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Current Affairs

  • 17th October 2007

    Speaker promises trans ENDA if votes are there

    Speaker Pelosi has committed to giving the fully-inclusive version of ENDA a floor vote in the House once enough support for it to pass has been secured.

    12:28 PM — Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has sought to end the controversy surrounding new legislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination.A version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act excluding trans people is set to move forward next week, a compromise that has angered many gay rights organisations.The largest LGBT advocacy group in the US, the Human Rights Campaign, has worked with Speaker Pelosi.

  • Christian banned from library after campaign against gay staff 4

    Previously Mr Fairclough had left anti-gay messages on the Leigh library noticeboard. photo: IRRI images@flickr.com

    11:12 AM — A man described as a "devout Christian" has been arrested after a series of incidents of homophobia at a public library in Greater Manchester.58-year-old Joe Fairclough was arrested and detained by officers under a public order offence, but later released without charge.A police spokesman told the Manchester Evening News: "The library customer's behaviour was unacceptable."

  • 16th October 2007

    Two month contest for Lib Dem leadership

    Environment spokesman Chris Huhne is expected to launch his campaign tomorrow, while Home Affairs spokesman Nick Clegg has said he will consult with his wife and other before making a decision.

    6:50 PM — The Liberal Democrat party, still reeling from the shock resignation of its leader Sir Menzies Campbell yesterday, will hold a two month race to replace him.As expected, the party's President Simon Hughes, who came out as bisexual during the previous leadership race in February 2006, has ruled himself out as a candidate this time.Sir Ming resigned yesterday with immediate effect without speaking to the press.

  • Record number of gay politicians receive support

    Since its founding in 1991, the Victory Fund has helped to grow the number of out officials from 49 to more than 380.

    6:25 PM — An organisation dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels in the United States has announced that it will be backing a record number of candidates in 2007.The Gay Lesbian Victory Fund, who provide strategic, technical and financial support, has announced ten new endorsements, bringing the number of supported candidates to 71.Among them are Steve Pougnet, Mayor of Palm Springs, California; William "Bill" Schmidt, Mayor of Peekskill, New York and Jass Stewart, Mayor of Brockton, Massachusetts.

  • Homophobic church hit by pro-gay vandals 1

    IRA and Sinn Fein was written on the whitewashed cement of the 50-year-old church. “Gays have a life too” was also plastered across the walls.

    5:25 PM — Sectarian and pro-gay graffiti has been daubed on a Free Presbyterian church on the outskirts of Belfast.Walls and gates at the Dunmurry church were smeared with pro-Republican slogans and the Nazi swastika in an overnight attack, broadcaster UTV has reported.The incident followed comments about homosexuals on television last night by Free Presbyterian cleric the Rev David McIlveen.

  • Homophobic party mired in election anti-Semitism row

    While in government League party leader Roman Giertych was deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister.

    5:25 PM — A minor political party notorious for its opposition to gay rights has been roundly condemned for an election advertisement branded as anti-Semitic.Polish voters go to the polls this Sunday to elect both houses of parliament, the 460-member Sejm and the 100-member Senate.The League of Polish Families, until recently in coalition government, criticised Polish involvement with the Iraq war in the TV advert.

  • Trial against Phelps’ anti-gay group gets go-ahead 1

    Albert Snyder claims that protesters from the Kansas-based anti-gay group destroyed his only chance to bury in peace the son he lost in Iraq. He filed a complaint in June 2006.

    3:14 PM — A Baltimore judge has restricted the scope of a lawsuit brought by the father of a Marine whose funeral was targeted by Fred Phelps' anti-gay group.It is the first individual lawsuit brought against Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) for its protests at military funeral ceremoniesThe law suit will go to trial next week in Baltimore.

  • Gay police honour campaigning priest 1

    Rev Kirker urged the GPA to give its full support to a proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

    2:35 PM — The Gay Police Association has honoured the chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement.The Reverend Richard Kirker was awarded the Matthew Windibank Memorial Award at the 17th GPA Annual Dinner in Brighton on Saturday.The award recognises those individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the progression of gay equality inside and outside the police service.

  • Schoolboy orchestrated fatal homophobic attack 16

    David Meehan, aged 19, admitted murdering gay council worker James Kerr, while 21-year-old Martin Soutar admitted culpable homicide.

    11:21 AM — Two men have admitted killing a council worker in a homophobic attack in a public park in Scotland.The BBC reported that a 15-year-old boy also pleaded guilty to assaulting 51-year-old James Kerr in the South Inch park in Perth in April this year.All three were originally charged with murder, but changed their pleas at the High Court in Perth. They will be sentenced today.

  • Schwarzenegger blocks marriage, signs other gay-friendly legislation

    Some good news also came out the California Governor's office late last week.

    11:21 AM — California Assemblyman Mark Leno,a San Francisco Democrat, was not happy to hear that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed another gay marriage bill on Friday, once again saying voters and the state Supreme Court, not the legislature, should decide the issue.In a statement released on Friday, Schwarzenegger said Californians "should not be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation."Schwarzenegger wasn't simply the bearer of bad news for the LGBT community on Friday. Some good news also came out the California Governor's office late last week.

