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Current Affairs

  • 19th September 2007

    Former minister Twigg to return to Commons

    Stephen Twigg will almost certainly be elected at the next General Election

    11:30 PM — Stephen Twigg, then man who famously defeated Michael Portillo in the safe Tory seat of Enfield Southgate, in 1997 is set to return to the House of Commons.Mr Twigg, 40, who was the first MP to have been first elected as an openly gay man. He lost his Enfield seat in the 2005 general election.He has been selected for the safe Labour seat of West Derby.

  • Lesbian urged to quit Scwarzenegger’s staff 1

    Susan Kennedy became Governor Schwarzenegger's chief of staff in January 2006.

    5:50 PM — The chief of staff to the Governor of California, Susan Kennedy, is facing calls for her to resign after Mr Schwarzenegger said he would veto same-sex marriage legislation.Robin Tyler, a lesbian activist and plaintiff in a same-gender marriage test case to be heard before the California Supreme Court next year, said that she was "disappointed" in Ms Kennedy, who "married" her lesbian partner in Hawaii several years ago.

  • Archbishop criticised for demanding gay concessions 1

    Private meetings between Archbishop Williams and the American bishops will take place today and tomorrow.

    5:08 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is in New Orleans today meeting with bishops of the American branch of the Anglican church.It has been widely reported that he will demand guarantees from them that no more gay bishops will be ordained and that the American church will not bless gay relationships.The crisis over gay issues began in 2003 with the ordination in New Hampshire of the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson.

  • Hate crime defendant comes out during murder trial 1

    The prosecution lawyer Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi claims that Fortunato targeted Mr Sandy because of his sexual orientation.

    4:35 PM — A New York man accused of a homophobic murder is claiming mid-trial that he is also gay.The defendant Anthony Fortunato, 21, was outed by his lawyer Gerald J. Di Chiara in court on Monday.Mr Di Chiara claims that Fortunato has been meeting men for sex on the internet since he was seventeen and said that his turmoil over coming out had in fact added to the defendant's unstable state of mind and a previous suicide attempt.

  • Australian politicians back Christians over gay marriage

    Both the governing Liberal and opposition Labour parties appear to be keen to court the religious vote.

    2:14 PM — The Prime Minister of Australia has addressed an event organised by a faith-based charity where he faced calls to ban state recognition of non-married couples.The National Strategic Summit on Marriage, Family Fatherhood was held at the Australian Parliament yesterday.Prime Minister John Howard told delegates that marriage is "the best social welfare device mankind has ever devised." Politicians from other major parties attended the conference, organised by the Fatherhood Foundation.

  • Lesbian parents sue doctor over IVF twins 1

    The couple discovered the second embryo had been implanted in the hospital but were warned that an operation to remove it would put the other embryo at risk.

    1:07 PM — A lesbian couple in Sydney, Australia are suing a doctor following IVF treatment that left them with twins.The couple requested a single baby during treatment in November 2003, but the mother was implanted with two embryos rather than one.The couple discovered the second embryo had been implanted in the hospital but were warned that an operation to remove it would put the other embryo at risk.

  • Homophobic attacker may be evicted 4

    The brutal attack left Ms Meffen with bruising and a broken nose and Ms Cashmore with concussion.

    12:37 PM — A youth who took part in a vicious assault on two lesbian friends of popstar Ana Matronic may be evicted from her home.Three young people, aged between 18 and 20, were found guilty of attacking Nina Meffen, 36 and Carol Cashmore, 42, in their driveway on the evening of 31st July last year.Hyde Housing Association, which owns Emer Close, the location of the attack and home to both the victims and the ringleader of the group, says it will be pursuing further action.

  • ACLU: Craig toilet sting “unconstitutional” 1

    The ACLU argues that the government can arrest people for soliciting public sex only if it can show beyond doubt that the sex was to occur in public.

    12:31 PM — The American Civil Liberties Union has submitted a brief to a Minnesota District Court urging it to allow Senator Larry Craig to withdraw his guilty plea because the secret sting operation used to arrest him was likely unconstitutional."The real motive behind secret sting operations like the one that resulted in Senator Craig's arrest is not to stop people from inappropriate activity.Craig's affidavit said he decided on the day of his arrest to plead guilty to whatever charge was eventually filed against him.

  • Controversial Tory attacks government over race 2

    Sayeeda Warsi was appointed Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion by David Cameron earlier this year.

    12:04 PM — A vice-chairman of the Conservative party has attacked the government's record on race equality.Sayeeda Warsi was appointed Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion by David Cameron earlier this year, the first Muslim woman to sit in the Tory Shadow Cabinet.The final report from the Commission for Racial Equality was released yesterday. The CRE is being merged into the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

  • Presidential hopeful’s u-turn on gay rights 1

    This isn't the first time Romney's past support of the GLBT community has returned to haunt his current electoral efforts.

    11:22 AM — Anyone who has paid close attention to the political career of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney knows the Massachusetts Republican used to be a supporter of gay rights.To the rest of us—and that includes many Republican Americans currently considering him for the country's highest office—Romney's past support of the gay and lesbian community is a bit of a mystery.The mysterious crust covering Romney's past is slowly but surely being chipped away.

