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Current Affairs

  • 24th January 2007

    Christian magistrate goes to employment tribunal 1

    He resigned from the South Yorkshire Courts' Panel after being informed he would not be allowed to opt-out of cases that he felt would conflict with his religious views.

    10:44 AM — A Sheffield magistrate is taking the Lord Chancellor to an employment tribunal, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions.62-year-old Andrew McClintock hopes the ruling will set a precedent.He spoke to The Daily Mail about his opinions on gay parenting.

  • Blairs blamed for cabinet split over gay rights 5

    Like Ms Kelly, Mrs Blair is a practising Roman Catholic, and the Blair's two eldest sons attended an exclusive Church school.

    10:10 AM — The Independent newspaper is reporting that the Prime Minister's wife Cherie is responsible for the row in cabinet over the delay in the introduction of gay rights legislation.Meanwhile Alan Johnson, who had responsibility for overseeing the Sexual Orientation Regulations while he was Trade and Industry Secretary, is reported to have told MPs that the exemption for Roman Catholic adoption agencies is being actively supported by the Prime Minister.

  • Anglicans back Catholics in adoption row 3

    Archbishop of York John Sentamu pointed out to the Prime Minister that there are already exemptions in the provision of services on the grounds of conscience or belief. photo: Jeff Jones

    9:44 AM — The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to Prime Minister Tony Blair in support of an exemption from anti-discrimination legislation for Roman Catholic adoption agencies.In the letter the Archbishops, the most senior clergy in the Church of England, tell Mr Blair that, "the rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well meaning."Their intervention is in support of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

  • 23rd January 2007

    Jail for passing on sexually transmitted diseases 1

    THT are concerned that the current prosecutions policy is restigmatising HIV “at a rate of knots.“

    10:22 AM — The Crown Prosecution Service is to target people who knowingly pass on STDs, with some being sent to prison.The new approach is due to be announced by Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald soon, reports The Evening Standard. Sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has expressed concern about the reported new policy.

  • Charities query proposed Brighton AIDS memorial

    Councillor Paul Elgood, the Mayor of Brighton, with James Ledward at the launch of the planned AIDS memorial.

    10:22 AM — The UK's largest HIV health organisation is questioning plans for a permanent AIDS memorial in Brighton.Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) South says that the community has not been consulted properly and that the £20,000 bill for the memorial - currently being raised by local businesses and customers - could be better spent."There needs to be much greater community discussion," says Perry French from THT South.

  • Gay man wins orientation discrimination case 1

    Mr Gaman told the tribunal of the homoophobic abuse he was subjected to while working at the Bristol County Sports Club.

    10:22 AM — A Bristol man has won a claim of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and been awarded thousands of pounds in damages.An employment tribunal also found that Tony Gaman had been unfairly dismissed by Bristol County Sports Club."After about eight-and-a-half years I got tired of living a lie and told them that I was gay.

  • Catholic leadership “sordid” say Lib Dems

    The only person who seems to be getting even more abuse than the Cardinal is the cabinet minister at the centre of the media storm, Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.

    10:22 AM — The war of words over whether or not the Roman Catholic Church should be allowed to refuse adoption services to gay and lesbian people reached a new fever pitch today.A LibDem MP has called the leadership of the Church sordid and accused them of blackmail.On Sunday it was reported that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wanted to grant the Church an exemption to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

  • CPS hits back at “jail for STI” reports 1

    The CPS statement echoes the call from HIV health charity Terrence Higgins Trust for decisions to prosecute to be consistent.

    10:22 AM — The Crown Prosecution Service has said that reports that more people might be jailed for passing on sexually transmitted infections are inaccurate.In a statement to PinkNews.co.uk, the service revealed that a policy consultation process with medical and voluntary sector experts has only just finished and that no policy directions have been finalised.

  • Labour MEP-led organisation calls for Kelly resignation 18

    Ruth Kelly should resign say GALHA

    10:22 AM — The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association, (GALHA) whose Vice President is the former EastEnders star turned Labour MEP Michael Cashman, has called on the Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly to resign.Ms Kelly, who is a devout Catholic and a member of Opus Dei, has yet to clarify if she will allow the Catholic Church to opt out of adoption of children by gay couples.

  • Cardinal asks politicians for adoption opt-out

    “Marital love involves an essential complementarity (sic) of male and female.“ photo: archdiocese of westminster

    10:22 AM — The row over a possible exemption for the Catholic Church from new laws to protect gay people from discrimination intensified yesterday as a senior cleric weighed into the debate.Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has chosen the high risk strategy of openly threatening to close adoption agencies in England and Wales rather than let gay or lesbian people make use of them.

