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Politics

  • 8th January 2008

    Gay hate bill returns to Commons 5

    Justice minister Maria Eagle said that Christians will continue to have the right to express their homophobic views.

    11:40 AM — MPs will debate the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill tomorrow, which includes a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.Ann Widdecombe, a Roman Catholic former Tory minister, today defended her opposition to the bill.The government and the frontbenches of the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives both support the legislation, but MPs from the three main parties have signed up to the amendment.

  • Archaeology museum celebrates LGBT History month 57

    The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is a world class collection of over 80,000 objects from pre-historic, pharonic, Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic Egypt and Sudan.

    11:40 AM — The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is running an open evening as part of LGBT History month to explore sexuality and gender in the ancient world.There will be a discussion on the subject, entitled 'Beyond Isis Osiris: Alternate sexuality in Ancient Egypt', hosted by Dr Debbie Challis, followed by an opportunity to explore the museum, which is located on the University College London Campus in central London.

  • 7th January 2008

    Amsterdam mayor to clean up red light district

    In September, Cohen sold around one third of the area that makes up the red light district.

    2:01 PM — Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen announced he will clean up the city's red light district in a bid to reduce human trafficking, money laundering and drug abuse, by replacing prostitutes' windows with clothes shops.Cohen said he wanted to put a stop to the criminals taking advantage of the city's prostitutes and corrupting the city centre."The romantic picture of the area is outdated if you see the abuses in the sex industry and that is why the council has to act," he told Reuters. 

  • Analysis: Hillary and Barack excite gay voters 2

    With all the state's 1, 781 precincts reporting, Obama won 38% of the delegates, to Edwards' 29.8% and Clinton's 29.5%.

    11:10 AM — That was then, this is now.Less than 24 hours after the stunning victories of Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, in the Iowa caucuses, the Presidential campaigns and the accompanying national media shifted attention from cold Iowa to the colder tiny Granite state of New Hampshire.And where there are politicians, especially New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, the other leaders in the Democratic Party contest, there are LGBT folks trying to influence them and their voters.

  • Wyoming win proivdes small comfort to Romney

    Romney took seven of the state's 12 delegates with almost all precincts now reported in.

    10:40 AM — He wasn't even present, but Republican candidate Mitt Romney took home the top prize in the Wyoming caucuses on Saturday anyway.Although a small win in the overall election 2008 run-up, the result lends more strength to Romney's campaign going into New Hampshire for Tuesday's primary."Today," former Massachusetts governor Romney said in a statement to the press, "the people of Wyoming took the first step towards bringing true conservative change to Washington."

  • Obama endorsed by former Presidential candidate

    Bradley said Obama's ability to bring people together for change makes him the best Democrat to reclaim the White House.

    10:25 AM — Former US Senator Bill Bradley has officially announced his endorsement of Illinois Senator Barack Obama for president.A former Democratic Presidential candidate himself, Bradley will campaign with Obama on Monday in New Hampshire.Bradley said Obama's ability to bring people together for change makes him the best Democrat to reclaim the White House.

  • 6th January 2008

    Facebook “exposes” bisexual, boozy friends of Bhutto’s son 7

    Bilawal and bisexual couple Kirini Kopcke (left) and Julia Hartley

    4:00 PM — Lesbian relationships are illegal in the country where he is a leader of a major political party but Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is friends with a couple in a lesbian relationship.Mr Bhutto Zardari, son of the murdered Pakistani opposition leader, Benazir is a student at Christ Church College, Oxford and his Facebook profile has been highlighted by The Mail on Sunday. The 19-year-old's profile now appears to have been removed.

  • Elton John likely to hold fundraising dinner for Paddick 1

    Sir Elton John  and David Furnish are the most high profile gay couple in Britain

    3:20 PM — Sir Elton John and his partner, the film producer David Furnish, are thought to be preparing to hold a fundraising dinner for Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London.Brian Paddick, previously the most senior openly gay police officer in Britain told LBC last month that he was likely to be backed by the celebrity couple. They have an enviable address book and have consistently shown their stellar ability to raise money, particularly for Sir Elton's AIDs foundation.

  • 4th January 2008

    Spanish PM slams Church over “family” rally comments 40

    The Zapatero government introduced full gay marriage in Spain in 2005.

    6:00 PM — The Prime Minister of Spain has responded to Roman Catholic leaders after they criticised government policy supporting gay marriage and abortion.José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero spoke out during a speech in the Huelva town of Almonte yesterday following comments made last Sunday in Madrid at a Catholic Church rally led by Cardinals and Bishops.Clearly angry, Mr Zapatero defended his government's policies, saying they were supported by the "immense majority" of the Spanish population and that everyone had rights in Spain, whether they belonged to a religion or not.

  • Analysis: Romney vows to fight on after losing Iowa caucus 1

    Turnout for the caucuses was higher than predicted, nearly double the participants in the 2004 caucuses according to some reports.

    1:56 PM — Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucus battle among Republicans with Mitt Romney running second. Former Baptist minister Huckabee is known as a solid conservative candidate popular among evangelical Christian voters.On the Democratic side, Barack Obama was the winner with John Edwards second and Hillary Clinton in a very close third.Turnout for the caucuses was higher than predicted, nearly double the participants in the 2004 caucuses according to some reports.

