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Current Affairs

  • 20th October 2006

    Kelly faces Commons questions on gay rights

    At Communities questions yesterday, the Conservative MP for Buckingham, John Bercow, demanded that the government set out when the new rules would laid before Parliament.

    12:00 AM — Two MPs have challenged Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly about the delay in implementing new guidelines protecting gay people from discrimination.At Communities questions yesterday, the Conservative MP for Buckingham, John Bercow, demanded that the government set out when the new rules would be laid before Parliament.Kelly replied that the new regulations would be presented to the House of Commons in good time for them to be introduced by April 2007.

  • Maverick Clare Short resigns from Labour

    In her 23-year parliamentary career, the maverick MP has resigned from Labour's front bench on three occasions, twice over the Gulf Wars and once over prevention of terrorism legislation.

    12:00 AM — Former cabinet minister Clare Short has announced that she has resigned as a Labour MP. She will sit as an independent for the rest of this parliament and will not vote with the government.In a letter to the Chief Whip, Ms Short said she could no longer remain in the Parliamentary Labour Party. The 60-year-old political veteran had previously announced that she will not contest the next election.

  • Presidential hopeful confused over gay marriage 1

    On the divisive issue of gay marriage, the senior Senator for Arizona is clearly trying to please both sides of the argument.

    12:00 AM — With the mid-term elections only weeks away, a leading contender for the Republican nomination for President has spoken out in favour of gay marriages - and against them.Senator John McCain, seen by many gay and lesbians as the most acceptable Republican candidate for President in 2008, was answering questions at Iowa State University on Wednesday, as part of a tour of universities for MSNBC.

  • 19th October 2006

    Gay AIDS head gets Christians talking

    According to conservative news source LifeSite.com, Christians are asking how appointing a gay man to be in charge of the US AIDS policy could achieve anything other than further promotion of acceptance of homosexuality

    12:00 AM — With the swearing-in of Mark Dybul, an out gay man, as the head of the US federal AIDS programme, some Christian organisations are wondering how far acceptance of homosexuality has gone in the Bush Administration.Mr Dybul was sworn in this week as the United States' Global AIDS Coordinator, a position that carries the rank of ambassador by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

  • Potential Prime Minister criticises gay equality delay 18

    John McDonnell, who earlier this year declared his intention to stand for the Labour party leadership when Tony Blair relinquishes the post, expressed alarm at reports that government figures such as the Prime Minister and Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly were caving into pressure from Christian groups

    12:00 AM — A potential candidate for Prime Minister has criticised government ministers for delaying new equality legislation.John McDonnell, who earlier this year declared his intention to stand for the Labour party leadership when Tony Blair relinquishes the post, expressed alarm at reports that government figures such as the Prime Minister and Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly were caving into pressure from Christian groups to allow exemptions in the new Sexual Orientation Regulations.

  • Deceased gay Congressman’s partner refused benefits

    Studds, a Democrat, became the first openly gay member of US House when his homosexuality was exposed during a 1983 teenage page sex scandal

    12:00 AM — Dean Hara, 48, the spouse of deceased former Representative Gerry Studds has been told he will not get any share of Studds' annual $114,337 pension.The couple got married when same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts but, according to All Headline News, the marriage was not recognised by federal law.

  • Gay equality delay bad for healthcare 18

    Care workers have expressed concern at the delay of the Sexual Orientation Regulations

    12:00 AM — Care workers have expressed concern at the delay of the Sexual Orientation Regulations after it was announced that the new laws will not come into force until April 2007 because of the huge number of responses to the legislation.The Liberal Democrat's Women and Equality spokesperson Lorely Burt has been leading calls for the minister to step down after reports that the new Equality Act may be amended to allay fears of Christian groups, her demands were echoed by the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association.

  • Comment: Israeli ‘gay bashing’ bad for the country 23

    When Israel argues its case as the “only democracy in the Middle East” its attitude to gay rights in often quoted in contrast to the plight of gays and lesbians in Arabic cultures such as in nearby Iran

    12:00 AM — When Israel argues its case as the "only democracy in the Middle East" its attitude to gay rights in often quoted in contrast to the plight of gays and lesbians in Arabic cultures such as in nearby Iran, but Israeli gay campaigner Yoav Sivan says growing political opposition to the upcoming WorldPride march suggests the country still has a way to go.Writing for Ynet News the LGBT Coordinator of the International Union of Socialist Youth and Young Meretz calls for gay rights to be embraced in all parts of Israel.

  • Boy Scouts lose funding for excluding gays

    The ruling was one of several legal setbacks for the Boy Scouts since the 2000 Supreme Court case

    12:00 AM — The US Supreme Court denied an appeal this week by a Boy Scouts affiliate that lost its rent break from the city of Berkeley, California because the Scouts exclude gays and atheists.The court, without comment, upheld a California Supreme Court ruling this March that said a city is entitled to subsidise only organisations that comply with its anti-discrimination rules.

