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Politics

  • 16th February 2007

    Gay Iraqis face continued persecution 1

    Sectarian blackmail, mutilation, and assassination of gays are rife.

    3:02 PM — The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has promised to crack down on the persecution of gay people in Iraq.The slaughter of gay Iraqis by Islamist death squads is yet another tragic consequence of the chaos and carnage in this beleaguered country.It would seem that no-one is safe from fundamentalist militias, who target Iraqis for "crimes against Islam," which might include drinking alcohol, having a Sunni name, or not being veiled if you are a woman.

  • Clock ticking on gay discrimination regulations 1

    Ironically, Christian objections to the bill may well have ensured they will get a smooth passage through Parliament.

    11:54 AM — The controversial Sexual Orientation Regulations, the source of a battle with the Roman Catholic church over adoption and a Cabinet row, should be published next week.A spokeswoman for the Department of Communities and Local Government confirmed to PinkNews.co.uk that they expect the regulations will become law by April as promised.The new rules protect gay, lesbian and bisexual people from discrimination when accessing goods, services and facilities.

  • 15th February 2007

    80% of Italians defy Vatican over partnership rights 4

    The poll results will be a blow for the Vatican.

    5:24 PM — A poll has revealed that an overwhelming majority of Italians approve of the government's proposed legislation that will grant some rights to unmarried couples.Last week the Cabinet unanimously approved the new legislation, which also grants rights to unmarried heterosexual couples.Now a survey for newspaper La Repubblica has found strong support for the measures.

  • Gays and alcoholics the same, says Moscow

    Russian men have a low mortality rate and alcohol remains a major factor. photo: jimmyOK@flickr

    12:45 PM — A high-ranking official in Moscow has joined in the growing debate over the city's refusal to allow a gay rights parade this year.Georgy Muradov, head of the city's international relations department, yesterday likened homosexuality to alcoholism and argued that both are "bad for one's health."His remarks came as he tried to fend off criticisms from the Swedish ambassador of the city's decision to ban a Pride march.

  • Gay rights row influences Labour deputy race

    Seven ministers have now declared they back Mr Johnson to succeed John Prescott as deputy leader.

    10:04 AM — The Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, has had his candidacy for the deputy leadership of the Labour party endorsed by a string of ministers.Many of the middle-ranking MPs had warm praise for the tenacious way Johnson stood up to the Prime Minister in defence of gay equality laws.Last month Mr Blair and the Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly were at the centre of a cabinet row over anti-discrimination legislation.

  • 14th February 2007

    Nigeria elections could swing new anti-gay law 1

    Nigerian society is divided along Christian/Muslim lines, yet this issue unites them.

    6:40 PM — A committee of the Nigerian parliament met today to conduct a public hearing into the proposed new legislation that will imprison people for being gay or having gay or lesbian sex.With elections for the Presidency, Senate and House of Representatives in April, gay rights activists fear that politicians will put populism above human rights.

  • Proposal to outlaw homosexuality in Russia has “no support” 4

    Alexeyev, a lawyer, dismissed reports that Russia may return to the situation where homosexuality was illegal.

    12:11 PM — The organiser of Moscow Pride has said that an attempt by a maverick deputy in the Russian parliament to re-instate Soviet-era sexuality laws is certain to fail.Nikolai Alexeyev, who was arrested by police at last year's banned Pride march, spoke to PinkNews.co.uk from Berlin, where a documentary about the event is being premiered.Alexeyev, a lawyer, dismissed concerns that Russia may return to the situation where homosexuality was illegal

  • 13th February 2007

    Former Mormon missionary runs for President

    Americans liberals are worried about the candidacy of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    6:23 PM — Mitt Romney, ex-Governor of Massachusetts and staunch opponent of gay marriage, has today officially announced a bid for the Republican party's candidacy for President of the United States.Speculation about his intentions has been rife since he first resigned from the post of Governor in 2005.Massachusetts is the only state in America to have legalised gay marriage.

  • MEPs highlight homophobic bullying in school

    They spoke to over 750 young LGBT people from 37 countries and found that over half (53%) had experienced bullying in school.

    6:23 PM — Members of the European Parliament from across the EU are to present a written declaration on combating homophobic bullying as new research shows that kids across the continent are being victimised.The MEPs have chosen Valentines Day to highlight the extent to which LGBT teens in all EU countries experience abuse and intimidation at school.Research by gay rights group ILGA Europe and their youth wing examined social exclusion among LGBT kids in Europe.

  • Ukranian gays face fight with parliament 1

    Since 1991 Ukraine, formerly part of the Soviet Union, has had an equal age of consent.

    3:52 PM — The leader of Committee on Human Rights of the Ukrainian Parliament has called homosexual people "perverts" and said that a fight against them is needed.Mr. Leonid Grach, a Communist, said last week that the state must protect society from evils, and then listed homosexuality and lesbianism.Ukraine is seeking membership of the EU.

