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Current Affairs

  • 7th December 2007

    Botswana refuses to register gay advocacy group 1

    Amendments to the Botswana Penal Code, which came into effect on the 30th April 1998 and extended the seven year maximum penalty, for men caught engaging in same-sex sexual relations, to women as well.

    4:10 PM — The department of civil and national registration in Botswana faces legal action after it refused to register a group called the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo).The country's Attorney General has been informed that lawyers for the group intend to sue the government, reports Mmegi Online.The registration was refused because LEGABIBO was ruled to be contrary to the Botswana penal code, which outlaws male and female homosexual acts.

  • “Royal blackmail plot” man refused bail 25

    A senior legal adviser to the Royal Household contacted the alleged blackmailers and arranged to meet and view the tape.

    2:18 PM — One of the two men charged with attempting to blackmail a minor member of the Royal Family was refused bail at a hearing at the Old Bailey today.Ian Strachan, 30, was arrested along with Sean McGuigan, 40, in October after police mounted a sting operation.They are alleged to have demanded £50,000 not to release a video showing an aide to a member of the Royal Family discussing engaging in oral sex with his employer.

  • Lesbians dual parent rights case before Israeli Supreme Court

    Last year the Israeli Family Court recognised another lesbian couple as joint mothers.

    1:40 PM — An American-Israeli lesbian couple who weren't registered as dual mothers of their son despite a Court's ruling, will bring their case before Israel's Supreme Court.On Sunday Nicole and Ruti Berner Kadish's case will be represented in Jerusalem by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) before a panel of nine High Court judges.The judiciary will be asked to order the Interior Ministry to continue executing a 2000 ruling.

  • Gays will continue the fight for hate crimes protection 7

    The hate crimes provisions had been attached to a defence spending bill, and it has now been dropped by the Senate because it could not attract enough support.  photo: dbking@flickr.com

    1:40 PM — LGBT rights groups in the United States have expressed their disappointment that new hate crimes legislation will not be passed by the US Senate.The Matthew Shepard Act would have extended federal grants to local law enforcement agencies in order to more thoroughly investigate and prosecute domestic terror crimes that target individuals based on disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.Under existing hate crimes laws, such grants are routinely provided to local agencies.

  • Tory criticises cuts in London HIV programmes 10

    Brian Coleman, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, wrote to Minister of State at the Department of Health.

    12:45 PM — The deputy chairman of the London Assembly has expressed his shock at planned cuts to HIV prevention programmes aimed at gay men, after receiving official confirmation from the Department of Health.Brian Coleman, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, wrote to Minister of State at the Department of Health, Dawn Primarolo MP, after reports that funding for the London Gay Men's HIV Prevention Programme is to be cut next year by 36%.The funding for this programme is currently grouped with a treatment information programme in a budget of £2.2million.

  • Toyota may sue over porn actor called Lexus 1

    Grangier says his SpunkLand star selected his stage name in reference to the Greek god Lexus.

    12:20 PM — What does Toyota have to do with gay porn? A lot, apparently.The US branch of the Japanese car maker recently sent a communiqué to Daniel Grangier, president and CEO of Switzerland-based EBOYS Studios, regarding one of his stars, who goes by the screen name 'Lexus.'According to a release sent to JRLChartsOnline.net, the car manufacturer claimed in its letter to Grangier that the name Lexus is a trademark of Toyota Motors Sales USA Inc.

  • Presidential candidate defends his Mormon faith

    Some claim the Mormon faith is too far removed from the fundamentals they say the US is built upon.

    10:50 AM — Mormon Presidential candidate and one time gay rights supporter Mitt Romney took his thoughts on religion public on Thursday morning when the Republican hopeful delivered a controversial speech on faith in America.Intended to address those who have questioned the Mormon faith's place in leading this country, the speech stressed that religious liberty "is fundamental to America's greatness," though Romney has long argued the fact that he is Mormon should have no bearing on his ability to be elected.

  • US Congress drops hate crime bill

    A US House-Senate conference committee has dropped the hate-crimes legislation.

    10:20 AM — Congressional aides are reporting that a US House-Senate conference committee has dropped the hate-crimes legislation co-sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith and Edward Kennedy from a defence authorisation bill because it did not have sufficient support in the House.The legislation, formally known as the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, would have expanded federal law to include crimes committed against people because of their gender, sexual orientation or disability.

  • 6th December 2007

    Donations to Harman were secret to avoid “Jewish conspiracy” 1

    Harriet Harman received £5,000 from Mr Abrahams through a proxy

    7:01 PM — The businessman at the centre of the government's donations scandal says that he secretly donated to the Equality Secretary, Harriet Harman's campaign to become Deputy Leader of the Labour party to avoid accusations of being part of a "Jewish conspiracy."Batchelor, David Abrahams told the Jewish Chronicle that blame for the scandal where he donated £663,975 to Labour through proxies lies with Jon Mendelsohn, Gordon Brown's fundraiser.

  • Russian court rejects more appeals from Pride activists

    Pride activist Nicolas Alexeyev expressed distrust of the three judge panel appointed for the appeal.

