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Current Affairs

  • 8th October 2007

    Haggard rent boy claims Senator was client 1

    The long-serving Senator from Idaho has been at the centre of a scandal surrounding his behaviour in a public toilet.

    3:26 PM — The male prostitute who brought the career of homophobic preacher Ted Haggard to an end by revealing they had a sexual relationship has now made sensational claims about a US Senator embroiled in a cruising scandal.Haggard resigned last year as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after Mike Jones alleged the preacher paid him over a three-year period for sex and sometimes took crystal meth (methamphetamine) during the encounters.

  • Swedish politicians unite to support gay marriage 1

    Opinion polls show that 46% of Swedes are in favour of gay marriage, with 31% opposed.

    12:58 PM — The three opposition parties in Sweden have joined forces to put a proposal before the country's parliament to legalise gay marriage.Given the governing coalition's slim majority, only four MPs would need to vote in favour of the opposition motion for it to pass.The Green party, Left party and Social Democrats' motion, if passed, would make Sweden the fouth country in Europe to legalise gay marriage after Holland, Spain and Belgium.

  • LGBT activists concern over homophobic Patriarch

    The UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was led by former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

    12:15 PM — The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) has added its voice of protest to the comments made by a Russian religious leader at last week's meeting of the Council of Europe.Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II had called homosexuality an "illness" and attacked what he called "homosexual propaganda" influencing young people during an address to the council's parliamentary assembly.The patriarch was there as part of council's regular debates with political and religious leaders.

  • English bishop threatens conference boycott over gays 30

    Michael Nazir-Ali, who is an evangelical Christian, has said he would “find it difficult“ to attend the conference.

    11:36 AM — The Church of England's war of words over the ordination of a gay bishop has been reignited by the Bishop of Rochester, who has indicated he may boycott a meeting of senior Anglican leaders next year.The Lambeth conference, held every ten years, has been a focus of discontent from traditionalists angry over the Church's stance over gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex relationships.Conservative bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has said he would "find it difficult" to attend the conference.

  • State grants right to silence for gay partners in court

    The change from “de facto spouse“ to “de facto partner“ is intended to be gender neutral, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

    11:31 AM — Another small victory for LGBT equality in Australia has been won with the announcement that same-sex partners in the state of New South Wales will have the right to decline to give evidence against their partner in court.The change from "de facto spouse" to "de facto partner" is intended to be gender neutral, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.A spokesman for the NSW Premier pointed out that the Commonwealth, or federal government, still refuses to recognise same-sex couples in this way.

  • Christians object to proposed homophobic incitement law 100

    The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill gets its second reading this afternoon as Parliament reconvenes after its long summer break.

    10:54 AM — Fundamentalist religious groups are claiming their members could face seven years in jail for expressing their views about homosexuality under proposed new legislation.The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill gets its second reading this afternoon as Parliament reconvenes after its long summer break.Gay rights activists are hopeful that the bill will introduce a new offence of incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation.

  • 7th October 2007

    United Nations hosts LGBT rights panel

    Last year 54 states called for the UN Human Rights Council to act against egregious violations of the rights of LGBT people.

    11:49 AM — The United Nations is hosting a panel discussion today to explore discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.The event, which will bring together non-governmental organisations, UN representatives and state delegates, is an initiative co-sponsored by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.It will be addressed by Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

  • 6th October 2007

    Gay Republican adverts “out” Presidential candidate 1

    On the surface, the advertisement appears to be a deceptively positive commercial in support of Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts.

    11:20 PM — Gay Republicans have launched a new television ad campaign to 'out' US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on issues such as abortion rights and gun control.The 30-second advertisement will run nationally on Fox News Channel, with a focus on reaching Iowa voters.Romney called the ad from the Log Cabin Republicans a "personal, negative attack" and accused the group of showing their favouritism for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani by airing the ad.

  • Gordon Brown rules out early election 2

    Gordon Brown partied at the gay rights disco last month

    5:41 PM — The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown's official spokesman has ruled out an early election that had been hyped by Labour ministers and the Prime Minister's officials.A spokesman for Mr Brown said: "I can now confirm that the prime minister has said there will be no autumn poll."The Prime Minister has this weekend pored over private and media polls that have shown that Labour's lead over the opposition Conservative Party has narrowed.

  • Gay hate gang member faces 25 years after manslaughter conviction 1

    The victim, Michael Sandy, taken from his internet profile

    1:50 PM — A jury has convicted a man for manslaughter and homophobic hate crimes following an attack on a gay victim on a remote New York beach.John Fox was acquitted of the murder of Michael Sandy (pictured) but found guilty of second-degree manslaughter and attempted robbery.Mr Sandy was ambushed and chased into oncoming traffic during a mugging attempt. A car struck him as he fled a gang.

