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Current Affairs

  • 31st March 2008

    Lords gay rights foe dies 2

    Lord Stallard of St Pancras was 86. He was known throughout his career as Jock, a reference to his upbringing in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

    4:50 PM — A member of the House of Lords who used his Roman Catholic faith to frustrate his own party's gay rights legislation has died.Lord Stallard of St Pancras was 86. He was known throughout his career as Jock, a reference to his upbringing in Lanarkshire, Scotland.A left-wing presence on the Labour benches, he was first elected to represent St Pancras North at the 1970 general election.

  • Ukrainian gay paper faces criminal charges

    Gay.Ua is not accessible nor intended for wider readership.

    3:40 PM — Kiev's public prosecutor is targeting a well-regarded gay newspaper under laws banning the distribution of pornography, while newspaper kiosks across the city openly sell explicit erotic heterosexual magazines.Since 2003 Nash Mir, the oldest Ukrainian LGBT human rights organisation, has published Gay.Ua newspaper."The newspaper is registered as an "information, for leisure, and erotic" edition,"" Nash Mir said in a statement.

  • Support for gay marriage increases in Ireland 4

    In 2007 the Prime Minister of Ireland Bertie Ahern said that legislation would be approved during the lifetime of his government.

    1:55 PM — As Irish gay rights advocates await the government's proposals on legal recognition of same-sex partners, a new opinion poll has found that the vast majority of their countrymen and women are in favour.MarriagEquality, a group formed to push for full civil marriage, has released the details of a poll it commissioned which shows the number of Irish people who support partnerships only has fallen from 33% to 26%.Overall 84% of those polled support either gay marriage or civil partnerships.

  • Cameron backs Boris at launch of London campaign

    Londoners go to the polls on May 1st to elect a Mayor and the 25-member London Assembly.

    1:30 PM — Conservative leader David Cameron has publicly backed the party's candidate for Mayor of London as officially launched his campaign this morning.He said Boris Johnson would be a "brilliant" mayor, claimed that "London's real problem is a lack of leadership" and said incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone had lost touch with the voters.Londoners go to the polls on May 1st to elect a Mayor and the 25-member London Assembly.

  • Gay couple excite press interest during visit to Poland 2

    Brendan Fay and Tom Moulton (third and fourth from left)  met with gay rights leaders on the first day of their trip to Poland.

    11:45 AM — A New York couple who spoke out after footage of their wedding was used in a TV address by the President of Poland attacking gay rights are on a three-day visit to the country.Brendan Fay and Tom Moulton met with gay rights leaders on the first day of their trip to the country, which was sponsored by TVN television.President Lech Kaczynski's speech to the nation last week used heavy-handed tactics to warn of the dangers of the Lisbon treaty.

  • Gay Iranian spared deportation from Greece

    Gay rights activists in Greece are celebrating after their government has decided not to deport a 40-year-old man back to Iran.

    10:58 AM — Gay rights activists in Greece are celebrating after their government has decided not to deport a 40-year-old man back to Iran.The Greek Homosexual Community (GHC-EOK), which led a campaign on his behalf, said today:"We are happy to announce that the gay Iranian refugee, known as 'Alex,' was finally granted asylum following the reconsideration of his case.

  • No complaints over Bounty Killer concert says Met 4

    The Met have previously stated that artists would not be allowed to perform unless they sign the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA),

    10:40 AM — The Metropolitan police have responded to criticism that it let a homoophobic singer perform in London.In a statement to PinkNews.co.uk, a spokeswoman said that meetings have been held between police, the venue's management and lesbian and gay groups to discuss this issue."It has been agreed that the artist would not perform songs that contain what could be considered to be homophobic lyrics," she said.

  • Northern Ireland gay rights group welcome bill of rights

    The work of the Forum is now complete and the Report Recommendations will go forward to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

    10:20 AM — The Coalition on Sexual Orientation (CoSO) has welcomed the handover of the final Recommendations of the Bill of Rights Forum to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.The group said that the Yogyakarta Principles were used to inform the drafing of the bill.The principles were adopted by a meeting of experts in international law in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2006.

  • 28th March 2008

    Politicians and church leaders back gay marriage in Iowa

    In August 2007 a trial court ruled that denying marriage to same-sex couples was unconstitutional.

    3:30 PM — The fight for gay equality continues in the heart of rural America this week, as the Iowa Supreme Court considers a lawsuit brought by six same-sex couples denied marriage licences in the state.Senior attorneys from Lambda Legal, joined by former Iowa solicitor general Dennis Johnson, will argue that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates the equal protection and due process guarantees in the state's Constitution.In August 2007 a trial court ruled that denying marriage to same-sex couples was unconstitutional.

  • Irish teachers face dismissal for being gay 5

    Ireland's Employment Equality Act permits schools to dismiss homosexual teachers from religious schools.

    2:30 PM — Gay and lesbian teachers in Ireland could be sacked if their lifestyle is seen as undermining the religious ethos of schools, a conference was told this week.Members of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) group at the Irish National Teachers' Organisation conference said that the Employment Equality Act permits schools to dismiss homosexual teachers from religious schools.Section 37 of the Act states that schools that promote certain religious values can take action to protect their "religious ethos."

