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Current Affairs

  • 19th November 2007

    Senate blocks backdoor appointment of Bush nominee 3

    The Surgeon General of the United States is nominated by the President and confirmed via majority vote by the Senate.

    6:15 PM — Suggestions that the President of the United States was to use Congress' two-week Thanksgiving recess to appoint a new Surgeon General without Senate approval have been quashed by a legislative manoeuvre.Dr James Holsinger, the President's nominee for the post, last week reportedly told friends that he will be appointed during the recess, side-stepping the need for Congressional approval.He has been criticised by gay rights groups, physicians and politicians for writing in 1991 that gay sex is unnatural and unhealthy.

  • First gay Somali website launched 74

    The site, the first of its kind for the Muslim East African nation, is aimed at the UK Somalian gay community. Image: Afrolnews.

    6:15 PM — A website aimed at improving communication between Somalian gay men has now gone live.The site, the first of its kind for the Muslim East African nation, is aimed at the UK Somalian gay community but it is hoped that it will reach those who feel trapped in the homophobic country and show that there are others like them.

  • Peer collapses during gay parents debate 11

    Labour Peer Lord Brennan, 65, collapsed and required heart massage before the second hearing of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill was adjourned to a later date.

    6:15 PM — A Lords debate on a proposed new law that would make gay and lesbian parenting easier was adjourned after a peer collapsed in the House yesterday.The move was aimed at making the need for a father at IVF children unnecessary.Some peers however said it should uphold the importance of both parents.

  • Police offficer cautioned in cruising crackdown 6

    The police officer involved, who has not been named, was fined 13 days pay for the incident through the forces own disciplinary proceedings.

    6:15 PM — A total of 32 people, including a police officer, have been cautioned as a result of a crackdown on cruising in a toilet block in Wallasey, Liverpool.Six people were charged under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for the alleged sexual activity that happened in the toilets on Harrison Drive in the New Brighton area of the city earlier this year.

  • Arizona city vows to protect LGBT people 57

    Arizona is relatively liberal on the map of states of the US and their treatment of homosexuality.

    6:15 PM — A city in Arizona's Personnel Board has voted unanimously to recommend the city protects gays and transgender people from discrimination.This is the first of Scottsdale's three part ordinance, including a proposal requiring all of the cities businesses to offer protection for the LGBT community.There were a few objections to the board's approval.

  • Australian opposition leader vows he won’t turn gay

    After knocking back suggestions put to him, including those from Dame Edna and Kel from Kath and Kim he appeared to have confessed the only person he would turn gay for was his wife Therese.

    6:15 PM — Front runner in the up-coming Australian elections, Kevin Rudd, agreed to answer a question about who he would turn gay for on a TV show last week.The Labour leader became the first political leader to brave the popular youth variety show Rove Live.During the programme Mr Rudd admitted to being a "nerd" and also said he could beat current Prime Minister John Howard in a bar fight.

  • Korea urged to reinstate orientation discrimination proposals

    Hahn Chae Yoon, director of the Alliance, has claimed the move was due to an upcoming presidential election.

    4:50 PM — Plans to drop sexual orientation from a proposed bill on anti-discrimination in South Korea have been met with disappointment from LGBT organisations all over the world.The bill, the first of its kind in the country was announced in October.According to news reports and members from the ruling Democratic Labour Party, sexual orientation has since been removed from the draft along with other categories such as ideologies, appearance and military status.

  • Hungary considers new rights for unmarried couples

    The Hungarian government is led by socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany who controls 54 per cent of the 386 seats.

    1:20 PM — Gay and unmarried couples in Hungary may soon be able to register their "domestic relationships" following draft legislation which the government is submitting to parliament this week.According to a government spokesman, David Daroczi, the proposed law, which would take effect from 1st January 2009, would give couples many of the same benefits as married couples, including rights of inheritance and taking each other's name.They would not, however, be able to adopt children.

  • Former Tory leader attacks lesbian parents 35

    Mr Duncan Smith's comments are at odds with the gay-friendly image the party is keen to cultivate since David Cameron took over as leader.

    1:15 PM — A leading member of the Conservative party has launched a full-frontal attack on the rights of lesbian and gay couples to equal parenting rights.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is due before the House of Lords today.It contains new rules that will allow the gay and lesbian couples to become the legal parents of a child conceived through donated sperm, eggs or embryos.

  • Mayoral candidate reveals first gay experience

    49-year-old Mr Paddick won 73% of the first preference votes in a ballot of London Lib Dem party members to become their candidate for Mayor.

    11:51 AM — The recently-selected Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London will divulge details of his first gay sexual encounter in his memoirs.Brian Paddick's autobiography Line of Fire is not due for publication until April 2008, just weeks before the election.Already there is widespread speculation about the contents of the book, which will almost certainly contain heavy criticism of London's Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

  • Allen resigns after sex solicitation conviction

    Republican party representatives said last week he should resign from office and threatened to remove him.

    11:21 AM — A senior Florida Republican has resigned from the state legislature following his conviction for soliciting oral sex from an undercover police officer.Bob Allen was spotted by police in Titusville, Florida on July 11th acting suspiciously at the men's toilets in a park.Officers decided to send a policeman undercover to investigate, and within minutes Mr Allen agreed to pay him $20 (£10) to allow him to perform oral sex.

