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Politics

  • 1st February 2007

    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married their gay or lesbian partners abroad will now be able to sponsor their immigration to Canada.The government has rescinded a policy that banned same-sex married couples from being treated equally to heterosexual spouses.Opposition MP Bill Siksay announced on Tuesday that the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.

  • 29th January 2007

    PM defends Ruth Kelly’s position

    She was given responsibility for equality issues in May 2006, but has refused to reveal her views on homosexuality.

    6:45 PM — A spokesman for the Prime Minister has said Mr Blair wants to pay tribute to Ruth Kelly.The Communities Secretary, who is responsible for equality matters, has been heavily criticised by gay campaigners and some MPs for her strong religious views.Ms Kelly, a devout Catholic, has been accused of bowing to pressure from the hierarchy of the church.

  • LibDem spokeswoman welcomes PM’s adoption stance 10

    Ms Burt, the MP for Solihull, said she was happy that the Catholic agencies will be given time to make new arrangements.

    5:27 PM — Politicians have spoken to PinkNews.co.uk of their delight at Tony Blair's decision to not grant an exemption from anti-discrimination laws to Catholic adoption agencies.Lorely Burt MP, the LibDem spokeswoman on equality, told PinkNews.co.uk:"Tony Blair's statement is welcome news.

  • Tories make no comment on adoption, LibDem furious

    A Tory spokeswoman repeated that the party's MPs will be given a free vote on the regulations when they come before the House of Commons next month.

    5:15 PM — A spokeswoman for Conservative Central Office has said the party has no statement to make about Tony Blair's announcement that Roman Catholic adoption agencies will not be exempted from anti-discrimination legislation.Meanwhile a LibDem MP who tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the government to exempt the Catholic Church has branded Tony Blair a coward.

  • Stonewall delighted by adoption decision 10

    Mr Summerskill dismissed claims that the Catholic agencies are the best in the country

    5:05 PM — The chief executive of Stonewall has warmly welcomed the statement from Tony Blair that Roman Catholic-run adoption agencies will not be granted an exemption to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Ben Summerskill also questioned the claim by the church that their agencies are superior to state-run adoption facilities."We are delighted that the cabinet has listened carefully to what we have been saying."

  • Official – no Catholic adoption opt-out 10

    Instead, the regulations regarding adoption will come into force at the end of 2008.

    4:31 PM — The Prime Minister has announced that the government will not be granting an opt-out for Catholic adoption agencies from the Sexual Orientation Regulations.Instead, the regulations regarding adoption will come into force at the end of 2008.This means that Roman Catholic-run adoption agencies will have nearly two years to adjust to the new rules.

  • 2007 Moscow Pride will go ahead vow activists 4

    Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said today that he will never allow a gay parade to take place in Moscow, and called gay people “Satanic.“

    2:50 PM — The organisers of Moscow Pride have vowed to hold the event in 2007, as they formally start proceedings at the European Court of Human Rights concerning last year's Pride.They are also considering appealing to the Russian Supreme Court in parallel with their European action.In May 2006 the first Pride march in the city was beset by violence after Moscow's mayor refused to grant a permit.

  • Report reveals extent of anti-gay taunts in schools

    Schools Out, an organisation that has been working for equality for LGBT people in education since 1974, welcomed the research.

    12:13 PM — Research by the National Union of Teachers has revealed that the vast majority of their members hear the word gay used pejoratively on a regular basis.Many felt that sexist and homophobic language was institutionally tolerated.The study also revealed the high levels of sexist language being used in schools and that many female teachers are sexually harassed by pupils.

  • Gibraltar gay rights record criticised 25

    GGR was established in 2000 by Felix Alvarez. They are openly campaigning for rights equal to those enjoyed by gay people in the UK.

    10:43 AM — The government of Gibraltar is failing to protect sexual minorities, say gay rights campaigners in the territory.Gib Gay Rights Group are to approach the European Commission in Brussels to raise their concerns about the government's attitude towards LGBT people.Gibraltar is a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom, but the government in London have no control over social policy.

  • Tory leader rejects Catholic adoption exemption

    The comments from Mr Cameron this morning are the first time that a shadow Cabinet member has presented a solution to the ongoing controversy.

    9:22 AM — David Cameron has said there can be no opt-out for Roman Catholic-run adoption agencies from the Sexual Orientation Regulations.The Conservative party leader said there should be an adjustment period of three to four years for adoption agencies to allow them to adjust to the new rules, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services.

  • 26th January 2007

    Lib Dem MP calls for adoption opt-out 8

    Mr Younger-Ross, MP for Teigbridge, said he fully supports the rights of gay people.

    6:07 PM — A Roman Catholic Liberal Democrat MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling on the government to exclude Catholic adoption agencies from the Equality Act.Richard Younger-Ross' motion has been signed by only six other MPs.The Liberal Democrats have been very critical of the proposed opt-outs for Catholic adoption agencies.

  • Ruth resignation rumours rubbished 3

    It has been widely reported that Ms Kelly was the driving force behind the exemptions for Catholics.

    2:10 PM — A spokesman for Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has dismissed rumours that she on the brink of resigning from the Cabinet.Ms Kelly has been the focus of much of the criticism the goverment has faced after it was revealed that they are considering granting exemptions to anti-discrimination legislation to Roman Catholic adoption agencies.

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