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Current Affairs

  • 29th August 2007

    Gay university employees will keep partner benefits

    The domestic partner benefits offered by Miami University came under attack by the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and Brinkman.

    11:27 AM — The Court of Appeals of Ohio has affirmed a lower court ruling which dismissed a lawsuit brought by a legislator seeking to take away the domestic partner benefits of employees of Miami University."Lesbian and gay employees and their families' health were at stake and today the court has granted them freedom from being a pawn in politically motivated lawsuits," James P. Madigan, staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office in Chicago, said in a release.

  • Comment: Nigeria’s anti-gay witch-hunt 1

    Peter Tatchell is a human rights campaigner

    11:27 AM — Peter Tatchell comments on Nigeria's treatment of gay peopleThe arrest on 5 August of 18 men at a private party in the northernstate of Bauchi is the latest incident in a wave of on-goinghomophobic persecution in Nigeria - much of which is incited byChristian bishops and Muslim imams.Bauchi is a predominantly Muslim region which has adopted Sharia(Islamic) law. Police officers acted on a tip-off from the HisbahIslamic anti-vice squad of the Bauchi Sharia Commission. They seizedthe men, aged 18 to 22, in rooms at the Benko Hotel in Bauchi.

  • Transexual loses birth certificate court appeal

    AB, from Victoria, appealed to state's Federal Court in July 2005 to have her birth certificate changed from male to female.

    11:27 AM — An Australian transsexual has lost a Federal Court appeal to have her birth certificate changed to alter her sex from male to female.The woman, referred to as AB, completed her surgery to become female in April 2002.AB, from Victoria, appealed to state's Federal Court in July 2005 to have her birth certificate changed from male to female.

  • 28th August 2007

    Anglican bishop compares gay hate to slavery 5

    Bishop Robinson told the BBC that he wants to continue his service.

    5:04 PM — The openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire has attacked the attitudes of homophobic African bishops in an interview with BBC Radio 4 this morning.Gene Robinson spoke openly about his view on the current controversy surrounding the Anglican Church."It's very painful for me," he said. "Coming out of the experience of the United States, where we treated people from Africa as less than human."

  • Ugandan Muslim sect threaten ‘anti-gay squad’

    The Tabliq sect has deemed homosecuality 'abnormal'

    5:02 PM — Muslim youth belonging to the Tabliq movement in Uganda have confirmed they plan to set up 'Anti-Gay Squads' to fight homosexuality.Sheikh Multah Bukenya, a senior cleric in the sect, announced the squads during Friday prayers at Noor Mosque in the capital, Kampala.He said: "We are ready to act swiftly and form this squad that will wipe out all abnormal practices like homosexuality in our society."

  • Cornish police accused of homophobia at Pride 21

    Police action failed to dampen spirits at the event

    3:05 PM — Cornwall's first Gay Pride event earned rave reviews from those who attended, despite complaints of police harassment.Following a unanimous vote by Cornwall Pride's steering committee for police to not be involved in the event, a committee member was promptly arrested and detained for 16 hours before being released without charge.The arrest comes as gay activists in Cornwall persist in calling on local forces to address the homophobia in their ranks.

  • Report highlights South African prejudice

    Ten percent of South Africans believe it is sometimes acceptable for a man to beat his wife

    2:54 PM — South Africans continue to find homosexuality unacceptable, but reassuring figures revealed last week show many people are teaching their children more tolerant attitudes.The South African survey of values, conducted last year by the Centre for International and Comparative Politics at the University of Stellenbosch, shows even those with a negative attitude towards gays are teaching their children to be more tolerant.A scale of acceptability saw South Africans put homosexual acts as more acceptable than prostitution and abortion, but less acceptable than mercy killing and divorce.

  • US Senator found guilty of gay misconduct 6

    Senator Craig supported an amendment to the constitution banning gay-marriage

    12:22 PM — Idaho Senator Larry E. Craig, a Republican politician who has consistently stood against gay rights, has been found guilty of disorderly conduct in an airport bathroom, court spokespersons have revealed.Mr Craig, 62, received a $500 (£250) fine and a year's unsupervised detention but escaped a ten day jail sentence.His political future hangs in the balance, however, following the publication of a detailed account of his behaviour in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

  • Project tackles LGBT domestic abuse in Scotland 1

    The new website highlights some aspects of domestic abuse unique to LGBT victims.

    12:15 PM — On Thursday a pilot project which aims to tackle the problem of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people facing domestic abuse in Scotland will be launched.The Scottish government is funding the project as part of its national strategy on domestic abuse.There are at least 500,000 LGBT people living in Scotland. Approximately 1 in 4 of them will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, which parallels the experience of heterosexual women in Scotland.

  • Malawians oppose McConnell over gay rights 1

    Mr McConnell voted to repeal Section 28 and authorise civil unions

    11:20 AM — Former Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell has been openly challenged by senior Malawian politicians over his support for gay rights before he moves there as High Commissioner.The head of the main opposition party in Malawi - the United Democratic Front - said Mr McConnell's support for the repeal of Section 28 and civil unions meant he was an unsuitable person to act on behalf of the country."To have a man who supports gay rights to come to Malawi is dangerous for us," Friday Jumbe said.

