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Politics

  • 9th April 2008

    MEPs demand EU directive cover gay discrimination 2

    The European Parliament has called for a discrimination directive at least on seven occasions in the past eight years.

    4:30 PM — Members of the European Parliament's LGBT rights group and the International Lesbian and Gay Association are calling on the European Commission to propose a "horizontal" EU directive tackling discrimination on basis of sexual orientation.EU directives are legislation that requires member states to, for example, deal with discrimination, but leaves it up to the states to decide on the best course of action to take.A new EU directive will be decided on by the Commission in the coming months.

  • PFLAG accuse homophobic politician of lying 10

    In 2004 Kern was elected for the first time with 67.65% of the vote.

    4:30 PM — Advocacy group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has released new audio footage of politician Sally Kern that contradicts her statements to the press.The Oklahoma state representative, who described gay people as a bigger threat to America than terrorism, met with three PFLAG representatives last month.Both sides described the encounter as polite and cordial but just hours after the meeting, she said she was being misrepresented.

  • Canada’s lesbian senator to tackle homophobic MP

    Senator Nancy Ruth told the Canadian Press that an apology is insufficient.

    4:10 PM — The Prime Minister of Canada has declined to discipline one of his MPs over comments he made in 1991 calling gay people "homosexual faggots with dirt on their fingernails that transmit disease."Conservative Stephen Harper told the House of Commons on Monday that he considers the matter closed after Tom Lukiwski apologised.However, the only openly gay member of the PM's parliamentary party has decided to challenge Lukiwski about his remarks, which only came to light last week.

  • Tatchell pledges his second preference vote to Ken 1

    Mr Tatchell is the Green party candidate for the parliamentary constituency of Oxford East.

    3:05 PM — Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has said that the election of Boris Johnson as Mayor of London would be a "big mistake."In the comments section of The Guardian website he said that he would be voting for Green candidate Sian Berry, but his second preference vote will go to incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone.Mr Tatchell is the Green party candidate for the parliamentary constituency of Oxford East.

  • You can be gay behind closed doors says BNP 14

    Richard Barnbrook is a Barking and Dagenham councillor, along with eleven BNP colleagues.

    1:10 PM — The British National Party candidate for Mayor of London has given a wide-ranging interview to the BBC.Richard Barnbrook is a Barking and Dagenham councillor, along with eleven BNP colleagues.He told the BBC: "You can be gay behind closed doors, you can be heterosexual behind closed doors, but you don't bring it onto the streets, demanding more rights for it."

  • 8th April 2008

    Homophobic remarks come back to haunt Canadian MP

    Tom Lukiwski, a 56-year-old Conservative MP spoke of his, “deep regret and deep remorse for my words of 17 years ago.“

    2:30 PM — A politician in Canada has issued an apology after a the discovery of a videotape in which he described homosexuals as 'diseased.'Tom Lukiwski, a 56-year-old Conservative MP spoke of his, "deep regret and deep remorse for my words of 17 years ago."He was elected in 2004 after his predecessor, Larry Spencer, was barred from running for making homophobic comments. Mr Spencer was a member of the Canadian Alliance caucus.

  • Ken warns of BNP seat on London Assembly 13

    Yesterday Mr Johnson attacked Mr Livingstone for “failing to stand up against controversial figures preaching hate. “

    1:40 PM — The fascist British National Party could win a seat in the London Assembly, claims incumbent Mayor of London and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone.Londoners will go to the polls to choose the 25-member Assembly and elect the Mayor.Mr Livingstone said that London's future as a united diverse city" was at risk if the BNP get a seat. The party already has 11 councillors on Barking and Dagenham council.

  • Lesbian politician’s office “hid” taxpayer’s money

    Ms Quinn is one of the most prominent and high-flying lesbian politicians in the US.

    12:30 PM — The New York City Council Speaker's office has been accused of allocating millions of dollars to non-existent organisations and hoarding the money for redistribution to other groups favoured by council members.Christine Quinn, the first woman to hold the post, is expected to run for Mayor of the city next year. She insists all taxpayer's money was used for legitimate purposes.However, investigations by the US Attorney's Office and the city's Department of Investigation are already underway.

  • Hillary/Degeneres 08? Candidate talks gay with with Ellen

    Ellen Degeneres sat down with Clinton to discuss everything from being a woman in the race for president to gay marriage.

    12:10 PM — Kick-starting her appearance on Ellen with a campaign t-shirt touting "Degeneres/Clinton '08," Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton set the tone for her light but topical appearance on the openly gay talk show host's daytime chat fest.Ellen Degeneres sat down with Clinton to discuss everything from being a woman in the race for president to gay marriage.True to form, Degeneres' visit with Clinton included the kitsch factor, including a 2008 Presidential survival kit and an audible "What" from Clinton when Degeneres announced that she is gay.

  • MEP’s Home Office meetings about gay Iranian 21

    Michael Cashman, who is one of two openly gay MEPs, is meeting the government officials following the return to the UK of Mehdi Kazemi.

    11:30 AM — The President of the European Parliament´s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights is today holding a series of high level meetings with senior members of the Home Office.Michael Cashman, who is one of two openly gay MEPs, is meeting the government officials following the return to the UK of Mehdi Kazemi."I trust that the UK government will do the right thing in relation to Mehdi," he said.

