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Politics

  • 20th September 2007

    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.

  • US workplace discrimination law faces Senate challenge

    This is the first time since 1994 that legislation that protects LGB people at work has been brought to the House.

    11:30 AM — One of two openly gay members of the US Congress has said that the Senate could scupper new laws to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination.Represntative Barney Frank has represented the 4th District of Massachusetts since 1981.He came out in 1987, and his political opponents have tried to smear and unseat him on many occasions.

  • Swedish government funds gay rights group

    The money will finance two ILGA board meetings with the world board and participation in regional ILGA conferences

    10:35 AM — Sida, The Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation, a government agency under the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, has granted 1.9 million Swedish crowns (approximately 200,000 euros) to RFSL, the Swedish federation for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.1.1 million Swedish crowns (116,000 euros) will go towards supporting ILGA, the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

  • 14th September 2007

    PinkNews.co.uk readers split over Tory ads 71

    Our opinion poll of 249 readers found that 40% did not think the Conservative party should advertise in the gay media, with 5% not sure.

    5:46 PM — A survey of PinkNews.co.uk readers has found that 55% think the Conservative party should advertise in the gay media.Last Friday PinkNews.co.uk started to feature adverts from the Conservatives, believed to be the party's first political advertising campaign in a gay publication or website.They featured party leader David Cameron alongside a series of messages on a variety of campaign issues.

  • London ready for gay mayor says Paddick 7

    Mr Paddick called for a public enquiry into the terrorist attacks on London in July 2005, something the government insists is unnecessary.

    1:01 PM — A former senior police officer who wants to be Mayor of London has said that he does not think his sexuality will be an issue with the voters.Brian Paddick was the UK's most senior out gay policeman until his retirement as Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in May this year.He is one of three candidates for the Liberal Democrat nomination for Mayor of London. He said today that he did not regard being an openly gay man as an electoral disadvantage with Londoners.

  • Gay equality on the agenda at party conferences

    Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill will speak at all three fringe events.

    12:15 PM — Over the next fortnight, three seaside resorts will brace themselves for an influx of MPs, political activists and journalists as the party conference season gets underway.These tribal gatherings are a perfect opportunity to lobby politicians, and to that end gay equality organisation Stonewall will be holding a series of fringe meetings, which are open to all."If you live near Brighton, Bournemouth or Blackpool or are attending the conferences in any capacity please join us at one or more of our fringe meetings," said a Stonewall spokesperson.

  • Ugandan newspaper continues outing strategy 3

    The outing is the latest in a series lurid, sensationalist homophobic exposes by Red Pepper.

    11:35 AM — A tabloid newspaper in Uganda has responded to last month's first ever press conference by gay rights advocates in the country by printing lists of people it says are gay. Red Pepper's Sunday edition ran its "expose" of prominent gay and lesbians, under the headline "Homo Terror! We name and shame top gays in the city."They claimed to have "full names, workplaces, cars they drive and even where they stay."

  • 13th September 2007

    Howard rejects equal rights for gay Australians 5

    Mr Howard said yesterday that the issue is “complicated“ but that he does not feel gay couples are entitled to equal rights.

    5:25 PM — The Prime Minister of Australia has told his Liberal party MPs that he does not believe that gay and lesbian couples should be given the same rights as heterosexuals.Backbench MP Warren Entsch, an advocate of equality, pressed John Howard at a meeting of Liberal parliamentarians.Three weeks ago, after a heated meeting of the Cabinet, the final decision about whether gay and lesbian couples in Australia will be given equal rights was left up to Prime Minister John Howard.

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