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Current Affairs

  • 21st May 2007

    Rights groups condemn Iran’s campaign against ‘immorality’

    On April 14th, Iran's Supreme Court overturned murder sentences against six basiji who had killed five people in 2002 whom they considered “morally corrupt.“

    11:01 AM — Iran's arbitrary arrests of thousands of men and women in recent weeks under the banner of "countering immoral behaviour" threaten basic rights to privacy, says Human Rights Watch.They have called for the immediate release of all those detained as part of this campaign, including more than 80 people seized in a raid on a private gathering in the city of Esfahan on May 10th, 2007.

  • Canadians turning to US surrogates

    Despite this, a recent article in Maclean's Magazine said that surrogacy among same-sex couples in Canada is increasing.

    10:58 AM — Couples who participate in paid surrogacy in Canada can receive a $500,000 (£233,900) fine or a decade in jail.Yet these stiff punishments have not put an end to the practice. It has simply made people more secretive, CBC News reported.Canadian law says that a surrogate can only be paid for costs directly related to the surrogacy, but may not receive a fee otherwise.

  • 19th May 2007

    A guide to loan providers..

    Money, money, money

    2:34 PM — PinkNews.co.uk has selected a number of personal loans providers.It's a list of where to get a loan, from lending companies we've checked out. We've reviewed their services and ensured that they do not discriminate against the LGBT community. If you find that they do, email news@pinknews.co.uk and we'll investigate the company.Before you visit any of the sites, think carefully before securing a loan or other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other loan that is secured on it.

  • 18th May 2007

    Insurance victory for Ohio transsexual 57

    When she submitted the bills for the surgery to company Highmark Blue Shield, she was refused.

    8:30 PM — An Ohio transsexual has won a court battle with her insurance company over the cost of her gender reassignment surgery.Jan Stacy, and electronics engineer, was told when she began gender realignment in 2006 that her self insured plan covered the surgery.When she submitted the bills for the surgery to company Highmark Blue Shield, she was refused.

  • Downing St defends ban on gay blood 6

    The ban on gay and bisexual men has been removed in many countries, among them Italy, Sweden, South Africa, Portugal and Spain.

    6:01 PM — A statement on the Prime Minister's website claims some gay men flout blood donation guidelines and reveals that 40 donations a year are infected with HIV.A petition on the site calls for an end to discrimination against gay and bisexual men by the National Blood Service.HIV is now at its fast growing rate in the heterosexual community but the NBS regard all men who have sex with men as too high-risk to accept blood from.

  • Americans support LGBT hate crimes law 7

    69% of independents and 75% of Democrats said they supported the hate-crimes bill.

    3:55 PM — A poll conducted this month has found that nearly 70% of Americans are in favour of new legislation to extend hate crimes to cover LGBT people.Support for the new protections extends across religious and political groups. 60% of Republicans and 64% of regular church goers supported the proposed new law.The new law will extend protections on the grounds of race or religion extended to cover LGBT people.

  • Warsaw allows gay Pride march

    A gay Pride event was permitted by the city authorities last year.

    3:30 PM — The Mayor of Warsaw has rejected calls from the youth wing of a government party to ban a gay Pride parade in the city tomorrow.The Catholic Youth Movement, who are affiliated with the Polish League of Families, had demanded that she stop the gay event, claiming it posed a threat to morality.Hanna Gronkiewicz Walz told Polish radio that any ban would contradict the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Youth demo against homophobia at Polish embassy

    Young activists including young gay Polish people who now live in Britain and activists from Scotland took part.

    1:17 PM — Young human rights activists including many Poles staged a demo outside the Polish embassy as part of yesterday's International Day Against Homophobia.The demonstration, organised by the British Youth Council (BYC) was well attended with organisers saying that at least 70 people came for the two hour event.Young activists including young gay Polish people who now live in Britain and activists from Scotland took part.

  • New embryo bill will ease lesbian IVF

    Last year a ban was placed on creating the “Frankenstein“ hybrid embryos,

    12:35 PM — The government is to undertake a major relaxation of in vitro fertilisation rules in a new proposed bill.Some key elements included allowing hybrid animal-human embryos for testing, rules which could actually make it easier for single people and lesbians to receive fertility treatment, and it would give equal parenting rights to same sex partnerships.Last year a ban was placed on creating the "Frankenstein" hybrid embryos, due to considerable public unease.

  • Tony Blair may become a Roman Catholic

    Mr Blair is to resign as Prime Minister on 27th June.

    12:19 PM — The Prime Minister will change his religion when he leaves office, it has been reported.Tony Blair, an Anglican, regularly attends Roman Catholic Mass with his family.Fr Michael Seed, a close family friend, hinted to The Times that he might convert.There is confusion over whether a Roman Catholic can serve as Prime Minister.

