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Current Affairs

  • 9th January 2008

    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.

  • Threesome actor backs gay marriage ban 6

    Threesome concerned the tangled sexual and emotional relationship between three college students, played by Stephen Baldwin (r), Josh Charles and Lara Flynn Boyle.

    2:40 PM — A minor member of one of Hollywood's foremost families has come out in favour of Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and expressed his opposition to gay equality.Stephen Baldwin, who is the brother of actors Alec, Billy and Daniel, is best-known for his roles in the controversial 1994 film Threesome and 1995 thriller The Usual Suspects.He became a born-again Christian after the attacks on New York on September 11th 2001.

  • Openly gay soldiers still serving in US military

    Manzella is an army medic who has just returned from Kuwait. He previously earned a Combat Medical Badge for service in Baghdad.

    2:15 PM — A US Army Sergeant has expressed his surprise that he wasn't dismissed after admitting he was gay on live American TV.Last month Army Sgt. Darren Manzella told CBS 60 Minutes that his army colleagues knew his sexuality. The programme also showed a video of Manzella kissing his former boyfriend."I thought I would at least be asked about the segment or approached and told I shouldn't speak to the media again," Manzella told USA Today .

  • Gay hate bill returns to Commons 5

    Justice minister Maria Eagle said that Christians will continue to have the right to express their homophobic views.

    11:40 AM — MPs will debate the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill tomorrow, which includes a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.Ann Widdecombe, a Roman Catholic former Tory minister, today defended her opposition to the bill.The government and the frontbenches of the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives both support the legislation, but MPs from the three main parties have signed up to the amendment.

  • Archaeology museum celebrates LGBT History month 57

    The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is a world class collection of over 80,000 objects from pre-historic, pharonic, Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic Egypt and Sudan.

    11:40 AM — The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is running an open evening as part of LGBT History month to explore sexuality and gender in the ancient world.There will be a discussion on the subject, entitled 'Beyond Isis Osiris: Alternate sexuality in Ancient Egypt', hosted by Dr Debbie Challis, followed by an opportunity to explore the museum, which is located on the University College London Campus in central London.

  • Trans woman denied breast enlargement surgery

    The hospital does allow female patients who are not transgender the right to breast-enlargement surgeries.

    11:40 AM — A trans woman is suing a Catholic hospital, claiming medical officials blocked her from getting breast enlargement surgery there because she had a sex-change operation.Charlene Hastings, 57, told The [San Jose] Mercury News that when she called Seton Medical Centre, a Catholic hospital in in Daly City, California, to inquire about breast enlargement surgery, an official told her it wasn't "God's will" for her to have such a treatment, because "God made you a man."

  • 7th January 2008

    Sweden: Gay man’s attacker may have struck before

    Stockholm police have searched the suspect's house and inspected his computer and now think he may have attacked other gay men.

    4:25 PM — A Swedish man arrested last weekend for beating up a gay man might be responsible for more homophobic attacks, Stockholm police said.The suspect, aged 35, allegedly attacked a 44-year-old man who was found injured in his home. The man was arrested at 5pm on Friday.The victim suffered injuries that might leave him permanently disabled, although he is now in a stable condition.The men met on a contact web site.

  • Anti-gay bishop in trouble after inflammatory Muslim comments 30

    Bishop Nazir-Ali regularly generates headlines with his forthright pronouncements on gay issues.

    2:45 PM — A senior Church of England clergyman best-known for his opposition to equality for gay people has been heavily criticised for making inflammatory comments about Britain's Muslim community.The Right Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in a newspaper article that parts of the country have become "no-go areas" because of extremist Muslims and suggested that mosques stop using speakers to broadcast the call to prayer.The bishop has previously spoken out against the Sexual Orientation Regulations and civil partnerships.

  • Ireland to recognise UK civil partnerships 15

    Last month Ireland's Minister of Justice rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.

    2:20 PM — The Republic of Ireland will recognise same-sex marriages, civil unions and civil partnerships from other countries when it legalises same-sex unions later this year.The Irish Times reports that "civil unions or weddings will have the same legal recognition as new civil partnerships in Ireland, as long as they meet a number of conditions."The UK already recognises same-sex unions and marriages from nearly 20 countries, including Canada, the US and France.

  • Amsterdam mayor to clean up red light district

    In September, Cohen sold around one third of the area that makes up the red light district.

    2:01 PM — Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen announced he will clean up the city's red light district in a bid to reduce human trafficking, money laundering and drug abuse, by replacing prostitutes' windows with clothes shops.Cohen said he wanted to put a stop to the criminals taking advantage of the city's prostitutes and corrupting the city centre."The romantic picture of the area is outdated if you see the abuses in the sex industry and that is why the council has to act," he told Reuters. 

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