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Current Affairs

  • 11th January 2008

    Stonewall speaks out about bullying after teen suicide 3

    Gay equality organisation Stonewall has spoken out about the treatment of gay kids in British schools.

    1:55 AM — Gay equality organisation Stonewall has highlighted the treatment of gay kids in British schools after media reports about a teenage girl who committed suicide after a campaign of harassment about her sexuality.In a letter to supporters Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill wrote: "A number of newspapers reported the death by suicide on Tuesday of a 14 year-old girl from Sussex who had been reportedly taunted by bullies calling her a lesbian.

  • 10th January 2008

    John Kerry endorses Obama for President

    Candidate Kerry chose Obama, then a mere candidate for the US Senate, to deliver the keynote address.

    7:30 PM — The 2004 Democratic candidate for President of the United States has given his backing to Barack Obama.John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran and Senator from Massachusetts, said that his Illinois colleague can unite the country and transform it.After Hillary Clinton's win in New Hampshire primaries earlier this week the Democratic frontrunners in the race for the White House have been concentrating their efforts on South Carolina.

  • LGBT Labour slam homophobic incitement rebels 100

    “The 12 Labour MP who voted against should be seen as they are - a small irrelevant fringe who should be disgraced by their actions.“

    6:10 PM — The lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans campaign group within the Labour party has said that the small group of party MPs who voted in favour of weakening a new law protecting gay people should be "disgraced by their actions."The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill passed the Commons last night.It contains a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. Similar proposals to protect trans people were added to the Bill.

  • Commons debates homophobic hatred and blasphemy 100

    An amendment seeking to abolish blasphemy laws was withdrawn after the government said it had every sympathy for the case.

    5:45 PM — Yesterday MPs discussed the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill. As expected, a cross-party group of Christian MPs attempted to amend the proposed new offence of incitement to homophobia on the grounds of sexual orientation.They were overwhelmingly defeated.An amendment introduced by Labour MP Jim Dobbin would have allowed criticism of and expression of antipathy towards conduct relating to a particular sexual orientation.

  • Trans woman claims sexual discrimination

    Sandra Leslie claims she was a victim of sexual discrimination after City College Plymouth turned down her application for a job.

    4:40 PM — A 59-year-old woman from Plymouth is taking a college to an employment tribunal claiming she was not chosen for a job because she is a transsexual.Sandra Leslie claims she was a victim of sexual discrimination after City College Plymouth turned down her application for a job.Ms Leslie believes she was qualified for the post as student union assistant, which mainly consisted of organising events for students and paid a pro-rata salary of £13,500 a year.

  • Spanish government defiant over Church attacks 40

    The Socialists and PP are only a few percentage points apart in opinion polls.

    12:30 PM — The rift between church and state in Spain showed no signs of healing today after the country's government said it would not accept "moral guardianship" from anyone.Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said that the Church could no longer impose its morality on the country.Last week the Prime Minister of Spain responded to Roman Catholic leaders after they criticised government policy supporting gay marriage, easier divorces and abortion.

  • Student apologises for legal challenge to gay law question 1

    A question came up in Mr Dunne's bar exam last year concerning the rights of two married lesbians, their children and their property.

    12:02 PM — A man who failed Massachusetts' bar exam and then brought a lawsuit claiming that he failed because he refused to answer a question related to same-sex marriage has apologised to the gay community.In a letter to Boston paper Bay Windows Stephen Dunne called his legal action misguided."I have regrettably perpetuated intolerance and animosity towards my fellow Americans," he wrote. "My religiously-based discrimination of gay people was callous and diametrically opposed to America's core principles of freedom and equality."

  • Candidate withdraws from White House race

    A Democratic strategist told CNN on Wednesday Richardson plans to formally withdraw from the Presidential race this week.

    10:30 AM — New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has decided to drop out of the Democratic Presidential candidate race after a disappointing fourth place finishes in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries.A source close to Richardson told CNN he will make an official announcement of his resignation of the race on Thursday.Elected as Governor of New Mexico in 2002, he previously served as a US Representative, an Ambassador to the United Nations and as US Secretary of Energy.

  • 9th January 2008

    Government may back abolition of blasphemy laws 100

    Justice minister Maria Eagle has told MPs that the government may support the removal of blasphemy from the statute books.

    11:30 PM — Justice minister Maria Eagle has told MPs that the government may support the removal of blasphemy from the statute books.She was speaking in the House of Commons during the debate on the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill.MPs from all sides criticised the government for pushing the legislation forward with just over eight hours of debate.

  • 42-year-old builder guilty of harassing gay teenager 13

    Douglas Inskip, a 42-year-old builder, of The Gables, Brynford, near Holywell, was bailed by Flintshire magistrates awaiting a pre-sentence report.

    4:15 PM — A man who waged a campaign of abuse against a 17-year-old boy has been convicted by a court in Wales of harassment.Douglas Inskip, a 42-year-old builder, of The Gables, Brynford, near Holywell, was bailed by Flintshire magistrates awaiting a pre-sentence report.The father of four tried to claim to police that he did not know the word 'faggot' was an abusive term and claimed in court that the 17-year-old made the whole thing up.

  • Irish gay groups join forces to push equality agenda

    The Irish government is expected to bring forward proposals for a form of civil partnerships in the EU nation at the end of March.

