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Current Affairs

  • 4th December 2007

    Religious forum pledges greater tolerance for gay Muslims 7

    Homosexuality is forbidden and considered a crime in most Islamic countries.

    2:35 PM — A gay Muslim last week came out to a group of Muslim scholars at an AIDS conference who had branded homosexuality "unIslamic" and "evil" days beforehand.Suhail AbualSameed spoke openly about his sexuality to an audience of ulama, distinguished Islamic scholars, at the International Consultation on Islam and HIV/AIDS in Johannesburg, South Africa, IRIN PlusNews has reported.Mr AbualSameed, a Jordanian living in Canada, said: "As a gay Muslim, I feel unsafe, unloved and unrespected in this space."

  • Scouts miss deadline to lift gay ban

    The scouts have been on notice for seven months that they will be evicted on May 31 if they do not drop the policies.

    2:35 PM — The Philadelphia chapter of the Boy Scouts of America has ignored a deadline set by the city's officials to publicly renounce its membership bar against people who are openly homosexual or atheists if the organisation wishes to remain in its landmark headquarters on city-owned land.The scouts have been on notice for seven months that they will be evicted on May 31 if they do not drop the policies.

  • Father of Barrymore pool death man awarded compensation 2

    31-year-old Stuart Lubbock was found dead in entertainer Michael Barrymore's swimming pool after a party in March 2001.

    2:15 PM — The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has awarded Terry Lubbock £6,800 criminal injuries compensation.His 31-year-old son Stuart Lubbock was found dead in entertainer Michael Barrymore's swimming pool after a house party in March 2001.Three months later Barrymore and two other men were arrested and bailed in connection with the incident.But a year after Mr Lubbock's death, police decided no charges were to be brought against Barrymore or the other men.

  • Amnesty protests gay convictions in Morocco 1

    Amnesty International wants its 2.2 million members worldwide to write to the Moroccan authorities demanding the release of men.

    2:10 PM — A leading human rights group is calling on its members to protest against the conviction of six men in Morocco accused of "lewd of unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex."Amnesty International wants its 2.2 million members worldwide to write to the Moroccan authorities demanding the release of men, who were convicted on 10 December.They have been in jail since they were first arrested by the police between November 23rd and 25th 2007.

  • Interview: Irish gay rights group takes on partnerships

    The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), an organisation set up in 1988 to work for decriminalisation, is pushing for full equality.

    2:01 PM — Ireland has come a long way since decriminalising homosexuality in 1993.Last week the Republic of Ireland's Minister of State for Equality, Sean Power, reiterated that legislation allowing same-sex civil partnerships will be introduced next year.While ruling out gay marriage as unconstitutional, he did confirm that gay and straight co-habiting couples would get many spousal rights through the Civil Partnership Registration Scheme.

  • Gay conference to be held in Malta

    ILGA Europe had chosen Lithuania to highlight the prejudice gay and lesbian people face in the Baltic country.

    1:05 PM — The 2009 European International Lesbian and Gay Association conference will be held in Malta.The Mediterranean island beat the competing Dutch city of The Hague to win the right to host the LGBT organisation's annual gathering.Malta Gay Rights Movement welcomed ILGA Europe's decision, saying it would be an opportunity to raise the visibility of LGBT issues in the Roman Catholic country, where gay people still suffer discrimination.

  • Churches seek reassurance over incitement law 100

    The two churches want assurances that they would be able to express their views on gay people “directed against conduct rather than against the person themselves.“

    12:45 PM — A joint statement from the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches in England has revealed their worries that a new incitement to homophobic hatred law might target Christian teachings.In a memorandum to a committee of MPs the churches asserted their view that "sexual activity and lifestyle, as distinct from sexual orientation, are matters of choice and impinge upon the public sphere."As such they are subject to evaluation and criticism, and freedom to discuss them must be preserved."

  • Uruguayan parliament passes civil unions law 2

    The Uruguayan Congress last week passed legislation creating a civil union registry for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples.

    12:40 PM — Uruguay will legally recognise same-sex civil unions.The country of 3.6m people is the first nation in South America to grant such protections, although some cities and regions throughout the continent have made similar legal provisions.The Uruguayan Congress last week passed legislation creating a civil union registry for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples.The measure had previously passed the Chamber of Senators.

  • Australian state laws may help same-sex partners

    Attorney-General Rob Hulls said although the register would not facilitate gay marriage or civil unions, it would be a practical tool for unmarried couples to have access to entitlements.

    12:07 PM — Gay and lesbian couples in Victoria, Australia will be able to register their relationship to gain easier access to entitlements under laws tabled in parliament, a government adviser has said.The Victorian government announced in April it would establish the Relationships Register for people who were not married and were in a committed relationship.Under existing laws, couples may be required to provide evidence to prove their relationship.

  • Poll puts Obama ahead of Democrat field in Iowa primary

    It is the first time that Obama has taken a slight advantage in the polls over Clinton.

    11:20 AM — She's been ahead in the national polls, but Democrat party candidate Hillary Clinton may not have the comfortable lead she was hoping for heading into the 2008 Presidential election.This week, an early poll put Barack Obama three points ahead of Clinton and six points over former vice Presidential candidate John Edwards.For over 35 years, Iowa has been the first state to vote in presidential primaries and often is looked at for setting the tone of which candidate will ultimately receive the nomination.