  • Evangelicals attack Ecuador’s protection of sexual minorities 2

    Queirolo has embraced the ultra-conservative Christian Evangelical movement and campaigning against constitutional protection for homosexuals.

    1:35 PM — A member of Ecuador's National Assembly has caused outrage throughout the gay community by comparing homosexuality to paedophilia and bestiality.Rosanna Queirolo, a former model, television news anchor and triathlon athlete, won election on a manifesto of environmental protection.However, since joining the Assembly she has caused controversy by embracing the country's ultra-conservative Christian Evangelical movement.

  • Mayor “not ready” to support gay rights

    19 mayors from across the EU have signed up, but Mr Imbrasas said: “I am not ready for such things yet.“

    1:15 PM — One of Europe's most bigoted politicians has once again defended naked prejudice in his city.Juozas Imbrasas, the Mayor of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, was asked by journalists if he would back a campaign affirming freedom of assembly and expression for LGBT people in Europe.19 mayors from across the EU have signed up, but Mr Imbrasas said: "I am not ready for such things yet." His response was unsurprising considering that Vilnius city council has effectively banned any gay Pride events.

  • Scottish campaign aims to stop deportation of gay teenager 5

    Campaign workers are encouraging supporters to write to their local MP or to write directly to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

    12:50 PM — A campaign has been launched to save a teenager from Syria being deported to his homeland.Jojo Jako Yakob, 19, claims he will be executed if he is returned.He has been held at Polmont Young Offenders in Falkirk, Scotland for the last 12 months after being arrested for possessing a fake Belgian passport. His lawyers say an asylum application for his stay in the UK was mistakenly withdrawn.

  • ‘Blogfather’ joins Paddick campaign as nominations close 5

    Nominations for Mayor close today and the election will be held on May 1st.

    12:45 PM — A second American political strategist has been appointed to Brian Paddick's campaign to become the first Lib Dem Mayor of London.Nominations for Mayor close today and the election will be held on May 1st.Jerome Armstrong, sometimes called the Blogfather, will be the campaign's web strategist. He was instrumental in US Presidential hopeful Howard Dean's grassroots campaign in 2004, regarded as the first major campaign to effectively use the internet to fundraise and win support.

  • Homophobic politician meets gay family group 10

    In 2004 Kern was elected for the first time with 67.65% of the vote.

    11:45 AM — An Oklahoma politician who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism has met with local members of the advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).Representative Sally Kern received international attention after her homophobic speech to a group of fellow Republicans was posted on YouTube earlier this month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.Her supporters claim she has been subject to death threats, something denied by state police.

  • Homophobia claims rejected by police complaints body 16

    Nineteen witnesses gave evidence to IPCC investigators about a range of incidents.

    11:10 AM — Sixteen allegations of homophobia made against the eight Devon and Cornwall police officers have been rejected by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.The complaints were made in 2004 and 2005 by Malcolm Lidbury, a local LGBT activist.He claimed he was "treated poorly" because of his sexuality and claimed that the Devon and Cornwall police have an "inherently homophobic" attitude.

  • 27th March 2008

    ‘Obama Girl’ wants Hillary Clinton out of Presidential race 11

    The first “Obama Girl“ video was released last summer and rapidly spread like wildfire, launching Ettinger into semi-stardom.

    6:50 PM — Amber Lee Ettinger, also known as "Obama Girl," has released a new video calling for New York Senator Hillary Clinton to drop out of the US Presidential race against Barack Obama.The first "Obama Girl" video was released last summer and rapidly spread like wildfire, launching Ettinger into semi-stardom.The videos are the creation of BarelyPolitical.com and the original video has been viewed more than seven million times on YouTube.com alone.

  • Tax company under fire for gay discrimination

    H  R Block claim to have more than 22 million customers worldwide and had a $4bn (£2bn) turnover in 2007.

    5:50 PM — H R Block, America's leading tax preparation company, has said it is "evaluating alternatives" after it emerged that their online services refuse to accept legal civil unions.Connecticut gay couple Jason Smith and Settimo Piscu were attempting to use their "Tax Cut" service but a message told them: "We don't support Connecticut civil union returns."Through its website, the company said the couple would have to work with one of their professionals, by phone or at one of their office locations, which would be more time consuming and cost an additional $150 (£75).

  • UK asylum system “not fit for purpose”

    The head of the Border and Immigration Agency, Lin Homer, told the BBC: “I totally refute any suggestion that we treat asylum applicants without care and compassion.“

    1:55 PM — A commission established to examine asylum policy and practice in the UK has concluded that it falls below the standards of a civilised nation.The 12-member Independent Asylum Commission's findings have been rejected by the Border and Immigration Agency, who claim they treat people with "care and compassion."The volume of people seeking asylum in the UK has fallen sharply and last year there were just over 23,000.

  • Cuban parliament considers LGBT rights bill 1

    The proposed change to Cuban family law would put members of same-sex unions on a par with heterosexual couples.  photo: exfordy@flickr.com

    1:10 PM — A draft lesbian, gay and trans rights bill will be considered by Cuban legislators today.The proposed new law would grant equal rights to all citizens and is the first step towards same-sex unions and access to gender reassignment surgery.Mariela Castro, director of the National Sex Education Centre, said:"A relevant resolution will be signed in the nearest future by the Ministry of Health, which will determine the procedure for such surgery."

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