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Current Affairs

  • 27th June 2007

    German politicians criticise gay roleplay at school

    Juergen Zoellne, local MP for Education said, ““The authors behind the idea used a very common language among pupils and the exercises proved to be suitable for school.“

    10:10 AM — In an effort to combat playground homophobia, a school in Berlin has introduced a series controversial exercises that role-play picking up a gay partner.The Regional Institute for School and Media, which teaches children of 14 and over, hopes they will help to change their attitudes towards gay people.Some German politicians have been outraged by the plans.

  • 26th June 2007

    Blair to step down as an MP

    Traditionally former Prime Ministers are offered a seat in the House of Lords once they leave the Commons.

    6:15 PM — The Prime Minister will resign as MP for Sedgefield within hours of leaving Downing St, it has been reported.He is expected to take up a new peace-keeping role in the Middle East on behalf of the international community almost immediately.It was expected that Mr Blair, who has introduced a wide range of gay rights in his ten years in power, would not remain in the House of Commons after the next general election.

  • Putin backs gay-baiting Moscow mayor’s reappointment

    Mr Luzhkov says he will not allow a gay pride parade “in any form.“

    5:03 PM — Yuri Luzhkov, Moscow's gay-hating, bee-keeping mayor, looks set for another 4 years in office after receiving the official backing of President Putin.The City Duma holds a special meeting tomorrow to approve his nomination.The 71-year-old Mayor is well-known to Western activists for his trenchant opposition to gay rights.

  • School says sorry for gay kiss censorship

    The district has said it will reissue an unedited copy of the 2007 year book to any pupil who asks for one.

    3:53 PM — Officials from the Newark City School District have issued an apology after a male student's year book picture was ordered to be blacked out with marker pen because it contained a gay kiss.The 4.5-by-5-inch photo showed pupil Andre Jackson, 18, turning round to kiss boyfriend, David Escobales, 19, over his right shoulder.The picture, which he had paid $150 to include on a special tribute page, was accompanied by similar poses from heterosexual couples.

  • Labour gays voted Cruddas for deputy

    LGBT Labour is an affiliated society of the Labour party, meaning its members can vote along with members of trade unions and other societies.

    3:36 PM — A breakdown of the votes cast by the members of the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (LGBT Labour) has revealed that backbench candidate Jon Cruddas was their choice for Deputy Leader.Justice Minister Harriet Harman won the contest to succeed John Prescott on Sunday, after five rounds of voting.She eventually took the lead with 50.43% to Education Secretary Alan Johnson's 49.56%

  • Anti-gay Tory defects to Labour 10

    In March 2007 he was one of the Tory MPs who defied their own front  bench and tried to stop the Sexual Orientation Regulations in House of Commons.

    3:15 PM — An MP with a hostile voting record on gay issues has defected from the Conservatives to the Labour party.Quentin Davies, a former Tory Shadow Cabinet member, has been an MP for 20 years and represents Grantham, the home town of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.He announced his defection the day before Tony Blair is to leave office, and attacked Tory leader David Cameron in his resignation letter.

  • Welsh gay community’s silent victims of abuse

    The investigation comes in response to news that recorded crimes against gay and lesbian people in Wales are on the increase.

    1:45 PM — A new BBC Wales investigation has revealed that as many as 80% of the gay community suffer verbal or physical abuse in their lifetime.Yet according to Home Office figures only one in ten of these incidents will be reported.The investigation comes in response to news that recorded crimes against gay and lesbian people in Wales are on the increase.

  • Gay activists welcome New York marriage proposal

    This week's progress in New York is just the tip of the iceberg as far as equality for same-sex couples and their families is concerned.

    11:30 AM — Last week the New York State Assembly passed a bill, by a vote of 85 to 61, to extend to same-sex couples the freedom to marry.Only two other legislative chambers, both houses of the California Legislature, have passed similar legislation in the past.The bill now moves to the state Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority.

  • 75% of gay kids in faith schools suffer homophobic bullying

    The survey of 1,145 young people was conducted by the Schools Health Education Unit for Stonewall.

    12:01 AM — Homophobic bullying plagues the majority of UK schools and shocking levels of bullying are meted out to school pupils and teachers who either are gay or perceived to be gay.That is the conclusion of a wide-ranging study carried by gay equality organisation Stonewall.Nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of such harassment.

  • 25th June 2007

    Top Tory gives away gay friend at partnership ceremony 2

    Since Labour came to power he has voted against the equalisation of consent, the abolition of Section 28 and the rights of gay couples to adopt.

    3:30 PM — David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, has revealed that he recently attended a civil partnership ceremony.The MP for Haltemprice and Howden is seen as more right-wing than David Cameron, who defeated him in the contest for Conservative leader in 2005.In an interview with the Daily Telegraph Mr Davis claims to be a social liberal.

