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Politics

  • 22nd October 2007

    Comment: Stop deporting gay refugees back to Iran 28

    Several failed asylum seekers have committed suicide, rather than face the barbaric persecution, torture and punishment awaiting them in Iran, having publicly admitted their sexuality to the Home Office.

    4:31 PM — Detention centres stand as monuments to Britain's attitude to human rights, incarcerating behind razor wire asylum seekers awaiting deportation.They are the last stop for those who have failed to make a successful asylum claim, a key tool in the British governments attempt to "manage migration" and hold an average 25,000 every year.Much of the debate around immigration to the UK focuses on the legitimacy of asylum claims.

  • A new dawn for Poland as homophobes lose power 1

    Civic Platform are a conservative party, and they plan to halve the number of MPs and introduce a flat tax.

    12:01 PM — Poland will have a new Prime Minister after Jaroslaw Kaczynski and his Law and Justice party conceded defeat to Civic Platform.The League of Polish Families, a junior partner in the former coalition government and the most outspokenly homophobic party, did not meet the 5% threshold and now have no seats in Parliament.While in government League party leader Roman Giertych was deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister.

  • 21st October 2007

    Polish government headed for defeat

    Jaroslaw Kaczynski looks set to loose his grip on power

    10:49 PM — The Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, tonight faces defeat following snap parliamentary elections. Exit polls indicate that the right wing, homophobic Law and Justice (PiS) party looks set to lose power following official declarations likely to be held on Tuesday.Exit polls for the TVN24 news channel indicate that the Civil Platform party (PO) won 44 per cent of the popular vote with the Law and Justice Party taking just 31 per cent.

  • 19th October 2007

    Clegg launches bid for Lib Dem leadership

    Lib Dem members will be sent ballot papers on November 21st, and they must be returned by 15th December.

    6:10 PM — Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg has become the second candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Democrat party."We cannot go on testing the patience of the British people," he told an audience in his constituency at the launch of his campaign."We must come together now and make a long-term commitment to British Liberalism. We must step up or risk falling back for good."Former party leader Lord Paddy Ashdown is supporting Mr Clegg's candidacy.

  • Singapore gay rights drive meets opposition 4

    The government has assured the local gay community that it would not actively prosecute them but gay rights advocates say that it is not enough.

    1:20 PM — A group calling itself "The Majority" has set up a website asking the government of Singapore to retain laws outlawing homosexual sex.An online letter to the country's Prime Minister asks him to "do what is right and retain Section 377A for the future of our children and our nation."Laws established during colonial times have held that same-sex relationships could be punishable by fines and jail time.

  • Gay workplace protection law moves forward 21

    87% of the top Fortune 500 companies in the US already provide protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

    10:40 AM — A committee of the US House of Representatives yesterday approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.The proposed legislation, which covers gay, lesbian and bisexual but not trans people, will now to the floor of the House for a vote next week.The landmark Act was originally designed to protect the American LGBT community from workplace discrimination.

  • 18th October 2007

    Interview: The ever-controversial Mr Phillips 1

    “We are no longer in a time when it is OK and accepted that you should be quiet about your sexual orientation. We've seen how grotesque that can be.“

    10:30 PM — Trevor Phillips meets me in an office he has just moved into. The L-shaped sofa came from his own home; his framed Martin Luther King montage sits on the floor waiting to be hung. A small silver bust of Lenin on his desk catches my eye.The new public body of which he is chairman, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, only came into being a few days before we met.Phillips' office, at the end of an open-plan room, has a fine view of London's City Hall.

  • Senator in cruising scandal denies he is bisexual 3

    Senator Craig denied that he had used foot and hand gestures to signal interest in a sexual encounter.

    5:55 PM — Larry Craig, the United States Senator who pleaded guilty to charges of cruising in an airport toilet, gave an hour-long TV interview last night in which he discussed the incident in detail.Appearing alongside his wife, the 62-year-old Republican politician was asked by NBC correspondent Matt Lauer: "Are you technically not a homosexual?"Is it possible you're bisexual?" The Senator replied: "It's no to both."

  • Commons debates homophobic bullying in schools

    The minister said that the guidance on homophobic bullying the department issued has been well-received.

    3:55 PM — MPs from all parties contributed to a debate in the House of Commons yesterday that extensively discussed homophobic bullying.Schools minister Kevin Brennan opened the debate, pointing to the new guidelines introduced last month as positive evidence of the government's commitment to protect gay, lesbian and bisexual children.Tory MP John Bercow welcomed the government guidance on homophobic bullying, but said they were particularly needed in faith schools.

  • The gay hate church and the Presidential candidate

    Thompson considers the church to be “a radical fringe group, looking to draw attention to themselves.“

    10:41 AM — Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas have sent a letter to Republican Presidential candidate Fred Thompson in the hopes he will support their stance against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.In the letter, released to the press earlier this week, the church said, "We know what your position used to be on the homosexual question - and it was wonderful and we saw eye to eye."

  • 17th October 2007

    Clegg gathers support in Lib Dem leadership contest

    Mr Clegg, 40, has already got the support of nearly half of the present Lib Dem frontbench team,

    8:49 PM — The race to succeed Sir Menzies Campbell as leader of the Liberal Democrats gathered pace today as Chris Huhne launched his campaign.As several potential leadership candidates today announced they would not be standing it looks increasing likely that the Nick Clegg will be the only other challenger for the leadership.He is expected to launch his campaign tomorrow.

