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Current Affairs

  • 26th January 2007

    Tribunal told gay parents are bad for kids 2

    Dr Byrd flew in from Utah to share his opinions on gay parenting with the tribunal.

    11:12 AM — An employment tribunal in Yorkshire has heard evidence from an American academic who claims that placing children with same-sex couples damages them.Former magistrate Andrew McClintock is claiming the Constitutional Affairs department were acting unlawfully by not allowing him to opt out of ruling on cases where gay and lesbians were seeking to adopt children.

  • Mexico to consider trans rights 1

    Mr Sanchez Camacho, who is gay, has previously spoken out in favour of same-sex marriage.

    10:30 AM — A Mexican politician has announced he is to bring forward legislation in March to amend the country's constitution to grant legal protection for transgender people.David Sanchez Camacho, a Federal congressman for the socialist Partido de la Revolución Democrática, (PRD), also revealed he intends to propose new laws to allow trans people to legally change their gender and name.

  • 25th January 2007

    Greens attack Catholic adoption “opt-out” in Scotland 1

    The Scottish Parliament has legal powers over adoption, but not equality legislation.

    5:47 PM — The Scottish Green Party has spoken out against Labour and the Scottish National Party over rumours of an opt-out for Catholic adoption agencies in the country.On the day that the London press is reporting a defeat for the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the two largest parties in Scotland appear to be supporting the denial of gay and lesbian couples in Scotland to equal treatment by Catholic adoption agencies.

  • John Reid says gay rights a matter of principle 1

    Senior Roman Catholic figures had threatened to close adoption agencies rather than allow gay or lesbian couples to be considered.

    5:20 PM — The Home Secretary has told a Westminster audience that the fundamental principle of equality must not be undermined.Reid, a Roman Catholic, is considered one of the only members of the Cabinet who could mount a serious challenge to Gordon Brown in the contest for Labour party leader, due to take place after Tony Blair leaves office later this year.

  • COMMENT: Archbishops suffer from flawed reasoning 6

    Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and John Sentamu, Archbishop of York,  wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister in support of Murphy-O'Connor's threat.

    3:54 PM — The Prime Minister announced today that, despite press reports to the contrary, he is still thinking about whether or not to grant Roman Catholic adoption agencies an exemption from legislation to protect gay people from discrimination.Perhaps he, like commentator Nicolas Chinardet, is trying to unravel the flawed logic of the senior churchmen who have been writing to him this week. 

  • Lawyers launch free employment advice DVD 2

    “This DVD will help many lesbian, gay and bisexual people give meaning to their new rights at work.“

    3:38 PM — The Law Centres Federation has launched a free DVD that informs lesbian, gay and bisexual people about their employment rights. Pride Not Prejudice focuses on discrimination and harassment at work on the grounds of sexual orientation.It explains the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) regulations which were introduced in December 2003 and describes how they protect people in the workplace.

  • PM – no final decision made about gay adoption

    It has been widely reported this morning that the Prime Minister has caved in to pressure from many Labour MPs and Cabinet ministers

    1:43 PM — An official statement from Downing St says that a final decision has not been made on whether or not Roman Catholic adoption agencies will be allowed to refuse to consider gay or lesbian couples as potential parents.It has been widely reported this morning that the Prime Minister has caved in to pressure from many Labour MPs and Cabinet ministers who argue that granting exemptions to any group betrays the spirit of anti-discrimination legislation.

  • Dick Cheney defends lesbian daughter’s pregnancy 1

    Mr Cheney, who will be 66 at the end of this month, was visibly displeased at the attempt to paint his child as a bad role model.

    12:45 PM — The Vice President of the United States has told CNN that he is delighted about the imminent birth of his sixth grandchild, and told presenter Wolf Blitzer he was out of order for bringing it up.Mr Cheney was piqued that the TV host chose to mention the pregnancy of his younger daughter Mary in the context of criticism from fundamentalist groups who think it is wrong for a lesbian to have a child.

  • Tory website abuzz with opinions on gay adoption

    “'Why are they all so terrified of the homosexual mafia?' - are you referring to gay priests in the Vatican?“ said Alison Anne Smith.

    12:15 PM — While Conservative MPs have been silent on the issue of gay adoption, grassroots members have made their feelings clear on Tory discussion boards.Despite the positive approach towards LGBT people favoured by party leader David Cameron, comments posted on a Tory supporters website demonstrate that many activists disagree with him.Conservativehome.com contains some lively debate on the gay adoption row.

  • Euro survey reveals attitudes to diversity

    Some 73 percent of Italians thought discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was widespread, the highest figure in the EU.

    11:31 AM — A survey carried out across the EU has found that the Italians are the most attuned to homophobia, while Swedes are the quickest in the European Union to embrace the concept of the multi-cultural society.They are also among the least satisfied with efforts to combat discrimination, according to a new Eurobarometer survey.Some 73 percent of Italians thought discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was widespread, the highest figure in the EU.

