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Current Affairs

  • 7th December 2007

    US Congress drops hate crime bill

    A US House-Senate conference committee has dropped the hate-crimes legislation.

    10:20 AM — Congressional aides are reporting that a US House-Senate conference committee has dropped the hate-crimes legislation co-sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith and Edward Kennedy from a defence authorisation bill because it did not have sufficient support in the House.The legislation, formally known as the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, would have expanded federal law to include crimes committed against people because of their gender, sexual orientation or disability.

  • 6th December 2007

    Donations to Harman were secret to avoid “Jewish conspiracy” 1

    Harriet Harman received £5,000 from Mr Abrahams through a proxy

    7:01 PM — The businessman at the centre of the government's donations scandal says that he secretly donated to the Equality Secretary, Harriet Harman's campaign to become Deputy Leader of the Labour party to avoid accusations of being part of a "Jewish conspiracy."Batchelor, David Abrahams told the Jewish Chronicle that blame for the scandal where he donated £663,975 to Labour through proxies lies with Jon Mendelsohn, Gordon Brown's fundraiser.

  • Russian court rejects more appeals from Pride activists

    Pride activist Nicolas Alexeyev expressed distrust of the three judge panel appointed for the appeal.

    5:25 PM — A court in Russia today rejected the appeal of gay activists requesting that a ban on this year's gay Pride be considered unlawful.Moscow City Court confirmed the decision of a local district court, which had upheld the city government's decision to ban the march.Moscow Pride 2007, the second proposed LGBT event in two years to be held in the Russian capital, was scheduled for May 27th but never happened because of the city mayor's decision to ban it.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Follett – there are no donations

    Ms Follett is a work and pensions minister in addition to her equality responsibilities.

    5:08 PM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveEquality minister Barbara Follett has responded to allegations that she has received donations from her husband that she did not declare."Because I want to give the people of Stevenage the best possible service I can, I spend all of my MP's salary, allowances and some of my personal income running my constituency and parliamentary offices," she said in a statement to PinkNews.co.uk.

  • Questions over equality minister donations

    Ms Follett is the minister for equality, which includes LGBT rights.

    3:35 PM — The husband of Barbara Follett may have inadvertantly embroiled her in the furore over donations.Ms Follett is the minister for equality, which includes LGBT rights.Her husband, multi-millionaire novelist Ken Follett, is a longtime Labour supporter.In an appearance BBC's Sunday AM with Andrew Marr on 2nd December, he boasted that: "I actually subsidise it to the tune of every year at least a hundred thousand pounds a year."

  • Two years on, civil partners still face problems 7

    As reported on PinkNews.co.uk last month many institutions do not have an option for civil partners on their application forms.

    2:44 PM — Many gay people are confused at the correct language to use when describing civil partnerships and some are forced into revealing their sexual orientation in situations which required disclosure of marital or partnership status, according to Citizen's Advice.New research released yesterday to coincide with the second anniversary of civil partnerships found that many same-sex couples, who are in or who are planning civil partnerships, find there are many benefits to them and welcome them.However, there are still potential emotional, financial and social costs.

  • Irish minister rules out referendum on gay marriage 13

    Labour Minister Brian Lenihan said civil partnership was easier to achieve, because gay marriage would require a constitutional change that would split the country.

    1:02 PM — Ireland's Minister of Justice has rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.Labour Minister Brian Lenihan said civil partnership was easier to achieve, because gay marriage would require a constitutional change that would split the country.Speaking at the annual meeting of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, an LGBT organisation that is campaigning for gay marriage, he said he was keen to guarantee equality to gay people.

  • Labour fund created to support LGBT candidates 1

    LGBT Labour said that they have so far received a positive response both from the LGBT community and from Labour party candidates and members.

    12:11 PM — The Labour Party has launched a campaign fund to support LGBT candidates, especially women, at future elections.Dorothy's List was set up with the objective of raising £2,000 to help members of the LGBT community overcome the obstacles which they face when running for political office.LGBT Labour said that they have so far received a positive response both from the LGBT community and from Labour party candidates and members.

  • Sex and drug allegations made against dead banker

    According to The Times, the Tobias' marriage might have been one of convenience.

    11:20 AM — A familiar face on CNBC and one of the wealthiest investment bankers in New York City, Seth Tobias was found floating face down in the swimming pool of his Florida mansion by his wife four months ago today.But now, as details of his estate unfold, The New York Times reports that the 44-year-old Tobias, who had allegedly suffered a heart attack, was living life in the fast lane.Lurid tales of sex with male go-go dancers and cocaine binges are just a few of the shocking details laid out in the paper's feature on the banker who fell from grace.

  • 5th December 2007

    Iran carries out execution for juvenile crimes 34

    On June 7th 2007, the Seventh District Criminal Court of Kermanshah in Western Iran found him guilty and sentenced him to death.

    5:58 PM — Makvan Mouloodzadeh was executed in Kermanshah Central Prison at 5 a.m. this morning, Iranian time.Neither Mr Mouloodzadeh's family or his lawyer were told about the execution until after it occurred.The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) reports that despite an order by the Iranian Chief Justice to nullify his death sentence, he was put to death.

