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Politics

  • 19th February 2008

    Interview: Mayoral candidate wants London free of the EU

    Gerard Batten is a somewhat unusual politician, in that he is a member of a parliament that he desires to have no power over the lives of his constituents.

    12:20 PM — The UK Independence Party is misunderstood and misrepresented, their candidate for Mayor of London tells me when we meet.Gerard Batten is a somewhat unusual politician, in that he is a member of a parliament that he desires to have no power over the lives of his constituents.As an MEP for London since 2004, he spends his days in Brussels trying to think up new ways to discredit and dismantle the European Union (or "ferment rebellion" as he describes it).

  • Charity welcomes landmark cyberbullying conviction 6

    The cyberbully, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty last month to harassment, and apologised in court on Monday to the victim. He was given a 12-month referral order and told to pay his victim £250. The court also confiscated the his laptop.

    12:20 PM — An anti-bullying charity has welcomed a landmark ruling on cyberbullying handed down by a court in Brighton.A 17-year-old was convicted of harassment after creating a fake profile on the social networking site Bebo and driving his former friend to attempt suicide by luring him into an online relationship and then telling friends and teachers intimate details of their online conversations.The 16-year-old victim, from Brighton, East Sussex, swallowed 60 painkillers. Brighton Youth Court was told the victim's life was saved by his mother, who took him to hospital.

  • Russia to hold anti-homophobia week

    Events are due to be held in Saint-Petersburg, Voronezh, Krasnodar, Omsk, Petrozavodsk, Rostov-na-Donu, Samara, Tumen and Cheylabinsk. There will also be events held in the capital city Moscow, where Mayor Yuri Luzhkov banned two gay pride parades in 2006 and 2007 and seems likely to ban the third pride on 31 May this year.

    11:30 AM — Major cities across Russia are to hold events in support of Russian Week against Homophobia next month, as a reaction to the homophobic attitudes which still prevail within the country.It has been 15 years since criminal prosecution of male homosexuality was repealed in Russia.Russian Week against Homophobia is an attempt to attract public attention to the problem of homophobia in Russian society.

  • Clinton campaign accuses Obama of plagiarism 1

    Obama did acknowledge that perhaps he should have given Patrick credit for the phrases he used.

    12:40 AM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama is not troubled by accusations he plagiarised portions of a recent speech from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson accused Obama of unabashed plagiarism in using Patrick's words without credit and said his actions "raises questions about the premise of his candidacy." The latest brouhaha between the Obama and Clinton campaigns emerged over a recent speech.

  • 18th February 2008

    Spanish gays protest at party’s homophobia

    Mariano Rajoy, who leads the conservative Partido Popular (PP), said in an interview last week that he is ready to take away the right to adopt from gay couples.

    5:55 PM — Spain's Federation of Gays and Lesbians held a protest outside the headquarters of the country's main opposition party on Saturday.Mariano Rajoy, who leads the conservative Partido Popular (PP), said in an interview last week that he is ready to take the right to adopt away from gay couples.Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for March 9th.

  • Gay groups welcome Paisley resignation 5

    In May 2006 he caused outrage with homophobic comments he made in a magazine interview.

    4:00 PM — Ian Paisley Jnr's announcement today that he is to resign from the Northern Ireland Executive has been welcomed by groups working for gay equality in the province.Mr Paisley Jnr was a junior minister in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, the department responsible for equality in the power-sharing executive.He resigned today amid allegations that he lobbied on behalf of a property developer in relation to a £50m government land deal.

  • Homophobic minister Ian Paisley resigns from government 6

    Mr Paisley Jnr will not be resigning as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

    1:02 PM — A junior minister in the Northern Ireland government who was heavily criticised last year for calling gay people repulsive has resigned.Ian Paisley Jnr has come under pressure over his links with property developers and lobbyists."With a certain degree of sadness I have informed the First Minister of my intention to resign from ministerial office," he said.

  • Gay Congressmen defends his record on trans rights 2

    The executive director of the  National Gay and Lesbian Task Force used a radio interview last week to criticise Congressman Barney Frank.

    11:30 AM — The only out gay man in the US Congress has rejected accusations that he was responsible for the removal of trans people from a workplace protection bill.In November the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was passed by the House by 235 to 184.ENDA was originally designed to make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or promote a person based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Bush urges continuation of abstinence programmes 1

    The President is currently on a farewell tour of Africa.

    11:02 AM — US President has said that Congress should "stop the squabbling" over the requirement for no sex before marriage in some AIDS programmes in Africa.The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was created in 2003 and has increased the number of Africans receiving anti-retroviral treatment from 50,000 to 1.2 million.However, by law one-third of that prevention funding must teach exclusively abstinence until marriage programmes.

  • US changes policy on HIV+ diplomats

    The State Department said it has removed HIV from a list of medical conditions that automatically disqualify candidates from the foreign service.

    10:40 AM — The US State Department has decided that people who are HIV positive will be considered as candidates for the foreign service.The government was facing a lawsuit from an HIV positive man who was denied entry to the service under a rule changed last week.Gay rights group Lambda Legal welcomed the decision."At long last, the State Department is taking down its sign that read, 'People with HIV need not apply,'" said HIV project director Bebe Anderson.

