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Politics

  • 12th October 2007

    Howard may gamble on gay rights as a vote-winner 5

    It is widely expected that Mr Howard will call an election  for November 24th this weekend.

    3:33 PM — Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, is reportedly about to announce that gay and lesbian couples will be given a range of equal rights, a move that could help two key colleagues retain their seats in the imminent general election.Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be defending the Sydney seat of Wentworth, which after boundary changes now includes gay districts such as Darlinghurst and Kings Cross.With Howard's Liberal party trailing in the polls, The Age newspaper reports that the Prime Minister could make an announcement "within days."

  • Gay allies fall out over trans workplace protection

    Congresswoman Baldwin's “all or nothing“ position is supported by nearly 300 organisations representing the LGBT community in America.

    2:41 PM — The two openly-gay members of the US Congress are divided over proposals to remove gender identity from new legislation protecting LGBT people in the workplace.Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has committed herself to including trans people in the new law, which Congressman Barney Frank insists will cause the bill to be rejected by the House of Representatives."Politically, the notion that you don't do anything until you can do everything is self-defeating," Congressman Frank said yesterday.

  • Young Tory resigns over homophobic Facebook group 6

    Bowman had posted comments on the relating homosexuality to the HIV virus and claiming he hates Jews.

    12:02 PM — A young Conservative student leader has been thrown out of the party and suspended from his university after making homophobic and anti-Semitic remarks on Facebook.Fergus Bowman, 22, a second-year politics and religion student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), had earlier resigned as chairman of the student union's Conservative Future branch.Conservative Future is an under-30s organisation that plays an active role in recruiting young people into the party.

  • 11th October 2007

    LGBT groups unite to defend trans workplace protection 21

    Currently before Congress, ENDA was designed to extend federal employment discrimination protections.

    4:25 PM — Nearly 300 organisations representing the full scope and breadth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in America have launched a united lobbying and advocacy campaign to win passage of a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act.Called United ENDA, the campaign builds off the past week's unprecedented efforts by legal groups, political organisations, grassroots activists and many others to maintain protections on the basis of gender identity in ENDA as the measure was originally introduced.

  • PM accused of pandering to homophobes as election looms 5

    Mr Howard, the leader of the Liberal party, has been Prime Minister since 1996.

    2:35 PM — The leader of the Australian Green Party has launched an attack on the attitude of the Prime Minister, John Howard, to gay rights.Senator Bob Brown has spoken out against what he sees as the incumbent government's use of issues such as same-sex marriage to win votes.Mr Howard, the leader of the Liberal party, has been Prime Minister since 1996. It is thought he will choose not to reconvene Parliament next week and instead call a general election.

  • US accused of funding Ugandan homophobes 1

    PEPFAR is a $15 billion (£7.5bn) Bush administration fund to fight AIDS in Africa.

    11:35 AM — A gay rights organisation claims it has uncovered evidence that the U.S. government has funded groups in Uganda that actively promote discrimination against lesbians and gay men.In a letter to U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul, The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has criticised funding the groups and has asked for assurances that U.S. government funds are not being used to support homophobic organisations anywhere in the world.

  • Michael Cashman wins European Parliament award

    Mr Cashman won in the Justice and Human Rights Category.

    11:10 AM — West Midlands MEP Michael Cashman has won for an award in recognition of his work for human rights.He has been a strong defender of the rights of LGBT across Europe. He is president of the European Parliament Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.The Parliament Magazine launched the awards in 2005 to recognise the work of MEPs in nine areas. Nominations for each of the categories were collected from non-government organisations.

  • 10th October 2007

    Iran admits that it does have gays

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: we do have gays

    10:20 PM — The President of Iran claims he was misrepresented by Western media when he was quoted as saying that there are no gays in Iran. A presidential aide now says that he simply meant not as many as in the United States.Last month, PinkNews.co.uk quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country... In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don't know who has told you that we have it."

  • Charity warns kids could be prosecuted under incitement law 100

    Stonewall's recent report into bulling in schools found that 92% of gay, lesbian and bisexual pupils have experienced verbal abuse.

    1:35 PM — A leading children's charity has said that playground taunts may lead to arrests under a proposed new law.On Monday the Justice Secretary announced that incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation would become an offence in the new Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill before Parliament.Kidscape, who work with bullied and vulnerable children, said that the use of the word "gay" among children is so prevalent that many did not even understand what it means.

  • Ugandan minister will fight “spread of homosexuality”

    2007 has seen the first gay rights press conference and the first anti-gay rally in Uganda.

    12:27 PM — A senior politician in Uganda has pledged to block gay rights in the country.James Nsaba Buturo, Minister for Ethics and Integrity, told All Africa news agency that the government is committed to stopping LGBT people "trying to impose a strange, ungodly, unhealthy, unnatural, and immoral way of life on the rest of our society."Last week the country's Minister for Youth and Children's Affairs said new legislation would be brought forward on homosexuality.

  • Poland boycotts day against capital punishment 57

    The 47-member Council of Europe predates the EU.