  • Activists welcome moves to restore trans rights to ENDA 3

    Representative Tammy Baldwin announced today that she has secured an agreement from the Democratic leadership.

    6:10 PM — The only openly lesbian Congresswoman has said that trans protections will be re-introduced to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act currently before the US Congress.Representative Tammy Baldwin announced today that she has secured an agreement from the Democratic leadership to introduce an amendment on the floor of the House of Representatives next week, after the bill protecting gay, lesbian and bisexual people at work moves through the House Education and Labour Committee tomorrow.

  • Canadian soldiers jailed for Amsterdam attack 1

    Eric Wright and Ryan Dowie, both 22 at the time of the incident last May, received custodial sentences for the attack

    4:44 PM — Two Canadian soldiers stationed in Holland ahead of a deployment in Afghanistan have been convicted of beating up a gay man in Amsterdam.Eric Wright and Ryan Dowie, both 22 at the time of the attack last May, received custodial sentences for the attack, which left their 28-year-old victim with a skull fracture and broken nose.The soldiers convinced the court that they called their victim a "fag" and "gay" because he was a civilian wearing dog tags.

  • PM pledges action on Gibraltar age of consent 24

    “The Prime Minister has agreed to take this matter up to ensure that steps are taken to end this discriminatory practice.“

    3:22 PM — The Prime Minister has committed himself to ending the unequal age of consent in the British self-governing territory of Gibraltar.MEP Michael Cashman met with Gordon Brown yesterday and raised the issue with him.LGBT people in the territory have little legal protection from discrimination. Up until 1992, all male homosexual relationships were illegal. At present male homosexual sex is legal at 18, rather than 16 for heterosexual and lesbian sex.

  • Gay mayoral candidate may get help from David Furnish

    Deputy Assistant Commissioner Paddick was the UK's most senior gay police officer until he left the Metropolitan police force at the end of May.

    2:01 PM — Former senior police officer Brian Paddick, who is widely expected to win the Liberal Democrat nomination for Mayor of London, may receive fundraising help from a well-known celebrity.The Independent reports that the partner of singer Sir Elton John, David Furnish, is keen to help Mr Paddick, who is gay, raise campaign funds ahead of the mayoral elections in May 2008.The results of a ballot of Lib Dem members in London to choose their candidate will be announced next month.

  • Hillary Clinton top fundraiser in race to White House

    Mrs Clinton sped ahead of rival Obama in third quarter earnings, the one area where Obama was previously thought to be beating the former First Lady.

    12:41 PM — She came from behind and now Hillary Clinton holds the biggest war chest in the battle for US President.According to MarketWatch.com, Senator Clinton is sitting on a cool $35 million (£17.2m), more than her closest competitor Barack Obama, who had $32 million as of the end of September.Mrs Clinton sped ahead of rival Obama in third quarter earnings, the one area where Obama was previously thought to be beating the former First Lady.

  • Embattled Senator and wife give TV interview

    Senator Craig yesterday filed notice in Minnesota that he intends to appeal a lower court's decision to uphold his guilty plea.

    12:32 PM — "I was very, very embarrassed about it," Senator Larry Craig says of his arrest earlier this year as part of a sex sting in a Minneapolis airport during an interview airing tonight on NBC television programme Matt Lauer Reports."I didn't want to embarrass my wife, my kids, Idaho and my friends."According to those who have seen the hour-long interview, Craig's wife, Suzanne, tells host Matt Lauer that learning of her husband's arrest was "like the floor was falling out from under me."

  • Speaker promises trans ENDA if votes are there

    Speaker Pelosi has committed to giving the fully-inclusive version of ENDA a floor vote in the House once enough support for it to pass has been secured.

    12:28 PM — Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has sought to end the controversy surrounding new legislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination.A version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act excluding trans people is set to move forward next week, a compromise that has angered many gay rights organisations.The largest LGBT advocacy group in the US, the Human Rights Campaign, has worked with Speaker Pelosi.

  • 16th October 2007

    Two month contest for Lib Dem leadership

    Environment spokesman Chris Huhne is expected to launch his campaign tomorrow, while Home Affairs spokesman Nick Clegg has said he will consult with his wife and other before making a decision.

    6:50 PM — The Liberal Democrat party, still reeling from the shock resignation of its leader Sir Menzies Campbell yesterday, will hold a two month race to replace him.As expected, the party's President Simon Hughes, who came out as bisexual during the previous leadership race in February 2006, has ruled himself out as a candidate this time.Sir Ming resigned yesterday with immediate effect without speaking to the press.

  • Record number of gay politicians receive support

    Since its founding in 1991, the Victory Fund has helped to grow the number of out officials from 49 to more than 380.

    6:25 PM — An organisation dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels in the United States has announced that it will be backing a record number of candidates in 2007.The Gay Lesbian Victory Fund, who provide strategic, technical and financial support, has announced ten new endorsements, bringing the number of supported candidates to 71.Among them are Steve Pougnet, Mayor of Palm Springs, California; William "Bill" Schmidt, Mayor of Peekskill, New York and Jass Stewart, Mayor of Brockton, Massachusetts.

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