  • Comment: Farewell to Falwell, saying goodbye to hate 7

    I am happy he is gone, but am weary and scared because I know that there are others just like him out there

    12:18 PM — It was June 2004 and I was covering Tulsa, Oklahoma's Pride Festival.I stood watching the parade of proud members of our GLBTI community march through the streets.As the parade came to an end the parade watchers were invited to follow the parade down the route and into the park that was holding the festival, our festival, a safe haven for our community to be free.

  • Mormon student loses gay jibe lawsuit

    The Rice family has not commented since the ruling has been handed down.

    11:30 AM — A judge has ruled against Rebekah Rice, the famed 18-year-old student who sued her school because she was punished by the administration and bullied by other kids for saying "That's so gay."Rice and her parents originally first sued the school in 2003. The case put a spotlight on the phrase and its derogatory meaning.Rice made the remark after students teased her about her Mormon upbringing, asking if she had 10 moms.

  • New York gays told marriages are legal 57

    Adams and Davie had been waiting since their wedding to find out if their marriage was valid in New York.

    11:30 AM — A gay New York couple have been told that their Massachusetts marriage is legal.On 10th May, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly found that gay weddings that took place in other states before they became "prohibited" in New York in July last year are legally valid.Michael Adams and Fred Davie were wed in Lowell, Massachusetts in 2004 after the state became the first in the U.S. to allow gay marriage.

  • Man charged over gay murders

    The police believe that Race travelled through New Brunswick and Quebec to the U.S. in Brewster's car.

    11:15 AM — A Nova Scotia man has been charged with the murder of two gay men.Glen Douglas Race was arrested in Texas on Tuesday by the U.S. Border Patrol. Race stands accused of murder in the first degree of Trevor Brewster and in the second degree of Michael Knott.He is also wanted in New York State for the murder of caretaker Darcy Manor. Attempts to extradite Race to New York state are underway.

  • 17th May 2007

    Anglican crisis deepens as diocese opts out 3

    45 US parishes have broken away and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of African bishops.

    7:28 PM — The diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, has decided to reject the spiritual authority of the US Episcopalian church and seek alternative oversight.The announcement marks a further disintegration in the unity of the Anglican communion and the authority of US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.Bishop Jack Iker, bishop of the diocese, is a leading traditionalist who opposes women priests as well as gay ones.

  • Labour favourite with gay voters

    A recent opinion poll found 84% in favour of some sort of recognition for lesbian and gay couples.

    6:37 PM — A poll of the Republic of Ireland's gay community has revealed their voting intentions.Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern asked the country's President to dissolve Parliament at the end of April and a general election will be held on May 24th. It is expected to be a close race.The survey of nearly 1,200 gay and lesbian people was carried out last year for scene magazine GCN.

  • Gay groups to be banned from Polish schools 3

    Plans to ban discussions on homosexuality in schools and educational institutions came from Poland's education minister Roman Giertych.

    6:11 PM — The minister for education in Poland has defied a European Parliament censure and plans to go ahead with new legislation banning the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools.The confirmation of plans to ban discussions on homosexuality in schools and educational institutions came from Poland's education minister Roman Giertych, the leader of the League of Polish Families party.Last month the European Parliament called for a fact-finding mission to Poland in light of the proposed homophobic measures in schools.

  • St Petersburg Pride banned

    A range of celebrations are planned for May 26th

    5:02 PM — City authorities in the Russian city of St Petersburg have banned a gay parade from taking place later this month.Organisers of the Pride event said they will defy the ban and go ahead with a parade down the city's main street, Nevsky Prospekt on May 26th. Around 2,000 people are expected to take part.A range of celebrations are already planned for May 26th, which is also an important date in the Russian Orthodox church, who objected to the parade.

  • Dawn raids target gay bashers

    The Metropolitan Police said the operation, which involved over 200 officers, might encourage victims of such crimes to report them.

    3:02 PM — A series of raids by police across London has led to the arrest of 32 people suspected of a range of hate crimes.The Metropolitan Police said the operation, which involved over 200 officers, might encourage victims of such crimes to report them.On Tuesday a report found that police detectives investigating murders and violent crimes in the gay community influenced by institutional homophobia.

  • International day of action brings hope 1

    In Mexico, Mexico City and the northeastern state of Coahuila passed civil-union laws opening recognition to same-sex couples.

    12:28 PM — While the Hall of Shame unveiled today Human Rights Watch shows that there is a long way to go to achieve gay equality.However, there are also large and small gains that give reason for hope on the International Day Against Homophobia.In Nepal the authorities in February gave a meti (transgender person) in February an official citizenship ID with a gender listed as neither male nor female.

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