    12:27 PM — A European Union decision to declare today European Day Against the Death Penalty was blocked by Poland.The Polish government insisted that the day also include condemnations of abortion and euthanasia and used its veto to stop the declaration.However, the Council of Europe does not need a unanimous vote on such matters, and it has declared today European Day Against the Death Penalty.

  • Moldova criticised over LGBT injustice

    Moldova is not part of the EU, but is influenced by its neighbour Romania, an EU member state since January 2007.

    11:16 AM — Moldovan authorities have "to ensure full respect of the fundamental rights of all minorities, including sexual minorities."That is the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of of the Council of Europe (PACE) entitled About functioning of democratic institutions in Moldova.The resolution is based on the report of the monitoring committee about the honouring of obligations and commitments by Moldova and adopted by PACE earlier this month.

  • Singapore gays call for decriminalisation 2

    In August Singapore banned gay events held in public parks.

    10:21 AM — Hundreds of Singaporeans are calling for the government to decriminalise homosexual sex, ahead of a parliamentary debate on the first overhaul of criminal law in Singapore in a quarter century.Under the proposed changes to be debated later this month, oral and anal sex between consenting heterosexual adults will no longer be considered an offence.However, the same acts between men, will remain illegal with a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

  • 9th October 2007

    Adverts aim to change Californian minds on gay marriage

    Thousands of volunteers are expected to participate in the campaign, entitled “Let California Ring,“ by conducting house parties, knocking on voters' doors, giving speeches or assisting in e-mail or web campaigning.

    6:35 PM — A multi-million-dollar advertising campaign asking people to "open their hearts and minds" to same-sex marriage is due to launch in five Californian cities this week.The 60-second ads will run from Thursday in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Palm Springs as part of a month long campaign to encourage open discussion about same-sex marriage.

  • Inheritance tax allowance raised for civil partners 1

    Alastair Darling announced that from today the threshold will rise to £600,000. By 2010-11 the threshold will rise to £700,000.

    5:50 PM — The Chancellor of the Exchequer has doubled the inheritance tax threshold for civil partners and married people.Presenting his pre-Budget report to the House of Commons, Alastair Darling announced that from today the threshold will rise to £600,000. By 2010-11 the threshold will rise to £700,000.Until now all estates worth more than £300,000 were taxed at 40%, although assets left to a civil partner or spouse are exempt from taxation.

  • Tories cautious over incitement to gay hate 100

    Shadow Justice Secretary Nick Herbert told MPs during the second reading of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill that the right to free speech must be balanced with protecting gay people from hatred.

    4:45 PM — The Conservative party has said it will "look carefully" at proposals from the government to introduce a new offence of inciting hate against gay, lesbian and bisexual people.Shadow Justice Secretary Nick Herbert, speaking during the second reading of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, said that the right to free speech must be balanced with protecting gay people from hatred.The Liberal Democrats welcomed the proposed new offence, which will be added to the bill as an amendment in committee stage.

  • Lesbian daughter helped Mrs Cheney “evolve”

    Vice President Cheney takes the oath of office, watched by Mrs Cheney and their daughter Mary.

    10:59 AM — Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, busy promoting her forthcoming memoir, Blue Skies, No Fences, opened up about her experience as the parent of a gay child this weekend during an interview with CBS' Sunday Morning correspondent Rita Braver.In the book, which Cheney describes as "a celebration of the joys of growing up in the West in the '40s and '50s," the "Second Lady" acknowledges that while the times were good for straight, white kids, they weren't always so good for African American and gay kids.

  • 8th October 2007

    Government approves incitement to gay hate law 101

    Gay rights advocates had been lobbying for a homophobic incitement law for more than six months.

    7:30 PM — The Justice Secretary has announced that a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation will be introduced in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill.Jack Straw added that he would consider similar protections for trans and disabled people.The House of Commons met today for the first time since July to hear a statement from the Prime Minister on Iraq and to give the bill its second reading.

  • Nick Boles selected to fight Thatcher seat 1

    Mr Boles said that he had made a short statement to party activists, during which he mentioned that he is gay.

    4:40 PM — A prominent gay politician has been selected to fight the constituency of Grantham and Stamford for the Conservatives at the next election.Nick Boles, who was a frontrunner to be his party's candidate for Mayor of London until he withdrew from the race after being diagnosed with a form of cancer, came within 500 votes of winning Hove in the 2005 election.The seat has particular importance for Tories. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was born and raised in Grantham.

  • Haggard rent boy claims Senator was client 1

    The long-serving Senator from Idaho has been at the centre of a scandal surrounding his behaviour in a public toilet.

    3:26 PM — The male prostitute who brought the career of homophobic preacher Ted Haggard to an end by revealing they had a sexual relationship has now made sensational claims about a US Senator embroiled in a cruising scandal.Haggard resigned last year as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after Mike Jones alleged the preacher paid him over a three-year period for sex and sometimes took crystal meth (methamphetamine) during the encounters.

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