  • 18th September 2007

    Court supports Maryland’s ban on gay marriage 88

    Gay weddings will not be legal in Maryland

    11:30 PM — Maryland's highest court has upheld a state law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman; ending a discrimination case brought by 19 gay couples.The Court of Appeal ruled four to three that Maryland's 1973 ban on same sex marriage does not deny gay people fundamental human rights and does not discriminate on the basis of gender. The court found that the state has a legitimate right to oppose gay marriage.

  • Dutch government to promote gay acceptance 1

    Amsterdam's image in the Netherlands as the 'gay capital of the world' is under threat.

    5:31 PM — The government of Holland has committed itself to the active promotion of acceptance of LGBT people in the light of several high-profile homophobic attacks in the country.In a memorandum on the 2008 Budget, the coalition government's Cabinet said that respect for difference is a basic condition of Dutch society.They committed more than two million euros (£1.4m) to fight homophobia and promote acceptance.

  • Lib Dems and Stonewall discuss gay issues 1

    A series of measures to combat bullying in schools were passed by conference yesterday.

    4:49 PM — DELGA, the Liberal Democrats LGBT organisation, joined forces with Stonewall last night to host a fringe meeting at the party's conference in Brighton.Stephen Williams MP, a party spokesman on education, and Jo Swinson, who speaks on equality issues, were joined by Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, for a question and answer session with Lib Dem activists.

  • Kuwaiti gays ask permission to get organised 1

    The oil-rich country of three million people was invaded by Saddam Hussein in 1991, sparking the first Gulf War.

    4:05 PM — The gay and trans community in Kuwait has approached the government requesting an official gay rights organisation.The majority Muslim country currently does not allow such groups to exist, despite a growing number of openly gay and transgender Kuwaitis.According to online news service, Al Arabiya, the gay rights request follows the recent Upholding Ethics report from the Kuwaiti National Council.

  • Author of homophobic crime report killed 2

    Tony Hoare, 49, was attacked last week as he walked his two Jack Russell dogs in Charlton Park.

    3:45 PM — The managing director of a research consultancy specialising in gay and lesbian issues died after being attacked near his home in south east London.Tony Hoare, 49, was attacked last week as he walked his two Jack Russell dogs in Charlton Park. He was found unconscious and died shortly after being taken to hospital.The organiser of a vigil to be held this evening in his memory told the Evening Standard that Mr Hoare was the victim of a homophobic abuse in The Swan pub the night he was killed.

  • Archbishop to hold “secret” meeting with gays 4

    Archbishop Williams is under intense pressure to hold the communion together.

    1:14 PM — Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is to meet behind closed doors with gay Anglicans to discuss the current crisis in the Church.The Times revealed details of the "secret" meeting. The fact that those attending are expected to abide by confidentiality rules has upset gay Christians.A spokesman for the Archbishop played down the significance of his meeting with gay priests and others.

  • Global protests against Nicaragua’s gay ban

    Protests were held outside Nicaraguan embassies and consulates in Germany, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Mexico, Paraguay, Sweden and Taiwan.  photo: tonypitman@flickr.com

    12:23 PM — Amnesty International, through its network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender) groups, held a series of demonstrations across the world last week.The protestors called for the calling for the decriminalisation of sodomy in Nicaragua and called for the repeal of article 204 of the country's Penal Code.This article criminalises not only gay men, lesbians and bisexual people in same-sex relationships, but is vague enough to permit the prosecution of individuals for activities such as campaigning for LGBT rights.

  • 17th September 2007

    Gay man considers legal action over voice discrimination 1

    Despite assurances from the bank that the mix-up will not happen again and an apology, Mr O'Brien is considering his legal options.

    1:40 PM — A bank is being threatened with a law suit after a man was repeatedly denied access to phone banking because staff thought he sounded like a woman.Graham O'Brien, 29, is a customer with the Halifax. After several attempts to conduct bank transactions over the phone were unsuccessful, he was told to visit a branch.When he did, he was told that a "suspect person" thought to be a woman had been trying to access his account, which had been suspended.

  • Singapore reforms laws but gay sex still illegal

    The city state of nearly five million people is renowned for its draconian legislation.

    1:40 PM — A bill introduced to the Singaporean parliament today will legalise oral and anal sex in private between consenting straight adults.However the ban on "gross indecency" will remain in place and male homosexuals still face a maximum of two years in prison for gay sex.The new legislation will also create new offences relating to sex tourism and child prostitution.

  • Lesbian soldier sues Ministry of Defence

    The MoD said they were investigating the allegations made by Ms Ogogo,

    1:40 PM — A former military police is suing the Ministry of Defence after claiming she was hounded out of the forces after entering into a civil partnership.22-year-old Joanne Ogogo said she was the victim of harassment, bullying and a whispering campaign, as well as attempts by superiors to separate her and her partner, Laura McDonald.Ms Ogogo, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, married fellow military police soldier Ms McDonald in January 2006.

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