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Current Affairs

  • 20th February 2007

    Analysis: What now for the Anglicans? 4

    Archbishop Rowan Williams has avoided schism, but has also allowed a parallel “organisation“ for conservative Anglicans to be set up in the American church.

    12:19 PM — The final communique from the leaders of the Anglican church seems on the surface to provide a simple way forward.The primates demand that the American church stop ordaining gay bishops and give a commitment not to bless same sex partnerships.The Americans have been given until 30th September to make a statement pledging they will comply with these instructions.

  • Transsexual MP stands down

    Beyer has served in the post of MP for Wairarapa since 1999, campaigning for the rights of LGBT people.

    11:31 AM — Georgina Beyer, the first transsexual MP to be elected in New Zealand, has retired from her post.Beyer is also a Maori, and so a minority in more ways than one. Over the past seven years she has made history for transgender people.Not only was she the first transsexual in the world to be elected to national office, she was also the first transsexual in the world to be elected as a mayor.

  • Lesbian couple arrested for non-violent protest

    Dotti Berry and Robynne Sapp of Blaine, Washington, entered the evangelical organisation's headquarters in Colorado to join a regularly scheduled tour.

    10:50 AM — Two women were removed by police yesterday from the headquarters of American Christian pressure group Focus on the Family as part of a non-violent gay rights protest.Dotti Berry and Robynne Sapp of Blaine, Washington, entered the evangelical organisation's headquarters in Colorado to join a regularly scheduled tour.Once inside, the two women requested a meeting with James Dobson, who heads Focus on the Family.

  • Anglicans threat over gay issues 4

    Senior church leaders have also agreed to allow conservative American Anglicans to form their own organisation.

    10:10 AM — The conference of Anglican primates meeting in Tanzania has demanded that the American church stop ordaining gay bishops and give a commitment not to bless same sex partnerships.Senior church leaders have also agreed to allow conservative American Anglicans to form their own organisation.The five-day meeting exposed the divisions within the Anglican communion over gay issues.

  • Cameron’s poll surge ahead of Brown 1

    40% is the magic number for the Tories, as this is the share of the vote they will need to wrest power from Labour.

    10:10 AM — The Conservative party leader is thirteen percentage points ahead of expected Prime Minister Gordon Brown, according to the latest opinion polls.David Cameron polled 42% in an ICM poll for The Guardian yesterday to 29% for Brown.The government's gay rights record has been under scrutiny in the last month.

  • 19th February 2007

    Prodi conciliatory as Pope attacks again 2

    Church-state relations remain frosty following Pope Benedict XVI's latest attack on the proposed legislation to recognise gay couples.

    5:13 PM — The Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has promised to repair the relationship between his government and the Vatican after a fall-out over proposals to afford legal rights to same-sex partners.Prodi will meet today with Cardinal Tarcisio, Pope Benedict XVI's chief aide, and Cardinal Camillio Ruini, head of the Italian Bishops conference, to discuss church-state relations, the International Herald Tribune has reported.Church-state relations remain frosty following Pope Benedict XVI's latest attack on the proposed legislation to recognise gay couples.

  • Homophobia conference told of Iraq “sexual cleansing”

    One of the most notable contributions to the conference came from Ali Hilli, leader of the gay rights group Iraqi LGBT.

    4:26 PM — Delegates attending a human rights conference in London have been told that gay and lesbian people in Iraq are being systematically targeted.At a conference on Faith, Homophobia and Human Rights, 250 people from over fifty organisations have signed a statement condemning homophobia within religious institutions that fail to confront prejudice and hate.

  • Pioneering lesbian activist Gittings dies

    Gittings was a familiar activist in the early days of the gay rights movement in America photo: www.glbthistorymonth.com

    3:53 PM — An iconic figure in the American gay rights movement, Barbara Gittings, has died aged 74.Gittings helped found the New York chapter of lesbian rights organisation Daughters of Bilitis in 1958, and was one of the first openly gay women to gain media attention.She was also instrumental in persuading the American Psychiatric Association to stop viewing homosexuality as a mental disorder in the 1970s.

  • Catholics win right to perform gay Mass

    The diocese of Westminster pointed out in a statement that the decision did not contradict Church teaching which argues that homosexual practice is a sin.

    3:23 PM — A London Catholic organisation has been granted the right to provide Mass for LGBT parishioners following discussions with the Head of the Catholic church in England and Wales.The Soho Masses Pastoral Council is an elected group of Catholics responsible for organising masses in the Soho area.It has gained permission from Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, to hold Masses and give pastoral care to LGBT Catholics.

  • HIV privacy threatened by NHS database 7

    Cambridge University Professor Ross Anderson revealed how during the 1990s the NHS secretly created a national register of everyone being treated for HIV.