  • Poles march for equality as new government takes office

    LGBT rights activists were joined by politicians from green and left-wing parties on the annual Equality March in Poznan, western Poland, on Saturday.

    10:45 AM — LGBT rights activists were joined by politicians from green and left-wing parties on the annual Equality March in Poznan, western Poland, on Saturday.More than 300 people, carrying rainbow flags and banners, took part in the peaceful demonstration in Poland's fifth-largest city, with only a few counter-demonstrators on hand to protest.It was seen as a key test of the new government's attitude to gay rights events.

  • Clinton leads opponents after debate 1

    Pundits across the United States crowned the New York senator queen of the night with just seven weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses.

    10:04 AM — The word on the street is that Hillary Clinton was the star performer during last week's Democratic presidential debates held in Las Vegas.Pundits across the United States crowned the New York senator queen of the night with just seven weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses.The Los Angeles Times, for instance, said that although Clinton's challengers to the throne, Barack Obama and John Edwards, tried to knock her from her position at the head of the pack, they didn't succeed.

  • 18th November 2007

    Tutu hits out at Church of England over treatment of gays 6

    Desmond Tutu: Church has been “extraordinarily homophobic“

    1:00 AM — Archbishop Desmond Tutu has criticised the Anglican church for being "obsessed" with homosexuality, in a BBC radio interview to be broadcast on Tuesday. He said that if he believed that God was homophobic, he wouldn't be a Christian.The Nobel Peace Prize winner, said he was ashamed of his church because of its treatment of gays. He said that Rowan Williams has not demonstrated the attributes of a "welcoming God" to homosexuals.

  • 17th November 2007

    Anti-gay church vows to take control of Microsoft 10

    Microsoft founder Bill Gates's trust fund owns a major stake in an LGBT publisher

    6:30 PM — An evangelical Christian pastor has vowed to take over Microsoft, one of the world's largest companies by packing it with shareholders who will vote against their policy of advocating gay rights.The Reverend Ken Hutcherson, a former Dallas Cowboys player is the self proclaimed head of the Antioch Bible Church, based in Redmond, the home of Microsoft's headquarters.Microsoft has a strong diversity policy and LGBT staff enjoy a well-funded employee group.

  • 16th November 2007

    Gay rights group suggests sending flowers to Ahmadinejad 1

    The Islamic Sharia law followed in Iran makes gay sex illegal, with penalty of death for offenders as young as 14 years old.

    5:31 PM — The Iranian Queer Organisation IRQO is asking people to send two flowers to the President of Iran as a protest against the treatment of gay and lesbian people under his regime.The idea grew out of the campaign to stop Iranian lesbian Pegah Emambakhsh being deported from the UK.Her supporters sent thousands of bunches of flowers to her while she was in detention, which caused disruption and helped highlight her case.

  • Nicaragua to decriminalise gay sex 2

    José Pallais, president of the Nicaraguan Parliament's Commission of Justice and Legal Issues, said the changes marked a modernisation.

    5:11 PM — Consensual gay sex will no longer be a criminal offence in Nicaragua under a new penal code due to come into effect on March 2008.The surprise news was announced earlier this week by the Nicaraguan National Assembly, reports La Prensa.Under old legislation passed in 1992, "anyone who induces, promotes, propagandises or practices sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex commits the crime of sodomy and shall incur one to three years' imprisonment."

  • New York leader wants gay marriage within two years 1

    Spitzer repeatedly endorsed gay marriage during his election campaign last autumn.

    4:30 PM — The Governor of New York has said that he wants a Democrat controlled state Senate to legalise gay marriage as one of it's priorities in 2009.Eliot Spitzer made his remarks on Wednesday at a fund-raising event for the Senate Democratic Committee in Greenwich village, where guests had paid up to $10,000 to attend.A witness told The New York Post that Governor Spitzer said:"One of the first things we're going to do when [Senate Minority Leader] Malcolm Smith is [majority] leader is gay marriage."

  • Republican guilty of soliciting gay sex avoids jail 4

    Allen was facing 60 days in jail, but instead was given six month's probation and fined $250 (£122) plus $245 costs.

    2:00 PM — A senior Florida Republican has been escaped a custodial sentence after being found guilty of soliciting oral sex from an undercover police officer.Bob Allen, a state representative and former co-chairman of the campaign to select Senator John McCain as the Republican US Presidential candidate, was spotted by police in Titusville, Florida on July 11th acting suspiciously at the men's toilets in a park.Officers decided to send a policeman undercover to investigate.

  • Anger at new US restrictions on HIV+ visitors 7

    The DHS has finally issued proposed regulations which Immigration Equality claims will make it even harder to get a short-term waiver.

    1:45 PM — New regulations issued by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which claim to offer a "streamlined," "categorical" waiver for HIV-positive people visiting the country have been criticised by American AIDS activists and immigration reform advocates.The White House used World Aids Day last year to announce a change in the rules relating to people with HIV travelling into the USA.Nearly a year later, the DHS has finally issued proposed regulations which activists claim will make it even harder to get a short-term waiver.

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