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Current Affairs

  • 29th June 2007

    Bush threatens veto over domestic partners

    The District of Columbia established a local domestic partnership registry in 1992.

    1:30 PM — The White House has issued the veto threat in response to an appropriations bill being considered by Congress.The bill provides financial support for federal programmes, but does not include a longstanding Republican provision which states that federal funds should not be used to operate the District of Columbia domestic partnership registry.Congress has the ultimate plenary power over the District of Columbia and its funding.

  • Church weddings for Swedish gays a step closer 3

    Currently gay and lesbian couple can only register their partnership through a civil ceremony.

    1:23 PM — Sweden may become the first country to allow gays and lesbians to marry within a major Church.Under current laws, dating back to 1987, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.A new piece of proposed "gender-neutral" legislation however, may soon remove this distinction allowing anybody to marry in the Lutherian Church.

  • Rowan Williams backtracks on gay bishop snub 2

    In April the Archbishop said he even considered cancelling the Lambeth conference to avoid a schism.

    1:13 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury is reconsidering his decision to exclude an openly gay bishop from next year's Lambeth Conference.Many Anglicans wrote letters of complaint to the Archbishop about the exclusion of Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.A response from Canon Flora Winfield from the International, Ecumenical and Anglican Communion Affairs was leaked to The Times. 

  • Ex-gay survivors speak out 1

    The Ex-gay Survivor Conference, which takes place at the University of California this weekend, has sent an open letter inviting Exodus leaders to attend.

    1:00 PM — As Exodus International, the network of "ex-gay" ministries which promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," finishes its annual conference in California today, former ex-gay survivors line-up to tell their own stories.The Ex-gay Survivor Conference, which takes place at the University of California this weekend, has sent an open letter inviting Exodus leaders to attend.

  • Bomb on Pride route contained nails 5

    Metropolitan police have confirmed that nails were packed with gas cannisters found in a car bomb this morning.

    12:19 PM — In a chilling reminder of the attack on Soho eight years ago, the Metropolitan police have confirmed that nails were packed with gas cannisters found in an abandoned car this morning.The vehicle was crashed and then abandoned on Haymarket in central London, part of the route for tomorrow's London Pride parade.There was concern that the entire Pride event, including performances in Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square, would have to be cancelled.

  • Lesbian coach sues school over dismissal

    Vivas was an advocate for Title IX equalities for women in sports.

    11:20 AM — The former head coach of the Fresno State University Bulldog Volleyball team, Lindy Vivas, is suing the school for $4.1 million (£2m) for a firing that she says was part of a discrimination campaign against lesbians and women in general.In 2002, she was honoured as the WAC Coach of the Year.Testimony began earlier this month in a civil case against the school, and now school officials are taking the stand to rebut her discrimination theories.

  • Presidential candidates’ gay attitudes analysed

    Republican candidates were in opposition to the majority of LGBT issues.

    11:15 AM — The US National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has released the first comprehensive analysis of the top 19 candidates for the 2008 presidency on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.Democrats discussed in this report include Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama. Republicans include Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney.The report is based on an analysis of the voting records and public statements of the candidates in eight key LGBT issue areas.

  • 28th June 2007

    Gay MP Nick Brown back in government 1

    Nick Brown was the government's first Chief Whip in 1997 and became Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food a year later.

    6:42 PM — Former Cabinet minister Nick Brown returns to government today under his friend, new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.The two men, along with Tony Blair, were first elected in 1983 and are close allies.In 1994 Nick Brown acted as campaign manager for Gordon Brown, and advised against the famous deal that saw the future Chancellor stand aside in favour of Mr Blair.

  • Outed Russian MP considers legal options 2

    The MP gave no details of his complaint to the prosecution authorities.

    6:00 PM — Russian State Duma Deputy Alexander Chuev has told journalists he sent his complaint to the prosecution authorities in connection with the statements made by Moscow Pride organiser Nicolas Alexeyev about his homosexuality.Speaking on the talk show K baryeru last week Mr Alexeyev, who was convicted of a minor offence last month for his role in the banned Pride march, outed Mr Chuev.The MP is one of the most outspoken opponents of gay rights.

  • Ministry of Defence says sorry for expelling gays

    In 2000, the government removed the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving openly in the Armed Forces.

    5:34 PM — A military officer responsible for equality training has now issued an apology to the thousands of gay men and lesbians who were discharged from the British Armed forces because of their sexuality.Wing Commander Phil Sagar runs the armed forces joint equality and diversity training centre. He told BBC Radio 4: "Of course we're sorry for anyone who's suffered personal trauma."In 2000, the government removed the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving openly in the Armed Forces.

  • Trade unions hold gay conference

    London over the next two days to debate a series of key equality issues at the annual TUC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender conference..