  • As Iowa chooses, Bush snoozes

    His press secretary suggested in a news conference yesterday that nap time likely will outweigh whatever desire the President has to see who will gain the early lead in the US 2008 election season.

    1:45 PM — Don't expect to hear President George W. Bush's reaction to the Iowa caucus results until sometime today.His press secretary suggested in a news conference yesterday that nap time likely will outweigh whatever desire the President has to see who will gain the early lead in the US 2008 election season."What time do all the results start coming in?" asked White House press secretary Dana Perino.

  • Obama and Huckabee win in Iowa 4

    There was a high turnout despite the freezing weather, and the support of young people was vital in Obama's victory.

    3:08 AM — In an excting night in American politics, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee have won the first votes in the race to choose the country's Presidential candidates.Obama, the first African-American to stand a serious chance of winning nomination by a major party, romped home in a rural state that is 95% white.His stunning victory over former First Lady Hillary Clinton and former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards has transformed the race for the White House.

  • 3rd January 2008

    Muslim leaders back Ken for third term as Mayor 3

    Mayor Livingstone faced protests from gay activists in 2004 when he invited the Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi to London.

    4:35 PM — The re-election of Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London is in the best interests of Muslims, according to 63 leading Islamic figures.Imams and community leaders have signed a statement pledging support for his campaign for a third term in office, citing his support for the Palestinian people and opposition to UK policy in Iraq as key reasons to support him.Ihtisham Hibatullah from the British Muslim Initiative, told The Guardian: "He supports religious freedom."

  • Gay group questions Huckabee’s extreme views 7

    TruthWinsOut has said it is “alarmed“ that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a serious contender for the White House.

    3:01 PM — An American organisation that works to expose the tactics of "ex-gay" groups has raised concerns that a leading Republican candidate for President of the United States has links with known extremist groups.TruthWinsOut has said it is "alarmed" that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a serious contender for the White House.The first state caucus for the Republican nomination for the Presidency is being held in Iowa today and many polls put Huckabee in the lead.

  • Lesbian senator committed to fight for gay equality

    The Labour Senator-Elect from Western Australia will take her seat in the Canberra parliament in July.

    2:30 PM — As the youngest woman ever elected to Western Australia's Legislative Council she was instrumental in pushing forward some of the most progressive gay equality laws in Australia, including equalising the age of consent, allowing same-sex adoption and banning sexual orientation discrimination.Now 35-year-old Louise Pratt has pledged to work just as hard as an advocate for LGBT rights in her new role as a federal Senator.She has spoken of her excitement at the recent elections that brought her party to power after 11 years of opposition.

  • Christian MP defends opposition to gay hate law 24

    Mr Breed, the MP for South East Cornwall, has been a consistent opponent of gay rights.

    2:02 PM — A Liberal Democrat MP has defended an amendment designed to ensure that homophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.Colin Breed, who is a lay Methodist preacher, claims that the move, which is also supported by Ann Widdecombe, is about "freedom of speech."The amendment to the Criminal Justice bill seeks to block a proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

  • Interview: David Heath on incitement to homophobic hatred 5

    David Heath retained his post as Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice in the frontbench team appointed by new leader Nick Clegg.

    10:40 AM — As Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice, David Heath is a comforting contrast to the Cleggs and Huhnes of the party.Big, bearded, thoughtful yet jocular, the 53-year-old is a substantial politician in more ways than one, and in his present role he shadows one of the remaining big beasts of the Labour party, Jack Straw.Heath is very much of his constituency, Somerton and Frome. He was born in the Mendip Hills of Somerset and was leader of the county's council at the age of 31.

  • COMMENT: Iowa caucuses too close to call 1

    The respected Des Moines Register's final poll shows Illinois Senator Barack Obama leading Democratic opponents, New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

    10:30 AM — Here's the only thing we know for certain about today's Iowa caucuses: no one can predict the winner.Here's the other thing that no one wants to talk about: Will Iowa really matter?For all the attention and millions of campaign dollars spent in the first Presidential contest in the nation, the Iowa caucuses are really a straw poll; a beauty contest with an actual delegate section coming down the road.

  • 2nd January 2008

    Spain’s ruling party attack Catholic bishops 8

    The secretary of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español's federal executive is demanding that the Church retract accusations by the Archbishop of Valencia.

    5:30 PM — A leading member of the governing Socialist party in Spain has attacked the Roman Catholic Church for getting involved in politics.On Sunday a "family" rally was held in Madrid, and senior church figures lined up to criticise laws introduced since the Socialists took power in 2004 including same-sex marriage.Pope Benedict XVI addressed the crowd, estimated at 150,000 people, by a videolink from Rome.

  • Minister to attend Schools OUT conference 8

    Kevin Brennan, a junior minister at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Schools OUT conference.

    1:45 PM — Kevin Brennan, a junior minister at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, will be one of the keynote speakers at an LGBT education event next month.The Schools OUT annual conference will be held on February 2nd in the Drill Hall in central London.Founded in 1974, Schools OUT Works towards equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in education.

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