    5:25 PM — A court in Russia today rejected the appeal of gay activists requesting that a ban on this year's gay Pride be considered unlawful.Moscow City Court confirmed the decision of a local district court, which had upheld the city government's decision to ban the march.Moscow Pride 2007, the second proposed LGBT event in two years to be held in the Russian capital, was scheduled for May 27th but never happened because of the city mayor's decision to ban it.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Follett – there are no donations

    Ms Follett is a work and pensions minister in addition to her equality responsibilities.

    5:08 PM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveEquality minister Barbara Follett has responded to allegations that she has received donations from her husband that she did not declare."Because I want to give the people of Stevenage the best possible service I can, I spend all of my MP's salary, allowances and some of my personal income running my constituency and parliamentary offices," she said in a statement to PinkNews.co.uk.

  • Questions over equality minister donations

    Ms Follett is the minister for equality, which includes LGBT rights.

    3:35 PM — The husband of Barbara Follett may have inadvertantly embroiled her in the furore over donations.Ms Follett is the minister for equality, which includes LGBT rights.Her husband, multi-millionaire novelist Ken Follett, is a longtime Labour supporter.In an appearance BBC's Sunday AM with Andrew Marr on 2nd December, he boasted that: "I actually subsidise it to the tune of every year at least a hundred thousand pounds a year."

  • Two years on, civil partners still face problems 7

    As reported on PinkNews.co.uk last month many institutions do not have an option for civil partners on their application forms.

    2:44 PM — Many gay people are confused at the correct language to use when describing civil partnerships and some are forced into revealing their sexual orientation in situations which required disclosure of marital or partnership status, according to Citizen's Advice.New research released yesterday to coincide with the second anniversary of civil partnerships found that many same-sex couples, who are in or who are planning civil partnerships, find there are many benefits to them and welcome them.However, there are still potential emotional, financial and social costs.

  • Irish minister rules out referendum on gay marriage 13

    Labour Minister Brian Lenihan said civil partnership was easier to achieve, because gay marriage would require a constitutional change that would split the country.

    1:02 PM — Ireland's Minister of Justice has rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.Labour Minister Brian Lenihan said civil partnership was easier to achieve, because gay marriage would require a constitutional change that would split the country.Speaking at the annual meeting of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, an LGBT organisation that is campaigning for gay marriage, he said he was keen to guarantee equality to gay people.

  • Labour fund created to support LGBT candidates 1

    LGBT Labour said that they have so far received a positive response both from the LGBT community and from Labour party candidates and members.

    12:11 PM — The Labour Party has launched a campaign fund to support LGBT candidates, especially women, at future elections.Dorothy's List was set up with the objective of raising £2,000 to help members of the LGBT community overcome the obstacles which they face when running for political office.LGBT Labour said that they have so far received a positive response both from the LGBT community and from Labour party candidates and members.

  • Sex and drug allegations made against dead banker

    According to The Times, the Tobias' marriage might have been one of convenience.

    11:20 AM — A familiar face on CNBC and one of the wealthiest investment bankers in New York City, Seth Tobias was found floating face down in the swimming pool of his Florida mansion by his wife four months ago today.But now, as details of his estate unfold, The New York Times reports that the 44-year-old Tobias, who had allegedly suffered a heart attack, was living life in the fast lane.Lurid tales of sex with male go-go dancers and cocaine binges are just a few of the shocking details laid out in the paper's feature on the banker who fell from grace.

  • 5th December 2007

    Iran carries out execution for juvenile crimes 34

    On June 7th 2007, the Seventh District Criminal Court of Kermanshah in Western Iran found him guilty and sentenced him to death.

    5:58 PM — Makvan Mouloodzadeh was executed in Kermanshah Central Prison at 5 a.m. this morning, Iranian time.Neither Mr Mouloodzadeh's family or his lawyer were told about the execution until after it occurred.The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) reports that despite an order by the Iranian Chief Justice to nullify his death sentence, he was put to death.

  • Gay US ambassador leaves over discrimatory treatment

    Michael E Guest retired from the State Department after more than 26 years as a form of protest against regulations that he considered as unfair to same-sex partners of foreign service officers.

    4:45 PM — A former US ambassador left his post at the State Department after criticising Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's treatment of gay people.Michael E Guest retired from the State Department after more than 26 years as a form of protest against regulations that he considered as unfair to same-sex partners of foreign service officers.The 50-year-old, who is openly gay, served as a US ambassador to Romania when President Bush took office.

  • Cashman’s soap past raised by Cameron 3

    Mr Cashman became a Labour MEP in 1999 and is president of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.

    3:46 PM — During clashes at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon Tory leader David Cameron lampooned the UK's only out gay MEP.Michael Cashman's ground-breaking portrayal of Colin Russell in EastEnders between 1986 and 1989 saw the first gay kiss in a UK soap.Mr Cashman became a Labour MEP in 1999 and is president of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.

  • Asian woman is Australia’s first gay Cabinet minister 1

    Ms Wong, a lawyer, was born in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, to a Malaysian Chinese father and an Australian mother.

    1:31 PM — South Australia Senator Penny Wong Ying Yen has been appointed minister for water and climate change by new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.The 39-year-old lawyer is the first Asian-born person to become a Cabinet minister as well as the first out gay person of either sex.She was elected to the Senate in 2001 and last year slammed the government of John Howard for its gay rights stance.

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