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Current Affairs

  • 19th December 2007

    Rome rejects civil register under Vatican pressure 1

    An editorial in L'Osservatore Romano, an official Vatican newspaper, branded the city councillors responsible as hypocrites.

    2:01 PM — The city council in Rome has blocked plans for a domestic partners register for same-sex and heterosexual couples.The Vatican, which is an independent state within Italy as well as the seat of the Roman Catholic church, had vehemently opposed the measure.Rightwing groups on the council rejected the modest proposal, whereby couples could have signed a register at the city clerk's office.

  • Presidential hopeful will end gay military ban

    54-year-old Edwards, who ran for Vice President with John Kerry in 2004, is one of the frontrunners in the Democrat race to win back the White House.

    1:35 PM — John Edwards, the former US Vice Presidential candidate who is seeking the Democratic party's nomination for President, said yesterday that he will end "discriminatory" policies towards gay people if elected.Speaking in New Hampshire, he pledged to try to repeal the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996, that banned the federal government from recognising gay marriages or unions and allowed states to refuse to recognise same-sex unions from other states.DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

  • Uruguay becomes latest country to legalise civil unions

    Same-sex marriage will remain illegal in Uruguay, something LGBT rights groups say they will continue to fight.

    1:05 PM — Uruguay's Congress has passed legislation to recognise same-sex civil unions.The country of 3.6m people is the first nation in South America to grant such protections, although some cities and regions throughout the continent have made similar legal provisions.The Congress last week passed legislation creating a civil union registry for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples.

  • Paddick confident of Sir Elton’s support 6

    International superstar Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, will be supporting the campaign of the only gay candidate for Mayor of London.

    12:50 PM — International superstar Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, will be supporting the campaign of the only gay candidate for Mayor of London.Brian Paddick, a former Metropolitan police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, told LBC radio this morning of his celebrity backers.During his time at the Met Mr Paddick was the UK's most senior out gay police officer.

  • Huckabee pressured over AIDS isolation comments 3

    a field representative working for the Human Rights Campaign approached Huckabee during a campaign stop at Berlin New Hampshire.

    11:40 AM — One week after requesting to meet with Governor Mike Huckabee, Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of Ryan White, the Human Rights Campaign and The AIDS Institute still have not heard from the Republican presidential candidate or his campaign.The meeting was called in response to Huckabee's 1992 remarks, that he has refused to repudiate, when he said people living with HIV and AIDS should have been "isolated" even after it was determined the virus was not spread through casual contact.

  • 18th December 2007

    Tory MEP: US HIV rules are “double discrimination” 2

    London Conservative MEP Charles Tannock, a former NHS doctor, said the proposed arrangements amount to “double discrimination.“

    4:15 PM — New regulations issued by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which claim to offer a "streamlined," "categorical" waiver for HIV-positive people visiting the country have been criticised by an English Euro MP.London Conservative MEP Charles Tannock, a former NHS doctor, said the proposed arrangements amount to "double discrimination."He has raised the issue with senior EU officials after being contacted by constituents.

  • FCO confirms Spanish recognition of UK partnerships 170

    Same-sex couples who have registered a civil partnership in the UK should be treated as spouses for legal purposes in Spain.

    3:50 PM — The British government has published information on an embassy website confirming the new agreement between the UK and Spain regarding recognition of UK civil partnerships.Gay couple Paul and Martin Ward signed the civil partnership register in Devon on Valentine's Day this year, having been advised that it would be recognised in Spain, where Paul lives.When they found out this was not the case, they began a campaign to receive recognition for their partnership.

  • Lesbian politician attacks Ian Paisley Jnr

    Ms Quinn, who is one of the most prominent lesbian politicians in the US, attacked Ian Paisley Jnr.

    3:05 PM — The Speaker of New York City Council, Chrissie Quinn, has said that comments from junior Northern Ireland minister that he found gay people repulsive should never have been made.During a five-day visit to Belfast Ms Quinn, who is one of the most prominent lesbian politicians in the US, attacked Ian Paisley Jnr, who is the son and namesake of the Democratic Unionist First Minister.He told Hotpress magazine in May that lesbians and gay men harm society.

  • Lib Dems choose Clegg as leader 18

    At 40, he is the youngest party leader in the Commons and 24 younger than his predecessor Sir Ming Campbell.

    2:42 PM — Nick Clegg is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. He won a narrow victory of just 511 over the party's environment spokesman Chris Huhne. Mr Clegg won 20,988 votes to Mr Huhne's 20,477.At 40, he is the youngest party leader in the Commons and 26 years younger than his predecessor Sir Ming Campbell.The result of the election was announced this afternoon to a large audience in a central London hotel by acting Lib Dem leader Vince Cable.

  • Lib Dem leader to be announced today

    82% of PinkNews.co.uk readers who took part in the poll released earlier this week favour Mr Clegg, the MP for Sheffield Hallam.

    12:15 PM — The Liberal Democrats will announce their new leader today. Home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg and environment spokesman Chris Huhne are the contenders.The result will be announced at 14:30. Mr Clegg is favourite to win, though Mr Huhne's camp are claiming that a late surge in support among an estimated 65,000 Lib Dem party members.82% of PinkNews.co.uk readers who took part in a poll released earlier this week favour Mr Clegg, the MP for Sheffield Hallam.

