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Politics

  • 12th February 2007

    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."

  • 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.

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