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Current Affairs

  • 7th September 2007

    Cameron defies critics over gay rights 71

    The speech laid out Mr Cameron's “mood music“ for the next election amid speculation that the Prime Minister may decide to go to the country as early as next month.

    1:30 PM — The leader of the Conservative party has attacked right-wing critics in his own party and committed himself to civil partnerships and gay rights.In a wide-ranging address to an audience of candidates and party workers in London, David Cameron spoke about "modern Conservatism," and made clear that recent critics of his leadership were out of touch.He presented a manifesto around the themes of change, family, responsibility, and "leadership for the internet generation."

  • Feature: Grim realities of life for gays in Iran

    Iranian organisation IRQO has published an in-depth interview with a gay male couple about the challenges of living in the Islamic Republic.

    12:48 PM — Gay Iranian organisation IRQO has published an in-depth interview with a gay male couple about the challenges of living in the Islamic Republic, both from the religious authorities, their families and other Iranians. Kamran, 24 and Kaveh, 25, have been together about 3 years."The way we are looked at is a source of torment for us. Even though physically we are not any different from them they discriminate against us. This makes our lives extremely difficult. I don't think there is any problem greater than being labeled abnormal in society when you are certain nothing is wrong with you."

  • HSBC gay banker back at tribunal 1

    HSBC has consistently denied it discriminated against Mr Lewis on grounds of sexuality.

    12:15 PM — An employment tribunal in Stratford, east London, was told yesterday that homophobia is still a problem in the UK financial services industry.Peter Lewis, a former head of equity at HSBC bank, won a partial victory last year when a tribunal ruled that the bank had discriminated against him on four grounds because of his sexual orientation.However, he was unable to prove discrimination in relation to 12 other grounds, including his dismissal from the bank in 2004 for gross misconduct.

  • Church of England attacks equality legislation 9

    The Archbishops' Council said new laws were unnecessary and the Church could be forced to marry people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery.

    10:41 AM — An official document from the policy-making body of the Church of England has raised objections to the new Single Equality Bill.The new legislation, which is at consultation stage, aims to harmonise and simplify the law with regards to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and other forms of discrimination.In its official submission to the consultation, the Archbishops' Council said new laws were unnecessary and the Church could be forced to marry people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery.

  • Editorial: The Tories and PinkNews.co.uk 72

    We would never run an advert from anyone that seeks to harm the gay community. There will be no adverts for ex-gay movements on PinkNews.co.uk.

    10:04 AM — The Conservative party is well-known for its ad campaigns.From the iconic 1979 "Labour isn't working" posters, to the "Demon Eyes" of Tony Blair in the 1997 election campaign, through to the "Five Pledges" of Michael "are you thinking what I am thinking" Howard in 2005, never let it be said that the Tory party were short of a strategy. Some, of course, more successful than others.Today marks a new stage in the party's attempts to disseminate its message to the voters.

  • Conservative Party advertises on PinkNews.co.uk 71

    The advertisements feature David Cameron

    7:50 AM — The Conservative Party has taken further steps towards engaging with the gay community by today advertising with PinkNews.co.uk, the community's leading news provider.The advertisements feature party leader David Cameron alongside a series of messages on a variety of campaign issues.The advertisements on PinkNews.co.uk are believed to be the party's first political advertising campaign in the gay media.

  • 6th September 2007

    Euro court to rule on gay partner’s pension rights 5

    The court adviser's view is not binding but is normally accepted by the judges.

    6:53 PM — In what could lead to a landmark judgement, an adviser to the European Court of Justice has said that a German gay man is entitled to a payment from the pension of his dead partner.Tadao Maruko is asking the court to grant him a widower's allowance from the insurance policy his partner took out with the German Theatre Pension Institution.The insurer has rejected his claim to the allowance of €6,400 (£4,330) on the grounds they only make such payments to spouses and not registered partners.

  • Pope faces gay protests on Vienna trip 4

    It is Benedict's seventh foreign trip since becoming Pope.

    6:25 PM — Thousands of police and soldiers will be on the streets of the Austrian capital Vienna tomorrow as Pope Benedict XVI begins his three-day tour of the country.The authorities are expecting a significant demonstration against the presence of the Roman Catholic leader by Socialist youth organisations opposed to his hardline stance on homosexuality and other social issues."He doesn't want us to marry, to live in legal partnerships," Christian Hougel, an Austrian gay rights activists, told AP.

  • Law Order star to run for President 1

    Mr Thompson represented Tennessee in the Senate from 1994 to 2003.

    5:35 PM — Fred Thompson, the former US Senator, best known as the star of police procedural drama Law Order, chose his appearance last night on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President.The actor, lawyer and politician, who is a conservative, is in pole position to take the nomination.Many Republicans see former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as too liberal on gay rights and abortion.

  • Congress considers protection for LGBT workers 21

    87% of the top Fortune 500 companies in the US already provide protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

    4:01 PM — The only two openly gay members of the United States Congress testified yesterday about new legislation to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people at work.Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin and Congressman Barney Frank appeared before the House Health, Employment, Labour and Pensions subcommittee and spoke in favour of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).The proposed legislation seeks to extend federal employment discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Paisley’s homophobia not a breach of code of conduct 27

    Ian Paisley Jnr told Hotpress magazine in May that lesbians and gay men harm society.