  • Presidential hopeful’s pledge on gay rights

    In 2000, as the Minister of the Family and Children, Royal spoke out against anti-gay bullying in schools.

    11:28 AM — Segolene Royal took the race to succeed Jacques Chirac as President of France in a fresh direction yesterday, launching a 100 point manifesto for France under her rule.The 53-year-old socialist party candidate for the presidency would become France's first woman president if elected.She pitched her reform programme to a 15,000-strong rally just outside Paris yesterday.

  • 12th February 2007

    Obama says he is running for the White House 2

    Obama is the only African-American in the Senate, and his candidacy is already being compared to that of President John F Kennedy.

    6:35 PM — Senator Barack Obama has officially declared that he is running for President.The charismatic American politician said that he does not think either race or religion will be defining factors in the choice of the next leader of the free world.In an interview with PA the junior senator from Illinois, who has been publicly supportive of gay rights, said that being mixed race was not a disadvantage.

  • Berlusconi attacks gay rights legislation

    Italy remains divided over the extent that gay and unmarried couples should benefit from the legal rights that married heterosexual couples enjoy.

    1:37 PM — Italian opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi slammed legislation to give legal rights to same-sex couples yesterday.The former Prime Minister, who is still leader of Forza Italia, accused the Romano Prodi-led Italian coalition government of devaluing the institution of the family.Last week the Italian Cabinet voted unanimously to bring forward legislation bestowing some legal protection to unmarried couples.

  • 9th February 2007

    Italian government approves same-sex couple recognition 4

    The country is still divided over wheter gay and unmarried couples should be granted rights. photo: mteson@flickr.com

    10:35 AM — The Italian government yesterday agreed to bring forward legislation that will grant legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples for the first time.The decision was criticised on all sides. Gay campaigners complained that the proposed new "civil pacts of solidarity" are a watered down version of what the coalition government had promised at last year's election.Catholic MPs denounced the new bill as an attack on marriage.

  • Britain a better country under Labour, claims Blair

    Mr Blair admitted that there was no longer the same broad consensus in British society that there once was.

    12:28 AM — Tony Blair has described himself as "pro-gay rights and tough on law and order" in a podcast interview with actor Stephen Fry.The internet broadcast, which is available on the No 10 website, touched on a range of issues to do with identity and the perceived fracturing of British society.Echoing many of the soundbites that have defined his decade in office, the Prime Minister said that he differed from previous Labour leaders.

  • 8th February 2007

    Christians attack Obama’s record on gay rights 2

    He first came to be spoken of as a future President after the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

    4:38 PM — Before he has even officially declared his intention to run for President, Barack Obama is under attack for his pro-gay views.The junior Senator from Illinois is expected to announce on Saturday that he intends to run for the highest office in the land.Obama is the only African-American in the Senate, and his candidacy is already being compared to that of President John F Kennedy.

  • Northern Ireland most bigoted place, survey reveals

    The main target of the Northern Ireland bigots are gay people, with over a thirds of respondents saying they did not want gay neighbours.

    12:59 PM — Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of bigoted people in the western world, according to research from the University of Ulster.Not only does the province have the highest proportion of bigots, but the bigots are on average more bigoted than those in other countries.The main target of Northern Irish prejudice is the gay community, with over a third of respondents saying they did not want gay neighbours.

  • Italy gay marriage vote too close to call 4

    Opinion polls show 69% of the country's Catholics are in favour of the new laws, which would grant cohabiting couples similar rights to married ones.

    12:06 PM — The fragile unity of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government will be severely tested when proposals to offer legal recognition for same-sex unions are to be unveiled in the next few days.Some are already seeing this as a referendum on Mr Prodi's vulnerable nine-party centre-left coalition.The situation has been made worse by intense lobbying from opposition MPs and the Catholic Church, with Pope Benedict XVI chastising the proposals as "anti-church and anti-family."

  • US Army scared of lesbians, says Congressman 1

    Congressman Ackerman suggested to Ms Rice that as the Army was sacking much-needed translators for being gay, her department could hire them instead.

    10:25 AM — A member of the House of Representatives has said that the American military is more scared of lesbians than terrorists.Gary Ackerman, from New York, was questioning Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a Congressional committee into 2008 State Department budget.The Congressman was questioning the current military policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

  • 7th February 2007

    Gay activist push “no kids no marriage” law 1

    The proposed ballot measure would require couples to prove they can have children to get a marriage licence.

    4:00 PM — Same-sex marriage advocates in the American state of Washington are proposing a state ballot measure that would limit marriage to couples who prove they can bear children within three years.Proponents say the proposal was aimed at "social conservatives who have long screamed that marriage exists for the sole purpose of procreation."The Washington Defence of Marriage Alliance acknowledged on its website that the initiative was "absurd."

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