  • 15th October 2007

    EXCLUSIVE: Gay MP angry at press treatment of Ming 1

    Stephen William, the MP for Bristol West, who is an out gay man, expressed anger at the way Sir Ming has been treated over his age.

    7:05 PM — Liberal Democrat MPs have been paying tribute to Sir Ming Campbell after it was announced today that he has resigned after one year, seven months and thirteen days as party leader.Stephen Williams, the MP for Bristol West, who is an out gay man, expressed anger at the way Sir Ming has been treated over his age."I am very sad about his resignation. I think he has been treated appallingly by sections of the media," he told PinkNews.co.uk

  • Ming Campbell resigns as Lib Dem leader 1

    An election will be held to replace Sir Ming on December 17th.

    6:35 PM — The leader of the Liberal Democrats has resigned.The party's President Simon Hughes announced this evening that Sir Menzies Campbell is stepping down immediately.He has led the party since March 2006, when long-serving leader and fellow Scot Charles Kennedy resigned over press reports about his alcoholism.

  • Vatican’s quick investigation of priest in gay sex sting 5

    The president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia told La Repubblica newspaper that the Vatican wanted a quick “internal clean-up.“

    5:55 PM — A senior Roman Catholic official has said that the Church will conduct immediate investigations into allegations against a priest exposed on Italian TV.Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia, told La Repubblica newspaper that the Vatican wanted a quick "internal clean-up."Monsignor Tommaso Stenico was suspended on Sunday after he was identified in a television broadcast supposedly declaring his homosexuality and making advances to a young man.

  • Sex abuse letting agents on the run

    A jury unanimously found Palmer guilty of five counts of indecent assault on a male at Plymouth Crown Court.

    3:35 PM — A 50-year-old man has been found guilty of sexually abusing two teenage boys and a man.Alfred John Palmer, a letting agent in Plymouth, was convicted in his absence after absconding.Palmer, formerly of Alcester Street, Stoke, was owner of landlord and letting agency Palmer Co. The court heard that he abused his position, performing "intrusive interviews" which included taking photos of his victims.

  • Muslim leader wants gays exiled from Uganda 5

    The Muslim community, who make up 12% of Uganda's population of 27 million, were quick to add their voices of disapproval.

    2:53 PM — The leading Muslim cleric in Uganda, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje, has come up with a novel solution to deal with gay and lesbians speaking up in the country.He told journalists at a press conference on Friday that he had recommended to the country's President at a meeting last week that all gay people should be sent into exile on an island in Lake Victoria."If they die there then we shall have no more homosexuals in the country," he added. There has been rising tension in the country over gay and lesbian rights.

  • Christians target Labour in Australian election 13

    Mr Rudd looks certain to sweep Labour into power for the first time since the defeat of Paul Keating eleven years ago.

    12:55 PM — The announcement that a general election will be held in Australia on 24th November has prompted evangelical groups in the country to begin campaigning against gay equality.The Australian Christian Lobby has asked a series of questions of Labour party leader Kevin Rudd, including one on gay rights, which it plans to post online.The pressure group is confident that it can influence the man viewed as almost certain to defeat incumbent John Howard and become Australia's 26th Prime Minister.

  • Bondage death of London man raises legal issues

    Exley's family are now suing LeBlanc's estate for unspecified damages, claiming wrongful death.

    12:45 PM — The death of a man during a bondage session is raising questions about liability resulting from sex play.Adrian Exley's body was found in the woods in Rhode Island last June, two months after he was bound up in the bondage playroom Gary LeBlanc had built in the basement of his Massachusetts home.According to AP, Exley, a 32-year-old stripper from Clapham, had travelled to Boston for a bondage session with LeBlanc after they met on a gay fetish website.

  • Euro Parliament holds equal opportunities conference

    The conference was organised by the European Parliament and the European Commission

    12:45 PM — As part of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All, a conference was held last week at the European Parliament (EP).The two-day event, organised during the Parliament's so-called October mini-Plenary session, hoped to bring together government officials, NGOs, and the general public to talk about the on-going state of affairs for anti-discrimination.The opening session was presided over by Michael Cashman. One of the very few out gay MEPs, he was recently honoured with an MEP of the Year award for his work on human rights.

  • Canadian Anglicans vote for same-sex blessings 2

    The Ottowa decision will do nothing to heal the rift in the 77 million member Anglican church in North America and rest of the world.

    12:15 PM — A diocese of the Anglican church in Canada has voiced its support for the blessing of gay and lesbian marriages in spite of assurances from the national church that no such ceremonies will take place.Ottawa Anglicans voted 177 to 97 in favour of blessing gay marriages at a meeting on Saturday, following several hours of impassioned debate. A similar vote in the diocese of Montreal will take place later this month.Some Ottawan priests have threatened to stop performing marriage ceremonies for heterosexuals unless they are allowed to bless same-sex couples.

  • HIV transmission man may be in France

    Anyone with any information about James' whereabouts should contact the CID at Hounslow Police on 0208 721 9104 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

    11:23 AM — Police hunting a gay man who was convicted last year of recklessly infecting his lover with HIV believe he may have spent some time in France.Mark James was sentenced to three years and four months in jail when he failed to appear in court in August 2006.Police have been looking for him since he first missed a court date and a nationwide hunt failed to find James. Police later confirmed that the search was now international.

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