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Current Affairs

  • 26th February 2007

    Scottish Executive seek Catholic opt-out on adoption

    Last month, the Prime Minister announced that there would be no exemption from the new regulations for adoption agencies.

    11:06 AM — The row over Roman Catholic-run adoption agencies and the Sexual Orientation Regulations has flared up again following reports of secret negotiations between the UK government and the Scottish Executive. The Scotsman reports that Scottish education minister Hugh Henry is in talks with London-based government departments to try and ensure that an informal agreement that would allow Catholic adoption agencies to flout gay rights legislation is honoured.

  • 24th February 2007

    Google places warning on homophobic site it hosts 19

    The website now features a warning to visitors

    12:09 AM — Google has placed a warning on a homophobic blog that allegedly incites the murder of gay people as a result of an investigation by PinkNews.co.uk.The weblog, called killbattyman, originates in Jamaica. The site carries numerous homophobic statements and also calls for all gay people to be killed.

  • 23rd February 2007

    Gambian president claims he can cure AIDS 4

    According to President Jammeh, (left), AIDS sufferers will be cured within “three to thirty days.“ photo: www.statehouse.gm

    5:21 PM — The President of Gambia has horrified scientists by announcing that he has developed a "miracle cure" for HIV/AIDS.Hundreds of Gambians have lined up to be "cured" by President Yahya Jammeh, who treats his patients by rubbing a mysterious herbal paste into their ribcages and then instructing them to swallow a bitter yellow drink, followed by two bananas.The therapy is administered repeatedly over several weeks.

  • Lesbians appeal over “invalid” marriage

    The Irish Supreme Court sits at the Four Courts complex in Dublin. photo: www.courts.ie

    3:39 PM — A lesbian couple in Ireland lodged an appeal yesterday with the country's Supreme Court to dispute a High Court ruling that their marriage is not valid.This is the most recent development in the battle for Drs. Anne Louise Gilligan and Kathernine Zappone to have their Canadian marriage recognised.The couple believe that the refusal of this recognition is a violation of their human rights.

  • US students roadtrip to anti-gay colleges 1

    Calvin College, which Princeton Review ranked as one of the worst schools in the nation for gay students, has invited the Equality Riders for dialogue and shared worship services.

    3:18 PM — Next month fifty young adults will board two buses for what promises to be the trip of a lifetime.The eight-week Soulforce Equality Ride will bring them to 32 Christian colleges with policies that silence or exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students.Their mission: to open a dialogue about the painful consequences of discrimination and the religion-based prejudice that sustains it.

  • Baptist churches face child sexual abuse condemnation 2

    In the past six months SNAP has received reports of about 40 cases of sexual abuse by Southern Baptist ministers.

    1:09 PM — America's largest Protestant denomination has come under fire over alleged child sexual abuse committed by its clergy.A victims' advocates group, Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), called on Monday for a zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist church.Southern Baptist leaders have argued that it is impossible to investigate molestation claims across the denomination.

  • Anglican church could “divorce” admits Williams 4

    His comments follow a five-day crisis meeting in Tanzania last week, where Anglican leaders met to discuss gay rights within the church.

    10:57 AM — The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the Anglican Church may split over the acceptance of gay priests.Last night, Dr. Rowan Williams revealed that the liberal and conservative branches of the church may not be able to reach agreement over gay and lesbian Christians.The disagreement could lead to the fragmentation of the Anglican communion.

  • Majority in favour of a gay President 5

    Only 88% said they would vote for a woman President.

    10:28 AM — An opinion poll in the United States has found that 55% of Americans would vote for a gay person running for President.However, less than half would consider voting for someone who did not believe in God.The poll, conducted by Gallup, aimed to find out the voting prejudices of Americans ahead of the 2008 election.

  • 22nd February 2007

    University’s first ever chair in gay law

    The chair will be endowed through the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law  Public Policy. photo: losiek@flickr.com

    4:56 PM — Two philanthropists in America have donated over $1m to UCLA to establish an academic chair dedicated to sexual orientation law and public policy.The chair, at the prestigious university's law school, is thought to be the first of its kind in the world.John McDonald and Rob Wright donated the money to endow the position. The pair have an impressive track record of support for numerous LGBT and HIV organisations.

  • Ireland delays gay partnership bill 3

    Mr McDowell promised that the government would be bringing forward legislation to protect the rights of all unmarried couples, gay or straight.

    3:45 PM — Legislation to legalise same sex unions in the Republic of Ireland was defeated in the country's parliament yesterday.The Irish government said that the bill proposed by the Labour party would not comply with the constitution, but said that they would introduce their own legislation later this year.Justice Minister Michael McDowell told Irish MPs that the state is constitutionally required to uphold the institution of marriage.

