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Current Affairs

  • 15th February 2007

    Gang of teenagers sentenced for gay abuse 1

    Bromley Youth Court heard how the youths shouted words like “batty boy“ and “queers“ at the men.

    11:18 AM — Four teenage boys who subjected a gay couple to a sustained harassment and abuse have pleaded guilty to public order offences.The children, aged between 14 and 16, followed the two men around a branch of Marks Spencer in Beckenham, Kent, hurling abuse at them and threatening them with physical violence.A magistrate has given one of the boys a conditional discharge and another a referral order. Two await sentencing.

  • Gay rights row influences Labour deputy race

    Seven ministers have now declared they back Mr Johnson to succeed John Prescott as deputy leader.

    10:04 AM — The Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, has had his candidacy for the deputy leadership of the Labour party endorsed by a string of ministers.Many of the middle-ranking MPs had warm praise for the tenacious way Johnson stood up to the Prime Minister in defence of gay equality laws.Last month Mr Blair and the Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly were at the centre of a cabinet row over anti-discrimination legislation.

  • 14th February 2007

    Nigeria elections could swing new anti-gay law 1

    Nigerian society is divided along Christian/Muslim lines, yet this issue unites them.

    6:40 PM — A committee of the Nigerian parliament met today to conduct a public hearing into the proposed new legislation that will imprison people for being gay or having gay or lesbian sex.With elections for the Presidency, Senate and House of Representatives in April, gay rights activists fear that politicians will put populism above human rights.

  • Transgender summit a first for Ireland 2

    The conference was organised by the Belfast Butterfly Club, a support network for transgendered people and their families.

    12:28 PM — An event being held in Belfast today aims to increase awareness of the existence of transgender and transsexual people in Ireland.The Transgender Symmetry conference is the first time such a gathering has been seen on either side of the Irish border.Richard O'Brien, presenter of TV show The Crystal Maze and star and writer of musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show, is attending the event.

  • Proposal to outlaw homosexuality in Russia has “no support” 4

    Alexeyev, a lawyer, dismissed reports that Russia may return to the situation where homosexuality was illegal.

    12:11 PM — The organiser of Moscow Pride has said that an attempt by a maverick deputy in the Russian parliament to re-instate Soviet-era sexuality laws is certain to fail.Nikolai Alexeyev, who was arrested by police at last year's banned Pride march, spoke to PinkNews.co.uk from Berlin, where a documentary about the event is being premiered.Alexeyev, a lawyer, dismissed concerns that Russia may return to the situation where homosexuality was illegal

  • Gaydar founder died of multiple injuries

    Mr Frisch, originally from South Africa, established Gaydar with his business partner and then-boyfriend Henry Badenhorst in 1999.

    11:00 AM — An autopsy was carried out yesterday on Gary Frisch, the co-founder of gay dating website Gaydar.Mr Frisch was discovered in the street on Saturday afternoon outside his eighth floor Battersea apartment. It is thought he either fell or jumped from the balcony.The autopsy found that the cause of death was multiple injuries.

  • 13th February 2007

    Former Mormon missionary runs for President

    Americans liberals are worried about the candidacy of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    6:23 PM — Mitt Romney, ex-Governor of Massachusetts and staunch opponent of gay marriage, has today officially announced a bid for the Republican party's candidacy for President of the United States.Speculation about his intentions has been rife since he first resigned from the post of Governor in 2005.Massachusetts is the only state in America to have legalised gay marriage.

  • MEPs highlight homophobic bullying in school

    They spoke to over 750 young LGBT people from 37 countries and found that over half (53%) had experienced bullying in school.

    6:23 PM — Members of the European Parliament from across the EU are to present a written declaration on combating homophobic bullying as new research shows that kids across the continent are being victimised.The MEPs have chosen Valentines Day to highlight the extent to which LGBT teens in all EU countries experience abuse and intimidation at school.Research by gay rights group ILGA Europe and their youth wing examined social exclusion among LGBT kids in Europe.

  • Ukranian gays face fight with parliament 1

    Since 1991 Ukraine, formerly part of the Soviet Union, has had an equal age of consent.

    3:52 PM — The leader of Committee on Human Rights of the Ukrainian Parliament has called homosexual people "perverts" and said that a fight against them is needed.Mr. Leonid Grach, a Communist, said last week that the state must protect society from evils, and then listed homosexuality and lesbianism.Ukraine is seeking membership of the EU.

  • Presidential hopeful’s pledge on gay rights

    In 2000, as the Minister of the Family and Children, Royal spoke out against anti-gay bullying in schools.

    11:28 AM — Segolene Royal took the race to succeed Jacques Chirac as President of France in a fresh direction yesterday, launching a 100 point manifesto for France under her rule.The 53-year-old socialist party candidate for the presidency would become France's first woman president if elected.She pitched her reform programme to a 15,000-strong rally just outside Paris yesterday.

