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Current Affairs

  • 3rd January 2007

    Canadian boy has two mommies – and a dad

    The Ontario Supreme Court ruled that the lesbian partner is also legally a parent to the child.

    11:15 AM — A ruling by a court in Ontario has for the first time given the full legal status of parent to three people. It is believed to be the first time that a Canadian child has legally got three parents.The case involved a lesbian couple, who used the sperm of a friend to have a baby. The biological father is actively involved in the raising of the child, and is legally the father of the boy, now five years old.The biological mother's lesbian partner chose not to adopt the boy as that would have negated the legal parental status of the biological father.

  • Tatchell calls for Equal Rights Act 1

    “Without universal equality legislation, the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights is bound to be split by divisions and resentments“

    10:50 AM — Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has called on the government to harmonise all discrimination and equality laws into one piece of equal rights legislation.Criticising the "differential levels of protection against discrimination available to different minority groups," Mr Tatchell wants to see the unification of all equal rights legislation in a single Equal Rights Act, based on the current race equality laws.

  • US general says “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should go 5

    The US has discharged over 10,000 military personnel for being gay or lesbian since 1993.

    10:18 AM — An Army general who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the US military has called for a change in attitude towards gay and lesbian soldiers.John Shalikashvili was chairman from 1993 - 1997, and it was during his tenure that the controversial policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was introduced.At the time he argued that had argued that openly gay and lesbian personnel would hurt troop morale and undermine the cohesion of combat units.

  • 2nd January 2007

    Bright new dawn for Romanian and Bulgarian gays

    In Romania, the last anti-gay laws were repealed in 2001.

    4:42 PM — Yesterday two more former Eastern Bloc countries joined the European Union. Eighteen years after the fall of Communism, the citizens of Romania and Bulgaria celebrated becoming members of the exclusive Euro club.For the LGBT communities in the two countries, it was also a day of celebration, though not in the way readers might think. Gay rights in the two countries have progressed rapidly in recent years, although acceptance is still confined to major cities.

  • Gay activists fear for Sexual Orientation Regulations 3

    After a campaign led by  PinkNews.co.uk,  the Advertising Standards Authority are investigating the advert.

    4:04 PM — A leading gay rights group has expressed concern at the tactics being used by Christian groups opposing the introduction of new rules to protect LGBT people from discrimination.The Sexual Orientation Regulations, which outlaw discrmination in the provision of goods and services on the grounds of sexuality, are due to be implemented across England and Wales in April. Their introduction was controversially delayed by Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.

  • Minister will consider national system for reporting homophobes 3

    Mr McNulty described ideas for a more centralised system as “reasonable.“

    3:16 PM — Minister for Police and Security Tony McNulty has pledged support for a more effective system for the gay community to report hate crime.Last month, an investigation by PinkNews.co.uk discovered that access to a dedicated LGBT liaison officer is often impeded by a lack of awareness on the switchboard or by officers being unavailable at the desired time.

  • RAF sign up with Stonewall

    Officers will receive training in ways to encourage an inclusive environment.

    1:59 PM — The Royal Air Force has become the second of the Armed Forces to join the Stonewall Diversity Programme.The Royal Navy is already a member of the scheme, which is designed to help organisations and businesses recruit and retain LGBT staff and promote equality in the workplace.Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill described the decision as"courageous."

  • Gay sheep experiments outrage campaigners 2

    About one in ten rams mount other rams instead of ewes. photo: biologyfishman@flickr

    11:24 AM — Scientists and gay rights activists have criticised experiments being conducted in the US that aim to turn gay sheep straight.Oregon State University is conducting research into the hormonal balance in the brains of rams who are attracted to other rams.The scientists claim their research is aimed only at reducing or eliminating gay sheep.

  • Belgian “Bad Girls” tie the knot

    Terry will be released next year. Linda, who has always denied murdering her husband, will probably serve at least another ten years.

    11:24 AM — Two female prisoners in Flanders have made history by becoming the first lesbian couple to get married while imprisoned.Linda Couvreur, 44, a mother of three, who was convicted of murdering her husband in 2003, and Theresa 'Terry' Van Heyst, 43, a convicted arsonist, were married on the 29th of December in Bruges prison.The newly weds met last April in prison and fell in love. Terry even refused the early release for which she was eligible to stay with her lover.

  • At least 50 gay and lesbian priests are in civil partnerships 57

    Church Society accused some gay and lesbian priests

    10:30 AM — 2007 looks set to be another turbulent year in the Anglican church, with reports that more than 50 gay and lesbian priests have entered into civil partnerships since December 2005 likely to re-ignite debate over homosexuality.The General Synod of the Church of England will hold the first of its twice-yearly meetings in February. Evangelicals will press for an open debate on the issue of homosexual clergy, Christian Today  reports.

