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Current Affairs

  • 10th October 2007

    Singapore gays call for decriminalisation 2

    In August Singapore banned gay events held in public parks.

    10:21 AM — Hundreds of Singaporeans are calling for the government to decriminalise homosexual sex, ahead of a parliamentary debate on the first overhaul of criminal law in Singapore in a quarter century.Under the proposed changes to be debated later this month, oral and anal sex between consenting heterosexual adults will no longer be considered an offence.However, the same acts between men, will remain illegal with a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

  • 9th October 2007

    Adverts aim to change Californian minds on gay marriage

    Thousands of volunteers are expected to participate in the campaign, entitled “Let California Ring,“ by conducting house parties, knocking on voters' doors, giving speeches or assisting in e-mail or web campaigning.

    6:35 PM — A multi-million-dollar advertising campaign asking people to "open their hearts and minds" to same-sex marriage is due to launch in five Californian cities this week.The 60-second ads will run from Thursday in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Palm Springs as part of a month long campaign to encourage open discussion about same-sex marriage.

  • Inheritance tax allowance raised for civil partners 1

    Alastair Darling announced that from today the threshold will rise to £600,000. By 2010-11 the threshold will rise to £700,000.

    5:50 PM — The Chancellor of the Exchequer has doubled the inheritance tax threshold for civil partners and married people.Presenting his pre-Budget report to the House of Commons, Alastair Darling announced that from today the threshold will rise to £600,000. By 2010-11 the threshold will rise to £700,000.Until now all estates worth more than £300,000 were taxed at 40%, although assets left to a civil partner or spouse are exempt from taxation.

  • Tories cautious over incitement to gay hate 100

    Shadow Justice Secretary Nick Herbert told MPs during the second reading of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill that the right to free speech must be balanced with protecting gay people from hatred.

    4:45 PM — The Conservative party has said it will "look carefully" at proposals from the government to introduce a new offence of inciting hate against gay, lesbian and bisexual people.Shadow Justice Secretary Nick Herbert, speaking during the second reading of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, said that the right to free speech must be balanced with protecting gay people from hatred.The Liberal Democrats welcomed the proposed new offence, which will be added to the bill as an amendment in committee stage.

  • Tennis coach denies she is a lesbian

    The girl in question, now 15, told the jury last week that she felt “threatened“ into having a lesbian relationship.

    12:53 PM — A top female tennis coach accused of having an affair with a 13-year-old girl denied she is a lesbian, a Liverpool court heard yesterday.Ex-tennis pro Claire Lyte, 29, told police "I like men," when asked about her sexuality.Transcripts of the police interview with the former Lawn Tennis Association coach of the year were read to a jury yesterday.Lyte stands accused of five counts of unlawful sexual activity with a pupil, which she denies.

  • Muslims join Christian condemnation of gay protection law 100

    The IHRC, an “independent, not-for-profit, campaign, research and advocacy organisation based in London,“ attacked the concept of a gay incitement law.

    12:31 PM — The Islamic Human Rights Commission has condemned a proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the basis of sexual orientation, adding its voice to a chorus of complaints from evangelical Christians.The IHRC, an "independent, not-for-profit, campaign, research and advocacy organisation based in London," attacked the concept of a gay incitement law."If someone is reading the Bible and calls homosexuality an abomination, is that going to be incitement?"

  • Lesbian daughter helped Mrs Cheney “evolve”

    Vice President Cheney takes the oath of office, watched by Mrs Cheney and their daughter Mary.

    10:59 AM — Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, busy promoting her forthcoming memoir, Blue Skies, No Fences, opened up about her experience as the parent of a gay child this weekend during an interview with CBS' Sunday Morning correspondent Rita Braver.In the book, which Cheney describes as "a celebration of the joys of growing up in the West in the '40s and '50s," the "Second Lady" acknowledges that while the times were good for straight, white kids, they weren't always so good for African American and gay kids.

  • 8th October 2007

    Government approves incitement to gay hate law 101

    Gay rights advocates had been lobbying for a homophobic incitement law for more than six months.

    7:30 PM — The Justice Secretary has announced that a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation will be introduced in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill.Jack Straw added that he would consider similar protections for trans and disabled people.The House of Commons met today for the first time since July to hear a statement from the Prime Minister on Iraq and to give the bill its second reading.

  • Nick Boles selected to fight Thatcher seat 1

    Mr Boles said that he had made a short statement to party activists, during which he mentioned that he is gay.

    4:40 PM — A prominent gay politician has been selected to fight the constituency of Grantham and Stamford for the Conservatives at the next election.Nick Boles, who was a frontrunner to be his party's candidate for Mayor of London until he withdrew from the race after being diagnosed with a form of cancer, came within 500 votes of winning Hove in the 2005 election.The seat has particular importance for Tories. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was born and raised in Grantham.

  • Haggard rent boy claims Senator was client 1

    The long-serving Senator from Idaho has been at the centre of a scandal surrounding his behaviour in a public toilet.