  • RAF uniforms banned from London Pride

    The MoD is keen to promote all the armed services as good employers for minority groups.

    2:13 PM — The Royal Air Force has announced that personnel who wear uniform to march in the Pride parade in London will face disciplinary action.A letter from Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, the Chief of the Air Staff, to station commanders says that LGB airmen and women can attend Pride but not in uniform.Last week the Chief of the General Staff has issued orders banning LGB Army staff from marching in uniform at the event this Saturday.

  • Abu Hamza unhappy with gay nurse 6

    Abu Hamza was convicted in February 2006 of inciting racial hatred and murder.

    12:54 PM — A jailed Islamic preacher has complained to the Prison Service about his homosexual personal care nurse.Abu Hamza was convicted in February 2006 of inciting racial hatred and murder. He has been held at Belmarsh high security prison since 2004.Hamza has a hook instead of a right hand, and requires help from a nurse to wash and dress. The Mirror reports that the hate preacher has discovered that his regular nurse for the last two years is a gay man.

  • Obama: religion has been hijacked by Right

    Senator Obama believes that states should decide whether to allow gay marriage, and he opposes a constitutional amendment against it.

    12:24 PM — US Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama told a church convention on Saturday that some right-wing evangelical leaders have exploited and politicised religious beliefs in an effort to sow division."Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and faith started being used to drive us apart," the Illinois senator said in a 30-minute speech before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.

  • Democrat husband and wife differ on gay rights

    Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards.

    12:20 PM — Elizabeth Edwards came out in support of legalised gay marriage at yesterday's gay pride celebration in San Francisco, taking a position which she acknowledged is at odds with her husband, Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards."I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me," the San Francisco Chronicle reports Edwards saying. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."But that position differs markedly from her husband, the former North Carolina Senator.

  • Pope criticises Tony Blair over civil partnerships 9

    Mr Blair gave the Pontiff antique pictures of 19th Century English Cardinal Henry Newman.

    12:00 PM — Pope Benedict XVI used a personal audience with outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair to express his displeasure at the advancement in gay rights in the UK.During his 25-minute private meeting with Tony Blair on Saturday, the Pope questioned the use of stem cells in research, the availability of abortion, civil partnerships and adoption by gay couples, as well as the war in Iraq.Downing St said that the gay issues were raised by Vatican officials but not the Pope.

  • Canadians avoid split over gay blessings

    Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is keen to try to find a compromise that will hold the fractured church together.

    10:38 AM — The Anglican church in Canada has narrowly voted against allowing individual dioceses to bless same-sex relationships.The decision will come as a relief to the Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Church worldwide, who is keen to avoid a schism over gay issues.However, at the General Synod in Winnipeg, the Canadians also decided that blessing same-sex relationships was not in breach of their "core doctrine."

  • 24th June 2007

    Labour LGBT welcome Brown and Harman 3

    Harriet Harman and Gordon Brown (flickr)

    9:46 PM — The Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (LGBT Labour) has welcomed the confirmation of the Gordon Brown as the new leader of the Labour Party and the election of Harriet Harman as deputy leader.In a statement released to PinkNews.co.uk, the camapign group said that both Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman have a strong commitment to supporting equality.

  • Gordon Brown’s acceptance speech focuses on families 3

    Gordon Brown focused on families

    6:46 PM — Gordon Brown today took over the leadership of the governing Labour party from Tony Blair. His speech focused heavily on families but did say that the progress in gay rights has changed Britain for the better."In the last ten years, from make poverty history to campaigns on disability, gay rights and the environment, Britain has changed for the better, not just because of government, but because of movements that have gone beyond traditional parties, captured people's imaginations and transformed people's lives."

  • Harman wins by a tiny majority after five rounds

    Ms Harman's victory was a surprise result - Education Secretary Alan Johnson was tipped to win.

    3:10 PM — Today's election for a new Deputy Leader of the Labour party was the closest since 1981.In the fifth and final round of voting, Ms Harman took the lead with 50.43% to Alan Johnson's 49.56%She was overtaken by Alan Johnson until the last round, and it is thought many Jon Cruddas voters gave support to her.

  • Exclusive: Harriet Harman’s message to the gay community 1

    At the very start of this seemingly endless campaign for Deputy Leader, Ms Harman got a lot of flak for saying that Labour “needed“ a woman in the role.

    2:46 PM — Justice Minister Harriet Harman has something she wants to say to the gay community, particularly those who grew up during the Blair years."Young people, remember! Remember! Be afraid!"Hoodies, perhaps? Terrorism? The threat of a nude Keith Chegwin returning to our television screens?No - the resurgent Conservative party.

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