    5:30 PM — Several hundred lesbian and gay workers are gathering in central London over the next two days to debate a series of key equality issues at the annual TUC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender conference.Delegates attending the event at Congress House will hear speeches from TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, Commission for Equality and Human Rights Chair Trevor Phillips and MP Angela Eagle.

  • Gay rights champion appointed Leader of the Lords 4

    Baroness Ashton with former PinkNews.co.uk editor Marc Shoffman at the Stonewall Awards 2006

    4:05 PM — Baroness Ashton of Upholland, winner of the coveted Stonewall award for Politician of the Year, has been promoted to the Cabinet by new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.Previously known as Catherine Ashton, she was made a life peer by Tony Blair in 1999, as Baroness Ashton of Upholland, of St Albans.She was one of the ministers who shepherded the Sexual Orientation Regulations onto the statue book.

  • Analysis: Brown’s new Cabinet ministers 4

    Only one Cabinet minister, Defence Secretary Des Browne, stays in the same job.

    3:44 PM — Prime Minister Gordon Brown has appointed several new faces to the Cabinet today as he forms his first administration.Only one Cabinet minister, Defence Secretary Des Browne, stays in the same job.While there may be some gay men and lesbians appointed in the more junior posts, there are no openly gay people at the top of government.

  • Blair questioned again by police over peerages

    A spokesman at Scotland Yard told the BBC that the Metropolitan Police was “not prepared to discuss“ the inquiry.

    2:48 PM — As it was announced that the by election to replace Tony Blair as an MP will be held on the 19th or 26th July, it emerged that Scotland Yard detectives questioned him for a third time before he left office as part of the investigation into 'cash for honours.'In one of her last actions as Chief Whip, Jacqui Smith moved writs in the House of Commons to start the by election process.Mr Brown appointed Ms Smith as Home Secretary today, the first woman to hold the office.

  • Blears appointment welcomed by gay organisation 4

    She has an excellent record on gay rights.

    1:50 PM — Stonewall has welcomed Hazel Blears to her new role as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.She has an excellent record on gay rights, voting for the equalisation of the age of consent, for the rights of gay couples to adopt, for civil partnerships and against Section 28.By contrast, Ruth Kelly absented herself from every vote on gay rights until she was appointed as Communities Secretary.

  • New PM makes radical changes to the Cabinet 4

    Labour's newly elected Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, has been appointed Leader of the House of Commons.

    12:30 PM — Details of wide-ranging reshuffle are slowly emerging from Downing St, with new Prime Minister Gordon Brown signalling his determination to break with the Blair years.David Miliband becomes Foreign Secretary at the age of 41.A poll of PinkNews.co.uk readers in May found 27% wanted Mr Miliband as next Prime Minister and 13% wanted Gordon Brown. His elevation to one of the top jobs in the government allows Mr Miliband to continue his work on climate change.

  • Hazel Blears appointed Minister for Equality 4

    During her campaign for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party she accused the Conservative Party of being “riddled with homophobia.“

    12:01 PM — The former Labour Party chair and unsuccessful candidate for the deputy leadership, Hazel Blears, has been appointed Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.Ms Blears will have responsibility for equality issues in her new job, including gay rights and the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.During her campaign for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party she accused the Conservative Party of being "riddled with homophobia."

  • Ruth Kelly moved from gay rights role 4

    Ms Kelly is the new Secretary of State for Transport.

    11:50 AM — Controversial Cabinet minister Ruth Kelly has been retained by new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, but placed far away from any controversy over her religious views.Ms Kelly is the new Secretary of State for Transport.In her previous role at Communities and Local Government she was heavily criticised for delaying the implementation of the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

  • Gang targeting gay men in Brighton

    The gang hurled homophobic abuse, before physically attacking their victim and robbing him.

    11:47 AM — Police in Brighton, a city often referred to as the gay capital of England, have issued a warning after two vicious homophobic attacks left their victims seriously injured.The attacks, which both occurred around the Preston Park area, are thought to be the work of one gang described as four Afro-Carribean men in a red saloon.In the first incident, a 39 and 36 year-old male couple were walking along Hamilton Road, near the park.

  • Gordon Brown appoints gay adviser to key role

    Mr Livermore was appointed as a Special Adviser to Chancellor Brown in May 2005.

    11:30 AM — Spencer Livermore has been appointed director of political strategy at No 10. The 32-year-old has unrivalled access to the new Prime Minister and will play a key role in shaping the direction of the Brown government.Mr Livermore was ranked seven in this year's Independent Pink List, making him the most powerful gay person in UK politics.He read economics and politics at the London School of Economics before joining the Labour Party economic research unit in 1997.

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