  • 12th February 2007

    Obama says he is running for the White House 2

    Obama is the only African-American in the Senate, and his candidacy is already being compared to that of President John F Kennedy.

    6:35 PM — Senator Barack Obama has officially declared that he is running for President.The charismatic American politician said that he does not think either race or religion will be defining factors in the choice of the next leader of the free world.In an interview with PA the junior senator from Illinois, who has been publicly supportive of gay rights, said that being mixed race was not a disadvantage.

  • COMMENT: End of the road for united Anglican communion 3

    Archbishop Williams needs to stop trying to hold this fractured communion together.

    5:41 PM — This week the senior primates of the Anglican church will meet in Africa. Many predict the outcome of this meeting will be an outright schism in the church over the issue of gay priests.Tony Grew examines the nature of the Church of England and questions whether it can ever be a home for radical evangelicals. My dad used to tell me that the Anglican church is not really a religious denomination as such. It is more of a social club.

  • Gay harassment victim awarded £120,000 1

    Ms Cape called the behaviour of Mr Paul malicious and oppressive.

    4:19 PM — An employment tribunal in Glasgow has awarded huge damages to a gay man victimised at work.32-year-old Jonah Ditton was a media sales manager for CP Publishing Ltd for only eight days, yet the nakedly homophobic behaviour of his boss is reflected in the compensation of almost £120,000 he was awarded.This is the largest award ever for a case of sexual orientation discrimination.

  • Russia says it backs gay rights 4

    Patricia Prendiville, the executive director of the European branch of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, welcomed Russia's statement.

    3:03 PM — Despite banning Moscow Gay Pride last year, the Russian government has sent out a message of commitment to the rights of sexual minorities.In its capacity as current Chairman of the Committee of Ministers for the Council of Europe, the Russian Federation has stated that sexual minorities do have the right to freedom of expression and assembly, according to RainbowNetwork.com.They added that the police have a duty to protect such demonstrations when they take place.

  • Berlusconi attacks gay rights legislation

    Italy remains divided over the extent that gay and unmarried couples should benefit from the legal rights that married heterosexual couples enjoy.

    1:37 PM — Italian opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi slammed legislation to give legal rights to same-sex couples yesterday.The former Prime Minister, who is still leader of Forza Italia, accused the Romano Prodi-led Italian coalition government of devaluing the institution of the family.Last week the Italian Cabinet voted unanimously to bring forward legislation bestowing some legal protection to unmarried couples.

  • Court bans gay partner health insurance

    Massachusetts is the only American state that can legally marry same-sex couples. It has been doing so since May 2004.

    1:22 PM — An appeals court in Michigan has banned public organisations from providing health insurance to partners of gay employees.The decision has caused outrage amongst American gay rights organisations.Last Friday Michigan amended its voter-approved ban on gay marriage to incorporate a ruling that prohibits universities and government bodies from recognising same-sex unions in the provision of health benefits. It is the first US state to do so.

  • Scots minister in gay blessing storm

    The Anglican communion worldwide has been split over gay rights issues since the ordination of a gay bishop by the American church in 2003.

    12:01 PM — The Church of Scotland faces widespread division after a minister announced she would use her church to bless same-sex civil partnerships.Aberdeenshire minister the Rev Kim Cran will risk the possibility of disciplinary action in order to bless four homosexual couples, Scotsman.com has reported.Last year the Church of Scotland's local branches, the presbyteries, voted to reject a declaration that would allow clerics to conduct ceremonies without fear of punishment.

  • Canadian cops seek out gay recruits

    Others attending the session said they were concerned their sexuality would be more valued than their qualifications.

    10:50 AM — Toronto police held a recruiting session in the city's gay village Saturday afternoon in an effort to diversify its ranks.According to the Canadian Press, the city's police service has made efforts to diversify by recruiting officers who reflect the variety of ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds found across the city.Constable Gail Steed of the police employment unit told CP that the information sessions for the gay community are a natural extension of that outreach.

  • BA asked to donate to anti-gay Christian group 3

    British Airways, who sponsored last year's EuroPride in London, have yet to announce whether they will meet Mrs Eweida's demands

    10:30 AM — The British Airways check-in worker at the centre of last year's crucifix row has demanded a £100,000 donation be paid to a Christian charity rigorously opposed to anti-discrimination legislation.55-year-old Nadia Eweida was suspended last September after she refused to cover up her crucifix in accordance with BA rules.Following changes to the airline's uniform policy Mrs Eweida will return to work after spending four months on unpaid leave.

  • 9th February 2007

    Gay haters to picket kids’ funeral 1

    The WBC say on their website that: “the Messengers of God do not stop preaching the truth just because you pass laws.“

    6:13 PM — Anti-gay activists from the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, plan to protest at the collective funeral of the victims of the Bardstown house fire that killed 10 people last week.The blaze, described as the deadliest in Kentucky in thirty years, killed six children, and left two others hospitalised. The cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed.The controversial church appears at high-profile funerals in order to gain publicity for their cause, despite laws banning such demonstrations.

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