  • US employment law protects gay kids at school

    The Toms River school board are now waiting to see if they will be held liable for the abuse suffered by Louis White, who is now 21.

    12:43 PM — A state Supreme Court in the United States has ruled that laws protecting LGB adults from discrimination at work can be applied to schoolchildren.The New Jersey court was ruling on a case brought in 1999 by a gay teenager who suffered persistent abuse and harassment at school because of his sexual orientation.They ruled that the school must take reasonable steps to stop harassment under the terms of the state's anti-discrimination law.

  • Catholics join in gay court protest

    The Sexual Orientation Regulations were introduced in Northern Ireland in January.

    12:28 PM — The bishops of the Roman Catholic church in Ireland have joined with Protestant churches in supporting a court challenge to discrimination legislation.The Sexual Orientation Regulations were introduced in Northern Ireland in January, despite the objections of the main political party in the province, the DUP.Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain used his powers to impose the legislation on Northern Ireland.

  • Former minister to challenge Gordon Brown 57

    Mr Meacher, an MP since 1970, was a shadow cabinet member and prominent Labour figure during the party's wilderness years.

    12:01 PM — Michael Meacher has announced that he will run for leader of the Labour party when Tony Blair stands down.Mr Meacher, the MP for Oldham West and Royton, was a minister from 1997 to 2003, and is from the left of the party.He has consistently voted for gay rights legislation. Mr Meacher has been a vocal dissenter over the government's determination to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system.

  • Gay rights law threatened as Italian PM quits

    As well as concern over troops serving in Afghanistan, Senators opposed the expansion of a US military base in Vicenza.

    11:27 AM — Italy is without a leader after Romano Prodi resigned yesterday. He quit after left-wing members of his nine-party coalition voted against the government's foreign policy.Mr Prodi's decision leaves proposed new laws granting gay couples legal protection unresolved.The coalition lost a Senate motion backing the continued deployment of troops by two votes.

  • Vatican attack Tony Blair over adoption

    The church-run adoption agencies have until the end of 2008 to comply with the regulations.

    10:45 AM — A senior Roman Catholic official has criticised the Prime Minister's decision not to allow church-run adoption agencies to opt-out of gay rights legislation.The proposed exemption caused a Cabinet row when it was first proposed.Under pressure from his own MPs, Mr Blair finally conceded that Roman Catholic adoption services would be covered by the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

  • 21st February 2007

    French court blocks lesbian adoption

    The French will go to the polls to elect their next President on 22nd April. photo: lanceerin@flickr.com

    5:32 PM — An attempt by a French mother to allow her lesbian partner to adopt her child has failed.The Appeals Court in Paris ruled yesterday that the only way the mother could legally allow her partner to adopt the child would be to renounce her own parental rights.If the lesbian couple were allowed to marry, then they could share parental responsibility.

  • Mayor supports Euro gay bullying campaign

    Last year Mr Livingstone joined Stonewall to launch a free DVD,  Spell It Out,  for distribution to teachers in all London's secondary schools.

    4:16 PM — The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has given his backing to the European Parliament's call for action on homophobic bullying.Research by gay rights group ILGA Europe and their youth wing last year examined social exclusion among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) kids in Europe.They spoke to over 750 young LGBT people from 37 countries and found that over half (53%) had experienced bullying in school.

  • Polish president’s homophobia outrages the Irish 17

    Kaczynski has a history of homophobia.

    12:14 PM — Remarks about homosexuality during a state visit to Ireland have caused more trouble for the controversial President of Poland.Speaking to an audience at Dublin Castle on the final day of his three day visit, Lech Kaczynski said that the promotion of homosexuality would lead to the eventual destruction of the human race.

  • Scottish Parliament hosts equality review

    LGBT Youth Scotland are to attend the conference this Friday at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

    11:19 AM — The chairman of the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) is to speak at a conference on equality in Scotland.Trevor Philips, who is currently head of the Commission for Racial Equality, will address the gathering of more than 80 different age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation groups.LGBT Youth Scotland are to attend the conference this Friday at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

  • American lesbians marry across the border

    Currently Massachusetts is the only US state to marry same-sex couples but civil unions are legal in Vermont and Connecticut.

    10:57 AM — A couple from Texas have become the first non-Mexicans to take advantage of a new law that recognises same-sex couples.Maria Carreon Lara, 39, and Amparo Maldonado, 24, of Midland, Texas, travelled to the Mexican state of Coahuila, currenly the only state in the country to have passed such a law.Mexico City will also recognise gay unions from next month.

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