  • Cameron’s wife changed his mind on Section 28 3

    Mr Cameron, who became an MP in 2001, married Samantha in 1996.

    10:20 AM — A new documentary examining the political influences on Conservative leader David Cameron has revealed that he was persuaded to drop his support for Section 28 by his wife Samantha.Nick Boles, the Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Grantham and Stafford and a close friend of the couple, told the Radio 4 programme that Mrs Cameron was instrumental in turning her husband into a moderniser.Mr Cameron, who became an MP in 2001, married Samantha in 1996.

  • 15th February 2008

    Human rights groups protest at HIV arrests in Egypt 5

    The current wave of arrests began in October 2007, when police intervened between two men having an argument on a street in central Cairo.

    3:40 PM — Cairo police have arrested four more men suspected of having HIV, signaling a wider crackdown that endangers public health and violates basic human rights in Egypt, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today in a joint statement.The recent arrests bring to 12 the number of men held in a campaign against people police suspect of being HIV-positive.Four have already been sentenced to a year in jail and eight are still in custody.

  • Who gets your vote for Mayor of London? 57

    In a close race, those second preferences will decide who will be Mayor.

    2:20 PM — PinkNews.co.uk is inviting readers to take part in an exclusive poll to find out which candidates for Mayor of London are most popular with the gay community.The campaign so far has been exciting, with the three main party candidates scoring acres of press coverage and considerable TV exposure.Only readers who live in London are eligible to 'vote' in the PinkNews.co.uk poll.

  • Romney endorses McCain for Republican nomination

    Romney had accumulated an estimated 285 delegates by the time he suspended his campaign.

    12:10 PM — Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts who abandoned his run for the White House earlier this month, has endorsed Senator John McCain.On Super Tuesday, when almost half of the states chose a Republican candidate, he was roundly defeated by Senator McCain and lost a string of Southern states to Mike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas.Romney had accumulated an estimated 285 delegates by the time he suspended his campaign.

  • Lib Dems win Grell council seat

    Winnie Smith took back the seat for the Lib Dems yesterday in a by-election in Leyton.

    10:41 AM — The Liberal Democrats have won a seat on the London Borough of Waltham Forest council vacated by a Labour politician convicted of smearing one of her gay opponents.Winnie Smith took back the seat for the Lib Dems yesterday in a by-election in Leyton.She won 1360 votes. Khevyn Limbajee for Labour won 695. In September former councillor Miranda Grell, 29, was barred from public office for three years, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.

  • Obama leads Clinton and McCain in national polls

    An Associated Press/Ipsos poll released on Monday showed Obama with a 46 percent to 41 percent lead over Hillary Clinton among likely voters.

    10:15 AM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama's impressive sweep of victories over the past week has put him ahead of rival New York Senator Hillary Clinton in delegates, making him the frontrunner for the first time in the Democratic Presidential race.Obama also now leads Clinton in several national voter polls.Among the 21 LGBT super delegates, over half of them still support Clinton, according to the Washington Blade. 

  • 14th February 2008

    ONS explains thinking on gay census question 5

    There will be an option to record civil partnership alongside marriage on the 2011 census.

    6:15 PM — The Office for National Statistics has spoken to PinkNews.co.uk about why it does not propose to ask a question about sexual orientation in the 2011 Census.Earlier this week gay equality organisation Stonewall joined forces with the Trades Union Congress to press for the inclusion of such a question.A spokesman for the ONS told PinkNews.co.uk that they do not propose to ask a question in 2011 as they consider that there are better ways to collect "timely and reliable" sexual identity information.

  • London mayor candidate backs Page 3 girls 1

    Until he left the police last May,  Mr Paddick was the most senior out gay officer in the country.

    5:30 PM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has told The Sun that the pictures of topless women on published on page three of the paper "shows that you don't need to be stick-thin to be attractive."Brian Paddick also said that if elected he may withdraw millions of pounds worth of funding from London Fashion Week in protest at the use of "size zero" models.He told the paper: "Sun girls are proof you can be curvy and gorgeous, unlike the stick-insects you see on the catwalk."

  • Australian government objects to same-sex ceremonies

    Mr McClelland yesterday said the ceremonial aspects of the ACT model are “inappropriate.“

    4:25 PM — Gay rights advocates in Australia have asked the country's Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, explain why same-sex couples in the ACT (Australia Capital Territory) should not be allowed to officially solemnise their unions.Responding to the ACT government's renewed commitment to its civil partnership law, Mr McClelland yesterday said the ceremonial aspects of the ACT model are "inappropriate."ACT Liberal party Senator Gary Humphries attacked the Labour government's position on the issue.

  • Jamaican activist seeks asylum in Canada 3

    International human rights organisations have described Jamaica as one of the most homophobic places in the world.

    3:40 PM — A prominent member of gay rights group J-FLAG, Jamaica's Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, is claiming refugee status in Canada.Gareth Henry, who spoke at Pride London last year about the plight of lesbian and gay people in his country, told CBC News that 13 of his friends have been killed in the last four years.On this day last year Mr Henry was one of three gay men stoned by a huge mob in a homophobic attack.

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