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Current Affairs

  • 3rd October 2007

    Tatchell slams Gibraltar over gay rights 1

    The Gibraltar government is failing to respect gay rights, Mr Tatchell says

    10:04 AM — Outspoken human rights activist Peter Tatchell has slammed the Gibraltar government over its failure to ensure equal rights for the LGBT community on the Rock.Speaking at the end of a local fact-finding mission yesterday, Mr Tatchell said: "The people of Gibraltar are wonderful, but the government appears tobe drifting towards autocracy."It is failing to respect the human rights of its own citizens, especially gay people, the disabled and immigrants," he said.

  • Tory welcome for new equality commission 2

    Ms May personally thanked the EOC for making sure there were more women in Parliament

    10:04 AM — A senior member of the Conservative Shadow Cabinet has welcomed the creation of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (ECHR).Speaking at a reception at the party conference in Blackpool, Theresa May paid tribute to the work of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).The ECHR came into being on Monday. It incorporates the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the EOC.

  • Cameron praises controversial minister but makes no mention of equality 7

    Mr Cameron called on Gordon Brown to “go ahead and call that election.“

    10:04 AM — David Cameron used his vital leadership speech at the Tory party conference to praise the work of Baroness Warsi, the controversial shadow community cohesion secretary who said BNP voters have some "very legitimate views."The passage praising Baroness Warsi constituted the only part of the speech where he mentioned equality.The Conservative leader said he was proud to have the first Muslim woman in a cabinet or shadow cabinet.

  • Putin’s grab for power spells trouble for gay rights groups 2

    Mr Putin's record on gay and human rights leave much to be desired

    10:04 AM — Russian president Vladimir Putin's admission that he would stand for the post of prime minister is a worrying sign for gay rights groups in the country, human rights activists have warned.Mr Putin is prevented from seeking a third term as president by the Russian constitution, but if he undertakes a four year period as prime minister he would again be eligible for the post in 2012.The move, announced last Monday, is being condemned by human rights groups, who have been horrified by the attacks on free speech and gay rights in the country during Mr Putin's time in office.

  • Human Rights Campaign condemns revised bill 1

    The HRC came in for criticism for not clarifying its position earlier

    10:04 AM — Earlier this week, when more than 90 national and state LGBT organisations came together to send a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to "reject substitute legislation that removes transgender protections from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act," one organisation was conspicuously absent: the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).At the time, the HRC refused to comment on the situation, with president Joe Solmonese saying in a release that news of the altered bill was "devastating."

  • 1st October 2007

    School which ‘outed’ lesbian did not violate her rights

    Ms Nguon claims she was treated differently to straight pupils

    5:37 PM — A lesbian high school student who sued an Orange County school district and her principal for revealing her homosexuality to her mother did not have her rights violated, a federal judge has ruled.The ruling was filed on 25 September 2007, almost 10 months after the trial ended.Charlene Nguon, 19, was singled out because of her sexual orientation and unfairly disciplined by school officials, who "outed" her to her mother.

  • Gay activists hold back controversial bill 2

    Activists now have more time to work for the inclusion of transsexual groups

    5:37 PM — Gay American activists have succeeded in stalling the progress of an equality bill which excluded trans people.The landmark civil rights bill, which would protect the American LGBT community from workplace discrimination, provoked outrage in the gay community when its leading proponents - Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank - opted to exclude transsexuals from its remit in a bid to ensure its success in the House.

  • Giuliani candidacy provokes Republican split

    Mr Giulliani holds progressive views on abortion and gay rights

    5:37 PM — Rudy Giuliani's candidacy for Republican presidential nominee looks set to provoke a split in the Republican party, threatening its 150 year history.Mr Giuliani's tolerant views on homosexuality and abortion are stoking dissent in the party's religious wing, who are less than impressed with the candidates on offer.Last Saturday a secretive meeting of around 40 high powered Christian conservatives took place in Salt Lake City to discuss their options, including forming a break-away third party.

  • Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson proposes compromise on gay marriage 1

    Fred Thompson  is a former Senator from Tennessee

    5:37 PM — The Republican Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson, who is considered "progressive" on gay rights, says he has met with social conservatives who will accept his position on gay marriage.Mr Thompson is in favour of a constitutional amendment that bars judges from allowing gay marriages but that would allow state governments to legalise gay marriage. "Everyone I have talked to in my meetings like this, the answer has been yes," said Mr Thompson.

  • Church of Norway votes to allow gay pastors 1

    The Bishops voted six to five for the measure

    5:37 PM — Bishops of Norway's Lutheran church voted on Tuesday by a close majority to allow gay pastors, a church official told a press conference.The Bishops Conference, a seven-man and four-woman panel of 11 Norwegian bishops, voted six to five for the measure, said their official representative, Olav Skjevesland.Theological doctrine currently followed in the Norwegian church officially excludes people living in a homosexual union from officiating at services.

