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Current Affairs

  • 22nd June 2007

    EU’s stand against gay executions 1

    The draft proposal submitted by the Commission yesterday aims to support the World Day against the Death Penalty.

    1:35 PM — The Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights welcomed news that the European Commission intends to mark the 10th October of every year as the European Day Against the Death Penalty.Several nations retain the death sentence as punishment for homosexuality.In July 2005 two gay teenagers were publicly executed in Iran for the "crime of homosexuality."

  • Nationwide project for Irish gay youth

    Irish society's attitude to homosexuality has been transformed since decriminalisation in 1993.

    1:10 PM — The Irish government is working with gay community workers to establish a network of LGBT youth groups across the country.The Health Service Executive (HSE) is developing the programme with Belong To, a Dublin project that has been running for the past four years.The project's national co-ordinator said that numbers of young gay people between 14 and 23 attending the group has doubled every year.

  • Japanese lesbian candidate excites foreign attention

    Otsuji talked about her motivation to decide to run for the election, the process to get an official party endorsement and the difficult situations surrounding LGBT people in Japan.

    12:40 PM — Kanako Otsuji, Japan's first openly lesbian politician and candidate in the upcoming Upper House election, held a press conference at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan on 20 June.While the Japanese media has paid attention almost only to Otsuji's sexuality, foreign journalists are more interested in her campaign in itself.If elected she will be the first openly LGBT politician in parliament.

  • Bush poll ratings at record low

    The war in Iraq continues to drag Bush down.

    11:45 AM — In 19 months, George W. Bush will leave the White House for the last time.The latest Newsweek poll suggests that he faces a steep climb if he hopes to coax the country back to his side before he goes.In the new poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday nights, the President's approval rating has reached a record low.

  • Homophobic politician outed on national TV 2

    Mr Alexeyev claimed that Mr Chuev's gay relationships were well-known in the 1990s before he became a politician, and called him a coward and a liar.

    11:35 AM — Gay rights activist Nicolas Alexeyev told a live TV audience yesterday that a member of the Russian State Duma is gay.Speaking on the talk show K baryeru Mr Alexeyev outed the conservative MP Alexander Chuev.Mr Chuev is one of the most outspoken opponents of gay rights, and has introduced proposals to the Duma to outlaw the "promotion" of homosexuality and ban "gay propaganda."

  • 21st June 2007

    Anglican schism could start in Winnipeg

    The call to recognise gay relationships is an issue within the Church of England as well as the US and Canadian churches.

    6:15 PM — The general synod of the Anglican Church in Canada is meeting today to consider decisions that could split the church.The meeting of bishops, clergy and laity, held every three years, is to consider tomorrow whether same-sex couples should be allowed a church blessing.Six former Archbishops have come out in favour of blessing gay and lesbian relationships.

  • Protester planned to bomb Jerusalem gay Pride 2

    The Jerusalem Post  reports that three quarters of the city's residents oppose the Pride parade.

    5:45 PM — The discovery of a small homemade bomb intended for the parade route of a gay rights march has heightened tensions in the holy city of Jerusalem.The parade has now finished, with 18 people arrested for attempting to disrupt the event.There have been small violent incidents across the city in protest at the gay Pride, which Orthodox Jews regard as unbiblical and unsuitable.

  • Army bans soldiers in uniform from London Pride 12

    The MoD is keen to promote all the armed services as good employers for minority groups.

    4:44 PM — A split has emerged in the Armed Forces over the issue of London's Pride march on the 30th June.The Chief of the General Staff has issued orders banning LGB Army staff from marching in unifom at the event or from wearing anything that would identify their Army role.General Sir Richard Dannatt's decision has caused controversy at the Ministry of Defence and among the gay community.

  • Push for gay equality in Australia blocked by PM

    Howard is due to stand for re-election at the end of this year.

    1:40 PM — John Howard has said that despite a new opinion poll showing 71% of Australians favouring equal rights for gay people, he is still opposed.His hardline stance came on the same day as a new Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) report was presented to the federal parliament listing the 58 laws that need to be changed to grant gay, bisexual and lesbian Australians equal rights.

  • Homophobic mayor set for fifth term in office 1

    Mr Luzhkov says he will not allow a gay pride parade “in any form“ and that any attempt to march in the streets will be “resolutely quashed.“

    1:37 PM — The Mayor of Moscow looks set to be re-appointed to the role he has held since 1992.In Putin's Russia, local officials like Yuri Luzhkov are no longer elected, so the decision about his future is in the gift of President.It is thought that Mr Putin views the outspoken mayor as an important part of maintaining stability in Russia, and has hinted he will retain Luzhkov in the role until 2012.