    1:55 PM — People with HIV will have details of their names, treatments and status placed on a central national register if government plans for a new medical database go ahead.Sensitive personal information could be handed over without the consent of patients or doctors, a top computer scientist has warned.Cambridge University Professor Ross Anderson revealed how during the 1990s the NHS secretly created a national register of everyone being treated for HIV.

  • China’s first gay marriage protest

    “Love has no boundaries; it is nothing to do with gender.

    12:20 PM — On Valentine's Day, Beijing's gay population protested for same-sex marriage to be legalised. This was the first protest for that cause in China.The protest took place during lunch hour in a well-populated business area.As part of the protest, flyers were given out, and these flyers were used to cover red carnations.

  • Mayor pleads innocent to heterosexism 1

    Hipkin contended that “family homes can be built for gay people with children.“

    12:12 PM — A former Cambridge mayor has been accused of "heterosexism" after he asked for more family homes to be built.Liberal Democrat Councillor John Hipkin, who has a gay brother, told the BBC that he took "deep exception" to a complaint made to Cambridge Council over his demand for more family housing.Hipkin currently represents Cambridge's Castle ward and was first elected in May 1992.

  • Report shows grim gay existence in Nigeria

    Simply taking part in a gay or lesbian club or support group would be illegal. photo: zouzouwizman@flickr.com

    12:06 PM — Nigerian LGBT people opposed to a new anti-gay law in the country have spoken about their experiences in a report for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).Voices from Nigeria details homophobic attacks, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and increased levels of homophobia that have already begun as a result of the introduction of the legislation, referred to as the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.The Act launches a vigorous attack on freedom of expression.

  • New Jersey grants civil unions from today

    Currently Massachusetts is the only US state to marry same-sex couples but civil unions are legal in Vermont and Connecticut.

    11:28 AM — The American state of New Jersey has become the fifth state in the nation to grant marriage rights to same-sex couples.A new law, which was enforced across the state today, allows gay and lesbian couples to apply for a civil union and benefit from the same legal protection that heterosexual couples enjoy.However, the new unions are not identified as a marriage.

  • Anglican gay arguments influenced by Rome merger 1

    Fr Reynolds argues that the backdrop of a rapprochement with the Vatican is a key factor driving the hardline position of many primates.

    11:08 AM — The ongoing row over gays in the Anglican church took a new turn today with the revelation that senior church figures are considering submitting to the authority of the Pope.A commission set up in 2000 to consider ways of re-uniting the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches is due to report later this year. The Times newspaper published extracts of the report today, and it includes the proposal that the Anglican church should work towards recognising the Pope as head of the church.

  • 17th February 2007

    African archbishops refuse to take communion 1

    The ordination of Gene Robinson is just one issue of difference

    4:42 PM — Seven archbishops who claim to represent more than 30 million Anglicans have refused to take Communion with Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding head of the American Episcopal Church in protest of her support of gay clergy (including Gene Robinson- pictured)and gay unions.In a statement released at the Anglican conference in Dar Es Salaam, the archbishops said: "We each take the celebration of the Holy Eucharist very seriously."

  • 16th February 2007

    Lesbian couple lose pub court case 1

    The couple's alleged heavy petting caused two regular customers to complain.

    3:24 PM — A Hertfordshire landlady accused of excluding two lesbian police officers from her pub on homophobic grounds was cleared of a public order offence on Tuesday.Magistrates in St. Albans ruled that due to "significant inconsistencies" in the evidence given by prosecution witnesses, Nicola Hackett, 38, would not be prosecuted.Ms. Hackett told The Sun : "I'm over the moon. It has been very, very traumatic for me."

  • Jamaican mob terrorise gays 28

    International human rights organisations have described Jamaica as one of the most homophobic places in the world.

    3:14 PM — Three gay men were stoned by a huge mob in a homophobic attack in Jamaica this Wednesday.Police came to rescue the men from a pharmacy in Saint Andrew Parish, where they had been hiding for almost an hour.An angry crowd had gathered outside the pharmacy, hurling insults and threatening to kill the men.

  • Gay Iraqis face continued persecution 1

    Sectarian blackmail, mutilation, and assassination of gays are rife.

    3:02 PM — The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has promised to crack down on the persecution of gay people in Iraq.The slaughter of gay Iraqis by Islamist death squads is yet another tragic consequence of the chaos and carnage in this beleaguered country.It would seem that no-one is safe from fundamentalist militias, who target Iraqis for "crimes against Islam," which might include drinking alcohol, having a Sunni name, or not being veiled if you are a woman.

  • Faith and homophobia conference tomorrow 1

    The conference will focus on key issues relating to faith, homophobia and human rights.

    12:06 PM — A ground-breaking conference on "Faith, Homophobia and Human Rights" will take place tomorrow, Saturday 17th February, in London's East End.It comes as Anglican leaders meet in Tanzania to debate the church's position on gay people - a highly controversial issue for the Anglican communion.The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM), who are coordinating the conference, have secured sponsorship and support from over 50 prominent organisations.

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