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Current Affairs

  • 16th January 2008

    Cameroon men get six months jail for being gay 7

    More than 30 people have been arrested in Cameroon in the last two years on charges of homosexuality,

    6:35 PM — Three men have been sentenced to six month hard labour for being homosexual.The men were arrested in Bonapriso, Douala, on August 31st 2007 by police officers making random arrests in search of armed robbers.After being beaten at the police station, one of the men confessed to being homosexual and implicated his two colleagues.The three men's lawyer said she would appeal the convictions and none of the men had been found guilty of homosexual acts.

  • Toilet sex carries “expectation of privacy” says ACLU 1

    The ACLU brief cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that people having sex in a closed toilet cubicle in a public toilet have an “expectation of privacy.“

    5:14 PM — The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday filed court papers in support of US Senator Larry Craig's fight to have his conviction for soliciting sex in an airport toilet overturned.The ACLU brief cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that people having sex in a closed toilet cubicle in a public toilet have an "expectation of privacy" and if the Senator was attempting to engage an undercover police officer for sex he was not acting illegally.The Senator from Idaho arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room.

  • Presbyterian church allows lesbian ordination

    The San Francisco Presbytery encompasses nearly 80 churches with 28,000 parishioners.

    5:01 PM — In the first test of a new policy allowing local Presbyterian churches the right to welcome into the clergy candidates who object to church teachings, the Presbytery of San Francisco has granted a lesbian deacon her wish of becoming a minister.The regional body yesterday voted 167 to 151 in favour of Lisa Larges, who had twice before been denied ordination.Since 1978 the US Presbyterian denomination bans sexually active gay or lesbian people from the ministry.

  • Gay link to theft of Irish Crown Jewels

    The Order of St Partick is an order of chivalry founded in 1783 by George III.

    4:30 PM — Just four days before King Edward VII arrived in Ireland for a state visit, his Crown Jewels were stolen from Dublin Castle.The 1907 theft angered the monarch, scandalised the Irish press and has remained one of the unsolved mysteries of modern times.The star and badge of the Order of St Patrick, laden with rubies, emeralds and diamonds, were never recovered.Now an historian has blamed the daring heist on Francis Shackleton, brother of the famous polar explorer Ernest.

  • Florida gay marriage ban short on signatures

    There is already a ban on same-sex marriage in Florida.

    2:02 PM — An initiative to ask Florida's citizens to ban gay marriage in the state is more than 20,000 signatures short of the required number, despite claims last month that the target had been reached.Florida4Marriage.org want a question on the 2008 ballot on following amendment to the state's constitution regarding civil marriage.Revised numbers show that the group is 21,989 signatures short of the required 611,009. There are two weeks left until the deadline.

  • Ken launches campaign for third term as Mayor

    The row over pensioner travel is the first in what looks set to be a fractious campaign for Mayor of London.

    1:35 PM — The Mayor of London kicked off his campaign for a third term in office yesterday with a pledge to extend free travel for pensioners.The Freedom Pass for the over 60s and disabled people cannot currently be used before 9am on weekdays.In a bid for the votes of the million pass users in the capital, Ken Livingstone said the new policy "is part of my central goal of ensuring that London's public transport system is reliable and open to every Londoner."

  • Gay.com parent company up for sale

    PlanetOut floated in October 2004 at a share price of $9 (£4.48), it quickly rose to $14.26 (£7.10) in November that year.

    12:40 PM — Shares in one of the largest gay media companies in the world, PlanetOut, fell 23.4% yesterday to $4.75 (£2.42).A spokesman for the NASDAQ-listed company confirmed they are looking for potential buyers. It has been a rocky year for the company. It is now trading at 13% of its value in January 2007.In May high operating costs and declining sales resulted in a considerable first-quarter loss and a resulting slide in share price.

  • Aide to Latvian MP convicted of Pride attack

    The court found that he threw a bag of excrement at the car of a gay rights activist.

    11:30 AM — A 32-year-old man who works as an aide to a homophobic Latvian MP has been convicted of "gross public disorderliness" during Riga Pride in 2006.Janis Dzelme is an assistant to the Latvia First Party MP Dainis Turlais.The court found that he has throw a bag of excrement at the car of a gay rights activist.

  • Morocco ‘gay party’ convictions upheld 1

    The prosecution failed to present any evidence that the men actually had engaged in the prohibited conduct in the first place.

    10:55 AM — A leading human rights organisation has called on the authorities in Morocco to release six men jailed for "lewd and unnatural acts."They were arrested by police between November 23rd and 25th 2007, after a video circulated online, including on YouTube, purporting to show a private party, allegedly including the men, taking place in Ksar el-Kbir on November 18th.Press reports claimed the party was a "gay marriage." At an appeal yesterday the men's sentences were reduced but their convictions upheld.

  • Romney and Clinton win in Michigan

    Romney remained in Michigan on Tuesday to drum up last minute votes in the state primary.