  • Christians ask the Queen to block gay protection 6

    It is highly unlikely that the Queen will involve herself in any protest against government legislation.

    10:01 AM — A group of Christian lawyers is to petition the Queen over new regulations that will outlaw discrimination against gay and lesbian people.The Christian Concern for Our Nation is affiliated with The Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, who claim to have over 2,000 members.The Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England as well as Head of State.

  • Anti-discrimination rules come into force in N Ireland 1

    “People have already brought to our attention instances where they have been turned away from hotels, bars and clubs, or denied access to transport, simply because of their sexual orientation.“

    9:18 AM — New regulations that outlaw discrimination in the provision of goods and services on the grounds of sexual orientation came into force in Northern Ireland yesterday.The province is the first part of the UK to introduce new protections for the LGBT community.The measures were controversial, with churches on both sides of the religious divide arguing that the regulations will discriminate against people with religious views.

  • 30th December 2006

    Was life easier for gays under Saddam? 2

    Al Iraqiya Television broadcasts part of the execution

    12:00 AM — The former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been executed but questions remain over his attitude towards homosexuality.While it is true at during the 1990s Saddam's representatives at the United Nations opposed discussions of international gay rights or welcoming gay groups as observers to the UN, the actual position of gay people within the country remains sketchy at best.

  • 29th December 2006

    COMMENT: An annus horribilis for all faiths 1

    The Catholic Church is still troubled by the continuing child-abuse scandal, with the situation in Ireland looking particularly costly.

    12:00 AM — It has been a grim year for all the major religions. PinkNews.co.uk's Ben Leung calls for a change in attitude from the leaders of all faiths. For as long as I can remember, New Year's Day feels like Groundhog Day: exhausted and hung over, the first thing I hear on the radio is always what the Pope has been saying, and the first thing I see on the television is the New Year's Day concert from Vienna on BBC2.

  • Home Office targets homophobic crime 3

    The guidance features previously effective examples of tackling hate crime through raising awareness, encouraging victims to report crimes and tools

    12:00 AM — New ways to tackle homophobic hate crime and help make gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people (LGBT) feel safer has been published by the Home Office today."Tackling Homophobic Hate Crime" highlights good practice from around England and Wales, and stresses the best way for crime reduction agencies, including the police, to do more to crackdown on crime motivated by prejudice or hate.

  • Gay teens reluctant to reveal sexuality to GPs

    Only a third had told their family doctor they were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

    12:00 AM — A study among out LGBT teenagers in the US has found that only 35% of them have revealed their sexuality to their doctor.131 teenagers attending the Models of Pride Youth Conference, which met in Oregon to discuss empowerment for LGBT people, took part in the survey.The fact that all of the young people who participated in the study were attending such an event means they are more open about their sexual orientation than most other gay teenagers.

  • Home Office defends anti-homophobia campaign 3

    Minister for Police and Security Tony McNulty has hit out at critics of new guidance on tackling homophobic hate

    12:00 AM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveMinister for Police and Security Tony McNulty has hit out at critics of new guidance on tackling homophobic hate crime.The Home Office today launched a campaign promoting effective ways of reporting and stopping homophobic crime which includes using schools to teach against homophobia.

  • “Home” HIV testing kits less reliable

    Customers who are found to have positive antibodies will have access to DrThom's telephone counselling.

    12:00 AM — A UK company has launched a new HIV testing service, but AIDS charities have warned customers that they are not as reliable as going to a clinic.For £25, DrThom will analyse a sample of saliva for HIV antibodies. Customers take the sample themselves and sent it through the post to the company's laboratory.If antibodies, which indicate the presence of the HIV virus, are present the customer is contacted by phone.

  • NHS to cut transgender operations 11

    It is hoped that the change will mean a reduction in hospital waiting times

    12:00 AM — An NHS Trust is to cut funding to gender transition as part of a move to limit non-essential operations in the area.Hounslow Primary Care Trust has announced that from April 2007, anyone seeking NHS support for medical services such as gender reassignment, tattoo removal, or breast enhancements will have to pay for it.

  • Chat room teenager stabs 43-year-old lover 3

    Holden's bowel and colon were penetrated in the attack, though he has subsequently made a full recovery.

    12:00 AM — An intergenerational relationship that started on the internet ended with a near-fatal stabbing, Carlisle Crown Court has heard.19-year-old Artan Fana was sentenced to two years in jail for stabbing 43-year-old Mark Holden in February this year.The Essex teenager had met Holden in an internet chat room and they spent many hours getting to know each other online.

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