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Politics

  • 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.

  • LGBT activists concern over homophobic Patriarch

    The UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was led by former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

    12:15 PM — The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) has added its voice of protest to the comments made by a Russian religious leader at last week's meeting of the Council of Europe.Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II had called homosexuality an "illness" and attacked what he called "homosexual propaganda" influencing young people during an address to the council's parliamentary assembly.The patriarch was there as part of council's regular debates with political and religious leaders.

  • Christians object to proposed homophobic incitement law 100

    The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill gets its second reading this afternoon as Parliament reconvenes after its long summer break.

    10:54 AM — Fundamentalist religious groups are claiming their members could face seven years in jail for expressing their views about homosexuality under proposed new legislation.The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill gets its second reading this afternoon as Parliament reconvenes after its long summer break.Gay rights activists are hopeful that the bill will introduce a new offence of incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation.

  • 7th October 2007

    United Nations hosts LGBT rights panel

    Last year 54 states called for the UN Human Rights Council to act against egregious violations of the rights of LGBT people.

    11:49 AM — The United Nations is hosting a panel discussion today to explore discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.The event, which will bring together non-governmental organisations, UN representatives and state delegates, is an initiative co-sponsored by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.It will be addressed by Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

  • 6th October 2007

    Gay Republican adverts “out” Presidential candidate 1

    On the surface, the advertisement appears to be a deceptively positive commercial in support of Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts.

    11:20 PM — Gay Republicans have launched a new television ad campaign to 'out' US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on issues such as abortion rights and gun control.The 30-second advertisement will run nationally on Fox News Channel, with a focus on reaching Iowa voters.Romney called the ad from the Log Cabin Republicans a "personal, negative attack" and accused the group of showing their favouritism for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani by airing the ad.

  • Gordon Brown rules out early election 2

    Gordon Brown partied at the gay rights disco last month

    5:41 PM — The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown's official spokesman has ruled out an early election that had been hyped by Labour ministers and the Prime Minister's officials.A spokesman for Mr Brown said: "I can now confirm that the prime minister has said there will be no autumn poll."The Prime Minister has this weekend pored over private and media polls that have shown that Labour's lead over the opposition Conservative Party has narrowed.

  • 5th October 2007

    Prescott rejects Russian church leader’s gay hate

    Prescott joined parliamentarians from all the assembly's major political groups saying that any dialogue between cultures and religions must be based on mutual respect and tolerance.

    6:03 PM — John Prescott, the former British Deputy Prime Minister, joined European Parliamentarians yesterday in petitioning the head of the Russian Orthodox Church about his homophobic views.The petition read: "We urge Patriarch Alexy to avoid the use of language inciting intolerance and to respect, rather than seek to deny, the fundamental rights of sexual minorities."Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II had called homosexuality an "illness" and attacked what he called "homosexual propaganda."

  • Gay fundraiser to be picketed by trans activists

    Representative Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, will be a keynote speaker at the event.

    5:50 PM — America's leading LGBT rights organisation is bracing itself for protests tomorrow at a key fundraising event.Tomorrow night's Human Rights Campaign's National Dinner in Washington, D.C will be picketed by trade unionists, trans groups and others over its position on new legislation designed to protect people from workplace discrimination.The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) originally contained measures to protect trans workers.

  • Conservative anger over cruising ground firefighters 41

    Avon Fire and Rescue Service is holding a conference in Bristol next week on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in the fire service.

    12:49 PM — A Conservative councillor is seeking to overturn the punishment of four firefighters from Avon Fire and Rescue Service who were reported after shining torches on gay men cruising in Bristol Downs.Bristol city councillor Spud Murphy labelled the decision to discipline the men for misuse of fire equipment and bringing the service into disrepute after the incident in June as "barmy", echoing outrage already shown by the tabloids.One of the men caught in the firefighter's torchlight later filed a complaint under advice from charity Terrence Higgins Trust.

  • Senator refused appeal against cruising confession 3

    News of Senator Craig's guilty plea brought intense pressure on him from Senate Republican leaders and other colleagues in Washington to resign.

    11:23 AM — A leading Republican politician has been refused permission to challenge his guilty plea to charges of cruising in an airport toilet.US Senator Larry Craig, 62, served in the House before winning his first Senate term in 1990, and compiled a strongly conservative voting record.He was arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room.