  • Mayor wins Nazi jibe appeal

    ken Livingstone has been cleared over a Nazi jibe towards a Jewish journalist

    12:00 AM — London Mayor Ken Livingstone has won an appeal against a finding that he brought his office into disrepute after making controversial comments comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard.In February the adjudication panel of the Standards Board for England ruled that the Mayor brought his office into disrepute when he acted in an "unnecessarily insensitive" manner following a reception held commemorating 20th anniversary of Chris Smith being the first MP to reveal he was gay.

  • Netherlands grants asylum to gay Iranians

    In February 2006, Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk first declared her intention to end the moratorium, stating that �It appears that there are no cases of an execution on the basis of the sole fact that someone is homosexual. ... For homosexual men and women it is not totally impossible to function in society, although they should be wary of coming out of the closet too openly“

    12:00 AM — Gay Iranian asylum seekers in the Netherlands will not be sent back to their home country.Reacting to pressure from human rights groups, Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has granted gays and lesbians from Iran special asylum rights.

  • 18th October 2006

    Christian handbook snubs gays

    The UK Christian Handbook, which is produced every two years and provides contacts for organisations and services related to the religion, has reportedly snubbed advertising requests from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement

    12:00 AM — A Christian directory has been accused of homophobia after snubbing gay members of the faith.The UK Christian Handbook, which is produced every two years and provides contacts for organisations and services related to the religion, has reportedly snubbed advertising requests from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM.)

  • Gay police oppose advert ruling 10

    The Gay Police Association (GPA) has expressed outrage at the decision of an advertising watchdog that it had insufficient evidence to back up a controversial advert linking religious beliefs to homophobic attacks

    12:00 AM — PinkNews.co.uk ExclusiveThe Gay Police Association (GPA) has expressed outrage at the decision of an advertising watchdog that it had insufficient evidence to back up a controversial advert linking religious beliefs to homophobic attacks.The Advertising Standards Authority yesterday ruled that the advert which appeared in the diversity supplement of The Independent to coincide with EuroPride last July may have caused offence to Christians and the statistics in the advert had not yet been verified.

  • Homophobic incidents ranked third biggest US hate crime

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation figures released this week show that homophobic assaults made up 14.2 percent of over 7000 hate crimes, behind race and religious hatred

    12:00 AM — Homophobic attacks are still a big problem in America, human rights campaigners have warned after official statistics revealed that incidents based on sexual orientation were the third largest hate crime in the USA last year.The Federal Bureau of Investigation figures released this week show that homophobic assaults made up 14.2 percent of over 7000 hate crimes, behind race and religious hatred.

  • Study calls for gay partner health benefits

    The study by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy released today documents unequal access to employment-based health insurance for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples

    12:00 AM — Researchers are calling on US employers to provide health insurance to all partners after a study revealed that unmarried couples are less likely to have medical support and therefore more likely to suffer illness.The study by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy released today documents unequal access to employment-based health insurance for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples.

  • Transsexual takes Lithuania to court 1

    A Lithuanian transsexual has taken his country to the European Court of Human Rights

    12:00 AM — A Lithuanian transsexual has taken his country to the European Court of Human Rights over claims that he has been blocked from completing his gender transition.The 28-year-old has been undergoing gender reassignment since 1998 including hormone treatment and breast removal, but is now being blocked from anymore treatment because of the laws in Lithuania.

  • Gay voters given election guidance 3

    The Congressional elections for the Senate and the House of Representatives takes place on  November 7 2006

    12:00 AM — As the US population prepares for the Congressional elections, a gay rights group has prepared a document helping the LGBT community decide who to vote for.The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has compiled a scorecard that outlines how they have voted on GLBT issues during the 109th Congress.

  • Trans doctor ‘suggested prostitution’ to fund sex change

    The General Medical Council is currently hearing accusations that Dr Russell Reid behaved inappropriately towards transgender patients and prescribed sex-change treatment for some too quickly between 1984 and 2003

    12:00 AM — One of the UK's top gender identity psychiatrists advised a patient to enter prostitution to fund a sex change, a tribunal heard today.The General Medical Council is currently hearing accusations that Dr Russell Reid behaved inappropriately towards transgender patients and prescribed sex-change treatment for some too quickly between 1984 and 2003.

  • European Commission funding gay family support

    The Commission has funded a two year project entitled “Family Matters. Supporting families to prevent violence against gay and lesbian youth”

    12:00 AM — The European Commission is aiming to stamp out homophobic violence by helping families of gays and lesbians support their relatives.The Commission has funded a two year project entitled "Family Matters Supporting families to prevent violence against gay and lesbian youth" the aim of which is to prevent violence against lesbian and gay youth by supporting their families.

  • Ex-Chief Rabbi attacks gay pride march 24

    Rabbi Yosef is known for his controversial views, at the last Israeli election he told the electorate that they would go to the Garden of Eden if they vote for his party, or to hell if they don't

    12:00 AM — A controversial ultra-orthodox Israeli Rabbi has joined protests against the WorldPride march in Jerusalem.Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of the Shas political party and former Sephardic Chief Rabbi, has given his backing to the rally against the parade describing it as "filth."

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