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Current Affairs

  • 6th July 2007

    Sacked gay Lutheran pastor refuses to budge

    Reverend Schmeling says he won't leave the pulpit of St. John's Lutheran Church.

    12:35 PM — The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America removed Atlanta Pastor Bradley Schmeling from the church's pastoral roles on Thursday because he is an out gay man.But according to the Associated Press, the Reverend Schmeling says he won't leave the pulpit of St. John's Lutheran Church.This decision that could open the 350-member congregation to disciplinary action from the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

  • Trans prisoner settles landmark civil rights lawsuit

    The resulting policy changes will formalise policies regarding provision of hormones to transgender inmates and training for medical and corrections staff.

    12:30 PM — John Doe, a 2005 inmate of the Orange County Jail in California, today successfully settled a civil rights suit against the County resulting in significant policy changes and a settlement sum of close to $50,000 (£25,000).Doe, represented by San Diego law firm Stock Stephens, LLP and the Transgender Law Center (TLC), alleged denial of medical care and gender identity harassment in the suit.

  • New Tory shadow minister’s previous opposition to gay equality 19

    Mrs Warsi's campaign leaflet attacked the government's gay right agenda.

    12:05 PM — The much-publicised appointment of a Muslim woman to the Tory Shadow Cabinet could harm relations between the party and the gay community.Sayeeda Warsi, the new Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion, hit the headlines during the 2005 election campaign for distributing campaign leaflets with a strongly hostile attitude to gay rights.

  • Campaigning MP welcomes government bullying commitment 1

    The first Commons investigation into bullying by the Education Select Committee was instigated last year at the request of Mr Williams.

    11:31 AM — Stephen Williams MP, a Liberal Democrat who has campaigned against bullying in schools, has welcomed the commitment from the Minister of Children to stamp out the problem.The first Commons investigation into bullying by the Education Select Committee was instigated last year at the request of Mr Williams.The committee heard evidence from charity Anti-Bullying Alliance that between 30-50% of young people in secondary schools attracted to people of the same sex will have directly experienced homophobic bullying.

  • 5th July 2007

    Iraqi death squads use chat rooms to entrap gay men 3

    Muqtada al-Sadr's men have adopted a new tactic, borrowed from the Iranian secret police.

    5:32 PM — Two gay Iraqi men have survived kidnapping and beating by the violently homophobic Mahdi Army.The army is loyal to firebrand fundamentalist Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, who is fighting to establish an Islamist dictatorship in Iraq.Two months after their ordeal, traumatised Ahmed, 23, and Zaid, 24, both students in Baghdad University, have come forward to tell how they were lured into a trap by members of the Mahdi Army.

  • Boris Johnson might smash gay mayoral ambitions 7

    Mr Johnson, not gay but a firm favourite with voters of all sexualities, may be in the frame.

    4:41 PM — The race for the Conservative party nomination for Mayor of London became more interesting today with the revelation that the party's Higher Education spokesman Boris Johnson is seriously considering throwing his hat into the ring.If Mr Johnson, one of the most popular Tory MPs in the country, does decide to run it will end the ambitions of two gay prospective candidates.Earlier this week Nick Boles, an openly gay man, withdrew from the race to undergo treatment for cancer.

  • No breakaway church for opponents of gay acceptance

    Akinola told the  The Times  he did not deny the existence of homosexuality in Africa.

    4:01 PM — Nigeria's Anglican Archbishop, Peter Akinola, has denied any ambition to lead a breakaway church, despite his strong opposition to his western colleagues in the Anglican dispute over gay priests.His conservative views towards gay marriage has made him a popular figure within the conservative wing of the church.He told the The Times: "That has never been on my mind. We are going nowhere."

  • Analysis: Homophobia rampant in British schools 1

    The survey of 1,145 young people was conducted by the Schools Health Education Unit for Stonewall.

    2:22 PM — Homophobic bullying plagues the majority of UK schools and shocking levels of bullying are meted out to school pupils and teachers who either are gay or perceived to be gay.That is the conclusion of a wide-ranging study carried by gay equality organisation Stonewall.Nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of such harassment. That figure jumps to 75% of young gay people attending faith schools.

  • Massive discrimination award for black lesbian firefighter

    The court ruled in Brenda Lee's favour in one of the largest in a long line of recent settlement cases.

    1:30 PM — A fire fighter who was harassed at work for being blakck, a woman and a lesbian was awarded $7.2m by a jury in her lawsuit against the Los Angeles Fire Department.Brenda Lee said that because of her race, gender and sexual orientation she was forced to do grueling exercises without proper precautions and was also at the end of offensive comments from department bosses.The harassment and mistreatment included someone mixing urine with her mouthwash, she said.

  • Government committed to stamping out gay bullying 1

    The minister stressed that faith schools will be compelled to take action against homophobia.

    1:12 PM — The newly-appointed minister for Children, Kevin Brennan, has committed the government to working with Stonewall to eradicate homophobic bullying from British schools.Speaking at the gay equality organisation's Education for All conference in London, Mr Brennan said the new Department for Children, Schools and Families would focus on the security, well being and success of children in all aspects of their life, not just academic achievement, and that stopping bullying in all forms was a key part of that mission.