  • Comment: ENDA only protects straight-acting people 21

    Congressman Barney Frank has chosen to introduce a straight-acting-only version of ENDA.

    10:56 AM — After many years working as a bartender for Harrah's Casino, Darlene Jespersen was fired for failing to conform to the Casino's new 'personal best' grooming policy.As a female bartender, Jesperson was required to have her hair "teased, curled, or styled," and to wear stockings.Jesperson was also suddenly required to put on makeup everyday: lipstick and nail polish mandatory.

  • 4th October 2007

    Rising star pledges Tories to gay rights 4

    Mr Herbert was promoted to Shadow Cabinet by David Cameron in July, just over two years after entering Parliament as the first out gay man elected as a Conservative MP.

    7:40 PM — A meeting of gay Tories at the party's conference in Blackpool this week discussed gay hate crime legislation, the battle against homophobia in schools, sport and internationally, and "fingering" Gordon Brown on his gay rights voting record.More than fifty delegates and party activists attended the fringe event, organised by gay equality organisation Stonewall.Shadow Justice Minister Nick Herbert, a rising Conservative star, addressed the meeting.

  • Taiwan gays demand action not words from politicians

    The gay scene in Taiwan has blossomed since the first pride parade in 2003.

    2:45 PM — This weekend, Taiwan will see its eighth annual gay carnival and fourth annual pride parade, the biggest events of this kind in Asia.After the government-funded carnival a procession, expected to be 10,000 strong, will march through the capital, Taipei.Gay activism in Taiwan has grown stronger in past years, with politicians courting the pink vote, especially in the run up to the legislative elections at the end of the year and the presidential elections next March.

  • Trans activist resigns from HRC over employment bill

    Ms Rose said that the uneasy relationship between HRC and the transgender community meant that she had become “a focal point for much of that frustration.“

    12:01 PM — Donna Rose, a well-respected advocate for the rights of trans people, has resigned from the board of America's leading gay rights organisation, the Human Rights Commission.HRC has been widely criticised over its response to proposals to remove protections for trans people from a new workplace protection bill currently before the US Congress.Gay, lesbian and bisexual people are expected to receive protection under the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

  • Comment: Gay rights may not swing US voters in White House race 1

    55 percent of voters would vote for a candidate even if that candidate did not agree with them on issues such as same-sex marriage.

    10:10 AM — One never knows what to expect in American Presidential politics.Already during the 2008 race for the White House, Hillary Clinton has been asked whether she is a lesbian, John Edwards has been labelled a faggot, and Bill Richardson has himself declared homosexuality a choice. That's just the pro-gay Democrats.On the considerably less friendly Republican side, opponents of Rudy Giuliani have publicised videotapes of him in full drag regalia and opponents of Mitt Romney have posted videotapes of him expressing strong support for gay civil rights.

  • 3rd October 2007

    Tatchell slams Gibraltar over gay rights 1

    The Gibraltar government is failing to respect gay rights, Mr Tatchell says

    10:04 AM — Outspoken human rights activist Peter Tatchell has slammed the Gibraltar government over its failure to ensure equal rights for the LGBT community on the Rock.Speaking at the end of a local fact-finding mission yesterday, Mr Tatchell said: "The people of Gibraltar are wonderful, but the government appears tobe drifting towards autocracy."It is failing to respect the human rights of its own citizens, especially gay people, the disabled and immigrants," he said.

  • Tory welcome for new equality commission 2

    Ms May personally thanked the EOC for making sure there were more women in Parliament

    10:04 AM — A senior member of the Conservative Shadow Cabinet has welcomed the creation of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (ECHR).Speaking at a reception at the party conference in Blackpool, Theresa May paid tribute to the work of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).The ECHR came into being on Monday. It incorporates the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the EOC.

  • Cameron praises controversial minister but makes no mention of equality 7

    Mr Cameron called on Gordon Brown to “go ahead and call that election.“

    10:04 AM — David Cameron used his vital leadership speech at the Tory party conference to praise the work of Baroness Warsi, the controversial shadow community cohesion secretary who said BNP voters have some "very legitimate views."The passage praising Baroness Warsi constituted the only part of the speech where he mentioned equality.The Conservative leader said he was proud to have the first Muslim woman in a cabinet or shadow cabinet.

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