    3:26 PM — The male prostitute who brought the career of homophobic preacher Ted Haggard to an end by revealing they had a sexual relationship has now made sensational claims about a US Senator embroiled in a cruising scandal.Haggard resigned last year as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after Mike Jones alleged the preacher paid him over a three-year period for sex and sometimes took crystal meth (methamphetamine) during the encounters.

  • Swedish politicians unite to support gay marriage 1

    Opinion polls show that 46% of Swedes are in favour of gay marriage, with 31% opposed.

    12:58 PM — The three opposition parties in Sweden have joined forces to put a proposal before the country's parliament to legalise gay marriage.Given the governing coalition's slim majority, only four MPs would need to vote in favour of the opposition motion for it to pass.The Green party, Left party and Social Democrats' motion, if passed, would make Sweden the fouth country in Europe to legalise gay marriage after Holland, Spain and Belgium.

  • LGBT activists concern over homophobic Patriarch

    The UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was led by former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

    12:15 PM — The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) has added its voice of protest to the comments made by a Russian religious leader at last week's meeting of the Council of Europe.Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II had called homosexuality an "illness" and attacked what he called "homosexual propaganda" influencing young people during an address to the council's parliamentary assembly.The patriarch was there as part of council's regular debates with political and religious leaders.

  • English bishop threatens conference boycott over gays 30

    Michael Nazir-Ali, who is an evangelical Christian, has said he would “find it difficult“ to attend the conference.

    11:36 AM — The Church of England's war of words over the ordination of a gay bishop has been reignited by the Bishop of Rochester, who has indicated he may boycott a meeting of senior Anglican leaders next year.The Lambeth conference, held every ten years, has been a focus of discontent from traditionalists angry over the Church's stance over gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex relationships.Conservative bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has said he would "find it difficult" to attend the conference.

  • State grants right to silence for gay partners in court

    The change from “de facto spouse“ to “de facto partner“ is intended to be gender neutral, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

    11:31 AM — Another small victory for LGBT equality in Australia has been won with the announcement that same-sex partners in the state of New South Wales will have the right to decline to give evidence against their partner in court.The change from "de facto spouse" to "de facto partner" is intended to be gender neutral, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.A spokesman for the NSW Premier pointed out that the Commonwealth, or federal government, still refuses to recognise same-sex couples in this way.

  • Christians object to proposed homophobic incitement law 100

    The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill gets its second reading this afternoon as Parliament reconvenes after its long summer break.

    10:54 AM — Fundamentalist religious groups are claiming their members could face seven years in jail for expressing their views about homosexuality under proposed new legislation.The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill gets its second reading this afternoon as Parliament reconvenes after its long summer break.Gay rights activists are hopeful that the bill will introduce a new offence of incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation.

  • 7th October 2007

    United Nations hosts LGBT rights panel

    Last year 54 states called for the UN Human Rights Council to act against egregious violations of the rights of LGBT people.

    11:49 AM — The United Nations is hosting a panel discussion today to explore discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.The event, which will bring together non-governmental organisations, UN representatives and state delegates, is an initiative co-sponsored by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.It will be addressed by Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

  • 6th October 2007

    Gay Republican adverts “out” Presidential candidate 1

    On the surface, the advertisement appears to be a deceptively positive commercial in support of Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts.

    11:20 PM — Gay Republicans have launched a new television ad campaign to 'out' US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on issues such as abortion rights and gun control.The 30-second advertisement will run nationally on Fox News Channel, with a focus on reaching Iowa voters.Romney called the ad from the Log Cabin Republicans a "personal, negative attack" and accused the group of showing their favouritism for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani by airing the ad.

  • Gordon Brown rules out early election 2

    Gordon Brown partied at the gay rights disco last month

    5:41 PM — The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown's official spokesman has ruled out an early election that had been hyped by Labour ministers and the Prime Minister's officials.A spokesman for Mr Brown said: "I can now confirm that the prime minister has said there will be no autumn poll."The Prime Minister has this weekend pored over private and media polls that have shown that Labour's lead over the opposition Conservative Party has narrowed.

  • Gay hate gang member faces 25 years after manslaughter conviction 1

    The victim, Michael Sandy, taken from his internet profile

    1:50 PM — A jury has convicted a man for manslaughter and homophobic hate crimes following an attack on a gay victim on a remote New York beach.John Fox was acquitted of the murder of Michael Sandy (pictured) but found guilty of second-degree manslaughter and attempted robbery.Mr Sandy was ambushed and chased into oncoming traffic during a mugging attempt. A car struck him as he fled a gang.

  • Colombian court rules in favour of equal rights for gay couples

    President Uribe supports changes in rights for gay couples

    1:50 PM — Gay couples in the deeply Conservative Catholic country of Colombia have won equal social security rights following a Constitutional Court ruling.In June, Colombia's conservative President Alvaro Uribe gave his backing to the country becoming the first in Latin America to nationally give gay couples full rights to health insurance, inheritance and benefits. This followed a bill passing through the country's Congress.

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