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Current Affairs

  • 5th March 2007

    Ruth Kelly adviser resigns over gay rights

    Ms Kelly has been a controversial choice as minister for equality.

    10:33 AM — A senior aide to the Communities Secretary quit her job after clashes over the new Sexual Orientation Regulations, it has been reported.Rachel O'Brien left her £50,000 a year post last week. The Mail on Sunday reports that she fell out with Ruth Kelly over gay rights.The paper also reported that Ms Kelly refused to attend last year's Euro Pride march in London.

  • 2nd March 2007

    Transsexual gets insurance hike after operation

    She was shocked to discover that, as a woman, her annual premium was more expensive. photo: powerbooktrance@flickr.com

    1:34 PM — A Swedish woman is outraged that her car insurance costs shot up following her gender-reassignment surgery.Carina Bladh from Linköping, central Sweden, became a woman at the end of last year, and at the same time bought a new Audi A6.She was shocked to discover that, as a woman, her annual premium was 1,200 kronor (over £87) more expensive.

  • Soho bomber to stay in prison for 50 years 1

    When he was captured, his lawyers tried to claim he was mentally ill and he was tried on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

    12:38 PM — A High Court judge has ruled that the Soho nail bomber should not be considered for release for fifty years.David Copeland, now 30, terrorised London's minority communities for thirteen days in the spring of 1999.Bombs in Brixton and Brick Lane caused serious injuries. The nail bomb he planted in gay pub the Admiral Duncan, in London's Old Compton Street, killed three people and injured eighty.

  • Magistrate not allowed to refuse gay adoption cases

    The Lawyers' Christian Fellowship claimed the tribunal was putting gay rights above children's rights.

    11:53 AM — A Christian who claimed that he should be allowed to pick and choose which adoption cases he would hear as a magistrate has failed to win an employment tribunal.62-year-old Andrew McClintock brought his legal action against the Lord Chancellor, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions."Gay couples have human rights too," the tribunal said, according to the Daily Mail. 

  • Bucks Fizz Tory says sorry for gay comments 29

    Mr Van Day denied that he had come under pressure from the Conservative party to apologise.

    11:53 AM — A Tory candidate whose comments about a gay men's choir offended some voters has apologised.David Van Day, a former member of Eurovision-winning group Bucks Fizz, is standing as a Conservative candidate for the East Brighton ward.At a Valentine's Day charity fundraising dinner in Brighton Pavilion, Mr Van Day gave a speech after a performance by The Brighton and Hove Actually Gay Men's Chorus.

  • US airman given 50 years for rapes 1

    Taylor had claimed that he was worried that he was being targeted by military investigators because of his sexuality.

    11:32 AM — captain in the US Air Force who claimed that four men accusing him of drugging and raping them were lying to avoid being exposed as gay was sentenced yesterday.He had been found guilty earlier in the week on four charges of forcible sodomy, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of attempted sodomy as well as one charge of unlawful entry.Capt. Devery L. Taylor, had worked as a hospital administrator, was given 50 years in jail by a military jury of nine fellow officers.

  • Mayor’s office refuse to apologise to Tatchell 4

    Last year Mr Livingstone was suspended from office for a month after comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard.

    10:03 AM — The office of the Mayor of London has stood by comments by Mr Livingstone that gay rights activist Peter Tatchell was waging an Islamophobic campaign in relation to gay rights in Russia.Yesterday Mr Tatchell demanded that the Mayor prove his assertion or apologise.City Hall has responded with a detailed analysis of the statements of OutRage! and Mr Tatchell.

  • 1st March 2007

    Dublin teen sex ring exposes lack of LGBT support 1

    A 21-year-old trainee police officer has admitted sending the child sexually explicit text messages.

    4:35 PM — Reports from Dublin concerning a 14-year-old boy being sexually abused by a ring of middle-aged men have exposed the lack of support for LGBT teenagers in the country.The child was groomed on the internet and then taken to a range of addresses in Dublin where the abuse took place. Irish police (Gardai) have arrested two men already.A 21-year-old trainee police officer has admitted sending the child sexually explicit text messages.

  • Barrymore death investigation to be probed 2

    Last December, Essex police said they were re-opening the investigation.

    4:02 PM — The Independent Police Complaints Commission has announced it will examine the police inquiry into the death of Stuart Lubbock, six years after his death at the home of entertainer Michael Barrymore.Lubbock was found dead in March 2002, and the new inquiry will examine the information Essex Police gave to the coroner about his death.During the inquest that followed, an open verdict was reached and to date no-one has been charged in connection with Mr Lubbock's death.

  • Comment: The politics of religion and gay adoption

    The main Jewish adoption agency, Norwood, on the other hand, said that it was happy to consider gay couples as parents.