    10:25 AM — Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has pulled off a strong win in the Michigan primary results, beating out his rivals, Arizona Senator John McCain and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.Although pre-voting polls had the two top Republican candidates at a virtual tie, Romney pulled off the win with a significant margin.Hillary Clinton, virtually uncontested, won in the Democratic primary.With 77 percent of precincts reporting in, Mitt Romney has been declared the projected winner in the Michigan Republican primary.

  • 15th January 2008

    Swedish opposition may force gay marriage vote 5

    Gay and lesbian couple can register their partnership through a civil ceremony.

    4:45 PM — The three opposition parties in Sweden have said they may force a bill through parliament to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples.Under current laws, dating back to 1987, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.Gay and lesbian couple can register their partnership through a civil ceremony, a process introduced in 1995 which gives same-sex couples the same rights as married couples.

  • Jail for thief who targeted cruising area

    Halil denied in court that he had robbed the men and claimed they had both approached him for sex.

    3:05 PM — A 29-year-old who used threats of violence to rob two men in a well-known gay meeting spot has been jailed at Isleworth Crown Court.Erkan Halil was living at Ledwood Avenue, Hayes, but has a family home in Goldhawk Road, Shepherds Bush, reports thisishertfordshire.co.uk.He was sentenced last month to five years in prison for robbing two men in Cranford Park near Heathrow in September and October 2007.

  • Gay couple’s home targeted in arson attack 1

    The city's branch of the Rainbow Project was first informed about the incident and the police were told on Friday.

    11:45 AM — A Northern Ireland MP has spoken out after an arson attack on the home of a gay couple in his constituency.A lit disposable lighter was left against the front door of their home in the city of Londonderry, causing minor damage.The News Letter reports that the couple are so distressed by the incident, which took place last Wednesday, that they may leave the area.

  • 14th January 2008

    Paddick launches campaign for London Mayor

    Brian Paddick named improving public transport and increasing affordable housing as other key priorities.

    4:48 PM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London today pledged to cut crime in the city by 20% if elected.Brian Paddick named improving public transport and increasing affordable housing as other key priorities.His launch event was held in Brixton, south London, this morning.Newly elected Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg attended, calling Mr Paddick an achiever and "serious, focused and determined."

  • LGBT youth leader on child porn charges 9

    Jamie Rennie, 37, is charged with sending a message that is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing, reports The Herald.

    12:45 PM — The chief executive of LGBT Youth Scotland has been remanded in custody charged with possession of indecent images of a child or children under the age of 18.Jamie Rennie, 37, is also charged with sending a message that is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing, reports The Herald. He was committed for trial on December 24th.He has been suspended from LGBT Youth Scotland, a national organisation working towards the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people.

  • National poll puts Clinton and McCain in the lead

    Senator Clinton is riding on a positive wave of increased support after her surprising win in New Hampshire.

    11:20 AM — New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Arizona Senator John McCain lead in a new national poll released on Friday by CNN/Opinion Research Group.Taken after the New Hampshire primary, is shows McCain with 34 percent of registered Republicans.On the Democratic side, Clinton leads with a healthy percentage over Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

  • 11th January 2008

    Spanish party pledges to create “family” ministry

    PP have not indicated they intend to amend or abolish gay marriage should they come to power.

    5:30 PM — The main opposition party in Spain has made a bid for conservative and Catholic votes by promising to establish a new "family" ministry if they win the elections in March.Addressing a rally in Toledo yesterday the leader of Partido Popular, Mariano Rajoy, suggested that the "traditional family" needs extra protection.The incumbent Socialist government has legalised same-sex marriage, eased divorce laws and repeatedly clashed with the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Gay activists cleared by Russian court

    The acquitted activists are considering suing the police for illegal arrest and detention.

    4:30 PM — A group of LGBT rights campaigners arrested at a polling station in Russia during December's elections have been acquitted.More than two dozen activists came to vote at the polling station to protest against the electoral process and the homophobic stance of all political parties including President Vladimir Putin's United Russia.Mayor Luzhkov, the city's homophobic Mayor, headed the Moscow list for the party and cast his vote at the polling station an hour after the arrests.

  • Baby taken away from Brazilian gay couple 2

    The official, Cláudio Santos de Moraes, said he was not being homophobic when he fought for the couple to lose custody of the baby.

    3:14 PM — A government official who successfully fought to take an adopted baby away from a gay couple in Brazil has said that "gay couples are abnormal."Last Monday 70 people gathered in San Jose do Rio Preto, a small town outside of Sao Paulo, to protest against the baby being removed from the care of a 30-year-old transsexual hairdresser, Roberta Góes Luiz, and her partner."I've been through three psychological evaluations successfully. I have my own home," Roberta told O Globo .

  • Man unhappy at sentence for boyfriend’s killer 2

    Judge Brian Barker described the events in the park as “a dispute over dogs which was blown up out of all proportion.“

    2:50 PM — A 42-year-old man who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of the managing director of a research consultancy specialising in gay and lesbian issues has been sentenced two and a half years in prison.Tony Hoare, 49, was attacked in September as he walked his two Jack Russell dogs in Charlton Park, south east London.He was found unconscious and died shortly after being taken to hospital.

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