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Current Affairs

  • 12th March 2008

    Tory MP hostile to gay rights is sacked from party 3

    Since entering the Commons in 1992 Mr Spink has consistently opposed gay rights.

    5:50 PM — A Conservative MP who has attempted to fight gay rights laws is at the centre of a bizarre series of events in the Commons today.Bob Spink has had the whip withdrawn after threatening the Chief Whip with resignation. He accused the party of not doing enough to stop him from being deselected from his Castle Point seat.Since entering the Commons in 1992 Mr Spink has consistently opposed gay rights.

  • New York’s new Governor is gay rights advocate 1

    From Monday Mr Paterson will become the first African-American to be Governor of the state and the first blind Governor anywhere in the US ever.

    4:10 PM — The resignation of Eliot Spitzer as Governor of New York today, after he was linked to a prostitution ring, has pushed David Paterson into the limelight.From Monday Mr Paterson will become the first African-American to be Governor of the state and the first blind Governor in US history.He has been actively fighting for gay rights for more than two decades. "David Paterson is a terrific, progressive guy, extremely LGBT-friendly," Ethan Geto, a Democratic analyst and LGBT activist, told The Advocate. 

  • NY Governor resigns over prostitution ring 1

    Spitzer has been tied to a prostitution ring after a federal investigation.

    4:00 PM — Apologising for his public involvement in a private matter and saying he doesn't want his personal life to take time away from the people of New York, Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned this morning, saying Lt. Governor David Paterson will take over the post effective Monday.Spitzer has been tied to a prostitution ring after a federal investigation revealed he was recorded on a wiretap arranging to meet with a prostitute.

  • US ban on HIV+ travellers challenged by MEPs and Senators 6

    The United States is one of 13 countries in the world, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan, that bans travel for individuals who are HIV-positive.

    3:40 PM — The Lib Dems are calling on EU members states to raise the current American policy on HIV+ visitors to the United States at tomorrow's meeting of justice and security ministers.On Friday the same issue will be raised in the US Senate.The Committee on Foreign Relations is due to discuss the ban after Senators John Kerry and Republican Gordon Smith added a provision to repeal the ban to Senate legislation to reauthorising PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

  • Gay hate crime bill moves forward in Lords 100

    The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill has passed the committee stage and will now go on to the Report Stage in the Lords.

    3:02 PM — An amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill that would make it an offence to link homosexuality to paedophilia was discussed in the House of Lords last week.The bill seeks to create a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.Liberal Democrat peer Lord Thomas of Gresford told the House: "We are concerned about the suggestion very frequently made by the British National Party and others that homosexuality and paedophilia are directly connected and that a person who is homosexual has a propensity to be a paedophile."

  • Candidates looking forward to gay hustings 1

    The Stonewall husting will be Saturday 19th April between 12pm and 1.30pm at the BFI Southbank, London.

    3:01 PM — Two men vying to become the next Mayor of London have said they are looking forward to the Stonewall hustings event next month.The hustings, on Saturday 19th April, will give the capital's gay and lesbian community an opportunity to question the candidates ahead of polling day on May 1st.PinkNews.co.uk is proud to be the media partner for the Stonewall hustings, which will be held at the BFI Southbank.

  • Darling hits bars and cars in first budget

    Alistair Darling hit booze in his first budget

    2:30 PM — The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling delivered his budget earlier today.Among other measures, he announced an increase in duty on alcohol and high polluting cars.Like the rest of the drinking industry, the gay scene will be hit by a six per cent increase in alcohol tax with a two percent rise each year until 2012.

  • EU criticised over ‘pass the parcel’ asylum policy 21

    EU leaders gave a pledge that they would have a common asylum system which fully respected the UN Refugee Convention.

    11:44 AM — A London MEP has called for an end to the "shameful shuffling" of gay and other asylum-seekers between EU member states.Tomorrow the European Parliament will vote on an emergency resolution calling for an Iranian teenager currently in Holland not to be sent back to the UK.19-year-old Mehdi Kazemi had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom, following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.

  • Obama victorious in Mississippi 1

    Obama currently leads Clinton by about 100 delegates and is expected to strengthen that lead with his win in Mississippi.

    11:10 AM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama increased his growing lead over rival New York Senator Hillary Clinton with a win in the Mississippi primary results yesterday.Obama was strongly favoured to win, largely due to the high percentage of black Democratic voters in the state.Clinton virtually conceded the state to Obama before voting even began and has shifted her focus to the upcoming battle for the Pennsylvania primary.

  • 11th March 2008

    Gay peer speaks out against deportations to Iran 21

    Lord Alli is one of only two openly gay peers.

    6:10 PM — A gay member of the House of Lords has demanded the government take action to stop a gay teenager being deported back to Iran where he could face the death penalty.Today it was revealed that 19-year-old Mehdi Kazemi, who was refused asylum in Britain and fled to Holland, will be deported back to the UK.He had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.

