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Current Affairs

  • 8th February 2007

    Christians attack Obama’s record on gay rights 2

    He first came to be spoken of as a future President after the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

    4:38 PM — Before he has even officially declared his intention to run for President, Barack Obama is under attack for his pro-gay views.The junior Senator from Illinois is expected to announce on Saturday that he intends to run for the highest office in the land.Obama is the only African-American in the Senate, and his candidacy is already being compared to that of President John F Kennedy.

  • Lesbian lovers lies land them in jail

    Mr Mytton added that his client never thought Mr Austin would be remanded in custody.

    4:02 PM — Two former lesbian lovers have been jailed for making false claims against a man who subsequently spent two weeks in custody last August.25-year-old Kerry-Ann Austin, of Leyfields in Lichfield, was sentenced to two months in jail after lying to the police about her husband, Paul, breaching a restraining order not to contact her.Her lesbian partner Louise Howes, 29 - sister of Paul - was also given the same sentence.

  • Northern Ireland most bigoted place, survey reveals

    The main target of the Northern Ireland bigots are gay people, with over a thirds of respondents saying they did not want gay neighbours.

    12:59 PM — Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of bigoted people in the western world, according to research from the University of Ulster.Not only does the province have the highest proportion of bigots, but the bigots are on average more bigoted than those in other countries.The main target of Northern Irish prejudice is the gay community, with over a third of respondents saying they did not want gay neighbours.

  • Italy gay marriage vote too close to call 4

    Opinion polls show 69% of the country's Catholics are in favour of the new laws, which would grant cohabiting couples similar rights to married ones.

    12:06 PM — The fragile unity of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government will be severely tested when proposals to offer legal recognition for same-sex unions are to be unveiled in the next few days.Some are already seeing this as a referendum on Mr Prodi's vulnerable nine-party centre-left coalition.The situation has been made worse by intense lobbying from opposition MPs and the Catholic Church, with Pope Benedict XVI chastising the proposals as "anti-church and anti-family."

  • Colombian court recognises same-sex rights

    It is still not clear how far the court's decision will go in recognising same-sex partner rights.  photo: dweekly@flickr

    10:58 AM — For the first time, the Constitutional Court in the South American state of Colombia has acknowledged the rights of same sex partners.Although homosexual relationships were decriminalised in the 1980s, serious human rights violations against LGBT people are commonplace.The country has been the scene of social unrest for decades, with powerful drug cartels challenging the authority of the government.

  • US Army scared of lesbians, says Congressman 1

    Congressman Ackerman suggested to Ms Rice that as the Army was sacking much-needed translators for being gay, her department could hire them instead.

    10:25 AM — A member of the House of Representatives has said that the American military is more scared of lesbians than terrorists.Gary Ackerman, from New York, was questioning Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a Congressional committee into 2008 State Department budget.The Congressman was questioning the current military policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

  • 7th February 2007

    Gay activist push “no kids no marriage” law 1

    The proposed ballot measure would require couples to prove they can have children to get a marriage licence.

    4:00 PM — Same-sex marriage advocates in the American state of Washington are proposing a state ballot measure that would limit marriage to couples who prove they can bear children within three years.Proponents say the proposal was aimed at "social conservatives who have long screamed that marriage exists for the sole purpose of procreation."The Washington Defence of Marriage Alliance acknowledged on its website that the initiative was "absurd."

  • Disgraced preacher “discovers” he is straight 1

    Haggard has revealed he and his wife plan to move away from Colorado and study for a degree in psychology.

    3:35 PM — Ted Haggard, the former pastor of an evangelical super church who was forced to resign after revelations of a three-year affair with a male prostitute, has said he was "acting out" and is still a heterosexual.The revelation came in an interview in the Denver Post with one of the four pastors who have been giving Haggard an intensive course of counselling.

  • £17,000 payout in discrimination case

    The tribunal found that the company did not deal with the complaints of homophobia correctly.

    2:10 PM — A gay man who was suspended for complaining about anti-gay graffiti has been awarded over £17,000 compensation by an employment tribunal.Chris Martin won his case against Parkam Foods last September. The West Yorkshire company supply pre-packaged meats to many of the major UK supermarkets.Since the introduction of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations in December 2003 only a small number of cases have been brought to a tribunal.

  • Scots Cardinal attacks “hedonistic society” 1

    Catholic leaders in Scotland are hoping the influx of Polish migrants to the country will affect the outcome of the upcoming elections for the country's parliament.

    11:55 AM — The leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics has attacked modern Britain for allowing gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children.Cardinal Keith O'Brien said that equal rights were a sign of a "deeply hedonistic society" and complained that morals were being trumped by freedom of choice and lifestyle.The church in Scotland has been vocal in its opposition to gay adoption.

