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Current Affairs

  • 4th October 2007

    Comment: Gay rights may not swing US voters in White House race 1

    55 percent of voters would vote for a candidate even if that candidate did not agree with them on issues such as same-sex marriage.

    10:10 AM — One never knows what to expect in American Presidential politics.Already during the 2008 race for the White House, Hillary Clinton has been asked whether she is a lesbian, John Edwards has been labelled a faggot, and Bill Richardson has himself declared homosexuality a choice. That's just the pro-gay Democrats.On the considerably less friendly Republican side, opponents of Rudy Giuliani have publicised videotapes of him in full drag regalia and opponents of Mitt Romney have posted videotapes of him expressing strong support for gay civil rights.

  • 3rd October 2007

    Cameron praises controversial minister but makes no mention of equality 7

    Mr Cameron called on Gordon Brown to “go ahead and call that election.“

    10:04 AM — David Cameron used his vital leadership speech at the Tory party conference to praise the work of Baroness Warsi, the controversial shadow community cohesion secretary who said BNP voters have some "very legitimate views."The passage praising Baroness Warsi constituted the only part of the speech where he mentioned equality.The Conservative leader said he was proud to have the first Muslim woman in a cabinet or shadow cabinet.

  • Putin’s grab for power spells trouble for gay rights groups 2

    Mr Putin's record on gay and human rights leave much to be desired

    10:04 AM — Russian president Vladimir Putin's admission that he would stand for the post of prime minister is a worrying sign for gay rights groups in the country, human rights activists have warned.Mr Putin is prevented from seeking a third term as president by the Russian constitution, but if he undertakes a four year period as prime minister he would again be eligible for the post in 2012.The move, announced last Monday, is being condemned by human rights groups, who have been horrified by the attacks on free speech and gay rights in the country during Mr Putin's time in office.

  • Human Rights Campaign condemns revised bill 1

    The HRC came in for criticism for not clarifying its position earlier

    10:04 AM — Earlier this week, when more than 90 national and state LGBT organisations came together to send a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to "reject substitute legislation that removes transgender protections from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act," one organisation was conspicuously absent: the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).At the time, the HRC refused to comment on the situation, with president Joe Solmonese saying in a release that news of the altered bill was "devastating."

  • Judge allows gay porn evidence in case against naval doctor

    The US navy operates a 'don't ask don't tell' policy

    10:04 AM — In the case against American Navy doctor Kevin Ronan, a military judge has ruled that gay pornography found on his computer can be used as evidence.The commander is being accused of filming Naval academy members engaging in sexual acts while guests at his home.Cmdr. Ronan is a former brigade medical officer at the academy, and was the officer representative for the academy's gymnastics team. He also acted as medical officer in the midshipmen's dorm.

  • Lesbian coach forced me into sex, girl tells court 1

    The tennis coach claims the allegations were concocted by the girl's mother

    10:04 AM — An award winning tennis coach threatened to wreck the career of a promising 13 year old pupil unless she continued to have sex with her, Liverpool Crown Court heard today.Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) coach Claire Lyte, 29, denies five counts of unlawful sexual activity with a child, and claims the allegations have been made up by the girl's mother.But the alleged victim says her coach threatened to throw her out of the Loughborough LTA academy if she revealed the affair to anyone.

  • White gays have more mental disorders than blacks

    Black gays have less instances of mental disorder than white or latino gays

    10:04 AM — New research by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health has shocked many observers by showing that black gays have far fewer problems with mental disorder than their white or Latino counterparts.Psychologists and sociologists have long presumed that homosexual ethnic minorities would suffer from greater mental health problems because they were a member of two groups suffering discrimination."These findings suggest that black lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals have effective ways to cope with prejudice related to racism and homophobia."

  • Tatchell slams Gibraltar over gay rights 1

    The Gibraltar government is failing to respect gay rights, Mr Tatchell says

    10:04 AM — Outspoken human rights activist Peter Tatchell has slammed the Gibraltar government over its failure to ensure equal rights for the LGBT community on the Rock.Speaking at the end of a local fact-finding mission yesterday, Mr Tatchell said: "The people of Gibraltar are wonderful, but the government appears tobe drifting towards autocracy."It is failing to respect the human rights of its own citizens, especially gay people, the disabled and immigrants," he said.

  • Tory welcome for new equality commission 2

    Ms May personally thanked the EOC for making sure there were more women in Parliament

    10:04 AM — A senior member of the Conservative Shadow Cabinet has welcomed the creation of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (ECHR).Speaking at a reception at the party conference in Blackpool, Theresa May paid tribute to the work of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).The ECHR came into being on Monday. It incorporates the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the EOC.

  • 1st October 2007

    Church of Norway votes to allow gay pastors 1

    The Bishops voted six to five for the measure

    5:37 PM — Bishops of Norway's Lutheran church voted on Tuesday by a close majority to allow gay pastors, a church official told a press conference.The Bishops Conference, a seven-man and four-woman panel of 11 Norwegian bishops, voted six to five for the measure, said their official representative, Olav Skjevesland.Theological doctrine currently followed in the Norwegian church officially excludes people living in a homosexual union from officiating at services.

