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Current Affairs

  • 15th April 2008

    Obama lags behind Clinton in Pennsylvania poll 1

    On Monday, a new poll from the American Research group gave Clinton a 20% lead over Obama in Pennsylvania.

    10:30 AM — Following controversial remarks saying some working-class Americans are "bitter" and "cling to guns or religion", Democratic Presidential contender Barack Obama is facing a 20% drop against rival Hillary Clinton in a new Pennsylvania poll.In the new American Research Group poll, Clinton now leads Obama 57% to 37%. Previously, the two Democratic candidates were tied at 45% each in the statewide poll.On Monday, Illinois Senator Barack Obama continued defending remarks made at a private fundraiser in San Francisco.

  • Berlusconi back in power, but what about gay rights? 2

    Silvio Berlusconi with fellow conservative, George Bush

    1:37 AM — Conservative media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi has declared victory in the Italian general election as he looks set to begin his third term as prime minister after beating socialist Walter Veltroni.In a phone call to Rai TV, Signor Berlusconi said of his victory: "I'm moved, I feel a great responsibility. We have difficult months ahead that will require great strength."Berlusconi's right wing alliance is expected to have won 45.9 per cent of the vote, compared to 39.1 per cent for the left.

  • 14th April 2008

    Digby Jones to resign from Government

    Lord Jones may resign from the Government

    5:00 PM — The position of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown is continuing to look shaky.The Trade Minister, Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham, the former Director-General of the CBI is to resign before the next election in order to avoid a row that could damage the Government. The Times reports that the controversial minister told business leaders and lobbyists his plans.

  • Berlusconi victory will stall gay rights in Italy 3

    With Mr Berlusconi and his allies back in office the modest gay rights agenda is likely to be abandoned completely.

    3:20 PM — Exit polls from last weekend's Italian general election are predicting a small majority for former Prime Minister, businessman and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi's right-wing group.The 71-year-old has had an interesting campaign, at one point mocking his left-wing opponents for not having many attractive female candidates.The public have been less than enchanted, going to the polls to determine who will lead Italy's 63rd government since 1945.

  • Pressure grows on EU over discrimination directive 2

    In 2004 Mr Barroso made a statement before the Parliament promising to personally ensure that the legal protections would be enlarged.

    2:40 PM — The European Commission has been urged by several leading groups in the European Parliament to implement a discrimination directive that covers sexual orientation.There have been strong indications from Commission President Jose Manual Barroso and employment, social affairs and equal opportunities commissioner Vladimir Spidla that the directive may focus on disability only.Article 13 of the Amsterdam Treaty requires EU member states to introduce legislation on discrimination.

  • Trans prisoner committed suicide, inquest rules

    The inquest in Bristol heard how Ms Woodhall was called a “transvestite“ by fellow inmates despite her transition.

    12:30 PM — A woman who hanged herself in her prison cell after complaining of harassment because she had transitioned committed suicide, an inquest into her death has ruled.Lisa Woodhall was serving a four and half year sentence after she slashed the throat of her boyfriend's ex-lover.She had complained that she was being victimised and picked on by other inmates because she had transitioned from being a man.

  • Wales may get “ex-gay” ministry 8

    Stephen Green is best-known as the head of anti-gay lobby group Christian Voice.

    12:10 PM — The controversial fundamentalist Christian Stephen Green has hinted that the controversial movement that encourages people to "pray away the gay" and become straight could be established in Wales.Mr Green, who is notorious for his protests at gay Pride events, made his remarks in a BBC Wales current affairs programme, Week In, Week Out. While being interviewed by H from Steps, also known as Ian Watkins, he told the former pop star, who came out in 2007, that he could "walk away" from homosexuality.

  • Ken releases list of celeb supporters 2

    A majority of opinion polls indicate a very tight race between Mr Livingstone and his Conservative rival Boris Johnson.

    11:15 AM — The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has compiled a list of actors, entertainers and celebrities who support his campaign for a third term in office. Among his backers are Blur frontman Damon Albarn, comedians Bill Bailey and Jo Brand, artists Anthony Gormley and Banksy.

  • 13th April 2008

    Blears: BNP and UKIP voters will boost Boris 6

    Hazel Blears is in charge of the Labour party's local election campaign.

    1:50 PM — The Secretary of State for Communities has said that the Tory candidate for Mayor of London will "depend on attracting support in second preferences from BNP and UKIP supporters" to win the May 1st election.Hazel Blears, who is in charge of the Labour party's local election campaign, made her comments in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph in which she characterised the council elections as vital for David Cameron.

  • Schwarzenegger to fight against gay marriage ban 5

    Arnold Schwarzenegger has previously been opposed to gay marriage

    1:30 AM — The Republican governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he will fight against any bans on gay marriage. He surprised delegates at the San Diego at the convention of the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest gay Republican group.Mr Schwarzenegger has previously vetoed attempts to legalise gay marriage but said he will oppose a state wide vote for a constitutional ban on gay marriage: "I will always be there to fight against that."

