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Current Affairs

  • 23rd January 2007

    Cardinal asks politicians for adoption opt-out

    “Marital love involves an essential complementarity (sic) of male and female.“ photo: archdiocese of westminster

    10:22 AM — The row over a possible exemption for the Catholic Church from new laws to protect gay people from discrimination intensified yesterday as a senior cleric weighed into the debate.Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has chosen the high risk strategy of openly threatening to close adoption agencies in England and Wales rather than let gay or lesbian people make use of them.

  • 22nd January 2007

    Gay helplines attacked by hoaxers

    In March 2006 the National lottery donated £120,000 to Gay-Glos, from a fund allocated to help the minority groups living in the UK.

    6:17 PM — The Gloucestershire gay helpline has been the victim of a text message scam that is reducing its ability to respond to genuine calls.Text messages are being sent to random phones asking the recipient to call the free helpline number urgently. During one day in December over 30 calls were made in one hour.The Gay and Lesbian Switchboard has also been the victim of similar scam texts.

  • Human rights group tell Tatchell to back off

    Mr Tatchell concluded that better communication is needed in the international LGBTI movement.

    2:00 PM — Calls last week from gay rights group OutRage! to pile international pressure on the Nigerian government have been blasted as unhelpful and counterproductive by New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch.On Friday, Peter Tatchell urged gay and lesbian people to contact the Nigerian goverment to show their opposition to draconian new laws aimed at outlawing same-sex marriage and restricting other gay rights.

  • Eagle speaks out against the “very, very few”

    Ms Eagle refused to comment on reports that there was a row between Prime Minister Tony Blair and MPs at a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party last Wednesday.

    1:39 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive The vice-chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party has said that "very, very few" of the party's MPs want a change to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Angela Eagle, the MP for Wallasey, spoke out after the Independent on Sunday reported that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wants to allow adoption agencies controlled by the Roman Catholic Church to turn away gay or lesbian couples.

  • Police warn of internet dangers

    The victim was subjected to humiliation and some nasty comments from some neighbours.

    1:03 PM — The Metropolitan Police have issued a warning to gay men to be more cautious when sending pictures online after a London man was humiliated by an internet sneak.The two men met on an internet dating site and the victim sent the other man a sexually explicit picture of himself.When they stopped chatting online, the other man reprinted the image on a poster with libellous text.

  • Gay MPs lambast Kelly opt-out

    Mr Bryant, a former Anglican priest, said that although other churches and faith groups run adpotion agencies, “I have not heard of any other religions are asking for an exemption.“

    11:15 AM — Labour politicians and gay rights activists have responded to press reports that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wants to grant exemptions to the new Equality Act.The Independent on Sunday reported that Kelly wants to give Roman Catholic adoption agencies an opt-out from the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services.

  • Online suicide bid highlights trans isolation

    Several NHS trusts in England have announced they are cutting gender reassignment surgery in an effort to balance their books.

    10:50 AM — A Welsh transsexual woman took an overdose of pills, then sent emails to health groups and media outlets, protesting at the way in which gender reassignment surgery is regarded.The unnamed woman, from Llanelli, swallowed a large quantity of painkilling medication and then sent the email suicide note.A friend of the woman called the police when he read the contents of her email.

  • Ruth Kelly in new row over gay adoption

    It is thought that Tony Blair supports Ms Kelly over the exemptions from the SOR for Catholic adoption agencies.

    10:10 AM — Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has ignited another cabinet row over the Sexual Orientation Regulations.The new rules, which protect gay, bisexual and lesbian people in England and Wales from discrimination when accessing goods and services, are due to come into force in April.It emerged over the weekend that Kelly and Prime Minister Tony Blair want to exempt Roman Catholic adoption agencies from the regulations.

  • 19th January 2007

    Tutu stands up for gays 2

    Dr Tutu told journalists that gay hate was the same as racism. photo: Benny Gool

    5:12 PM — Legendary anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu has urged his fellow Anglicans to focus on the problems facing Africa and stop obsessing over gay issues.Dr Tutu told a conference in Nairobi that the God he worships does not consider the position of homosexual clergy to be more important that AIDS.The former Archbishop of Cape Town is attending the World Social Forum in Kenya.

  • Prescott reveals a fear of gays 2

    Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights lobby Stonewall, was clear that he for one does not think Mr Prescott was being anti-gay.

    4:36 PM — Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has spoken to BBC Radio 4 about his days as a merchant seaman, and revealed that he was uncomfortable sharing a cabin with gay crew.The 68-year-old, who is due to stand down as Labour party deputy leader later this year, worked as a steward on the Cunard Line in the 1950's.A documentary about his time at sea, called Prescott At Your Service, has been made by the BBC radio station.