  • California court decision on same-sex marriage attracts interest

    The California Supreme Court has received 45 such briefs from 145 different organisations hoping to persuade it to decide the case in their favour.

    11:20 AM — Still waiting for the California Supreme Court to declare whether or not marriage between people of the same sex is legal?You may want to get comfortable, because recent comments from Chief Justice Ronald George suggest it could take a while.George told the San Jose Mercury News earlier this week that the case currently before the court has attracted more "friend of the court" briefs than any other case in recent memory.

  • Hungary approves partnership legislation 29

    The Registered Partnership Act was passed with votes of the members of the Socialist-led social-liberal government.

    11:05 AM — Hungary's parliament yesterday approved the Registered Partnership Act. From January 1st 2009 lesbian and gay couples will have almost identical rights as married heterosexual couples in common law.Notable exceptions are the right to adopt, access to fertility treatment and the right to take their partner's surname.The Registered Partnership Act was passed with votes of the members of the Socialist-led social-liberal government.

  • 17th December 2007

    Westminster spa ends discrimination against gays 1

    The Porchester Spa, run by the council, was charging same-sex couples £40.70 for the use of steam rooms and baths instead of the £28.25 straight couples paid.

    4:15 PM — A politics blog has successfully pressured a Westminster City Council spa into giving gay and lesbian couples the same discount as heterosexuals.The Porchester Spa, run by the council, was charging same-sex couples £40.70 for the use of steam rooms and baths instead of the £28.25 straight couples paid.Recess Monkey, a left-leaning political blog, said today that a journalist had informed them that this "gay tax" has been abolished.

  • Prosecutor wants fascist Hungarian group shut down 6

    Jobbik supporters protested at Budapest's gay pride march in July, throwing eggs and bottles at marchers.

    3:40 PM — Budapest's prosecutor has accused a far-right group recently established in the country of racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism and asked a court to disband it.Magyar Garda, or Hungarian Guard, held an anti-Roma rally earlier this month, where they marched in neo-Nazi uniforms.A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said the group was guilty of generating fear among minority groups, specifically the Roma, who make up 5% of the Hungarian population.

  • Relationships register proposed by Australian PM 1

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said today that he stands by his comments during the election that he regards marriage as between a man and a woman.

    3:25 PM — The newly-elected Prime Minister of Australia has denied rumours that his Labour government intends to legalise civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.Several news outlets reported that senior ministers had given assurances that significant legislation would be brought forward.However, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said today that he stands by his comments during the election that he regards marriage as between a man and a woman.

  • LGBT Noise demand gay marriage in Ireland 4

    Homosexuality was decriminalised in the Republic of Ireland in 1993.

    3:05 PM — Protesting the lack of rights that gay couples have in the Republic of Ireland, a new pressure group took to the streets of Dublin at the weekend to protest.Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered (LGBT) Noise wants full civil marriages for gay people, something the Irish government has ruled out as contrary to the country's constitution.Around 50 members of LGBT Noise were joined by gay choir Gloria at their protest on Saturday.

  • Congressional opposition to new HIV+ travel restrictions

    The White House touted the new Homeland Security Department regulations as a tool that would make the process easier for HIV-positive people.

    11:01 AM — Gay rights activists and US lawmakers are crying foul over regulations proposed by the Homeland Security Department that could actually make it more difficult for persons living with HIV/AIDS to travel to the United States.Under current federal law, travel and immigration to the US by HIV-positive people is severely restricted.In fact, at present, foreigners with the HIV/AIDS virus can only obtain visas after receiving a waiver from the Homeland Security Department.

  • Florida to vote on same-sex marriage ban 1

    If the measure ends up on the 2008 ballot and passes, Florida would become the 28th state to ban marriage between people of the same sex with a constitutional amendment.

    10:30 AM — Should the Florida constitution ban same-sex couples from marrying? That's the question that will be put before the state's voters next year, thanks to the efforts of Florida4Marriage.org, a coalition of groups led by Orlando lawyer John Stemberger.The coalition announced late last week that after three years they have succeeded in gathering the 611,009 signatures needed to add the question to the November 2008 ballot, assuming all of them are verified.

  • 16th December 2007

    Archbishop apologises for persecution of gays 9

    The interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu can be heard this Monday night from 8pm on BBC Radio Manchester.

    1:40 AM — Archbishop Desmond Tutu has apologised to gay people all around the world for the way they have been treated by the Church.He recently criticised Anglicans for being 'obsessed' with homosexuality.In a world exclusive interview with production company Made in Manchester, Tutu spoke to creative director Ashley Byrne.

  • 15th December 2007

    Interview: Peter Tatchell’s 40 years of campaigning 4

    Peter Tatchell began campaigning for human rights, democracy and global justice in 1967, aged 15.

    3:20 PM — Peter Tatchell celebrated his fortieth year of campaigning on 10th December, Human Rights Day.The Australian-born activist began campaigning for human rights, democracy and global justice in 1967, aged 15.Now, at 55, his eyes still have the vividness and energy of a teenager, and he has no intention to retire, because, he says, there is still much work to do.

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