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Current Affairs

  • 13th February 2007

    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.

  • Kids Pride supporter gets email death threats 2

    Hekma has lodged a complaint with the police against five people who sent specific death threats by email to him

    12:31 PM — An academic who supported the rights of kids under 16 to take part in Amsterdam's Gay Pride parade has received a flood of death threats.Gert Hekma, Professor of Gay Lesbian Studies at the University of Amsterdam, was not involved in the plan to allow gay kids to take part in the annual boat parade."I had only expressed my opinion as an academic that it seemed to me to be crazy that the legal age of consent is 16 years when children so much younger are now coming out the closet," he said.

  • New anti-bullying guide launched

    Workplace homophobia has been in the news this week.

    11:28 AM — Gay equality organisation Stonewall has produced a guide to help employers stop homophobic bullying and harassment in the workplace.It features practical examples of good practice currently being developed by a range of Stonewall's partner organisations including BT, Accenture, Manchester City Council, the Royal Navy and Barnado's.The guide explains the difficulties gay employees can face when reporting bullying.

  • Italian government approves same-sex couple recognition 4

    The country is still divided over wheter gay and unmarried couples should be granted rights. photo: mteson@flickr.com

    10:35 AM — The Italian government yesterday agreed to bring forward legislation that will grant legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples for the first time.The decision was criticised on all sides. Gay campaigners complained that the proposed new "civil pacts of solidarity" are a watered down version of what the coalition government had promised at last year's election.Catholic MPs denounced the new bill as an attack on marriage.

  • Britain a better country under Labour, claims Blair

    Mr Blair admitted that there was no longer the same broad consensus in British society that there once was.

    12:28 AM — Tony Blair has described himself as "pro-gay rights and tough on law and order" in a podcast interview with actor Stephen Fry.The internet broadcast, which is available on the No 10 website, touched on a range of issues to do with identity and the perceived fracturing of British society.Echoing many of the soundbites that have defined his decade in office, the Prime Minister said that he differed from previous Labour leaders.

  • 8th February 2007

    University already banning gay partnership ceremonies

    Those who lacked the courage to oppose the governors or university policies ought to resign. photo: jay galvin@flickr

    5:09 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive The controversy surrounding Canterbury Christ Church University's ban on same-sex unions on its premises has taken a new turn.Documents obtained by PinkNews.co.uk show that a decision was taken as recently as last December, contradicting the recent press release from the institution's Vice-Chancellor.The university is a teacher training college for the Church of England, and its Chancellor is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

  • Christians attack Obama’s record on gay rights 2

    He first came to be spoken of as a future President after the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

    4:38 PM — Before he has even officially declared his intention to run for President, Barack Obama is under attack for his pro-gay views.The junior Senator from Illinois is expected to announce on Saturday that he intends to run for the highest office in the land.Obama is the only African-American in the Senate, and his candidacy is already being compared to that of President John F Kennedy.

  • Lesbian lovers lies land them in jail

    Mr Mytton added that his client never thought Mr Austin would be remanded in custody.

    4:02 PM — Two former lesbian lovers have been jailed for making false claims against a man who subsequently spent two weeks in custody last August.25-year-old Kerry-Ann Austin, of Leyfields in Lichfield, was sentenced to two months in jail after lying to the police about her husband, Paul, breaching a restraining order not to contact her.Her lesbian partner Louise Howes, 29 - sister of Paul - was also given the same sentence.

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