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Politics

  • 6th February 2007

    Blair offers solution to Catholic adoption 1

    Mr Blair told the committee of MPs that he thought it would be a tragedy if the Catholic adoption agencies had to close.

    1:38 PM — The Prime Minister has told a committee of senior MPs that Roman Catholic-run adoption agencies can find a way through the row over gay adoption.Speaking to the Commons liaison committee, Mr Blair said he hoped that the religious agencies would form "consortiums" with secular agencies to provide a "gateway" for all potential adoptive parents to access adoption services.

  • Fetishists at risk of detention say MPs

    The MPs also propose extra safeguards to protect patients who are force-fed. photo: fortune cookie@flickr

    12:22 PM — A new Mental Health Bill is facing mounting criticism from a group of MPs over its definition of mental disorder, which they say is putting those not regarded as mentally ill at risk.By broadening the definition of disorder, the bill would target individuals on grounds of sexual orientations or sexual identities.This effectively means people with unusual fetishes or wanting gender reassignment surgery are likely to face discrimination and possible detention in a mental institution.

  • Russian politician backs Pride ban 4

    Mr Chuyev said homosexuality should be confined indoors and in private, and the parade would have sent out the wrong signal to the “many young people and children.“

    11:49 AM — A senior figure in Russian President Vladimir Putin's government has openly backed the Moscow mayor's recent decision to ban the gay parade in the capital city for the second year in a row.Alexander Chuyev, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for Public Associations and Religious Organisations, made his remarks on a television show, insisting that he could see nothing wrong in banning a parade which he regarded as "propaganda" and "dangerous".

  • Now GP wants adoption opt-out 4

    Dr Lockley is asking the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, to grant exemptions to the regulations similar to the provisions in the 1967 Abortion Act.

    10:01 AM — A doctor employed by the National Health Service is to lobby the government for an opt-out from assessing gay couples as adoptive parents.Bedfordshire GP Dr John Lockley argues that his "Christian conscience" would stop him from giving a positive recommendation for gay patients to an adoption agency.Dr Lockley says that he faces being struck off if he refuses go give references under the terms of the new Sexual Orientation Regulations, due to become law in April.

  • 5th February 2007

    American public want gays in the military

    Since 1993, 11,082 members of the Marines, Navy, Army, Coast Guard and Air Force have been discharged.

    2:55 PM — A new poll of Americans has revealed that nearly half do not support the current US military policy of barring openly gay people from serving.The Harris Interactive survey, conducted last month, found that 55% of the 2,337 people questioned felt openly gay, bisexual or lesbian personnel should be allowed to serve, reports the Wall Street Journal. Only 18% of respondents felt that gay people should not be allowed to serve at all.

  • 2nd February 2007

    Labour MP “uncomfortable” with gay adoption 8

    The MP is a practising Catholic

    11:27 AM — Labour MP Tony Cunningham has told his local newspaper that gay couples should not be able adopt children because he is "uncomfortable with the idea."Mr Cunningham, who is Catholic, has voted against gay rights before, in 2002, he voted against gays and lesbians being given equal rights for adoption.The MP told The Workington Times Star: "I was just uncomfortable with the idea."

  • 1st February 2007

    Mary Cheney stands up for her bump 1

    Vice President Cheney has always been publicly supportive of his younger daughter.

    5:22 PM — The daughter of US Vice President Dick Cheney has spoken publicly about her pregnancy, calling her child a blessing from God.While the imminent birth of a grandchild for Mr Cheney would not at first seem a matter of public controversy, Mary Cheney is gay.Conservative and Christian groups have questioned whether Ms Cheney and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, will make suitable parents.

  • Putin: gays responsible for low birth rate 3

    Earlier this week the mayor vowed to ban a Pride march in Moscow planned for May 27th.

    12:30 PM — The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, avoided a question about the comments by Moscow's mayor that gay people are Satanic.Instead Mr Putin joked that Russia's low birth rate may be due to homosexual people.At a news conference in the Kremlin, the President gave his backing to mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who has spoken of his hatred for gay and lesbian people on many occasions.

  • Blair questioned again by police over honours

    The “cash for honours“ scandal started when it emerged that wealthy donors to the Labour party had been encouraged to loan rather than donate money to the party.

    12:15 PM — Last Friday the Prime Minister was questioned for a second time by Scotland Yard detectives investigating the alleged sale of peerages to Labour party donors.A No 10 spokesman confirmed this morning that Mr Blair was questioned at Downing St by Metropolitan Police detectives.The interview lasted for less than an hour.

  • Gay charity furious at local MPs over adoption 10

    The motion in support of a Catholic exemption from Richard Younger-Ross, which has now been signed by 18 other MPs.