  • 12th April 2008

    Istanbul gay group raided by police 2

    Lawyers for the Lambda Istanbul Cultural Centre later discovered that an accusation had been lodged against the association.

    6:00 PM — Police officers in Turkey have raided the offices of a leading LGBT organisation on the pretence that "frequent visits by transgender people" were grounds to issue a search warrant.Lawyers for the Lambda Istanbul Cultural Centre later discovered that an accusation had been lodged against the association for "participating in illegal prostitution activities, procuring transgender sex workers and sharing their earnings."More than a dozen plainclothes officers spent two hours at the centre on Monday afternoon.

  • 11th April 2008

    Map of the world plots LGBT rights 6

    To see the map click here.

    5:45 PM — A global gay rights federation is celebrating its 30th anniversary with an updated map of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans rights across the globe.Founded in 1978, the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) is a federation of more than 600 groups in 90 countries campaigning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) rights."A print version of the map will be sent to all members of ILGA in the following weeks," a spokesperson said.

  • Gay Eurovision fans threatened by Serb thugs 3

    Their threats have led some to question whether Belgrade is a suitable location for Eurovision.

    5:00 PM — The honour of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest has fallen to Serbia this year, and fascist groups in the country are already promising violence against people attending the festivities.Gay men are a particular target, according to the president of the fascist organisation Obraz, who announced his violent intentions in the pages of daily newspaper ALO! earlier this week.The newspaper ran a story on April 7th, calling Eurovision "gay youth day."

  • 80% of insurance companies failing gay men

    80% of frontline customer service staff of insurance companies gave incorrect information around gay men and insurance.

    4:15 PM — New research has found that many leading insurance providers in the UK are still sending gay men for unnecessary HIV tests.In a survey insurance company staff were all asked to provide their company's limit at which an applicant would be sent for an HIV test.Two companies, Royal Liver and Bright Grey, were praised for their industry-beating limit of £1,000,000 of cover without HIV testing for gay men within a civil partnership.

  • Nigerian Sharia court punishes lesbian couple 4

    In Bauchi state alone there are 40 people awaiting amputation of one or both hands for theft.

    3:00 PM — Two women in Kaduna, Nigeria have been sentenced to six months in prison and 20 lashes each for having a lesbian relationship.The Sharia court said that Malama Hauwa and Hajiya Ai'sha were violating the tenets of Islam and the teachings of Sharia law.The women claimed in court to have been married for five years. Ai'sha said she had paid a dowry of 5,000 Nigerian naira (£21) to her 'wife' at the start of their relationship.

  • Gay group reminds people to register to vote

    Stonewall used the popularity of voting for reality TV show contestants to make a point about local elections.

    2:03 PM — Stonewall, the largest lesbian, gay and bisexual equality organisation in the UK, has reminded people to register to vote ahead of the elections on May 1st.All councils in Wales and 135 local authorities in England will hold elections.The Mayor of London and the city's 25-member Assembly will also be elected that day.

  • Lesbian “tug of war” custody case goes to Supreme Court

    Lisa Miller is appealing the decision to the Virginia Supreme Court. photo: davidpaulohmer@flickr.com

    1:40 PM — A lesbian woman who is attempting to use a US state law banning gay marriage to exclude her former partner from custody of their daughter will have her case heard in the Virginia Supreme Court next week.Janet Jenkins (formerly Miller-Jenkins) and Lisa Miller (formerly Miller-Jenkins) were joined in a civil union in Vermont and shortly thereafter had a child.After the women ended their relationship, Miller moved to Virginia with the women's daughter.

  • Obama and Clinton’s accessibility to gay media assessed

    Obama's interview with The Advocate is the second he has done with the national gay magazine in the past two years.

    12:50 PM — Democratic US Presidential contender Barack Obama has faced increasing criticism in the LGBT community in recent weeks for refusing to speak to the gay and lesbian press.While rival Hillary Clinton has gone on record with gay media outlets such as Logo and the Philadelphia Gay News, Obama has turned down repeated requests for interviews.Now Obama is speaking out at last directly to the gay community in an exclusive interview with The Advocate.

  • 10th April 2008

    Elton John laments American misogyny at Hillary gig 3

    Sir Elton sang several of his classic songs at the concert, such as Rocket Man, Daniel and Your Song.

    2:55 PM — Singer Sir Elton John has attacked the sexist attitude of some American voters at a fundraising concert for Hillary Clinton last night.Senator Clinton is one of two leading candidates for the Democratic party nomination for President, and she appeared on stage with Sir Elton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton."I've always been a Hillary supporter," Sir Elton said. "There is no one more qualified to lead America. Having said that, I never cease to be amazed at the misogynistic attitude of some people in this country."

  • Five more convicted in Egypt’s HIV crackdown 5

    The men were charged with the “habitual practice of debauchery,“ a term which in Egyptian law includes consensual sexual acts between men.

    1:20 PM — Five men have been sentenced to three years in prison in Egypt for consensual homosexual acts.Their convictions are the latest in what has been characterised by human rights groups as "a police crackdown" on people living with HIV/AIDS.At least 12 men have been arrested and four have already been sentenced to a year in jail.

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