  • Be confident to avoid attacks, advises charity 1

    If you feel at all threatened by someone, take evasive action. Move away, cross the road etc. and move towards somewhere where there are other people.

    11:23 AM — The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, a leading authority on personal safety issues, has said that LGBT people should develop techniques that help them to appear more confident and assertive in public.The trust says that confidence is a key weapon in avoiding hate crimes."Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people often rely upon 'being invisible' to remain safe," says the trust's chief executive Julie Bentley.

  • Man denied asylum for not having teenage sex 2

    Mr Orozco's lawyer argues that as his client is alone, uneducated and the victim of abuse he should be treated as a vulnerable person.

    10:58 AM — A refugee from Nicaragua has been denied asylum in Canada because he could not prove he is gay.The Immigration and Refugee Board said that as Alvaro Antonio Orozco was not sexually active as a teenager, it was impossible to verify his sexuality.Mr Oroxco's lawyer accused the IRB of stereotyping gay teenagers as more sexually active than their heterosexual counterparts.

  • Gay marriage banned again by Australian government 4

    In June 2006 the ACT government brought forward legislation to allow gay and lesbian couples the right to civil unions.

    10:29 AM — The attorney-general of Australia has confirmed that the federal government will block plans by one of the country's territories to legalise same-sex civil partnerships.Philip Ruddock said that the traditional marriage ceremony would be threatened by granting marital rights to gay people, an argument used repeatedly by Liberal party politicians.He also said that the Australian Capital Territory law would be a threat to minors.

  • Catholic schools comment on gay bullying 4

    Ms Keats said that a fifth of pupils reported that they had been subject to homophobic bullying.

    10:01 AM — The head of the Catholic Education Service has denied that educational institutions run by the church do not tackle homophobic bullying.Oona Stannard, chief executive of the service, was responding to criticism from one of the UK's major teaching unions.Ministers have urged all schools to develop a policy on homophobic bullying.

  • 6th February 2007

    Anglican synod to discuss embracing gays 1

    The General Synod will be held at Church House in London from February 26th until the 1st of March.

    4:01 PM — The General Synod of the Church of England will return to the controversial topic of homosexuality when it meets at the end of this month.The synod meets twice a year to discuss the business of the church, and is made up of bishops, priests and lay people.There are two motions up for discussion about gay people.

  • Blair offers solution to Catholic adoption 1

    Mr Blair told the committee of MPs that he thought it would be a tragedy if the Catholic adoption agencies had to close.

    1:38 PM — The Prime Minister has told a committee of senior MPs that Roman Catholic-run adoption agencies can find a way through the row over gay adoption.Speaking to the Commons liaison committee, Mr Blair said he hoped that the religious agencies would form "consortiums" with secular agencies to provide a "gateway" for all potential adoptive parents to access adoption services.

  • Fetishists at risk of detention say MPs

    The MPs also propose extra safeguards to protect patients who are force-fed. photo: fortune cookie@flickr

    12:22 PM — A new Mental Health Bill is facing mounting criticism from a group of MPs over its definition of mental disorder, which they say is putting those not regarded as mentally ill at risk.By broadening the definition of disorder, the bill would target individuals on grounds of sexual orientations or sexual identities.This effectively means people with unusual fetishes or wanting gender reassignment surgery are likely to face discrimination and possible detention in a mental institution.

  • Russian politician backs Pride ban 4

    Mr Chuyev said homosexuality should be confined indoors and in private, and the parade would have sent out the wrong signal to the “many young people and children.“

    11:49 AM — A senior figure in Russian President Vladimir Putin's government has openly backed the Moscow mayor's recent decision to ban the gay parade in the capital city for the second year in a row.Alexander Chuyev, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for Public Associations and Religious Organisations, made his remarks on a television show, insisting that he could see nothing wrong in banning a parade which he regarded as "propaganda" and "dangerous".

  • Clerk’s Valentines protest at gay inequality

    The constitutionality of California's current law banning gay marriage is currently before the state Supreme Court.

    10:48 AM — A county clerk-recorder in California is to hand out "certificates of inequality" to gay couples on Valentine's Day.United Press International reports that Freddie Oakley designed the certificates herself.She said she believes she should be able to give gay couples marriage licences.

  • Now GP wants adoption opt-out 4

    Dr Lockley is asking the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, to grant exemptions to the regulations similar to the provisions in the 1967 Abortion Act.

    10:01 AM — A doctor employed by the National Health Service is to lobby the government for an opt-out from assessing gay couples as adoptive parents.Bedfordshire GP Dr John Lockley argues that his "Christian conscience" would stop him from giving a positive recommendation for gay patients to an adoption agency.Dr Lockley says that he faces being struck off if he refuses go give references under the terms of the new Sexual Orientation Regulations, due to become law in April.

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