  • UK Peer challenges Russian Patriarch over gay rights 1

    Homosexuality is “an illness“, according to the Russian Patriarch

    5:37 PM — Lib Dem peer Lord Russell-Johnston fought back today when Russian Patriarch Alexy II called homosexuality an "illness" at an international human rights conference.Addressing international MPs at well-respected human rights watchdog the Council of Europe, the Patriarch said: "This [homosexuality] is an illness, a change, a distortion of a human person."

  • Doctors acquitted on charges of infecting thousands with HIV

    Over 20,000 Canadians were infected with Hepatitis C and HIV because of the blood product

    5:37 PM — Monday morning in Alberta,. Canada and a judge acquits four doctors, a New Jersey company and a former Red Cross official of criminal charges regarding a tainted blood scandal in the 1990's.Because of improper screening, over 20,000 Canadians were infected with the Hepatitis C and HIV virus from a controversial medical blood product.

  • Scotland considers new law to protect gays 1

    Green MSP Patrick Harvie lodged the private members bill yesterday

    5:37 PM — Scotland's lawmakers are set to consider new laws to protect gays after a private members bill was lodged in Holyrood yesterday calling for violence towards gay and disabled groups to be treated as seriously as violence against religious or ethnic groups.The Sentencing of Offences Aggravated by Prejudice (Scotland) Bill, proposed by Patrick Harvie, a Scottish Green MSP, would bring Scotland into line with England and Wales, where courts have been able to impose tougher sentences for offences committed due to the victims disability or sexual orientation since April 2003.

  • Police adopt softly-softly approach on public orgies 17

    The fair, a celebration of sadomasochism, attracts around 40,000 visitors

    5:37 PM — American police adopted a distinctly relaxed approach to this year's Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, taking little notice of the hundreds of men baring their genitals on every street corner.Orgies of men fellating and fondling each other in the street provoked laughs and photographs from curious onlookers but no police action, according to reports.Two reporters for Americans for Truth about Homosexuality documented prevalently older men walking down the street completely naked.

  • Massive march for lesbian rights hits South Africa

    The lesbian march took place in the township of Soweto, an urban area in Johannesburg

    5:05 PM — A massive march calling for greater protection for South African gays has erupted on the streets of Soweto following the murder of two lesbians last July.The women, 34 year old Sizakele Sigasa and 23 year old Salome Masooa were raped, tortured and killed in Meadowlands, Soweto.Their hands were tied up using their underwear and their tied ankles using their shoelaces. Both had been shot several times.

  • Ken: UK anti-discrimination law ‘not working’ 3

    “Britain's anti-discrimination law needs a major shake up“

    4:43 PM — London's Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has launched an attack against Britain's anti-discrimination law on the day the new Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is established.The Commission brings together a number of anti-discrimination commissions into one equality body designed to enforced anti-discrimination legislation and offer employers, public sector bodies and individuals practical advice.But the mayor claims that the current level of legal protection is inadequate.

  • Child welfare unaffected by lesbian parents, study finds

    Lesbian mothers are more likely to be satisfied with their partner's parenting skills

    3:22 PM — The children of lesbian parents have similar levels of well being and child adjustment as those of heterosexual parents, a Dutch study has confirmed.Researchers from Amsterdam University looked at a hundred heterosexual couples and a hundred lesbian couples with children between the ages of four and eight who had been raised by couple since birth.While the child's well being remained identical in lesbian or heterosexual couples, the researchers discovered that several other factors were surprisingly different.

  • Irish government criticised by own Equality Authority over gay teachers

    90 per cent of teachers are employed in religious schools (photo: Flickr/ dave_mcmt)

    2:13 PM — The Irish Equality Authority has accused the Irish Government of hypocrisy over its commitment to gay rights after claims it is refusing to change laws that discriminate against gay teachers.The 1998 Employment Equality Act gives religious schools an exemption over discrimination law if employing someone will in it's view undermine the school's religious ethos. More than ninety per cent of teachers are employed by Catholic and other religious schools.

  • Killer Huntley on hunger strike over “gay lover” 1

    Ian Huntley has tried to commit suicide three times

    1:13 PM — The murderer of 10-year olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, Ian Huntley, has gone on hunger-strike after prison authorities denied him access to his gay lover, a convicted killer by the name of Dean Wood.Wakefield prison authorities have so far denied four of the pair's requests for a visit, and the 33 year old has now decided to raise the stakes."I have not eaten and I will not," Mr Huntley said.

  • Top Tory: BNP voters ‘legitimate views’ 10

    David Cameron has defended Baroness Warsi's comments

    12:10 PM — The Conservative shadow secretary for community cohesion has caused outrage in political circles by claiming that BNP voters hold some "very legitimate views."Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a Muslim, was one of David Cameron's most celebrated appointments to the front bench earlier this year, but her comments have reopened accusations of a drift to the right on the eve of Mr Cameron's vital leader's speech at the party conference.In an interview with the Independent, Baroness Warsi said: "There are a lot of people out there who are voting for the British National Party and it's those people that we mustn't just write off and say 'well, we won't bother because they are voting BNP or we won't engage with them'.

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