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Politics

  • 21st September 2007

    Guidance on gay bullying issued to schools 8

    A survey of more than 1,100 young people found that only 23% of all UK schools explicitly condemn homophobic bullying.

    11:50 AM — The Department for Children, Families and Schools has issued guidance to schools in England and Wales on how to tackle homophobic bullying.The new guidance from the government gives teachers, head teachers, school governors and support staff practical advice on how to recognise, prevent and respond to homophobic language and physical abuse.It follows on from Stonewall's wide-ranging study into homophobic bullying published in June this year, entitled "The School Report."

  • Brian Paddick was an undercover Lib Dem 1

    Mr Paddick was the UK's most senior out gay policeman until his retirement in May this year.

    11:45 AM — Mayor of London candidate Brian Paddick has revealed he has always been a Liberal Democrat at heart, even in his former role as Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.Mr Paddick, who spoke a conference event in Brighton yesterday said:"Yes, I've been an undercover Liberal Democrat."Under that blue uniform there was a gold one. I'll leave that to your imagination."

  • Postcards to US Congress ask for workplace protection

    The Employment Non Discrimination Act was introduced in the House by a bipartisan group of legislators.

    11:15 AM — On Monday the national staff of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will hand-deliver more than 12,000 pro-equality postcards from constituents across the country to both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.The individually written cards were collected from 40 states across the country as part of PFLAG's campaign, "People Don't Get Fired for Being Straight" to support the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

  • Gay marriage activists picket Schwarzenegger’s star 3

    Although Schwarzenegger has yet to take an official stance on the bill, he has suggested on numerous occasions that he will not sign it.

    10:45 AM — Chanting, "Sign AB 43, equal rights for you and me," more than 200 activists marched to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, where they left pens and urged him to sign legislation ending discrimination against gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry their partners.The California legislature has again passed a bill (AB 43) that would give the state's gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, but all signs point to the governor, who is set to get the legislation this week, vetoing it, just as he did a similar bill in 2005.

  • COMMENT: Schools must clamp down on homophobic bullying 8

    “Schools have a clear, legal duty to establish measures to prevent all forms of bullying, including homophobic bullying. “

    10:44 AM — Today is a watershed moment for education, as we unveil new guidance that will give schools detailed practical advice on how to deal with homophobic bullying for the first time.This is something teachers have frequently called for and will help schools get to grips with an issue that has blighted too many young people's lives.Every pupil in our schools has the right to be protected from bullying.

  • 20th September 2007

    Iraqi gays win asylum in UK 1

    Ibaa, 30, and Haider, 29, were initially refused asylum by the Home Office.

    5:07 PM — Two gay men from Iraq persecuted because of their sexuality have been granted asylum in the UK following an appeal.Fleeing from militia death squads, which have been targeting the LGBT community in their home counrty, Ibaa, 30, and Haider, 29, were initially refused asylum by the Home Office on the grounds that fear of persecution because of sexual orientation was not recognised by the 1951 Refugee Convention.The two men received help from gay rights organisation OutRage! and the exiled LGBT Iraq group.

  • Gay daughter changes mayor’s mind on same-sex marriage

    “Today, Mayor Sanders and the City of San Diego have demonstrated that support for equality crosses party lines.“

    2:20 PM — Yesterday the Republican Mayor of San Diego decided to sign the resolution to overturn Proposition 22, which some claim bans same-sex marriage in the state of California.Jerry Sanders' last minute decision, which conflicts with his former campaign promises, reflects his "significant" change of opinion on the subject. Mr Sanders said:"I have close family members and friends who are members of the gay and lesbian community. These folks include my daughter Lisa and her partner, as well as members of my personal staff."

  • Ming sends Lib Dems home with rousing speech 1

    Sir Ming received a standing ovation from party activists clearly impressed by his strong performance.

    2:13 PM — Sir Menzies Campbell made a passionate defence of the values of liberalism in his leader's speech to the Liberal Democrat party conference in Brighton.Liberalism requires tolerance he told an audience of party members, councillors and MPs.He told them he has spent his entire life "speaking out against bigotry," and that intolerance and extremism threaten our freedom.

  • “Robocop” mayor backs gay village in Middlesborough 1

    The mayor pointed to the gay village in Manchester and that city's Pride events as an example of what might be achieved in his town.

    10:58 AM — The elected mayor of Middlesborough has called for more events and even a nightclub for the gay community in the town.Ray Mallon, one of the most popular mayors in the UK, has even suggested a gay quarter, and plans to speak to local authorities in other cities about their success in creating a vibrant gay scene.Known as "Robocop" because of his zero tolerance approach to crime while a senior officer in Cleveland police, Mr Mallon told a meeting of the Middlesborough Council Executive that it is important to raise the issue.

  • 19th September 2007

    Former minister Twigg to return to Commons

    Stephen Twigg will almost certainly be elected at the next General Election

    11:30 PM — Stephen Twigg, then man who famously defeated Michael Portillo in the safe Tory seat of Enfield Southgate, in 1997 is set to return to the House of Commons.Mr Twigg, 40, who was the first MP to have been first elected as an openly gay man. He lost his Enfield seat in the 2005 general election.He has been selected for the safe Labour seat of West Derby.