  • Doctors acquitted on charges of infecting thousands with HIV

    Over 20,000 Canadians were infected with Hepatitis C and HIV because of the blood product

    5:37 PM — Monday morning in Alberta,. Canada and a judge acquits four doctors, a New Jersey company and a former Red Cross official of criminal charges regarding a tainted blood scandal in the 1990's.Because of improper screening, over 20,000 Canadians were infected with the Hepatitis C and HIV virus from a controversial medical blood product.

  • UK Peer challenges Russian Patriarch over gay rights 1

    Homosexuality is “an illness“, according to the Russian Patriarch

    5:37 PM — Lib Dem peer Lord Russell-Johnston fought back today when Russian Patriarch Alexy II called homosexuality an "illness" at an international human rights conference.Addressing international MPs at well-respected human rights watchdog the Council of Europe, the Patriarch said: "This [homosexuality] is an illness, a change, a distortion of a human person."

  • Scotland considers new law to protect gays 1

    Green MSP Patrick Harvie lodged the private members bill yesterday

    5:37 PM — Scotland's lawmakers are set to consider new laws to protect gays after a private members bill was lodged in Holyrood yesterday calling for violence towards gay and disabled groups to be treated as seriously as violence against religious or ethnic groups.The Sentencing of Offences Aggravated by Prejudice (Scotland) Bill, proposed by Patrick Harvie, a Scottish Green MSP, would bring Scotland into line with England and Wales, where courts have been able to impose tougher sentences for offences committed due to the victims disability or sexual orientation since April 2003.

  • Police adopt softly-softly approach on public orgies 17

    The fair, a celebration of sadomasochism, attracts around 40,000 visitors

    5:37 PM — American police adopted a distinctly relaxed approach to this year's Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, taking little notice of the hundreds of men baring their genitals on every street corner.Orgies of men fellating and fondling each other in the street provoked laughs and photographs from curious onlookers but no police action, according to reports.Two reporters for Americans for Truth about Homosexuality documented prevalently older men walking down the street completely naked.

  • School which ‘outed’ lesbian did not violate her rights

    Ms Nguon claims she was treated differently to straight pupils

    5:37 PM — A lesbian high school student who sued an Orange County school district and her principal for revealing her homosexuality to her mother did not have her rights violated, a federal judge has ruled.The ruling was filed on 25 September 2007, almost 10 months after the trial ended.Charlene Nguon, 19, was singled out because of her sexual orientation and unfairly disciplined by school officials, who "outed" her to her mother.

  • Gay activists hold back controversial bill 2

    Activists now have more time to work for the inclusion of transsexual groups

    5:37 PM — Gay American activists have succeeded in stalling the progress of an equality bill which excluded trans people.The landmark civil rights bill, which would protect the American LGBT community from workplace discrimination, provoked outrage in the gay community when its leading proponents - Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank - opted to exclude transsexuals from its remit in a bid to ensure its success in the House.

  • Giuliani candidacy provokes Republican split

    Mr Giulliani holds progressive views on abortion and gay rights

    5:37 PM — Rudy Giuliani's candidacy for Republican presidential nominee looks set to provoke a split in the Republican party, threatening its 150 year history.Mr Giuliani's tolerant views on homosexuality and abortion are stoking dissent in the party's religious wing, who are less than impressed with the candidates on offer.Last Saturday a secretive meeting of around 40 high powered Christian conservatives took place in Salt Lake City to discuss their options, including forming a break-away third party.

  • Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson proposes compromise on gay marriage 1

    Fred Thompson  is a former Senator from Tennessee

    5:37 PM — The Republican Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson, who is considered "progressive" on gay rights, says he has met with social conservatives who will accept his position on gay marriage.Mr Thompson is in favour of a constitutional amendment that bars judges from allowing gay marriages but that would allow state governments to legalise gay marriage. "Everyone I have talked to in my meetings like this, the answer has been yes," said Mr Thompson.

  • Massive march for lesbian rights hits South Africa

    The lesbian march took place in the township of Soweto, an urban area in Johannesburg

    5:05 PM — A massive march calling for greater protection for South African gays has erupted on the streets of Soweto following the murder of two lesbians last July.The women, 34 year old Sizakele Sigasa and 23 year old Salome Masooa were raped, tortured and killed in Meadowlands, Soweto.Their hands were tied up using their underwear and their tied ankles using their shoelaces. Both had been shot several times.

  • Ken: UK anti-discrimination law ‘not working’ 3

    “Britain's anti-discrimination law needs a major shake up“

    4:43 PM — London's Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has launched an attack against Britain's anti-discrimination law on the day the new Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is established.The Commission brings together a number of anti-discrimination commissions into one equality body designed to enforced anti-discrimination legislation and offer employers, public sector bodies and individuals practical advice.But the mayor claims that the current level of legal protection is inadequate.

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