotry and injustice," Rev. Elder Nancy L. Wilson, moderator of MMC.

  • 9th September 2007

    Homophobic neo-Nazi gang charged in Israel 5

    A member of the gang in a photograph released by Israeli police

    11:02 PM — Israeli police say that they have broken up a homophobic neo-Nazi gang who have allegedly attacked gays, the homeless, foreigners and orthodox Jews.Seven of the eight strong gang were former Soviet Union born suspects aged between 16 and 21 who became Israeli citizens through the country's "right of return". None are considered to be Jews by religious authorities but qualified as Israeli citizens by claiming they had at least one Jewish grandparent.

  • 8th September 2007

    Schwarzenegger set to veto gay marriage again 5

    Arnold Schwarzenegger with fellow anti-gay marriage politican, President George Bush

    4:30 PM — Action hero actor turned Republican Californian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is expected to veto a bill allowing gay marriages for the second time in two years.The Californian Senate voted 22 to 15 to support the bill (AB43) that would allow gay marriage based on a "a civil contract between two persons," that would allow religious insitutions to refuse to officiate gay marriages. Democrat Senator Sheila Kuehl said: "Our love is a good love, and the same as others."

  • 7th September 2007

    Church ‘missing the point’ of equality legislation 9

    Stonewall said that new discrimination laws are designed to protect people of faith and the LGB community.

    5:20 PM — Gay rights group Stonewall has responded to the Church of England's assertion that proposed new laws on discrimination will mean that "religion and belief seemed to be treated as subordinate to other rights."The Church's Archbishop's Council, which formulates policy, made its views known in a response to the Discrimination Law Review.The public consultation on the review ended on Tuesday.

  • Decision on Barrymore charges next week 5

    Meat factory worker Stuart Lubbock was found dead in Barrymore's swimming pool after a party in March 2001

    4:26 PM — Gay comic Michael Barrymore will find out next week if he is to face charges over the death of a man at his Essex home six years ago.Meat factory worker Stuart Lubbock was found dead in Barrymore's swimming pool after a party in March 2001.In June 2001 Barrymore and two other men were arrested and bailed in connection with the incident.

  • TURING: Yours shamefully 4

    It is the moral responsibility of every tolerant developed nation to grant asylum seekers the right to residence.

    2:45 PM — It is high time that the Home Office defined its policies for dealing with LGBT asylum seekers. Shame that it still refuses to do so.Iran is no place to be gay. Nor is it the best place for Westerners to campaign for the rights of sexual minorities.Even according to the most conservative of estimates, no fewer than 4000 people may have been executed in Iran for the 'crime of homosexuality' since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

  • Cameron defies critics over gay rights 71

    The speech laid out Mr Cameron's “mood music“ for the next election amid speculation that the Prime Minister may decide to go to the country as early as next month.

    1:30 PM — The leader of the Conservative party has attacked right-wing critics in his own party and committed himself to civil partnerships and gay rights.In a wide-ranging address to an audience of candidates and party workers in London, David Cameron spoke about "modern Conservatism," and made clear that recent critics of his leadership were out of touch.He presented a manifesto around the themes of change, family, responsibility, and "leadership for the internet generation."

  • Feature: Grim realities of life for gays in Iran

    Iranian organisation IRQO has published an in-depth interview with a gay male couple about the challenges of living in the Islamic Republic.

    12:48 PM — Gay Iranian organisation IRQO has published an in-depth interview with a gay male couple about the challenges of living in the Islamic Republic, both from the religious authorities, their families and other Iranians. Kamran, 24 and Kaveh, 25, have been together about 3 years."The way we are looked at is a source of torment for us. Even though physically we are not any different from them they discriminate against us. This makes our lives extremely difficult. I don't think there is any problem greater than being labeled abnormal in society when you are certain nothing is wrong with you."

  • HSBC gay banker back at tribunal 1

    HSBC has consistently denied it discriminated against Mr Lewis on grounds of sexuality.

    12:15 PM — An employment tribunal in Stratford, east London, was told yesterday that homophobia is still a problem in the UK financial services industry.Peter Lewis, a former head of equity at HSBC bank, won a partial victory last year when a tribunal ruled that the bank had discriminated against him on four grounds because of his sexual orientation.However, he was unable to prove discrimination in relation to 12 other grounds, including his dismissal from the bank in 2004 for gross misconduct.

  • Church of England attacks equality legislation 9

    The Archbishops' Council said new laws were unnecessary and the Church could be forced to marry people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery.

    10:41 AM — An official document from the policy-making body of the Church of England has raised objections to the new Single Equality Bill.The new legislation, which is at consultation stage, aims to harmonise and simplify the law with regards to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and other forms of discrimination.In its official submission to the consultation, the Archbishops' Council said new laws were unnecessary and the Church could be forced to marry people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery.

  • Editorial: The Tories and PinkNews.co.uk 72

    We would never run an advert from anyone that seeks to harm the gay community. There will be no adverts for ex-gay movements on PinkNews.co.uk.

    10:04 AM — The Conservative party is well-known for its ad campaigns.From the iconic 1979 "Labour isn't working" posters, to the "Demon Eyes" of Tony Blair in the 1997 election campaign, through to the "Five Pledges" of Michael "are you thinking what I am thinking" Howard in 2005, never let it be said that the Tory party were short of a strategy. Some, of course, more successful than others.Today marks a new stage in the party's attempts to disseminate its message to the voters.

  • Conservative Party advertises on PinkNews.co.uk 71

    The advertisements feature David Cameron

    7:50 AM — The Conservative Party has taken further steps towards engaging with the gay community by today advertising with PinkNews.co.uk, the community's leading news provider.The advertisements feature party leader David Cameron alongside a series of messages on a variety of campaign issues.The advertisements on PinkNews.co.uk are believed to be the party's first political advertising campaign in the gay media.

  • 6th September 2007

    Euro court to rule on gay partner’s pension rights 5

    The court adviser's view is not binding but is normally accepted by the judges.

    6:53 PM — In what could lead to a landmark judgement, an adviser to the European Court of Justice has said that a German gay man is entitled to a payment from the pension of his dead partner.Tadao Maruko is asking the court to grant him a widower's allowance from the insurance policy his partner took out with the German Theatre Pension Institution.The insurer has rejected his claim to the allowance of €6,400 (£4,330) on the grounds they only make such payments to spouses and not registered partners.

  • Pope faces gay protests on Vienna trip 4

    It is Benedict's seventh foreign trip since becoming Pope.

    6:25 PM — Thousands of police and soldiers will be on the streets of the Austrian capital Vienna tomorrow as Pope Benedict XVI begins his three-day tour of the country.The authorities are expecting a significant demonstration against the presence of the Roman Catholic leader by Socialist youth organisations opposed to his hardline stance on homosexuality and other social issues."He doesn't want us to marry, to live in legal partnerships," Christian Hougel, an Austrian gay rights activists, told AP.

  • Law Order star to run for President 1

    Mr Thompson represented Tennessee in the Senate from 1994 to 2003.

    5:35 PM — Fred Thompson, the former US Senator, best known as the star of police procedural drama Law Order, chose his appearance last night on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President.The actor, lawyer and politician, who is a conservative, is in pole position to take the nomination.Many Republicans see former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as too liberal on gay rights and abortion.

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