  • Minister slams casual homophobia of DJs like Chris Moyles 8

    Last year Mr Moyles was named Bully of the Year at the Stonewall Awards.

    12:44 PM — Kevin Brennan, the new Minister for Children, told an audience of education professionals and activists in London today that homophobic language used on TVand radio is unacceptable.Speaking at the Stonewall Education for All conference, the minister said that the perception that the use of words like 'poof' or 'gay' is 'just a bit of harmless banter' contributes to homophobic bullying in schools.

  • Harman and Follett emerge as ‘part time’ Ministers for Equality

    Harriet Harman is Minister for Women and Equality

    12:01 PM — After much confusion, Harriet Harman has emerged as Minister for Women and Equality. Initially it was believed that the role would be combined with that of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as it was with Ruth Kelly.Hazel Blears, who was appointed as the Secretary of State for Communities, was thought to be keen to play a role in Equality.Barbara Follett is Junior Minister for Women and Equality.

  • Mayor demands robotic toilets to stop cruising 1

    . Mayor Jim Naugle believes that robotic toilets will scare off gay cruisers.

    12:01 PM — The mayor of the Florida city of Fort Lauderdale wants a robotic toilet that could prevent homosexual activity that he says haunts public restrooms on beach.Mayor Jim Naugle believes that robotic toilets will scare off gay cruisers.Mr Naugle told Sun-Sentinel: "We're trying to provide a family environment where people can take their children who need to use the bathroom."

  • 4th July 2007

    Who exactly is the minister for gay rights? 1

    In Tony Blair's administration, junior DCLG minister Meg Munn had responsibility for equality issues.

    5:00 PM — There is confusion as to which member of the Brown government will be taking responsibility for women and equality issues.The appointment of Harriet Harman as Minister for Women last week seemed to indicate that she would be in charge of gay rights and other issues that fall under the remit of the Women and Equality Unit.However, the unit is part of the Department of Communities and Local Government, headed by Hazel Blears.

  • Lib Dems appoint new equality spokesperson

    Ms Swinson, 27, is the youngest MP in the Commons.

    12:55 PM — Liberal Democrat leader Ming Campbell has appointed Jo Swinson as the party's spokesperson on women and equality issues.Ms Swinson, 27, is the youngest MP in the Commons, referred to as the Baby of the House. She was previously the party's Scotland spokesperson.The party's former spokesperson on women and equality issues, which includes gay rights, was Lorely Burt.

  • Gay hedonist found dead from a suspected overdose

    Police are investigating the Count's death and a post-mortem will be held today.

    10:40 AM — A German aristocrat famed for his libertine lifestyle has been found dead in his apartment in London.Count Gottfried von Bismarck, who was 44, was discovered by paramedics over the weekend. It is thought he died of a drug overdose.The Count was first thrust into the tabloid limelight as a student at Oxford in 1986, when the 22-year-old daughter of Tory Cabinet minister Paul Channon died at one of his notorious parties.

  • Baseball team’s gay night annoys Christians

    On July 8th the San Diego Padres have designated the game as “Pride Night,“ where San Diego Gay Pride supporters can attend the baseball game at a discounted price.

    10:24 AM — For some reason whenever you get a group of gay people in a place outside of a club or a pride parade everyone seems to get up in arms.That is enhanced when the group is stepping on sacred ground where only "straight" people are allowed to go, and a sports arena is perceived to be as straight as you can get.This month Petco Park in San Diego is holding an event that has already gotten people riled up over what seemed like a simple idea.

  • Assault on trans woman not a hate crime 3

    In June 2006, the then 17-year old had beaten a 39-year old trans-woman, according to his attorney out of self-defence.

    10:11 AM — A teenager has been found guilty of aggravated battery, but not of hate crime by a juvenile judge in Palm Beach Country, Florida, today.In June 2006, the then 17-year old beat a 39-year old trans-woman, according to his attorney out of self-defence.The woman claims that the teen was sexually aggressive towards her, although she had told him that she was not a biological woman.

  • 3rd July 2007

    Woman too ‘masculine’ for the women’s bathroom

    photo: iaruth@flickr.com

    1:05 PM — Has anyone ever double-checked the door sign when they saw you standing in the bathroom?Then you are familiar with the bathroom issue many people who do not match certain stereotypical gender norms have to deal with.The reaction of a bouncer in New York City, who evicted a woman from the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant in Greenwich Village, still seems outrageous.

  • MEP receives award for moral courage

    She is the only female MEP to have had a same-sex civil partnership.

    12:54 PM — The Pride Parade in Berlin took place last week and for the seventh time, the organisers recognised moral courage of individuals and organisations with the "Zivilcourage-Preis" (the Civil Courage Award.)Among those honoured was a German member of the European Parliament, Lissy Gröner.The Social Democrat is a vocal advocate for gay, lesbian and female rights and was first elected into the EU Parliament in 1989.

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