    3:00 PM — By Ben Cohen The debate over exemption for religious groups from the Equality Act exposed a division within the government and the country.While we don't know exactly what happened behind closed doors, it appears that Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality, was persuaded by her friends within the Catholic Church to exempt their adoption agencies from being forced to treat gay and lesbian couples in the same way that they would a straight couple.

  • MPs and peers say regulations should cover schools 1

    The regulations will need an affirmative vote in committee and then on the floor of both Houses.

    12:31 PM — The parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has produced a report on the Sexual Orientation Regulations that says there can be no exemptions for church-run agencies.The committee, which is made up of peers and MPs, also said that the regulations should be extended to cover schools, even ones run by religious groups.The committee praised the SORs as a significant human rights enhancing measure.

  • Tatchell demands an apology from Livingstone 4

    Mr Tatchell pointed out that he has supported Mr Livingstone for over 30 years.

    12:07 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell says that the Mayor of London's assertion that he conducted an Islamophobic campaign is nonsense - and he wants him to apologise.In a press statement released earlier today, Ken Livingstone accused Mr Tatchell of focusing on the homophobia of the grand Mufti, a Russian Islamic cleric.

  • Gay playground jibe ends up in court

    In the UK, research by the National Union of Teachers last year revealed that the vast majority of their members hear the word gay used pejoratively on a regular basis.

    10:56 AM — An American judge will have to balance Constitutional rights with the protection of gay kids at school in a lawsuit about the phrase "that's so gay" that has come before the courts.A Mormon high school student in the United States used the phrase, was given a warning for doing so by school authorities, and now her parents are suing.They claim the word is youth slang meaning stupid, silly or dumb.

  • Synod falls out over civil partnerships for gay priests 1

    Earlier yesterday the Synod passed a compromise resolution on gays in the church.

    10:35 AM — Conservative and liberal Anglicans joined forces yesterday evening to defeat the bishops at the Church of England Synod over gay priests.The hierarchy wanted their view that gay and lesbian clergy can have civil partnerships as long as they stay celibate, ratified.However, the Synod did reject an evangelical motion saying that civil partnerships undermine marriage.

  • 28th February 2007

    Ken’s a hypocrite, says Moscow pride organiser 1

    After the press conference, he attempted to unfurl his Moscow Pride flag.

    6:27 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Nicolas Alexeyev has blasted the Mayor of London, calling him a hypocrite over his behaviour at the press conference for the meeting of four European mayors in the city this afternoon.Mr Alexeyev, who is an acreditted journalist, claims that Ken Livingstone ignored his repeated attempts to ask a question of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.He also says that after the conference he was pushed and threatened by Mr Luzhkov's press officer.

  • Bucks Fizz Tory’s off-colour comments upset gay voters 29

    Last December Tory councillor Peter Willows was found guilty of public order offences after he likened gay people to paedophiles at a civic reception in the city.

    6:27 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive A former Bucks Fizz star turned Brighton politician is facing calls to step down as a Tory candidate for the city council after allegedly making homophobic comments.Gay campaigners want David Van Day to withdraw from standing in the East Brighton ward after comments he made at a Valentine's charity fundraising dinner hosted by the Conservative Mayor of Brighton and Hove upset some of those in attendance.

  • Synod takes a middle way in gay debate 1

    The divisions over gay priests and the Church's attitude to same-sex partnerships was highlighted last week at the primates meeting in Tanzania.

    5:42 PM — The General Synod of the Church of England has passed a compromise resolution on gays in the church.Some delegates were wary of re-opening the debate about the place of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the church just a week after a meeting of Anglican primates exposed the division in the worldwide communion.The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Rev Michael Perham, said it was the wrong time to talk about gay priests.

  • Congress may revisit gays in the military

    Belkin noted that repealing the gay ban is not just the priority of a liberal or Democratic agenda, but is now supported by majorities of Republicans, conservatives and regular church-goers.

    4:27 PM — In the wake of announcements that Congressman Marty Meehan will re-introduce legislation to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" this week, observers are debating the future of the gays-in-the-military issue in Congress.Last year, Representative Meehan, a Democrat from Massachusetts, garnered the support of 122 representatives for the Military Readiness Enhancement Act.

  • Harassment not covered by discrimination regulations 1

    Equality and anti-discrimination law has been built up in a patchy way and with differing levels of protection.

    3:52 PM — The Sexual Orientation Regulations for England, Wales and Scotland will not provide a protection against harassment included in the Northern Ireland regulations.The Christian Institute, who are opposed to the new rules outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services, reported the lack of a harassment regulation in their magazine.

  • Mayor Ken defends rights of Russian gays 1

    Mr Livingstone condemned his attitude at a press conference this afternoon.

    2:11 PM — The Mayor of London has condemned any ban on gay rights marches, and said the matter will be raised with the Mayor of Moscow.The mayors of the four largest cities in Europe are meeting in London today, with the openly gay Mayors of Paris and Berlin also joining Mr Livingstone.The London Mayor said the matter of "municipal policies to combat discrimination" is on the agenda.

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