  • Colombian court rules in favour of equal rights for gay couples

    President Uribe supports changes in rights for gay couples

    1:50 PM — Gay couples in the deeply Conservative Catholic country of Colombia have won equal social security rights following a Constitutional Court ruling.In June, Colombia's conservative President Alvaro Uribe gave his backing to the country becoming the first in Latin America to nationally give gay couples full rights to health insurance, inheritance and benefits. This followed a bill passing through the country's Congress.

  • 5th October 2007

    Prescott rejects Russian church leader’s gay hate

    Prescott joined parliamentarians from all the assembly's major political groups saying that any dialogue between cultures and religions must be based on mutual respect and tolerance.

    6:03 PM — John Prescott, the former British Deputy Prime Minister, joined European Parliamentarians yesterday in petitioning the head of the Russian Orthodox Church about his homophobic views.The petition read: "We urge Patriarch Alexy to avoid the use of language inciting intolerance and to respect, rather than seek to deny, the fundamental rights of sexual minorities."Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II had called homosexuality an "illness" and attacked what he called "homosexual propaganda."

  • Gay fundraiser to be picketed by trans activists

    Representative Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, will be a keynote speaker at the event.

    5:50 PM — America's leading LGBT rights organisation is bracing itself for protests tomorrow at a key fundraising event.Tomorrow night's Human Rights Campaign's National Dinner in Washington, D.C will be picketed by trade unionists, trans groups and others over its position on new legislation designed to protect people from workplace discrimination.The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) originally contained measures to protect trans workers.

  • Gay rights off the agenda for African church leaders

    The move divided US Episcopalians and alienated them from parts of the church's global membership of 77 million.

    5:16 PM — A meeting of African Anglican Archbishops avoided homosexuality yesterday, a topic dividing their Communion, in favour of other issues affecting the continent.The gathering took place in Mauritius and was chaired by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, an outspoken opponent of gay rights.Last month he criticised the US Episcopal Church for not making a clear stand against consecrating gay clergy or blessing gay unions.

  • Australian trans passport victory

    The tribunal ruling makes Ms Abrams and Ms Power the first legally-recognised same-sex married couple in Australia.

    4:55 PM — A tribunal in Australia has created the country's first legally recognised same-sex married couple and overturned a government decision about a trans woman's new passport.Grace Abrams was refused a female passport by the Foreign Affairs department despite having undergone transition between 2001 and 2005.She married her partner Fiona Power while still transitioning, and the authorities said that in order to get a new birth cerificate and therefore a passport idenitfying her as female, she would have to divorce.

  • Sentenced to 7,000 lashes for sodomy in Saudi Arabia 8

    In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is illegal under sharia, or Islamic Law.

    1:15 PM — Two men have been publicly flogged in Saudi Arabia after being found guilty of sodomy and sentenced to 7,000 lashes.The men, who have not been identified, received an unspecified number of lashes in the south-western city of Al-Bahah on Tuesday evening, according to a report from the Al-Okaz daily.The men will remain in prison until the rest of their punishment can be completed.

  • Conservative anger over cruising ground firefighters 41

    Avon Fire and Rescue Service is holding a conference in Bristol next week on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in the fire service.

    12:49 PM — A Conservative councillor is seeking to overturn the punishment of four firefighters from Avon Fire and Rescue Service who were reported after shining torches on gay men cruising in Bristol Downs.Bristol city councillor Spud Murphy labelled the decision to discipline the men for misuse of fire equipment and bringing the service into disrepute after the incident in June as "barmy", echoing outrage already shown by the tabloids.One of the men caught in the firefighter's torchlight later filed a complaint under advice from charity Terrence Higgins Trust.

  • Senator refused appeal against cruising confession 3

    News of Senator Craig's guilty plea brought intense pressure on him from Senate Republican leaders and other colleagues in Washington to resign.

    11:23 AM — A leading Republican politician has been refused permission to challenge his guilty plea to charges of cruising in an airport toilet.US Senator Larry Craig, 62, served in the House before winning his first Senate term in 1990, and compiled a strongly conservative voting record.He was arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room.

  • Comment: ENDA only protects straight-acting people 21

    Congressman Barney Frank has chosen to introduce a straight-acting-only version of ENDA.

    10:56 AM — After many years working as a bartender for Harrah's Casino, Darlene Jespersen was fired for failing to conform to the Casino's new 'personal best' grooming policy.As a female bartender, Jesperson was required to have her hair "teased, curled, or styled," and to wear stockings.Jesperson was also suddenly required to put on makeup everyday: lipstick and nail polish mandatory.

  • Teenagers face jail for homophobic hate crime

    According to WCAX News, the sisters are related to the one of the victims and targeted the men.

    10:37 AM — Two Vermont teens are being charged with a hate crime and face up to five years in prison for allegedly spray painting antigay slogans on and slashing the tires of a pair of vehicles belonging to two men joined in a civil union.16-year-old Melissa Gaboury pleaded not guilty to charges of hate-motivated unlawful mischief and unlawful trespass after police found a knife and spray paint underneath the backseat of her SUV, while her sister, Meghan Gaboury, 18, is still being sought by police.According to WCAX News, the sisters are related to the one of the victims.

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