  • Teenage lesbians vindicated over bus kiss

    Maika Rich and Jocelyn O'Neal had told KATU-TV that they were on a bus headed to the Sexual Minority Youth Recreation Centre on 8th June.

    1:25 PM — A bus driver who kicked two 14-year-old girls off a bus in Oregon for kissing will be disciplined, it has been announced.A spokesman for Portland's transit system said the driver, who had eleven years experience, had broken company policy."Removing the girls from the bus was not consistent with our policy," said TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen. "I want to reiterate that we welcome all riders on our system."

  • Mayor defends rejection of gay councillor 3

    The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) is responsible for the London Fire Brigade.

    1:00 PM — Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has rejected criticism of his decision to reject nine men for appointment to the London Fire Authority because they are all white.One of the men, gay Haringey borough councillor Ed Butcher was selected as the Lib Dem nominee following an election amongst all London Lib Dem councillors in May 2006.However the mayor took steps to refuse to appoint nine representatives on the grounds that they were unrepresentative.

  • US cuts funds for abstinence-based sex education

    The Department of Health and Human Services released a federally funded report conducted by Mathematica Policy Research Inc. that found that these programmes have no impact.

    12:40 PM — A Senate Appropriations Subcommittee has cut next year's budget for controversial programmes that teach abstinence as the only way to practice safe sex.The programmes have been found to routinely teach medically inaccurate information about contraception and HIV/AIDS and mandate teaching that sex outside of a heterosexual marriage "is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects."

  • Citizens say no to bigger EU

    Just under half (47%) of British adults as well as 40 percent of Spanish adults also feel there should not be any more new members in the EU.

    12:01 PM — You won't be able to spend your Euros while traveling in any new European countries any time soon if the citizens of some of the EU's most populous and most powerful member countries have their way.While the European Union (EU) has continued to expand over the years, Two-thirds of adults in France (67%) and over half of German adults (55%) believe the EU should not continue to take in new members.

  • 20th June 2007

    Rise in domestic abuse among gay couples reported 2

    The BMA is calling for better training to help doctors spot abuse and more funding for refuge centres.

    3:55 PM — Leading doctors in the UK have warned of an epidemic of domestic abuse across the country.29% of gay men and 22% of lesbians have been victims. A report from the BMA revealed that a third of women first suffered abuse at home while pregnant.The study found that three-quarters of a million children are repeatedly exposed to domestic abuse, but doctors claim that the figures are underestimated because of a lack of reporting.

  • Tories deny their MPs are anti-gay 8

    Tory MPs in the House of Commons forced a vote on the Sexual Orientation Regulations. The regulations passed by 310 votes to 100.

    3:30 PM — The Conservative party has attacked a poll by Populus that found over half of Tory MPs do not think gay people should be entitled to equal rights.Populus spoke to 128 MPs overall, 39 of whom were Tories.54% of the Conservatives did not think that gay people should have equal rights with heterosexual people.

  • Death of 82-year-old MP means a test for Brown

    Mr Kharba defied the party whips in 2005 to run for a fourth Parliament, and was duly re-elected.

    1:46 PM — Tributes have been paid to the oldest MP in the House of Commons who has died in a London hospital.Piara Khabra had been the Labour MP for Ealing Southall since 1992. The seat, in west London, is solidly Labour. At the 2005 election Mr Khabra had a majority of 11,440.His death means a by election will be held weeks into the new Gordon Brown administration.

  • Gay soldiers speak out from the front line

    Under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy a gay soldier cannot list his or her partner as next of kin.

    1:00 PM — The Advocate, an award-winning gay magazine, features groundbreaking interviews in its latest issue with gay, active service members, inside a war-zone, speaking on record for the first time under the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.In these interviews soldiers discuss the challenges of living under the policy, while fully acknowledging the enormous risk speaking out could bring to their military careers.In the article soldiers refute the most commonly used argument to support Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

  • New York lawmakers approve gay marriage 1

    Gay marriage has enjoyed support in Manhattan Assembly districts for years.

    12:20 PM — Gay rights advocates in New York celebrated what they called a watershed victory Tuesday as the state Assembly approved legislation to legalise same-sex marriage with an 85-61 vote.Sponsored by the openly gay brother of entertainer Rosie O'Donnell and supported by Governor Eliot Spitzer, the approval came after an often emotional three-hour debate.According to the Associated Press the bill is not expected to be acted on any time soon in the Republican-led state Senate.

  • 19th June 2007

    Government rejects compulsory recording of homophobic bullying 5

    Mr Johnson highlighted new powers for teachers he has introduced such as the right to confiscate mobile phones.

    4:51 PM — The Department for Education and Skills has rejected a call from MPs to make all schools record bullying incidents.At present only racist incidents must be recorded.The House of Commons Select Committee also called for more action on bullying focused at children with special educational needs and cyber-bullying.

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