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Current Affairs

  • 28th September 2007

    Harman’s attack on Tories fuels election fever

    Ms Harman's crowd-pleasing closing address did nothing to quell election fever.

    4:15 PM — Secretary of State for Equality Harriet Harman attacked Tory attitudes to gay couples in her closing speech to the Labour party conference yesterday.In an address to the party faithful that set the tone for a general election widely tipped to be called next week, she called the Conservatives the "nasty party," a phrase first used by Tory frontbencher Theresa May.Ms Harman attacked the opposition party's plans for a tax system that rewards married couples and civil partners above single or unmarried parents.

  • Archbishop claims condoms are infected with HIV 7

    AIDS campaigners called the Archbishops comments 'nonsense' and defended the use of contraception.

    3:45 PM — The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Mozambique has claimed that some European-made condoms and anti-retroviral drugs are deliberately infected with HIV.Maputo Archbishop Francisco Chimoio's remarks, made at celebrations to mark 33 years of Mozambique's independence, have angered the country's many AIDS campaigners.Talking to a BBC reporter, the Archbishop Chimoio said: "Condoms are not sure because I know that there are two countries in Europe, they are making condoms with the virus on purpose."

  • Candidates OK with gay-themed children’s books 3

    The frontrunners for the Democratic party nomination for President in the 2008 election were speaking at an MSNBC candidates debate.

    1:50 PM — Presidential hopefuls John Edwards and Barack Obama have said they would be happy for their children to read stories featuring same-sex couples.Hillary Clinton was less enthusiastic, calling it a matter for "parental discretion."The frontrunners for the Democratic party nomination for President in the 2008 election were speaking at an MSNBC candidates debate.

  • Trans protection may be dropped from ENDA

    Gay rights groups have reacted with fury at the suggestion that gender identity protections may be dropped.

    1:19 PM — New laws designed to protect LGBT workers in the United States may be watered down because leading Democrats are split over the inclusion of gender identity.The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, currently before Congress, would extend federal employment discrimination protections to cover sexual orientation and gender identity.However, at a meeting on Wednesday of House of Representative Democrats, it became clear that ENDA would not be supported by many of them in its present form.

  • Catholics call for boycott over SM apostles 1

    The Catholic League is asking a group of over 200 religious organisations, including Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Protestants to boycott the Miller brand.

    12:05 PM — A Roman Catholic pressure group is calling for a boycott of a brewing company's products after their logo appeared on a gay advert.Bill Donaghue, president of the Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights, called for the boycott of Miller on US breakfast show Fox and Friends this morning.The move follows Miller's sponsorship of the Folsom Street Fair, which takes place on September 30th, during San Francisco's Leather Pride Week.

  • Civil rights groups join calls for same-sex marriage

    The Charles R. Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law filed a brief describing the diversity of same-sex couples in California.

    10:26 AM — Scores of religious, civil rights and child advocacy organisations — along with numerous municipal governments, bar associations and leading legal scholars — urged the California Supreme Court to put an end to state laws that deny same-sex couples the protections of marriage by submitting 30 amicus briefs earlier this week."We are not treating all Californians equally if some can marry and others cannot," said Alice Huffman, president of the California Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People.

  • 27th September 2007

    US Senate passes gay hate crimes law

    According to the FBI, sexual orientation bias motivated 14% of hate crimes in 2005.

    6:09 PM — In an historic step toward equality for LGBT Americans, the US Senate voted to pass the Matthew Shepard Act.It updates and expands the federal hate crimes laws to include bias motivated violence based on a victim's sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability, and provides new resources and tools to assist local law enforcement in prosecuting vicious crimes.The Senate voted 60 to 39 to allow the new legislation to move forward.

  • General says gays are immoral – again 2

    The US has discharged over 10,000 military personnel for being gay or lesbian since 1993.

    5:15 PM — The most senior miltary office in the US Armed Forces has reignited the controversy about his views on gays in the military while giving evidence to a Congressional committee.Challenged by Senator Tom Harkin about his comments on the "immorality" of gay people being a reason for excluding them from miliary service, General Peter Pace reiterated that he thinks the Bible should guide policy."My upbringing tells me that sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman is immoral."

  • Clinton fundraising catches up with Obama’s

    Clinton is a front runner in the majority of key states races.

    4:50 PM — They may both support civil unions and not gay marriage, but one thing Senator Hillary Clinton and her rival for the democratic nomination, Barack Obama, don't have in common is money.Until now, he's had more, but a new report suggests that's all about to change.According to a report by Bloomberg, both Clinton and Obama are expected to bring in $20 million in campaign donations during the third quarter.

  • Manslaughter accused blames sex injuries on his dog 1

    Mr Edis said that experts had concluded that the dog did not cause the injuries to Mr Currie.

    2:23 PM — A man on trial at Liverpool Crown Court charged with manslaughter has claimed that serious injuries to the dead man were caused by his dog.David Currie from Warrington died from a heart attack brought on by serious internal injuries he sustained during sex at the home of Steven Boyd.But 47-year-old Boyd, from the Wirral, denies manslaughter and claimed that the injuries were caused by his dog Tosh, a great Dane/bull mastiff cross.

