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Current Affairs

  • 12th December 2007

    Pope’s message – gay weddings threaten peace 14

    The pontiff theorises that peace and the family are inherently linked and any threat to the “traditional family“ will be opposed by Catholics.

    4:01 PM — The annual message from the head of the Roman Catholic Church to the world has been unveiled.Pope Benedict's statement will mark World Peace Day on January 1st.It is entitled The Human Family, A Community of Peace, and in it he calls for the dismantling of nuclear weapons and environmental co-operation and describes gay marriage as "an obstacle on the road to peace."

  • Taiwanese Presidential candidate victim of gay slurs

    Ma Ying-jeou, 57, was mayor of Taipei from 1998 to 2006 and is one of Taiwan's most popular politicians.

    3:20 PM — A senior official in the Taiwan Ministry of Education has outraged equality groups with a series of comments about a leading political party's candidate for President.Chuang Kuo-jung, secretary-general of the ministry, said that the Kuomintang party's Presidential candidate, Ma Ying-jeou, was effeminate.He also said that the mayor of Taipei "looked very much like a gay," according to Central News Agency.

  • Gay Swedish MP in homophobic attack

    Centre Party MP Fredrick Federley was approached by a group of about six young men who began insulting him and the two men who were with him.

    2:10 PM — An openly gay Swedish politician was attacked on Saturday night in central Stockholm by a group of homophobic skinheads.After leaving a nightclub, Centre Party MP Fredrick Federley was approached by a group of about six young men who began insulting him and the two men who were with him."Then they screamed that we were disgusting and a threat to Sweden and that they were going to beat us up," said Federley.

  • Huckabee in hot water over AIDS isolation comments 3

    The Human Rights Campaign and the AIDS Institute sent a letter to Huckabee today asking him to meet with White-Ginder.

    10:50 AM — The mother of Ryan White has requested a little one-on-one time with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee after he told reporters this weekend that he stands by past comments suggesting AIDS patients should have been "isolated."Jeanne White-Ginder is the mother of the Indiana teen who raised awareness about AIDS in the early 1980s when he contracted the disease from the blood-clotting agent used to treat his hemophilia.

  • Ban gays from political office says cardinal 15

    In May the controversial Cardinal defined homosexuality “total corruption in the sexual arena.“

    10:04 AM — A Roman Catholic Cardinal has suggested that gay people should be banned from political office.Latvia's Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis resigned last week and the Archbishop of Riga Janis Pujats warned new candidates not to support LGBT related issues.He asked that all candidates running for the post of Prime Minister state whether they intended to "defend the Latvian nation against the invasion of homosexuality in public life."

  • 11th December 2007

    Equality commission considers incitement proposals 1

    The commission is designed to promote a fair, equal and diverse society and tackling illegal discrimination.

    5:31 PM — The Equality and Human Rights Commission has yet to decide whether it supports the government's proposal to make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence.The legal committee of the commission is to meet on Thursday to discuss the proposal, which has received cross-party support in the House of Commons.The commission is designed to promote a fair, equal and diverse society and tackling illegal discrimination.

  • EU pressures member states on discrimination 1

    two members of the EU Parliament, Marco Cappato and Sophie In't Veld, asked for an intervention of the EU Commission.

    4:40 PM — The European Commission is examining replies from three member states after it had warned them to transpose into national law a 2000 directive against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.The Commission had sent letters of formal notice to Italy and Latvia on December 15th 2006 and to Finland on January 3rd 2007.Two members of the EU Parliament, Marco Cappato and Sophie In't Veld, last month asked for the intervention of the Commission.

  • Anglican gay rows harm relations with Rome 3

    Pope Benedict XVI has defined such requests as evidence of what he calls “cultural relativism“ towards ethic values

    3:40 PM — Divisions over sexual ethics could be harmful in the relations between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church, a cardinal in Rome said.Speaking to the Pope and cardinals in a private meeting three weeks ago Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian unity, said that there were disagreements with the Anglicans that had stalled talks."While progress is being made on theological divisions, new divergences are emerging in the ethical field," he said.

  • Interview: A rising star in the Tory firmament 11

    The first openly gay man to be elected as a Conservative MP, he is destined for a frontline role in any future Cameron administration.

    1:45 PM — The 2005 intake of MPs contained the usual mix of the good, the bad and the barmy. There were 50 new Conservative MPs, a brace of freshman Lib Dems and hardly any new Labour faces at all.The new Tory boys and girls were instrumental in propelling David Cameron (2001) into power, and he has rewarded the best and the brightest with seats in his Shadow Cabinet.Nicholas Le Quesne Herbert is one of two Nicks who first sat on the green benches two years ago to keep an eye on in the years ahead.

  • Race for Iowa heats up as Oprah joins Obama 2

    Recent tallies in Iowa show Obama leading in several polls, with Clinton leading others and North Carolina Senator John Edwards close behind.

    12:01 PM — Democratic Presidential candidate frontrunners are pulling out the big guns this week to woo voters in Iowa.While Barack Obama leans on Oprah Winfrey's star power to pull in crowds, Hillary turns to support from daughter Chelsea Clinton and mother Dorothy Rodham to lend her campaign a softer 'family' feel.This week, Hillary Clinton debuted two more weapons in her arsenal to claim victory in Presidential primary race.