    11:14 AM — The Intercom Trust has criticised MPs from the south west of England for signing an Early Day Motion calling for a exemption from anti-discrimination legislation for Roman Catholic adoption agencies.As reported on PinkNews.co.uk last week, Teignbridge MP Richard Younger-Ross tabled the motion in the House of Commons. The Lib Dem was supported by party colleague Colin Breed (South East Cornwall) and Tory Gary Streeter (South West Devon).

  • African activists attack OutRage! tactics 1

    Mr Tatchell hit back, saying that only a minority of African gay groups had signed the letter, and that most had refused.

    10:44 AM — A group of 20 gay and lesbian activists from ten African countries have attacked the tactics of direct action campaigning group OutRage!In a strongly-worded statement they accuse the group, whose most public spokesman is Peter Tatchell, of having, "disrespected the lives, damaged the struggle, and endangered the safety of African human rights defenders."

  • 12-year-old trans child – a clarification 1

    The transgender pride flag

    9:50 AM — Transsexual activist Persia West has asked PinkNews.co.uk to publish the following clarification of her comments on the reported case of a 12-year-old child in Austria who underwent gender reassignment treatment:"It is entirely normal for a transsexual person to know that they are trans at an early age, even before the age of 12, as is the case of the young person in Vienna which has been given publicity recently.

  • 31st January 2007

    London unites with Riga Pride

    Chair of Riga Pride Kristine Garina said she was delighted by the agreement to twin with London.

    5:14 PM — The gay and lesbian communities of London and Riga are to come together in a unique twinning partnership to support equality and tolerance in the two capital cities.Pride London and the Mayor of London will sign a statement of unity with Riga Pride at a ceremony in the Latvian capital next month.Last July the gay and lesbian community in Riga were banned from celebrating Pride and suffered violent oppression from homophobic mobs.

  • Two Jags says he is demob-happy

    The 68-year-old, who has been Deputy Prime Minister since 1997, has stood up for gay rights on several occasions.

    4:53 PM — John Prescott has told MPs that he is enjoying the "happy demob stage" of his career, as he faced more questions in the House of Commons about what his current role in government consists of.Mr Prescott, who revealed earlier this month that as a young man he was wary of homosexuals, has been an MP for 36 years.It is widely anticipated that he will stand down from the deputy role when Prime Minister Tony Blair leaves office later this year.

  • Canada lifts same-sex immigration ban 1

    In July 2005, under the previous Liberal government, Canada became the fourth country in the world to allow gay and lesbian couples to get married.

    3:27 PM — Canadians who married their gay or lesbian partners abroad will now be able to sponsor their immigration to Canada.The government has rescinded a policy that banned same-sex married couples from being treated equally to heterosexual spouses.Opposition MP Bill Siksay announced on Tuesday that the government had decided to remove the discriminatory immigration directive and treat gay and straight couples equally in this regard.

  • Ruth Kelly to seek re-election in marginal seat 4

    At the 2005 general election, Ms Kelly's majority was 2,064, or 5% of the total votes cast.

    12:33 PM — The Communities Secretary, Ruth Kelly, has confirmed that she will be contesting the constituency she currently represents at the next general election.There had been rumours that Ms Kelly would abandon Bolton West for the safer Bolton South East constituency, whose sitting MP is retiring at the next election.She is the cabinet minister with the most marginal seat.

  • 30th January 2007

    Tony Blair’s fundraiser arrested again

    The arrest of Lord Levy, a close friend of the Prime Minister, is another blow for Mr Blair.

    6:47 PM — One of the Prime Minister's closest allies has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.Lord Levy, who is Mr Blair's special envoy to the Middle East, was first arrested last July and released on bail in connection with an investigation by the Metropolitan Police into the alleged selling of peerages.

  • Gay activists welcome first EU equality summit

    The Eurobarometer data for the UK found that 48% of respondents felt that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is widespread in this country.

    2:43 PM — European and UK gay rights organisations have welcomed the first EU summit on equality, which began in Brussels today.450 delegates from across Europe launched the 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All at the summit, which is a joint initiative by the European Commission and the German Presidency of the EU.Representatives from the European branch of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) are attending.

  • Gay MP questions adoption compromise 10

    Mr Williams, currently the only out gay LibDem MP, today tabled an Early Day Motion supporting the IDAHO campaign.

    1:15 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams has expressed scepticism about the long period of exemption from the new Sexual Orientation Regulations that the government has granted to Roman Catholic adoption agencies."I think the Prime Minister's decision is welcome."There should be no exemptions," he told PinkNews.co.uk

  • Italian coalition parties clash over gay families 4

    Prime Minister Romano Prodi's coalition has to hold together nine different parties in government, and now proposal for new rights of gay and lesbians in Italy is causing problems.

    10:25 AM — The delicate balance of power in the Italian government could be upset by a new law that will grant gay and lesbian couples a form of civil partnership.The nature of the Italian political system means that since 1945 the country has mostly been ruled by fragile coalitions, and the group of parties that finally removed Silvio Berlusconi from office last April are no different.

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