  • Manchester police lose chief constable 1

    Mr Todd became Chief Constable in 2002. He was previously an assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan police.

    5:45 PM — A police chief known for being gay friendly has died. As Chief Constable of Greater Manchester police, Mike Todd was in charge of the service when they joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme.Manchester, the second-largest police force in the UK, was last year was placed joint 43rd on the list of top 100 employers for gay people in the Stonewall Work Equality Index.The city is home to one of the largest gay scenes in England.

  • Iranian gay teen loses appeal against deportation to the UK 22

    The United Kingdom sent a formal request to Holland asking for Medhi's return to Britain, in order to proceed with his deportation to Iran.

    4:55 PM — A 19-year-old gay man from Iran who was refused asylum in Britain and fled to Holland will be deported back to the UK, according to gay rights activists connected with his case.Mehdi Kazemi had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.He faces possible execution by stoning if he returns to Iran. Activists have pledged to take his case the EU courts.

  • Prodi to step down from Italian politics

    Mr Prodi served as President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004.

    3:50 PM — Romano Prodi has announced that he is "finished" with politics in Italy.He has served twice as Prime Minister and heads the interim government in place until the country holds a general election next month.Mr Prodi, who also served as President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004, lost the support of parliament in January after a nine-party coalition government he was leading fell apart.

  • Tribunal hearing over civil partnerships on forms 11

    Mr McQuade, 49, a communications officer with the force, said that no slur was intended on the gay community.

    3:45 PM — An employment tribunal has ruled that a Catholic couple from Scotland can pursue their claim of sexual and religious discrimination against Strathclyde Police over its definition of the term 'marital status.'Devout Catholics Lucille and Frank McQuade claim that Scotland's largest police force is guilty of religious discrimination after altering its civilian employee records to change their status from "married" to "married/civil partnership."Mr McQuade, 49, a communications officer with the force, said that no slur was intended on the gay community.

  • Republican refuses to apologise for homophobic speech 10

    The YouTube video posted this weekend by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund featured Kern speaking out against gays.

    1:30 PM — Oklahoma state politician Sally Kern is under fire after an audio recording was leaked of her comparing gays to terrorists and telling fellow Republicans the "homosexual agenda is destroying this nation."The recording and accompanying YouTube video have sparked outrage from many, but Kern defends her words, telling the press: "What I'm saying, I believe in."The YouTube video posted this weekend by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund featured Kern speaking out against gays.

  • Obama dismisses talk of Vice Presidency

    Obama is not so taken with the thought of playing second fiddle to Clinton.

    1:22 PM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama yesterday firmly rejected the idea he would be willing to sign on as Vice President for Hillary Clinton.Obama's response comes after hints from Clinton that she would be willing to consider sharing a ticket with him in the November election."I don't know how somebody who is in second place is offering the Vice presidency to someone in first place," Obama said.

  • Democrat infighting may help McCain to the White House

    20% of white Democratic voters would vote for McCain if Obama is the Democratic nominee.

    1:10 PM — The Democrats' dilemma over choosing a nominee might just be John McCain's ace in the hole.The highly publicised description of Hillary Clinton as "a monster" capable of "stooping to anything" to win by Barack Obama foreign policy advisor Samantha Powers merely underscores the intensity of the growing discord between Clinton and Obama supporters as the race for the Democratic presidential nomination lumbers forward.Moreover, it is perhaps a powerful omen of the great divide that the Democratic Party's eventual nominee will have to bridge.

  • Mehdi’s deportation to be raised in Euro Parliament 21

    Cashman, who is one of only two out gay MEPs, co-initiated the resolution on behalf of the Socialist Group in the Parliament.

    12:30 PM — MEP Michael Cashman has said he will raise the case of Mehdi Kazemi in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week.The 19-year-old Iranian is currently being held in Holland and is fighting legal moves to return him to the UK, where he is likely to face deportation to his homeland.He had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.

  • Gay hate preacher attacks Steps star 10

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

    12:20 PM — The controversial fundamentalist Christian Stephen Green has compared Steps singer H to mass murderer Jeffrey Dahmer.Green, who is notorious for his protests at gay Pride events, was taking part in BBC Wales current affairs programme, Week In, Week Out. While being interviewed by H, also known as Ian Watkins, Green called him vile and said he would pray for him.

  • High number of Irish same-sex couples living in US

    In December Ireland's Minister of Justice rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.

    11:03 AM — New research into US Census Bureau data has revealed that 1,200 Irish-born gay men and lesbians are living with a same-sex partner in America.The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy also found that two-thirds of Irish-born same-sex partners are women and 15% are raising children.The Irish government is expected to bring forward proposals for a form of civil partnerships at the end of this month. They have been legal in Northern Ireland since 2005.

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