  • Venice offers home to Iranian lesbian facing deportation 12

    Ms Emambakhsh was finally arrested in Sheffield earlier this month and taken to Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire.

    10:41 AM — The city of Venice has supported the decision of the Italian government to offer asylum to a lesbian due to be deported back to Iran today.Pegah Emambakhsh is currently being detained by British officials. Her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran may lead to her being executed.Even if she is not sentenced to death, she is likely to be prosecuted and tortured by Iran's religious officials.

  • AIDS fundraiser claims he was sacked for not being gay

    Shapiro's suit against the two organisations alleges sexual orientation discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    10:35 AM — In a major twist to a discrimination case, former executive director of AIDS/LifeCycle charity filed suit in a Los Angeles courthouse against two nonprofit organisations alleging that he was fired from his position because he was not gay.The L.A. Gay Lesbian Centre and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation are both implicated in the alleged discrimination case.Jeffrey Shapiro was hired earlier this year to help organise the 2007 AIDS/Lifecycle event.

  • 27th August 2007

    Vermont takes first steps toward marriage equality

    The legislature may soon call for gay marriage

    6:15 PM — The Vermont, United States, Legislature may soon take up the issue of 'gay marriage', if the formation of a recent commission is any indication.According to Associated Press reports, the ten-member commission was formed to decide whether the state should consider allowing same-sex couples to marry (civil unions were legalized in 2000).

  • 26th August 2007

    Hungarian homophobic party launches paramilitary wing 3

    The induction ceremony of the Hungarian Guard (source: Jobbik.com)

    11:01 AM — The far-right Hungarian political party, Jobbik, known for their anti-Semitic, anti-Roma and homophobic rhetoric inducted the first members of its paramilitary wing outside the country's Presidential palace in Budapest yesterday.The founding members of Magyar Garda, or the Hungarian Guard, took oaths of allegance in front of over a thousand supporters of the Jobbik party waving red and white striped Arpad flags, similar to those used by the country's pro-Nazi Arrow Cross regime during the Second World War.

  • 24th August 2007

    Ugandan leader asked to end gay harassment 5

    In 2005 Uganda became the first country in the world to introduce laws banning same-sex marriage.

    3:23 PM — Human Rights Watch has written to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni asking his government to repeal its sodomy laws and end a long record of harassing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.Last week the country's deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindi called for the criminal law to be used against lesbians and gays in Uganda."I call upon the relevant agencies to take appropriate action because homosexuality is an offence under the laws of Uganda," he said.

  • Italy ready to grant asylum to Iranian lesbian 12

    The 40-year-old Iranian sought asylum in the UK in 2005.

    12:50 PM — A spokesperson for Italian government has confirmed that they will grant ayslum to a lesbian woman due to be deported from the UK to Iran.Pegah Emambakhsh is currently being detained by British officials and she is scheduled for repatriation on Tuesday.Her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran may lead to her being executed.

  • US tax authorities in court over trans rebate 3

    The IRS contend that such surgery is not “essential“ and therefore cannot be claimed against.

    12:28 PM — Lawyers for a woman who is claiming that her gender reassignment surgery should be written off for tax purposes as a legitimate medical expense have questioned the credibility of a government witness.The US Internal Revenue Service contend that such surgery is not "essential" and therefore cannot be tax-free.Rhiannon O'Donnabhain, a 63-year-old former sailor, is having her case heard in Boston.

  • Australian politician apologises for ‘poofter’ comment 1

    Mr Foley, a member of the Labour party, is also Deputy Premier of South Australia.

    11:51 AM — South Australia's Treasurer, Kevin Foley, has been forced onto the back foot by attacks from the gay community over his use of derogatory language in a documentary.In the film, made by documentary maker Bob Ellis, he asks a member of staff, "Is that one of your poofter beers? F**king hell."Gay activists leapt on the comment as dangerous and inflammatory.Ghassan Kassisieh of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby said: "It's not appropriate for someone in a position of leadership to be setting a tone for public debate that uses derogatory language."

  • Analysis: US gay men and the fight for same-sex marriage 6

    27 American states have added a 'defence of marriage' amendment to their constitution.

    11:34 AM — The proportion of American gay men calling for the right to marry their partners in a church is as low as 36 per cent, Community Marketing Inc.'s Gay Consumer Index has revealed.The study, which interviewed 12,044 gay men across America, claims to be the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. Survey participants were solicited through over 75 widely distributed internet and print publications.When asked if political leaders should "continue the fight for gay and lesbian marriage equality" only 36 per cent believed it should be a priority.

  • 23rd August 2007

    Polish activists create election list of homophobic politicians 1

    Poland could end up being ruled by another coalition or a minority government.

    6:30 PM — LGBT activists in Poland are compiling a list of politicians who have been hostile to gay rights ahead of a general election later this year.The website gaylife.pl is putting together the list, which includes MPs from all sides of the political spectrum."There's a parliamentary election coming. We want to enable the gay community to make a conscious choice and this is the reason for creating a list with the names of the people who have hindered us from achieving our goals," Marek Ryszard, of gaylife.pl told thenews.pl website.

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