  • 7th April 2008

    Poland approves Lisbon Treaty with rights opt-out 1

    Last month a Presidential address to the nation tried to used heavy-handed tactics to warn of the dangers of the Lisbon treaty.

    5:30 PM — Both Houses of the Polish parliament have approved the Lisbon Treaty with an opt-out from the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.The UK is the only other nation in the 27-member EU to opt out of the charter, which is legally binding on EU institutions such as the European Court of Justice, as part of the new Reform Treaty agreed by the EU heads of government in Lisbon.The Lisbon treaty needed a two-thirds majority vote in the Polish parliament to become law.

  • Hillary Clinton repeats desire to end gay military ban

    Senator Clinton was asked if she would use the same method that US President Harry Truman did in 1948 to end racial discrimination.

    3:04 PM — The policy of Don't Ask Don't Tell, which bars openly lesbian, bisexual or gay people from serving in the United States Armed Forces, will most likely have to be repealed by Congress, according to Hillary Clinton.The Senator from New York was First Lady of the United States when the policy became law in 1993.She is now running for the White House in her own right, and is one of two candidates for the Democratic nomination for President.

  • Ken campaign to complain about YouGov poll 4

    “YouGov do not take account of the much larger ethnic minority population in London,“ claims the Livingstone campaign

    2:00 PM — Ken Livingstone, the incumbent Mayor of London, has rejected the methodology of an opinion poll company used by Stonewall, the Evening Standard and other papers.The latest poll of 1,000 Londoners from YouGov puts his Tory rival Boris Johnson on 49% with the Mayor on 36%.Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick remains on 10% and Green party hopeful Sian Berry on 2% in the Standard poll. Once the second preferences are factored in, Boris leads Ken by 56% to 44%.

  • Obama challenged over lack of contact with gay press 13

    In an Editorial Letter to Obama last week, PGN said that he has only spoken to the gay press twice.

    1:30 PM — One of America's most respected gay publications has accused Presidential candidate Barack Obama of disrespecting the "entire local LGBT press."Last week Philadelphia Gay News published an wide-ranging interview with his rival for the Democratic nomination Senator Hillary Clinton, ahead of the Pennsylvania primary later this month.In an Editorial Letter to Obama last week, PGN said that he has only spoken with the gay press twice.

  • Gay Iranian faces uncertain future back in UK

    The British government has been accused of being more inclined to believe Iran than human rights groups on the issue of how gay people are treated in that country.

    1:00 PM — Mehdi Kazemi, a teenage Iranian who is fighting deportation to his homeland where he claims he faces execution for being gay, has returned to the UK.He was previously in a detention centre in Holland but was released on Friday from a Rotterdam detention centre and returned to England. He is staying with his uncle.Mr Kazemi, 19, had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the United Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authorities after being found guilty of sodomy.

  • Tatchell held during Olympic torch protests

    The Olympic torch was lit at Olympia in Greece last week and will pass through 20 countries  photo: zoonabar@flickr.com

    12:20 PM — Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was one of scores of people detained by police as yesterday's parading of the Olympic torch through the streets of London descended into chaos.Despite hundreds of police officers deployed on the streets there were repeated attempts to stop the 31-mile procession, as campaigners vented their anger at China's actions in Tibet and its wider record on human rights.At one point a man almost succeeded in grabbing the lit torch.

  • 4th April 2008

    Europe concerned about gays in Lithuania

    A Luxembourgian member of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly, Jean Huss, complained to the committee about the actions of the Vilnius Mayor, Juozas.

    5:15 PM — A leading European organisation has reminded the government of a new EU nation that rallies and public events cannot be banned just because some people are homophobic.The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe expressed concern about the situation in Lithuania, where sexual minorities are barred from holding Pride marches by the authorities in the capital Vilnius.A Luxembourgian member of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly, Jean Huss, complained to the committee.

  • Kennedy pushes LGB but not T workplace protections 2

    Senator Kennedy commented that Senate approval of the bill could pave the way for extending protection to transgender workers.

    4:50 PM — A US Senator has caused outrage among the gay community by refusing to advocate a federal ban on job bias against transsexuals and cross-dressers, despite lending his support to homosexuals.Edward M Kennedy, who represents Massachusetts, is currently leading the push for a ban on employment bias against gays, lesbians and bisexuals, but will not extend the campaign to include others whose outward appearance does not match their gender at birth.Kennedy, who has previously campaigned for the gay community, has said it will be an "uphill struggle" to pass the bill.

  • Hillary Clinton will make gay rights US foreign policy 1

    Senator Hillary Clinton answered questions on gay marriage, immigration policy for same-sex couples and the ban on openly gay people serving in the US military.

    3:50 PM — One of two contenders for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States has said that if elected she will be "strongly outspoken" on the executions of gay people in countries such as Iran.In an interview with Philadelphia Gay News ahead of the Pennsylvania primary later this month, Senator Hillary Clinton answered questions on gay marriage, immigration policy for same-sex couples and the ban on openly gay people serving in the US military.

  • Gay rights group pays tribute to Bertie Ahern 17

    Bertie Ahern at the opening of GLEN's new premises on 3rd April 2006. photo: GLEN.

    2:06 PM — Politicians from across Europe have spoken about the impact departing Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern had during his decade in office.His tireless work and legendary charm helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, and like his close friend Tony Blair he led his country through a period of economic growth and prosperity.But for some Irish people, his commitment to equality for his gay and lesbian fellow citizens marks him out as one of the most important of the country's political leaders.

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