  • Matthew Shepard’s mum nominated for award

    Anyone can vote for Judy Shepard and the foundation at www.volvoforlifeawards.com

    4:13 PM — Gay activists in America are urging people across the world to vote for Judy Shepard, who has been chosen as a finalist in the fifth "Volvo For Life" awards.Mrs Shepard, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, has become one of America's most vocal advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.The foundation was created by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew.

  • Homophobic Muslim preacher faces police probe 2

    The controversial preacher was caught on camera at Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham.

    11:21 AM — The Birmingham mosque exposed in a Channel 4 documentary as a Mecca for extremist Muslims is being investigated by police after calls from an MP for police to intervene.The Dispatches programme, broadcast on Monday, showed undercover footage of preacher Abu Usamah calling for gay people to be executed.The controversial preacher was caught on camera at Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham.

  • Alleged rapist and serial killer in court

    The defendant was wheeled into court, and is reported to suffer from a heart condition.

    10:47 AM — A 42-year-old man has appeared in court in Louisiana charged with nine counts of first degree murder.Ronald Dominique pleaded not guilty to the charges, which relate to the rape and murder of nine men in Terrebonne County between 2002 and 2005.The accused was arrested by police at a homeless shelter last month.

  • 18th January 2007

    Nigerian anti-gay laws about to pass

    The president, Olusegun Obasanjo, controls the Executive Council and his Nigerian People's Party has a majority in the both the Senate and House of Representatives.

    5:55 PM — New legislation currently being debated by politicians in Nigeria could be the most serious crackdown on the rights of gay and lesbian people since the Iranian revolution.The proposed laws are presented as a defence of marriage, but gay activist Peter Tatchell argues they seek to remove the few rights sexual minorities have in the troubled African state.

  • Controversial gay ex-MP demands pension

    Olexander claimed his expulsion was as a result of homophobia within the party.

    4:45 PM — The Australian former Liberal party MP Andrew Olexander is in the limelight once again.He is applying for an exemption to allow him to access a pension paid for by the taxpayer.Mr Olexander was a controversial figure in the Liberal party, roughly equivalent to the Conservatives in the UK.

  • Education Secretary stands up for gay song 1

    Alan Johnson, a candidate for the deputy leader of the Labour party once John Prescott stands down, stood up for gay rights during the recent Cabinet row over the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

    12:11 PM — Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education and Skills, has told BBC Radio 4 listeners that he would be happy if the song (Sing If You're) Glad To Be Gay is included in a book for schoolchildren.The Daily Express reports that the comments have "sparked a major row."

  • Gay homeless charity gets new chief

    16 year old Albert Kennedy fell to his death from the top of a car park in Manchester whilst trying to escape a car load of queerbashers.

    11:30 AM — The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT), a charity that works with and supports homeless LGBT teenagers, has a new chief executive.Tim Sigsworth has joined AKT from the Lesbian and Gay Foundation in Manchester.Mr Sigsworth replaces Richard McKendrick, who left AKT at the end of 2006 to take up a new role as Director of Operations at Addaction.

  • Crystal meth users now face seven years in jail

    Gay men who use crystal meth were between two and three times more likely to have unsafe sex as those who do not use the drug. photo: DEA

    10:05 AM — People who take and deal in methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal meth, face the severest penalties possible from today when it is reclassified from a Class B to a Class A substance.The Home Office decided to reclassify last year, after an explosion in the use of the drug amongst gay men who attend nightclubs.

  • 17th January 2007

    THT get £1.5m Lottery grant for youth project 2

    THT plans to establish boards of young people aged 13 to 18 in seven regions in England.

    5:56 PM — HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has been awarded close to £1.5m by the Big Lottery Fund.The grant will be used to establish a sex and relationships education (SRE) project for young people across England.The three-year project will be launched in April with the title "Young Leaders," and will be directed entirely by the young people involved.

  • Moscow Gay Pride row moves to Euro court 1

    Over 120 people including a German MP were arrested during the chaotic scenes at Moscow Pride as gay campaigners from all over the world converged in the Russian capital.

    1:53 PM — The ongoing dispute between gay activists in Russia and the Moscow city authorities will now move to the European Court of Human Rights.As reported on PinkNews.co.uk, in May 2006 the city's mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, refused to issue a permit for the Pride march.Gay activists pressed on with Moscow Pride on 27th May, despite the ban, police arrests, and violence from neo-fascists.

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