  • Police need your help to catch killer of gay man

    David is captured on CCTV leaving the club alone just before 2.30am.

    1:25 PM — Manchester police are appealing to the city's gay community to help them with their investigation into the murder of 24-year-old David Brown in Hulme.They have released CCTV footage of the last time he was seen alive and are appealing to witnesses to help them catch his killer.David had been on a date in Manchester City Centre on Thursday 20 September 2007, exactly a week ago today.

  • New equality commission begins work on Monday

    The new commission will report to Harriet Harman.

    12:40 PM — The Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), Britain's first new full spectrum equalities and human rights organisation, will open its doors next week.The existing commissions - Disability Rights Commission, Commission for Racial Equality and Equal Opportunities Commission - will handover their responsibilities to the CEHR, which is chaired by Trevor Phillips.Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill is a Commissioner of the new body.

  • Boris wins nomination in a landslide 3

    Despite the vote being opened up to all of London's registered voters, less than 20,000 people voted.

    11:25 AM — Boris Johnson has won the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London with 79% of the vote, it has been announced.The Henley MP, seen as the front runner since he announced his candidacy in July, will now face incumbent Ken Livingstone in the May 2008 election.The three other Tory hopefuls did not manage to get more than 10% of the vote each. IT consultant and publisher Andrew Boff, who is openly gay, polled 8.4%.

  • Civil unions not as good as marriage claim activists

    Some of the night's most compelling evidence, however, came from Jodi Weiner, a New Jersey resident.

    11:15 AM — Last night, during the first public hearing of the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission, Garden State Equality presented evidence it believed shows "the failure of New Jersey's civil union law to provide equality as real marriage would."Thirty civil-unioned couples from across the state presented a joint letter to state leaders at the hearing.The couples were chosen to represent more than 300 couples who have complained to Garden State Equality.

  • Republicans “betrayed” by mayor’s gay marriage u-turn

    Sanders has been mum on the subject ever since last week's press conference.

    11:05 AM — An editorial in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times congratulated San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders for showing "impressive courage last week when he embraced the right of same-sex couples to marry."Gay rights groups were similarly effusive in their praise of the Republican ex-cop who sent shockwaves through the city and nation when he signed a City Council resolution supporting a challenge to California's gay marriage ban.

  • Trans youth to undergo surgery in Latin America

    This will be the first gender reassignment surgery performed on a minor in Argentina and in Latin America.

    10:55 AM — A 17-year-old transsexual boy has been granted gender reassignment surgery in Argentina.The Consulting Bioethics Committee of the Córdoba Judiciary decided that the child, known as Nati, can now go ahead with surgery and can also have the gender changed on her official documents including her birth certificate.The landmark decision to allow Nati to receive the surgery follows three years of petitioning.

  • 26th September 2007

    Harman: Equality is at the heart of Labour

    “Barbara (Follett, minister for equality) and I will pledge to be every bit as much champions of all strands of equality. “

    5:45 PM — The Prime Minister made a ten-minute appearance at an event organised by Stonewall last night.It was the first time that Gordon Brown had mixed and mingled with so many LGBT activists from his own party, and he seemed relaxed during his time at the function.Absolutely Equal, supported by Barclays, was a joint event between Stonewall, the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission and Equal Rights on Age.

  • Study finds suicide more likely in those unsure of sexuality

    Murphy believes that the number of attempted suicides and suicidal thoughts reported can be largely attributed to homophobic bullying.

    5:30 PM — Young people confused about their sexuality are most vulnerable to suicide, a study of university students has revealed.The University of Washington research found that while gay, lesbian and bisexual participants are twice as likely as heterosexuals to have attempted suicide, those who still have issues with defining their sexuality are six times as likely.Of the 528 participants, 79 of these identified themselves as same sex attracted heterosexuals.

  • Ministers answer gay questions at Stonewall event 2

    Ms Eagle is the only openly lesbian MP and was appointed as a junior Treasury minister by Gordon Brown in June.

    4:50 PM — The recently-appointed minister for equality and two leading gay Labour politicians faced questions from their own party activists at a conference fringe event last night.The panel discussion, entitled Equality for the next decade, was organised by the LGBT Labour group and gay equality organisation Stonewall.Chaired by out gay MEP Michael Cashman, equality minister Barbara Follett, Labour LGBT co-chair Alon Or-bach and Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill were joined by Angela Eagle.

  • US hate crimes law faces key vote in Senate 7

    Veteran Senator Ted Kennedy, who sponsored the bill, spoke on the floor of the Senate yesterday and urged his fellow legislators to support it.

    1:25 PM — Attempts by Republican Senator and Presidential hopeful John McCain to block new legislation that would extent hate crimes to cover LGBT people will come to a head tomorrow with a crucial vote.Democratic Senator Harry Reid has filed a cloture motion on the hate crimes bill, a procedural move to overcome Senator McCain's objection to bringing the amendment to the floor.60 Senators will need to vote in favour of the cloture motion for passages of the hate crimes bill to be added as an amendment to the Department of Defence (DoD) authorisation bill.

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