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Current Affairs

  • 12th February 2007

    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.

  • Northern Ireland most bigoted place, survey reveals

    The main target of the Northern Ireland bigots are gay people, with over a thirds of respondents saying they did not want gay neighbours.

    12:59 PM — Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of bigoted people in the western world, according to research from the University of Ulster.Not only does the province have the highest proportion of bigots, but the bigots are on average more bigoted than those in other countries.The main target of Northern Irish prejudice is the gay community, with over a third of respondents saying they did not want gay neighbours.

  • Italy gay marriage vote too close to call 4

    Opinion polls show 69% of the country's Catholics are in favour of the new laws, which would grant cohabiting couples similar rights to married ones.

    12:06 PM — The fragile unity of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government will be severely tested when proposals to offer legal recognition for same-sex unions are to be unveiled in the next few days.Some are already seeing this as a referendum on Mr Prodi's vulnerable nine-party centre-left coalition.The situation has been made worse by intense lobbying from opposition MPs and the Catholic Church, with Pope Benedict XVI chastising the proposals as "anti-church and anti-family."

  • Colombian court recognises same-sex rights

    It is still not clear how far the court's decision will go in recognising same-sex partner rights.  photo: dweekly@flickr

    10:58 AM — For the first time, the Constitutional Court in the South American state of Colombia has acknowledged the rights of same sex partners.Although homosexual relationships were decriminalised in the 1980s, serious human rights violations against LGBT people are commonplace.The country has been the scene of social unrest for decades, with powerful drug cartels challenging the authority of the government.

  • US Army scared of lesbians, says Congressman 1

    Congressman Ackerman suggested to Ms Rice that as the Army was sacking much-needed translators for being gay, her department could hire them instead.

    10:25 AM — A member of the House of Representatives has said that the American military is more scared of lesbians than terrorists.Gary Ackerman, from New York, was questioning Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a Congressional committee into 2008 State Department budget.The Congressman was questioning the current military policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

  • 7th February 2007

    Gay activist push “no kids no marriage” law 1

    The proposed ballot measure would require couples to prove they can have children to get a marriage licence.

    4:00 PM — Same-sex marriage advocates in the American state of Washington are proposing a state ballot measure that would limit marriage to couples who prove they can bear children within three years.Proponents say the proposal was aimed at "social conservatives who have long screamed that marriage exists for the sole purpose of procreation."The Washington Defence of Marriage Alliance acknowledged on its website that the initiative was "absurd."

  • Disgraced preacher “discovers” he is straight 1

    Haggard has revealed he and his wife plan to move away from Colorado and study for a degree in psychology.

    3:35 PM — Ted Haggard, the former pastor of an evangelical super church who was forced to resign after revelations of a three-year affair with a male prostitute, has said he was "acting out" and is still a heterosexual.The revelation came in an interview in the Denver Post with one of the four pastors who have been giving Haggard an intensive course of counselling.

  • £17,000 payout in discrimination case

    The tribunal found that the company did not deal with the complaints of homophobia correctly.

    2:10 PM — A gay man who was suspended for complaining about anti-gay graffiti has been awarded over £17,000 compensation by an employment tribunal.Chris Martin won his case against Parkam Foods last September. The West Yorkshire company supply pre-packaged meats to many of the major UK supermarkets.Since the introduction of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations in December 2003 only a small number of cases have been brought to a tribunal.

  • Scots Cardinal attacks “hedonistic society” 1

    Catholic leaders in Scotland are hoping the influx of Polish migrants to the country will affect the outcome of the upcoming elections for the country's parliament.

    11:55 AM — The leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics has attacked modern Britain for allowing gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children.Cardinal Keith O'Brien said that equal rights were a sign of a "deeply hedonistic society" and complained that morals were being trumped by freedom of choice and lifestyle.The church in Scotland has been vocal in its opposition to gay adoption.

  • Be confident to avoid attacks, advises charity 1

    If you feel at all threatened by someone, take evasive action. Move away, cross the road etc. and move towards somewhere where there are other people.

    11:23 AM — The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, a leading authority on personal safety issues, has said that LGBT people should develop techniques that help them to appear more confident and assertive in public.The trust says that confidence is a key weapon in avoiding hate crimes."Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people often rely upon 'being invisible' to remain safe," says the trust's chief executive Julie Bentley.

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