  • Gay father praises Catholic agencies and defends Ruth Kelly 57

    Fr Reynolds went on to say he was disturbed by the way in which Ruth Kelly has been abused because of her religious beliefs.

    11:14 AM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive A gay Anglican priest who has fostered a child for 15 years has defended the staff of Catholic adoption agencies and criticised the way in which Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has been pilloried for her religious beliefs.Fr Martin Reynolds, who is a prominent member of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, said that everything must be done to preserve the "outstanding work" that social workers and other staff in Catholic agencies do to help vulnerable children.

  • Catholic adoption opt-out ruled out 1

    Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey, who is gay, said the compromise, which has Cabinet backing, is a sensible one.

    10:01 AM — Adoption agencies run by the Roman Catholic Church will have to consider gay couples as potential parents or close down, it has emerged.After meeting with MPs and the Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Blair has bowed to strong criticism from his own party over a suggested exemption from the Sexual Orientation Regulations for Catholic providers of adoption services.

  • 24th January 2007

    No 10 website hosts anti gay-rights petition 1

    As reported by PinkNews.co.uk yesterday, another popular petition on the Prime Minister's official site is one calling on him to sack controversial Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.

    5:24 PM — Gay rights activists have expressed concern that one of the most popular petitions on the Prime Minister's official website is anti-gay.The website hosts a facility for members of the public to create a petition topic and invite others to sign up.One such petition calling on the government to rescind the Sexual Orientation Regulations has attracted more than 8,000 signatures.

  • Labour leadership candidate pledges support for gay adoption 1

    The 55-year-old left-wing MP has voted positively in every one of the 14 divisions relating to gay equality held since 1997.

    3:31 PM — John McDonnell, the only Labour MP to have publicly confirmed he will stand for party leader once Tony Blair departs, has criticised the attitude of the Christian churches towards gay adoption.In a statement to PinkNews.co.uk, Mr McDonnell branded Christian objectors as primitive.He called on his party to stand firm in the face of calls for exemptions for Catholic adoption agencies.

  • US marriage amendment abandoned 1

    The amendment was passed several times in the US Congress, but never came close to gettting the 60% of senators required to move the process forward.

    2:48 PM — Attempts by Colorado Republicans to bring forward an amendment to the United States Constitution banning same-sex marriage will not be repeated in the current Congress.The Pueblo Chieftan newspaper reports that Representative Marilyn Musgrave and Senator Wayne Allard admitted last week that they are not planning any further legislation.

  • Scots Catholics banking on Polish election effect 1

    The elections for the 129-member parliament take place on May 3rd.

    11:29 AM — Catholic leaders in Scotland are hoping the influx of Polish migrants to the country will affect the outcome of the upcoming elections for the country's parliament.Around 40,000 immigrants are now working in Scotland, 90% of them Poles, who are in turn almost all practising Catholics.The elections for the 129-member parliament take place on May 3rd.

  • Christian magistrate goes to employment tribunal 1

    He resigned from the South Yorkshire Courts' Panel after being informed he would not be allowed to opt-out of cases that he felt would conflict with his religious views.

    10:44 AM — A Sheffield magistrate is taking the Lord Chancellor to an employment tribunal, claiming that his Bible-influenced opinions should allow him to be excused from approving gay adoptions.62-year-old Andrew McClintock hopes the ruling will set a precedent.He spoke to The Daily Mail about his opinions on gay parenting.

  • Blairs blamed for cabinet split over gay rights 5

    Like Ms Kelly, Mrs Blair is a practising Roman Catholic, and the Blair's two eldest sons attended an exclusive Church school.

    10:10 AM — The Independent newspaper is reporting that the Prime Minister's wife Cherie is responsible for the row in cabinet over the delay in the introduction of gay rights legislation.Meanwhile Alan Johnson, who had responsibility for overseeing the Sexual Orientation Regulations while he was Trade and Industry Secretary, is reported to have told MPs that the exemption for Roman Catholic adoption agencies is being actively supported by the Prime Minister.

  • Anglicans back Catholics in adoption row 3

    Archbishop of York John Sentamu pointed out to the Prime Minister that there are already exemptions in the provision of services on the grounds of conscience or belief. photo: Jeff Jones

    9:44 AM — The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to Prime Minister Tony Blair in support of an exemption from anti-discrimination legislation for Roman Catholic adoption agencies.In the letter the Archbishops, the most senior clergy in the Church of England, tell Mr Blair that, "the rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well meaning."Their intervention is in support of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

  • 23rd January 2007

    Charities query proposed Brighton AIDS memorial

    Councillor Paul Elgood, the Mayor of Brighton, with James Ledward at the launch of the planned AIDS memorial.

    10:22 AM — The UK's largest HIV health organisation is questioning plans for a permanent AIDS memorial in Brighton.Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) South says that the community has not been consulted properly and that the £20,000 bill for the memorial - currently being raised by local businesses and customers - could be better spent."There needs to be much greater community discussion," says Perry French from THT South.

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