  • 22nd January 2007

    Gay helplines attacked by hoaxers

    In March 2006 the National lottery donated £120,000 to Gay-Glos, from a fund allocated to help the minority groups living in the UK.

    6:17 PM — The Gloucestershire gay helpline has been the victim of a text message scam that is reducing its ability to respond to genuine calls.Text messages are being sent to random phones asking the recipient to call the free helpline number urgently. During one day in December over 30 calls were made in one hour.The Gay and Lesbian Switchboard has also been the victim of similar scam texts.

  • Human rights group tell Tatchell to back off

    Mr Tatchell concluded that better communication is needed in the international LGBTI movement.

    2:00 PM — Calls last week from gay rights group OutRage! to pile international pressure on the Nigerian government have been blasted as unhelpful and counterproductive by New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch.On Friday, Peter Tatchell urged gay and lesbian people to contact the Nigerian goverment to show their opposition to draconian new laws aimed at outlawing same-sex marriage and restricting other gay rights.

  • Eagle speaks out against the “very, very few”

    Ms Eagle refused to comment on reports that there was a row between Prime Minister Tony Blair and MPs at a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party last Wednesday.

    1:39 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive The vice-chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party has said that "very, very few" of the party's MPs want a change to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Angela Eagle, the MP for Wallasey, spoke out after the Independent on Sunday reported that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wants to allow adoption agencies controlled by the Roman Catholic Church to turn away gay or lesbian couples.

  • Police warn of internet dangers

    The victim was subjected to humiliation and some nasty comments from some neighbours.

    1:03 PM — The Metropolitan Police have issued a warning to gay men to be more cautious when sending pictures online after a London man was humiliated by an internet sneak.The two men met on an internet dating site and the victim sent the other man a sexually explicit picture of himself.When they stopped chatting online, the other man reprinted the image on a poster with libellous text.

  • Gay MPs lambast Kelly opt-out

    Mr Bryant, a former Anglican priest, said that although other churches and faith groups run adpotion agencies, “I have not heard of any other religions are asking for an exemption.“

    11:15 AM — Labour politicians and gay rights activists have responded to press reports that Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly wants to grant exemptions to the new Equality Act.The Independent on Sunday reported that Kelly wants to give Roman Catholic adoption agencies an opt-out from the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services.

  • Online suicide bid highlights trans isolation

    Several NHS trusts in England have announced they are cutting gender reassignment surgery in an effort to balance their books.

    10:50 AM — A Welsh transsexual woman took an overdose of pills, then sent emails to health groups and media outlets, protesting at the way in which gender reassignment surgery is regarded.The unnamed woman, from Llanelli, swallowed a large quantity of painkilling medication and then sent the email suicide note.A friend of the woman called the police when he read the contents of her email.

  • Ruth Kelly in new row over gay adoption

    It is thought that Tony Blair supports Ms Kelly over the exemptions from the SOR for Catholic adoption agencies.

    10:10 AM — Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has ignited another cabinet row over the Sexual Orientation Regulations.The new rules, which protect gay, bisexual and lesbian people in England and Wales from discrimination when accessing goods and services, are due to come into force in April.It emerged over the weekend that Kelly and Prime Minister Tony Blair want to exempt Roman Catholic adoption agencies from the regulations.

  • 19th January 2007

    Tutu stands up for gays 2

    Dr Tutu told journalists that gay hate was the same as racism. photo: Benny Gool

    5:12 PM — Legendary anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu has urged his fellow Anglicans to focus on the problems facing Africa and stop obsessing over gay issues.Dr Tutu told a conference in Nairobi that the God he worships does not consider the position of homosexual clergy to be more important that AIDS.The former Archbishop of Cape Town is attending the World Social Forum in Kenya.

  • Prescott reveals a fear of gays 2

    Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights lobby Stonewall, was clear that he for one does not think Mr Prescott was being anti-gay.

    4:36 PM — Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has spoken to BBC Radio 4 about his days as a merchant seaman, and revealed that he was uncomfortable sharing a cabin with gay crew.The 68-year-old, who is due to stand down as Labour party deputy leader later this year, worked as a steward on the Cunard Line in the 1950's.A documentary about his time at sea, called Prescott At Your Service, has been made by the BBC radio station.

  • Matthew Shepard’s mum nominated for award

    Anyone can vote for Judy Shepard and the foundation at www.volvoforlifeawards.com

    4:13 PM — Gay activists in America are urging people across the world to vote for Judy Shepard, who has been chosen as a finalist in the fifth "Volvo For Life" awards.Mrs Shepard, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, has become one of America's most vocal advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.The foundation was created by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew.

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