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Current Affairs

  • 8th October 2007

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 5th October 2007

    Prescott rejects Russian church leader’s gay hate

    Prescott joined parliamentarians from all the assembly's major political groups saying that any dialogue between cultures and religions must be based on mutual respect and tolerance.

    6:03 PM — John Prescott, the former British Deputy Prime Minister, joined European Parliamentarians yesterday in petitioning the head of the Russian Orthodox Church about his homophobic views.The petition read: "We urge Patriarch Alexy to avoid the use of language inciting intolerance and to respect, rather than seek to deny, the fundamental rights of sexual minorities."Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II had called homosexuality an "illness" and attacked what he called "homosexual propaganda."

  • Gay fundraiser to be picketed by trans activists

    Representative Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, will be a keynote speaker at the event.

    5:50 PM — America's leading LGBT rights organisation is bracing itself for protests tomorrow at a key fundraising event.Tomorrow night's Human Rights Campaign's National Dinner in Washington, D.C will be picketed by trade unionists, trans groups and others over its position on new legislation designed to protect people from workplace discrimination.The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) originally contained measures to protect trans workers.

  • Gay rights off the agenda for African church leaders

    The move divided US Episcopalians and alienated them from parts of the church's global membership of 77 million.

    5:16 PM — A meeting of African Anglican Archbishops avoided homosexuality yesterday, a topic dividing their Communion, in favour of other issues affecting the continent.The gathering took place in Mauritius and was chaired by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, an outspoken opponent of gay rights.Last month he criticised the US Episcopal Church for not making a clear stand against consecrating gay clergy or blessing gay unions.

  • Australian trans passport victory

    The tribunal ruling makes Ms Abrams and Ms Power the first legally-recognised same-sex married couple in Australia.

    4:55 PM — A tribunal in Australia has created the country's first legally recognised same-sex married couple and overturned a government decision about a trans woman's new passport.Grace Abrams was refused a female passport by the Foreign Affairs department despite having undergone transition between 2001 and 2005.She married her partner Fiona Power while still transitioning, and the authorities said that in order to get a new birth cerificate and therefore a passport idenitfying her as female, she would have to divorce.

  • Sentenced to 7,000 lashes for sodomy in Saudi Arabia 8

    In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is illegal under sharia, or Islamic Law.

    1:15 PM — Two men have been publicly flogged in Saudi Arabia after being found guilty of sodomy and sentenced to 7,000 lashes.The men, who have not been identified, received an unspecified number of lashes in the south-western city of Al-Bahah on Tuesday evening, according to a report from the Al-Okaz daily.The men will remain in prison until the rest of their punishment can be completed.

  • Conservative anger over cruising ground firefighters 41

    Avon Fire and Rescue Service is holding a conference in Bristol next week on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in the fire service.

    12:49 PM — A Conservative councillor is seeking to overturn the punishment of four firefighters from Avon Fire and Rescue Service who were reported after shining torches on gay men cruising in Bristol Downs.Bristol city councillor Spud Murphy labelled the decision to discipline the men for misuse of fire equipment and bringing the service into disrepute after the incident in June as "barmy", echoing outrage already shown by the tabloids.One of the men caught in the firefighter's torchlight later filed a complaint under advice from charity Terrence Higgins Trust.

  • Senator refused appeal against cruising confession 3

    News of Senator Craig's guilty plea brought intense pressure on him from Senate Republican leaders and other colleagues in Washington to resign.

    11:23 AM — A leading Republican politician has been refused permission to challenge his guilty plea to charges of cruising in an airport toilet.US Senator Larry Craig, 62, served in the House before winning his first Senate term in 1990, and compiled a strongly conservative voting record.He was arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room.

  • Comment: ENDA only protects straight-acting people 21

    Congressman Barney Frank has chosen to introduce a straight-acting-only version of ENDA.

    10:56 AM — After many years working as a bartender for Harrah's Casino, Darlene Jespersen was fired for failing to conform to the Casino's new 'personal best' grooming policy.As a female bartender, Jesperson was required to have her hair "teased, curled, or styled," and to wear stockings.Jesperson was also suddenly required to put on makeup everyday: lipstick and nail polish mandatory.

  • Teenagers face jail for homophobic hate crime

    According to WCAX News, the sisters are related to the one of the victims and targeted the men.

    10:37 AM — Two Vermont teens are being charged with a hate crime and face up to five years in prison for allegedly spray painting antigay slogans on and slashing the tires of a pair of vehicles belonging to two men joined in a civil union.16-year-old Melissa Gaboury pleaded not guilty to charges of hate-motivated unlawful mischief and unlawful trespass after police found a knife and spray paint underneath the backseat of her SUV, while her sister, Meghan Gaboury, 18, is still being sought by police.According to WCAX News, the sisters are related to the one of the victims.

  • Mystery death of lesbian solider in Afghanistan

    The Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN) has demanded that Pentagon officials conduct a full and thorough investigation into the death.

    10:10 AM — Senior American politicians and a group fighting for gay rights in the military have called for an investigation into the suspicious death of Specialist Ciara Durkin, a lesbian service member with the Massachusetts Army National Guard.Specialist Durkin's body was discovered on September 27th at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan with a gunshot wound to the head.She was set to return from duty in January to marry her partner. Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts.

  • 4th October 2007

    Rising star pledges Tories to gay rights 4

    Mr Herbert was promoted to Shadow Cabinet by David Cameron in July, just over two years after entering Parliament as the first out gay man elected as a Conservative MP.

    7:40 PM — A meeting of gay Tories at the party's conference in Blackpool this week discussed gay hate crime legislation, the battle against homophobia in schools, sport and internationally, and "fingering" Gordon Brown on his gay rights voting record.More than fifty delegates and party activists attended the fringe event, organised by gay equality organisation Stonewall.Shadow Justice Minister Nick Herbert, a rising Conservative star, addressed the meeting.

  • Christians are ‘anti-homosexual’ according to US poll

    Of believers, 80% identified “anti-homosexual“ as a negative adjective describing Christianity today.

    6:30 PM — A survey in the United States conducted by the Barna Group between 2004 and now has found that both Christians and non-Christians have a 'bad impression' of Christianity.The religion is also waning in popularity with a rapid increase in people describing themselves as 'non-Christian' since the same poll was conducted in 1996.Surveying 440 Christians and the same amount of non-believers, nine out of ten non-Christians found Christians too "anti-homosexual."

  • Taiwan gays demand action not words from politicians

    The gay scene in Taiwan has blossomed since the first pride parade in 2003.

    2:45 PM — This weekend, Taiwan will see its eighth annual gay carnival and fourth annual pride parade, the biggest events of this kind in Asia.After the government-funded carnival a procession, expected to be 10,000 strong, will march through the capital, Taipei.Gay activism in Taiwan has grown stronger in past years, with politicians courting the pink vote, especially in the run up to the legislative elections at the end of the year and the presidential elections next March.

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