  • Lesbian urged to quit Scwarzenegger’s staff 1

    Susan Kennedy became Governor Schwarzenegger's chief of staff in January 2006.

    5:50 PM — The chief of staff to the Governor of California, Susan Kennedy, is facing calls for her to resign after Mr Schwarzenegger said he would veto same-sex marriage legislation.Robin Tyler, a lesbian activist and plaintiff in a same-gender marriage test case to be heard before the California Supreme Court next year, said that she was "disappointed" in Ms Kennedy, who "married" her lesbian partner in Hawaii several years ago.

  • Australian politicians back Christians over gay marriage

    Both the governing Liberal and opposition Labour parties appear to be keen to court the religious vote.

    2:14 PM — The Prime Minister of Australia has addressed an event organised by a faith-based charity where he faced calls to ban state recognition of non-married couples.The National Strategic Summit on Marriage, Family Fatherhood was held at the Australian Parliament yesterday.Prime Minister John Howard told delegates that marriage is "the best social welfare device mankind has ever devised." Politicians from other major parties attended the conference, organised by the Fatherhood Foundation.

  • Controversial Tory attacks government over race 2

    Sayeeda Warsi was appointed Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion by David Cameron earlier this year.

    12:04 PM — A vice-chairman of the Conservative party has attacked the government's record on race equality.Sayeeda Warsi was appointed Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion by David Cameron earlier this year, the first Muslim woman to sit in the Tory Shadow Cabinet.The final report from the Commission for Racial Equality was released yesterday. The CRE is being merged into the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

  • Presidential hopeful’s u-turn on gay rights 1

    This isn't the first time Romney's past support of the GLBT community has returned to haunt his current electoral efforts.

    11:22 AM — Anyone who has paid close attention to the political career of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney knows the Massachusetts Republican used to be a supporter of gay rights.To the rest of us—and that includes many Republican Americans currently considering him for the country's highest office—Romney's past support of the gay and lesbian community is a bit of a mystery.The mysterious crust covering Romney's past is slowly but surely being chipped away.

  • 18th September 2007

    Dutch government to promote gay acceptance 1

    Amsterdam's image in the Netherlands as the 'gay capital of the world' is under threat.

    5:31 PM — The government of Holland has committed itself to the active promotion of acceptance of LGBT people in the light of several high-profile homophobic attacks in the country.In a memorandum on the 2008 Budget, the coalition government's Cabinet said that respect for difference is a basic condition of Dutch society.They committed more than two million euros (£1.4m) to fight homophobia and promote acceptance.

  • Lib Dems and Stonewall discuss gay issues 1

    A series of measures to combat bullying in schools were passed by conference yesterday.

    4:49 PM — DELGA, the Liberal Democrats LGBT organisation, joined forces with Stonewall last night to host a fringe meeting at the party's conference in Brighton.Stephen Williams MP, a party spokesman on education, and Jo Swinson, who speaks on equality issues, were joined by Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, for a question and answer session with Lib Dem activists.

  • Kuwaiti gays ask permission to get organised 1

    The oil-rich country of three million people was invaded by Saddam Hussein in 1991, sparking the first Gulf War.

    4:05 PM — The gay and trans community in Kuwait has approached the government requesting an official gay rights organisation.The majority Muslim country currently does not allow such groups to exist, despite a growing number of openly gay and transgender Kuwaitis.According to online news service, Al Arabiya, the gay rights request follows the recent Upholding Ethics report from the Kuwaiti National Council.

  • Global protests against Nicaragua’s gay ban

    Protests were held outside Nicaraguan embassies and consulates in Germany, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Mexico, Paraguay, Sweden and Taiwan.  photo: tonypitman@flickr.com

    12:23 PM — Amnesty International, through its network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender) groups, held a series of demonstrations across the world last week.The protestors called for the calling for the decriminalisation of sodomy in Nicaragua and called for the repeal of article 204 of the country's Penal Code.This article criminalises not only gay men, lesbians and bisexual people in same-sex relationships, but is vague enough to permit the prosecution of individuals for activities such as campaigning for LGBT rights.

  • 17th September 2007

    Northern Ireland leader meets gay rights activists

    The Deputy First Minister committed himself to further meetings with CoSO in the near future.

    1:40 PM — The Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland met with representatives of the Coalition on Sexual Orientation (CoSO) last week.CoSO, established by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans groups in the province to provide a voice for the LGBT community, was there to seek assurances on gay rights after the homophobic comments of a junior minister.Martin McGuinness and CoSO discussed homophobia in sport, the Northern Ireland administration's sexual orientation strategy and the high suicide rates in the province.

  • MP accused of using gay issues to win Muslim votes 4

    Mr Galloway's website outlines his Labour opponent's record on a range of issues, including gay rights.

    1:40 PM — Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has questioned the tactics of maverick MP George Galloway.Galloway became the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow in 2005 under the banner of the Respect party.His victory over the incumbent Labour MP was in large part due to appealing to anti-war Muslim voters in the London constituency.

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