  • Treaty shelved over fears about same-sex marriage

    Although homosexuality is legal in Peru, the legal union between two adults of the same sex is not permitted.

    11:20 AM — A vote on an international treaty in Peru has been put on hold after a heated debate erupted over whether the treaty would lead to legal support for same-sex partnerships.A congressional vote on the Iberian-American Convention on the Rights of Youth-an international treaty that establishes a core set of legal standards to protect young people-was shelved and the resolution sent back to the Peruvian Commission of International Relations for further study.

  • Sperm donor forced to pay child maintenance

    Changes in the law in 2005 mean that when children turn 18 they can contact the HFEA and ask for the identity of their father.

    10:45 AM — A man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple is being made to pay child support.The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is warning "DIY" donors that they risk financial responsibility unless they go through a licensed clinic.Men who donate through a clinic have no legal or financial obligation to the child that is conceived and do not have a right to be named on the birth certificate.

  • 3rd December 2007

    Paedophile slur councillor resigns from Labour party 130

    In a statement, the Labour party today confirmed that Ms Grell has resigned ahead of an investigation into her conduct.

    12:35 PM — A Labour politician who was found guilty of making false allegations of paedophilia against her gay opponent has resigned from the party.In September Miranda Grell, 29, was barred from public office for three years, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.Ms Grell won a formerly safe Lib Dem seat on the London Borough of Waltham Forest council in last May's elections.

  • Gay activists arrested as observers query Russian election

    The arrests came amid accusations of illegal election practices against Vladimir Putin's party who secured a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections.

    12:35 PM — Gay rights campaigners were arrested yesterday at a polling station in Russia for attempting to conduct an "illegal gathering."The group was there to protest against homophobic Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who was expected at the polling station later that day.Mr Luzhkov has banned the last two gay pride marches in Moscow calling them a "work of Satan." Activist Nicolas Alexeyev was arrested after he wrote "No to homophobes, no to Luzhkov" on his ballot.

  • More men claim they had sex with Senator Craig 4

    Larry Craig, who represents Idaho, has been under pressure to resign since it emerged he pleaded guilty cruising in a public toilet.

    12:35 PM — A United States Senator has described new stories about his sexual relationships with several other men as "complete nonsense."Larry Craig, who represents Idaho, has been under pressure to resign since it emerged he pleaded guilty to cruising in a public toilet.He was arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport toilet who said the lawmaker had engaged in conduct "often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct."

  • Liberal leader comes out for gay rights

    49-year-old Mr Nelson has drawn comparisons with Tory leader David Cameron.

    12:00 PM — Just weeks after being kicked out of office, the Australian Liberal party has decided to embrace limited gay equality.Former Prime Minister John Howard, who lost office and his own seat in Parliament in last month's federal election, has been replaced as party leader by Brendan Nelson.The former Liberal/National coalition government failed to make any decisions on gay equality across a range of issues outlined for them in June by a report from the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

  • Equalisation of age of consent angers Northern Ireland politicians 2

    The change to the age of consent is a matter for the British government and not the Northern Ireland Assembly or Executive.

    12:00 PM — Gay rights groups in Northern Ireland are at loggerheads with the Roman Catholic Church and the Democratic Unionist Party over proposed legislation to lower the age of consent from 17 to 16, bringing it in line with the rest of the UK.Justice Minister Paul Goggins MP, who unveiled the draft Sexual Offences (NI) Order, said that there is no convincing reason for the age to be different than it is in the rest of the UK.The change to the age of consent is a matter for the British government and not the Northern Ireland Assembly or Executive.

  • 2nd December 2007

    Dutch to study gay bashing incidents 5

    The University of Amsterdam has been commissioned by the city's mayor to carry out the research into homophobic attacks.

    3:10 PM — The mayor of Amsterdam has commissioned academics to study a spate of attacks on gay people in the city.A substantial increase in homophobic attacks in the capital has been reported over the last few years.Over half of Dutch gays feel less safe than they did a year ago, a survey carried out in August by current affairs programme EenVandaag revealed.

  • LGBT Labour “furious” at party support for Grell 130

    Miranda Grell's appeal against her conviction for making false allegations of paedophilia against her gay opponent was rejected by Snaresbrook Crown Court.

    3:10 PM — Labour's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender society has revealed that it complained about the backing a councillor convicted of homophobic slurs against her opponent received from the party.In a statement issued shortly after Miranda Grell's appeal against her conviction for making false allegations of paedophilia against her gay opponent was rejected by Snaresbrook Crown Court, LGBT Labour said they were furious.

  • Brazilian president calls national LGBT conference

    Homosexuality has been legal in Brazil since 1823, except in the armed forces, and civil unions are allowed in some areas.

    3:10 PM — Gay rights activists have praised Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the President of Brazil, for announcing that he is convening the first national conference of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and trans persons (LGBT).New York-based Human Rights Watch has urged people to write to Mr da Silva to congratulate him on his decision to call the conference. His decree was published in the Official Gazette last week.700 people are expected to take part, 60% civil society and 40% government.

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