    3:15 PM — The Northern Ireland Assembly Ombudsman has ruled that a junior minister in the province's government did not break the code of conduct when he called gay people repulsive.Ian Paisley Jnr, who is the son and namesake of the Democratic Unionist First Minister, told Hotpress magazine in May that lesbians and gay men harm society.He was appointed a junior minister in the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister by his father.

  • Scots activists disappointed over hate crime bill 1

    Mr Salmond's proposed legislation will need votes from opposition parties to become law.

    1:22 PM — Stonewall Scotland has criticised the Scottish government for failing to make progress on hate crimes legislation.The Scottish National Party-led administration has been in power since May.The nationalists, along with their coalition partners the Greens, made a manifesto commitment to introduce legislation that would punish crimes motivated by the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Gay marches “assist homophobia” say Moscow authorities 4

    The organisers of Moscow Pride are taking the city authorities to the European Court of Human Rights.

    12:23 PM — The deputy Mayor of Moscow responded to calls for a compromise over gay rights marches in the city by calling activists provocateurs and accusing Western governments of trying to "pull us into a new dimension on the discussion on human rights using the topic of sexual minorities."In January the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, Terry Davis, wrote to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an attempt to find a compromise that would allow Moscow Pride 2007 to take place. The event was banned in 2006.

  • Council’s failed to stop gay paedophiles abusing children 2

    The head of family services at Wakefield council welcomed the report.

    11:20 AM — An independent inquiry has found that managers and social workers from a local council were so concerned about not appearing homophobic that they overlooked warning signs about two gay foster parents who were sexually abusing children.Ian Wathey, 40, and Craig Faunch, 32, from Pontefract in West Yorkshire, were jailed in June 2006 for five and six years respectively for abusing four boys in their care.The report, published yesterday, made 41 recommendations.

  • LA Fitness sued over homophobic employee

    Persily, who has frequented the L.A. Fitness branch in Buckhead for nearly six months, says the company has still done nothing to respond to the complaint he made about the incident.

    10:35 AM — An Atlanta attorney who was subjected to anti-gay remarks and later assaulted during a visit to a health club recently filed suit after the company failed to address his complaint about the altercation.According to a press release issued by his laywers, Seth Persily filed a lawsuit August 7th against L.A. Fitness claiming that an employee at one of its facilities in Atlanta made anti-gay comments and later accosted him in a locker-room on July 18th.L.A. Fitness in the UK have no connection with the company involved in the legal action.

  • 5th September 2007

    Gay lawyers ‘less satisfied’

    LGBT lawyers are more likely to be dissatisfied with career advancement opportunities

    12:02 AM — LGBT lawyers are less likely to feel satisfied with their professional counterparts, a new study has revealed.The survey of active attorneys in Denver found LGBT lawyers shared many of the problems of their ethnic minority counterparts.Members of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgendered Bar Association reported higher levels of dissatisfaction with the complexities of their work, access to clients and career advancement opportunities.

  • Cardinal attacks homophobic radio station

    The cardinal warned the stations broadcasts were being associated with church teaching

    12:02 AM — Poland's most influential cardinal has launched a broadside attack on a notorious radio station branded anti-Semitic and homophobic by its critics.Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Archbishop of Krakow, spelt out fears that the position of the church in Poland was increasingly being confused with those of Radio Maryja, run by Fr Tadeusz Rydzyk - a Redemptorist monk."Pastoral work is gradually slipping out of bishops' control and into the hands of others," he said.

  • Craig controversy rumbles on

    The Idaho senator denies he is gay

    12:02 AM — Events surrounding anti-gay Republican senator Larry Craig, who resigned last Saturday following an arrest for lewd conduct in a public bathroom, continue to develop as Washington remains awash with rumour and speculation about the controversy.Media reports are suggesting he may reconsider his resignation if cleared of the charges, while his legal team simultaneously fight to cancel the guilty plea he made following the arrest.Meanwhile, a visit from two of his children last week led to an extended interview on ABC where they stressed their father was not gay and said he was disappointed at the lack of support shown by his Republican colleagues.

  • Labour hit back at Tory attack on civil unions 33

    Tories “have opposed nearly every equality measure.“

    12:02 AM — Former Eastenders star and Labour MEP for the West Midlands, Michael Cashman, has hit back at Tory MP Michael Ancram for his comments on civil unions yesterday.Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Ancram said treating civil unions like normal marriages "insults the intelligence of the British people."He continued: "They are not the equivalent of marriage.

  • LGBT group accused of inciting prostitution

    The suspects have been detained for several days

    12:02 AM — Eighteen members of a Turkish LGBT association which also represents transvestites have been arrested in the city of Bursa for "forming a gang to commit crimes, being an associate with a gang, and inciting prostitution."Turkish activists are divided as to the accuracy of the charge, but are warning the police could use the incident to harass other LGBT groups.The arrests follow tense relations between police and the 'Rainbow Association' and speculations about the activities of the group's president, Oyku Erven.

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