  • Scottish attitudes to LGBT changing but prejudice remains 1

    65% of people who took part think Scotland should do everything it can to tackle all kinds of prejudice.  photo: ed tarwinski@flickr.com

    11:25 AM — Results from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey which show the country is becoming more accepting of the LGBT community were announced this morning.The survey, conducted for the Scottish Government, found that the number of people who think same-sex relationships are always or mostly wrong has dropped 11% since 2002 to 30%.65% of people who took part think Scotland should do everything it can to tackle all kinds of prejudice.

  • Opposition to restrictions on HIV+ travellers to US 6

    The United States is one of only 13 countries in the world, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan, which ban travel for individuals who are HIV-positive.

    11:15 AM — An American organisation that works for full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV has expressed its opposition to new rules from the US government concerning HIV positive visitors.Lambda Legal is opposing regulations proposed by the Department of Homeland Security on Issuance of a Visa and Authorisation for Temporary Admission into the United States for Certain Non-immigrant Aliens Infected with HIV.

  • Gay club refuses entry to straight woman

    Vera Donovan was “shocked and humiliated“ at her treatment at Sin nightclub in the city's Temple Bar area.

    10:53 AM — A Dublin promoter has apologised and made a donation to charity after a woman was turned away from a gay night because she is heterosexual.Vera Donovan was "shocked and humiliated" at her treatment at Sin nightclub in the city's Temple Bar area, the Irish Independent reports.Eddie McGuinness, the promoter of the weekly Sin night, told the paper he has donated 200 euros (£143) to a charity of Ms Donovan's choice, the Dublin AIDS Alliance.

  • Gay rights protests at Cameroon embassies

    In Pretoria, IGLHRC led more than 100 protesters in a demonstration outside the Cameroon High Commission.

    10:03 AM — Activists in France, South Africa and the United States descended on Cameroonian embassies today to express their anger at a pattern of arrests and harassment of gay men and lesbians in that country.More than 30 people have been arrested in Cameroon in the last two years on charges of homosexuality, despite an October 2006 ruling by the United Nations that termed such arrests to be arbitrary and unfair.Dozens of students, particularly girls and young women, have been expelled from schools as result of their real or perceived sexual orientation.

  • 10th December 2007

    Holland to fight for global gay rights 6

    The Netherlands was the first country in the world to institute same-sex marriage and allow homosexual partners to adopt children.

    5:10 PM — The Dutch government has announced that it is determined to fight discrimination against gay and lesbian people both at home and abroad.Last month the Dutch Cooperation Development minister, Bert Koenders, said in a letter to the Parliament that in its foreign relations "the Netherlands will promote equal rights for gays as much as possible."The centre-left government has also announced it would also tackle rising homophobia at home.

  • Irish gay emigrants reluctant to return home

    Last week the Irish government confirmed it will not legalise gay marriage.

    2:33 PM — An increasing number of gay Irish emigrants are choosing not to return to Ireland because they can't take their partners with them.The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) said that the issue is a huge problem for Irish nationals whose partners cannot live or work in Ireland.Calls to GLEN about the issue have doubled in the past two years.The situation is also difficult for Irish people living in Ireland who are in a relationship with a foreign national.

  • Australian capital delays same-sex unions

    In May 2006, the ACT became the first Australian state to recognise same-sex civil unions.

    12:45 PM — Laws allowing same-sex unions in the Australian Capital Territory are to be delayed after concerns were voiced by the new federal attorney-general, Robert McClelland.The decision follows talks between Mr McClelland and ACT attorney-general Simon Corbell about the proposed legislation to grant legal recognition to same-sex unions, which was due to come into effect in February 2008.The discussion came after the previous attorney-general Philip Ruddock tried to block ACT laws.

  • Shootings at Haggard church target young people

    Two young missionaries-in-training, 26-year-old Tiffany Johnson and 24-year-old Philip Crouse, were killed.

    12:40 PM — Four people are confirmed dead after two shootings at Colorado religious institutions on Sunday.Two victims were killed at the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) centre in Denver yesterday morning in an attack that left two others injured.Another victim was killed at the New Life Church in a separate shooting on Sunday afternoon.The YWAM organisation has been criticised by some as a 'cult' and attacked for 'brainwashing' members and promoting anti-gay messages.

  • Israel must recognise same-sex adoptive couples 1

    The Ministry has challenged the order and numerous same-sex couples have been left without any legal relation to their partners' children.

    11:45 AM — The Interior Ministry of Israel was ordered by the country's Supreme Court yesterday to register overseas adoptions by same-sex parents.An American-Israeli lesbian couple who weren't registered as dual mothers of their son despite a Court's ruling took their case to the Supreme Court.Nicole and Ruti Berner Kadish's case was heard before a panel of nine High Court judges.

  • UN questions Iran hanging as thousands attend funeral 34

    The judge did not accept their testimonies and sentenced Mouloudzadeh to death.

    11:10 AM — The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed "grave concern" at the execution of a 20-year-old Iranian man for crimes he allegedly committed as a child.Louise Arbour urged Iran to "respect its international legal obligations and the strong international consensus against the execution of minors."A crowd of 6,000 people are reported to have attended Makwan Mouloudzadeh's funeral on Friday.

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