  • Gay US ambassador leaves over discrimatory treatment

    Michael E Guest retired from the State Department after more than 26 years as a form of protest against regulations that he considered as unfair to same-sex partners of foreign service officers.

    4:45 PM — A former US ambassador left his post at the State Department after criticising Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's treatment of gay people.Michael E Guest retired from the State Department after more than 26 years as a form of protest against regulations that he considered as unfair to same-sex partners of foreign service officers.The 50-year-old, who is openly gay, served as a US ambassador to Romania when President Bush took office.

  • Cashman’s soap past raised by Cameron 3

    Mr Cashman became a Labour MEP in 1999 and is president of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.

    3:46 PM — During clashes at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon Tory leader David Cameron lampooned the UK's only out gay MEP.Michael Cashman's ground-breaking portrayal of Colin Russell in EastEnders between 1986 and 1989 saw the first gay kiss in a UK soap.Mr Cashman became a Labour MEP in 1999 and is president of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.

  • Asian woman is Australia’s first gay Cabinet minister 1

    Ms Wong, a lawyer, was born in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, to a Malaysian Chinese father and an Australian mother.

    1:31 PM — South Australia Senator Penny Wong Ying Yen has been appointed minister for water and climate change by new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.The 39-year-old lawyer is the first Asian-born person to become a Cabinet minister as well as the first out gay person of either sex.She was elected to the Senate in 2001 and last year slammed the government of John Howard for its gay rights stance.

  • African nations urged to embrace LGBT rights

    Pan Africa ILGA have denounced “state-sponsored“ homophobia on the African continent.  photo: color line@flickr.com

    1:07 PM — African and European LGBT organisations have asked all African states to fight homophobia as an EU-Africa summit takes place in Lisbon next weekend.ILGA Europe and its African equivalent Pan Africa ILGA have denounced "state-sponsored" homophobia on the African continent and asked that all African countries adopt the Yogyakarta Principles.Launched in March 2007, the Yogyakarta Principles are a set of principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Senate aide on child sex charges was former HRC staffer

    Human Rights Campaign confirmed that McHaney's had worked as an executive scheduler for them from September 2005 to May 2006.

    12:58 PM — A 28 year-old Senate aide was arrested on Friday in Washington for attempting to sexually exploit a minor.Mike McHaney had previously been employed for the US largest LGBT rights group, Human Rights Campaign, based in Washington DC.The scheduler for Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington state was arrested on charges that he had arranged to have sex with what he thought was a 13-year-old boy.

  • Iranian execution may go ahead warns rights group 34

    Iran leads the world in executing juvenile offenders, persons under 18 at the time of the crime, and is known to have already executed two juvenile offenders this year.

    12:50 PM — New York-based Human Rights Watch is concerned that the death penalty is about to be used against an Iranian man accused of sex crimes allegedly committed when he was a child.On Monday a lawyer for Makwan Mouloudzadeh told HRW that Kermanshah court had informed him that the sentence of death could now be carried out even though a required judicial review had not been completed.On May 25, 2007, Branch Seven of the Penal Court of the city of Kermanshah sentenced Mouloudzadeh to death for raping three boys in 2000.

  • Gay hate preacher’s BBC blasphemy case dismissed 7

    In August Rev Green questioned the presence of racist group the National Front at Pride events, on the basis that “homosexuals are not black or Asian as a rule.“

    11:54 AM — An evangelical minister who came to prominence for his protests at gay Pride events has failed to bring a private prosecution for blasphemy against the director general of the BBC.Reverend Stephen Green's actions related to the screening of the acclaimed production Jerry Springer - The Opera on BBC2 in 2005.An attempt to bring a private prosecution in January was dismissed by a district court.

  • Senator denies gay sex allegations from eight men 4

    He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in June after being accused by an undercover officer of soliciting sex at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

    11:10 AM — United States Senator Larry Craig denied late yesterday that he had sexual encounters with several men over the last two decades.Craig, who has vowed to serve out his term in the Senate, said in a statement that the latest allegations against him, which appeared over the weekend in the Idaho Statesman, had "no basis in reality."He also accused the paper of "tabloid journalism" for publishing the article that included eight men who said they either had sex with the Idaho Republican in the past or that he made "sexual advances" toward them.

  • Comment: A bad election year for Howard and the Belgians

    I think it just boiled down to a simple fact that voters became sick of Howard, after over a decade in office.

    10:20 AM — As 2007 has only weeks left, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what has been a truly outstanding year for those of us who follow general elections around the world.And as we gear up for an equally busy 2008 with high-profile elections in Iran, Pakistan (increasingly unlikely), Russia (unless Putin changes the constitution) and New Zealand, there is the added bonus that the biggest prize of all is now less than a year away: the race for the White House.

  • Former Italian PM rejects gay marriage 4

    D'Alema's left-wing coalition was expected to legislate earlier this year to establish a form of legal recognition.

    10:01 AM — Italy's left-wing Foreign Minister said yesterday he is against gay marriage.Massimo D'Alema, a former Prime Minister who currently holds the highest post at the Italian Foreign office, was addressing high-school students in Rome, when he was asked his view on gay marriage.Mr D'Alema, who is not a Catholic, said that he was against marriage between gay people.

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