    2:45 PM — Lesbian and gay rights activists in Ireland are to come together on a short-term campaigning platform entitled "100 Days for Equality."The Irish government is expected to bring forward proposals for a form of civil partnerships in the EU nation at the end of March.The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) and the National Lesbian Gay Federation (NLGF) are to join forces with new direct action group LGBT Noise and MarriagEquality.

  • Gay Christians question evangelical’s employment tribunal

    Revd Kirker said it was “interesting, if not a little paradoxical,“ that Dr Storkey is claiming religious discrimination in this case.

    2:35 PM — The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has highlighted the employment practices of a development agency whose UK President has taken the Bishop of Liverpool to an employment tribunal.Dr Elaine Storkey, an academic and contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day, claims she was dismissed from her at an Oxford theological college, Wycliffe Hall, because she was "the wrong type of Christian Evangelical."The LGCM described the principal of the college, Reverend Richard Turnbull, as an "ultra-conservative fundamentalist evangelical."

  • MP aims to strike down blasphemy laws 3

    Dr Harris' attempt to remove blashphemy from the statute books has support from some religious groups.

    12:20 PM — A Liberal Democrat MP has attached an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill that would abolish the offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel.Dr Evan Harris' proposal is backed by 27 MPs will be debated today. It is supported by civil rights groups, Humanists and some Christian organisations.Last year Christian Voice attempted to bring a private prosecution for blasphemy against the director general of the BBC after Jerry Springer: The Opera was screened.

  • Gay sex scandal Senator blames arresting officer 4

    In the wake of the bathroom scandal Senator Craig has faced tough questions about his sexuality.

    11:40 AM — His actions in an airport bathroom led to a new word - toe-tapping - entering the lexicon of euphemisms for gay.Now lawyers for embattled US Senator Larry Craig are asking for his conviction for cruising offences to be struck down because the undercover police officer who arrested him initiated the now-infamous foot signal.Senator Craig was arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room.

  • Police top gay employers list in Scotland and Wales 1

    South Wales Police was named the most gay-friendly employer in the principality.

    11:20 AM — Lothian and Borders police has been named the most gay-friendly employer in Scotland.The force came 11th in the UK list, up from 80th in 2007.Stonewall published its 2008 Workplace Equality Index (WEI) today.It showcases Britain's top 100 employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

  • Hillary comes back to win New Hampshire poll

    With 96 percent of precincts reporting in, Clinton currently leads Obama 39 percent to 37 percent with Clinton projected as the overall winner.

    10:05 AM — As the last of the votes roll in, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton have been predicted as the winners in the New Hampshire primary results.Clinton prevailed over Iowa caucus winner Barack Obama by a small margin, while McCain is the projected winner with a significant lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.With 96 percent of precincts reporting in, Clinton currently leads Obama 39 percent to 37 percent with Clinton projected as the overall winner.

  • 8th January 2008

    Church refused property insurance over gay-friendly stance 1

    United Church of Christ, formed in 1957 by a merger of the New England Congregationalist churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church, is known for its history of social activism.

    4:12 PM — A Protestant church in the US state of Michigan has been deemed too risky for property insurance because of its denomination's support for gay rights.The West Adrian United Church of Christ, a small church in Adrian, Michigan which has weathered controversies since it was established in 1836.It was turned down by Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, because of its national governing body's approval of gay marriage and the ordination of homosexuals, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

  • Pope orders continuous prayer to cleanse clergy 2

    When the paedophile scandal erupted in Boston five years ago, Pope Benedict, or cardinal Ratzinger as he was then, accused the media of exaggerating the crisis.

    3:08 PM — Pope Benedict XVI has instructed Roman Catholics to pray "in perpetuity" to cleanse the church of paedophile clergy.All dioceses, parishes, monasteries, convents and seminaries will be expected to organise continuous daily prayers to express penitence and to purify the clergy the Times has reported.Vatican officials said every day each parish or institution should designate a person or group to pray that the church rids itself of the scandal of sexual abuse by clergy.

  • Dykes on Bikes trademark approved by US court

    The motorcycle club applied for a trademark in 2003 after using Dykes on Bikes for three decades as the moniker of the motorised unit that leads San Francisco's annual Gay Pride Parade.

    3:08 PM — A San Francisco women's motorcycle club on Monday gained long-sought legal approval for its trademark of the name "Dykes on Bikes" when the US Supreme Court turned away a challenge from a lawyer who said the term denigrated men.Without comment, the justices denied review of an appeal by Michael McDermott of Dublin, California, who challenged a decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office to grant the San Francisco Women's Motorcycle Contingent exclusive rights over the commercial use of Dykes on Bikes, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

  • Gay marriage opponents form new advisory group

    Capitol Building in Montpelier, Vermont. Photo: deCadmus@flickr.com.

    2:40 PM — Opponents of gay marriage in the US state of Vermont are to form an advisory council that will expound the benefits of traditional marriage.After spending months boycotting legislative hearings on expanding marriage rights to same-sex couples, now several prominent opponents of gay marriage will announce at a Statehouse press conference Tuesday morning the formation of the Vermont Marriage Advisory Council, a group that will hold hearings on the benefits of traditional marriage.

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